and I’m not one of those people who hauls out the Nazis as an example often - are cases where, according to what was considered to be rigorous, acceptable logic, people were declared to be not people at all, and were then slaughtered. I can imagine no less moral process than that.
“If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking. That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call ‘free will’ is your mind’s freedom to think or not.”
“Thinking is a mans’ only basic virtue, from which all the others proceed.”
--- I think I agree with this, but I wouldn’t entirely be surprised if a lot of our virtues are hard-wired by biological necessity. For instance, when you have kids, you start thinking differently than you did before you had them, and a lot of this is simply a “Protect the brood” mentality. Drunken moron friends from college that you’ve know forever suddenly become too dangerous to have around, and you relegate them to arm’s length, rather than boon companion. This happens so quickly and subtly that it’s clear there’s not any rational thought going on here. So while I’d say that she’s basically right, there is an irrational biological process at work here that definitely holds some sway.
“Non-thinking is an act of annihilation, a wish to negate existence”
--- I have to disagree with this. There are times when one craves the catharsis of an emotional release without imposing too many criteria on it. One can sit and appreciate beauty without having to define it, and a failure to define it doesn’t negate it’s existence. I do feel that naming things is the first step to making them a part of your own personal quiver of abilities, but there is definitely - and I think all of us can attest to it - a time for the barely-sentient release that comes from a good, long run, or physical exhaustion, or the happy vapid buzz that follows sex, none of which really require articulated thought. Indeed, too much thought kind of ruins them. This is why people run to clear their heads in the first place, you know? Please note that I’m not saying she’s flat out wrong on this point, just that I feel she’s overstressing it.
“By refusing to say ‘it is’, you are refusing to say ‘I am’” - so then by refusing to admit the existence of God - Who, as we’ve already established, has a kind of existence even if He’s completely unreal - are you refusing to say “I am?” By refusing to admit the existence of things that you can’t comprehend, are you denying your own existence?”
--- No. You’re saying “There’s a limit to my understanding at this juncture.” That’s not the same as denying your existence.
“To the extent to which a man is rational, life is the premise directing his actions. To the extent which he is irrational, the premise directing his actions is death. You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island - it is on a desert island that he would need it most.”
“If I were to speak your kind of language, I would say that man’s only moral commandment is: Thou Shalt Think. But a ‘moral commandment’ is a contradiction in terms. The moral is the chosen, not the forced; the understood, not the obeyed. The moral is the rational, and reason accepts no commandments.”
--- I pretty much agree with this one. Just as a crime you were forced to commit can not be held against you, a virtue you wore forced to commit can’t be held to your credit. And thinking is always good, whereas merely reacting is frequently wrong.
“Honesty is the recognition that the unreal is unreal and can have no value”
--- As we’ve already discussed, there are many, many things that have no discernable reality that are of value, and many, many things that may not have any objective reality at all, and yet they have value. To use an economic example, our currency is essentially specie, it’s basically worthless. It’s only value is there because the government states that our money has thus-and-so value, and we accept that on faith, and