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Costuma dizer o Professor Maltez que é preferível viver como se pensa a pensar como se vive. De facto, a coerência e a integridade, a correspondência entre o que penso e o que pratico, é algo que constantemente me preocupa no meu processo ou tentativa de aperfeiçoamento moral. Os princípios e valores que norteiam o pensamento, devem ser os mesmos que norteiam a acção, ainda que tal seja muitas vezes difícil e leve a contradições insanáveis, quando não mesmo insanas. Num ensaio sobre a ética do objectivismo, Ayn Rand explica bem porque é necessário que tal aconteça e porque é desejável que o alcancemos.

 

À medida que lia este ensaio (também no livro The Virtue of Selfishness), fui-me recordando de um parágrafo que escrevi há largos meses, para o qual me parece que encontrei agora a resposta, pelo que aqui o deixo

 

Se, como escreve José Manuel Moreira no artigo "Liberdade e Bem" do seu livro Leais, Imparciais e Liberais, existe, segundo Isaiah Berlin, um processo de sublimação das “baixas paixões” que deixa constatar uma dicotomia interior em cada indivíduo, entre, “por um lado, o seu carácter racional, a sua natureza mais alta, o seu superego, a sua consciência, o seu ser ideal, o seu ser autónomo; e por outro, os seus impulsos racionais, os seus desejos incontrolados, a sua natureza mais baixa e a busca do prazer imediato”, pode um ser humano alcançar um nível de consciência tal que lhe permita ser “dono das suas próprias paixões, e não ser escravo delas”? Não sendo possível, pode mentalmente criar um processo de desfasamento entre a realidade ideal e a realidade empírica? E, quando em presença da realidade empírica, projectando nesta ideias e valores provenientes da realidade ideal, não se verificará uma desadequação completa que o deixa aterrorizadamente chocado e sem saber como lidar com tal, mais ou menos como o que acontece com Neo ao ser desligado da Matrix?

 

Podem encontrar o ensaio de Rand aqui, mas deixo aos caríssimos e caríssimas leitores e leitoras alguns breves parágrafos que se me afiguram de extrema utilidade e esboçam algumas respostas às questões acima. Os destaques a negrito são meus.

 

 

The virtue of Pride is the recognition of the fact “that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining—that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul.” (Atlas Shrugged.) The virtue of Pride can best be described by the term: “moral ambitiousness.” It means that one must earn the right to hold oneself as one’s own highest value by achieving one’s own moral perfection—which one achieves by never accepting any code of irrational virtues impossible to practice and by never failing to practice the virtues one knows to be rational—by never accepting an unearned guilt and never earning any, or, if one has earned it, never leaving it uncorrected—by never resigning oneself passively to any flaws in one’s character—by never placing any concern, wish, fear or mood of the moment above the reality of one’s own self-esteem. And, above all, it means one’s rejection of the role of a sacrificial animal, the rejection of any doctrine that preaches self-immolation as a moral virtue or duty.

 

The basic social principle of the Objectivist ethics is that just as life is an end in itself, so every living human being is an end in himself, not the means to the ends or the welfare of others—and, therefore, that man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. To live for his own sake means that the achievement of his own happiness is man’s highest moral purpose.

 

In psychological terms, the issue of man’s survival does not confront his consciousness as an issue of “life or death,” but as an issue of “happiness or suffering.” Happiness is the successful state of life, suffering is the warning signal of failure, of death. Just as the pleasure-pain mechanism of man’s body is an automatic indicator of his body’s welfare or injury, a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death—so the emotional mechanism of man’s consciousness is geared to perform the same function, as a barometer that registers the same alternative by means of two basic emotions: joy or suffering. Emotions are the automatic results of man’s value judgments integrated by his subconscious; emotions are estimates of that which furthers man’s values or threatens them, that which is for him or against him—lightning calculators giving him the sum of his profit or loss.

 

But while the standard of value operating the physical pleasure-pain mechanism of man’s body is automatic and innate, determined by the nature of his body—the standard of value operating his emotional mechanism, is not. Since man has no automatic knowledge, he can have no automatic values; since he has no innate ideas, he can have no innate value judgments.

 

Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are “tabula rasa.” It is man’s cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the content of both. Man’s emotional mechanism is like an electronic computer, which his mind has to program—and the programming consists of the values his mind chooses.

 

But since the work of man’s mind is not automatic, his values, like all his premises, are the product either of his thinking or of his evasions: man chooses his values by a conscious process of thought—or accepts them by default, by subconscious associations, on faith, on someone’s authority, by some form of social osmosis or blind imitation. Emotions are produced by man’s premises, held consciously or subconsciously, explicitly or implicitly.

 

Man has no choice about his capacity to feel that something is good for him or evil, but what he will consider good or evil, what will give him joy or pain, what he will love or hate, desire or fear, depends on his standard of value. If he chooses irrational values, he switches his emotional mechanism from the role of his guardian to the role of his destroyer. The irrational is the impossible; it is that which contradicts the facts of reality; facts cannot be altered by a wish, but they can destroy the wisher. If a man desires and pursues contradictions—if he wants to have his cake and eat it, too—he disintegrates his consciousness; he turns his inner life into a civil war of blind forces engaged in dark, incoherent, pointless, meaningless conflicts (which, incidentally, is the inner state of most people today).

 

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values. If a man values productive work, his happiness is the measure of his success in the service of his life. But if a man values destruction, like a sadist—or self-torture, like a masochist—or life beyond the grave, like a mystic—or mindless “kicks,” like the driver of a hotrod car—his alleged happiness is the measure of his success in the service of his own destruction. It must be added that the emotional state of all those irrationalists cannot be properly designated as happiness or even as pleasure: it is merely a moment’s relief from their chronic state of terror.

 

Neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive by any random means, as a parasite, a moodier or a looter, but not free to succeed at it beyond the range of the moment—so he is free to seek his happiness in any irrational fraud, any whim, any delusion, any mindless escape from reality, but not free to succeed at it beyond the range of the moment nor to escape the consequences.

 

I quote from Galt’s speech: “Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy—a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction. . . . Happiness is possible only to a rational man, the man who desires nothing but rational goals, seeks nothing but rational values and finds his joy in nothing but rational actions.”

 

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publicado às 20:16







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