Saturday, May 26, 2007
Posting will be irregular and probably light until about Wednesday, so I wish you a happy Memorial Day holiday now.
And, since I am relieved not to have the question I started yesterday's post with gnawing at the back of my mind over the long weekend (and because the quote is so good), I post the answer here.
The Inspector points out that quote I mentioned at the start of the post was in fact by Ayn Rand, but it appears in Leonard Peikoff's lecture "My Thirty Years With Ayn Rand" (which can also be found in print at the end of The Voice of Reason).
The essence of a con-man's lie," she began, "of any such lie, no matter what the details, is the attempt to gain a value by faking certain facts of reality."Family obligations and some travel would have kept me from looking for this at least for a couple of days, although another commenter would have had me on the right track. (And another provided a more elaborate formulation of what is wrong with lying which is worth reading.)
She went on: "Now can't you grasp the logical consequences of that kind of policy ? Since all facts of reality are interrelated, faking one of them leads the person to fake others; ultimately, he is committed to an all-out war against reality as such. But this is the kind of war no one can win. If life in reality is a man's purpose, how can he expect to achieve it while struggling at the same time to escape and defeat reality?"
And she concluded: "The con-man's lies are wrong on principle. To state the principle positively: honesty is a long-range requirement of human self-preservation and is, therefore, a moral obligation." [Inspector's bold]