Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It is a highly concretized, systematic introduction to Ayn Rand’s ethics. It demonstrates that morality is a matter not of divine revelation or social convention or personal opinion—but, rather, of the factual requirements of human life and happiness.
“Loving Life gives you two crucial values. It a) shows how morality is a matter of objective fact, not subjective whim or religious dogma and b) shows you clearly and concretely the meaning of the morality of rational self-interest and how to use it to improve your life.
“If you are already familiar with rational selfishness/the Objectivist ethics, this book—with its many illuminating descriptions and examples—will give you a greater understanding of the morality. Unconditionally recommended.” —Alex Epstein
From chapter one, “The Beauty of Ayn Rand’s Ethics”:
Ayn Rand opposed the morality of self-sacrifice, which is inherent in most philosophic systems and all religions. She advocated instead a morality of self-interest—the Objectivist ethics—which, as she explained in her essay “Causality Versus Duty,” is neatly summed up by the Spanish proverb “God said: ‘Take what you want, and pay for it.’”
Rand was an atheist, so her use of “God” here is metaphorical. By “God said” she means “reality dictates.” She is referring to the immutable fact that if you want to achieve an effect (an end), you must enact its cause (the means). This is the law of causality applied to human values. Our values—whether a wonderful career, a romantic relationship, good friendships, life-enhancing hobbies, or political freedom—do not come to us automatically, nor do we pursue them automatically. If we want these things, we must choose to act in certain ways and not in others. This is the way reality is. This principle is an absolute. “God said.” . . .