I disagree with this view. Holding character as an end in itself apart from how one’s character redounds to himself divorces the relationship between life and values. Broadly speaking, one should consider how a value benefits or inhibits his biological survival. Without being alive, one can not value anything. The purpose of ethics is to identify what values are worth pursuing and how to achieve them.

Let me give an example: maintaining the virtue of honesty. Why should a man do this? He should be honest because exercising honesty keeps his mind in accordance with the facts and the context of his knowledge. He knows what he knows and never overstates his position. He refuses to evade facts even when presented difficult obstacles. For instance, perhaps a friend defames him unjustly behind his back. He can either rationalize and excuse this behavior or he can be honest about the facts and revoke his sanction. By maintaining the virtue of honesty, he acknowledges the facts and refuses to associate with dishonest people. How does this benefit his survival? It does so because one can expect dishonest people to be unworthy of friendship and he will be protecting himself from their harmful behavior.

In short, consider first the relationship between values and your own life before thinking about how to achieve that value.

Works in Tech. Blogs occasionally. Studying Objectivism.

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