You are an indivisible entity of matter and consciousness . Renounce your consciousness and you become a brute . Renounce your body and you become a fake . Renounce the material world and you surrender it to evil . “ And that is precisely the goal of your morality , the duty that your code demands of you . Give to that which you do not enjoy , serve that which you do not admire , submit to that which you consider evil — surrender the world to the values of others , deny , reject , renounce your self . Your self is your mind ; renounce it and you become a chunk of meat ready for any cannibal to swallow . “ It is your mind that they want you to surrender — all those who preach the creed of sacrifice , whatever their tags or their motives , whether they demand it for the sake of your soul or of your body , whether they promise you another life in heaven or a full stomach on this earth . Those who start by saying : ‘ It is selfish to pursue your own wishes , you must sacrifice them to the wishes of others ’ — end up by saying : ‘ It is selfish to uphold your convictions , you must sacrifice them to the convictions of others . ’ “ This much is true : the most selfish of all things is the independent mind that recognizes no authority higher than its own and no value higher than its judgment of truth . You are asked to sacrifice your intellectual integrity , your logic , your reason , your standard of truth — in favor of becoming a prostitute whose standard is the greatest good for the greatest number . “ If you search your code for guidance , for an answer to the question : ‘ What is the good ? ’ — the only answer you will find is ‘ The good of others . ’ The good is whatever others wish , whatever you feel they feel they wish , or whatever you feel they ought to feel . ‘ The good of others ’ is a magic formula that transforms anything into gold , a formula to be recited as a guarantee of moral glory and as a fumigator for any action , even the slaughter of a continent . Your standard of virtue is not an object , not an act , not a principle , but an intention . You need no proof , no reasons , no success , you need not achieve in fact the good of others — all you need to know is that your motive was the good of others , not your own . Your only definition of the good is a negation : the good is the ‘ non - good for me . ’ “ Your code — which boasts that it upholds eternal , absolute , objective moral values and scorns the conditional , the relative and the subjective — your code hands out , as its version of the absolute , the following rule of moral conduct : If you wish it , it’s evil ; if others wish it , it’s good ; if the motive of your action is your welfare , don’t do it ; if the motive is the welfare of others , then anything goes . “ As this double - jointed , double - standard morality splits you in half , so it splits mankind into two enemy camps : one is you , the other is all the rest of humanity . You are the only outcast who has no right to wish to live . You are the only servant , the rest are the masters , you are the only giver , the rest are the takers , you are the eternal debtor , the rest are the creditors never to be paid off . You must not question their right to your sacrifice , or the nature of their wishes and their needs : their right is conferred upon them by a negative , by the fact that they are ‘ non - you . ’
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged (pp. 1029-1031). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.