Suppose you were standing next to someone who was beating up a child, thinking to yourself, "How
horrible, I must stop this, it is totally immoral!". And you just stood there until the child died. What
would your ethical worth be?
Suppose you were standing next to a person beating up a child you hated, and you were thinking,"Do
I really care about this child? The one that just burned down my garage? The world is better without
[him or her]!". Nonetheless, you restrain the person beating up the child and call the police.
This is also a problem I have with such things as intelligence tests. Is a person who "should be"
intelligent, who scores high on such tests (which is, I concede, an action of a sort), as intelligent as
someone who scores just as high, or lower, who becomes a great mathematician, writes a great
novel, etc.? I would say quite decisively "no". Yes, motivation, luck, etc., etc., play a part, as they do
in everything. Nonetheless, after seeing multiple self-proclaimed "geniuses" languishing in
coffeehouses, doing drugs, etc., and comparing them with others who, even if they spend time in the
same company, manage to go back to their little room and write, or program, or whatever... I do not
believe in the primacy of one's "thoughts", or in one's "essence", or in someone who is "really" good
or smart or whatever, if only they'd just dosomething. No. Doing something isthe essence of such