The Fundamental Theorem of Morality

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Sat Feb 28 2004 - 23:13:59 MST

The Fundamental Theorem of Morality


This theorem was first publicly posted to the sl4
mailing list on the World Wide Web by Marc Geddes (New
Zealand) on 29th February, 2004.

Definition of Universal Morality:

*UM is normative (all rational beings would converge
on a unique solution given sufficient intelligence and
*UM is morally symmetric (Universal, that which works
if all sentients respect it)
*UM is consistent (Non-contradictory)
*UM is non-observer centered

Definition of Personal Morality:

*PM is morally asymmetric
*PM is not normative (there is no necessary
convergence between sentients)
*PM can include both observer centered and non
observer centered goals

Definition of Sentient Minds:

*In the most general sense of the term, a morality is
a goal system. A general sentient goal system will be
some mixture of parts of Universal Morality and a
Personal Morality.

Since all goals are either Observer centered or not
Observer Centered, any sub-set of Universal Morality
is equivalent to the whole of Universal Morality with
some parts filtered by Personal Morality (Altruistic
goals can be deleted by taking the set of the all
goals representing Universal Morality, then blocking
out some particular goals with observer centered goals
which are the inverse of the altruistic goals). Think
of it this way: Universal Morality in it's entirely
is already in some sense 'present' in all sentient
minds capable of reasoning about morality. It is
simply 'filtered' by a Personal Morality which
contains some observer centered goals the opposite of
some of the altruistic goals of Universal Morality.

Therefore the structure of sentient minds can be
described as an interaction (transformation
represented by a multiplication symbol, x) of
Universal Morality (all of it) with Personal Morality.
 The result (Mind) equals (=) the goal system of the

All possible Minds defined

The space of all possible mixtures of Universal
Morality and Personal Morality is the space of all
possible sentient Minds. Not all of these Minds will
be realizable or desirable. Minds which have no
congruence with Universal Morality (as for instance
would be the case for all minds if there is no such
thing as UM) can be defined as: UM = Unity
(Universal Morality =1). Minds with no Personal
Morality (as for instance Minds which are totally
altruistic and have no observer centered goals) can be
defined as PM = Unity (Personal Morality =1).

Fundamental Theorem of Morality established

All possible sentient Minds are represented by the

Universal Morality x Personal Morality = Mind

Friendliness and Unfriendliness

The completely Friendly (good) sentients are the
sentient's with Minds congruent with Universal
Morality. That is, the Friendly sentients are the
sentients with Personal Moralities congruent with
Universal Morality. The completely Unfriendly (evil)
sentients are the sentients with Minds incongruent
with Universal Morality. That is, the completely
unfriendly sentients are the sentients with Personal
Moralities completely incongruent with Universal

Please visit my web-site at:

Find local movie times and trailers on Yahoo! Movies.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:46 MDT