RE: Universal ethics

From: Marc Geddes (
Date: Fri Oct 29 2004 - 01:10:45 MDT

>Well, if I wanted to pseudo-equationalize some of the
key points of my essay
on universal ethics, I'd say something more like:

continuous pattern-sympathy (the property that
patterns tend to grow, and
tend to do so continuously over time)
universal compassion, cultural mind & individual mind
universal compassion * specific moral biases ==>_C
individual & cultural
individual & cultural mind ==>_C specific moral biases
cultural morality <==>_C individual morality
cultural mind <==>_C individual mind
cultural morality <==>_C cultural mind
individual morality <==>_C individual mind
Here my * operator simply means
"A*B is the result of A interacting with B for a
and  my
A ==>_L B
operator means logical implication (when A is present,
then B is present)
and my
A ==>_C B
operator means that A has a big effect on B
A <==>_C B
operator means that A and B have big effects on each
I don't see much value in such pseudo-equations,
myself.  But perhaps they
are useful for communicating with some ;-)
--Ben G
I see definite connections between your ideas and my
own.  However I think you are conflating what are
really two seperate areas of moral theory.  
I devide moral theory into two different areas - the
sphere of individual values (aka ethics) , and the
sphere of relations with others (aka politics).  
Joyous growth is an individualistic value (the
personal sphere).  Compassion is really concerned with
relations with others (the political sphere).
You may like to read my other most recent post in
which I tried to outline the key idea of my theory. 
In the individualistic sphere my schematic has:
Complexity x (Life) Improvement = Value
My Universal ethic here is 'Complexity', which can be
taken to refer to your 'patterns'.  There is a range
of different ways in which patterns can grow.  My
'Improvement' term can be taken to be similiar to your
'Joyous Growth'.  This is something an individual
'pattern' does.  The 'bridger term' in my equation
('x' sign) is referring to the tendancy of patterns to
want to  maintain their existence (which we call
So a unfied flux of possible complex patterns
('Complexity') devides itself through a 'partitioning
mechanism' ('Life'), which allows us to mark out
individual patterns within a complex flux of energy.
This manifests itself as the tendancy of individual
patterns to grow in a complex environment (aka
'Improvement' or 'Joyous Growth').
Terms like 'Compassion' and 'Culture' refer to a
different level of reality.  They can refer only to
properties which appear in *sentient* patterns.  For
this we need to move to the 'Political sphere' of my
Market x (Person-hood) Volition = Freedom
Here 'Market' can be equated with your 'Compassion'
and Eli's 'Collective Volition'.  It is simply a
landscape of possible individual volitions which have
been harmonized with each other and extrapolated into
the future.  This is the Universal ethic.
So Universal Morality (my term)= 
Collective Volition (Eli's term)= 
Compassion (Ben's term)
The 'bridger term' ('x') partitions the entire
landscape of possible volitions into seperate
individual volitions.  This is 'Person-hood'.  (When
we define what we mean by a 'Person' we are able to
'partition' the unifed scape of Collective Volition
into a lot of seperate Individual Volitions).  
The term 'Volition' in my equation is the
individualistic ethic (the volition of an individual).
"Live Free or Die, Death is not the Worst of Evils."
                                                    - Gen. John Stark
"The Universe...or nothing!"
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