Category Archives: Ethics

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART THREE)

In the world today, collectivist metaphysics are a philosophical juggernaut, with virtually every school of thought, field of study, and religion in the world, including and perhaps especially the “hard sciences”, conceding these metaphysics as a priori, whether they are consciously aware of it or not.  Which, they usually are not because…well, who needs philosophy when you’ve got math, right?  Numbers beat reason every time.

Hmmm.  To that I’d say: numbers are units of infinity, nothing more.  So be careful.  It’s easy to replace truth with abstraction when the abstraction you’re working with is designed to be rendered an infinite number of ways.  Give me infinity to work with, and I can come up with anything…by definition.  And thus, for mathematics to be in any way reasonable and relevant on the level of arrant and object reality, we must hem them in by rational consistency.  That is, by truth. That is, by understanding what is rationally possible and what is not, and from this, what is actually good and what is actually not.  And truth is a function of philosophy.  Period.

Anyway…

By the collectivist metaphysical premises which underly practically all subjects it seems, and along with these subjects society at large, the denizens of society seek to eradicate the “illegitimate” and “invalid” moral consequences of an “illegitimate” ethic.  Which is to say, of morality, as opposed to legality.  And thus the metaphysic in which this ethic is rooted, the Individual (I, the Self) is marked for death, figuratively unto literally, by “the people” demanding that the government nullify moral consequence through the power of Law, which government wields alone, as the One, True Authority.

To put it much more bluntly, people who have conceded the collectivist ideals of all the “truths” upon which a collectivist society is based will appeal to the State to use its giant hammer of coercive monopolistic brut force to pound into a bloody mash the individual freedoms of everyone in response to the unwanted moral consequences brought about by the choices of the evil or irresponsible.  In a society ruled by Law, and not morality, everyone is a sinner.  Everyone is guilty for the sins of everyone else.  And this is because under Law, there are no individuals, and this due to the collectivist metaphysics which imply legal ethics.  Man as an individual is insufficient—morally, intellectually, existentially—and thus the failure of some men (criminals) is merely the reflection of the failure of all men; so how can the Law treat those who commit no crime as innocent?  All individuals are merely latent criminals, which is why the Law is declared necessary in the first place.  The innocents therefore are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and this is how we think justice is done and how humanity is protected.  By using the State to destroy the distinction between the good and the evil, the innocent and the guilty, the responsible and the deadbeat, the giver and the taker, the host and the parasite, we wreck the individual at the point of his very metaphyscial reality, and by this we think we can eliminate his curse—his natural ethical failure, due to the choices he makes as an individual.  We take guns away from the non-violent; fossil fuels away from good stewards; money away from the generous; tobacco and other “vices” away from the moderate; and force licenses to ply trades upon the honest and compassionate; and so on.  We do this thinking we are protecting the innocent public, while all we are really doing is punishing the innocent for being individuals.

It need not be said that this never, ever works in the long run.  Appeals to the Law as a panacea for social ills merely enlarges the State, which like a gravity well draws to it every sadist, narcissist, and greed-monger who has the means and intelligence to get there, and heaps exponential misery upon the nation, compounding the very moral atrocities it claims to alleviate.  Without a shred of irony this farce continues, day in and day out, election cycle after election cycle, and no one seems to notice.  It’s shocking.

To remediate unwanted moral consequences, we, the lemmings of collectivist ideology, appeal to government violence—the use of state force to compel obedience through death and threats of death—to fix and prevent the fallout of poor moral choices…to clean up the messes left by individuals who have committed specific immoral acts.  Instead of encouraging better choices through a saturation of society with rational philosophy, we, without a hint of irony, appeal to the monumentally immoral act of using violence to force the innocent to comply with legal regulations which are deemed a collective necessity due to the immoral actions of some. In short, we use the law to burden the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  This is not only irrational, it is an object evil.

As I have said, this will never work because to apply legal solutions to moral problems denies the real and root truth of the individual.  The individual is truth, the collective is a lie, metaphysically speaking.  Which means, when we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence, the individual is that from which reality flows.

The Law seeks to regulate choice out of reality by using regulation to compel obedience, which is the antipode of choice with respect to root ethics.  But choice is actual reality, because the individual, not the collective, is what is real.  The individual is concrete; the collective, abstract.  To attempt to subordinate the concrete to the abstract is at best hope over reason.  To attempt to solve ethical problems by destroying that by which ethics has any meaning in the first place—namely, the individual—is the mere substitution of soundness for madness.  And this only ever multiplies and compounds unwanted ethical consequences.  It sews misery among the populace, it doesn’t resolve it.  Further, the implimention of an irrational ethic like legality is, itself, patently unethical, because it is immoral.  And it shouldn’t have to be said that you cannot solve or prevent immorality by appealing to immorality.  Yet, this is precisely what the Law is.

Replacing morality with legality destroys and brings abject misery to humanity for the simple reason that collectivism is a lie by virtue of it being a metaphysical contradiction. That is, it defies reality.  And there is no power in the universe which can change reality.  This is because power is, itself, real, and therefore can only ever confirm reality.  Even if that confirmation comes in the form of a crucifix, a guillotine, a killing field, a concentration camp, a gulag, mass starvation, or a mushroom cloud.

END PART THREE

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The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART TWO)

As I stated in my last article, the bigger the State the smaller the moral consequence. To be clear, the reduction in moral consequence is more of a psychosis, rather than a manifest reality, and this due to the substitution of morality for legality in the minds and thus the practical sociology of the populace which has been incessantly indoctrinated into the collectivist metaphysical premise for thousands of years, I’d argue.  There is of course no actual eradication of moral consequence, because this is impossible via legality. Collectivism, you see, due to its object rational error and its rank violation of that which makes consciousness, conceptualization, agency, and all by which truth can be known and thus reality defined, experienced, and made possible, is a lie.  A fantasy.  Thus, all such “effects” of collectivism, whether they be described as positive or negative, are purely psychosis—a belief that that which cannot exists does exist, and efficaciously so.  Further, the actual destructive consequences of collectivism are not due to collectivism qua collectivism, or collectivism per se, but to the attempt to apply madness to a reality that is ipso facto utterly exclusive of the collectivist lie, and can only respond to truth, even if the truth is that society is attempting to conjure up a lie and make it true. Which is what governed societies do. And which is why they all torment the denizens of the world to some degree or another and collapse so dreadfully.

At any rate, because morality and legality are entirely different ethical system, legality will not merely augment morality, but must necessarily replace it.  The greater the replacement of moral consequence with legal consequence the greater the perception that moral problems—everything from crime to education to economics—are been handled.  Though this is the perception, and may perhaps be true by strict collectivist definition, the remediation and prevention of moral problems in society is only because the individual—he who exercises morality, itself…who exercises will and choice—has become more and more marginalized under Law.

The individual is antithetical to the collective ideal, which is the philosophical rationale for all societies which are ruled.  Which is to say, all societies.  That is, to governments and “the people” as a collective Ideal which the government represents as its tangible incarnation.  The individual, being an agent of will, is the practical manifestation of morality, whereas the government, being an agent of force, is the practical manifestation of legality.  Thus, individual moral consequence is perhaps technically mitigated by government, but only because government mitigates the individual at his very existential root.

Moral consequence is a product of one’s will, choice, and action.  The individual is existentially—by his nature, that is—in direct contrast and opposition to government, which is a product of force, compulsion, and obedience.  And therefore individuals who accept that government and law have legitimacy—or, as is so oft annoyingly equivocated, have a “legitimate role”, whatever that means…it’s double-talk, really—must necessarily accept that their own individuality is an impostor, or an illusion, or a lie, or all three, regardless of what they might say, or think, or think they think, because collectivism and government are corollary.  You do not get government without a prevailing societal acceptance of the collectivist metaphysic.  Period.  Full stop.  And if collectivism is the metaphysical standard of society, which the presence of government objectively proves, then legality must be the ethical standard.  And if legality is the ethical standard, then morality is irrelevant by definition, and thus so is the individual.

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART ONE)

Under a legal system reigns legal ethics. Legal ethics are exclusive of moral ethics because morality has to do with choice and legality has to do with obedience. Another way we could put it, so as not to completely nullify either concept within the framework of ethics, is this: obedience drives individual will under a system of legal ethics and will drives obedience under a system of moral ethics. Because of the root mutual exclusivity of these two ethical categories, morality has fundamentally no meaning nor relevancy to or within a legal system. That is, in a society governed by a political ruling class, which we call Government, or the State, this ruling class will necessarily appeal to the Law for its legitimacy of purpose and power. It exists to make sure everyone is acting ethically. All that is necessary is to convince the masses that legality is the best way to do this. Which isn’t difficult because it seems that humanity almost universally accepts the collectivist metaphysical premise: that the individual is a product of some greater collection of parts—the tribe or the nation or the race, for example—or some outside force of nature or of the divine; that the individual, as a function of something outside of him, is, in fact, an existential illusion, or a mystery, or a lie.

Since morality has no meaning nor relevancy under the auspices of government, because government is necessarily rooted in legality, then moral consequence likewise has no meaning.  Society is organized according to legality, and this enforced by government. In a framework like this, moral consequence then can have no place in the organization protocol. Society is to be ruled, and this makes it fundamentally subject to obedience, not to the choice of individuals living out a distinct and metaphysically singular existence. The point of the State is to eradicate the consequence of moral choice in order that perfect legal order can be established and realized, and by this, the perfect ethical utopia—perfect goodness—and this as the proof of the legitimacy and efficacy of government, which really means the legitimacy and efficacy of the ruling class, and this really means the manifestation of the zenith of power, which is absolute, which is the point of collectivism.  And this is why we see, as the nations wear on in their programmed and inevitable way, from rise to certain collapse, more and more reliance upon the law for the remediation and prevention of social woes, and less and less on individual choice and responsibility.

The reason the State gets bigger, up until the point the State no longer asks what its citizens want or think, is no mystery, and yet the amount of woe and teeth gnashing and shaking of fists at the heavens at every expression of government excess and increase by those of a more conservative or libertarian political bent belies the simplicity of what should be perfectly obvious. The reason the State gets bigger is because the people want it bigger. Period. To vote for government, because of the very nature of government and because of the metaphysical and eithical presumptions one must accept in order to accept the existence of government in the first place, is to tacitly or implicitly, at best, desire government to grow; to desire the reduction of individual choice and the increase in government control. You cannot affirm government (by voting, for example) whilst simultaneously demand it contradict itself by giving you more freedom and itself less authority.  That’s like getting a cat, buying it litter and cat food and cat toys and scratching posts and calling it Felix and then decrying the fact that it’s not a dog.

So, yes, the State gets bigger because the people want it bigger. And its not hard to see why people want this, and are so tempted by government, and why it seems to win every time when it comes down to choosing how society will be organized.  People WANT to be ruled MUCH more than they want to be free. It’s obvious, its arrant, and here’s why:

The existence of the State is a hedge against moral consequence, by the very fact that it supplants morality with legality. The bigger the State then, it is eventually assumed, the smaller the moral consequence…and the smaller individual misery due to bad choices. In a legal system morality is null, and thus unwanted moral consequence should likewise be null and this should translate into people no longer feeling such consequence. And if you think people don’t know this, or don’t understand it on some fundamental level, just look at how quick people are to appeal to the Law when some shit goes down that they don’t like. Don’t like abortion, make it illegal; like abortion, protect it by Law. Don’t like guns, make them illegal; like guns, waggle your finger emphatically in the direction of the second amendment. Don’t like illegal aliens, have the government build a wall; like illegal aliens, have the government provide them with public subsidies and sanctuary. And the list goes on and on and on—education, healthcare, poverty, war, etc. etc.—unto absolute power. Without getting into the minutiae of it right now, it will suffice to say that all of this can be handled by appealing to choice and the responsibility of individuals to deal with the consequnces of those choices. Why don’t we, then, you ask. Well…I suspect because it’s not as linear; not as mathematical; not as ostensibly simple. Legality is also very abstract, which makes it look and feel very intellectual, requiring a high degree of erudition and competence to mange it. Which makes people feel safe in the hands of those who say they shall wield it for the common good.

The bigger the State the smaller the perceived moral consequence.  The smaller the moral consequence the greater the perception that social woes are being or have been handled. And, well, they have been, legally. But not morally, which is why moral degeneration continues not only unabated but even exponentially, whilst legal intervention increases likewise exponentially, as though there is an inverse relationship between the two. But people, confusing moral ethics with legal ethics, continue to vote for this person or that, swinging back and forth with the regularity of a pendulum between the conservative parties and liberal ones, seeking out more and more radical players, in the futile hope that if they just get the right person in charge everything will be fine. Instead of blaming the philosophical assumptions which legitimize government, they blame rulers for not ruling properly. As morality then declines in a morality-less system, and as moral consequence continues to be felt with greater severity, the people begin to vote in greater numbers for ideologues and authoritarians…people who will push or promise to push their agendas with greater force and less compromise. This is because that once you’ve accepted government is good and government is truth and that authority is reality and legality is ethics, you understand—though perhaps subconsciously, or even emotionally—that the more despotic the ruler, and the more worthless and disinterested he is at doing anything other than slaking his own thirst for power, the BETTER he is at ruling. Because power IS the only rational objective of ruling Authority, period.

END PART ONE

 

 

If it is Good That Guns be Made Legal Then it Must be Good That They be Made Illegal: Legal Ethics Belong to Authority, Period

     Though I do understand why we are concerned that America’s second amendment may be suspended by an increasingly overt form of government autocracy, what we should not be is surprised. Once morality—moral ethics—has been replaced by legality—legal ethics—then we must understand that what is legal may be rendered illegal at any moment and for any reason without any hypocrisy nor rational violation on the part of the Authority (the State, in this case), which exists as the practical and necessary manifestation of the Law.
     Why is this?
     Well, legality itself is the problem. You see, legality makes all men criminals because it criminalizes will. Our (mine and yours) own choice to act on our own behalf is subordinated to the Law….indeed, that’s the whole point of law—we may act only insofar as we are allowed to act. Our individual wills then are not free…they are hedged in by the law, and guided necessarily to their eventual and inevitable complete nullification, which the Law implies according to its philosophical premises. This nullification of will by law grows more overt and obvious over time by nature and necessity, regardless of what kind of political officials are put in charge of the law’s carrying out. The pebble which is dropped will fall, no matter the character of the man who lets it go. This is why all governments must and do eventually snap the bloody trap of collectivist despotism…government, ironically, is the trap which becomes trapped. It’s in the premises. That is, it’s the nature of government. Government by its very root philosophical purpose and meaning is independent of man’s will. That’s the whole idea. Under law, which means under authority, which means under government, it’s not about will and choice, it’s about obedience. This is obvious and I hope needs no explanation…legal dictums are commands, they are not suggestions. And the most benevolent ruler of all cannot change this fact, because if he did, he would not be a ruler in the first place. A contradiction in terms—e.g. a ruler who does not RULE, for example—cannot be made manifest. It cannot be made real.
     To summarize the above, man’s will is nullified by law. Obedience to the law is the ethical standard, not morality, which has to do with will…with choice. And obedience to the law really means obedience to the Authority, without which the law has no practical relevancy and thus no functional existence.
     So now to guns, specifically.
     The problem is not that guns may be made illegal (and almost certainly will be), the problem is that some ruling class of political elites think that they have the right to subordinate man’s will to that which they decide to allow…by law. The problem is not that guns (or anything else for that matter) may be deemed illegal, it’s that we accept that our lives are futile absent an Authority (government) which claims for itself the right to allow man to act—which means to exist, at root, once the logic is teased out—by placing him under law, and thus which subordinates his will entirely by making it subject to an external ethical standard (the Law) utterly in the hands of this Authority. So, while it’s technically correct to state that it’s wrong to make guns illegal, the bigger issue is that we accept that they should be subject to legality at all.
     My overarching message here is that you cannot synthesize morality and legality. They are completely antipodal ethical premises. If we accept that guns are properly subject to the law, then why do we cry foul when the Authority makes them illegal? To accept legal ethics is accept that the Authority—which IS the practical incarnation of Law—knows what should and should not be allowed at any given moment. What you want became irrelevant the moment you agreed that the Law was good and by extension that government was good and by extension that your existence should be ruled, not chosen by you. So to say that guns should be legal and not illegal is some very, very fine hypocrisy, quite frankly.
     Unless you happen to be one of the ruling elite.

The Absolute Ethics of Violence

The nature of groups organized according to collectivist metaphysical principles (the individual as a function of group identity, not the other way around) is to conquer. When one collective conquers another, we are simply witnessing a natural process. For example, when Europeans conquered the tribal peoples of America, they were simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. And today, when “ethnic minorities” of the Americas are quickly reconquering the land using collectivist metaphysics expressed specifically through Marxist politics to wrestle control of the state away from the “whites”, they are simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. Which are, except for mere labels, completely identical. So what we have is a lateral move. We have the evolution of collectivist metaphysical principles, destructive and irrational as they are, as they express themselves via the ebb and flow of violent oppression over the whole of the earth while it ceaselessly runs red with blood

To cry injustice at any of this by anyone except the individualist is dishonest equivocation. That is, it is merely to assert that one collective somehow holds the moral high ground over another in a given circumstance. This is of course entirely irrational because once the individual, by way of collectivist metaphysics, has been subordinated—to be eventually sacrificed one way or another—to the collectivist Ideal (the Tribe, the Nation, the Church, the People, the Common Good, the Race, the Worker’s Utopia, etc. etc.) at the hands of the ruling class (the King, the Leader, the State, the Government, the Priest), etc.) then the only ethical plumbline is violence. Since collectivist Ideals are naturally and necessarily absolute, ethereal, and transcendent, and individuals are naturally and necessarily outside of the Ideal and therefore cannot from this existential frame of reference reason themselves into choosing their own obedience and sacrifice (choice and reason being fundamentally incompatible with obedience and sacrifice, by definition and principle), then it becomes necessary to use violence and violence alone to subordinate all things (and propaganda and lies, deception and artifice qualify as violence, since they are intended to subvert the individual qua the individual and lead him to accept his own denial). The utter ruin of everything becomes the practical manifestation of the Ideal, and thus we shouldn’t be surprised when collectivist metaphysics bring abject and object destruction to those “outsiders” (other collectives) who are not able to exert ethical superiority over the conquering collective. That is, are not capable of weilding superior violence. What is surprising is when those collectives who are conquered cry foul, scream racism, and shout injustice as if equivocation and throwing temper tantrums is anything but meaningless noise. They should know that according to their own accepted and asserted metaphysics “might makes right”.

Further, if they do know this and cry foul anyway, they are liars. And if they don’t know this and cry foul anyway, they are fools.

How the Law Promotes Crime (Part Two)

The law, by making right and wrong a function of obedience, thus nullifying morality by nullifying choice, does not provide any fundamentally rational incentive for the individual to avoid the behavior the law forbids under threat of punishment via the state. The law tacitly proclaims the individual irrelevant. Even more than irrelevant. Counter productive; an aberration; anathema; a mistake; unnatural. The individual, you see, is self-aware, which means that he thinks for himself, and has an absolute frame of reference from himself (singular) that demands that he exist and act to and for himself. This is of course not what the state wants; it is not reflective of what the state needs and what the state is. The state, by its nature, demands that all individuals view reality from the perspective of the state, and act to and from and for ITSELF. Because the state is Authority. It is the incarnation of the collective ideal to which all men are then bound. The collective ideal is the reality which necessitates the Authority of the state…to compel individuals out of their individuality and into the collective.

But the individual of course cannot do this…for he only observes reality from a single existential position: himself. By his nature and because of that nature the individual chooses. He must chooose. He must will.

Because knowledge (thought) is rooted in distinctions between truth and lie, and good and evil, knowledge is the practical working out of these distinctions. And the practical working out of these distinctions implies choice. But the law sees choice as anathema…as completely unnatural. The law is force, and force has nothing to do with choice. Man cannot choose to obey because obedience implies force, and force makes choice irrelevant.

Absent choice—absent will—man has no frame of reference for himself. A man whose choice is considered illegitmate must also consider his existence illegitimate. For absent choice the distinction between right and wrong and true and false and good and evil are irrelevant to him, and thus any knowledge, even that of his own SELF, is entirely meaningless. And this, taken to its logical intellectual conclusion, means that no one actually exists to obey the law in the first place. As soon as the law becomes the ethical standard the individual ceases to exist. He cannot obey because he isn’t real. His very nature is anthethical to reality as defined and accepted by the state. And thus the state’s law delegitimizes man at the level of his root existence. And because he has been delegitimized, he cannot be truly, rationally, incentivized to obey.

The state will claim that the law safeguards the best interests of the individual (sometimes by explicitly collectivizing him, a la Marxist totalitarianism). But this is impossible because it cannot recognize him. And the individual, I submit, understands this fact in his base instinct, and therefore the market for crime goes up because the law provides no meaningful reason to obey it. All it can offer as a disincentive is punishment, but this inevitably fails because for man to be perpetually under law he is, implicitly, already punished, and perpetually so…for existing. And so if the desire or reward for committing a crime outweighs the chances of getting caught or the penalty, then crime, by the very ethics which underwrite the law, is going to be worth it. Crime thus has implicit value. And this, dear readers, is why there is a market for crime.

Further, and even more troubling, is that a given individual may view the commission of a crime—the disobeying of the law—as an expression of his truth…of his individuality. And thus he may feel empowered and even free by his crime. Of course certain acts defined by law as criminal can certainly also be immoral—as in the case of theft or murder, for example—but the criminal, should he intuit in his soul nothing more than that the law renders his individuality meaningless, will not apprehend this. He may engage in crime as a sort of means of self-expression, not understanding that just because an act is illegal does not mean that it is not also actually immoral.

Now, for those of us who do understand that violations of other individuals are immoral, the law at root has nothing to do with why we do not commit such acts. We do not commit them because they are illegal but because they are immoral. We reject them upon the truth of their immorality in spite of the law, understanding that the law has nothing to do with evil or good, but only with power. I submit that if someone refrains from murder simply because he does not want to be punished then he has committed murder already in his heart…because he has conceded the law’s false morality and rejected the value of the individual. For there is nothing truly immoral under law because the law does not recognize morality’s one true and rational standard:

You, and me.

How the Law Promotes Crime (Part One)

We are led to believe, in western Democracies, that legality and morality are related.  We are taught that our governments make something illegal because it is, at root, immoral.  We pride ourselves in our ability to discern true evil from true good and then dictate behavior to men, through the coercive power of the state and according to the law, in the service of the good, where the good is not merely what is subjective according some ultimately unproven/unverified root assumption about the nature of reality (metaphysics), but is Absolute…or as close as humanity can come to it.

The truth, however, is that legality and morality are entirely different ethics, as I have discussed in previous articles on this blog. If something is illegal, then it is only immoral apart from the law. That is, what is illegal may be immoral, but it can be so only when it is removed out from under the auspices of law and the metaphysics from which law stems.  That is, though an illegal act may also be immoral, the law cannot recognize it as such.  It is NOT immoral according to the law.  This is because ethical behavior dictated by law precludes choice, because the law FORCES behavior via the coercion of the state regardless of one’s will to engage in it or not.  This is the nature of law…this is the whole POINT of law.  Obedience, not choice, is how the law is fulfilled.  And obedience means that ethics are rooted in authority—the State—and the authority’s legal imperative to compel man to submit to the law by violence, if necessary.  To underwrite ethics by requiring submission to authority as the means by which ethical behavior will be brought about renders choice irrelevant.  “Obey or die” is the fundamental mantra…meaning that under law the authority, the State, has the right to force you to act in specific ways that the law deems ethical, up to and including your death.

Morality on the other hand—that is, true good—demands choice, and so it can have nothing fundamentally to do with law.  To be moral means necessarily to act morally.  And the only means by which one can act morally is to will it.  To choose it.  Only choice makes an act truly moral or immoral.

The reason that crime is never eliminated in a society ruled by law and not by choice has nothing to do with human nature—that “there will always be bad people” as we are so often told.  This is merely a form of ethical determinism which ultimately renders morality irrelevant, and paves the way for rapacious and mendacious men to seize power under the guise of “keeping the peace” or “ensuring a civilized society”.  It’s all a lie.  If you don’t belive me, take a cursory look at America’s national debt and then ask yourself how a financial liability like that happens in the absence of selfish, power-drugged, self-worshiping boobs.

The answer is, it doesn’t.

Further, the argument “there will always be bad people” is non-falsifiable, which makes it tautological, and ultimately nonsensical.  The argument is that there will always be bad people because man is inherently bad.  In other words, there will always be bad people because there will always be bad people.  But here’s the truth:  The reason why crime is never eliminated under the rule of law is because law, by necessarily excluding choice, wrecks morality.

The only way to eliminate crime, you see, is to eliminate the market for crime.  The only way to eliminate the market for crime is to incentivize people to stop buying it, as it were, which in turn demands that men will stop selling it.  And the only real and fundamental way to disincentivize crime is to define and value it according to what is truly immoral; and the only way to do that is to make ethics a function of choice, not obedience to the law. Once we define crime as truly immoral, and rationally and objectively so, and value it as such, man can understand that it is rationally and objectively destructive to himself, at all times and in all contexts.  And thus, the consequences for crime are real, absolute, and existential. [Note: A discussion of morality as a function of an objective metaphysical premise—that is, a rational definition of the nature of reality—is beyond the scope of this article; please reference this blog for other articles dealing with this topic.]

Law cannot make crime immoral, as I said, because it invalidates choice.  And so, at root, law cannot give a real, rational reason why people should avoid it.  “So you don’t get punished by the authorities” is not a real, lasting, or fundamentally meaningful incentive because the consequences for crime defined by law are not really objective, and thus have nothing to do with the fundamental nature of reality.  The consequences of crime defined according to the law have nothing to do with any real devaluation of man qua man.  The law serves the authority at root, not the individual.  It has nothing to do with man, and thus it says nothing about his true worth and his true value and his true morality.  And I submit that men instinctively know this.  And that is very, very important.

The law is not “to the man”, so to speak, but to the state.  To the authority.  Violations of law are not violations of morality when morality is defined according to the ethics of law, which is the only way the state CAN define it, because  the state is FORCE, by its very nature, not choice.  Thus, the commission of crime is really only bad for the state—the authority—not for man, himself, as far as the law is concerned.  And I believe that men instinctively know this as well.  Therefore, as far as the individual is concerned, who has been taught that morality is a function of law, breaking the law is only “bad” if he gets caught.  So crime becomes a gamble, not an act of immorality.  If one can commit a crime beyond the eyes of the authority, then there is no consequence for crime. The commission of a crime says nothing about the individual, morally and existentially speaking, because the law is not about recognizing his individuality and therefore his will and choice, but rejecting the legitimacy of these things, and thus is about nothing more than subordinating him to the authority.

Without the authority to enforce it, the law is neutered, and the law cannot define moral and immoral behavior, so a man not caught hasn’t actually done anything wrong, according to the law.  Unless you are caught and punished, you never did anything bad, because “right” and “wrong” are only relevant if the law judges you.  And before the law can judge you the authority must catch you.  So crime, again, legally speaking, is merely a gamble.  A game of chance; or a game of desire.  A high chance of evading the law can make the commission of a crime very rewarding; a desire that transcends the fear of getting caught and/or the pain of punishment makes it worth committing the crime.  But a truly immoral act is never worth it…and can never be worth it.  Period.  A truly immoral act can destroy the individual at his very root Self, now and forever.  And this, and only this, will ultimately deter men from acts of immorality, and eventually weed out from humanity those who would choose such acts for whatever vile reason.

I am, of course, not suggesting that men break the law…that would be an entirely false and foolish interpretation of my arguments here.  I am suggesting that if society’s objective is the elimination of crime, then we must understand the difference between morality and legality, and why the two are not compatible, and why the former is rational and the latter is not, and how thus the latter ironically guarantees the perpetuation and promotion of that which it seeks to end.

Why Athiesm is Exclusive of Morality

Morality and ethics are not equivalent.  Morality is, in fact, simply a TYPE of ethics. Therefore it can be logically asserted that not all ethics are moral.

The other day I was watching a debate between Walter Block and Stefan Molyneux, both atheists and libertarians, on the Non-Aggression Principle, a specious code of libertarian ethics that includes both morality and legality.  Which…should tell you right there that libertarians either A. Haven’t thought their premises through, or B. They HAVE thought them through and simply don’t see the contradictions.  I’m not sure which is worse.

You can’t do that.  You either have moral ethics or you have legal eithics.  You can’t have both.  You cannot ethically obligate man to BOTH obedience AND choice.  Man cannot be free to choose how he shall act AND be forced to obey a legal code under pain of punishment.  And this is just one of several disturbing rational contradictions evident in libertarianism.  It may not be the most egregious, but it’s certainly rank.

During the course of the debate, the topic of morality came up, naturally, and Walter said something that was quite startling to me, and quite interesting as well.  He said he “didn’t understand this morality thing”…or something to that effect…if not those words exactly then it was pretty darn close. And it got me asking myself.  Does Walter not “get morality” because he’s a libertarian, or because he’s an atheist? Or both?

Well, I figured it couldn’t be libertarianism because libertarianism asserts the existence of moral behavior. So that left me with atheism…as a hypothesis, I mean. I understand there could be other reasons, like ignorance or personal experience or a different definition of what constitutes libertarianism, but going on what I can truly know for a fact about the man—that he’s an admitted atheist, and having some understanding of what that means in the formal sense—I decided to examine atheism.  I had some free time on my hands…my daughter was in a two hour dance class, so I slouched down on the stiff leather couch in the waiting room and had a think.

And it hit me.  The Christians are right.  Atheists cannot define morality.  Atheism, in fact, utterly precludes morality. Now don’t get me wrong, Christianity (as practiced by Christians in the Augustinian sense, which is pretty much all of it) precludes morality, too, and for the same fundamental reasons, just with different semantics.  But of course in this article we are discussing atheism.

Without going into the minutia of metaphysical premises (reality from fantasy) leading to epistemological conclusions (truth from lie) leading to ethical principles (right from wrong), I will, to keep things relatively short and accessible here, simply define the terms this way:  Morality is an Ethic which is referenced to the individual; Legality is an ethic which is referenced to the Law. At the root level of Ethical principles these two are completely incompatible, for the reasons I gave above. Man cannot be ethically obligated to both choice and obedience.  Moral action demands man choose his behavior for himself.  Legal action demands he obey an authority which dictates behavior.  In other words, morality is chosen good and legality is dictated good.

Morality demands thus that man must own himself, based on the premise that the individual—the Self qua Self (the singularity of “I”)—is the epistemological reference.  Reality is true because the individual is the Constant—that is, the reference for truth—which in turn makes the individual also the reference for ethics, as epistemology and ethics are corollary (truth has meaning and meaning has value; meaning is epistemology and value—the extent to which a thing is considered good—is ethics).

Legality on the other hand demands that an authority—the most obvious example being the state—must own the individual, based on the premise that there is no such thing as the Self qua Self, but that the individual is a function or product of some external-to-the-Self process or power, which makes epistemology and ethics entirely beyond the individual’s INDIVIDUAL (singular and conscious) frame of reference.  These processes or powers can be anything from the Laws of Nature or Physics to God’s Divine Will ex nihilo to some form of collectivist Ideal—the Nation, the Race, the People, the Workers, the Church, the Chosen, the Enlightened, etc.. Man thus, as an individual and the singular consciousness which he possesses (manifest through the natural use of the pronoun “I”), is an illusion, and all his thoughts and his will are therefore irrelevant and, more importantly, inadequate to EXISTENCE. This being the case, he must be compelled into ethical behavior by force.  And so with legal ethics, man’s obligation is obedience to the law, the law being whatever principle(s) the authority has decided to codify so that the metaphysical premise (natural law, collectivist Ideal, etc.) can be practically (socially) implemented. The law then is dictated in order that man can know those behaviors which he must perform, upon threat of punishment, in order to properly exist.  As a side note, notice the inherent irony here.  Man is given a law so that he can know how to behave. But if he needs a law to know how to behave then obviously “knowing” is an activity for which he is entirely insufficient.  The whole point of the law is to circumvent what I call the collectivist or determinist “Lie of Man”…that is, his irrational and illusory consciousness.  Thus, appeals to his “knowing how to act” are entirely hypocritical.  And you get this from Christians all the time, too, it’s not just a statist thing.  Man needs God to tell him what to do. But if God needs to tell man what to do then it’s implied that man cannot fundamentally know what to do on his own, which really means that he cannot know truth for himself.  In which case, he cannot really know ANYTHING, so God telling him what to do is hypocritical, irrational, and pointless.  Not exactly the characteristics of God I would pick, but that’s just me.

With moral ethics, man’s ethical obligation is to the individual. Thus, he himself, being an individual, is the ethical reference, and so he cannot obey a law OUTSIDE of himself, but instead CHOOSES to act in ethical ways within the context of his individual, not collective, existence.  That is, ways which do not violate the individual (and we will save the specific explication of what those ways are for another article). In short, moral ethics demand choice and preclude obedience; legal ethics demand obedience and preclude choice.

And, by the by, obedience is NOT a choice, or a form thereof.  You cannot choose to obey; because if you are choosing, then obedience is a moot concept; and vice verse.

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I submit that atheism cannot be moral because it cannot recognize the existence of the individual qua the individual. Atheism MUST appeal to empiricism as a means of defining reality. For an atheist to assert that reality is rooted in anything other than the tangible, the observable, and the material is to assert that reality must be INTERPRETED, which means to appeal to a power or truth—that which provides and defines the interpretive lens—beyond what can be known by human observation. And as soon as we concede that reality is interpreted, not de facto as it presents itself ostensibly, then we must concede the reality of such an underlying power or truth. We could even claim it “transcendent”. Such a power/truth can indeed RATIONALLY be called “God”, whether it be God in the Christian sense—that is, in the sense of a deterministic, omnipotent, creative and causal agent—or simply as a general reference to that which utterly informs reality beyond mere perception.  In either case, “God” is a perfectly acceptable nomenclature for such a thing, despite the fact that most atheists, being on the whole average thinkers like most people, usually only think of  “God” in the narrow religious orthodox sense.

Now, here is where I will need to get a bit technical, because Athiests are very specific—pedantic even—about their definitions, so bear with me.

It is impossible that one concede the existence of an aforementioned power or truth whilst simultaneously claiming a lack of a belief in God.  Now, the reason I put it this way—a LACK of belief—and not merely a disbelief, has to do with how atheists, themselves, specify their position. Atheists do not disbelieve, as they explain it, but they LACK belief.  It may seem a merely semantic difference, but it’s actually quite profound. To disbelieve is to say that God does not exist. To lack belief is to say that God CANNOT exist.

“Does not” implies that whatever you’re referring to possesses some kind of underlying ability to act, making “ability” a possible root metaphyscial premise. But “cannot” takes ability out of the metaphysical equation. You see, if a thing doesn’t do existence, the subtle implication is that it DOES do other things. This naturally legitimizes the thing by tacitly conceding its inherent it power to act. Which in turn tacitly subordinates existence to the power to act, rendering the claim that it does not exist of no fundamental significance. But if a thing CANNOT exist, then there is no tacit concession that it does something else because “doing”, or “ability to do” never factors into the claim.  In other words, “does not” metaphysically subordinates existence to ability, whereas “cannot” makes ability existentially moot, and thus ipso facto makes existence the metaphysical premise, which is important since the whole point of atheism is to propagate the idea that God’s existence is a lie. If “existence” isn’t the plumbline for reality and truth, then atheism itself is basically irrelevant. Again, it’s technical, but VERY, VERY important, and allows us to make some extremely important assumptions about atheism, particularly with respect to morality.

When atheists claim that God CANNOT exist they are tacitly admitting that they define reality as entirely empirical. How on earth can they KNOW that God cannot exist? How on earth can they demand that only the theist is on the hook for giving proof for his assertions?  Simple. Because the atheist accepts only an empirical framework for reality. They make a metaphysical assertion and then demand that everyone accept it or they reject your ideas out of hand. This is an example of incredible intellectual dishonesty and hubris, not to mention hypocrisy, but it explains why their platform is first and foremost established upon a negative—what they DON’T believe, or beliefs they lack, instead of what they do or have. And why they focus on being disproved instead of proving themselves. It’s easy to claim a metaphysical primary and demand everyone agree to it. It’s much more difficult to prove your metaphysic and make THAT, not merely what doesn’t fit into it, the root of your movement.

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Atheism by its very nature must assume that reality is empirical.

Now, merely proclaiming empirical reality doesn’t ACTUALLY EXPLAIN anything with respect to reality. Saying reality is empirical is a metaphyscial premise; the reasoning behind it is what matters, though. And this is why I have told atheists a thousand times that I don’t care about what the don’t believe, or what beliefs they lack, but what they DO…and by that I mean I want to know specifically WHY they believe that I should accept THEIR metaphysic. “Observation is truth” is not, itself, an argument. At all.

“Seeing is believing” begs the question: Seeing what? Of course, atheists cannot ultimately rely on concepts generated by mere human consciousness to define things, as consciousness not only says a tree is a tree but also spawns fantastical and irrational notions like “God”.  Consciousness is much too subjective, in other words, to provide an objective definition of what IS. Thus, atheists instead appeal what they accept as empirical systems of measurement, such as the scientific method, which allows the observable to be organized mathematically in order to give specific things common values…values which then can be transferred from one object to another, and from one place and time to another, with predictable results.

But find it a remarkable oversight of reason and common sense to presume, as atheists do, that A. Mathematics, though an utterly cognitive process, is somehow outside of human consciousness, and B. That mathematics is somehow a part of observable reality, when it exists precisely to translate the observable into ABSTRACT terms. And that’s translate, not transliterate. But I’m not sure they understand the difference.

It is so strange to me that atheists do not understand the scientific method and mathematics are a product of human consciousness. And to compound the flaw, this allows scientists to commit blatant fallacy by making the observer a product of what he observes. Somehow mathematics gets exempt from human consciousness and exists “outside” of man, even though it, like “God”, is, in such a context, infinite, omnipotent, and thus, utterly beyond the scope of human perception.

But what’s a little hypocrisy going to hurt, right? After all, 99% objective truth to a paltry 1% contradiction is a ratio that any reasonable person can live with. We can’t be expected to know everything? I mean, in our own narrow dimension and with a whole multiverse thing going on out there the complete truth is bound to be to some degree a perpetual mystery, right?

Hmmm. Now where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah. In church.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that empiricism naturally leads to science and mathematics as atheism’s de facto apologetics given that these are understood to be the plumbline for what constitutes objective reality.  And thus the assumption is that at root reality can ONLY be valued by mathematical measurement.  Math, the “language of the universe”, becomes for the atheist, the ghost in the machine…what gives all things their true essence. And yet somehow, in this case, it’s perfectly rational and empirical to believe in spirits. Through the  “Holy Ghost” of mathematics man can somehow know and define himself OUTSIDE of himself, which proves that there is no actual “outside” of himself at all, because “himself” is just a fluke. An illusion.  All things that ARE exist empirically and objectively. And “empirical” and “objective” do NOT include you qua you.

It’s an amazing display of rational gymnastics. Believe me, it’s not a trite, cute little argument to say that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to believe in God.  It’s an axiom.

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Because atheism = science = mathematics = scientific determinism, there can be no morality compatible with atheism because atheism precludes choice. It makes consciousness a product of natural law, which renders the individual’s will moot.  Thus, ethics cannot imply moral responsibility because determinism is about what you MUST do, not what you SHOULD do. And what you MUST do is an obligation, and obligation is not choice, but OBEDIENCE. He who is obligated to act in a certain way—because he is not a willful but a DETERMINED creature—cannot then be called “good” for acting that way. From the atheist’s point of view, you don’t choose to act, you simply act.  And the way in which you act you MUST act. You are FORCED to act by powers beyond the illusion of your Self. And this being the case, whatever you do, then, is ethical by definition. It’s not moral…that is, it cannot be given a value of good or bad, or right or wrong. But it is behavior that affirms the metaphyscial premise, and thus it IS ethical.  It is what is necessary; what is SUPPOSED to be.

The “natural law” of atheism thus necessarily strips morality from ethics.  And in the absence of morality, the only practical application of ethics is legality.  And this is why ethics debates amongst atheists like Stefan Molyneux and Walter Block are always centered either explicitly or implicitly around CODES of conduct…that is, ethical principles that are COLLECTIVE, applying to all men, because all men are, by virtue of natural law, ONE…that is, individuality becomes collective “oneness”. Ironic.

Some call these codes “laws”, and others, like Molyneux, call them “Universal Principles”. But they all mean one thing: obedience to authority. Atheists debate distinctions between “criminal behavior” and “moral behavior”, as if somehow these behaviors can co-exist at all, let alone in a single socio-political context. As I have already said, you can define behavior as legal or moral, ethically speaking, but you CANNOT define it as both. It is a rational impossibility.

Finally, I submit that since the notion of “law” implied by the empiricism of atheism is implicitly collectivist, any eithical system derived from atheism must also be collectivist. And collectivist ethics always manifest as an authority-submission dynamic, which demands that man COLLECTIVELY obey the law, not choose for himself to act morally.

Thus, atheism is tyranny.

Stefan Molyneux’s Noble Failure Definitively Explained: Why Universally Preferable Behavior is not a System of Ethics

Scattered within Stefan Molyneux’s voluminous monologues and conversations are references to his “defense of secular ethics” which he has organized into a formal work he calls “Universally Preferable Behavior” (UPB). I have taken issue with UPB before on this blog, but my arguments have never fully satisfied me.  But neither has UPB ever fully satisfied me either.

The more I thought about it, something continued to feel off…specious, about his arguments, yet for all my articles, I still struggled to put my finger definitely on the problem. For a while I was content to let the issue go, satisfied that I had rebuffed enough of Stefan’s ethical system to at least cast a reasonable doubt as to its rational consistency.  Still, the more I listened to Stefan and the more he promoted UPB to the various viewers and listeners of his podcast and YouTube channel, I felt compelled to put the issue to rest once and for all.  Stefan seemed (and seems) so confident that UPB is the answer to the problem of secular ethics, and yet the more he talked, the more confident I became that there was something seriously wrong with it. His arguments sounded reasonable, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing something crucial…that he was, as Sallah said to Indiana Jones, “digging in the wrong place”. So I put my nose to the grindstone, determined to root out the issue once and for all.

Here I go.

Stefan, a self-admitted atheist, argues, rightly, that atheistic philosophies inevitably boil down to hypocritical scientific determinism. He then also rightly points out that before atheistic philosophies can be considered fully legitimate, let alone provide any real value to humankind, they must address the problem of scientific determinism nullifying morality by removing will.  Because without will there is no moral choice.

Stefan attempts to correct this discrepancy by providing a “defense of secular ethics” through his own system, Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB).  He gives us, as he says, an ethical system “without God”.  Which is weird because what he really means is “without Authority”, because “God’s ethics” are the ethics of a supreme Authority which possesses the infinitely superior power to compel human behavior by force.  Interestingly, though, this ethic is adopted by ANYONE who concedes that the State is a legitimate means of organizing human behavior, as the State is such an authority.  Which naturally includes both those who hold secular beliefs and those who are religious, as anyone can see by merely perusing a cross section of the population of almost any nation on earth.

Stefan’s fundamental defense of his secular ethics is rooted in the following example: Stealing isn’t stealing if you WANT to be stolen from.  Stealing, he says, is not a mutual agreement.  Therefore, it cannot be preferred by all parties.  But, conversely, the voluntary exchange of property IS, and thus voluntary exchange of property IS a universally preferred ethic.  Of course, this argument also works if we substitute “theft” with fraud, murder, rape, etc., because “property” rationally includes one’s truth and one’s body, and this is how the example of theft can be extrapolated to apply to volition vs non-volition as the essence of ethics, which is implied by UPB. Stefan asserts that he’s successfully argued an ethic without God, because we can use pure human reason to prove that theft cannot be ethical because it cannot apply to all individuals at all times.  Corollary to this, voluntary exchange of property has simultaneously been proven to be ethical because it DOES apply to all individuals at all times.

But has Stefan really argued successfully for a UNIVERSAL ethic here?

No, he hasn’t. And here’s why:

Now, it is true that I cannot WANT you to take my property without permission because giving permission—which is implied by “wanting”—and not giving permission is a contradiction in terms.  The operative concept in Stef’s example is not really “theft”, then, but “permission”.

You see, the concept of theft inherently assumes the existence (reality) and legitimacy (morality) of private property.  The fact that I cannot WANT you to steal from me doesn’t have anything to do with theft, in particular, at all.  “Theft” is merely one of virtually any activity you could use in Stef’s example, because when I say that I cannot want you to steal from me I’m merely saying that I cannot give permission for a thing and NOT give permission for a thing at the same time.  I cannot both give you permisssion and not give you permission to mow my lawn, or to sell me a teapot, or to offer me a cookie, or to tell me your favorite color.  In other words, Stefan makes “theft” the primary issue and sews a whole Ethic out of it, when the primary issue is really the implied contradiction in “desired theft”—the inability to want and not want/to give permission and not give permission at the same time.  “I want you to take without permission that which can only be given with permission” is not a root of Ethics but merely a contradiction in terms. Period.

The very claim that “I want you to steal from me” implies that the speaker assumes that private property exists, and thus he must ALREADY accept it as legitimate.  You see, if I say that I think theft should be ethical I’ve already implicitly contradicted myself by legitimizing  private property through my very use—and thus corollary acceptance of its meaning—of the concept of “theft”.  Through the concept of theft I concede the existence and legitimacy of private property, thus OBVIOUSLY I cannot also claim that theft should be ethical.  That is, I’ve already conceded, by calling theft by its name, that it is UNETHICAL by tacitly admitting the existence of private property.  The contradiction of desired theft, is, as I stated above, the contradiction of “giving permission” whilst simultaneously “not giving permission”.  Desired theft is nothing more than the contradiction that says private property isn’t private.

There is nowhere else to take the idea of “desired theft” beyond the contradiction. The contradiction is its own end.  By definition contradictions are circular and thus nothing can be inferred.  You cannot formulate an entire ethical system from that which is meaningless. All you can do is simply point out its meaninglessness. The fact that theft cannot be universally preferred is not an ethical claim but merely the stating of the obvious fact that it is a contradiction in terms to say that both private property AND theft are moral.

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Not stealing can only be a universal ethic if we accept the existence and legitimacy of private property. But if we don’t, then the “universally preferable behavior” of not stealing is meaningless.  If I reject the existence and legitimacy of private property then there is no such thing as an ethic of “not stealing” because according to my philosophy there can be no such thing as stealing in the first place.

What Stefan is arguing is simply that private property exists and thus has legitimacy, and thus is ethical, and in HIS SPECIFIC philosophical context theft MUST be unethical and illegitimate in order to be rationally consistent TO the philosophy as a whole. Which is fine, but again, this point holds no relevance for those who reject private property. UPB is not a rebuttal of divine ethics, it is really an obvious and unremarkable commentary on his own personal ethical beliefs and implicitly appealing to a metaphysical premise he never explains.  Those who believe that God fundamentally owns everything and IS everything don’t believe in private property.  They don’t have any real frame of reference for theft, so they don’t care that it’s an ethical contradiction in Stef’s personal belief system. In other words, Stefan’s “universally preferred willful value exchange” cannot possibly be preferred by those who do not concede the existence of private property. And this is why universally preferable behavior is not in fact universally preferable. It’s only CONDITIONALLY preferable. It depends on your metaphysics.

Now, the problem isn’t that Stefan’s implicit claim that private property exists is necessarily false, the problem is that he extracts an ethic from a metaphysical assumption that must be accepted BEFORE the ethics can then be said to be universal.  That is, the problem is with the use of the term “universal” to describe an ethic that is only universal to people who concede the same metaphysical premises Stefan does. To call your ethics UNIVERSALLY preferable without first proving your metaphysics is to implicitly demand that people accept your metaphysics before you’ve actually proved them. This smacks of arrogance.

Further, it’s uneccesary and presumptuous AND contradictory to refer to your ethics, or anything about your philosophy at all for that matter, as universal. If your metaphysics are truly consistent then your ethics are true. Nothing else should be said. Period. I mean, Universally Preferable Ethics implies a Universally Preferable Reality,  because you don’t get ethics without metaphysics first. But Universally Preferable Reality is simply another contradiction in terms…on top of the arrogance. “Reality is Universal” is redundant, and thus the universal ethics stemming from this universal reality then are also redundant. So, if reality is universal (redundancy) and thus the ethics are universal (redundancy) then preference is impossible (contradiction). Any way you slice it, it doesn’t work.

To conclude: Stefan’s argument isn’t really that theft is unethical, but that private property EXISTS.  But “private property exists” is not an ethical claim, it’s a metaphysical one.  And believe me, “Universally Preferable Reality” is an entirely different ball of wax…not to mention an inherent contradiction. In summary, Stefan is digging in the wrong place. He’s thinks he’s rooting around in ethics when he is really in the land of metaphysics.

Metaphysically, though, I can tell you that Stefan is no closer to any sort of universal truth than he is to a universal ethic with UPB.  Because if he was, he would not be appealing to a contextual assertion about the nature of reality stated as a contradiction in terms in defense of an ethical system with a redundant title.

The Only Moral Plumbline

The only efficacious and rational moral question you should be asking yourself, which applies to every instant and instance of your life, is not “What should I be doing?”, or “What have I done?”, but “Is what  I am doing right now a direct violation of another human being (and a simple “cause and effect” concept can be applied here…to wit, is it a lie, a theft, a damage to property or body/mind, a murder)?” If the answer is “no” then you are acting morally; you are being moral.

No other moral question is rational, and therefore no other moral question is relevant. The reason for this is simple: What isn’t–that is, what you are NOT doing–cannot subject you to any moral valuation–because it does not exist.

Now, certainly, what you have done in the past, though it does not exist (as such…without getting into the sticky tentacles of the purely abstract nature of time) can be used as a legal and pragmatic standard. But it cannot be used as a moral standard for the simple reason that it does not necessarily represent your moral nature, which is now (and now is where everyone perpetually exists). Now is where man’s nature resides, and man’s nature is the only rational target of moral judgment. You might judge a past action as “moral” or “immoral”, but the “morality” or “immorality” of a past action does not necessarily have any rational bearing on the moral state of your person, because your person is always now. And the moral state of your person is the only thing that can be valued as moral with respect to morality qua morality. Past actions, which we might judge as moral or immoral can, again, be used for pragmatic or legal reasons, but not to judge one’s root moral state. And there is no rational moral condemnation for anything besides the root state–or the nature–of an individual.

So…unless you are directly violating another human being at the moment, you are not acting immorally. (Certainly and obviously, if you have a history of direct violations of others, reason would instruct you to change, or face the very real legal and practical ramifications of your behavior, which you have earned; also, existential condemnation is the consequence of an evil nature…so, if you are a repeat violator, you are in danger of throwing yourself into everlasting hell. And I’m not kidding. But that’s a topic for another article.)

Further, the reason I stipulate “direct” violations is because indirect violations are by definition subjective violations; they require conditional truth, as opposed to absolute Truth, and hence their innate insufficiency as moral qualifiers. In other words, indirect violations are those which must be qualified by an “if”: IF we assume that behavior X occurres in context Y, THEN we can call behavior X a moral violation. For example, IF we assume that the military is a fundamentally murderous enterprise, THEN we can say that all soldiers who have killed in battle are murderers. Of course, we can see the dubious integrity of such a standard, and the implicit collectivist ideology which undergirds it. The idea of claiming that ALL people who act under the auspices of a given ideology are all individually evil, while it may be true, is not necessarily true. I would argue that since immorality is a violation of individuals, then immorality must be gauged by its specific effects on specific individuals. This makes ideological context fundamentally irrelevant with respect to moral violations; but not “morality” per se…that is, morality as ethics–the ethical gauging of ideas which may lead to specific violations of specific individuals.

I submit that members of every group, no matter what its ideological basis, can be morally judged only according to their specific individual actions. This is why I completely reject armed revolution against governments, for example…it ends up hurting, punishing, or even murdering those who cannot rationally be said to have directly violated another individual. Cops, soldiers, various sundry workers and politicians…people with families who may have never done anything other than live and work within a given sociopolitical context, which, though it may be ideologically false, does not make living and working under it a moral violation. This is because ideologies are by nature collectivist, and collectivism cannot serve as the plumbline for individual acts of immorality (or morality at all for that matter). And morality qua morality only exists at the level of the individual.

Apropos to this, I believe that to collectivize immorality means to risk condemning men by nothing more than their group identity. And that is the root of every evil  that has ever existed.