John David Garcia
John David Garcia (March 25, 1935 – November 23, 2001) – founder of the Society for Evolutionary Ethics (SEE), taught an enlightened vision of ethics and human purpose via four books, dozens of articles, lectures, seminars and attempts to found schools based on his ideas. He did these things mainly in the US, then in Chile and Mexico.
A self-described moral protagonist and scientific generalist, he sought to advance human evolution through increased moral awareness and creativity. (Creativity = Intelligence * ethics). He viewed the evolutionary ethic as a “rational alternative to death” and devoted his life to learning, teaching and creating. He once described his main intellectual contribution as having synthesized the ethical visions of Spinoza and Teilhard de Chardin.
His first book, The Moral Society (1971), presented the fundamental theories and scientific basis for the evolutionary ethic and then detailed alternative applications, the “Moral Society” being the rational alternative to death of the species. He restructured his evolutionary ethic theories and re-applied them in his best-selling “PsychoFraud and Ethical Therapy”, a condemnation of contemporary psychotherapy based upon its failure to begin with moral purpose.
Students and admirers of Garcia generally consider his third book, Creative Transformation (1991), his finest work; a logical extrapolation of evolution in general and autopoiesis in particular. After offering a review of human evolution and awareness, he offered a practical guide for those seeking to expand their creative potential. For Garcia, creativity was the measure of, the key process within, and the ultimate purpose for morality. He advocated creativity as a motivator of human action and a teachable process with the potential to increase forever (a Teilhardian idea).
Garcia believed that specialization in one area of study was a mistake; a poor compromise made because most need to maximize their employability in the short term. He preferred to earn his living filing for and licensing patents, starting companies and offering his intellectual talents.
Garcia’s formal education ended when he had earned his second master’s degree because he felt that academia generally comprises people who are too specialized and who focus more on impressing others with their own mastery and intelligence rather than helping increase the mastery and intelligence of their students.
According to Garcia, in the past people were seldom confronted by a need to choose between happiness and creativity because the environment that people found themselves in was “forgiving” enough that actions that maximized happiness tended also to increase creativity (e.g. as an unintended side-effect). As the human environment has changed (e.g. via progress in technology and communications and population growth), happiness has become less and less acceptable as a guide to human action, with the result that if most people continue to pursue happiness as their ultimate goal in life, the outcome is likely to be disaster for the human species.
Garcia’s response to this observation was to spend the last 30 years of his life trying to persuade as many people as possible to devote their lives to maximizing creativity instead of happiness. Garcia defined creativity (Total creativity) as the ability to predict and control the “total environment” — namely, the physical, biological and “psychosocial” (human mind and human culture) environments. In 1983 he organized the School of Experimental Ecology in Oregon and thereafter assembled various groups (favoring octets) to experiment with his creativity enhancement techniques.
Later, he subscribed to the theory that the human brain is a quantum device that can receive information from beyond spacetime, namely, from David Bohm’s Implicate Order. He designed and experimented with a “Quantum Ark” to act as an interface between mind and “higher order information systems”.
Garcia’s inventions included the “Electronic Signature Lock” (and related biometric techniques) for security applications, a real-time computer system for expedited dispatch of taxis, and an automated electronic vehicle localizer (used extensively in cities and ports). He co-founded the Teknekron Corporation.
Garcia was fluent in English, Castilian, French, Portuguese, Italian, and German. He also spoke passable Chinese and read other languages, including Hebrew.
He died on November 23, 2001 in Springfield, Oregon with his wife, Bernice, and daughter, Miriam, at his bedside. The majority of his extended family was in his house for thanksgiving at the time, he had been battling illness for several years previously.
Garcia’s ethical beliefs have been summarised as follows:-
- Whenever one must choose between happiness and creativity, one should choose creativity where creativity is defined as the ability to predict and control one’s environment.
- An alternate definition of creativity: creativity is whatever qualities of the human mind that enable people to discover new scientific laws, invent new machines or create new works of great art or assist others in doing those things.
- An ethical act is any act that increases the creativity of at least one person without decreasing the creativity of any person.
- No person has a right to any part of another person’s life or property, except, possibly, by prior mutual, voluntary contract.
- Although many aspects of the U.S. Constitution and many of the Amendments to the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, proved a great success, Majority Rule proved a failure. No electoral majority in any existing country can be trusted to make creative or ethical decisions.
Garcia published 15 works in 18 publications and in 2 languages.
- The Moral Society
- Psychofraud and Ethical Therapy
- Creative Transformation
- The Ethical State: An Essay on Political Ethics
- ^ McKee, Patrick L. (1982). Philosophical Foundations of Gerontology. Human Sciences Press. pp. 76. ISBN 089885041X,.
- ^ “United States Patent 4621334″. US Patent office. 11/04/1986. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- ^ “Ethical Intelligence”. Ethical Intelligence Group. Yahoo Group Description. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- ^ “Garcia, John David”. WorldCat Identities. 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2010.
- ^ Garcia, John David (February 20, 1990). “Introduction”. Creative Transformation. SEE. pp. Introduction. Retrieved 10 March 2010.