Mar 042013
 

Physicist, psychotherapist, Author and Founder of Titania is Bob Podolsky. Titania is an ethical, non-hierarchical and highly creative organization.  In order to be non-bureaucratic, all Titania members agree to making ethical decisions and all group decisions must be unanimous, just like a jury.  Bob Podolsky’s work is based on the collaboration he did with the late John David Garcia and his study on Ethics and Creativity. This was discovery was made through the scientific method and thousands of experiments to find out what allows groups of people to be most creative.

It turns out you can increase a persons Creativity by first increasing their Ethics then increasing Intelligence.  This is shown in the formula I=E*C. By teaching them the value of being ethical, we can help people to be more creative faster. Then having them form into groups of 8 people: 4 men and 4 women, known as an Octologue.

Titanian Law Project

 

THE TITANIAN LAW PROJECT,

A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO LEGISLATORS, JUDGES, ATTORNEYS,
PARALEGALS, AND BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL STUDENTS OF THE
LAW

When government by law was first invented, eight thousand years ago in Sumer, the basis of law (and hence government itself) was “might makes right”. The kings and tribal chieftains who could afford to field armies saw it was to their advantage to form a power-brokerage cartel to manage their shared monopoly of power over their neighbors. The mechanism that they invented to accomplish this feat, we know today as hierarchy. It is the central feature of almost all our institutions today, including those of Banks, Organized Religion, and Government (BORG).

Today it is generally understood, at least in the developed western world, that the “might” of military and police forces does not, in fact, confer the “right”, upon those who wield such coercive power, to command the lives of those who lack these powers. Accordingly, most of the world’s governments give lip-service to the notion that they exist to serve the interests of those whom they govern.  And indeed, in an ethical human society, this concept would represent reality.

Unfortunately, for most of the people of the world, government that serves the interests of the public is just a myth, perpetuated by those who use the lie to facilitate their manipulation of those less resourceful than themselves. By believing the lie we permit our own enslavement.

In reality the nature of government has not changed since the days of Sumer.  It remains a power-brokerage cartel that truly serves only its own interests:

  • Maximization of its members’ profits,
  • Maximization of its powers of coercion, and
  • Stabilization of its monopoly role in the power-brokerage marketplace.

The rest of society, with few and insignificant exceptions, complies with the demands of government, even to the extent of mirroring one of its worst features, the use of hierarchy as a mechanism for power-brokerage, within the structures of virtually all our institutions, both public and private.

Thus it is that humanity today labors under the burden of a vast parasite, which, left unchecked, will do what all parasites do: it will destroy its host, even though its own survival depends upon the health of its host.  Today the parasite of government has the power to turn our entire planet into a radioactive cinder, unfit to sustain any kind of life as we know it.  As things stand now, it is likely to do this.

But maybe it’s not too late. Maybe, by using HoloMatic institutions comprised of ethical Octologues, we can pull ourselves back from the brink of disaster and transform human society into a sustainable thriving whole.

Whether you are a legislator, a judge (active or retired), an attorney (practicing or not), a paralegal, or merely a justice-minded law student, your participation in the development of Titania, your personal effort, your creativity could be crucial to the future of humanity itself.

To understand what is needed, let’s take a quick look at what is wrong with our current legal systems.  Such systems today, the world over, are prone to the following obvious flaws, foibles, or weaknesses:

  1. Many laws forbid ethical acts.
  2. Many laws require unethical acts.
  3. Many laws take money, property, financial opportunity, privacy, or freedom away from those to whom it belongs and bestow it upon those to whom it does not belong.
  4. Many laws, regardless of their merit, are passed by legislators to curry favor with voters or with the lobbyists who pay for their election campaigns.
  5. Many laws continue to be enforced long after it is obvious that they do not produce the behavioral results that they were intended to produce – or even when they produce the opposite effects.
  6. Many laws are passed and enforced in the name of “protecting the public” when, in fact, they primarily serve to give a group of influential people protection against the market encroachment of another, less influential, group of people. In this the public is the loser.
  7. Many judges openly forbid jurors from considering the merits or legitimacy of the laws being enforced in their courtrooms. This serves to bureaucratize the legal system by immunizing it against corrective feedback. In this case everyone is the loser.
  8. To be legitimate, by modern standards, a law must serve the best interests of the people – all the people – who are supposedly being protected by the law. When this principle is violated, the resulting law is not legitimate and cannot be ethically enforced.
  9. Enactment of a law is, by its nature, a delegation of authority from the legislators enacting the law to the legislative body that those individual legislators comprise. When a group of legislators enact a law that delegates authority that those legislators do not possess as individuals, the resulting law is not legitimate and cannot be ethically enforced.
  10. Mindful of the fact that governments are power-brokerage cartels whose true purposes are purely self-serving, it is clear that laws that support and/or enforce the true purposes of government are never ethical. The vast majority of laws in the world today fall into this category.

From the foregoing description of the “Foibles” of government-enacted law, and from what we have shown elsewhere in this website concerning the E+ Ethic and the “Comforting Lies”, we can draw the following logical conclusions, which comprise some of the principles of just law:

  1. Government, as we know it, is incapable of enacting and/or enforcing just (ethical) laws.
  2. Political systems, at best, determine who gets to participate in the power-brokerage cartels that we call “governments”; but nothing in any political process enables the people governed to alter the unethical nature of government. Majority Rule contributes to this fact.
  3. For a society to thrive it must have a legal system that is entirely independent of government.
  4. Such a legal system must be privately funded and privately operated by a group of people committed to the principles of just (ethical) law.
  5. Just laws must be enacted solely to serve the ends defined by the E+ Ethic or an alternative ethic that is the logical equivalent of the E+ Ethic, and must be further be constrained to embody the principle that ethical ends can only be achieved by means that are ethical ends in themselves.
  6. Any law, rule, regulation, or procedure sanctioned by the Bill of Ethics qualifies as an artifact or embodiment of just law.
  7. Any law, rule, regulation, or procedure not sanctioned by the Bill of Ethics is not an artifact or embodiment of just law.
  8. For a society to thrive, its unjust laws and the rules, regulations, and procedures that support and enforce them must be repealed.
  9. The exercise of (coercive) power over others is never ethical except  in the case of the defense of self or others against unethical acts – and then only when all available non-coercive means have failed – and even then limited to the application of the minimum amount of coercive force required to prevent further occurrence of the unethical act or to provide redress of the harm done by the unethical act or acts already perpetrated.

It is the intention of Titania to create and operate an alternative legal system to which the public can turn for the arbitration of conflicts, the redress of grievances, and the establishment and enforcement of just laws. To that end:

  1. The Titanian Legal System (TLS) will be built upon the definitions and principles provided by the Bill of Ethics.
  2. The TLS will be privately owned and operated, entirely independent of government, and will be funded entirely by voluntary payment of service fees and subscriptions by persons wishing to avail themselves of the services afforded by the TLS.
  3. Organizational elements of the TLS will be structured as HoloMats of Octologues according to the definitions provided by the Constitution of Titania.
  4. Over time, and as its means permit, the TLS will define and codify just law in the fields of contracts, business, torts, the environment, and criminal law.
  5. On the same basis, the TLS will offer services that may include, but not be limited to the following:

a.Mediation,
b. Arbitration,
c. Education,
d. Consultation,
e. Expert testimony,

f.  Judicial services,

  1. Defense of persons unjustly accused of criminal charges under government-enacted laws in government courts.
  2. The writing of legal briefs arguing for the repeal of unjust laws and the redress of grievances for persons against whom unjust laws have been enforced.
  3.  Development of a system of legal defenses against the enforcement of any and all laws providing for the practice of taxation by government at all levels.

If you understand the foregoing and are prepared to make a significant investment in bringing the TLS to reality, then you may be in a position to “play” in the Titanian “Legal Sandbox”.

Now let’s consider some of the other ways you can PARTICIPATE IN TITANIA.

01 Life is a zero sum game

 

COMFORTING LIE #1

1. Whenever someone wins (benefits) someone else must lose.

We have defined a “benefit” as an increase in creativity, it becomes obvious that this statement is false.  While win/lose transactions can and do occur, it is also true that many kinds of win/win transactions take place every day. For example when John sells a widget to Mary for $20.oo Mary now has the widget and John has the money. Mary wanted the widget more than the money. Mary’s creativity is increased and Johns creativity is increased, he has the money.

In the case of Taxation, that is a zero sum game, the government steals the money from Mary who gets services she doesn’t want, such as war, police state, or funding for other invasions of privacy. Mary’s creativity is decreased, as her funds have been stolen from her.

As a matter of fact, one of the best ways to increase one’s own creativity is to voluntarily increase someone else’s creativity. For instance, when you  explain the ideas in this website to a friend, both you and your friend would be likely to experience an increase in creativity.  Certainly, neither of you could lose by it.  It is always ethical to share true information about ethics; even with those whose behavior is not ethical.

Perhaps this is the right point at which to point out that the creativity of an individual or a group may be quantitatively conceived in accordance with the equation, C=EI where creativity, C, is seen as the product of ethical awareness, E, and intelligence, I.  In this context E is a real number between -1 and +1 and I is a real number between 0 and +∞.  Negative values of E indicate behavior that is destructive rather than creative.

Intelligence, I, represents the ability to predict and control events in the real world.  While it is always ethical to increase the intelligence of someone who is creative (positive strong>E) it is unethical to increase the capabilities (intelligence) of some-one who behaves destructively (negative E), because to do so makes them more destructive rather than more creative.

On the other hand, attempts to increase the ethical awareness of a person who acts destructively do not increase their destructive capabilities and may, in fact, make them more creative rather than more destructive.  So, when faced with a person who acts destructively, the only true information that one should impart to them is information about ethics.

Return to the 12 comforting lies

Ethical Principles

 

Now that we have identified a set of values that can be the basis of a valid ethic, let’s explore the requisite belief system that goes with it.  By logic alone we can infer from the definition of E+ the following

Ethical Principles:

1. To act ethically, each person must strive to maximize creativity and its logical equivalents.

2. Ethical actions always increase someone’s creativity without destroying, limiting, or diminishing anyone’s creativity.

3. Unethical means can never achieve ethical ends and always have unethical consequences.

4. Means which are not ethical ends in themselves are never ethical.

5. It is unethical to tolerate unethical, predatory, or parasitic behavior and therefore inaction in the presence of these behaviors is unethical.

6. It is ethical to learn and unethical to be certain; and therefore it is ethical to doubt.

7. The exercise of power over others is never ethical except in the case of self defense against the imminent aggression of others.

8. The taking of another’s property by theft, fraud, deceit, or coercion of any kind is never ethical.

9. No individual can legitimately delegate to another, nor to a group of any kind, authority that the individual does not himself/herself possess.

10. All laws, rules, and regulations are ethical and legitimate only insofar as they forbid and/or intervene in the commission of acts that are unethical, predatory, or parasitic.  Government edicts that violate this principle are not truly laws at all.

When you accept the validity of the E+ Ethic you will also agree with these ten principles, because they are simply logical consequences of the definition of the ethic.  Conversely, those who disagree with any of these principles you either choose not to accept the ethic or you need more information to understand ethics, more likely the latter.

For an easy way to keep oneself aligned with the E+ ethic, we recommend the Titanian Code of Honor.

Desired Outcome

 

The Desired Outcome

Since the dawn of recorded history, humanity has craved and dreamed for the advent of a just, verdant, and peaceful social order. A society that is truly thriving and most individuals would have rich, full, creative lives. A society where all men and women are truly EQUAL.  Some people might have more responsibility than others; no one or no group would be able to coerce another person or group using fraud or force!   A society where peace is the norm, crime was non-existent and all people have easy access to healthy food, clean water and non chem-trail laced skies. A society where humans lived in harmony with each other with the earth and all its creatures.   Such a society is hard to describe because such it would be everything that the society of the 21st century earth is NOT! Are we closer to that kind of society today than we were EIGHT THOUSAND years ago – when government, as we know it, was invented? I think not.

The Great Question

For about the past twenty years I have sought the answer to one Great Question: What has to happen for such a desirable world to be manifest? To find an answer to this question I have applied a wide variety of intellectual tools, including:

  • The Scientific Method
  • Logic
  • The operational point of view
  • Math
  • Formal systems analysis
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Organizational Development
  • Characterology
  • Political science
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Sociology

The exciting upshot of this lengthy search is a potentially valid answer to the Great Question. It may not be the only answer – but it is very likely a good answer – certainly, an answer worthy of your serious consideration.

The Big Problem

In order to understand my answer to the Great Question, it is necessary to grasp the nature of the Big Problem – the obstacle that has kept our species from really thriving since we emerged from the forests and caves millennia ago. My analysis reveals that such evils as war, terrorism, hunger, poverty, genocide, race-hatred, widespread addiction, inter-personal violence, and the like, are actually all symptoms of the same phenomenon – namely: Inadequate Socio-cultural Evolution.

Unlike genetic evolution that has thus far been beyond human capability to control, or even influence, socio-cultural evolution is extra-genetic – and therefore susceptible to human choices and decisions. Unlike the tremendous advances of technological evolution (which is also extra-genetic), our socio-cultural evolution hasn’t advanced significantly since feudal times. While the names of our institutions have changed, the basic methods by which they operate, and the principles underlying those methods, haven’t changed at all in at least eight thousand years – and possibly much longer. In a nutshell, our species’ institutions continue to make very unethical decisions on the same basis that they always have in the past.

Of special interest in the field of socio-cultural evolution is our grasp of ethics. The general lack of understanding of the most basic principles of ethics is manifest in almost all our institutions – particularly big businesses, organized religions, and governments. The result is that law-makers routinely enact laws that coerce us into obeying laws that forbid us to act ethically – or what is worse, require us to engage in acts that are unethical. Governments (all of them) are thus reduced to mere power-brokerage cartels that benefit a very small number of individuals at the expense of billions of others. In the analysis that follows I explore the fundamental ethical principles that drive our societal development, the effect our ethics have on our laws, and how our laws serve the hidden purposes that underlie the way our governments and other institutions function. Following this analysis, I propose a Grand Experiment (for which I am asking your support) that could potentially alter the course of extra-genetic human evolution in a most desirable way – and I provide evidence supporting the decision to proceed.

The Big Problem – The B.O.R.G.

Holomats & Octologues

 

escher drawing handsTHE HOLOTROPIC MATRIX (HoloMat )

and THE OCTOLOGUE

by Bob Podolsky

 Advantages of Octologues and HoloMats

From a Titanian perspective, the essential building-blocks of a plausible thriving ethical society are the Octologue and the Holotropic Matrix (HoloMat / HoloMatrix).  The Octologue and HoloMat / HoloMatrix are organizational models that convey a number of extraordinary benefits to their participants. For instance:

  • They are non-hierarchic – each participant having the same status as every other.
  • Their decisions are unanimous – thus avoiding the pitfalls of majority rule.
  • Their actions are highly ethical – each participant understanding the Ethics and committing to act in accordance therewith.
  • They are highly sensitive to feedback – and thus almost totally resistant to bureaucratization and corruption.
  • Their participants regularly engage in a communication process (Autopoesis – see below) that amplifies the creativity of the entire group.
  • They can be organized to achieve any desired ethical goal or objective – as businesses, schools, charities, etc.
  • When competing with hierarchic groups of similar size and having access to similar resources, an Octologue or HoloMat will win the competition, hands down!
  • Participants enjoy working in an Octologue/HoloMat environment far more than they do in a traditional hierarchic environment.

The Makeup of an Octologue – The Building-block of the Holotropic Matrix

John David Garcia spent twenty years researching how to maximize the creativity of a group of people working together on a joint project. After performing hundreds of experiments, he came up with an optimized model that he called an “Octet”, having the following characteristics:

  1. The group is comprised of eight people ± 1 – in other words 7 to 9 people, with 8 being best.
  2. The group is comprised of four men and four women ± 1 – again 4×4 is best, but 3×4 or 4×5 is acceptable.
  3. The group members all understand the principles of Ethics as exemplified by the Bill of Ethics and are committed to acting ethically to the best of their ability.
  4. Participation in the group is voluntary. Anyone can quit at any time for any reason.
  5. Only unanimous decisions by the group are recognized as true group decisions.
  6. A group member can only be expelled by the group if all the other members agree unanimously.
  7. The group has been trained in a communication protocol that facilitates the making of unanimous decisions.
  8. The group meets as often as it likes – once a week often being optimal – once a month being the least frequent occurrence that works – specifically to engage in a communication protocol called “Autopoesis”, a process that amplifies the group’s creativity.
  9. The group need not engage in Autopoesis at every meeting; but should do so at least once a month for meaningful results.

I was friends with John David for 17 years, until his demise in 2001, and participated in a number of his experiments in the field of maximizing creativity. My main personal contribution to John David’s work was to improve on his method of Autopoesis. In John David’s Octets, it took several days of training for a group of eight to learn the process. Using my knowledge of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and my 20 years experience as a clinical psychotherapist, I shortened the training time to just a few hours. Also, the onset of the Autopoesis phenomenon occurs much faster with my method. I call an Octet using my model of Autopoesis an “Octologue”. Details of the Autopoesis process are described below – but first let’s turn to the HoloMat.

The Holotropic Matrix – or HoloMat

It is obvious that many worthwhile projects require more than eight people. The solution is simple – the project is undertaken by multiple Octologues that have entered into an ethical contract with each other. More than twenty years ago I decided to call such a contractual concatenation of Octologues a Holotropic Matrix – or HoloMatTM for short – drawing a parallel between the way a hologram distributes information in such a way that the information contained is available throughout the hologram – and the way a HoloMat distributes both information and responsibility. There is no practical limit to the size of a HoloMat. For really big projects, a HoloMat could have millions of members – or even tens of millions.

One of the biggest differences between a hierarchy and a HoloMat is that a hierarchy is designed to avoid, eliminate or destroy corrective feedback and a HoloMat is designed to elicit and encourage corrective feedback.  In a Hierarchy the information flows down, in a HoloMat information flow UP!  Any participant in the HoloMat can give corrective feedback that will be valuable and be heard at any level of the organization!   – Whereas, in a hierarchy if they wanted your opinion, they would be giving it to you!

Autopoesis – The Most Unique Feature of Octologues and HoloMats

Trance: In order to explain Autopoesis most succinctly, I’ll first explain the word “trance” – a word that is much maligned and much misunderstood. Many people fear trance, thinking it’s a supernatural phenomenon – or even a “tool of the devil”. This is utter nonsense! Trance is merely something you do. It’s a label for paying attention to your sensory experience in a way that is different from what you do most of the time. It’s a totally natural phenomenon.

For instance, when you are waking up from sleep or in the process of falling asleep, you go through a stage where you are neither really asleep nor awake – it’s a trance state, an “altered state of conscious”. Similarly, when you are driving on a road with boring roadsides, you will often enter a “driving trance”, in which you are driving competently but also thinking of other things. You usually become aware of this when you approach your destination and realize that the time that has passed while you were driving “feels” less than you know it had to be. Such time distortion is one of many things you can do in trance that you can’t readily do in your normal state of awareness.

Hypnosis: While we’re on the subject of trance, let’s briefly talk about “hypnosis” – another word that is much misunderstood. When you are hypnotized, the operator (hypnotist) does not “put” you in a trance; nor can you be forced into a trance (barring the use of drugs). Rather the operator leads you into the trance state. Imagine I hold up my hand and ask you to look at it. You are, of course, free to refuse – or to do something completely different from what I’ve asked of you. So it is with hypnosis. The difference is that it is your subconscious that decides how you will respond – and in most people the subconscious is innately curious – and happy to learn new ways of perceiving. So trance is just another kind of learning experience.

And if you’re one of those folks who worry that a hypnotist might persuade them to do something against their will – or contrary to their morals – it just can’t happen. Given an obnoxious hypnotic suggestion, the subject will exit the trance and leave – often angrily.

Autopoesis – Finally

So what is Autopoesis and how does it work? Here are the basics. In a nutshell, Autopoesis is a group trance state. The members of an Octologue sit on comfortable chairs in a tight circle with their arms on the shoulders of their neighbors. Bare feet touch in the middle of the circle. A Bach fugue plays softly in the background. A hypnotic facilitator leads the experience verbally, making direct and indirect suggestions that enable the members of the group to alter their consciousness in a particular manner. The rules to which the group members have agreed are simple:

  • A subject of autopoetic interest has been agreed upon before the session;
  • Each member is encouraged to think about the subject with both his/her conscious and subconscious minds;
  • When a thought occurs to a member that seems interesting, and the member feels an urge to share the thought aloud, he/she withholds the information the first time the urge to speak occurs;
  • If the thought recurs, the person thinking it is obliged to speak it aloud – no matter how strange, weird, irrational, bizarre, or otherwise nonsensical it may seem.
  • The session continues until someone (anyone) in the group requests that it end.
  • Such sessions are usually recorded for later play-back – because participants often don’t recall what has been said – even if they were the one to have spoken.

It should be noted that it is often the strangest autopoetic comments that turn out to be the most creative and useful when carefully examined later. By this means the Octologue accesses information that no one in the group could access on their own – though many creative individuals use altered “mystical” states as part of their creative methodology. Still, the synergy of the group trance seems to act as an amplifier of each individual’s creativity – thus yielding a level of innovation greater than the sum of the individual participants’ capabilities.

What Is the Experience Like?

Some people appear to go to sleep – though this doesn’t prevent them from speaking. For most participants, the best description of the experience is that of a “shared lucid dream”. If you’ve seen it, think of the movie “Inception” with Leonardo DiCaprio for a moment. It is pleasant; it may be exciting at times; and many feel saddened or disappointed when it is over. This description applies equally well to some other forms of hypnotically induced group trances.

How Does It work?

We don’t really know for sure how Autopoesis works – but we have a hypothesis that fits the facts. According to author Michael Talbot, the universe is holographic.1 If this hypothesis is correct, and there is much evidence to support it, all the information that exists in the universe is available everywhere. A second postulate of the hypothesis is that the human brain is a quantum mechanical “machine” that is able, under the right conditions, to reach out into the holographic quantum universe and retrieve whatever information it is seeking – including both true information and false information. Science provides the tools and methodology by means of which we determine whether new information is true or false.

I must also point out that the Religious Society of Friends (a.k.a. Quakers) employs a method of group decision-making that bears some striking similarities to Autopoesis.2 Quiet contemplation… awaiting the inspiration of God… distrust of initial urges to speak… obligation to speak when the “presence” is perceived… requirement of unanimity for decisions… and much more. For certain, sitting in empty silence waiting for God’s presence to be felt…and God’s wishes to be heard and understood constitutes an “altered state of awareness” if there ever was one. Moreover, as John David Garcia pointed out, the creative acts of every great scientist may be seen as “mystical” experiences – making each a “scientific mystic” – distinctly different from a “mystical scientist”.3

The Grand Experiment:  Cultural Evolution

John David proved unequivocally, through hundreds of scientific experiments, that this process creates the greatest creativity in groups.  Creativity is what has brought us fire, the renaissance, the chair you are sitting in, and the computer you are reading this with.  Yet humanity is fraught with problems. Let us release ourselves from this self imposed bondage.   I am prepared to share the knowledge of how we may be able to do this with those individuals whose personal evolution brings us together.   Contact me now at 561-542-5800 and we will perform the “Grand Experiment”, lest this be our last generation.  Albert Einstein said “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones

Now that  you know what a HoloMat is, let’s see how this is reflected in the Constitution for Titania.

1See The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, Harper Perennial, 1991.

2 See: Beyond Majority Rule by Michael J. Sheeran, published in 1983 by the Philadelphia Yearly    Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

3 See Creative Transformation by John David Garcia.

Ethical Means and Ethical Ends

 

ETHICAL MEANS AND ETHICAL ENDS

By Robert E. Podolsky
I distinguish here four categories of unethical acts and note that the most harmful in our society are those in which the decision to act unethically is the result of ignorance or misunderstanding concerning basic ethical principles.  In particular I examine the most harmful and widespread fallacy that ethical ends can be attained by unethical means.  This simple mistaken notion is arguably the single greatest source of evil in the world today.  When this fact is generally understood the world of humanity will be a far better place in which to live.

Types of “Sins”

At any given time a person wishing to act ethically must choose a particular action over other possibilities knowing that the information on which the decision to act is based is incomplete.  Therefore the individual making the choice must estimate the probabilities of various consequences that are foreseen as possible results of the choices available knowing that unimagined consequences are possible and that yet-to-be-imagined choices may exist with still more unforeseen consequences.  Sometimes the moral individual makes these choices in full awareness of their personal limitations and sometimes not.  But no one can know with certainty all the outcomes of their acts, not even after the action has taken place.

For the reasons given above, we all make mistakes in choosing our actions; and sometimes our actions, made in moral good faith, have results that we deem unethical.  Knowing this is humbling to us all.  When it happens we say, “Oh, if only I had known; I would have acted differently”.   For lack of a better name, let me call these unintended lapses “Type One Sins” or T-1s for short.  Such moral lapses are literally unavoidable no matter how committed we are to acting as ethically as possible.  They are made with the least possible awareness that the outcome will be unethical.

Now let us consider unethical acts undertaken with more awareness on the part of the one acting that the action will have destructive results. At the other end of the spectrum from the T-1s are actions that are taken knowing full well that they are hurtful and destructive; yet they are taken nonetheless; the actor often enjoying the knowledge that someone is being hurt. Such actions are sadistic at best and unmitigatedly evil in their more extreme manifestations.  Let us call such actions “Type Four Sins” or T-4s for short.

Enacted in the absence of malice are those hurtful actions taken with regret on the part of the one acting; believing that circumstances render it the most ethical choice available.  For instance, consider the medic who administers an emergency tracheotomy to save the life of a person choking to death in spite of the fact that there is some pain inflicted in the process.  The medic takes no pleasure in the infliction of this pain; recognizes that the infliction of pain is unethical and does so anyway seeing no other way to save the patient’s life.  Let us call unethical acts of this variety “Type Three Sins” or T-3s for short.

And finally I come to the subject of this article; namely those moral lapses that result in unethical outcomes because the person acting lacks a fundamental understanding of ethics.  This category, which I shall call “Type Two Sins” or T-2s for short, is, as we shall see, the most serious challenge on the planet to humanity’s long-range survival.

How so?  Consider the following.T-1s are unavoidable; but are never carried out systematically and are never institutionalized.T-4s are only committed by psychopaths, sociopaths, and other persons who are devoid of conscience.  Such people are in a very small minority, are easily identified, and are rarely tolerated in human society, the majority finding their way into our “corrections” systems at a fairly early age.

T-3s are usually mitigated in their harmfulness by the thoughtfulness and reluctance of the person acting.

But T-2s are another story altogether.  As we shall see, their destructive scope can be systemic; they have the potential to make humanity extinct; and, what is more, they are often institutionalized by governments, businesses, religions, and other powerful interest groups whose resources make them far more destructive than T-1s, T-3s, and T4s together.

Defining the Good Act

For an in depth discussion of ethical principles the reader is referred to EPILOGUE: The Bloodless Revolution that begins on page 53, and the Bill of Ethics given in Appendix A preceding.  Most of us have no problem understanding that an act or behavior that benefits someone and harms no one is clearly ethical.  Similarly we understand intuitively that an act or behavior that harms someone and benefits no one is clearly unethical.  Our difficulties with ethical concepts begin when we contemplate an act or behavior that has both beneficial and harmful consequences. So, for purposes of the present discussion, consider the following two definitions as candidates for the foundation of a system of ethics.

1.       An ethical act is one that benefits at least one person (even if only the person acting) while harming no one (including the person acting).

2.       An ethical act is one that causes more benefits to people than it does harm.

For the present I put aside the task of defining what constitutes a “benefit” or” “harm”.  That part is comparatively easy.  Just assume for the moment that adequate definitions of these terms are in fact available.  The hard part is the choice between the two definitions.  The first definition asserts that to be ethical an act must harm no one; and that therefore an act that harms someone is unethical.  This definition therefore forbids the achievement of ethical ends by unethical means.

The second definition, however, allows the use of unethical (harmful) means if the act does more benefit than harm.  Let’s assume for the moment that it is possible to quantify benefits and harms (this can in fact be done) and notice that this definition would lead us to believe that ethical ends can be achieved by unethical means.  This has in fact been the ethic, which most human societies have adopted.  Opinion to the contrary notwithstanding, this is the preferred choice of governments, corporations, and religious institutions worldwide. It is historically what we have actually done.

As similar as these definitions seem, the outcomes produced by the choice of one or the other are as different as night and day.  One choice leads to the maximization of peace, love, and prosperity and the other leads to wars, genocide, poverty, cruelty, exploitation and slavery.  There are at least three distinct and essentially independent proofs of the preceding assertion.  I call these the “Historical Proof”, the “Golden Rule Proof”, and the “Logical Proof”. These are presented in the following.

THE HISTORICAL PROOF

Values and Beliefs

To help understand the distinction between the two definitions of a good act and its significance I review the concepts of values and beliefs.  I have personally interviewed over a thousand people asking questions about what they want more of in life; what they really value.  The similarity between people’s answers is pretty amazing.  Health, basic comforts, spiritual peace of mind, love, freedom, mobility, good relationships and time to enjoy them; access to truth; mental stimulation, work that feels meaningful, growth stimuli, pleasure, happiness, and opportunities to enhance the lives of others are among those frequently mentioned.  It is not hard for most of us to agree on what is “good”; what we value.  In this respect humanity is pretty homogeneous. We have little disagreement about our basic values.

Far more difficult it is to reach any kind of agreement on what will actually bring us what we value.  What we believe is needed in order to attain what we want we refer to as our individual belief system.  All living things have values and belief systems.  Even a plant that has just enough awareness to value sunlight may turn its leaves perpendicular to the rays of the sun in the belief that this will increase its access to that which it values.

When it comes to belief systems we tend to lose our objectivity; to trust faith over truth even though reality consistently demonstrates the fact that objective truth is repeatable, verifiable, and pragmatically irrefutable.  In other words we tend to believe what we want to believe even if our collective experience contradicts us.

Let’s go back to the example of the plant that turns its leaves perpendicular to the rays of the sun.  In situations where plants compete for sunlight those that have this awareness, belief, and ability enjoy a competitive advantage.  Other things being equal, they do get more sun than their less phototropic counterparts.  This fact has been thoroughly established by many experiments by many different experimenters using a wide range of techniques.  So in the plant’s case the belief that phototropism maximizes sunlight reception is correct.  One might say that plants that believe otherwise are wrong and that many of them suffer for lack of the correct belief.  In fact, some have probably become extinct for lack of the correct belief.

Similarly when we choose the basic definition of our ethics, that which we define as a good act, we may or may not choose correctly that which will optimize our chances of getting what we most value in life.  If we choose incorrectly we too may become extinct for lack of the correct belief system.  In this way we can compare the values of various belief systems. Definitions, like other statements are composed of information that can either be “true” or “false”.  True information is that which when believed increases the intelligence of the believer. “Intelligence” in this context is the ability to predict and control events in the observable universe, or equivalently to initiate and sustain causal relationships between such events.  This definition of true information is the basis of science and in many ways can be seen as defining science.  That is to say any discipline that uses this definition of truth may be said to be a science.

Now let’s review the two definitions stated previously which I from now on refer to as E1 (Ethic 1) and E2 (Ethic 2) respectively:

1.       An ethical act is one that benefits at least one person (even if only the person acting) while harming no one (including the person acting).

2.       An ethical act is one that causes more benefits to people than it does harm.

These two definitions are similar in that both value “benefits” while seeking to avoid “harms”.  But each of these definitions, when accepted, yields a dramatically different belief system. In other words while sharing the fundamental values inherent in each definition, people adopting one or the other of these definitions as the basis for their behavior will behave very differently.  As in the case of plant phototropism, there have been enough “experiments” with these two definitions for us to know how individuals and groups develop when one or the other of these two ethics is adopted.  One of these definitions is “true” and yields a belief system that maximizes the intelligence of the believer; and the other is “false” because it substantially diminishes the intelligence of its believer.

The true definition is the first: “An ethical act is one that benefits at least one person (even if only the person acting) while harming no one (including the person acting).” Individuals and groups adopting this definition are universally better off than those who don’t.   We’ll have more to say about this later.

The second definition turns out to be one of humanity’s greatest stumbling blocks.  It often seduces us into forgetting that the choice of the “lesser evil” is still a choice of evil. Governments, corporations, and religious bureaucracies throughout the world have long given in to the temptation to adopt this definition and the belief systems that result from its adoption.  The unacknowledged prioritization of the desires for power, money, and self-righteousness lead the adopters of this definition to think that if they benefit from their decisions, that harm done to others is acceptable.  It is easy for such people to see that they benefit more than they are harmed by this ethic (at least on a short-term basis); and therefore not so easy to see that the ethic itself is flawed and that it causes them and others enormous harm on a long-term basis.

Let’s examine some of the historical consequences of this false belief system. One common theme that results from the adoption and institutionalization of E2 is the idea that the well being of some people (sometimes referred to as “the few”) must be sacrificed for the well being of others (sometimes called “the many”).  Hence:

  • All instances of slavery throughout history are based on this premise, resulting in the suffering and annihilation of millions of people.
  • Religions that condoned or required human sacrifice were based on this premise; which is part of the reason that most such religions are essentially extinct today.
  • Marxist-Leninist regimes have always been based on this premise, resulting in near-universal poverty for those living in such countries.
  • The government practice of taxation is based on this belief, resulting in the financial enslavement of billions of people today.  I would go so far as to assert (Podolsky’s theorem) that every time a government seeks to solve a societal problem by levying a tax that in the long run the society is harmed far more than it benefits.
  • The rise of corporate power and its concomitant partnership with government is the result of this belief; and results in the disenfranchisement of billions of people worldwide.
  • The power-ascendancy of religious organizations is the result of this misconception, and has been the basis of pogroms, jihads, crusades, holy wars, inquisitions and similar large-scale atrocities for thousands of years.
  • Many activities seen as normal components of war are based on this idea; not the least of which is the concept that civilian casualties are an acceptable price to pay to win a war.

These are just a few examples of institutionalized T-2 sins as I have defined them here.  Each and every one of them has at one time or another been justified by adoption of E2 as the prevailing ethic.  This historical perspective tells us that these evils occur in spite of our wish to cause more good than harm; and in fact happen in large measure because we chose to define a good or ethical act as one that creates more benefits than harms without placing a limit on the amount of harm that is permissible. How can this be?

To answer this question let’s go back and take a closer look at the consequences of Ethics Definition Number 1.  It states: An ethical act is one that benefits at least one person (even if only the person acting) while harming no one (including the person acting).  Note that this definition logically implies that any act that is harmful to someone is unethical…by definition.  Acceptance of this definition precludes all the harmful consequences listed above as resulting from Definition 2.  It means it is not acceptable to sacrifice the one for the benefit of the many.  It is not acceptable to take away people’s resources by force no matter who benefits; so only voluntary “taxes” are ethical and Marx’s redistribution of wealth is unethical.  Control of government by institutions that place a highest value on power or profits is unethical; so public disempowerment by corporations and organized religions is necessarily unacceptable.  And of course, warfare that harms non-combatants is also unethical, as are business practices that degrade the environment.

To put it bluntly, our society is in a mess today because we don’t have an institutionalized understanding that ethical ends cannot be achieved by unethical means.  If our institutions incorporated this awareness and committed themselves to Ethics Definition 1 (E1) all the aforesaid T-2 sins would be abolished and a far more successful society would have a chance to evolve.  This is the most important issue that humanity faces today; yet here in the United States, one of the most successful and enlightened countries in the world, we don’t address this issue publicly; our presidential candidates give no hint of being aware of it; and the media for all their investigative expertise are oblivious to it.

At this point I have one unfinished item to deal with.  How are we to recognize “benefits” and “harms”?  The best definition I have seen is that an act is beneficial if it increases someone’s creativity or any of its logical equivalents.  A resource is a logical equivalent of creativity if the increase or decrease of that resource necessitates a corresponding increase or decrease in creativity and vice versa.  Some examples of creativity’s logical equivalents are awareness, love, objective truth, personal growth, and evolution.  Similarly, an act is harmful if it limits or diminishes creativity or any of its logical equivalents for anyone.  It should also be noted that creativity might be thought of as the product of ethical awareness and intelligence as symbolized by the equation C=EI, where C can be positive or negative; and negative creativity is the equivalent of destructiveness or entropy maximization.  In this sense “evolution” and “entropy” are logical equivalents of “good” and “evil”.

In the first paragraph of this chapter I said that the single greatest source of evil in the world today is the idea that ethical ends can be achieved by unethical means.  Subsequently I have shown that this mistaken notion historically generates unethical deeds of the T-2 variety and that such misdeeds are widely institutionalized and wreak great harm on all humanity.  One of these Type Two sins I have not yet mentioned; and it is arguably the most destructive.  It is called “bureaucracy”.  “Bureaucracy” is often thought to be a synonym for “organization”; but it is not. It is not even a logical equivalent of organization.  As John David Garcia first pointed out to me, bureaucracy is the systematic elimination of corrective feedback; and at its worst is the elimination of feedback concerning ethics. It is this phenomenon that brought down the Soviet Union and the Roman Empire and many other regimes throughout history. It is gradually destroying the United States and its allies even now.  Unless we reverse this entropy-increasing trend we too will go the way of earlier fallen regimes and quite possibly we may destroy all humanity in the process.

When employees the world over can go to their “superiors” and criticize their employers’ ethics without fear of reprisals, bureaucracy will no longer be a major problem for humanity.  When those same employees can reveal their challenges to those same “superiors” and receive helpful feedback that makes them better at their jobs we will have little to fear from the depredations of bureaucracy.  Until that day the insistence by so many that ethical ends can be achieved by unethical means will continue to eat away at our species’ potential. Which force will dominate our lives in this new century; evolution or entropy?

THE  “GOLDEN RULE PROOF”

Many people claim to live by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. But I shall prove now that choosing E2 as one’s operative ethic is in contradiction to the Golden Rule.

One obvious implication of the Golden Rule is the admonition, “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.” This is a corollary of the Golden Rule, as it follows from it by logic alone.  Of course both admonitions could be contained in one by stating the rule: “Do unto others only as you would have them do unto you.”

Now consider what happens when one takes an action that is constrained only by the E2 ethic.  In general such an action has consequences that produce both beneficial and harmful effects where the harms are constrained to be less than the benefits. In some instances the benefits and harms will be sustained by the same individual; but in general the benefits and harms are permitted to apply to separate people, whereby one or more persons are benefited and one or more are harmed.  Now I ask, “Did the people harmed volunteer to be harmed?  Did we do unto them as we would have them do unto us?” In all honesty we can only answer “NO, OF COURSE NOT” to these questions.  Therefore the E2 ethic is an insufficient constraint to prevent its adherents from doing unto others as they would NOT have others do unto themselves.  The E2 ethic therefore unequivocally violates the Golden Rule and should be unacceptable to anyone who esteems the Golden Rule as their highest ethic.

THE LOGICAL PROOF

In this section I shall prove by logic alone that the E2 ethic is unacceptable if we are ever to have universal peace and prosperity.  I do this because some of us do not give any special credence to ethics such as the Golden Rule because it derives from biblical lore.  No matter.  We can show in effect that the E2 ethic contains its own contradiction; that an act sanctioned by E2 must be unethical if it is not also sanctioned by E1.

To understand this proof one must first consider the fact that in general an act sanctioned by E2, unless also sanctioned by E1, will have as consequences both beneficial and harmful effects. Observing those effects we recognize a principle of separability: An act or behavior, which has both beneficial and harmful effects, is logically and ethically indistinguishable from two acts, one having beneficial consequences and the other having harmful consequences. This fact is apparent when you consider that after the consequences have been manifested you cannot tell whether the cause of those consequences was one act or two.

Now I go back to an earlier statement.  An act that has only beneficial consequences is clearly ethical; and an act that has only harmful consequence is clearly unethical.  From this we deduce that in general an E2 sanctioned behavior is the logical and ethical equivalent of two acts, one of which is ethical and the other unethical. But a behavior cannot be both ethical and unethical.  Any behavior that encompasses an unethical act must be unethical.  Therefore I conclude that any act sanctioned by E2 that is not also sanctioned by E1 must be unethical.  Therefore adoption of E2 must lead to unethical behavior.  This is how the institutionalization of E2 causes so many serious societal problems (T-2 sins). If we have any hope of success as a species, humanity must come to grips with this issue by institutionalizing E1 in place of E2.

SUMMARY

The choice of an ethic determines the quality of the values and belief systems that derive therefrom.  As we have seen, the ethical definition that leads to a healthier society is the E1 ethic that defines an ethical act as one that benefits someone without harming anyone.  I believe I have proven unequivocally that adoption of the E2 ethic (which defines as ethical any act that results in more benefit than harm) must lead to unethical outcomes; and in particular has led to wholesale evils through the attempt to achieve ethical ends by unethical means.  The “Historical Proof” shows that human experience is a clear demonstration of the failure of E2 to limit the harms done in the name of benefits for the many.  The “Golden Rule Proof” validates this empirical observation by showing that the E2 ethic violates the Golden Rule. And finally the “Logical Proof” shows that E2 contains its own contradiction; so that any institution defining its ethics by adoption of E2 is likely to create more harms than benefits in spite of its intention to do otherwise.

Based on the above, one might well ask how the E1 Ethic is adopted by Titania. So lets talk a bit about Titanian Organization.

Titania, the Open Source Creative and Ethical Society

 

The Message of Universal EthicsTitanian octologue

TITANIA is an open source Ethical association promoting PeaceLoveCreativity and Personal Evolution in THRIVING human society.  The TITANIAN organization model is a new kind of international institution that is non-hierarchic and rigorously non-bureaucratic in both its structure and decision-making processes.   The Titanian organization is based on voluntary interaction between individuals, yet at the same time organized.   Throughout recorded history up to the early 21st century AD, Power Brokerage Cartels (BORG) have trapped humanity in hierarchic (Pyramid) control models, whose prime feature was coercive interactions between individuals.

To keep humanity asleep; being that you’re awake now, you know what we mean, The BORG used a well crafted systems of violence, mass hypnosis / indoctrination to sustain non-truths and double-speak, known as the Comforting Lies.  These Comforting lies perpetuate a an omni-present State, one that is at war with the individuals that comprise it.  Thus, in keeping humanity asleep / hypnotized, the BORG State gets away with the outright Killing of more than 200 million people in the 20th Century, the murder of 20,000 people per day through malnutrition / extreme poverty, and the outright fleecing of individual creativity in a militaristic system of regulation, legal plunder, taxation and extortion.

Titania is based on a Code of Honor that provides a set of unique principles for its mission and procedures. More than twenty years in the making, this is NOT something you have seen before.

It is the dream of TITANIA’s founders that humanity will evolve into a moral society in which most, if not all, of humanity’s problems will have been solved.  Imagine living in such a world!  Isn’t living in that world, what you always knew could exist, and wanted to exist, been YOUR dream as well? TITANIA is the choice for you! Isn’t it time we brought Sanity back to Humanity?

Let’s get started, by considering the desired outcome of the society we want to create.