Ethic 2: An act is good if it benefits at least one person, including the person acting, and absolutely harms no one.
We seem to have forgotten to name the specific value to be maximized and to define the belief system that must be associated with it for the ethic to be valid under all circum-stances. So let’s tighten up our definition. The word “benefit” is simply too general a value, because some perceived benefits lead to unwanted social consequences; thus contradicting the intent of the ethic. Values such as wealth, profit, political power, and even happiness suffer from this weakness.
On the other hand, consider the values of creativity, love, awareness, and personal evolution. These values are particularly interesting because an act that increases any one of them also increases the others; while an act that limits or diminishes any one of them also limits or diminishes all of the others. Thus these values, and perhaps many others, may be said to be logically equivalent to one another. So let’s redefine The Titanian Ethic as follows:
An act is ethical if it increases creativity, or any of its logical equivalents, for at least one person, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing creativity for anyone.
This ethic, it turns out, is valid, in that its adoption by an individual or a group invariably results in an increase in creativity and its logical equivalents. For convenience, let’s refer to this ethic from now on as E+or as the E+ Ethic. It is worth noting at this point that all prosperity and happiness can be causally traced back to someone’s creativity or one or more of its logical equivalents.
It should be noted that there is a second set of resources (values) that are necessary, but not sufficient, for the maximization of creativity. These include such things as freedom, honesty, empathy, conscience, and the teaching of true information to people who habitually act ethically. These are all ethical resources or creativity enhancers, but they are not logical equivalents of creativity, so they are not mentioned explicitly in the definition of E+. Surprisingly, if one of these values is made the value to be maximized in the definition of an ethic, the ethic that results is not valid.
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 choose to accept the validity of the E+ Ethic, the logical consequence is to agree with these ten principles, because are the definition of the ethic. Conversely, when you disagree with any of these principles you either choose not to accept the ethic or you just don’t understand it, more likely the latter.