Liberty as the Basis for Morality and Ethics: The Establishment of Objective Good
Morality is the innate sense of good and bad perceived consciously when imposition occurs, and non-consciously perceived through feeling. Anger or sadness is the feeling triggered by the perception of imposition. All acts have a moral distinction attached to them, either as being consistent with morality or inconsistent. Morality is a component of decision making.
A decision is the product of value, and value is determined by the anticipated feeling of an act or interaction with an object.
Let’s use an orange for example. A person’s value of an orange is determined by the sensations that eating an orange produces or some other purpose with the orange that the individual believes will produce positive sensations. There is no moral judgement regarding an orange because the orange is incapable of imposing as an inanimate object. Unless of course someone told you god said oranges are bad, then you may regard them as being bad because the orange imposes on god for whatever reason the assertion is made.
If you have money and there is an orange available for sale, you may purchase the orange from a vendor. Why? Because you value the orange more than the energy required to procure the orange, as money is the medium of stored value, gained through energy and time. Decisions begin as a question of the value of the action or the object determined by the feeling it produces versus the time and energy expended to complete the action or obtain the object.
How about if a person had an orange and didn’t want to sell it but you want it? What determines an attempt to take it from him? It’s the value of the orange in anticipation of the sensations it produces, versus the time and energy, versus the negative feeling from completing an imposing act, or the anticipation of a negative feeling for having imposed on this person’s means. The time and energy may be worth the anticipated sensation of the orange, but grief felt before the action is greater than the sensations the orange produces or the anticipation of guilt for having imposed on that person.
The aforementioned represents 3 out of 4 possible components of the decision making process. The other component is the value of the immediate object versus any consequence that will obstruct the procurement of any higher value non-immediate objects. For example, the decision to rob a bank begins with the value of the anticipated amount of money one will receive versus the value of all other purposes if they are caught. This is considered before morality is considered. The conscious features if one is considering robbing a bank will be images of different results, images concerning how they would do it, supplemented by internally audible monologue. The imagined scenarios will produce feelings that will influence the individual’s decision to carry out the act.
The components of a decision are the value of the object or action, versus time and energy, versus the value of any objective that would be obstructed as a consequence of obtaining the object or completing the act, and versus feelings resulting from moral imposition,. Since subconsciously, we don’t seriously consider acts that violate our conception of morality, most decisions are consciously the product of value versus the effort and consequence to other objectives. Negative feelings that stem from morality usually are not present until an individual develops intentions to commit an act they perceive to be immoral.
Let’s say you witness someone take an orange from someone. Unless you’ve habituated yourself to consider the causes and circumstances of acts, you’ll probably immediately feel anger and consciously assign a moral judgement of bad to the person who has imposed on the one with the orange. I would have questions about the circumstances that produced the act to begin with, since decision making is a product of circumstances, where an individual’s ability to act is literally determined by the options and opportunities available to them. Then there are other elements of circumstance I consider beyond it, like the relationship between the one who imposed and the one who is imposed upon, all of which are subjects I will address in this article as well as in Sequencing and Comparison.
Morality is a governor of decision making, measured by perceived imposition, where imposition is a measure of limiting what someone else can do, spatially, physical harm, through threat, or deprivations of means including opportunity. Morality as measured by imposition is evolutionarily relevant to ensure cooperation and individual liberty as elements that aid in the survival of the species.
What is it everyone wants? Most say to be happy, but happiness isn’t a state. Happy is a word used to describe feelings caused by thoughts and interaction with the environment. What everyone wants is to do what they want to do. Any person who can do what they want to do can choose interaction that causes them to be happy, while anyone who cannot has happiness compromised by some unfulfillable desire. Which means morality begins and ends with imposition.
There are 2 categories of imposition, Direct and Indirect.
1: Direct Imposition
To do as one pleases requires freedom from physical imposition, which means an individual’s liberty extends to the point where it interferes with the liberty of someone else. Imposition occurs when someone prevents someone from doing what they want to do.
2: Indirect Imposition
For an individual to do as they please, it requires the means to do. Means consists of the opportunity to acquire the resources (money) and the know-how to do. Opportunity is determined by the political and economic systems in place, which whether democratic or otherwise, are subject to collective consent. Systems that circumstantially trap people by providing inadequate opportunities to acquire the means to do, are imposing on individuals through collective consent.
This is the basis for objective good as universal interest is liberty, defined as the ability to do as one pleases. Imposition is the tool used to measure what is good objectively because in the absence of imposition all people can do as they please.
The Rule of Rules
It is in the interest of people to agree to rules, because rules that prevent imposition cause us to be freer than we would be without them. This means every rule should prevent a greater imposition than it imposes. Any rule that does not, is the imposition of a subjective preference intent on creating an advantage for one group over another.
For example, a law requiring passengers in cars to wear seatbelts imposes on the public without preventing any imposition. The act of a person driving a vehicle without their seatbelt doesn’t impose on anyone else. The general public is not less safe from the act of not wearing one’s seat belt. Such laws impose without preventing any imposition and serve no benefit to the public.
Time as an Element of Applying the Measure of Imposition
Time is an element of liberty as it requires time to do. For this reason, efficiency is considered in the measure of imposition. A rule which is imposing that prevents no imposition may be moral in order to maximize the efficiency of a common purpose, as the obstruction of that purpose imposes on the time required for all people involved to fulfill that purpose.
For example, a school has rules which prevent imposition, but a school may also have rules that impose without preventing imposition to increase or maintain the efficiency of the common purpose which is learning. A rule that imposes assigned seats is a rule that imposes without preventing imposition, as the act of one choosing where they sit does not impose on anyone else except for a conflict over a particular seat. However, because socializing may decrease the efficiency of learning, not only to those socializing, but also to those around them, assigned seating may prevent a greater imposition than it imposes in the time it takes to learn. Efficiency in a common purpose is considered in determining the morality of a rule based on measuring imposition prevented in respect to time. The imposition of not being able to choose one’s seat, is less than the imposition that results in people distracting from the common purpose of learning. I would be against the rule, but I understand how it may be necessary due to the failure of teachers to hold their student’s attention and earn their respect.
Imposition and Setting
The exception to imposition is setting. To interact with someone in or with their property carries with it the expectation to interact with or in that property according to the terms of the owner. Respecting people’s property is obviously consistent with liberty, and not something new, but mentioned to fortify the framework in which the title assertion is to be challenged.
Participatory Consent in the Fulfillment of Desire
When a desire includes participation, participation can be procured the same as anything else, by supplying the value required for a person to participate. Which does not mean money but could mean money.
Liberty is the human ideal, not only because we all want to do what we want to do in every possible setting, but because human beings are wholly self-interested. A selfless act is merely an act where the value of the feeling associated with the sacrifice, is greater than the feeling that could be gained through the substance sacrificed. Example would be the feeling gained through giving someone a dollar is greater than what one could feel by spending the dollar on themself. The need of one is fulfilled because what one needed, is supplied by a person who values the feeling of the idea of the sacrifice more than the sacrifice. Therefore, all human interaction is the exchange of value for value.
An individual with a desire that requires participation must know what his potential participants value and supply that value to procure their participation. Which may be the need itself (exchanged for the feeling of providing the need), or money (the universal medium of stored value), or merely their presence (exchange of behavior for behavior). The purest exchange of value in human interaction is the exchange of behavior for behavior. The value of interacting is inherent in the act, as in both parties like the way they feel around one another, based on the exchange of behavior, which is the effect of many specific causes.
Cooperation is biologically wired in human beings, which is supplemented by understanding purposes for cooperation. Meaning understanding the morality of liberty, which is imposition, or the acknowledgement that we are selfish creatures, doesn’t change emotional ties. The good feelings derived from seemingly selfless acts supplies the value to help one another, despite help not being morally incumbent.
The Justification of Imposition
Imposition is justified when required to remove or prevent imposition, as much as is required to remove the imposition, or as is required to prevent the act of the threat.
Freedom to Speak
Words cannot be considered imposing despite their ability to cause a feeling. First, words are subject to interpretation, meaning the person who is saying something may not have intended for it to impose a negative feeling. Second, even if intent is present, the feeling it produces is subjective and may occur in some and not in others. Except for a credible threat, physical imposition is never justified for a verbal cause, as it is disproportionate even if we consider feelings resulting from words as imposition; of course, words are not imposition, because the emotional response to words is subjective. The same thing can be said the same way to two different people, and in one it provokes a negative feeling, and in the other it does not.
Speech can be considered imposing when it is deceptive or is the delivery of a threat.
Preventing imposition or addressing imposition requires the removal of the cause to eliminate the effect. All results exist because they were caused by some preceding result and will produce an effect that will carry on into other effects. Any effort taken to address a result absent its cause, is merely an effort to minimize the effect, as the imposing result will exist if it’s causes remain. As obvious as this is, it isn’t a governing law in the minds of policy makers, but primarily because the causes that produce imposition are of greater value to those who direct policy, than the imposition, which they are largely insulated from.
To be responsible is to cause. The formation and application of ethics based in the morality of liberty hinges on the identification of the first relevant cause of an action. A consciously created result has 6 points of creation: Circumstances, Desire, Intents, Action, Results, and Purposes. Represented in the acronym CDIARP.
An individual’s circumstances are the first relevant cause. Desire is a product of value, the consequence to higher valued objects, versus effort, and morality, but it is limited by an individual’s means and opportunity. Opportunity is determined by circumstances at any given moment.
An individual’s circumstances are a present effect, and the first effect that contributes to the cause of action. An individual’s circumstances consist of a mountain of other decisions, both by the individual and the collective, which can and should be explored to identify the roots of imposition to eliminate the causes to stop birthing the effect. In applying responsibility to a consciously created result, we are thinking about effects present that contribute to the circumstances.
An imposing result created from the intent to impose begins with understanding the circumstances that produced the intent to impose. Which isn’t to say that all imposition begins with circumstances, some imposition is motivated by obtaining a subject of desire more efficiently through imposition.
A question like whether it is wrong to steal if you’re hungry and there is no other way to get food, is understood in the imposition of the circumstance by the consenting public. Stealing imposes on a person’s means but is not wrong or inconsistent with liberty when the act wouldn’t have occurred without need based circumstances being imposed from the consenting public. We consider proportion in the application of resistance to imposition. In this situation a person is advantaged by the collective order, and another goes without a basic need because of these systemically imposed circumstances.
What is the individual action that constitutes consent to the social compact and the individual contribution to systemic imposition? The two root causes of consent are survival and benefit. A person supports a system that unduly imposes on groups within the collective because of the benefit the system has to them personally. People are indifferent to systems which constitute consent because of how they benefit from the systems. People are ignorant of how systems function. People impose through the benefit they derive from the system. Questions as to what they are participating in as a member of the collective have no perceived utility as the individual is content with his or her advantages. Other people are ignorant because their time is spent on meeting and worrying about their needs. This is what is meant by survival being a root cause of action in consenting to the systems that produce people’s circumstances. Generally, these people are without the time to ask and answer the questions they otherwise would, because they spend their time working and with other responsibilities. A person consents to the systemic order when they are not opposed to it, because everyone is participating in it, and benefits, or is limited because of it.
As always, liberty uses proportion, as the idea is to restore neutrality, not to impose past it which is creating new imposition.
Survival of Consciousness After Death
The second aspect of immaterial responsibility is in the consideration of the survival of consciousness after death. Ideal liberty is freedom from imposition. I use the word tyrant to describe a person who exercises liberty without respect for the liberty of others. Ideally, every being or consciousness gets what it wants. What it wants is what it understands and what it applies. A being that understands and applies liberty can exist in any setting with beings who understand and apply liberty. If consciousness survives death, the continuance of the consciousness in the hereafter is eternal liberty in the exploration of existence and infinite creation and fulfillment of new desires.
An individual who understands and applies tyranny cannot exist in the same permanent space as individuals who apply liberty. The propensity of the tyrant to impose, places him at odds with those who apply liberty, as liberty seeks to neutralize imposition. At the point of death, if consciousness survives, the tyrants will need to be isolated. This is not a judgement of acts, but the fulfillment of desire based on understanding and application. Those who operate out of tyranny should have the opportunity to exist in a space where all beings share the same value, understanding, and application. People get what they want based on the application of their understanding, not what they’ve earned through actions, although the two generally lead to the same place. People are not punished for actions, but imposing behavior comes from applying a tyrant’s values.
In consideration of the survival of consciousness after death, I foresee for the tyrant a scenario similar to hell, or similar to earth. An isolated space where tyranny is the order of that space, and beings and groups of beings establish a system of existence where liberty depends on the power of groups, and group relations to powerful groups. Not very different from what exists on earth. It isn’t a punishment but a choice.
Many principle arguments against the existence of eternal hell relate to proportion of intensity and duration. In regard to intensity, where a person shouldn’t be subjected to a greater imposition than they imposed in life isn’t a matter of acts, but of opportunity. The tyrant is circumstantially limited by their opportunity to impose, but their potential for imposition is much greater. Acts are not relevant because an individual who is willing to impose, will presumably do so to the extent that he or she is able to fulfill their desire. The duration that someone can impose is limited by death, which means in the absence of death, a person who understands and applies imposition would continue doing so if not limited by time.
Ignorance does not absolve a being from their understanding and application. Ignorance is a product of motivation, and motivation consists of desire in relation to circumstances. Desire is a product of values or degree of like, and degree of like directs attention. Meaning moral ignorance, although much of it admittedly is circumstantially imposed, is a choice of value.
Speculation considering the possibility of the survival of consciousness after death in respect to the ideal of liberty, should not influence behavior in our physical reality. The fact is, the application of liberty is ideal in our physical reality, in the individual self-interest of every person on this planet, and what is good here, is good in the expectation or consideration of what lies beyond.
In speculation extending to the hereafter, I do have a hypothesis as to the purpose of the universe, and existence. The universe itself is like an egg, the properties consisting of physical laws and these laws produce conditions for life to exist and for that life to evolve into intelligent life. Life is able to learn and apply liberty or tyranny as it chooses. For beings or consciousness that exist in a different state preceding and beyond the perception of our known physical reality, physical reality may very well be a reproductive mechanism, increasing the population in an infinite space of liberty as well as a space of tyranny. The most observable and relatable idea concerning the purpose of the physical reality, is the universe exists as the reproductive process of consciousness.
I think reincarnation is impossible as one consciousness cannot embody two consciousnesses. The distinction between beings is determined by what they value or what they like. This directs attention and desire, which influences thoughts, which influences feelings, which influences behavior. A lifetime isn’t a collection of feelings and memories, a lifetime is development that starts at 0 and ends where it ends. You cannot leave one consciousness, develop another, and then merge the consciousness into one. It isn’t stored data but rather a program and you cannot have two operating systems running at the same time as one wants to do one thing, and the other another thing.
Imposition as an Innate Moral Trigger
There are 4 comparisons of defined details, cause and effect, value, true/false, and morality. All thoughts and decision making reduce to these 4 processes of sequencing and comparison. This is Sequencing and Comparison, it is mentioned as it relates to the following portion of this article in an effort to establish imposition as the innate human basis for morality.
Morality as a comparison is the innate human process of determining good and bad. Morality consists of thoughts and feelings, where a feeling is triggered when something defies a person’s moral principle. Based on universal interest as liberty, ideal morality can be understood as relating to imposition. More than this, I believe imposition is the innate human trigger of moral offense. This is generally observable, but there are people who are morally triggered against acts that have no perceivable basis in imposition. Which is to say people consider some acts morally wrong that carry with them no perceivable imposition. The question is, if imposition is the innate human basis for morality, why do people find acts morally wrong that are unimposing?
The first and most common reason is an act that is unimposing is perceived as imposition to a third party, mainly god. An act that has no perceivable imposing quality, may trigger moral feelings against it, because the act is perceived as imposing on god or some other third party. It is the consequence/authority-based co opting of human morality.
Liberty, God, and the Co Opting of the Imposition Trigger
The only knowledge we have of a creator is the creation. What is true of the creation? Liberty is true of the creation because all the results on this planet are caused by the free will of the creatures on this planet, physical laws, and how they relate to the host bodies (material in the solar system including the earth). This is evidence that the nature of a creator is liberty since the creation exists in liberty. Even if you contend the creation doesn’t necessarily exist as a reflection of a creator, any tyrant creator would be persuaded by his experiment because liberty is ideal.
Other evidence a creator is not a tyrant is the complete lack of evidence of any imposition on its creation. A tyrant creator would intervene often and arbitrarily, having created the creation for the purpose of having something to impose on.
Other evidence rests in responsibility, which speaks to a creator’s nature and absence. If the creator had a plan or intervened either good or bad, it is responsible for all the misery, death, exploitation, destruction, suffering and imposition that has taken place in human history. As a plan goes, it means the creator planned on human beings imposing on one another for most of their existence, where the many always labored in the service of a few, and they would cause their own premature extinction which will unfold with great imposition and suffering. Otherwise, as is consistent with the evidence, human beings are responsible for their present state. Human beings have exercised their liberty and chosen tyranny. One intelligent species, among probably many others in the multi-trillion-year lifetime of the universe, among 2 trillion galaxies, each consisting of billions of stars and billions of planets. Some choosing liberty, and some choosing tyranny, and individually each person receiving their desire as expressed through their understanding and application.
Among a species who is largely governed by superstitions claiming divine origin, a moral philosophy must address the assertion of god. God can neither be proven nor disproven since the human experience precludes definitively knowing the cause of existence. The nature of god described as a creator can be identified by this characteristic and understood by the principle operating basis of its creation. In doing so, all assertions put forth by religion concerning rules that come from god, can be tested according to the measure of imposition as being consistent or inconsistent with god’s nature. As some religions understand to be true, god is limited in conduct by his own nature, or his own morality. Meaning not even god can impose on that which is not intent on imposition. Which means a person who applies liberty, becomes a god driven by their subjective preferences if consciousness survives death. A space that was governed by the morality of liberty without physical limitations, would not have advantages and disadvantages in respect to opportunity. God would be compelled by his nature to provide you with the opportunities to acquire the know-how and means to do what you wanted to do within the available space, according to the physical laws that exist in that space.
This and the preceding paragraphs are a basis of reasoning intended to restore the objectivity of morality that is innately rooted in the imposition of an act. It also reveals a fundamental truth concerning existence. Mainly, that god is not one but many. Anything that understands and applies the morality of god is equal to god in the purity of conduct. The difference between the source and any conscious being who applies the morality of the source, is knowledge and preference. Preference of values determines the pursuit of knowledge. No being can assert authority over any other being, because the intents of all parties are not intent on imposing. It is important to 1: acknowledge that godliness is not unobtainable, and 2: any god you meet will not be one surrounded by beings who serve him and are under his authority, (well, maybe a tyrannical hereafter) but many beings existing in a space on the equal footing of liberty. Liberty itself is the one true god, if we take the word god to mean what a person serves. And when a person claims to serve god, their chosen and modified deity, they have only done so because they are serving liberty, the law of self-interest, where the chosen act is perceived as benefiting the individual, including when the feeling associated with the deity is greater than what the individual experiences without the superstition. Such a person is serving self-interest, desire, liberty.
Liberty and Truth
A second reason for moral judgements not rooted in imposition is the desire for an individual to impose their preferences on others. Human beings influenced by the environment they have constructed have a very limited capacity to discern between fact and opinion, and acts that challenge their opinions are misunderstood as having a moral basis because it imposes on their truth, resulting in negative feelings.
Denial is rooted in people having a higher value of things than they have of what is true. People avoid or refuse to acknowledge information that compromises their value of things they like. Value is compromised by learning something believed to be true is untrue, or something believed to be good is bad. The subject of value is associated with other subjects of value, a person’s friends, family, god, and most importantly themselves. Everything believed to be good or true is an element of an individual’s truth, and their truth is their identity. In compromising the value of something an individual has value of, you are potentially compromising the value the individual has of himself, which produces a negative feeling, the same or similar to what is experienced when one is imposed on, or witnesses’ imposition. The negative feeling is often interpreted as indicating something is wrong, despite the one confronted by challenging information being unable to logically refute the challenging assertion.
In Sequencing and Comparison, true/false is an innate comparison of information which can be corrupted through a few environmentally induced habits. As explained in the previous paragraph, priority of value is one, where there is a higher value of something liked, than there is of the truth.
The value of truth is apparent in liberty, as it relates to self interest in the fulfillment of desire. Simply put, self-deception compromises know how in the fulfillment of desire, and corrupts motivation. Desire is a product of value and circumstances, meaning when value is false, or the understanding of one’s circumstances is false, they are motivated to do things they otherwise would not want to do. (motivation is desire in relation to circumstances) To fulfill desire requires know-how, which is compromised by self-deception.
Deception itself is imposition, but the intended purpose of deception ultimately determines if the deception carries with it any net imposition. Like the purpose of rules, where what is imposed prevents a greater imposition than it imposes, there are many situations where deception prevents greater imposition than it imposes.
For example, if a driver is pulled over by an officer in a state that prohibits the possession of marijuana while possessing marijuana, the officer may ask him if he has anything illegal. Driver says no which is essentially a meaningless imposition on the officer’s reality, having no impact on his liberty, aside from obstructing his career incentive to make arrests. If the driver tells the officer the truth, he will be subject to the imposition of prosecution, which may include physical imposition in arrest and jail, or imposition on his means in the form of a citation. To determine the ultimate morality of the scenario is a comparison of the imposition prevented from the prohibition of the substances, versus imposition of possessing the substance for its intended purposes. Marijuana is not a substance that encourages behavior in its users that is imposing on the public. Therefore, the rule itself imposes without preventing imposition, and enforcement of the rule is imposing. Using deception to avoid enforcement is right, because enforcement imposes on an individual whose actions are unimposing.
Understanding Fair in Relation to Imposition
The concept of fair is generally addressed in collective imposition as mentioned in the support, maintenance, and preservation of systems that circumstantially impose, but what is equal may be considered by some a trigger on its own. Fairness is determining the value of compared subjects and recognizing an advantage or disadvantage imposed externally. Which is to say that when someone experiences bad feelings because something isn’t fair, they are experiencing those feelings because they recognize it as being a circumstantial imposition.
Liberty as an Evolutionary Law
Understanding and applying liberty as a species including the organization of civilization to reflect this paramount value, may be a social evolutionary check on intelligent life. What distinguishes intelligent life from other life forms is the ability to consciously manipulate energy for productive purposes. The evolution of intelligent life requires earth-like conditions and millions of years for simple life to develop into complex and intelligent life. This means anywhere in the universe where intelligent life evolves there will be fossil fuels. Intelligent life will eventually discover uses for these fuels to facilitate the fulfillment of their purposes. Burning these fuels will increase the concentration of heat trapping gases in the atmosphere which will increase the global temperature. What human beings are presently experiencing on Earth, is likely experienced by every intelligent civilization that has or will exist in the universe.
A species that fails to learn, apply, and organize with liberty in mind, is unlikely to be able to transition to renewable energy, because the principle motivation of the tyrant is advantage without respect to imposition. This causes the disenfranchisement of the general public from participating in political and economic decision making. The assertion requires a considerable amount of explanation and references, but this species, and even this country (United States), furnishes the data that can be morally measured.
A species that fails to transition to renewable energy if we consider the most probable trajectory of human beings ceases to exist. I think the most likely course for human beings will be substantial use of fossil fuels over the next 3 to 4 decades, which will increase the concentration of heat trapping gases, increasing the global average temperature, which will substantially reduce habitable surface area, and the competition over habitable areas will culminate in nuclear war. It is the subject of another article but mentioned in brevity as it relates to the possibility of this duality (liberty/tyranny) as an evolutionary check on tyrant species. It isn’t actually a duality, as it is actually only liberty, where liberty is the exercise of liberty in respect to the liberty of others, and tyranny is liberty exercised absent respect for liberty.
Liberty as Ideal
Liberty is the human ideal, evident in the undeniable truth that everyone wants to do what they want to do. In the absence of imposition, physical and circumstantial, all people can do what they want to do. This means morality, and what is objectively good, is what does not impose, and it is self-contained, in as much as the assertion of a rule against an act that is unimposing, is imposition. Imposition is the objective basis for morality.