Liberty, the Basis for Objective Morality
What is Morality
Morality is a person’s sense of right and wrong. More specifically it is an assignment of right or wrong to an action as an object. These assignments produce motivating and prohibitive feelings. Motivating in the observation of acts that are deemed to be wrong where a person will feel good to make what’s wrong right. Prohibitive when a person intends to commit an act they believe is morally wrong.
There are two sets of prohibitive feelings experienced prior to an action. There is fear of consequence, and morality.
A negative feeling for fear of consequence occurs whenever an action has consequences to other objectives. For example, a person may want something in a store they cannot afford. Their thoughts may consist of the circumstances in the store (is anyone watching, if I put it in my pocket will anyone see it, etc) and these thoughts help a person to determine the probability of the consequence. Secondly, they’ll think about the consequences if they are caught (an encounter with store security, police, fine, jail, etc). As they think about these things they feel (in some proportion) what they would feel if they were experiencing the imagined scenario. They’ll also think about the object and feel the anticipated feelings of possessing the object.
A person will proceed with the action if 1: they believe the probability of the consequence is low. 2: The consequence does not severely impact other objectives. 3: If the feelings believed to be generated by the item, is greater than the feelings generated by the objectives the action has consequences for.
One distinguishing feature of an act prevented through fear of consequence and an act prevented through morality is sometimes a person feels bad for not following through on an act due to fear of consequence. The negative feeling is typically a product of a loss of self worth, either because they were deterred by fear, or because the passing opportunity is perceived as a failure. When one abstains from an act prohibited by morality, the person typically feels good about themselves as a representation of what they believe is good.
Sometimes the production of fear of consequence becomes an objective, because the release from the fear is the production of a positive feeling. This is why people ride roller coasters, go to haunted houses, and watch movies they find frightening. Adrenaline junkies, thieves, robbers, fighters, and risk takers in general, do what they do sometimes more for the sensation of being released from fear, than they do for the objective itself.
Prohibitive moral feelings are distinct from fear of consequence for two reasons. First, a prohibitive moral feeling occurs when there is no consequence. Second, morality is intertwined with our self worth. Most people do things because they believe them to be right or good, therefore going against what a person believes to be good forces them to acknowledge they have been a bad person for having committed a bad act.
At the point a person intends to commit what is perceived to be an immoral act the person will experience a negative feeling. This negative feeling is imposed to protect self worth by preventing the person from committing the act. Should the individual proceed with an act they believe to be immoral at some point after the act they will feel bad as a result of a loss in self worth.
Self-worth is restored through the passage of time, justification, atonement, or through the changing of a person’s morality. The changing of morality is different from justification in that justification is the process of justifying the action through the interpretation of the circumstances that precipitated the act, whereas changing morality is deciding that the act is no longer wrong.
The changing of morality is a process where the value of an act (the feelings produced by an objective) exceeds the negative feelings experienced by the loss of self worth, and overtime, the person no longer sees the act as being morally wrong. People’s morality is usually relative, so an act a person once abstained from for moral reasons may not cease to be considered morally wrong, but their perception of how wrong it is changes to the point where it is so minor as to no longer deter behavior. The recurring act is considered through automatic justification, said act isn’t as bad as other acts and nobody is perfect. Not to stray too far from the subject, but in liberty the concern is with the unprovoked intention to impose on a person’s liberty.
Morality is the ideas a person has of right and wrong and is a check on behavior by imposing feelings for wrong acts. Morality can also motivate behavior through positive feelings associated with preventing wrong acts or righting a wrong act. Morality is distinguished from fear of consequence in that morality produces prohibitive feelings in the absence of any foreseeable consequence. Morality is also distinguished from fear of consequence in that the value being impacted is the value of one’s self, where fear of consequence is a product of other objectives being threatened.
Objective Right and Wrong According to the Human Constant
The human constant is that all people want to do what they want to do in all settings. This is never untrue. When the liberty of each individual is not exercised to impose on the liberty of anyone else, all people can do as they please. Liberty exists in the absence of imposition, where each person is free to do as they please so long as what they do does not interfere (impose on) with others doing as they please.
The second aspect of liberty is opportunity. Opportunity is a product of circumstances. Circumstances are a product of systems. Systems are a product of collective participation and consent. Circumstances that leave people circumstantially trapped, severely disadvantaged, or otherwise without meaningful opportunity is collective imposition on those individuals. Circumstances are imposed by the participating and consenting public, therefore individual opportunity is a product of the presence or absence of imposition.
The concept of fairness is the signature of the perception of circumstantial imposition.
Categories of Imposition
There are 2 categories of imposition, Direct and Indirect.
1: Direct Imposition
Direct imposition occurs when one or more people impose on the liberty of another person or group. The subdivisions of direct impositions are
A: imposing spatial limitations, physically or through threat where an individual cannot or will not move freely.
B: harm where an act imposes physical pain or injury.
C: Imposition on means: property or income.
D: Deception imposes on liberty by distorting an individual’s perception of reality and has implications for motivation as it relates to a person’s value of objects(1), as well as know-how.
1: Value of objects represents the feelings an object including actions produce. The feelings an object or action produces relies on certain ideas about the object, where if those ideas are false, it causes a person to like things they wouldn’t like or dislike things they would like if they knew what was true about them.
With the exception of deception or threats, words cannot be considered imposition despite some experiencing emotional reactions as the result of certain things stated. The same thing can be said to two different people the same way, and in one there is an emotional response and in another there is not. The perception of words is subjective and cannot be objectively considered imposition.
2: Indirect Imposition
For an individual to do as they please it requires the means to do. Means consist of opportunity to acquire the resources (money) and the know-how to do. Opportunity is determined by the political and economic systems, which whether democratic or otherwise, are subject to collective consent. Systems that circumstantially trap(2) people by providing inadequate opportunities to acquire the means to do, impose on individuals through collective consent.
2: Circumstantial trapping is defined as circumstances where an individual’s income opportunities are barely sufficient to meet expenses, where no accumulation can take place. The creation of opportunity requires access to money. A person whose only opportunities for income leave them with little to nothing left over are literally trapped within those circumstances.
In addition to deceiving others to gain some advantage over them, there are consequences to self deception that impact others. Self deception functions similarly to how morality functions in the protection of value. In morality there is a negative feeling imposed at the point of intending to commit an immoral act to protect an individual’s value of his or her self. Much of what a person likes isn’t based on the feelings an object produces innately, but is based on the ideas a person has about an object.
When a person is confronted or exposed to information that challenges their beliefs there is often a negative feeling imposed. This feeling is imposed to block the information or prompt the individual to remove his or herself from the information because the consequence to the person’s perception will change their value of objects. The things they like are threatened by the information. What a person likes is threatened because what they like relies on the ideas they have concerning these objects being true. Discovering things believed to be true are false takes away the ability of familiar objects to produce good feelings. The truth literally takes people’s joy away. Yet, it also opens doors in know how, understanding, and the creation of new value associations with objects.
Self deception has consequences to the collective because it prevents communication, where people choose what is true based on how it makes them feel as opposed to what can be understood to be true based on cause and effect. (3) The consequences of self deception are evident. The population primarily consists of two groups of people who choose what they want to be true based on how it reinforces ideas that cause them to feel good, with no real concern about what is true. Addressing problems and increasing people’s liberty and quality of life requires an objective understanding of the problems to correct the functions.
3: Reality consists of objects in motion measured by space, time, and feeling. All motion is the effect of a preceding cause, therefore, the truth is understanding the causes that produce the effects we see. A consciously created result begins with circumstances, value (desire), intentions, action, results, and purposes which are woven into the motion of physical and non-physical objects. For more see CVIARP.
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. All action is either imposing, unimposing, or is liberating in the removal of an imposing circumstance. Objectively, morality is either liberty or tyranny.
Justifications for Imposition
There are 4 justifications for imposition. Preemption, removal, efficiency, and property.
Preemption: Imposition is justified when it is required to prevent unprovoked imposition.
Removal: Imposition is justified when it is required to restore neutrality by removing imposition.
Efficiency: To understand efficiency as a justification for imposition we have to establish the morality of rules and law. The purpose of law and rules is to agree not to engage in imposing behavior which causes us to be freer with rules than we would be without them. Every rule should prevent more imposition than it imposes, and rules that prevent no imposition are subjective value impositions on liberty. (4) Efficiency is the exception when people are gathered for a purpose like education, or production, where rules increase the efficiency of fulfilling a common purpose, which prevents imposition on time. Although a rule does not prevent imposition, a rule may increase efficiency, which causes people to be freer in the sense that they save time in fulfilling their gathered purpose or gain more of what they are cooperating for in the time. Net liberty is determined by the extent of the imposition the rule imposes compared to the time gained and/or what is gained in output.
Property: People have dominion over their property. When interacting with someone’s property or within someone’s property the owner may impose subjective rules and the person interacting with or within that property can choose not to interact with that person with their property if they do not want to be imposed on.
Deception can be justified based on the consequences of the deception in consideration of net liberty. For example, a person is possessed of marijuana in a state where the possession is prohibited and they are pulled over by a law enforcement officer. The officer asks if they have anything in the car that is illegal. Lying to the officer is morally justifiable because the act of possessing the marijuana does not impose on anyone, and even the consumption of the substance does not promote behavior in the user that produces imposing proclivities. Second, admitting to the possession has the potential to result in imposition on the liberty of the possessor for behavior that is unimposing. Third, the deception does not meaningfully impose on the officer in the distortion of his reality or limiting his opportunity.
4: More will be explained in the following heading but a subjective value imposition is something that a person likes that has no moral basis that they impose on others without a moral basis for advantage or because they don’t like it.
Subjectivity in Morality
Objective morality holds that wrong action is imposing on the liberty of others. Any rule against an action that is unimposing is wrong and isn’t actually morality. It is imposing a subjective value onto others. If for example I don’t like the color red so I say it is wrong for anyone to use the color, this isn’t a moral rule, it is the imposing of a subjective preference onto others. This is the same as any rule that claims to be moral that does not prevent imposition.
Subjective morality or tyranny is typically authority based and often doesn’t function in the decision making process the same as morality does. For example, some religions hold that it is wrong to have sex outside of marriage. The act itself between two consenting individuals imposes on noone, so objectively there is no imposition and the act is right. For an individual presented with that opportunity at the point of intention there may be a negative feeling because the individual has been taught the act is wrong. However, this negative feeling is primarily fear of consequence not necessarily self worth. It is the fear that engaging an act prohibited by their deity will lead to punishment here or beyond by that deity.
Some of the negative feelings may also be moral in the protection of self worth in having committed an act they believe to be wrong. There is still a subtle distinction between a loss of self worth for committing an act that is imposing and a loss of self worth for committing an act that is unimposing. The loss of self worth for committing an imposing act carries with it the knowledge that a person has imposed on someone. The loss of self worth for committing an unimposing act that a person believes is wrong comes from the perception that their deity has a lower opinion of them for committing the prohibited act. Their self worth is influenced by how they perceive themselves being perceived by their deity.
Similarly, subjective morality also comes from people who people have a high value of. Parents typically have a high value to their children. A parent’s moral ideas are transferred to the child. The feelings a person associates with their parents are transferred to the parents moral rules and are adopted and practiced by the child. The child will not commit the act because of how they perceive their parents perceiving them, where disappointment can produce a loss of self worth.
In some respects this kind of morality is less morality and more consequence. In decision making any act that has a negative consequence to other objectives is subject to consequence processing. An act that is morally wrong by way of association with a liked person, is often more about the consequence of the person finding out. A person’s self worth is unaffected by a liked person’s perception of them for committing the act if the person doesn’t find out. The negative feeling imposed at the point of intention is not about a loss of self worth, but fear of consequence of the liked person finding out which could lead to a loss of self worth and other consequences to that relationship.
Subjective morality that begins through association with liked people can become an individual’s morality through practice which leads to internalization. The practice of an unimposing rule in one’s life becomes a source of pride and identity, where at the point of intention a negative feeling is imposed because committing the act will result in a loss of self worth despite the act being unimposing. Sometimes, subjective morality functions the same as objective morality in that violating a rule that has become a source of pride through practice albeit unimposing, produces a loss of self worth.