Hardcore Ethics


This thread is about a model for comprehending ethics and putting it into practice in daily life.

It may be understood as: Ethics for the 21st-Century. And it functions as the keys to the music of life, the good life, the ethical life. It shows how, if at all possible, how to live an enjoyable and trouble-free life; yet is not so much a how-to’ thesis as it is a body of useful and reliable knowledge.

Ethics, from the perspective of this model, is about human development, about good human relations. It is about making things better and doing no harm. Its orientation is not so much about the concept “action” as it is about character. Of course actions will ensue depending upon one’s character. One’s character determines one’s conduct and how one acts.

The model, the frame-of-reference, is known as the Unified Theory of Ethics, or (abbreviated) as Ethics.
A rough outline of it is offered in the paper entitled: The Structure of Ethics. A link to a pdf file of it is given free of charge at the top of the references in the signature below. The booklet is also available for reading on a Kindle, or Kindle app.

After you have read some of the selections in the signature, a good discussion in Moral Philosophy will be the result for you will have digested the ‘food for thought’ that is to be found therein.

All relevant questions and comments are most welcome!

Phyllo informs us that an Anthropologist at Oxford University named Oliver S. Curry, noticed that in numerous cultures around the world “fair distribution of the resources” was what was considered to be moral, and was what prevailed as the ethical norm.

As we work to improve the model for Ethics, by adding new material that will enhance understanding and comprehension, I would like to ask of you, the Reader, what do you mean when you use the word “fair”? How would you define that concept:]fair?

How would you measure “a fair distribution of resources”? By what criteria?

Here is the relevant link to the anthropological findings about a fair division of resources:
qz.com/1562585/the-seven-moral- … -humanity/

Your comments?..

Somebody reads my stuff. I can’t believe it. :open_mouth:

LOL :exclamation: :exclamation:

LOL :exclamation: :exclamation: :exclamation: :exclamation: :exclamation: :exclamation:

I know just how you feel.

Thanks for a good laugh! It was a belly-splitting laugh.

Keep up the good work, friend !!!

Here are some links to recent threads I entered for those who might have missed them, and who want some further background:


On Applied Ethics – topics such as peace, justice, violence, harm, etc.

a new paradigm for Ethical theory:

Meta-Ethics: On the derivations of the basic value dimensions:

If people want to know what is meant by “ethics” then they should read Chapter Two of he Structure of Ethics.
Here is a link to it, safe to open:

myqol.com/wadeharvey/PDFs/TH … ETHICS.pdf

If you get Kindle books for free, and prefer to read it on your desktop Kindle app, or on your Kindle device, go to Amazon.com and in the search box merely type in:
Katz Structure Ethics. That should take you right to the booklet/s cover picture.

Once you’ve had a chance to look at the essay some feedback would be appreciated. What did you think of it? Any suggestions for upgrading it? How take it to the next level?

Let us here know of your review of it. Okay?

Here is an excerpt (quoted by permission), originally inspired by the profound philosopher Robert S. Hartman, the teacher of Dr. Katz, from page 19 of the paper by M.C. Katz. The paper is entitled Basic Ethics:

Questions? Comments? Discussion?

Can i follow this rule alone and be happy or am i dependant on others so it works?

Thank you for a good question!

The obligatory norm mentioned in the earlier post is not a rule; it is a norm one may elect to follow. It is more-relevant to Morality than to other aspects of Ethics.

However, if one wants to be ethical, other people definitely do come into play: The Central Question of Life, of Practicality, and of Logic arises when one encounters others.
It motivates one to inquire (within oneself) "How can I make this a win-win interaction? How can I best be of service? How can I make someone happy, or give them a good laugh to enjoy, relieve them of stress, or help them achieve a worthwhile goal they have, showing them love, while at the same time fulfilling my purpose in life?

This implies that you have selected or found a purpose. This implies you want to live a purposeful life. This suggests you want your life to have meaning, so you intend to live a meaningful life.

To I-value them is to show them love. ‘Intrinsic-value’ is a technical term, an academic term, for ‘love.’ …not so much philia, nor eros, but rather (spiritual aga-p`e) – to employ some Greek words for the process of Intrinsic valuation.
AAnd love can drive out fear.

[We note that many power figures around the world today instill fear as a way of governing.They pursue the “divide and conquer” tactic to maintain power. Where Ethics and Political Science intersect is in the concept that the job of government is to see that its citizens attain increasing opportunity to live higher-quality lives than they did earlier. The criterion is: are the people truly better off than they were before this current administration came into office? And are their prospects for doing so continually getting better?]

What say you??

It sounds possible but it wont be possible to accomplish until something major changes for example low educated people dont have any knowledge of morals and ethics and only act selfish. Some people are just not capable of thinking morally and that at the end it will benefit them also when acting morally. People want everything easy and “now”. There are many moral theories out there but you need the masses to act on them so it works.

Greetings, Kalashnikov

There is much truth in what you say. This presents us with a challenge, a problem to solve.

The Central Question of Life, as well as what I wrote above, puts the focus on you and I personally. “What can I do in this moment …?”

To solve the problem we must educate the non-educated. Show them what is truly in their -and our - true best self-interest: Look for a chance to be kind, keep growing and developing morally, avoid getting corrupt, avoid being a hypocrite, avoid sinking into greed. Greed is worshiping money as a god.

Above all, we are to respect, and even treasure, other individuals, for they are fellow members of our species; they are our support group. We are all members of one family, the human family. Hence, we are all brothers and sisters. …when we see clearly, we know this.

Our responsibility is to translate the concepts and findings in the books and papers by M. C. Katz into language the ‘low-educated people’ can grasp and understand.
Make it all crystal-clear for them. Continue the effort to communicate with them.

I’d like to continue this dialog with you, so please respond. Okay?


There is not much we or anyone can do.
You cant force people into following moral rules or you cant even force people to anything as “freedom” is one of the ultimate aspiration for a human being. People want to believe they are “free” when in fact noone is.

Most moral values have died out since the death of religions or i wouldnt even consider religious people as morally as they only want to do “good” so they please God and go to heaven.

In todays time people dont know why one should be kind, they know that its good for example to help others in need but they dont fully understand “why” one should be good.

Now a question to you, lets say you can make everyone follow your moral rules in a society and they do it voluntary.

Wouldnt this be the same as everyone being one with another as you would know what their motives were and know exatly what actions they would take? What would happen with yourself and individualism? Wouldnt this look like a dystopia as in theory you would be a slave to rules? Your emotions would be gone as they would by time be meaningless as there would be no conflicts between ones will and another one.

Second question, how would you treat children in your society? Can a child be responsible for their actions when they really cant think rationally?

One lie from a child would ruin your whole society as a lie makes you believe in something false which would alter the reality in what you believe to be true.

And a grown up man in this society should sincerely believe everything to be true as lying is immoral.
And to have doubts of other people lying or not, then this means your society never were morally good.

The Unified Theory of Ethics has no rules. Instead it does have suggestions and recommendations. While everyone is obliged to be good, no one is forced to follow any particular suggestion. As you noticed when you read THE STRUCTURE, a list of the suggestions were offered; they are deductions from the system. They follow from the Axiom and from the definition of “Ethics.”

Even if there were a string of Institutes for Ethical Technology across the country, and even if every major university had an Ethics Institute or Values Research Institute there still would be plenty of immoral people. Not every person who needs this knowledge would have gained it. Don’t worry about your imagined dystopia consisting of a world full of ethical people. What a horrible prospect :exclamation: :wink: :wink:

As you likely have guessed, that last sentence in the most-recent post was sarcasm.

Seriously though, complying with the guidelines for living ethically, suggested by the system (offered in the writings selected in the Signature below) will not necessarily prevent grief, missed opportunities, humiliation, or heartbreak. The understanding gained may however aid one in flourishing and having a keen sense of well-being.

Be a cosmic optimist! An optimist seeks out and finds the good in everything. Rather than naming, for example, a broken-down slovenly racehorse " a bad horse", the optimist will designate it “a good nag.” S/he calls a spade a spade. Instead of calling a group of poor houses, “bad,” s/he will speak of them as “a good slum.”" Let’s insteead provide decent affordable housing open to a mixture of subcultures."

What we see in the governing of The United States today is a good mess! It is a good problem to solve. Electing a new President, and members of the senate who genuinely care about people, including the less-fortunate, and who has policy proposals that will help the majority to rise, to gain a Quality Life, may be the answer. Electing as President one who really cares about “the little guy,” may be the best solution.

What do you think? Do you agree?

Speak up.

In the last post, a reference was made to the optimist. Dr. Hartman’s philosophical analysis of this concept is this: an “optimist” is one who names things so that they turn out to be good.

For example: Trump has a good Personality Disorder. It’s a good one! The syndrome includes extreme narcissism, authoritarian tendencies, excessive lying, impulsiveness, opportunism, inability to express guilt or shame, etc.

The worst Ethical violation the U.S. President makes is to live by the notion that the end justifies the means.
A moral end-in-view does NOT justify the use of immoral (or ethically-questionable) means to get there.
[“justify” here is defined as “give good reasons for.”]

How do you feel about this? Do you have any views on the subject?
Is Ethics an interesting topic?
Does the common man, or woman, care about this subject? How best to get them to see the relevance of Ethics to their daily life?

The following text could serve as a Prologue to the booklet (listed as the first recommendation in the list found in the signature) The Structure of Ethics. {Please let me know if you believe it is more-suitable instead as an Epilogue to that treatise.} Here is Part I.


The Wheeling, Illinois Public School District has a program called “Show Kindness.” Here is a quotation with information about it:
“As part of their multicultural literature class, a group of Wheeling High School students raised over $1,500 to donate to Journeys, a local homeless organization.
Since 2012, Christine Pacyk, a Wheeling High School teacher, has run the Compassion Project, which allows high school seniors in her multicultural literature class to research and identify a cause they can support. This year, students chose Journeys

“Monday marked World Kindness Day, and fourth-grade students at Field Elementary School in Wheeling, Illinois did their part by paying a surprise visit to London Middle School to put up cheerful signs and Post-it notes.
Wearing “Be Kind” T-shirts, the Field fourth-graders crossed Dundee Road to visit nearby London, where they will attend grades 6-8. A few London students were in on the surprise and helped the younger Field students as they moved around the building to attach colorful signs and notes to lockers and on walls.”
“At the fourth graders’ suggestion, each class in the school made kindness cards to give to their buddy classroom. Students didn’t know, however, that other classes were also creating kindness cards for a school-wide exchange. The cards were paired with small gifts, like boxes of crayons, keychains, water bottles, or small toys, donated by local organizations.”

“Our students are so kind and thoughtful, and it was incredible to watch them through this process,” said Kate Lapetino, fourth grade teacher at Field Elementary School. “Their excitement was palpable as they were creating cards for their buddies. Seeing the surprise and appreciation on their faces when they realized they had received kindness cards in return was so rewarding.”
“The surprise coincided with World Kindness Day on November 13. Throughout the year, Field students have focused on ways to show kindness through random acts like greeting someone in the hallway, holding open a door, or offering to help. Students track acts of kindness - performed by themselves and others, within and outside of the school - by following #fieldkindness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Generous donations from Indian Trails Library, Wheeling Police Department, Lakeshore Learning, Traffic Tech, and Nanooze Magazines made the kindness surprise possible.”

While it is commendable that the Wheeling Iilinois School District is encouraging and endorsing kindness, let us keep in mind that what people really want is a Quality Life (a QL); what this consists of will shortly be clarified. In order to have a Quality Life kindness is part of it but it is not enough. {The academics would say: “kindness is necessary but not sufficient.”}

What is needed for a QL is kindness plus for each of us to commit to moral improvement throughout all of our life.

Comments? Do you have any questions?

…To be continued.

Part Two

The premiss we Moral Philosophers (using the new parradigm for Ethics) start with is: Make things better! This is the axiom for human development. [For details see the first Reference listed below, namely, The Structure of Ethics.]

There are two components to this.

  1. Make it better for yourself.
  2. Make it better for others.

In order to make it better for yourself your behavior is to more-and-more approximate your image of your ideal self. This happens as you learn more of the moral principles and devote yourself to living them in practice,

You also better yourself as you come to know yourself, to accept yourself as you are (with all your flaws and weaknesses), yet you make the conscious choice to be true to your best self. Then you are to create yourself (i.e., develop your talents, gifts, and capacities.) And then you give yourself. (Express for the world these gifts.) That is the process for truly bettering yourself in this world.

Many kids growing up, if they have not inherited wealth from their parents or guardians, would like to have, to have some money or the things that money can buy. What they need to learn is:

  1. Before you can have you need to do. What does that mean? Before you can have money you need to accomplish something that society finds to be valuable.

  2. Before you do, you need to be. That is to say, before a person can really accomplish something one needs to be true to one’s true self. How? The answer is to keep improving morally throughout one’s lifetime.

What is involved in moral improvement toward the goal of becoming one’s ideal self? It is simple: the more one gains knowledge of moral principles, and the more one lives up to them, one is evolving morally. These principles are not rules; they are merely guidelines.

One may ask: guidelines to what? They are guidelines to a smooth, well-lived life – a trouble-free life, a life with as little aggravation as possible.

Questions? Comments? Observations?

…To be continued … :slight_smile:

Part Three

The above posts told how you ‘make it better’ for yourself: you claim your human rights while keeping in mind that there are no rights without responsibility! Therefore you assume responsibility. You seek it out. You take it on. To say it briefly, you DO. You insist on excellence in your own performance of a task. You want to do it both efficiently and effectively. What is the difference between these two ideas?

To do something efficiently is to do it with the least cost of time, energy, money, and material.

To do something effectively is to put people first and foremost; things and stuff next; and systems, opinions, dogma, and creeds last. (To say that systems have least value is not saying that they have no value.) To be effective is to know your priorities! It is to care about others and avoid disparaging them, degrading them, failing to show them some respect. Give them this respect just because they’re human.

To be effective is to value individuals highly, to get involved, to care and share, to cooperate on a common goal, to work together for a worthwhile end in view.

Note that the Ultimate Goal for a QL is to provide a QL for one and all. For example, one could feed and shelter the homeless. See these websites: habitat.org/volunteer
What is a QL, a Quality Life? It consists of happiness and well-being. (It also means an ethical life. It is living ethically.)

To learn of some basic Moral Principles, see pp. 27-28 of The Structure of Ethics book. See the first link in the Signature below.
To learn more details about the nature of “well-being,” see pages 33-34 of that same document.

How does the kindness principle apply in business?
To learn the properties of an ethical business, see Chapter Five in The Structure booklet.

Why and how Ethics can be, and already is, a science

Moral Psychology uses scientific methods to research matters of concern to Ethics. It requires confirmation of its hypotheses. And it requires evidence. It produces facts, empirical facts. Moral Psychology is a science; and it is the experimental and/or the evidentiary branch of Ethics.
As an example of Ethics research, note the Yale University empirical studies on ethics in babies done by Moral Psychologists.
Do watch the first two videos at each of these links, if you wish to become more-educated!



Be sure to check out and view this video by Sam Harris. HERE:

The theme of it is that science can tell us about human values and about questions of morality. He argues, well and convincingly, along these lines: Science can get us what we value. Science also can answer moral questions….questions about good and bad, right and wrong. Science can give us a foundation for morality.

Note that we don’t have ethical obligations toward rocks. We do have them, though, with regard to human beings. Human beings are creatures who can suffer.

Values, he points out, are special kinds of facts; they are facts about the well-being of conscious creatures. This includes human beings. Our experience is the product of our brain. We can now with Brain Science measure the brain states of humans at different stages of consciousness. While it is true that we do not have compassion for rocks we do, in general, have compassion for creatures who can suffer.

Ethics is concerned with the question: How do human beings flourish? Science informs us that there are right and wrong paths to flourishing. Yes, “well-being” is a concept in flux, exactly the same as the concept “health.” These are evolving notions as we learn more. At one time people lived to the age of 30; now they live to the age of 80. In the area of physical health ignorance has been displaced by understanding. Why can’t this occur in the field of morality? It can.
Given the reality that it is always easier to break things than to fix them, the sciences can offer answers to the crucial question as to how human beings flourish. With regard to the treatment of women, the ideal lies somewhere in between a culture that forces women we wear full burkas and a culture that sees females as merely attractive bodies for men to gain pleasure – displayed on magazine covers at every newsstand.

We need a universal consensus on human values. Ethics and morality help us to explore important matters such as What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? Science informs us about what we can do. It is simply not the case that it has nothing to say about what we ought to do! If we want to experience the peaks in life rather than the sorrowful valleys, science can show us how to get there. It can clearly indicate when we are on a path to well-being, to peak experiences and when we are not.
Sam Harris [size=85](in a TED talk he gave in California.)[/size]

Your comments?


How many of you, reading this, agree with promethean75 who argues that there cannot be a science of ethics, because science is a logical rational activity; and ethics is merely a case of emoting, like sneezing, or shouting" Rah rah," or saying “Boo,” or “Hooray!” It is non-cognitive.

Instead, do you agree with me that there can be a science named Ethics, on a par with the science named Physics. Do you have the vision? Did the previous post carry any weight with you?

This lends further support for the thesis: See

which refers to a British Journal article by a writer named M. Menapace, M.D., Ph.D.

and for an extensive Bibliography, see:

link.springer.com/article/10.10 … 018-0050-4

Are any of you familiar with this book, or are you reading it now?:

M. C. Katz - Ethics as Science.
wadeharvey.myqol.com/wadeharvey/ … CIENCE.pdf

Let us hear you views…on this current topic. Please contribute your opinions or analyses about Ethics.

Is that really a fair summation of his position? Perhaps those are his descriptions, I’d have to go back and check. In any case, I agree that there is not a science of ethics because we cannot differentiate between the axioms of ethics scientifically. We cannot experiment our way to the core values. Once we agree on core values, one can then build rationally, but differing priorities and evaluations will keep ethics from ever being something like Physics. In physics you can measure and measure. But we cannot measure anything to determine if, for example, deontologists are better than consequentialists in their starting points. Nor can we resolve the abortion issue by measuring something. Nor can we use science to resolve the differences between those who think that everyone should be supported and those who take a more social darwinian approach. Why? because these people measure different things. And we cannot prove either side is wrong. We cannot, as in science, falsify various opposed positions.

This doesn’t mean ethics is like sneezing.