How it all makes sense


I’d like to discuss with you something that’s been on my mind lately.
Things make sense when everything fits together.
Therefore, how make things fit?
They fit when they’re compatible.

People are compatible when they agree, share common values, or have reached a consensus on several issues. Thus if we want things to make sense, we will work to figure out on what we can agree; and we will build on that to a wider area of agreement. We will strive to find a consensus.

In practice this means that we will NOT immediately seek what holes we can pick in what someone has said or written. [We will become ‘virtue-finders’ instead of fault-finders.]

…Your views on this topic?

There are initiatives like this. I recently read about one where women actively pro and against abortion had meals together and managed to form friendships, though there was little shifting of the opinions on abortion, If I remember correctly, some of the hatred got sucked out of these particular women’s relations.

Another thing I think of is that in debates one often finds cherry picking.

Like if one is critical of psychiatric overprescription one often immediately gets asked why one would deprive a schizphrenic of their meds. IOW a situation is treated as binary when it is not. Perhaps, as you say, both sides could agree one some areas of over medication, before they tackle tougher issues. This could be part of a virtue finding discussion or it could simply be a good rule of thumb within fault finding discussions: try not to make everything binary, unless it truly is.

It is unpleasant to immediately have holes pointed out (or posited). On the other hand, this is a philosophy forum, so assertions of ideas are pretty much asking to have their faults found.

So to find virtue in this OP, I would say that it is good if one can, in addition to pointing out faults, to also mention areas of agreement. If one only focuses on faults, then the discussion can get toxic fast.

But then one could also argue that you then can role model this and
find virtue
in fault finding posts.

Show us how it is done.

The moment you paint fault finding posts as a problem, you are joining in the fault finding. And if one is writing a book, one knows the people to go to get stroked. The internet presents people who will show how the reader you do not know disagrees, finds the argument weak

and this can strengthen the book or argument.

And then I am not sure there should be a rule. If one thinks the argument itself is toxic, it becomes an empty ritual if one says this or that small piece is good, but the rest is horrible and dangerous.

We have to expect strong critical reactions, if things are stated as the way things are, or what is good. If we open a thread with something like…

I have been mulling over X, and i wonder if…


Let’s explore X. I have some thoughts and am tending towards thinking…

That is, tentitive, openly exploratory, requests for collaboration type openings.

Now you, in particular may think this is how you approach the forums. YOu certainly ask for feedback, are polite, etc. And I would guess you see me as fault finding, rather than virtue finding, fair enough.

The context seems to be someone marketing their book/system. And my experience has been that there is more a presentation of a flexibility on your part, rather than a real flexibility. It has come off as if you have found answers and if we are more fundamentally skeptical, then we don’t get it. Fine. Who isn’t like that at some level, all of us convinced of at least some things we believe in and stubborn about that.

But once one is presenting a system to others as the best or true, it is pretty much a given that this will end up being a fault finding situation. Unless one can easily separate out particulars to like. But once a system is presented, those faults are tied to the virtues. One cannot pick and choose. Does the system actually present a way forward? If not, and I am afraid I don’t think yours does - whether I am correct or not - then my reactions need to be about the faults. I might agree about a specific instance, like the Mall example, months ago. IOW, it was possible, though in that specific case, I didn’t agree. Now, you accepted the criticism, at first, but I think there were systematic problems with the approach. Large blind spots, partly because of how things can look neat in the abstract, but in practice are not so neat. Partly because I think the system you present is not getting at core issues. Certainly if everyone just agreed to follow the ideas in it, tensions in the world would reduce. But that would be true if pretty much any ethical system became the rule for everyone.

What if, to make an actual positive contribution to society you need to rethink at a fundamental level?
What if that is the case?

If that is the case, then us finding virtues is enabling and putting off your dealing with a fundamental set of changes in your idea, both in presentation and content.

I think that is the case. I don’t think you are close to a solution. And I don’t think you are close to knowing how to apply whatever virtues are currently present in your ideas.

I might be wrong. But if I am correct, then the best possible thing is that you deal with fault finding, take it seriously and go back to the drawing board. Or even better, go to a homeless shelter or protest site or some other charged conflict situation, and try to apply your ideas, and see how it goes. Because to me it sounds like you have lovely ideals on paper and are upset that other people do not accept these ideals.

Perhaps you are right. But I think, then, if you are right, then go directly to application. Show the world how these ideas work in concrete situations, problem solving conflicts and conflicts based on value differences. Then the book will catch on.

If you view our criticism as simply not getting how great the ideas you have are, then the criticism will remain as the main response.

hey that’s the reality of it, thinkdr. i’ve gotten to the point where i dislike someone so much i go looking for ways to make them wrong. it’s like i’m a walking ad hominem machine, dude. and it may even be by the merits of the argument alone, that it’s wrong, but i don’t even care about that. i’m totally motivated by my contempt first… and then i just happen to find a bad argument. if i don’t find one, i’ll make it a bad argument. it’s crazy dude. i need therapy.

Here is a book I can whole-heatedly recommend – not just for you, but for everyone
Susan Packard - FULLY HUMAN (NY: Penguin Books, 2019) … merReviews

It presents Ethics as I wish I had presented it.


Democrats think that concent is a very important thing.
Culturally this was a reaction to despotism.
Now despotism is gone, and the democrats remain.
They do what they do best, oppose things.

It is very reassuring to hear that! Benedict Donald invites the President of Hungary, tells him what a good friend and role-model he is; does the same for the head of the human-god cult leader in North Korea, looks forward to a warm chat with the strongman dictating to the Russians, and admires the smooth operation of the new head-man in Brazil, and of Erewhon in Turkey.

It is easy to get the impression that we are in the U.S.A. directly heading toward an authoritarian society. {I would love to be wrong about that, but I have to go with the evidence, and where it is pointing.}

The current occupant of public housing, the one who is bankrupt of ideas and policy plans and who has been literally bankrupt so many times in his life, who now resides in a White house, will readily declare martial law if he is a wartime president; and he will become a wartime president if he can manage to foment a war close to the time of the next election. He will declare we are at war - without the consent and advice of Congress, since he has violated so many other norms of government and civics, so as to set new, morally-questionable, precedents. This tells us who he is.

Let us be careful that you and I do not - as DJT has and does - live by the belief that any means to an end, one that benefits us personally, is okay, and is justified.
If we are in pursuit of a moral end-in-view then the use of immoral means will spoil the whole process. Ethics teaches us to be fussy about the means we employ. To hold that “anything goes,” as our potential dictator does, is to be ignorant incompetent, malicious, or worse.


I might add to what I said earlier, in the o.p.

It’s all in your head, hands and heart.

That is to say, it is in your thinking, your practicality in getting noble things done, and in your empathy, compassion, understanding, and kindness …your willingness to be of service, your assuming of responsibility; also, your generosity, cosmic optimism, wanting to lift up the little guy, empower him and her from the bottom up, rather than depending upon the philanthropy from the top down.

Help others to rise !!!

We often hold ourselves back, get in our own way. However, if you remember that you may have a full, enjoyable and meaningful life, one that makes a difference, you will realize that the answer is in your head, your hands, and, especially, your heart.

[b]Thank you, karpal, for your constructive suggestion.

Actually, in Chapters Four and Five of The Structure of Ethics [which is the first selection below] I have given quite a few applications of the Unified Theory of Ethics, which is the theory presented in that booklet. In the future I will go to the applications more directly, as per your wise council.

Comments? Questions? Critiques?[/b]

Thanks for the recommendation. Susan Packard - FULLY HUMAN. I’ll put that on the list of books I’ll never read.

I got one for ya. Try this out… … 048644581X

But first, an admission from the author:

“Do I write out of love to men? No, I write because I want to procure for my thoughts an existence in the world; and, even if I foresaw that these thoughts would deprive you of your rest and your peace, even if I saw the bloodiest wars and the fall of many generations springing up from this seed of thought — I would nevertheless scatter it. Do with it what you will and can, that is your affair and does not trouble me. You will perhaps have only trouble, combat, and death from it, very few will draw joy from it.” - Max Stirner

Hi, there

I agree with Max Stirner. In this book he chronicles the battle of the individual against the collective — showing how, throughout history, the latter invariably leads to oppression. Yes, he is right.

What the Unified Theory of Ethics recommends is the building of a sense of community, an inclusiveness; an awareness that we are all in the family: the family of the human species. There are no strangers. We all are fallible beings who commit many errors all the time. Some 2% of us have criminal minds, although Trump, as a role model, may have increased that number in the USA., for he is a skilled con-artist with a Malignant Personality Disorder. Most of us are handicapped in some way. We must emphasize humility and forgiveness. Don’t “put others down” unless they are in a high office, in power. Then satire is okay.

Let us not confuse the concept “collective” with the concept “community.” The former is a Systemic or Extrinsic way of looking at a group; the latter is the Intrinsic perspective when viewing a group of people. (Similarly, when one speaks of “society,” that is a Systemic evaluation of a group of individuals. (…each of which is unique - if one knows one’s Ethics.)

Also let’s not confuse “individualism” with “individuality.” The former is merely Extrinsic value, while the latter is Intrinsic value. (The Systemic-value correlates are “conformity” and also “uniformity.”

For further details see the chart on pp. 64-66 at this link: … ETHICS.pdf

Questions? Comments? Additions?

What follows may be of interest. The words are spoken by a character named Nick on p. 49 of an essay I wrote nine years ago. Here is a link to the original booklet itself: … ETHICS.pdf

:According to the findings of the science of Physical Anthropology humans are animals. We are playful bipeds who love our games, our sports, and love solving puzzles;who speak advanced tongues; who write poetry and compose funky pictures; film movies; who reflect on our own reflections, who define ourselves,

We have vivid, even over-powering imaginations.5 We can go insane. We project goals. We have desires, andprinciples, and as far as we know (or don’t know) so do other animals. We do have a talent for putting others into cages and, at times, for doing incredibly-stupid things for no good reason. Humans are distinguished from other animals by our versatility due to brain size.

Thus we can write, we can use complex speech and evolve subtle languages. We are capable of expressing abstract, and at times imaginative, thoughts. Some of these thoughts result in inventions – both musical and technological.

  • 49 -Other animals do not have the brains for ethics (and at the moment it seems that many humans don’t either! This, though, can change in a relatively-short period of time, as education and instructional techniques become more effective, and as new generations evolve.)

There is a sector in the architecture of the human brain that controls the use of our hands. Finger manipulation and the opposable thumb is lacking in other creatures. We have also developed more tools - such as, for instance, computer programs and robots. Furthermore we have cultural evolution with elaborate rituals and advanced systems of Mathematics and Logic. Does all this make us superior to those animals who do not have these attributes? Hardly.

Those of you who have a pet as part of your family – whether a cat, dog, horse, bird or hamster - will agree readily that your pet is superior to many humans you have known.

Your comments are welcome !!

I have learned something new today. I am glad to share it with you.

Those of you who see how it all makes sense because you are aware of the web of life and of the orderly universe (or multiverse); and you see the connections between nature and life on the planet; you understand Ecology …you are in balance. You appreciate how cause leads to effect and how spontaneity often results in creativity - and how creative design results in a more-comfortable life. You have peace. However, if you overvalue, or if you undervalue this human condition, you DO NOT have peace.

If you undervalue it, you are no longer in balance. You are prone to complaining, kvetching, being grumpy, or being angry. You often lose your peace.

If you over-value peace, you also are out of balance: you tend to be trapped in your own ideas; you are dogmatic, rigid, you insist on being “right.” It causes problems in your life. People avoid you because you tend to be argumentative, inflexible and unrelenting.

So stay in balance. Neither overdo nor under-do. This quality is known as Prudence – or the Golden Mean. If we can achieve balance in life, we are at peace.

Your comments are welcome !!

I realize that this isn’t the political forum, but after reading your opening thought, I felt the need to ask a question (I tend to be far too curious).

Are you aware of, and I strongly suspect not, those who strongly want for disagreement throughout society. Some push the impetus for disagreement for political, power seeking, reasons, but most simply feel the urge to disagree and seek disagreement without ever considering why.

What is called the “liberal” political party are comprised of those who hate agreement and structure of any kind. And realize that liberals in the West comprise nearly half of the entire population.

So it seems to me that you are asking those who love to hate, to change into those who love to love - and without giving them any heart felt reason for such an extreme change of values and character. “Fault-finding” is what they love. And you are asking them to hate what they love most and embrace what they hate most.

If their perspective of virtue is the opposite of what you propose, why should they listen to you? It is easy to predict that they simply will not, because you haven’t propose any heart felt reason for them to reverse their life long dreams of conquering through disruption. Asking them to become virtuous is no different than asking you to become hatefully evil. What are the chances?

So why do you propose what cannot happen? You might as well propose “The Green New Deal”.

I have had the same reaction to his threads. It has seemed to me as if they are founded on the idea that, really, deep down, we all agree and have the same values, so it’s just a matter of rationally laying out how to achieve the society we all really want. But that is not my experience. I experience people as having fundamentally different values. Some for example actually prefer chaos and violence. That’s an extreme, but not insignificant minority. Then there are all sorts of splits over even how to sit, stand, communicate, raise children, have or not sex, how to be a woman or man, what the goals are, how to achieve greatness and what that is. And these are based on axioms and preferences that are not reconcilable via rational argument. But for him it is a science.

George Soros is probably laughing his ass off.

I write about Ethics for those who already do share my core values but who, like the rest of us, do not always manage to live up to the best they know. At times they, and I, need a little reinforcement, and encouragement, and reminding.

I believe it is useful to strengthen those who already are, for the most part. of good character. They need to build on, and perhaps add to, their cognitive assets.

Further, maybe someone who holds the word “liberal” low on their scale and I, [who avoids using such an ambiguous word] do agree on some important values, and on the policies that might follow from those values. One way to learn if this is so is to engage in a dialog with them.

My impression, currently, of many Republicans is that they don’t care to protect the vulnerable, the poor, the handicapped [–aren’t we all, in some way ?!] and the unlucky. Their attitude is: “hard work, merit, make lots of money, and in this way earn my respect! We are superior to those weak lazy bums …the commoners, the unskilled, the menial workers, the simple ones.” {Note the Us-versus-Them meme…}. These “conservatives” may likely deny that they feel this way but they do.

The intellectual Republicans - whose who can actually think - are now “never Trump” - for they do care a bit, they do share some values with Democrats. The wisest of the Rs - treasuring the value and the privilege of the franchise - even voted last time around for Hillary (a D). They knew their ethics to the extent that they early on recognized Trump as the conniving conman that he is.
Now they are appalled at the tremendous danger to the democratic way of life that he has caused. They are shocked at all the damage he has done to trust, to respect for government, to belief in law and order, to democracy itself.

I am for the Green New Deal, as vague as it now is, for I am keenly aware of the harm that The Climate Crisis brings. …fires, floods, tsunamis, typhoons, extreme hurricanes, polar vortices, rising sea levels, release of Methane into the atmosphere that previously stayed in the oceans. I can, so far, take the oppressive heat, but many people now will wish they lived in a cave, where it is cooler. T
hat mentally-disabled guy in the White House pulled the U.S.A. out of the Paris Climate Accords, which, as inadequate as it is, at least got the world a teeny-bit closer to a solution to this problem: of near-extinction of the human species and the desecration of our habitat.

The problem of Greenhouse gasses itself results from our slowness to convert to Renewable Green Energy. Pres. Carter pushed for this conversion way back, in the 1970s (in a 'fire-side chat from the Oval Office), but virtually-no-one listened.

Holding up to view an ideal, as something at which to aim, is not such a bad thing to do. Even if we fall short of reaching such high goals, we are at least able to make some progress - by keeping our eyes on the prize! :exclamation:

— Thomas Jefferson

p.s.I got this Jefferson quotation from this site, a page very-much worth reading and supporting:

I believe in providing more opportunity. Let’s help others to rise !!!

Please tell us your views on these matters…

Let us hear from you, even if you did not like the previous post :exclamation:

Surely you must have at least thought of a question, with respect to the new paradigm for ethical understanding - namely, the Unified Theory of Ethics, which is presented, in part, in the References below. It is a theoretical model, widely applicable to real-life problems, which offers moral clarity about “which way is up.” It is designed to sharpen your sense, your moral sense, your ethical intuition.

Did it succeed in awakening conscience, in improving Ethical insight?

They can also ignore the findings of Physics about gravity; they can jump off a high roof and for fun glide through the air like a bird. I am informing people about reliable knowledge in the fields of Human Development, Human Relations, and Ethics. No one is forced to listen to it or to comply with it. Is it possible though that if they ignore it, they will have a less full and satisfying life than if they took it to heart, took it seriously. I am shedding light on the components and ingredients of well-being, human flourishing: how to achieve a Quality Life.

Go ahead and ignore it, if you wish. As a result, youmay have more chaos, more hate, more destructiveness, more quarrels and violent disagreements. It’s your free choice. Myself, I will go by what science teaches. {I get the impression that you, nor K,T haven’t read the latest booklet, THE STRUCTURE OF ETHICS.}
…It’s not about me. It’s about how one gains moral health, and how to gain more of it.

Some choose to be healthy, live long, and enjoy every drop of life. They enjoy being themselves. Others are uncomfortable, anxious, filled with hate, and curse the day they were born. Which you choose is up to you.

Comments? Questions? Discussion? Dialogue?

Yes, I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. I meant, instead of trying to convince people via the internet, actually go to situations in the real world and solve problem. As a mediator, for example. IOW people will be much more likely to accept the ideas if they experience the ideas solving actual conflicts and situations out in the world, involving specific people. Perhaps you do this and perhaps this is what is described in those two chapters, but I am guessing it is more applied in the abstract. I just did a quick skim and it looks that way to me. Words on a page can seem to be incredibly effective. The test of a process/set of ideas is how it plays out in the field.

When you write this…

You are missing his point that what you are asking people to do is shift their values. And this is very different from Physical laws. If they are not different from physical laws, then it should be fairly easy to demonstrate in practical conflict situations where values are clashing.

At one point in this thread you say you are just trying to help people who share core values.

This would be what you consider to be good character.

But at other points in these threads of yours and in booklets like ‘we can all get along’ you seem to be promising something more radical. Most people are not going to react to the idea that people who share the same core values can get along. So it seems pretty clear to me you are presenting a solution to value differences and conflict in general.

What the other poster and I have been reacting to is because of the latter claim. We think that people do not all share core values, in fact there are some broad splits out there - not just some 2 percent criminal faction - but large groups with different values. And that science and rationality cannot bridge that gap. Now, of course, one should not give up, and dialogue can help and one can find commonalities. It’s not an either or response I have. But in relation to larger claim, that you can actually bridge gaps between people who do not seem, at the very least to share values, I would need to see real world results.

I believe you mentioned your age somewhere and that it was rather high up there. Perhaps this inhibits you from getting out in the trenches, so to speak. But in that situation, find an apprentice. Or try to do internet mediation using your ideas. IOW still show people that it can actually bridge gaps.

What I have seen mainly is someone I would put, generally, on the liberal side of values (not saying there are not conservative values in there also, since these two groups are not mutually exclusive). They are not the values held, for example by vast swathes of religious people. They don’t include the values of a large percentage of the people with power, even the ones who supposedly care for the poor like the Clintons. These people do not consider themselves beholden to law and procedure that they expect other people to follow. Nor, do, say, the Bushes.

You often write as if your values are on the self-evident side. Well, sure, they are to you. And people with other values feel the same way about their values.

Bridging that gap is not easy and a lot of incredibly smart people have tried and look at things out there now.

If you have the more humble goal that is quoted first above, dealing with people who share the same values, well, sure that sounds believable, but not so critical and not quite what you are claiming elsewhere.

If you put this into practice working with strangers who have a harsh rift and can repeat it, it will get noticed, and then people will read your booklet.

Tell us that we are choosing chaos and hate by not reading your booklet is just not convincing. And it isn’t the case. Noticing that the problem is deeper than you seem to realize is not choosing chaos, it is facing unpleasant truths, from where I sit at least.