an ethical ideal

2018-10-19
2020-05-18

motivation

This page acts as a rudimentary exploration into what could perhaps be considered an aspect or adaptation of Advaitic thought. It is also an homage to some of the awe-inspiring spiritual, theological, and rational arguments made in metaphysics and tries to make sense of a few of the underlying strands of thought. The ultimate goal though is to seek a solid foundation for general human righteousness, justice, and morality.

Rather than starting by questioning particular mental or behavioral contexts, ie. seek "ethical solidity" in a bottom-up manner, this page approaches it top-down: ie. tries to base ethical truth in the general attitude that stands in relation to the broad context of being alive and being human. The exploration therefore aims to demonstrate that to be alive and human is the ground of ethical reality from which more particular approaches may be systematically developed.

disclaimers

Though set out in axioms and propositions, the following statements are not yet composed with strict logical rigor. Propositions do not necessarily follow from preceding ones. The bullet points serve not as complete proofs, but more as pointers to further details or related notions.

This page is a work in progress.

axioms

A1. "Existence Axiom" / "Ontological Axiom" / "The Axiom". In terms of ethics, the only truth of which one can be totally and consistently certain is that "everything exists". What is the same, and perhaps more adequate, is the phrase "all is".

propositions

P1. The nature of everything's existence cannot be described in any other way than that it is total, universal, eternal, uniform, and unqualified.

P2. When one tries to reject, divide, extend, or limit the Axiom, one is necessarily met with ethical and rational uncertainties.

P3. The Axiom cannot be consciously ignored; it can only be in awareness or not be in awareness.

P4. The only action one can take with ethical certitude is two-fold: first to be aware of the Axiom, then to clarify and interpret the Axiom.

P5. To maximise the awareness, clarification, and interpretation of the Axiom in any given situation constitutes the set of highest/best actions an individual can take.

P6. To grasp, experience, and be fully aware of the Axiom constitute the set of best actions.

P7. All other actions can be judged by: the degree to which they aim at the set of best actions; the depth or strength of clarification, interpretation, and awareness from which an action has sprung; or the harmony of conditions that bring forth a resulting action.

P8. Questions of gradation, degree, variation, and judgment, as they relate to good action and good self, arise only with incomplete understanding and perception of the Axiom.

P9. Gradation (in the quality of actions) and the totality (inherent in the Axiom) seem incommensurable and opposed. But this dichotomy lies also in the very nature of the Axiom. To be precise, the Axiom associates the truth of existence with a semblance of that truth. In other words, the Axiom refers to an ineffable wholeness that can be communicated only through finite symbols.

The association of gradation of action, on the one hand, and the totality of existence, on the other, therefore represents the striving towards goodness. Such striving is assumed to be equivalent to the wording of the Axiom. In other words, as far as the Axiom has been expressed, communicated, or uttered, the effort towards good action, or at least the possibility of that effort, necessarily follows.

P10. The set of best actions or, what is the same, THE best action, is equal to existence itself (where "existence itself" refers not to the "oblivious progression of merely existing" but more to the "embodiment of existence as that which is total, universal, eternal, uniform, and unqualified").

P11. Performance of the best action implies that the best self is performing it.

P12. Graded self is that which performs graded action. That is to say, the graded self is that which has not fully grasped or experienced the Axiom.

P13. Definition is the rejection of the Axiom.

P14. A geometric metaphor shows the correspondence between self and action and then the translation from graded to best (ie. from partial to total).

ethics-sphere

WIP

b.agaric.net/page/ethics