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Spitballing Session: A Moral Code Development Scale

Saturday January 30, 2021

Can we develop a gauge to guide the development of moral codes and moral behavior?

I think we can, and in doing so maybe we can avoid the trap of becoming too prescriptive too early. That is, maybe we can help guide ourselves to a good outcome without developing just another moral code.

Here is a quick draft scale, moving from primitive and subjective and up to nuanced, broadly effective and more objective:

  1. Single word or single phrase-based moral codes
    1. e.g. “Be charitable”
  2. Collections of such — The Ten Commandments, The Beatitudes
    1. “Also” collections. Mainly additive in creation. For example, “oh and also don’t steal from people.”
  3. Collection-to-Personalization Bridge: Belief Systems that Bridge Codes back down to Subjective Level
    1. A necessary accommodation for when the collection or single-word approach seems to start to condemn individuals left and right…
    2. Jesus: “Neither do I condemn thee—go and sin no more”
    3. Revolutionary swap from “stay on the good side” to “we are all bad, and good”
  4. Transcendence into Moral Code Diversity
    1. An Understanding and Appreciation of Many Codes: From Jesus to Buddha to…
    2. Codes brought together to forge new codes
      1. Some looser than others! Incl. Corporate Mission Statements
    3. Collective Accommodation of Personal Difference
      1. Go and be who you are
      1. Collection of Collective Accommodations of Personal Difference
        1. Go and do what you are; I will do what I am, and in this context we can helpfully reference the story of…
  5. Transcendence of Moral Code Diversity
    1. Why are you who you are? How do you see yourself? Listening and compiling
    2. Why do you do this or that thing? Understanding and analyzing
    3. Many codes are appreciated for being just that: Many & diverse
    4. Giving significant thought to the meta-viewpoint of “what is happening with the ‘us’”
  6. Evolution into Considerate Beings with Periodic Code-reference
    1. Contextual change is easily given significant weight in moral code selection – Group evolution – Differing circumstances
    2. Consideration is easily given to various moral codes
    3. Arrangements are understood to affect specific circumstances
    4. It is understood why no one moral code “wins” over others.
    5. Moral codes can be improvised, but they can also be built for ongoing refinement
    6. The same moral code can be designed to be communicated in different ways, with different reasoning, so that it remains useful across psychologies and contexts.
      1. Creative example: Newly-developed memes and legends
  7. Transcendence of Moral Code Reference
    1. “People should be” is pretty much dead, replaced by narrative exchange, measurement exchange, or other outside-in methods of discovery and contact
    2. At the same time, the best parts of a moral code are brought forward, especially since a moral code mindset may be native to specific humans or evolved humans
      1. All the more important that the best parts are made available to these individuals for encouragement and setting appropriate boundaries for those with whom they make contact

It may be possible for a human to believe they are making it right through this scale, but as a group? We have a long way to go.

Which is a good thing, for a development scale.

OK, enough for now, more later maybe.

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