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Right And Wrong

January 22, 2007

Hear why I believe the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ can easily leady to confusions of mind.

I need to say at the outset that what I’m about to say can be very easily misunderstood.  I’m not about to argue that ethical principles lack importance.  I completely agree that how you treat and interact with others is of paramount importance.  More of where I’m  going with this pertains to the futile search for ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.  I believe if you’re looking for the perfect, immutable decision to make in any situation — that Christlike decision Jesus or God himself would make — you’re not going to find it.  You’ll never be sure that you’ve found that principle.  Nothing has certainty.

If your mind is not very keen, you might not get the subtle arguments I’m about to make, but nonetheless, I’m going to try to tell you my views on ethics.  I plan to show that the distinction people have with right and wrong, as well as truth, easily lead to mental confusion.  These mental confusions typically lead people to waste a lot of mental energy. Even worse, fanatics beliving in some a priori or divine revelation of ethics…nasty business.

I’d like to state Kant’s deontological ethics, and speak on Aristotle’s Ethics — but I think it may be easier if we avoid principles at the moment and just get into some examples.  I get this feeling, when I talk to people, that they think I have no touch with reality and lack ‘common sense’ sometimes.  I can see many people reading this now, eyes bulging, thinking — “My God – now Jason doesn’t even believe in right and wrong!”  What I’m arguing is much more subtle than that.   You may think I’m arguing “you can never be sure whether you’re right or wrong” — but that’s not what I’m saying.  Your whole concept of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ is a muddled confusion to begin with.  “Truth” is a confusion.  “Absolutes” are confusions.  Reality, as well as mind, are infinitely moldable.  Your mind can believe literally anything — and reality can logically exist in any fashion.  All energy making up our universe can be transmuted into any other form if you only knew how to do so.  What I want to argue, is that if you BELIEVE you can change ANYTHING in the univerise into ANY FORM, knowledge will just come to you as to how to accomplish what it is you’re desiring.

Green grass, if exposed to heat can be turned into ash.  This ash then, if put back in the ground can once again become grass once again.  This alchemy – this amazing transformation of things from one form, into another, and back again — or into anything else you want, is infinitely variable.  Key is — if you know how.  If a person desires knowledge, it just comes to them.  Whatever it is that sparks interest in the mind, whatever that unfathomable source of what it is behind our desires (call it free will if you want), leads the human mind to be able to achieve literally anything.

You may argue scepticism against me.  How can you know the world is infinitely variable?  I ask, how do you know it’s not?  The more science we’ve learned, the more we’ve learned to manipulate the environment into anything we want it to be.  The sceptic fails to defeat my argument.  The scientist, believing he’s found immutable laws of physics or mathematics — if you study the history of science, you’ll find all these ‘laws of physics’ continually changing and being refined.  They’re not laws, but tentative beliefs based on observed experience.

Every scientist who has stepped out in faith, has come to find ways to solve some problem he was wondering — learned to change reality from one form into another form they desired.

I believe this cycle will continue.

It’s hard to conceive what “truth” would be, or “the way it is” if it’s all infinitely variable.  If nothing is immutable, and there is always a way to change things if you desire and know how…I better go back to the beginning before everyone thinks I’ve lost it… (Yes, what I was saying is relevant to ethics, or any pursuit for unchanging principles or laws)

Let’s give a few ethical (and even non-ethical) dilemmas, and see what you believe is the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ thing to do in a particular situation.

Sick Wife on her deathbed:
A man, Smith, is married to a woman, Ann, who is on her deathbed, sick with a disease that will soon kill her if not treated.  Smith and Ann live in a remote rural area, and there is only one pharmacy within any considerable distance.  Smith goes to this pharmacy and  tells the pharmacist his situation – ‘If my wife does not get this medication you have, she will die.’  The pharmacist then says, ‘I understand your situation, but you will still have to pay for the medication.’  Smith, quite unfortunately, does not have enough money to pay for the medication.  The pharmacist, because he has never seen Smith before, and has his own bills to pay, says he cannot give Smith the medication on credit.  Smith hangs around until the pharmacy closes.  The pharmacist drives off, Smith breaks into the pharmacy, steals the medication, and administers the drug to his wife, and saves her life.

Gay dancers in Christian establishment:
My friend Shanna once asked me an ethical problem she had in a Christian college ethics class.  She was asked what she would do if she ran a Christian establishment which had food, drinks, and an area to dance.  In comes two gay guys who start dancing and kissing on each other.  What do you do?

Business Owner:
A business owner makes millions, or even billions of dollars off the labors of his workers.  Is this wrong?

Math problem:
We’ve all heard that 2 + 2 = 4.  What if you go to ask someone and they say 2 + 2 = 5 or 6?  Are they wrong?

As far as I’m concerned, all of these problems are the same exact dilemma.  How can a math problem be the same problem as a sick wife on her deathbed, or gay dancers?  I’ll state you the cold reality of the situation:  All there is in life, is what you want.  Desire.  Free Will. What you want, and what other people want.

Don’t be quick to discredit what I’m saying though.  I’m not saying we can live together without morals.  What I’m talking about is the metaphysical reality of the situation.  I’m talking about the subtle ontological query for what really exists.  Substantially, all I can find is the seeming observance that people can do anything they please.  Sure there’s materialistic and deterministic positions.  As far as I can tell though, all are speculative in nature.  Whether free will exists or not is more of a thing believed in.  If we knew we had free will, people would not be arguing in countless universities that it lacks existence.  Knowledge of free will is not some innate knowledge existing within a person.

That’s it.  Will is everything.  What do you want?  That’s it.  You can choose to believe you’re powerless to omnipotent — and that’s what you will become.  People can do anything they choose.  Whether such principles such as ‘justice’, ‘right’, ‘wrong’, etc, actually exist, is a good question (though a futile quest).  I believe it to be more of a question of ‘What do you want’ though.  I’ll compare my view, toward views of other philosophers, and views you commonly hear people say.  In order to keep things from becoming too abstract, we’ll apply these various views to the ethical problems stated.

Sick Wife on her deathbed:
You’re bound to hear conflicting views on this problem.  Some people believe the husband was in the ‘right’ saving his wife.  Others feel that stealing is ‘wrong’, no matter what the circumstances.  There’s even a third group who would say the husband was both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ at the same time.

Person 1: It was ‘right’ to save his wife.
You’ll hear something to the effect: a person’s life is more important than any monetary concerns the pharmacist may have.  In fact, these people go so far as to say the pharmacist was in the ‘wrong’ for not providing the medication to the desperate husband.  Almost like the pharmacist is indirectly murdering the wife in whom he has power to save.

Person 2: It was ‘wrong’ to save his wife.
These people argue that people can not just follow their whims and passions every time they come up – there must be an established social order.  There’s no limits to the ends of people breaking into establishments every time some dear object to them is endangered.  What if it was not his wife, but yet his dog?  Say the dog meant more to him than his wife.  Would it be right for him to break into the veterinary clinic to steal medications for his dog?  If people are allowed to get away with stealing, our world will go to hell in a basket in no time.  Not to mention people lying about the importance of the object in which they are stealing for.

Person 3:
These people argue that the saving his wife was good, yet the stealing is still stealing, regardless of how you look at it.  The circumstances (his wife’s deathbed) should certainly be mitigating circumstances when he is punished, but still, he should be punished in order to keep order in the government of the social order.  The government should ensure that the pharmacist is reimbursed for all damgages done to his establishment, paid for the medication, and maybe even extra money for the trouble.  The man who stole should be punished with whatever government laws any other person would experience stealing under any circumstances.  Saving his wife should be a greater reward for him than the punishment he receives, therefore he still makes out in the end.

My opinion:
My views may come across as very cold.  Every mindset a person has toward anything leads to a set of corresponding consequences.  The more you understand each and every mindset, and understand the corresponding reality that it produces, the more you are capable of judging an ethical situation accurately and with prudence. Thinking in terms of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are only confusions.  All three of these people, if you were to ask them whether they think they are ‘right’ — they’d all tell you “Yes!  Of course I’m right!”  Many people, in these situations, look for a ‘perfect’ decision, and some even think they know the perfect decision.  ‘Perfect’, however, when closely examined, all depends on what a person wants.  God may want one thing.  You may want another thing.  Somebody else, something else.  God’s view would probably be best, but he doesn’t seem to be around to help out in our human affairs, so this leaves us with just what normal, everday people, want.  What I want you to notice about each of these three people, is that each seems varying in their constructive ability to imagine and understand each person’s position.  Person 3, is speaking most sensibly.  Many people believe they can judge ethical problems just by being “a good person”.  If you’re a good person, you’ll know the ‘right’ thing to do.  Just follow your ‘conscience’.  The harder the ethical problems, you’ll watch these so called ‘common sense’ ethics fall to pieces.  If a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong’ answer exist, it’s beyond human knowledge to know the ‘perfect’ decision to make anyways.  It takes studying the situation, and wisdom to make wise decisions, not just a good motive.

But what makes a decision wise?  The real situation is this.  The more you understand the consequences of each mindset, and what reality each would lead you to, the more likely you are to make a wise ethical decision.  Person 1 does not understand justice.  He does not realize that if people were allowed to steal, there’d be no end to it.  You can’t punish one person for stealing, then let another person off for stealing.  Person 2 realizes you can’t steal, but still hasnt’ been educated very much in ethical issues.  Whenever you picture a crime, you need to imagine EVERY LITTLE THING that went on.  How does a guy break into a place?  He breaks down a door.  Busts out windows.  The pharmacist’s establishment has been vandalized, and he needs reimbursed for such damges.  It’s core in ethical situations to imagine every detail of the situation at hand.  You’ll notice though, ‘common sense’ individuals, even though they’re ‘good’ people, don’t think of these things.  It’s not that they wouldn’t agree with you if you brought it up.  It’s the fact that they don’t even think of it to begin with.  If there’s not someone around to think of it, who understands the situation more vividly, you end up with injustices. The more vividly you can reconstruct the situation and vicariously place yourself in everybody’s position, and understand exactly how the event has effected everyone, the more qualified you are to make an ethical decision.

There’s more to say on this.  The reality of the situation – people can live however they want to.  If you and all the others living among your number agree to a certain terms of living, that’s that.  You can punish stealing, or you can not punish stealing.  You can let a man off the hook in such circumstances, or punish him.  You can have the pharmacist punished if you want him to be, or not punished if you do not want him to be.  The pharmacist can be reimbursed if you want him to be, or not reimbursed if you do not want him to be.  You can even make the husband a hero, give him lots of money, and hang the pharmacist in a public spectacle.   What do you want to do?  It’s your choice, not anyone else’s.  Just remember, each choice you make, whatever it may be, has corresponding consequences.

The situation is really that simple.  Now what would I want?  I examine the consequences of each view.  I seem to think Person 3’s argument best.  If I were to own an establishment, I do not want people able to break into my place, completely unpunished,  for any reason.  In this ethical situation, I would have tried to ascertain as best I could the truthfulness of the man’s claim.  If the pills were relatively inexpensive, I would have let him have them on credit.  If the situation seemed very geniune, and circumstances permitted, I would have travelled myself to administer the drug to his wife if my expertise could have helped.  I’m sympathetic to all people’s views actually, but I also understand that at times you have conflicts of interests and must establish order.  In such a situation, that is what I would want someone to do for me as well.  I believe the husband should try as best he could to repay me, especially if it hurt my business to help him in these circumstances.  He should also pay for all damages done to my establishment.  His problems are not neccessarily my problems.  What if I became the ‘hotspot’ for such occurences and averaged 2 husbands per day whose wives were on their deathbed?  Furthur imagine that no one else in the entire world would help out and this entire burden was thrown on me.  There would hit a point to where I no longer wish to be so involved.  It’s easy to treat each situation with such care and thought, when they do not happen frequently.  You’ll notice that those who frequently experience traumatic situations, such a a doctor in an emergency room – your situation can be dire, and they may come off cold – but that’s just how things get when a lot is thrown on someone.

This is just WHAT I WOULD WANT, and HOW I WOULD DO THINGS.  Life does not revolve around me, however.  There are men out there who do not want to deal with everybody else’s problems, and I respect that.  You’re not obligated to go out of your way for me.  I wish you would, and I believe the world would be better if you would (if not in excess), but you do not have to – that’s your choice.  Of course, equally, I do have to let you live anywhere near me if you do not agree to live a certain way.  People can live any way they please, and as long as they have the physical force to upkeep their order, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop that.

This may come off as me saying ‘might makes right’.  I’d prefer we not use the word ‘right’ at all.  What do you want?  What do I want?  Can we make that work?  We should try to let people live their lives freely.  Every view a person holds has consequences.

When I hear the word ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ come out of a person’s mouth, I, like Wittgenstein, translate that into ‘I approve’ or ‘I disapprove’.  Try it and see.  It will clear up much confusion of mind.

I may hear ‘What about an insane dictator with immense power enforcing his will on everyone else?’  Most of the time the power of the dictator is derived from those following him, who do not even like him.  Kill him, get rid of him.  If he won’t change, and you do not like him, get rid of him.  If he does not agree to live with the common decency all the rest of us agree to live under, kill him.  Only point to keep in mind on this:  Do not ever single out anyone when it comes to such punishments.  They cannot be feeling based.  The law has to be objective, and apply to all equally.  You have to set a set of criteria in which if you broke those laws as well, you’d be equally executed.  This equal treatment to a common standard under which no one is an exception is what justice is.  Though, if you do not want to live in a system of justice, you do not have to, though, I surely will not live in your community.

I believe most people’s “common sense” ethical ideas also to be false.  Just because you know “I am to love people” and “care about others” does not make you an ethical person.  That is the beginning.  If you do not understand the wants and desires of the others around you, you have no way of knowing what is or is not the ethical treatment of the other person around you.  “Love” is a vague word.  You have to know and understand someone to love them properly.   You may think going to visit someone and trying to be friendly to them is the “right” thing to do, but sometimes, these people may desire to be left alone to their studies and do not want you to frequently bother them with useless chatter.   Other times, some people are lonely, and visiting them is a nice thing for you to do.  It all varies on the person, and you must understand them to ‘love’ them.   Toleration of people while they are learning your desires is surely a virtue as well.  It takes time for people to learn your personality, what bothers you, and what you want from them.  Toleration is important in all social environments.

It all comes down to what do you want, what do I want, can we mutually make that work?  What will you concede, what will I concede?  What will we tolerate from each other?  What punishments do we all agree upon if someone breaks the standards we agree upon?

Communism is not the ‘right’ way to govern people, nor is capitalism.  Each mindset toward government produces a certain environment – a certain reality.  If that environment is one you would enjoy, then promote that mindset.  Same with any other mindset.  Come together with others who hold that mindset and form your own community.  Communism seems to work well for whomever is the minority, and makes sure they get at least a certain quality of life.  Capitalism seems to work well for those whom agree with the majority of the others whom they live around.  The more different you are from the majority, the worse capitalism will be for you.  A communisitic environment would be better for artists and writers, since they struggle in capitalistic countries today such as America, because people do not want art and writing.  Masses today do not read books, nor study art.  Therefore they do not buy art or quality literature, and no money flows to those people.  Capitalism however is great for others.  Whomever studies money and learns business can make millions of dollars selling weight loss and other “shallow” things desired by the masses.  The reality, weight loss and these other ‘shallow’ things are not ‘shallow’ but simply what the majority of people want.  There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  This isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  It simply is what it is and leads to a certain reality.

What people choose to desire brings forth a certain reality.  I think a focus on art and literature would bring a better reality than weight loss and stupid comedy movies.  But that’s just my view on things.  Education tends to bring people into agreement with me, but I cannot force people to educate themselves.  In the meantime, I have to acknowledge, they have their “right” to live how they want to.  (So called “rights” do not exist.  “Rights” are simply a commonly agreed upon set of criteria on how we agree to treat each other.  That is it, nothing more)

I want to stress this again.  Not all views are equal, but each brings about a certain reality.  Those who focus on weight loss and their physical looks/sex life will only watch their life deteriorate as they get older.  Those who cultivate their mind will find more and more possiblities out of life.  They will build beautiful architectural masterworks, paint wonderful paintings, design craft making travel across our wonderful world easier and easier.  They fly into outer-space and adore all the celestrial bodies.   Their world will be limitless and only get better as they acquire more knowledge.

Speaking of the fact that not all views are equal — there’s a widespread belief that all religious beliefs are equal.  People seem to think a person should tolerate any religion.  This is false.  It really depends on the religion.  I really recommend a person to read John Locke’s Letter On Toleration.  This treatise is the document read by the United States founding fathers and is why religious freedom works how it does in the U.S. today.   When it comes to toleration, people all come together and agree upon a set of standards which they decide to be the standards of decency they are all to live under.  Locke argues that as long as they do not breach those standards, then do not bother them.  For example, if a religious person wants to kneel in a basement, light candles, and sprinkle water on themselves and their family in the name of some God — if you would allow someone to kneel, light candles, and sprinkle water in their home and it was not a religious occassion, then they should be allowed to do it in the name of their faith as well.  If normal everyday laws in your community do not prohibit candle lighting, water sprinkling, etc — then they should be able to do so in the name of any relgion without persecution over belief.

I heard on Fox news just the other day, a man was interviewed to comment on the Muslim congressman who was elected to the Senate (i believe).  He said something to the effect of, “I can’t believe in this day and age, we are still arguing over religious toleration.”  This man seems to think that we should tolerate any religon.  I do not tolerate the Islam faith.  If you read the Quran (yes, i have read these passages myself), it specifically states that if a person does not accept the faith of Islam, they are to be killed by the sword.  If enough Muslims came into power in the U.S., and really believed in the Quran, they would send the army to our homes and kill all of us who will not accept their faith.  Toleration does not stretch to all religions.  Toleration only stretches to tolerating a ‘religious’ act if you would accept that same event in a non-religious context as well.  I was outraged at such stupidity and the fact that such a man was allowed into office of our nation.

There is no difference between religious beliefs, or philosphical beliefs, or any belief for that matter.  They are all mindsets.  If a person has a mindset that they will come murder you if you will not change and become like them — they are not to be tolerated.  I argue, such intolerant people, if they will not change, must either be banished from our borders, or killed before they kill you.

You keep hearing my ethics brought down to – How much do you understand the consequences of what you’re advocating?  Then you decide on what set of consequences seems ‘best’.  Now I was just the other day with my friend Dale, eating at Steak and Shake.  Dale was advocating socialism.  I’m sympathetic to the view, but I do not agree with him on this at all.  He seemed to feel socialism the ‘right’ model for us to live under.  Let’s discuss this.

SOCIALISM, definition: political system of communal ownership: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles
Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

What evidence do we have for systems in which common, everyday people are given free control of things?  What typically happens in these situations?  Is freedom neccessarily a good thing?  What would happen if everyday people, who nearly all lack excellence, were given control over the important aspects of life?

People have already been given control of the internet, youtube, and Google video, and MySpace — take a look at what ‘Distribution controlled by the people operated according equity and fairness’ produces.  You get absolutely worthless scattered information.  Ever played the game Second Life?  The world is completely free to create whatever people who don’t know what they’re doing, want to do.  What do you end up with? A big scattered, shallow, mess.  Completely lacking every form of excellence.  The only good websites you find are those selling you something.   With the exception of a few good websites, like Wikipedia (which is HEAVILY moderated), and other CONTROLLED websites, which are CONTROLLED by A FEW EXCELLENT people do you end up with something good.

The more real life was made ‘free’ and ‘easy’ and the ‘real world’ didn’t see to it that people were brought up to a high standard of excellence before participating in things…The ‘real world’ — that force that slams you in the face.  It’s not evil.  It’s a good thing.

Imagine if postmen had to carry around SPAM and the free-reign junk produced by normal people and not good marketers giving you good product offers.  Imagine if people could just go to the letter and postcard company, request 1,000,000 letters – have them all printed up, full color booklets … Imagine free printing presses, post-men carrying this garbage — THAT’S WHY IT DOESN’T EXIST.  The fact that sending you a package or mailing costs money and you buying a product or service is what keeps them in business PROTECTS you from real life spam flooding our every day lives.  Value for value, aka ‘the real world’, does a great job filtering out 99% of all the junk that would otherwise be plaguing your life, intruding on you everyday.

I used to think the world was just ‘hard’ and came to slam you real hard in the face when you wanted to do things.  Why is it so hard to start a business?  So hard to get that job you want?  Why can’t so and so get their band out there selling their music cd?  Why is it so hard to get a home and pay the bills?  You come to think people are evil, and no one will help you.  This is terribly wrong.  When you study every aspect of our everday lives, you notice there’s a lot more to everything than it seems.  Building a building is a large process, where a lot of people have to colloborate together.  A restaurant, just to feed you that hamburger, required not only the cooks and waitress, but farmers, cattle ranchers, butchers, air conditioned trucks, delivery, truck unloaders, and many other people. Most of the things that are valuable in this life take a lot of work from a lot of people. This huge organization process is done by brilliant entrepreneurs who organized this all together.  Value is exchanged for value, keeps a lot of people from wasting time and energy.

You start up a business and want to put an ad in the yellow pages, or send a direct mail campaign.  People are not going to carry your junk mail.  They’re not going to fly planes delivering packages of junk.  Repairmen, electricians, architects — all out there working hard.  They’re not going to throw up a building for your business when your overall product and service is a stupid idea they don’t agree with it.  They don’t have to, and they don’t.  Yellow pages would be full of ‘I <heart symbol> billy – call me later’ — then the two of them are broke up before it’s even printed.

This same principle applies to phones and cell phones.  Because it doesn’t cost people anything to call, other than their monthly fee which is standard no matter how much they use — people call each other for no reason at all.  Completely lacking any form of planning or judgement.  It creates traffic accidents – annoys people in public – floods our information networks with worthless information.  This lack of planning has taken over the internet, youtube, and any other thing the masses have been given control over.

The more the masses are given control of something, and are given FREE access to it, and no penalties for mistakes, and no cost to work with it — it’s completely filled with garbage.  There’s no sense of responsibility or thought of the big picture.  Most of what you find online is all about some quick laugh, not something to educate you and better your life.   The more this same concept is brought into real life, and does not stay in the internet world, the more our life will be clouded with this same garbage.  There would be no escape.

This ‘hardness’ of life is really not hardness at all.  It’s just making you step up to a standard of excellence in the interaction with others.  If you acquire the right knowledge, you find out it’s not hard to start up a business.  It’s not hard to make good money.  It’s not hard to get a good job.  What’s really going on?  The larger the project, and the more people involved, the more life asks you to step up to a new level in order that you don’t screw up the lives of the people you end up involving.  It’s true, other people are the reason you’re being “held back”, but you’re being “held back” because you don’t understand the situation enough and know how your decisions and plans are going to effect others.

Learning what I just said took me a long time, and it’s very important.  I recommend the reader to read the previous paragraph one more time.

Let’s apply this mindset toward Shanna’s college dilemma.

Gay dancers dance in your Christian establishment, and are grossing everyone out.  If you don’t like them, throw them out.  You say, ‘that’s not justice’.  No, justice is defined as treating everyone equally.  Any other gay person coming into the establishment, make sure to throw them out as well.  Well… You can’t do that!  Yes you can!  Gays are the minority in America.  If you don’t like them, you don’t have to tolerate them.  It’s obvious these Christians do not like gays, or why else would this “problem” be brought up?  If the majority does not agree with homosexuals, then, at least under democracy, you can vote them out of every aspect of life.   Then with the force of the military, you can completely eradicate gays from every aspect of your life.  You don’t owe them anything, nor do they owe you anything.

People tend to get all touchy about gays.  Let’s give a different scenario.  Let’s say there is a group of psychos who cover themselves with the inner intestine of butchered cattle – stink horribly and come writhing around on the dance floor.  Do you have to tolerate such acts?  No.  We have laws against such acts saying they lack decency, and they are dragged off by police.  The police can equally drag off gays if you wish.  People make up their own laws, and can treat gays just as they do these intestine covered psychos.  “Decency” is subjective and defined as — you guessed it — What you want.

As for me, I would simply ignore them.  I myself cannot grasp how a man can be attracted to another man.  I cannot vicariously experience this in any way.  I myself would be grossed out by the occurence as well, though I also know how it feels to be a member of a minority subset of society, and am not myself the biggest fan of the ‘divine right of the majority’.  The main ‘consequence’ to remember — if you start capitalizing on the fact you’re the majority and beating down the minority, eventually, in some other area of life you’re going to end up in the minority and experience this same hardship yourself.

Let’s examine another problem.  Business ethics.

A business owner makes a large sum of money off the labors of his workers.  I used to think so terribly on this problem, especially since I am an entrepreneur.  I used to think, How awful to see the owner making large sums of money off the labors of the employees.  This is incorrect thinking however.  The owner has no duty to them, nor them to the owner.  The owner simply made them a job offer for such and such a wage.  If they accept, that is their own choice.  If nearly all the profits of the business flow to the owner, why does that matter?  The employees do not have to work for the owner, and you know what, all the other businesses and people out there do not have to accept the money of the owner in their stores.  Nobody has to do anything.  All this was mutually agreed upon.

I offer a computer programmer $80,000 per year to write software, and he does all the work, while I just make a few deals and end up making a few million from government contracts off his software code, only working a few weeks out of the year, there is no ‘justice’ being wronged here.  I’m not in the wrong or in the right.  We all agreed to this.  What’s stopping the programmer from learning business and doing the same?  Don’t think in terms of justice, right, or wrong — think – What do people want, and do they agree to such terms?

But wait, we need a more equal distribution of wealth.  It’s “wrong” for the owners to make all this money and “exploit” the hard working man.  No it’s not.  You AGREED upon it.  If you’re not being physically forced to do so, it was all your own choice.

I hear people everyday, who have no need for more money than they have.  I was out to eat with my friend Dale just the other day.  He said, “All I care about is to have enough money to do what I love to do.”  And, that’s just what he has, just enough to scrape by.   As much as I love Dale, I believe his mindset, if left unchanged, will continue to keep him in poverty.  His mindset is causing him to undercharge for his artwork, to undercharge for his music cds.  Whenever you think in terms of poverty, the very options that are available for succeeding do not even enter your mind.  Why?  Because you are not looking.

I’m going to go on an even more crazy limb here.  According to my own experiences – I say that each person has in life, just what they’ve asked out of it.  It never seems to fail.  Every rich person you encounter, you hear it in how they talk.  They ask for a lot material wealth, and they get it.  Your normal person, you hear poverty in how they talk.  They always tell you that ‘contentment’ is a virtue, and the most important things in life, such as their kids and wife are the real joys in life.  This isn’t bad.  You’ll notice though, that mindset lead them to that reality.  They have what they’ve chosen as important to them.  Both mindsets, held by both the wealthy man, and the man who scrapes to get by have generated a different reality for them, in terms of material wealth.

This applies to anything.  ANYTHING.  What you ask out of life — WHAT YOU WANT — is everything.  The more vividly you can envison and picture what it is you want, you will acquire that reality. Those who say that relationships always fail, and they can’t have a successful marriage – those are the same people you see failing in marriage.  They have what they asked for.  Why?  Their mindset broadcasts that to the universe “this is how I believe and how I want things to be” and lo and behold, they get it.  They end up settling, and yes, I call it settling, for a sub par person, whom they marry, because they are desperate, thinking no one better will come along.  The failure mindset made them settle for whatever slop came along, instead of purposely thinking, “where are the quality members of the opposite sex, and how can I get in their company?”  The person with a success mindset simply filters out sub par material and does not even consider in their mind as an option.

People are always searching for elusive truths, and that’s what holds them down.  The closest thing I’ve found to a truth in this life is this:  You can have whatever life you can envison in your mind.  There is no ‘how the world is’ or ‘the real world.’

But wait, when psychologists are wheeling rats around in wheel-barrels in labs at Stanford proving that rats have minds and ‘cognitive maps’ — that is truth!  It’s empirical!  Every rat you run through this set of testing exhibits this set of behavior!

My judgment is just as empirical and scientific as any lab in Georgetown.  Every person I see, has the reality in which accords to their mindset!  The statment I made about everyone having whatever reality they want and can envison, is just as scientific, just as ‘proven’, just as real, as their arguments.  Study philosophy.  Read David Hume.  He’ll tell you, just as I have, that no one can ever be completely sure of anything.  Absolutely nothing.  What gives weight to any proposition?  Observed Evidence.  Evidence perceived.  And I feel quite convinced that I see this law in effect in every person around me.

People everyday have religious beliefs telling them to be content where they are.  You don’t need to prosper.  The world is evil, and a horrible place — you’re the righteous one and you’re just going to have the suffer the evils that are out there.  They believe the world is evil, and lo and behold, all they notice in the world is the world’s trash.  This is an example of a crap mindset, leading them to a crappy reality.

Crap mindsets just as equally come from educated universities.  In fact, there’s no difference between a religious pulplit message, and a university lecture.  Each are mindsets a person can hold.  The professors rant and rant on how awful the world is because of capitalism.  They talk on and on about how everything out there is a failure, and do not focus their minds at all on how they could acquire what they want out of life.  Out comes all these students who believe they know the “truth” about life.  They come to think they have some grand knowledge of truth, but in reality, all they know is every way possible people can fail.  If you abandon this concept of truth, and instead think of every mindset as generating a corresponding reality, you’ll see there’s not anything desireable in such “truths” they’re being taught.

I’ll finish this journal entry with some final remarks.  I gave the example of the math problem.  2 + 2 = 4.  This, accoring to some, is a truth.  2 + 2 can never equal 5, or 6, or 25.  That would be ‘wrong’.  The ‘right’ answer is 4.

No no no.  2 is a symbol written down, or displayed on this computer screen.  So is the ‘+’ sign, and so is the other 2, the equal sign, and the symbol 4.  These are just symbols.  You can type them, write them, do whatever you want with them.  They’re made up.

How can these symbols get you WHAT YOU WANT!  That’s all that matters.  What’s neat about math, you hear people everyday.  They study calculus in high school or even college, and they say, “That’s all too abstract.  What could I ever use that for?”  and you notice – they forget it all.  Study Sigmund Freud and you will learn that the memory represses everything based on what you feel is important to acquiring your goal.  What it is you WILL or WANT from reality.  Things that do not get you there, your mind helps you out by filtering out unnecessary information so you can focus on acquring what you want.  What causes someone to forget something is the automatic system of the mind, designed to get you what you desire out of life.  Have no goals or desires, and your mind will just let whatever comes in stay there.  Have positive goals, and negative garbage will be filtered away.  The same unfortunately exists with negative goals.  You think, “Life just sucks” and all positive aspects happening to you at that moment will be repressed, or filtered, based on your thinking of reality.  The mind will repress properly negative things, if you have positive goals.  Repression works (as best I understand it) on the basis of what you believe reality to be, and what it offers.  What you believe to be worthwhile.

People forget math because they have no use for it.  It does not get them to any reality they’re wanting.  It stays in their short term memory for a short while until it fades away.  2 + 2 can equal 4 or 5 if you want it to.   If you correspond each mathematical symbol with reality, then it will help you pattern and predict reality.  There’s nothing stopping someone from writing down random symbols all over a page, if that’s what they want to do.  Writing symbols down one way corresponds with experience and will help you get some desired result from life.  Writing symbols down arbitraily will not help you get your desires at all.  Neither method is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ — depends on what you want.  If you don’t want math nor its symbols, you’ll just forget it anyways.

So my views on ethics – All there is is what you want and what others want.  Let’s willingly come together and form a mutually advantageous reality.

Immanuel Kant offers his deontological ethics, which are great ethical principles:
* Act only according to that maxim by which you can also will that it would become a universal law.

* Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.

* Act as though you were through your maxims a law-making member of a kingdom of ends.

If you read my journal entries, you’ll find those thoughts running all throughout everything I think.  Notice Kant says ‘WILL that it would become a universal law’.  These princples are similar to the teachings of Jesus, but more exact.

In summary of my ethics:
Every view a person has, toward anything, brings forth a certain reality, or ‘consequences’.  Not all views are equal.  You do not always tolerate.  Not all religions or philosophies are equal.  I am not neccessarily religious or philosophically tolerant. Ethical princples are those principles in which you would wish it become a univeral law.  In other words, a good ethical mindset has to apply to everyone and has to be a law that is assumed to be used by everyone.  If everyone held your ethical principles, what reality would be produced?  Do you like that reality?  If not, then you probably should reconsider your ethics.

Also, nobody knows what reality you want but you.  If you do not communicate that reality to the universe and to others, don’t expect it to come to you.  If you do not communicate what reality you want, don’t get mad when all the details are filled in by what SOMEONE ELSE wants.

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