As previously noted, as the focus of our interest changes from one rung of the philosophical ladder to another, we must also change the terms we use. Since we are now moving from “The What Group” of philosophy to “The Perspective Group,” we must change the terms we are using, otherwise we will become confused as to what it is we are talking about.
We note here that “The Perspective Group” of philosophy is higher on the philosophical ladder than “The What Group.” Since we have advanced above the epistemological rung of the philosophical ladder, the terms we use from here forward are primarily conceptual in nature. They are governed by the law of intelligence, which specifies that when we speak epistemologically, we are referencing the rational nature of intelligence rather than the physical nature of knowledge.
When considering “The Perspective Group” of the philosophical ladder, the focus of our interest is from what perspective or from what point of view are we discussing metaphysical absolutes and epistemological abstractions? Are we discussing them from an ethical point of view, or are we discussing them from a moral point of view?
It is important—even critically important—to point out that “The Perspective Group” is merely a highly focused epistemological view back into what “The What Group” consists of. In other words, “The Perspective Group” is the intellectual concomitant of a specific aspect of “The What Group.”
In “The Perspective Group,” the focus of our interest is the ethics of individual behavior and the morality of social interactions, whereas in “The What Group,” our focus is on the absolute nature of physical existence (metaphysics) and the means of understanding what that is (epistemology).
Under “The Perspective Group,” our goal is to differentiate:
The Real from The Ideal
Individual from Society
Benefit from Profit
Selfishness from Capitalism
Natural Law from Contractual Law
Survival from Happiness
the Real from the Ideal
The Ethics of the Real
Where metaphysics deals with the real existence of all physical objects, ethics deals with the real existence of a single physical object, a human being.
The Morality of the Ideal
Where epistemology deals with the rational nature of all ideas, morality deals with the rational nature of a single idea, the idea of society.
the Individual from the Society
The Ethics of Individual Behavior
Under ethics, it is as if we are considering a person who is living on a deserted island all by himself. This person must function in a specific way; he must function as a human being. This person cannot continue to exist on that island if he tries to function as a whale or an eagle or a rosebush. His only alternative, his only option is to function as a human being.
Under ethics, a human person is an individual object of physical reality. This requires that the terms we use be governed by the law of words, which states, “When we speak ethically, we speak about that which we sensually know to be the case.”
But as previously stated, since we have advanced above the epistemological rung of the philosophical ladder, the terms we use are governed by the law of concepts, which states, “When we speak epistemologically, we speak with regard to what we understand is the case.”
To act ethically is to behave as a properly functioning human being. This requires one to think about the consequences of one’s behavior and then only do that which will have a beneficial effect on one’s physical person.
The Morality of Social Interaction
Under morality we talk about a single idea, the idea of society. When we move our discussion from ethics to morality, the rules defining proper human behavior are expanded. Under morality, the rules are no longer determined by what constitutes proper behavior—they are additionally determined by what constitutes rational interaction. Where proper deals with the actions of ethical individuals, rational deals with the interactions between those same ethical individuals.
But notice that society is a concept. Concepts denote ideas; they don’t denote the absolute nature of physical reality. Society, then, is not a real physical something—society is an abstract ideal something. Society does not exist in reality in an absolute sensually knowable way. It exists in intelligence in an abstract, rationally understood way.
Society is purely an idea. An idea derived from that which is sensually known to be the case—an idea derived from the absolute nature of physical reality—is a rational idea. It is considered a rational idea because it explains what society is and how individual humans are related to it.
In a rational functioning society, the individual humans of whom it consists are acting ethically. In other words, they are acting in accordance with the rules of human nature, in accordance with the laws of nature governing what a proper happy human existence consists of and requires.
Therefore, the laws of nature governing the behavior of ethical functioning human beings determine how those same individual human beings will behave when they are socially engaged.
Rather than being said to be acting properly, they are said to be behaving rationally.
The Laws of Man
It is the laws of nature governing proper human existence that determine the laws humans create when socially engaged. These are the laws of a rational functioning society. The laws of society, when governed by the laws of nature, are called moral laws. They are called moral laws because they describe the behavior of ethical functioning human beings when those same human beings are socially engaged. Moral laws do not—cannot—prescribe what rational social behavior is and requires; they can only describe what it is.
To describe proper human behavior in a social setting, it must be observed. The consequences resulting naturally from the interaction between individuals determine whether the behavior of those individuals is rational or not.
The consequence must not conflict with the nature of the individuals performing those actions. Further, it must not conflict with the nature of any human being now living or who will live at any time in the future.
It is only in a moral functioning society that we find properly functioning individuals—that is, ethical functioning individuals. We do not find ethical functioning individuals in any other type of society, the actions of which are detrimental to the rational nature of human beings.
Benefit from Profit
The Ethics of Benefit
Under ethics, individual action is considered proper only when the individual performing the action benefits from the consequence resulting naturally from his own actions. Otherwise, that individual suffers by having created a consequence that is detrimental to his person.
Ethics requires that the living existence of each individual person benefit from the naturally occurring consequence of his own actions. Ethics demands that the individual performing those actions benefit from them.
Consider the individual living alone on a deserted island. This person must perform specific actions; otherwise, his living person is going to suffer from not doing so.
This is saying that the naturally occurring consequence resulting from his actions is considered a beneficial consequence only when it satisfies a survival need of his living person.
The Morality of Profit
An action is considered moral only when the individual performing that action is an ethical actor. That he is actually functioning in a proper human way, meaning that his primary goal is to benefit from his actions. Only then can he engage another person morally; only then can he engage another person in a social interaction that is profitable.
We note that two properly functioning persons—two ethical actors, voluntarily working together—create a greater benefit for themselves than if each had performed those same actions on his own. That greater benefit resulting from their volitional social interaction is called profit.
Proper individual action is ethical, and ethical action results in producing a beneficial consequence for the actor. Proper individual action, performed in a social setting, is called a rational social interaction. And the naturally occurring consequence of a rational social interaction produces a greater benefit for each of its participants. To avoid confusion, that greater benefit produced is renamed profit. Ethical functioning individuals profit from willingly engaging other ethical functioning individuals.
Again, profit is merely the greater benefit realized when two ethical functioning individuals purposefully engage one another to their mutual benefit. A rational interaction, then, is that mutually agreed-to social interaction, the purpose of which is to create a greater benefit for each participant. Note that each must benefit from his jointly agreed-to interactions.
Socially produced profit, then, is the epistemological concomitant of the metaphysical nature of individually produced benefit. When the individuals of a society benefit from their selfishly motivated interactions, the individuals of society are said to profit from their own purposefully selfish actions.
Selfishness from Capitalism
The Ethics of Selfishness
Beneficial action is selfish action; it is the principle of selfishness. The individual living alone on the island must benefit from his actions. He has no other choice or option. His only interest is himself. His only interest is his continued existence as a living person on that island.
There is no other person on this island for him to be concerned about. His self-interest is his greatest and highest goal. This is the principle of selfishness.
The principle of selfishness does not involve any other individual. There is no other person living on this island with this individual who is living there in a proper, selfishly motivated, human way.
The consequences of his actions are not influencing, either positively or negatively, the existence of any other human being. He must and does act alone; he simply has no other option. He is, therefore, considered both a selfishly motivated and an ethically guided person—meaning he is and must continue be a properly functioning human being in order to remain alive on that island.
The Morality of Capitalism
When translating the naturally occurring ethical principles of individual selfishness into the principles describing rational social behavior, we get the moral principles described by the idea of social capitalism.
Where individually produced benefit is considered a proper consequence of selfishly motivated individual action, purposefully produced profit is considered a rational consequence of capitalistically motivated social interaction.
The underlying moral premise governing the actions of selfishly motivated individuals when socially engaged is that they agree to engage others only on this fundamental capitalistic premise: “From mutual agreement to mutual benefit.”
When an ethically functioning individual engages another ethically functioning individual (another selfishly motivated individual), that interaction (as we have seen) produces a greater benefit for each than if these same two individuals had acted alone. That greater benefit is called profit. Profit is the additional benefit produced as a direct result of the selfishly motivated social interactions of properly functioning (ethically acting) individuals.
Ethically acting individuals profit from their social interactions with other selfishly motivated individuals. And the selfish creation of social benefit—that is, the purposeful creation of profit—is called capitalism.
Capitalism is evolutionarily different from selfishness. Capitalism is an intellectual advancement over what the metaphysical nature of selfishness is. Capitalism is the epistemological concomitant of selfishness. Capitalism is proper individual action moved into a rational social setting.
Capitalism is not a real something—it is an ideal something. Capitalism is not a physically potent idea; it is an intellectually potent idea. Capitalism does not describe what proper individual action is and requires, it describes what rational social interaction is and requires. Rational social interaction does not exist as a real physically based word statement; it exists as an ideal rationally based conceptual statement.
To be a capitalist is not to be a person who properly benefits from one’s own individual actions. To be capitalist is to be a person who rationally profits from the individual actions of others. Capitalism describes that naturally occurring social relationship that exists between ethically functioning individuals—between individuals who engage others for no other purpose than to enjoy even greater personal benefits.
Where beneficial action is considered ethical, profitable interaction is considered moral. Restating: Where proper individual action is considered ethical, rational social interaction is considered moral. And where personal selfishness is considered proper, social capitalism is considered rational.
Capitalism does not describe the real production of products, goods, and services; it describes the ideal production of more products, goods, and services. Capitalism is the idea that explains what a profitable social interaction is and requires.
A capitalistic relationship produces greater benefits only for those engaged in it. Otherwise, we need to explain what charity is and requires. And since charity is a term described under the idea of religion, it is not proper to include it under a rational discussion.
Natural Laws from Contractual Laws
The Ethics of Natural Law
Any action—whether ethical or moral, whether individual or social, whether selfish or capitalistic, whether natural or contractual—carries consequences.
Under ethics, these consequences are called natural consequences. Recall that under ethics, we are considering an individual who is living alone on a deserted island. The consequences of his actions are delivered to him by the laws of nature. They cannot be avoided. When he performs an action, he will experience the consequence resulting naturally from it.
If he is a properly functioning human being, the consequence will be pleasant. If not, the consequence will be suffering, anguish, sadness, and eventually death.
The Morality of Contractual Law
Repeating from above: Any action—whether ethical or moral, whether individual or social, whether selfish or capitalistic, whether natural or contractual—carries consequences.
Under morality, we are considering the consequences resulting from the voluntary interactions between ethical functioning individuals. These consequences are called contractual consequences as opposed to natural consequences.
In a rational (a proper social) interaction, the individuals involved in that interaction do not engage one another without understanding what the consequences resulting from that interaction will be. These consequences are understood and agreed to by each individual prior to either performing any action. Agreed-to consequences are considered moral and therefore rational as opposed to being considered ethical and therefore proper.
Under the principles of social morality, the consequences of agreed-to interactions are written down and become the laws of contract. It is these laws of contract that the idea of capitalism was created to denote the rational existence of. Notice how the laws described within and under the idea of capitalism are the moral equivalent of the laws of nature governing ethical human behavior in a social setting.
Notice that the moral laws of capitalism are a step up from the ethical laws of selfishness. It is therefore impossible for a capitalistic agreement to violate the ethical nature of the persons engaged in it. Contractual law applies the laws of nature governing proper human existence to society.
Social morality is evolutionarily different from personal ethics. Social morality is an epistemological advancement over what the metaphysical nature of personal ethics is and requires. The existence of the idea of social morality represents an intellectual advancement over what the physical nature of the idea of personal ethics is and requires.
To act consequentially means to both know what one is doing and also to understand what the consequence of what one is doing is going to be. This is the principle of responsibility. Each person is responsible for his own actions, necessarily including the consequences resulting from those actions.
The purpose for legalizing the laws of nature governing what rational human behavior is and requires is to provide a document that can be witnessed by all those concerned with whether they can be considered a properly functioning human being when socially engaged. Their documented witness is testimony of their intent to act in a proper human way. The document protects others from their transgressions, whether purposeful or not.
Survival from Happiness
The Ethics of Survival
Under ethics, the laws of nature governing what a proper human existence is and requires are the final arbiter as to whether one’s actions are beneficial to one’s person or not. It is the laws of nature that govern whether one’s actions are in accordance with what one is and where one is living.
As previously discussed, if one is behaving properly, then the consequences resulting from one’s actions will respect one’s fundamental nature as a living being, a living human being.
The only responsibility the person living alone on the deserted island has is to perform those actions that will insure he remains a living person on that island. The consequence of behaving in accordance with one’s nature as a living human being right here on earth has been named—it is called survival. It is the principle of personal survival.
As we have seen, to act properly as a human being means to selfishly benefit from one’s own actions. The benefit the person living alone on the deserted island enjoys is his self. It is the continued existence of his living person on that island. To act for one’s continued living existence is to act ethically. To act ethically is to be selfishly motivated to avoid death.
Personal survival is the fundamental underlying principle of ethics. Note that ethics only involves living individuals. It is only living individuals who can act ethically, who can act in accordance with their best interest, who can be selfishly motivated to avoid death.
The person living alone on the deserted island will act in his best interest throughout his entire lifespan, and then he will die. He has no other option. There is no other alternative available to him. His continued existence on that deserted island is governed by the laws of nature.
The ethical science of philosophy deals only with the requirements of individual living persons, and the lifespan of each individual living person is finite. One day it will cease to exist.
The Morality of Happiness
When we translate the principles of ethical behavior into principles of moral behavior, the rules change. When the laws of nature governing ethical behavior are translated into the laws of man governing moral behavior, we transition from personal survival to social happiness.
The difference is immense. It is beyond measure. It is the difference between the finite nature of one’s real person and the infinite nature of one’s ideal person. Note here that the physical existence of one’s real person is a time-sensitive idea, but the physical existence of one’s ideal person is not.
Under ethics, people act to their personal benefit. But under morality, these same people associate with other ethical people to create an even greater personal benefit for themselves. As we have seen, that greater personal benefit is called the profit resulting naturally from their voluntary social interaction. And the purposeful production of profit is called capitalism.
Have I stressed point this enough? I have repeated myself on this point over and over again. Why? Because capitalism is the most misunderstood and misrepresented idea in the entire human language—even more so than God, which will also soon be cleared up.
Selfish people purposefully engage other selfish people for only one reason: to profit from that social interaction. The selfish production of profit is called capitalism. Properly functioning individuals purposefully and selfishly capitalize on the talents, skills, and abilities of others. They have to. They have no other alternative if they are to be considered properly functioning human beings.
The Capitalistic Difference
A fundamental action is that action upon which all others of similar characteristics depend. Fundamentally speaking, the profit one’s person enjoys by virtue of a rational social interaction has been named. It is called their child.
Their child is of enormous personal benefit to each person involved in that rational social interaction. It is their living existence continuing to exist into the future. Their child represents the living existence of each person continuing to exist again.
Their child is not different from the living existence of each; it is an extension of the living existence of each. Their child is physical evidence of the living existence of each, existing again. Their child is their living existence existing again as another living being.
Where the existence of one’s living existence is evidence of one’s ability to act in a properly selfish way, the existence of one’s child is evidence of one’s ability to act in a rationally capitalistic way. In other words, one’s child is living evidence of one’s ability to act in a properly selfish way in a social setting.
You are living evidence of all those who precede you with their living existence. You are proof that their living existence has not yet gone out of existence. You are living proof that their living existence exists still. Your real existence is their real existence, idealized. You represent the continued survival of their living existence. You are their physical survival idealized into rational happiness.
To act ethically is to selfishly do that which is required to live a normal lifespan. To act morally is to capitalistically do that which is required to survive beyond one’s natural lifespan right here on earth.