Philosophy For Grown Ups

1. The only truths we know for certain are falsehoods. Everything that is not false is a truth candidate. This is the inverse of the fallacy of justificationism and the central insight of the sciences: the means by which we invent or grasp an idea contribute nothing to whether or not it is true or false. Only exhaustive falsification and survival from criticism deliver confidence that actions produce anticipated outcomes due to our comprehension of cause, effect, and the operations that are possible. Otherwise we are forever justifying whatever it is we seek to justify by any set of excuses we can imagine. This is why astrology, numerology, theology, philosophy, and the pseudosciences are so common – justification means absolutely nothing.

2. The only preference we know is the one we demonstrate. The only good we know is the one we mutually demonstrate by acting upon. People report very differently from what they demonstrate. The only morality we know that is we must avoid criminal(material), ethical(direct), and moral (indirect) imposition of costs upon one another. The only moral actions then are those that are not criminal, unethical, and immoral, and that means the only moral actions consiste of productive, fully informed, warrantied, voluntary exchange, free of imposition of costs upon the investments of others by externality. Ergo, all moral actions are those that are not immoral. There is no recipe for moral action other than that which is not immoral.

3. People always and everywhere demonstrate that they are neither moral or immoral but amoral and rational, doing what they must in all circumstances that they exist in. it is just disproportionately advantageous to act morally for the simple reason that the returns of cooperation always and everywhere defeat the returns on individual action. This is why exhaustive forgiveness of ‘cheaters’ in all walks of life will generally reform them. Because it is in their self interest. This is why we demonstrate altruistic punishment also (high cost of punishing cheaters), because the returns on cooperation are so valuable that we evolved to pay the high cost of punishment in order to preserve the high value of cooperation.

4. People notoriously think they are right and in the right, and acting morally, which is why we have courts of one kind or another among all peoples at all stages of development. And while rules of decidability in courts in matters of conflict vary from the poor and underdeveloped where interests in things, kin, and relationships are rare and collectively owned, to the wealthy and developed where things, interests, kin, relationships, and contracts are universally allocated to individuals and individually owned, the means of decidability in every single civilization is RECIPROCITY.

5. There exist then only one negative moral rule and one universal test of morality: “Do not unto others as they would not have done unto them”. There is only one positive moral rule: the extension of trust to non kin that we extend to kin, until it is no longer empirically possible to trust. – this optimizes cooperation by continuously training malcontents that it is in their interest to cooperate, and ostracizes (punishes) those who do not.

6. There are no conflicts that are not decidable by tests of reciprocity. None. This is why all international law is limited exclusively to the test of reciprocity. So logically(rational choice) and empirically (demonstrated action), and universally (all laws domestica and international at all scales) morality is anything that is not immoral unethical or criminal in that it imposes costs upon the efforts already expended to obtain a non-conflicting interest, in a good, relationship, or opportunity.

As far as I know no argument can defeat this that is not in and of itself an attempt at reciprocity (theft, freeriding, parasitism, conspiracy).

Curt Doolittle
The Propertarian Institute
Kiev, Ukraine

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