New synthesis of science and religion

From: John (
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 15:53:08 EDT

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    A new model of motivational behavior, described as a ten-level,
    meta-hierarchy of the major groupings of virtues, values, and ideals, serves
    as the foundation for a new holistic theory of ethics and morality: with
    revolutionary applications to behavioral science. The key innovation arises
    as a direct outcome of the Communications Theory concept of the
    metaperspective (a higher-order perspective upon the viewpoint held by
    another). The traditional groupings of ethical terms are collectively
    arrayed as subsets within such a hierarchy of metaperspectives, each more
    abstract listing building in a direct fashion upon that which it supersedes.
    Take, for example, the cardinal virtues
    (prudence-justice-temperance-fortitude), the theological virtues
    (faith-hope-charity-decency), and the classical Greek values
    (beauty-truth-goodness-wisdom). Each of these groupings is split into a
    complex of four subordinate terms, allowing for precise, point-for-point
    stacking within the ethical hierarchy. When additional groupings of ethical
    terms are further added into the mix: namely, the personal ideals
    (glory-honor-dignity-integrity), the civil liberties
    (providence-liberty-civility-austerity), the humanistic values
    (peace-love-tranquility-equality), and the mystical values
    (ecstasy-bliss-joy-harmony), amongst others; the complete ten level
    hierarchy of metaperspectives emerges in full detail: along with their
    associated foundations in behavioral terminology.
    Appetite/(+R) Aversion/(-R) Solicit/(+R) Submissive/(-R)
    Nostalgia/Worship Guilt/Blame Desire/Approval Worry/Concern
    Glory/Prudence Honor/Justice Dignity/Temperance Integrity/Fortitude
    Providence/Faith Liberty/Hope Civility/Charity Austerity/Decency
    Grace/Beauty Free-will/Truth Magnanim./Goodness Equanim./Wisdom
    Tranquil./Ecstasy Equality/Bliss Love/Joy Peace/Harmony

     This cohesive hierarchy of virtues, values, and ideals proves particularly
    comprehensive in scope, accounting for many of the major ethical terms
    celebrated within the Western ethical tradition. Indeed, it is easy to gain
    a sense of the trend towards increasing abstraction when scanning each of
    the individually depicted lines from top to bottom. These traditional,
    four-part ethical groupings line up perfectly within this hierarchy of
    metaperspectives, making it exceedingly unlikely that such a hierarchy could
    have arisen solely by chance. Indeed, this cohesive ethical hierarchy
    mirrors the specialization of personal, group, spiritual, humanitarian, and
    transcendental realms within human society in general: which when further
    specialized into both authority and follower roles accounts for the complete
    ten-level hierarchy of ethical terms.

    No App./Punish. No Avers./Punish. No Solic./Punish. No Submiss./Punish.
    Laziness/Treach. Negligence/Vindict. Apathy/Spite Indiffer./Malice
    Infamy/Insurgency Dishonor/Vengeance Foolish/Gluttony Caprice/Cowardice
    Prodigal/Betrayal Slavery/Despair Vulgarity/Avarice Cruelty/Antagonism
    Wrath/Ugliness Tyranny/Hypocrisy Oppression/Evil Persecution/Cunning
    Anger/Abomin. Prejudice/Perdition Hatred/Iniquity Belliger./Turpitude

         Although this strict emphasis (on the virtues) is certainly a major
    selling point, this virtuous focus can scarcely be considered solely in a
    vacuum. Indeed, the true potential for such an ethical system derives
    precisely from a moral contrast with the corresponding realm of the vices:
    describing a more real-life situation, where virtue and vice typically exist
    in concert with one another.
         This ambitious task is further subdivided into four separate
    subheadings, fully reflecting the comprehensive subject matter under
    consideration. Part I is basically a restatement of the author's previous
    book, offering a preliminary examination of the ten-level hierarchy of
    virtues, values, and ideals (providing a sturdy foundation for the
    subsequent contrast with the vices). Along these lines, Chapter 1 describes
    the most elementary, personal authority (and follower) roles, as specified
    in the "ego" and "alter ego" states. Chapter 2 further describes the
    behavioral foundations of this ethical hierarchy: namely, the behavioral
    terminology of operant conditioning. In fact, the remaining listings of
    virtues, values, and ideals are seen to build directly upon this basic
    foundation in the instinctual states: namely,
    rewards-leniency-appetite-aversion (as designated in the diagram above).
    Indeed, the human sphere of operant conditioning is respectively seen as a
    two-stage process; namely, goal-seeking behavior followed by subsequent
    reinforcement. The individual initially acts in a procurement fashion (e.g.,
    appetitively or avoidantly) in order to be positively rewarded or leniently
    spared punishment. In this respect, Chapters 3 to 10 further describe the
    metaperspectival extension of this basic system: namely, the "higher"
    virtues, values; as indicative of the group, spiritual, humanitarian, &
    transcendental levels, respectively.
         Part II furthers this discussion with an equally comprehensive
    treatment of the vices. Indeed, for every virtue, there exists a
    corresponding antonym (or vice): namely, good vs. evil, peace vs. war, love
    vs. hate, etc. In keeping with this fundamental theme, each of the ten
    (related) classes of vice is further arrayed into a parallel (ten-level)
    hierarchy, identical in every respect to that previously seen for the
    virtuous mode. In contrast to the virtues, however, the vices are
    alternately based in the terminology of punishment (the behavioral
    antithesis of operant conditioning). Punishment represents the complete
    reversal of the reinforcement format, in that positive and negative
    reinforcement is withheld rather then bestowed, whereby discouraging
    behaviors judged not to be suitably "solicitous" or "submissive."
         These punitive consequences exhibit clear parallels to learning
    opportunities occurring naturally within the environment (such as had
    previously been seen with respect to positive conditioning). Indeed, the
    fickle dictates of the natural world clearly suggest such an innate
    understanding of the dynamics of punishment. For instance, a food supply may
    become scarce, or vanish altogether. Similarly, a once reliable water hole
    may dry up, or go sour. The survival of the individual organism under such
    variable conditions relies upon a direct acknowledgement of such punitive
    consequences, with previous behavior patterns now abandoned in favor of
    searching for an alternative means for reestablishing reinforcement. This
    environmental perspective on punishment further extends to a human "social"
    context as well, discouraging inappropriate behaviors (in an attempt to
    facilitate those judged more suitably solicitous or submissive). Although
    the many corroborating details cannot be offered in this cursory context,
    they are more than adequately detailed in the main text.
         This strict correspondence between virtue and vice effectively doubles
    the number of ethical terms to a grand total of 80, with negative
    transactions analyzed according to their potential to be converted into
    positive ones (and vice versa). Chapters 12 and 13 initiate this analysis
    with an in depth examination of the personal, group, and spiritual domains:
    focussing upon the cardinal vices, the civil liabilities, and the
    theological vices. Chapters 14 and 15 expand this analysis to the ecumenical
    vices (wrath-tyranny-persecution-oppression) and moralistic vices
    (evil-cunning-ugliness-hypocrisy), specifying the humanitarian authority and
    humanitarian follower roles, respectively. Finally, chapter 16 examines the
    transcendental realm with an in depth look at the humanistic vices
    (anger-hatred-prejudice-belligerence),and the mystical vices
         This distinctive contrast (linking both virtue and vice) further sets
    the stage for Part III, describing many exciting applications to Information
    Technology. Indeed, an earlier book (by the author) previously described how
    the motivational dynamics of the virtuous mode can be programmed directly
    into the computer, resulting in the first ethically-based program for
    Artificial Intelligence (patent-pending). The current addition of the
    parallel domain of the vices, however, takes this task to its logical
    conclusion (in Chapters 17, 18, & 19), serving as the basis for an
    all-inclusive "interactive" operating system (taking fully into account both
    virtue and vice).
         These unprecedented computer applications, in turn, set the stage for
    speculations into avenues for further research (as outlined in Part IV),
    including more expanded versions of the systems of virtues and vices, as
    well as explanations for humor and comedy, as well as mental illness.

    A Revolution in Family Values: Spirituality for a New Millennium
    by John E. LaMuth M.S. (Counseling)
    Fairhaven Book Publishers, P.O. Box 105 Lucerne Valley, CA, USA
    Publication Date April 2001 ISBN# 1-929649-64-9
    Hardcover (4-color, casebound) 320 pages
    Extensively illustrated (14 photos, 19 figures, 20 tables)


    PART I - The Virtues, Values, and Ideals
    1. Introduction
    2. The Personal Power Realm: The Authority and Follower Roles
    3. The Personal Ideals: Profiles in Group Leadership
    4. The Cardinal Virtues: The Essence of Group Cohesiveness
    5. The Civil Liberties: The Foundation for the Spiritual Authority
    6. The Theological Virtues: The Role of the Spiritual Disciple
    7. The Ecumenical Ideals: An Evangelical Perspective
    8. The Classical Greek Values: An Eclectic Perspective
    9. The Humanistic Values: The Transcendental Dimension
    10. The Mystical Values: The Supernatural Frontier

    PART II The Vices of Defect: The Moral Opposites of the Virtues
    11. Vice and Sin as Grounded in the Behavioral Terminology
    12. The Past-Directed Realm of the Vices
    13. The Future-Directed Realm of the Vices
    14. The Ecumenical Vices: The Darker Side of the Humanitarian Auth.
    15. The Moralistic Vices: The Eclectic Perspective
    16. The Transcendental Vices: The Darker Aspect of Mysticism

    PART III Applications to Information Technology and AI
    17 The Power Pyramid Definitions
    18. An Ethical Simulation of Artificial Intelligence
    19. The AI Safeguards Embodied in the Ten Ethical Laws of Robotics

    PART IV Further Avenues For Research in Powerplay Politics
    20. The Accessory Power Pyramid Definitions
    21. A "Theory of Mind" Based Upon the Accessory Definitions
    22. The Transitional Maneuvers: Humor, Comedy, and Mental Illness

    Bibliographic Index
    Index of the Virtues, Values, and Ideals
    Index of the Vices

    Sample a Free Introductory Chapter at

    Available on-line at

    Author Biography:

    A highly requested speaker on the lecture circuit, John E. LaMuth has
    applied his Master's Degree in Counseling to the cause of Character
    Education, including a Private Practice in Mediation Counseling in Southern
    California. In his new book, John seeks to share his years of mediation
    experience with a broader public, in hopes of similarly beneficial results.

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