Re: is ASA a small tent?

From: Fairhaven (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 01:02:16 EDT

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      I gratefully accept your explanation.
    I regret myself perhaps coming across as overly defensive, although I have
    much effort invested in my current writing projects.
    In response to your request for a more simplified version of my original
    I have appended something along these lines below.
    It represents an overview of the basic (instinctual) scientific foundations
    for the
    entire higher hierarchy of spiritual and moral values, including insights
    into the
    mystical experience.
    As a provisional synthesis of scientific and religious priciples, I welcome
    all list members to
    offer their comments on this radically new viewpoint.

    John E. LaMuth

    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 the behavioral sciences. The key innovation
    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 exceedingly
    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.

    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.

    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

    This hierarchy of the vices is completely unprecedented on the world scene
    the only competing system being the rudimentary listing of "Seven Deadly
              The positive foundations of this ethical hierarchy: namely, the
    terminology of operant conditioning is seen to build directly upon a basic
    foundation in the instinctual behavioral states: namely,
    rewards-leniency-appetite-aversion (as designated in the diagrams 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, The metaperspectival extension of this
    basic system further gives way to the "higher"
    virtues, values; as indicative of the group, spiritual, humanitarian, &
    transcendental levels, respectively.
         This system further applies to the 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). When
    schematized into the past, present, and future time dimensions, this
    accounts for the full complement of vices (and virtues) in general.
         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). This system ultimately extends to the
    transcendental realm with to the mystical values (ecstasy-bliss-joy-harmony)
    and the mystical vices (iniquity-turpitude-abomination-perdition) allowing
    for further
    speculations into the elusive mystical experience.
         This distinctive contrast (linking both virtue and vice) further sets
    the stage for 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, serving as the basis for an all-inclusive "interactive"
    system (taking fully into account both
    virtue and vice), allowing for the necessary ethical safeguards.

    more details and excerpts posted at

    -----Original Message-----
    From: robert rogland <>
    To: Fairhaven <>
    Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 4:13 PM
    Subject: Re: is ASA a small tent?

    >I appreciate your frank response, and agree that my remarks re: your
    >were dismissive and, as far as the "ingesting controlled substances" is
    >concerned, of the same ad hominem ilk that I was decrying. I acknowledge
    >fault in that and apologize.

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: Fairhaven <>
    >To: <>
    >Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 3:56 PM
    >Subject: Re: is ASA a small tent?
    >> In response to your call for frankness...

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