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
entire higher hierarchy of spiritual and moral values, including insights
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
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 www.charactervalues.com
From: robert rogland <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Fairhaven <email@example.com>
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.
>From: Fairhaven <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Wednesday, August 22, 2001 3:56 PM
>Subject: Re: is ASA a small tent?
>> In response to your call for frankness...
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Aug 23 2001 - 01:19:41 EDT