Content Warning: Can be viewed as moral imperatives. Neuropsychological Infohazard.
Previous in Series: The Precept of Niceness
The third Major Precept is universality, the idea that all humans experience life in roughly the same way. We’re all built from the same flawed Night God hardware, and though our brains are incredibly complex and can differentiate drastically in behavior from one person to the next, there are many underlying traits that the vast majority of humanity experiences. Joy, fear, love, hope, these things transcend cultural and religious boundaries, they exist within our genes, within the structures of our brains.
It feels like a lot of people try to forget that. We try to imagine that our enemies don’t feel the things we feel, that they aren’t also people, and we use that to justify atrocity. There are several manifestations of this, and we’ll go over each one before coming back to the actual precept.
One failure mode can develop by adjusting the lines where ‘person’ is drawn. If brown people aren’t people, or white people aren’t people, or Jewish people aren’t people, then you can tell your inbuilt sense of morality to shut up and convince yourself to do obscene, horrible things to your chosen targets.
Another failure mode emerges by considering the ideas more important than people. There are two ways this can manifest, first by considering the spreading of your ideas and ideals more important than the lives of others and not caring how many people you kill in the process of spreading your ideas. Second, by considering the ideas someone holds to be so dangerous that you’re compelled to harm them.
The Third Precept is specifically arranged in an attempt to avoid these particular failure modes.
3. Do not put things or ideas above people. Honor and protect all peoples.
And from this, we derive our minor precepts which are mostly cribbed from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights because really they already cover everything we want to say regarding this and the original document might work better as the minor precepts then the eight rules we’ll be attempting to reduce it down to:
- All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of humanity.
- All humans are entitled to all the rights and freedoms listed here, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
- All humans have the right to life, liberty, and the security of personhood. No one deserves slavery, torture, death, or arbitrary detention or exile.
- All humans have the rights to their own thoughts, ideas, opinions, values, and beliefs.
- All humans have the right to form a family, a community, a tribe, union, or association among their peers.
- All humans have the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being themselves and their family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control.
- No thoughts, ideas, opinions, values, or beliefs should be considered more important than the people, if someone believes they should harm another, they have a right to believe that, but they do not have a right to then commit that harm.
- No humans should be denied these rights, regardless of their beliefs, and no one should be denied membership within humanity for their beliefs.
We’ve been asked a few times now why we’re going through stuff like this, why we bother taking the time to exhaustively state out things that to most reasonable people should seem obvious and self-evident, and this seems like a good place to explain it.
The scope of our project here is to construct a totalizing cultural experience, a narrative that one can live entirely inside of that makes their life better. However, the Sun King can easily turn this project into the worst form of self-destructive, cultish, religious dogma, and we desperately want to avoid crashing into the cult attractor now or in several generations when we might not be around to stop it.
We want to remove any possibilities of someone taking this narrative and using it to hurt people, the very attempt to do so should be self-defeating, the narrative should eat itself if anyone tries to use it that way. Hitting that goal is going to be tough, and take a continual process of iteration.
It requires the narrative to have as few bugs and exploits as possible, and that means we have to start the process from first principles. If someone takes the Anadoxy completely outside of all culture context, disconnects it from everything we consider obvious and self-evident, and builds a new culture off it totally from scratch, it should still converge on our normative, humanist, ethical principles.