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Ethics





The three most important indicators of ethical issues are:

1) level of morals
2) moral weight
3) moral responsibility


1st dimension: Level of morals



Level of morals gives information about the practical effects of a deed. The five basic levels of morals are introduced in this one-dimensional diagram.

- destruction (2) is activity that produces a victim of destruction (-2)
- egocentricity (1) is activity that leaves some people less happy than others (-1)
- equality (0) is activity that causes equality of happiness, or then is totally neutral

In the same way as "everyone shall be considered innocent until proven guilty", also every deed must be considered morally neutral ("0"), unless it can be proven to have a negative or positive effect on the equal happiness of human beings, or it contains a remarkable statistical risk of doing so.


2nd dimension: Moral weight



Moral weight indicates the relative importance of the moral issue, and the practical impact that a deed has on the lives of people. The moral weight of murder is 100 % of a human life. The moral weight of all other ethical issues can be estimated as a percentage of the value of a human life, or in economical issues simply as a sum of money.

Moral weight is present where live brain cells of living creatures are present. The moral weight of each species depends on its brain capacity. The moral weight of a human life is far greater than the moral weight of a mosquito’s life, because mosquitos have remarkably smaller brain capacity than humans. The moral weight of plants and nature is based on their role in supporting the lives of animals and human beings.


3rd dimension: Moral responsibility

A deed can be a fully conscious decision, a pure accident, or then something between these two extremes. There is a difference also in the extent to which a grown-up adult, a young child, a mentally retarded person, or a person suffering from mental disorders is morally responsible for his decisions. Moral responsibility is zero where there is no intention, or no mental capacity to make moral decisions.


18 basic categories of morals

When we take into account the level of morals, moral responsibility, and the general circumstances, ethical reality can be divided into (at least) 18 basic categories of morals:

INTENTIONAL AND CAUSATIVE:
- crime
- victim of crime
- legal egocentricity
- victim of legal egocentricity
- active pursuit of equality (affecting also those who are not pursuing equality)

UNINTENTIONAL AND PASSIVE:
- accident
- victim of accident
- passively reached inequality
- victim of passive inequality
- passively reached equality

VOLUNTARY AND MUTUAL:
- voluntary mutual barbarism
- victim of mutual barbarism
- voluntary competition
- victim of voluntary competition
- voluntary mutual pursuit of equality (affecting participants of this cooperation)

RECONCILING:
- voluntary self-denial (e.g. wealth left for the use of unknown other persons)
- active self-sacrifice (on behalf of known other persons)
- forgiveness or reconciliation of crime

(The drawing of 3-dimensional cube mentions only 17 different categories, not 18. The reconciling categories "voluntary self-denial" and "active self-sacrifice" are written inside the same square in the 3D drawing, out of convenience and to save space.)


Mathematical concepts

concept      abbreviation   calculation           possible values
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
moral level           MoL                         2.0 ... -2.0 (*)
moral weight          MoW   MoW.i + MoW.p         0 a ... 70 a ... (**)
moral responsibility  MoR                         0 % ... 100 %
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
moral status          MoS   MoL * MoR             (***)
moral potential       MoP   MoW * MoR             0 a ... 70 a ... (**)
technical impact      TeI   MoL * MoW
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
moral impact          MoI   MoL * MoW * MoR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
technical balance     TeB   SUM(TeI) / SUM(MoW)   2.0 ... -2.0 (*)
moral balance         MoB   SUM(MoI) / SUM(MoP)   2.0 ... -2.0 (*)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Moral balance and technical balance are the most important indicators for statistical analysis of ethics. The result of these calculations is a decimal number between 2.0 ... -2.0 (*):



* The numeric symbols can be subjectively chosen or commonly agreed, using an equidistant sequence of numbers.

** Moral weight can be divided into:
- Impersonal moral weight (MoW.i), indicated as a sum of money.
- Personal moral weight (MoW.p), indicated as time (a human life = 70 years).
- For statistical purposes, 1 day (MoW.p) = salary of 24 working hours (MoW.i).

*** Moral Status is a location on the two-dimensional top of the three-dimensional cube on top of this page (where one axis is moral weight 0 % ... 100 %, and the other axis is moral level 2.0 ... -2.0). A logically more informative concept is moral category (MoC), which is one of the 17 basic categories of morals: either the one that is nearest to Moral Status (on top of the cube), or then one of the two reconciling categories "outside the cube":

- active self-sacrifice: MoR 100 % * MoL -1.0
- forgiveness of crime: MoR 100 % * MoL -2.0