Objective Ethics: Ideals and Principles

(Based on "Cult of Freedom & Ethics of Public Sphere")


This Manifesto proclaims the universal principles of objective ethics.

Purpose and meaning of the activities of a free man is to maximize common good.

Common good is freedom from any determinism, both natural and social. Common good is achieved by cooperation of all free people. Everyone brings their own personal creative contribution to this common cause. Recognition of the contribution by others is the only objective source of its value.

Natural determinism is needs, threats and any limitations imposed by nature on man. This includes physical needs (favorable habitat conditions, including movement in space), biological (destruction of sources of fear, hunger, disease), psychological and cultural (satisfaction of curiosity, boredom, the need for variety, knowledge and beauty). Overcoming natural determinism requires changing the world.

Social determinism is any kind of violence, coercion, pressure and injustice, which may affect the creative result of a person. In the process of cooperation, free people, by consensus, develop formal rules that allow them to overcome social determinism. Consensus is reached on the basis of openness, trust and honest account of the interests and opinions of all people, each of which is the same party in common contract. Those reasonable people who deliberately withdraws from the contract are considered by others as part of the natural environment (natural determinism).

Formal rules govern the activities of people in the public sphere of society, which includes the interaction between strangers. Morality of personal relationships is informal and out of place in the public sphere. Free man draws a clear line between the spheres. He prohibits any conflicts of interest between personal and public. Personal sphere of everyone is completely closed to strangers, objective ethics does not apply to it.

Possible types of violence prohibited by objective ethics:

1. Physical, both individual and collective (including violence of power and majority), including indirect (creating dangers to life and health, exposure to risk).

2. Economic and financial:
- Fraud, cheating, theft, misappropriation;
- Exploitation, vandalism, freeloading;
- Use of market power, unfair competition;
- Inequitable distribution of shared resources;
- Manipulation of value of money, speculations, shifting risks to others.

3. Informational:
- Deception, distraction;
- Distortion, imposition, withholding information;
- Overflow by information, ignoring, silencing;
- Generation of confusing terms and meanings;
- Imprinting brands, slogans, symbols, names and faces.

4. Moral and ideological:
- Imposition of moral norms, values, traditions and customs;
- Instilling a sense of guilt, responsibility, worship;
- Calls for a universal brotherly love, for sacrifice in the name of "thy neighbor";
- Indoctrination, brainwashing, subjection.

5. Psychological:
- Threats, blackmail;
- Temptation, flattery;
- Harassment, molestation, intimidation, humiliation, mobbing;
- Libel, slander, disclosure of personal information;
- Intellectual pressure, reference to authority, formal education, general opinion, truism, incompetence.

6. Emotional: The deliberate evocation of feelings of pity, shame, desire, sympathy, hatred, resentment, disgust, etc.

7. Propagation of the morality of personal relationships to the public sphere:
- Corruption, collusion, bribery, kickbacks;
- Clanship, friendship, kinship and other personal relationships in public companies or institutions;
- Corporate culture, team spirit, forced collective responsibility;
- Concealment, mutual service;
- Tips, handouts, rewards for "personal" service.

8. Group morality, the opposition of "friend or foe" and discrimination on this basis:
- Nationalism, racism, regionalism, patriotism;
- Ethnic and cultural bonds;
- Moral and religious superiority;
- Conceptual, ideological or other worldview affinity;
- Professional and class solidarity;
- Closed formal communities (special/secret services, orders, lodges, etc.).

Free man is not only guided by the described principles, but he also looks for ways of their widespread practical implementation through education and promotion of non-violence and universal equitable social contract. The Manifesto serves this purpose.

Only ethics makes people free!

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Some clarifications

  • This manifesto is laying out moral norms that say about themselves that they're a form of violence. How does that process work?

  • "Possible types of violence..." is a suggestion for further deliberation: "In the process of cooperation, free people, by consensus, develop formal rules that allow them to overcome social determinism." Concensus is not equal to laying out moral norms. As for values, due to paradoxical nature of freedom it is an objective property of the universe and the primary value at the same time. Without freedom all other values are impossible.

  • Tell us why we should take this manifesto as truth?

  • Nobody "should". Free people make free choices.

  • Why is it the case that "Common good is freedom from any determinism, both natural and social"?

  • Because freedom lies at the heart of all goods / values. It is the only universal value.

  • Why do you call this ethics "objective"?

  • This ethics is based on universal consensus. Any other ethics would be not only relative and subjective, but would be also based on violence and, therefore, not long lasting. Freedom, in its turn, is objective because:

    1) it is the only possible basis for universal consensus;
    2) it does not depend on any single opinion (as it depends on everybody);
    3) it is the (most plausible) property of objective reality opposite to determinism.

    Anything that we think is subjective, however objectivity does exist. Objectivity is the result of consensus - that is how we arrive at objective laws of reality, for instance. The same way we could arrive at objective ethics - through consensus. However, we have to keep in mind that objectivity, just like consensus, requires eternal negotiations. That is the nature of objectivity. For additional explanations, please see Freedom and Ethics (Q&A)

  • Without 20/20 hindsight, we have no way of knowing (from a universal rather than humanistic perspective) whether freedom or any other agreed consensus (subject to continual refinement or otherwise) is a good thing or not!

  • We may never know that but the fact is we may take a good guess. And if we are mistaken our later alien party to universal contract will certainly correct us. The important thing is we are part to the same contract and our opinion matters. If we are just dust on the way to an unknown "higher goal", then the only way to achieve any such goal is to forget about our freedom and to completely subject ourselves to determinism. But as long as we have the freedom to know and to act, we must select our own "higher goal".

  • Why is this "good guess" (or "higher goal") freedom?

  • Because violence does not require ethics at all. Ethics is basically a way to restrict violence (ie overcome determinism).

  • This manifesto seems to be trying to define a "negative goal": maximal freedom from all restrictions. But freedom to accomplish what?

  • Freedom leaves that choice to you. This is the beauty of freedom.

  • Your freedom looks like a lot of restrictions! What kind of freedom is this?

  • The list of "restrictions" is norms proposed for the contract. Norms look like restrictions because (social) freedom is realized by restricting (social) violence. We can say that a norm is always a restriction of arbitrariness. But the main thing in the Manifesto is not restrictions but creativity. Freedom requires first and foremost the creation of new technical, economic, etc. mechanisms to help men become free, the creation of a new social order. Of course, this progress will not bring freedom, if its fruits will be used unethically. Therefore such attention is paid to types of social violence.

  • In what sense are people freed by rules?

  • Formal rules make complete independence from each other possible. "Complete" independence means dependence on everybody at once and nobody in particular.

  • So it's unethical to resist violence unless its passive resistance?

  • Not necessarily. "Those reasonable people who deliberately withdraws from the contract are considered by others as part of the natural environment (natural determinism)." But "Overcoming natural determinism requires changing the world." Therefore, free people will use all necessary means to deal with violent people.

  • This ethics treats nature as something to be challenged and conquered. Is not man an integral part of nature and should works with it instead of trying to dominate it?

  • We do not have to dominate the nature - we are still part of it. Being free does not mean we have to destroy nature or something like that. Even when we are hungry, for instance, we could find means to eat without killing animals.

  • How and to what degree will the found ethical norms change under survival pressure (Continuity / Disaster Recovery)?

  • In case of a major catastrophe or a war, objective ethics gives way to "heroic morale" which requires sacrifices for the purpose of group/humanity survival. Freedom is possible only in a stable/peaceful society.

  • What about love? Do not people have to help each other?

  • Objective ethics does not cover all human activity. For instance, personal relationships are covered by "sacrificial morality" which includes love and mutual assistance.

  • This ethics is impossible to implement! For instance, I'm not sure we can draw a clear dividing line between the public and private spheres. Should not ethical requirements be feasible?

  • Ethical ideals must always remain unattainable because otherwise man can reach perfection and lose the meaning of his life. But this does not mean that we do not have to strive to reach them. Finding better ethical norms is eternal process.

  • When I look at this ethics I see a lot that I find worthwhile. When I look at the society that this ethics would create I think it takes it way too far and it isn't a society I'd want to live in!

  • Objective ethics requires consensus. Therefore I am sure your opinion, just like that of anybody else, will be taken into account.

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