The origins of morality have been debated before on the boards, with some posters arguing that morality requires the existence of a higher being to have any validity and other posters arguing that morality is completely relative. Neither of those answers is satisfying or complete, and so another poster and I have undertaken to derive a moral code that is neither relative nor dependent on a God figure. The moral code we have developed springs from empirical facts about the human condition.Human beings are created with a specific set of physical needs (food, water,air, shelter) that are universal to the human condition. They are also endowed at birth with free will. Free will is the characteristic of an individual's mind that understands the concept of existence and allows the individual to consider his own needs as an individual and then make decisions about his environment in an effort to satisfy those needs.Individuals, when created, are born with the same basic needs and the same basic rights to be secure in their person and to exercise their will. These rights and needs are allocated in equal measure to all individuals at creation. No one individual has a greater share of these rights or needs than another at the time of creation. Since, atcreation, rights are equal, it stands to reason that the equivalency of rights persists until such time as an individual voluntarily chooses to give up some of their rights to another individual for whatever reason.Since all individuals have the same rights to exercise their free will until such time as they voluntarily cede them, it follows that no individual has the authority to compel another person to do anything, unless the person has voluntarily given the individual permission. From this we can derive the first tenet of morality:1) All individuals are sacrosanct with respect to their person.Two sub-tenets could be added to make clear the intent of the first maxim. They are:1a) no individual or group may compel the assistance of another without the other's voluntary consent1b) no individual or group has the right to initiate an assault on the person of anotherIt has been shown that the equivalency of rights persists until such time as an individual voluntarily chooses to give up their some of rights to another individual for whatever reason. It stands to reason that an individual would only voluntarily cede some of their rights to another if they felt they would receive something of equal or greater value in return. In other words, the individual would choose to give up some of his right to unfettered exercise of his free will only if he thought he had more to gain from giving up the rights than he would have gotten by exercising unrestrained free will. The act of placing constraints on the free exercise of one's will in the pursuit of one's core interests must, by definition, be an act of free will in and of itself. This leads us to the second tenet of morality:2) Interactions of any kind between individuals must be the result of the exercise of free willSince interactions between individuals involve potentially trading away or limiting an individual's most fundamental rights, , it follows that each party is obligated to deliver what the other party expected from the exchange. The system of interactions between individuals can not function if the honesty of the transactions are not maintained. That leads to tenet 2a).2a) Honesty is the cornerstone of free will interactionsIt has been shown that individuals enter into agreements with other people for the express purpose of satisfying some portion of their interest that they would not have been able to satisfy on their own. Since interactions between individuals are predicated on the exercise of free will, and free will is defined as the ability of each individual to pursue their own interests, it follows that an individual can not be compelled by another into a transaction that goes against their interests. That can be stated as tenet 2b).2b) no individual can be compelled by another into a transaction that goes against their interestsWhile pursuit of personal interest can result in the greatest benefit to an individual, we need to consider that for some individuals, events may occur in life from which they can not recover on their own. While no individual has the right to compel assistance from another, it is nonetheless appropriate for individuals to freely assist those who are in need. Our condition of humanity and our natural preference for life over death give us a common bond with other people that justifies providing voluntary assistance. That leads us to a third sub-tenet under #2, namely,2c)The proper exercise of free will includes providing voluntary assistance to those who require it.So far, we have shown that no individual has the right to compel assistance from another and that any interaction between individuals needs to be based on a voluntary exchange of things perceived by both parties to be of similar value. As individuals set about pursuing their personal interests, they may begin to amass property to allow them a higher degree of comfort or to provide security against lean times in the future. This property is the result of the individuals exercise of free will and represents a thing of value created by that free will. As such, no individual can be deprived of his property by another individual or group. To do so would be to violate tenet #2 regarding the interactions between individuals, and ultimately tenet #1, since seizing a persons property might leave them more exposed should hard times come. This leads us to tenet #3, namely:3) Individuals shall be secure in their property. No person has an inherent right to the property of another.There are two main classes of property - animate property, and inanimate property. The rights of an individual regarding the disposition of their inanimate property are limitless. Since the property is the direct result of the exercise of an individuals free will over time in the pursuit of their interest, it follows that they can do whatever they wish with that property so long as they don't negatively impact another individual.Animate property, on the other hand, has basic rights by virtue of its existence as a living thing. To treat animate property inhumanely is to trample its basic rights as a living thing, and therefore is not moral. Ownership rights of animate property are predicated on the humane treatment of the property in question.That leads to 2 sub tenets to tenet 3, namely:3a) Rights to animate property are predicated upon humane treatment by an individual for the animate property3b) It is the right of the individual to dispense with their inanimate property as they see fit.That makes the complete code as follows:1) The individual is sacrosanct with respect to their person.a) No person may compel the assistance of another without the other's consentb) No person has the right to initiate an assault on the person of another for any reason2) Interactions between individuals must be the result of the exercise of free willa) Honesty is the cornerstone of free will interactionsb) No individual can be compelled into a transaction that goes against their interestsc) The proper exercise of free will includes providing oluntary assistance to those who require it.3) Individuals shall be secure in their property. No person has aninherent right to the property of another a) Rights to live property are predicated upon humane treatmentby an individual for the live property b) It is the right of the individual to dispense with their inanimate property as they see fit.These rules for morality provide an underpinning for society as well.The unrestrained exercise of individual free will in the pursuit of satisfying individual needs offers the individual the opportunity to gain the most benefit from activities he undertakes. However, not all the needs of an individual can generally be met by exercise of his abilities alone, and so the individual bands together with others to form a society. Society is a voluntary agreement between individuals to place a focused number of restrictions on their complete freedom to attain the benefits offered by interacting with other individuals with different sets of physical skills. Society can only function within the context of the rights voluntarily ceded by the individuals making up the society at the time of its formation. The rights of the individuals comprising society can not be further restricted by society except with the unanimous consent of the individual members. To do otherwise would be to violate the first and second tenet of morality. All laws and regulations passed by a society need to conform to the 3 tenets of morality to have any validity.
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