Contraindications to HUEP

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Mike
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Contraindications to HUEP

Post by Mike »

I'm not sure if HUEP (Humanianity Ultimate Ethical Principal) is the right acronym, but, nevertheless, I find myself resistant to it's adoption. I've thought about this for a while and my main point of resistance, I think, is the word "everyone". Bringing this down to the mezzo and micro social levels and forgetting, for a moment, about the macro levels, why should I, personally, try to live life in a way that reduces pain suffering and early death for everyone?

I think HUEP would have registered with me more so when I was younger—a time when, due to my immaturity, I projected my own desires and beliefs about how the world should work onto society. As I approach middle age at 44 years, I'm recognize that humans have evolved, as a whole, to be fundamentally self centered. Moreover, nature clearly promotes self-centeredness through natural selection, and social experiments like communism and other communal social arrangement (communes in the 60s) have always failed (one way or another). Capitalist and democratic social and economic systems on the other hand, which are reliant on self interest and self promotion often at the cost to others, have flourished and have fundamentally raised the living standards for humanity. These realities seems to imply that living life in a way that prioritizes everyone is not, ultimately (and counter intuitively) does not, in the end, promote successful, desirable outcomes.

wvanfleet
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Re: Contraindications to HUEP

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Mike wrote:I'm not sure if HUEP (Humanianity Ultimate Ethical Principal) is the right acronym, but, nevertheless, I find myself resistant to it's adoption.
I understand. So you are not Humanian like I am. I advocate for Humanianity, but I realize that few see its value as I do. I think, though, with more understanding of the nature of it, you would ultimately change your mind and join me.
Mike wrote: I've thought about this for a while and my main point of resistance, I think, is the word "everyone". Bringing this down to the mezzo and micro social levels and forgetting, for a moment, about the macro levels, why should I, personally, try to live life in a way that reduces pain suffering and early death for everyone?
Because the more all of us do, the better off we all are. Yes, we are tribal. But that has always led us to do what we have always been doing, fighting, or at least having reduced empathy and therefore concern for each other.
Mike wrote:I think HUEP would have registered with me more so when I was younger—a time when, due to my immaturity, I projected my own desires and beliefs about how the world should work onto society.
You call it immaturity to have wanted to be of help to the world. You have become disillusioned, and now are profoundly pessimistic (I know, no, you're just being "realistic"), and consider people like me to be "idealistic," i.e., foolish. But that, I believe, is because you have observed the bad mistakes that we have made so far in our efforts to make things better. What you are failing, I believe, to understand is how difficult the task is and how what needs still to be changed does indeed ruin our efforts to a great extent.
Mike wrote:As I approach middle age at 44 years, I'm recognize that humans have evolved, as a whole, to be fundamentally self centered.

The "self-centered" concept is highly problematic and misleading. Any characteristic that we have developed has been because of benefit to the self, including "altruism." We have evolved as a group animal, and are highly interdependent. Without each other, performing our roles, we die. If the mother doesn't feed the infant, the infant dies. If we don't watch out for each other, we die. It is by cooperating that we make our progress and overcome the hazards and challenges of our environment. But tribalism is part of ourselves, and has always promoted PSDED.
Mike wrote:Moreover, nature clearly promotes self-centeredness through natural selection, and social experiments like communism and other communal social arrangement (communes in the 60s) have always failed (one way or another).
Yes, they have, because we have not become sufficiently Humanian. We have not overcome our tendency to fight. We have been able to inhibit empathy for those not in our tribe, and do terrible things to them. But natural selection has promoted that interdependence. Calling it "self-centered" is just a pejorative way of labeling what can be the only mechanism for any animal developing any tendency, as group-oriented as that tendency may be. It is almost a meaningless label, except that when a person has failed to develop a certain amount of human connectedness, he or she can certainly be a liability to the group that sustains him or her.
Mike wrote:Capitalist and democratic social and economic systems on the other hand, which are reliant on self interest and self promotion often at the cost to others, have flourished and have fundamentally raised the living standards for humanity.

They are both systems that rely highly upon cooperation and coordination of effort.
Mike wrote:These realities seems to imply that living life in a way that prioritizes everyone is not, ultimately (and counter intuitively) does not, in the end, promote successful, desirable outcomes.
Your "prioritizes everyone" is a phrase that implies you are not understanding Humanianity. It's as if you are saying that Humanianity consists of devoting the same amount of effort to everyone and everything, obviously unrealistic and impossible. It is quite consistent with Humanianity that the amount of effort to be of help to another would depend in part upon how much effect that effort would have. So what is your ultimate ethical principle, with which you legitimize all your other ethical beliefs? Or don't you believe that working toward a consistent, strong basic ethical philosophy is a good idea? Are you really satisfied with the way things are? Don't you want to do everything you can to benefit everyone, including yourself? What are you living for? Just food and sex, and maybe a good fight every now and then? Do you prefer not to have a basic ethical philosophy, just doing what you feel like doing and not worrying about the possible effects of doing so? What are you proposing in the place of Humanianity? Please note that Humanianity is a way of working on solving problems; it is not a list of solutions. All ideas should be open to challenge and re-thinking.

Mike
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Re: Contraindications to HUEP

Post by Mike »

Thanks Bill, for your lengthy reply. There's a lot to respond to and I believe there some details in my post were understood in a way I did not intend. Such is language—especially written text—it seems.

Regardless of all those details which I feel could be discussed and clarified further, the following gets to the crux of it for me.

You wrote:

"Please note that Humanianity is a way of working on solving problems; it is not a list of solutions."

To clarify even further and put it in my own words, Humanianity is a way of working towards solving problems by guiding human behavior and human ethical beliefs such that said behaviors and beliefs are aligned with the HUEP as much as possible. If this is true, then although one can support a rational approach to ethics and human behavior—which is part of Humanianity (and which I do)—one can not be a true Humanian unless one decides to align their ethical beliefs and behavior according to the HUEP.

Is this correct?

wvanfleet
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Re: Contraindications to HUEP

Post by wvanfleet »

[To clarify even further and put it in my own words, Humanianity is a way of working towards solving problems by guiding human behavior and human ethical beliefs such that said behaviors and beliefs are aligned with the HUEP as much as possible. If this is true, then although one can support a rational approach to ethics and human behavior—which is part of Humanianity (and which I do)—one can not be a true Humanian unless one decides to align their ethical beliefs and behavior according to the HUEP.]

Yes, by definition of the new term "Humanian," derived from the new term "Humanianity." The HUEP is the Humanian ultimate ethical principle. "Ultimate ethical principle" is the arbitrarily chosen one that is used to legitimize all one's less general ethical principles, rules of conduct, and specific ethical beliefs related to specific situations.

A person does not have to say they are doing this, or say they are Humanian, in order to be Humanian. But if one wishes to advocate for this new kind of ethics, as opposed to the naturally occurring authoritarian ethics (obedience to the most powerful), or as opposed to having no interest in having a consistent basic ethical philosophy, then stating to others that one is Humanian is a way of demonstrating that one considers it a good thing and is a way of helping others to consider these issues.

So do you have an ultimate ethical principle (and if so, what is it)? To use your ultimate ethical principle to legitimize other ethical principles, etc., do you believe in using the rules of logic and the rules of evidence (those rules that foster increasingly accurate beliefs)?

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