Posts Tagged ‘Moral Behavior’

You Can’t Lie To The Eye In The Sky

January 2, 2012

You Can’t Lie To The Eye In The Sky

Please notice that many communites are strategically mounting video cameras in an attempt to control criminal (immoral) behavior. There is a strong message in this technological effort, which is doomed to failure.

B.F. Skinner once argued that a government that governs least, governs best, only when something else is  governing. This of course suggests that without good values and moral behaviors, and a source of their maintenance,  “The People” will be unable to govern themselves effectively.

You are seeing the truth of this statement dramatically playing-out, now during Amrica’s tragic decline.

Secular humanism (atheism)  cannot provide the good behaviors and values needed for a population’s sucessful self-governance. The following is an explanation of some of the reasons this is true.

For those who do not believe in God, the question is: Why should they believe in God’s rules for personal conduct?  What moral influences on the nonbeliever are left?

For non-believers,  God’s moral rules are apt to be weaker because there are no spiritual consequences for resisting our innate tendency to selfishly maximize our immediate pleasures with blindness to the damaging delayed consequences of such behavior.

It is natural for humans to associate with others who share similar views and behavior patterns; and who will agree with and reinforce their own, and others, short-sighted pleasure-driven actions. Non-believers, like Believers,  will normally avoid the company of those who do not approve of their thoughts, words and actions.

Non-believers are more likely to associate with those who reward conformity to nonreligious moral codes. Unfortunately, a great many non-religious guides are inferior to the religious ones due to delayed harmful consequences to misbehaving individuals, their loved ones, and the whole socioculture in which they reside.

Secular social moral influences will also have a weaker effect upon the moral conduct of non-believers for another reason. Non-believers will experience social consequences for only their behaviors that are detected by their moral associates. Social moral influences will  be weak when nonbelievers can behave in private, with anonymity (i.e.,the internet, large cities, travel to distant locations). Under these conditions many short and long-term negative social consequences are more easily escaped or avoided by those who do immoral things. Modernity promotes the very conditions that increase privacy, anonymity, and association with others, who are willing participants and share similar immoral value systems and behavioral tendencies. Anonymity also makes it more likely that those who behave badly can find unwitting victims.

On the other hand, for True Believers the most powerful consequences come from their personal God who they believe sees everything they do and even knows their private thoughts. For them, God will certainly consequate their public and private behavior. He will provide worldly misfortunes  for bad public and private behavior, as well as well-known  spiritual (i.e., heaven or hell) delayed consequences.  For the believer, these consequences are certain and they can very powerfully influence the quality of their actions.

The main reason that the True Believer will be more likely to be better behaved than the non-believer simple.

For the True Believer, there is no way to lie to the Eye in the Sky.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   1/2/12

A Uniform Code Of Moral Conduct?

January 25, 2011

The Rational For A Universal Code Of Moral Conduct

The reasons that I have assembled the Universal Code Of Moral Conduct (UCMC) are many. Foremost is the fact that everyone will benefit from having a practical code of moral values and conduct to teach their children and adolescents and to encourage among themselves.  A socioculture that fails to acculturate its members in the ethics of morality will suffer increasing behavioral chaos and resulting economic and functional decline.

To the best of my imperfect ability, the inclusion of prescriptions in the UCMC has only been a result of my bias toward the scientific literature on the principles of human development and behavior and also elements from traditionally successful moral codes. In other words because they accord with the data of the physical and psychological sciences and because they have effectively supported some of the most successful sociocultures in history.

All great sociocultures have had religious belief systems and religiously derived codes of conduct which helped to organize and regulate their collective behavior. The more effective these moral codes of conduct, on balance, the better these sociocultures have faired in the world of other  sociocultures that compete for survival.

But, the evolution of science and technology in the modern world has led to population mobility and unprecedented rates of migration between cultures. This amalgamation of many cultural beliefs and practices and the effects of science and technology upon these belief systems and behaviors  have weakened the power of religious faith-based moral and ethical precepts which once helped to organize and sustain their sociocultures.

In deference to its increasing religious and philosophical diversity, the United States has seen fit to remove its traditional Judeo-Christian rules for conduct (The Ten Commandments and Golden Rule), as well as most references to these faiths and moral precepts from its public land, courts, most media and our public schools. As a result it has increasingly failed to teach moral behavior to its children for several generations with the predictable result of increasing behavioral chaos and a general decline in America’s adaptability and functioning. It has been left to parents to teach their children morality. But, parents cannot teach what they have not learned. It has been left to the churches to teach morality. But, in the face of the church’s weakening hold on its parishioners, they have reduced their advocacy for moral restraint and sacrifice in order to sustain themselves.

America is reaching a point of no return. Any society that wishes to survive long and well, must settle upon an effective code of moral conduct to teach to its children.  They must then effectively organize themselves to powerfully do exactly that. Simultaneously, they must motivate conformity to this moral code in their adult population. What better moral code could there be for an increasingly diverse socioculture than one distilled from the most successful ones in the history of our planet that are also consistent with important principles of science, religion, and philosophy.

While there are numerous religions and moral prescriptions, the most successful ones have many themes in common. These common themes provide for an integrated face-valid, time-tested and successful moral code of conduct for modern diverse liberal democracies similar to the United States of America.

Regarding the validity of the prescriptions of  the UCMC, each by itself should accord with a history of success and predictions from scientific principles, theory to improve the primary mechanisms and measures thought to mediate our sociocultural health and viability.

Accordingly, conformity to each UCMC prescription should lead to the reduction of  bad behavioral contagion (the spread of maladaptive behavior within a population), the improvement of metabehavioral measures (critical social indicators), the reduction of social entropy (that proportion of a population unavailable to build and maintain the socioculture, but functions as a drain upon it), and a commensurate reduction in the probability of sociocultural decline or decompensation (the loss of ability to maintain viability due to catastrophic events and/or increasing rates of physical or social entropy).

All that is needed is a faith in the value of the moral code itself. The basis for such a faith is easily documented when viewed against the success of those historically valid moral systems from which it is derived. Because the UCMC is ecumenical and science-based in its origins it should be acceptable to those of many faiths,  agnostics, atheists, as well as scientists and those with faith in secular humanism.

Whether the prescriptions of the UCMC have been sent by God, or by a history of trial and error and intelligent human analysis, is a private matter for each individual to decide. But the value of such a moral code for collective life and sociocultural success is beyond question.

The Uniform Code of Moral Conduct should therefore be widely promulgated, taught, and encouraged at all levels of private and public life.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    1/25/11

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