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Freedom Fundamentals

Self-Responsibility and Social Order

For the first time reader it is probably best to not use the links from the words in this document beginning with a capital (which are technical terms whose links point to their definitions within the Natural Social Contract). Instead, for a first reading it is strongly suggested that the reader should simply attempt to use the vernacular meaning of a word which seems appropriate to the context in which it is used in this document. After in this manner obtaining some understanding of what this document is about and continuing on to do the same for both the Theory of Social Meta-Needs and the Natural Social Contract, the reader will then be in a better position to delve into the full nuances of the definitions and their meanings within all these documents. Even though related, these meanings and usages are often quite significantly different than any vernacular usages of the capitalized words and such differences will only become fully clear by using a circular approach to learning. Only by doing so will it be possible to fully understand the meaning and operation of these documents.

The Rational Individual
- Agent of hir Actions,
creator of hir Happiness

A Rational human knows that s/he is the Responsible Agent of all hir (his/her) Actions. This is one of those self-evident statements that have enormous implications when carried to their logical conclusions. For the purposes of analysis, I (Paul Antonik Wakfer) will classify a human's Action as having material or immaterial Effects on hirself or another human. By material, I mean that the consequence is mainly a direct, unavoidable, objective, physiological (including perceptual) Effect. By immaterial, I mean that the Effect relies wholly on the interpretation and Evaluation of the mind. In addition, it is important to realize that the Choice of any Action of a human is determined by prior mental Actions by which s/he has analyzed each likely material or immaterial Effect of all hir Available Actions to Estimate the amount by which each such Action may increase or decrease hir Lifetime Happiness and even the likelihood of such change occurring. In simpler and more immediate terms, s/he Estimates how much s/he likes or dislikes the expected Effects of each of hir Available Action. Whether s/he has done this consciously or unconsciously, and how thoroughly and logically, is not germane to this analysis. For hir to Act at all, always implies that some such analysis and decision making has been done. For example, within the category of music, a human will have Decided that some pieces increase and others decrease hir listening pleasure. Note that any creation of a potential for an increase of a human's Happiness must necessarily also create a potential for a decrease. Only if a human has no capacity for emotion at all will s/he be impervious to negative effects on hir Happiness, but then it will also be impossible for hir to increase hir happiness, or actually, even experience Happiness at all. Of course, by definition the Intent and purpose of a human's Rational Actions is to increase hir Lifetime Happiness, and so to the extent that such Actions result in a decrease of Lifetime Happiness, the Actions are in error - their Effects are unwanted and UnIntended. Thus, each human must be constantly as aware of hir potential for decreasing hir Lifetime Happiness as of hir potential for increasing it, as a Result of any particular Action. And for that reason a human is clearly responsible for all of the Happiness increases and decreases throughout hir Lifetime to the extent that s/he is the Effective Cause of any Actions involved. However, because of hir ultimate responsibility to understand the Reality outside of hirself also (hir Environment), and to Evaluate the risks of its vagaries, a human is also ultimately responsible for all of the alterations of hir Lifetime Happiness caused by all of Reality, even including other humans.

Fictional illustration of
total self-responsibility

To understand the necessity of this conclusion - this ultimate total human self-responsibility - that I have just derived from the fundamental Characteristic of human separateness from the rest of the universe and a human's prime ethical purpose of optimally increasing hir Lifetime Happiness, imagine the following scenario:

Optimizing Happiness
on an alien planet

Your space ship has suffered an accident and been forced to land on a completely alien planet in the midst of a completely alien race and culture, but one of clearly intelligent productive beings living in a society which clearly has sufficient order to keep them alive and productive. (You can also reverse the roles here and consider that you are an intelligent alien set down on earth). What do you do to survive and prosper? What you do is take some time in your impregnable space ship to study their ways and learn as much about them as possible until your supplies run low or you otherwise decide to emerge.

At that point, you must make decisions based on your knowledge, and with risk calculated as best possible attempt to interface with the environment of the planet including its intelligent aliens. Suppose that you have also managed to learn their language. Does it do you any good to emerge from your spaceship shouting: "You can't kill me. I've got the right to life!"? Not if they have never heard of the concept of rights or don't accept that other lifeforms have the right to life! Does it do you any good to emerge with guns blazing? Not for very long. Does it solve your problem to remain holed up in your impregnable space ship? Not once your supplies run out. And even if they are fully recyclable, you certainly won't have as many Available Actions as you would from the whole planet. Life will get pretty boring very soon.

Instead what you do is to attempt to engage in the sort of activities and interpersonal relationships which the natives are doing. Accepting that what you have studied is the reality of the world around you and given that your nature finds most of the same things to be valuable to you that the natives do, you would simply attempt to be as good or better at it than they are in order to build up your wealth of valuable assets and thus to increase your Lifetime Happiness as best as is possible on this alien planet through interaction with the native society. However, it may have been clear to you from your study, that you will have to engage in many activities which will actually harm some natives and you will not be required to even repay them for the harm done, even while many of your activities benefit others. It may even be that the total benefit that you do exceeds the total harm that you do (by some impersonal measures), and this may fully satisfy both you and most of the natives. And of course, reciprocally there is always risk that the natives and their customs will gravely harm you in like manner, even if fully unintended.

However, there is another solution! Suppose you are really lucky and you have landed right inside a library containing all of their knowledge of themselves including a rosetta stone for their language and that your supplies are sufficient for you to really become an expert about them, perhaps because of your high intellect and excellent analytical powers. After studying the native society for many years you realize that if it was ordered in a different manner (perhaps, say, to respect more fundamental personal Liberty), then everyone in the society would be better off in the sense that each person would receive less harm and more benefit from the same amount of effort as he currently puts out to live. Moreover, if you could effect such a change, then, when you do go out among the natives, you also would be likely to be subject to less harm and more benefit, and their added productivity would create more Available Actions for you - perhaps sufficient to allow you to repair your space ship.

Applying the scenario
to planet Earth society

Well --- The alien planet is Earth! I and Kitty are the aliens who have landed here (68 and 61 years ago, respectively). It is a beautiful planet on which we would be very happy to continue to live indefinitely or until we can build a space ship so that we can explore other worlds. However, we have a disease called "aging" which is currently incurable with a prognosis of only 40 more years of life at the very most. We are convinced that the current social order of the society in which we find ourselves is not likely to produce either a cure for our disease or a major inhibition of it before it is too late for us. However, we are also convinced that we have discovered a theoretical basis and constructed a practical framework for a social order that will make a better and far more productive society for everyone including ourselves - one that will be productive enough to be likely to find a cure for or major inhibition of the fatal disease of aging within the necessary time frame. Our job now is to convince sufficient numbers of humans to convert over to this social order (guided by the Natural Social Contract) in time to find a cure for our fatal disease of aging!

The potential for pleasure or pain necessarily existing together in all Evaluations of percepts also exists in the potential for Benefit or Harm from the Effects of the Actions of one human on another. The more a human understands the material and immaterial immediate desires and long range goals of other humans, the more s/he will also be able to Act in ways that are Beneficial to such other humans (or also Harmful - just as with hirself) who have cultivated their potential for Benefit from InterPersonal Relationships with others. Note however, that this can only be done to the extent that a human has intimate knowledge of the Internal Evaluations of another who s/he is trying to Benefit - s/he cannot act according to hir own Evaluations (as with the Golden Rule). Still, the primary responsibility of any human is to Act to optimally increase hir own Lifetime Happiness both materially and immaterially, rather than the Lifetime Happiness of others, and of course, this is also by far the easier thing to do because hir intimacy with hirself enables hir to know hir own needs for Happiness far better than the needs of others, given the same amount of effort.

Natural Social Contract
reduces the burden of
constant Benefit/risk Evaluation

In spite of the primary self-responsibility of each human, which is necessary because the nature of hir Environment is such that s/he lacks significant knowledge of others, it is the thesis of the Theory of Social Meta-Needs that sufficient commonality exists among humans that there is a set of Actions that a human can take or refrain from taking which are virtually certain to cause Harm or Benefit to other humans. By taking such Actions as will clearly Benefit others, refraining from taking such Actions as will clearly Harm others, and by Permittedly inducing others to do the same toward hir, a human can effectively relieve hirself from much of the burden of constant Evaluation of the risks and Benefits of every Action that s/he takes. In addition, if s/he can rely upon other humans to act in such a mutually Beneficial manner, then s/he will have reason to more strongly cultivate hir potential to receive Benefit from the Actions of others because s/he can be more certain that the reciprocal potential for Harm will not be Realized. Thus, with such a Social order in place, each human can open hirself up to the Beneficial Actions of others, reduce time spent Protecting hirself from others or seeking Restitution for their Violatory Actions, and spend more of hir limited resources on Benefiting hirself, which Actions under such a system will indirectly but automatically Benefit others. This then is the purpose of the Natural Social Contract - to provide the framework under which the Actions of humans will be able to cause the least Harm and the most Benefit for one another, and thus, to enable each human to put most of hir resources directly toward the production of goods, services and other Actions that optimally increase the Lifetime Happiness of both hirself and all others.