Heroic Ethic System

The Heroic Ethic System is similar to the four mainline systems for the four specialties. With each specialty a form of control was established. The specialist changed the subject's perception of reality either by changing the perception or changing the reality. The State and the Economy changed reality by threatening violence or offering goods while religion and science changed the perception with verified and unverified information. While specialists change the perception of reality the heroic ethic exercises influence by changing the objectives. As mentioned in chapter two, communication establishes a second inheritance system. The objectives of the individuals are co-determined by their genetic code and their cultural inheritance.

This cultural inheritance influence proceeds through an eight stage system that is somewhat similar to the system for the four spheres, the state, religion, the economy science. In the earlier systems the specialist - institution transformation was carried out four times. In this system the heroic ethic - egalitaian institution transformation also happens four times. Furthermore there is a human decision - intellectual rights transformation that is similar to the education-ownership transformation. Finally there is a human intellectual rights institution - artificial intellectual rights institution transformation that is analogous to the individual ownership institution - egalitarian ownership institution.

The reader should be warned, however, that present understanding extends to recognition of a general similarity in form. An exact theoretic reason for the similarity has up to this point eluded the author.

A List of Stages in the Heroic Ethic System and the Categories Into Which They Fit.

1. Aristocratic Hero - (A) Heroic Ethic

2. (Athenian) Democracy - (A) Institution (B) Human Decision

3. Christian Martyr - (A) Heroic Ethic

4. Civil Liberty - (A) Institution (B) Intellectual Rights (C) Human

5. Marxism - (A) Heroic Ethic

6. Socialism - (A) Institution (B) Human Decision

7. Optimalism's Heroic Ethic - (A) Heroic Ethic

8. Optimalism - (A) Institution (B) Intellectual Rights (C) Artificial

1. Aristocratic Hero - Heroic Ethic

The hero perpetuates his type through communication. An aristocratic hero might perform great feats of bravery and quite likely be killed in the process. The tales of their valor in turn inspire others to emulate them and in some cases the emulators become the subjects of heroic myths and inspire others.

Because Greece was the birthplace of democracy the second step in this system the Homeric heroes are of particular interest. The Iliad gives a good example of the heroic phenomena. The deeds and deaths of men, heros, are individually chronicled. This careful description of the individual acts of bravery and cowardice can be tiresome for the modern reader, but was important to the Greeks because they wished to reward the brave and punish the cowardly. The young men listening would have understood that their behavior in battle might at least on a small scale receive similar treatment.

Heros like Hector and Achilles were typical in that their great deeds ended with death in battle. The ultimate sacrifice for society was held up as a triumph. The sacrificing of an individual's life for a cause is not likely to increase the number of children and grand children that individual has. Therefore the genetic code and the cultural inheritance are in direct conflict.

2. Democracy - Human Decision Institution

The heroic ethic sometimes influences the objectives of the individual but the selfish motives usually remain powerful. Democracy gives extra emphasis to the cultural inheritance, such as heroic ethics, by diluting the relationship between the voters decision and his self interest.

The heroic participation in the affairs of state that cost Achilles and Hector so dearly could be carried on safely by the voter. This is an important principle that will be used throughout the system. The institutional form that develops in reaction to a heroic ethic allows the individual to be heroic safely.

A second closely related principle is that only a person driven by heroic objectives would participate in and support the egalitarian ownership institution. Why when the individuals own vote has so little influence over the individual's own well being should anyone vote? The right to vote can only be valuable to these individuals who are at least slightly influenced by altruistic and heroic objectives. This does not mean that at completely selfish person would not prefer living in a democracy, for many reasons the rule of the people is useful even for the selfish, but the only rational individual who would cherish the right to vote is one who had some ideals beyond himself.

Democracy as an ideal inspired great loyalty and support. When democracy seemed to fail, the execution of Socrates, the fall of Athens to Macedon, there were strong philosophical reactions. Plato's Republic exemplified the reactions; the city-state had fallen from virtue so the individual should attempt to recreate the lost virtue within himself. This theme of the individual attempting to maintain himself uncorrupted within a corrupt world was important to the cynics, the stoics, and other schools of Hellenistic thought.

3. Christian Martyrs - Heroic Ethic

Christianity took the ideal of the pure individual in conflict with the imperfection of society to truly heroic lengths. The gods who played with the fate of Achilles and Hector were replaced by a god who experienced the fate of the hero. Christianity is heroic in what it asks, though after all the forgiveness is doled out it can be timid in what it demands. (This depends to some degree on the denomination which one belongs to.) Nevertheless it is interesting to reflect on why a religion calling for the heroic meekness of the Sermon on the Mount became in sheer numbers the world's most successful religion.

Christianity calls for heroic sacrifice at all times but particularly in the face of religious persecution. Christ's sacrifice inspired many martyrs who in turn inspired the faithful. The emphasis on martyrdom makes Christianity a heroic ethic.

4. Civil Liberty - Human Intellectual Right Institution

The activity that commonly led to martyrdom was profession of the faith. Practicing and preaching the faith to a corrupt society of non-believers is far safer if the corrupt society guarantees civil liberty. Civil liberty, as explained in chapter five on religion, is an outgrowth of the great religious struggles of the Protestant Reformation. Those struggles produced martyrs in great profusion. Because the Europeans took their role as preachers of the faith so seriously they valued their freedom highly. Of course, freedom of speech is more valuable for the selfish individual than the right to vote, nevertheless the individual is usually safe to leave the political speeches to others. The average individual is unlikely to influence his own well being by changing the attitudes of society as a whole. Much of the value of freedom of speech is only real for those who have heroic objectives of some type.

5. Marxism - Heroic Ethic

For some the society that tolerates its pure is not enough. They (in the author's opinion correctly) feel that the individual and society have responsibilities beyond mere tolerance. For some of these people a society that does more than tolerate personal purity is worth great sacrifices. The flag of Communism is red to remind the people of the blood spilled for them by the martyrs of the revolution.

Some may question the motives of the previous heros. Didn't Achilles fight for loot? True, but he entered the final battles having chosen to give up the long but unglorious life for the glorious life. This was not simply a risk because supernatural sources had informed him of the consequences of his decision. (The key point is the myth not the reality.) The Christian on the other had is promised rewards for his faith. But why does he choose a faith that asks for so much? Many faiths offer the joys of heaven without asking the faithful to turn their cheek or walk the extra mile. (This is not to imply that no other faith requires much and is not also heroic.)

The Marxist revolutionary is not in need of such a defense. He could always leave the revolution to others; history will proceed without him. He fights to participate in history in a positive way. The sacrifices thus made do not have to be justified as heroic by resort to the supernatural.

6. Socialism - Human Decision Institution

Civil Libertarian Democratic Socialism will provide the active and concerned government that the Marxist can work within. The relatively egalitarian income distribution and humane attitudes will mean little to the successful and secure without altruistic values. Only by accepting values beyond one self can one appreciate the achievement of the goals expressed within the social utility function. Thus, like previous egalitarian institutions socialism will depend on the traditions built with the heroic ethic.

7. Optimalisms Heroic Ethic - Heroic Ethic

The Homeric Myths were spread first by word of mouth and later by alphabetic writing. Christianity used the earlier methods and added the printing press even before civil liberty. Film as well as other electronic communication systems are used by Marxists. But ultimately optimalism's heroic ethic will have myth making devices far beyond even film. Ultimately it will no doubt be cheaper to feed the sensations, that make up our only contact with the real world, artificially into the brain. By wiring the nervous system into very advanced circuitry, an artificial reality may be created that could allow anything real reality can allow and more. Producing an artificial dream world will be very difficult and is not likely anytime soon. Nevertheless there is little reason to believe that it is physically impossible, so the paper assumes that technology will eventually produce such circuitry.

This would add a powerful myth making mechanism to the heroic optimalist's arsenal. The reader and viewer could be replaced by the experiencer.

But what heroic objectives could the heroic optimalist pursue? What more could be done to perfect society? Eventually technology will be able to create artificial means to any objective, other than the survival and reproduction of biological life, that are superior to the natural biological means. This will be true even if the only objective was to produce artificial human brains to live artificial lives because it could be done with fewer resources than the natural method. If we ignore the political difficulties and simply ask what is the most efficient use of resources the answer must be artificial for any nongenetic objectives. (Unless the objective is spiritual but the paper assumes this away.) Ideally the resources dedicated to the existence, maintenance and entertainment of the human race would be withdrawn. Ideally the human race would heroically sacrifice itself to the greater good of the optimal solution.

8. Optimalism - Artificial Intellectual Rights Institution

At this point the human race has accepted the principle of maximization of societies utility function under socialism, freedom of intellectual inquiry under civil liberty, and the right of the electorate to determine the laws democratically. Furthermore civilization has instituted rules, and culture co-determines, with genetics, the individual's objectives. Finally the brain rather than the genetic code will make the final decision to vote for or against the heroic use of the resources supporting the human race. It appears that the genetic stands hopeless before the accumulated layers of cooperation, information processing and intellectual decision making systems. Several billion individuals have the vote, no one can rationally think that their vote has much chance of deciding the issue so the individual's voting decision is virtually cost less. Furthermore, within the realm of rational reasoning there can be little question as to the ethical course of action.

Another, less final, solution is available and politically preferable because a constitution could be instituted that would give rights to existence to each individual subject to repeal only by a unanimous vote. This would allow each individual to retain control of his own existence. The other available resources could be turned over to the objective of maximizing whatever artificial objectives were finally decided upon.

Obviously the tendency of life to expand until all available resources are used will have to be held in check. Here once again the artificial reality becomes useful with artificial children if need be. Of course, some people might prefer real children: this would be little trouble as long as the numbers are kept to two for each two parents and the parents are willing to grow old and die after a long full life. The general principle is that anything can be arranged and leave the great bulk of the resources to the artificial objectives so long as life's tendency toward exponential increase is checked.

Nevertheless the care of the outmoded human race is a secondary issue of this paper. The main point is that the intellectual decision making systems have finally gained complete control of the bulk of the resources. The destiny of the species, started so many billions of years ago, will finally be completed.

Chapter 14 Conclusion

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