I believe that it is possible to formulate a few very simple, axiomatic principles or laws that can work as ground rules for any kind of society. They would form a foundation for civilzed co-existence and provide the means for arbitrating any dispute.
Our current societies have a dizzying number of rules and laws, completely incomprehensible as a whole, and full of self-contradictions and exceptions. They seem to be mostly an accumulative pile of compromises and short-sighted thinking, now acting as a neurotic social mind for our society, used as a basis for manipulation of populations and for self-serving interpretations.
I believe that truth is inherently simple, and that a sane society doesn't need more than a handful of laws. Basic laws should be such that any person can understand them and remember them in their entirety without difficulty. They should have no exceptions.
I am not necessarily able to provide any definitive bid for what they should be, but this is my current attempt:
- All manifestations of life are inherently interconnected and interdependent.
- Any person is free to leave circumstances they don't choose to participate in.
- No person is allowed to deliberately render common resources useless or unavailable.
- Strive to be tolerant of any experience.
We can not judge the relative rightness or wrongness of actions simply based on what specific actions are done or based on the specific outcome. The whole situation as it is needs to be assessed, and the intentions of the parties involved need to be elicited.
Integrity is about the most important element in a set of universal social rules. However, integrity is a concept that has been conspicuously absent from the practice of law in recent times. It has become common to apply law to get away with what one can, without regard to integrity.
Integrity could be said to be hard to define or vague or open to interpretation. However, that is in part the point. We can not put on a piece of paper specifically what action is a right one for everybody. We are all different and different actions will be right for each of us at different times.
We can set broad guidelines, broad but clear in their principles. The application to specific situations would have to be done by real live people dealing with the actual situation at hand.
Notice that several of the rules I proposed above have a balancing effect in relation to each other. That does not mean that they contradict each other, it just means that several sides to a situation always exist, and they need to be aligned as best possible. A person is free to act the way he thinks is right. However, that right is limited by the requirement that he can not use his freedom to hinder the expression of that right for others, or to deliberately harm others.
Rules like those given above are likely to appear threatening to some members of our current society. Specifically, the lack of strict moral controls might seem scary to people who themselves have difficulty expressing themselves freely.
This is my first attempt at writing something like this, so somebody might well point out some basic flaw. However, I expect that most of the arguments against what I propose would be disagreement with the basic premises, i.e. beliefs that people are inherently bad and not to be trusted, and therefore one needs to protect what one has from the other guys and try to hold them back.