Topics for Philosophy

Good and bad as ethical considerations can be simplified to the point where the issues concerned are self evident and "satisfactory" to the viewpoint. In practical terms a vivid, dynamic philosophy can be evolved which is far more desirable than a pallid academic series of convolutions on significance, untouched by the fires of real life.

If we start at the center of things we can see some things from long experience in the world, or even from simple intuition, that can perhaps be viewed as satisfactory descriptions of the tenor of Good.

For example, we all start in the world surrounded by ourselves; the efforts of our bodies, the noises , calculations and balances of our minds. This is true whether we are riding herd in Newcastle Montana or pondering the intricacies of artificial intelligence at M.I.T. or philosophizing in Vladivostock. You do not have to look far to find this area of reality; it is not an imponderable. What would be 'good' here?

A few items that come to mind are clear thought, unenforced and uninhibited affinity, and unimpeded ability. We could all use more of these and without doubt they would be considered better than the alternatives. In turn these items could be analyzed to get a more distinct notion of good. And customized to match the individual circumstances of life in which each of us finds Self.

Shortly beyond the sphere of self one finds a secondary zone in which "good" can be found. This zone includes the genetic track of time which has found it's latest manifestation in your own body; its immediate genetic links to other individuals in family and the raising of new persons from birth; and the romantic and sexual actions which go into this theater of life's efforts. Good? A few examples might be understanding, honesty, strength of relationship, successful dealings with the environment, and success in love and sex; mutual care and support, longevity, and a standard of valuable exchange with those around the family. The reasons are heuristic: for example, it is true for each of us who have had the opportunity to do so, that involving oneself in dishonesty, broken relations, or fraudulent exchanges with the environment has consequences, and these consequences tend to foreshorten the breadth of future experience. There is the real standard for good: the breadth and quality of future experience is the measure of ethical action. Those things which we name here as good contribute to broader, more desirable future experience.

Groups of individuals formed (outside of genetic relations) for the sake of production or mutual support of some kind: good lies in rational mutual communication, effective action clearly communicated, and in an economic context the achievement of enough surplus to forward the group's purposes into the future. What are good purposes for a group of people? Those which increase the breadth and quality of future experience for themselves, others, the species and other species.

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