Proethics


We know from general biography that humans are made to perceive, interpret, and feel as they like, or freely. This de facto freedom, though, is ethically neutral; absolute moral choice has no part in it, because what moral and to choose do mean has to be devised, like everything else, through the A|D|R identity, which is open to no matter what. Intra- and inter-radical transducibility makes human basic freedom almost unreserv­edly unconditional. Sorry to say, it is also wholly un­qualified in terms of wrong or right. A wonderful and worrisome lack of restrictions; we are literally efficient in everything but justice.

Two kinds of freedom

Justice is the only one of all concepts that cannot do without a good measure of absolute restriction in it. By the way, this is the reason why most ancient and modern philosophers – who took their discipline to offer a consolatory solution to mankind’s theoretical and ethical problems – devised their restrictive logical and ontological visions, so to establish a world of intellectual and moral values against all odds.
The deep-seated relativity of our A|D|R-based identity stands out against what is essential or absolutus in justice. Nevertheless, that very same identity enables us to see, in the vast pool of our elementary liberties, the black spot where justice should dwell. So, in prosophy’s light, injustice is a deprivation of the ultimate freedom, the one that rises above our being-to-the-world. In other words, there’s an inherent inconsistency in our being-to-the-world, a fund­am­ent­al discrepancy that calls for amendment. Whatever we do with our all-encompassing freedom, we cannot say that we’re living up to it if we do not allow every human being the opportunity to enjoy it as much as we do. Prosophy, the coolest engine of understanding, discovers the warmest heart inside its skeletal apparatus. [top]

The fourth root

Let’s call this finding our fourth root, though there’s a big gap between this one and the A|D|R trio. All paradigms can be described in terms of complex O/o|S/s|M/m arrangements. They are figmental worlds, free to enjoy their self-produced reality shows. Their allure has to do with a virtually unlimited corpus of pleasures. Enter the fourth root, a very different appeal is revealed, i.e. the prospect of restraining one’s own license wittingly, for the benefit of a superior freedom.
Therefore, a prosophic blueprint of our being-to-the-world will include radical justice as its bonus seed. It is as trying to achieve as it is simple to explain: we find that we miss it, so we have to add it. In a just world, happiness would be defined as the art of living the full range of its creative pleasures. Ethics would idle in background, fairness volunteered by default. However, being our worlds patently unfair we cannot but put ethics on the foreground. For brevity’s sake, I’ll try to sum up prosophical ethics, or proethics, as a five-station progress, starting from natural ethos. [top]

1 – Animal ethos

All animals live by their ethos; it makes them behave as they do. Natural ethos can be described, in most general terms, as a steady structure of pre-established A|D|R results, whose […that] premise is never available. No living thing – on this planet or, I dare say, everywhere else – can evade the originarian prerequisite, the arise|decide|re­late basic format of all being-to-the-world. For all species, Homo sapiens not excepted, such identity is the evolutive outcome of assimilation & accommodation adjustments. Evolution kind of pre-agrees species by species what individuals have to live, the way we humans build O|S|M eveniences act after act. Species are natural history’s eveniences. Earth dwellers, humans excepted, cannot but conform to their native behavioral schemes, as if each individual had chosen its lot of freedom, necessity, and chance once and for all. Theirs is a blind agreement between them, their environment, and rival species. Human beings partake of natural ethos. There’s a basic unsigned pact with our genes and environment which we should not overlook. Failing to remember this animal condition has brought about no lasting benefit. [top]

2 – Human moral standard

A subsequent ethical stage, typically human, is the result of socio-cultural freedom to reduce and transduce between the O|S|M existential seeds (chapters 28, 31). The I & T double trait lets humans create and establish, doubt and assert, believe and interpret, agree and oppose, love and hate as they want. The cleverest efforts to remove diversity and force feed conformity have failed against the unremitting erosion which irreducibility and transducibility bring about. All the same, the vital three-rooted license of human ethos has rarely been envisioned as a positive birthright, albeit tricky to handle. It has been perceived more often as an awful attribute of human condition. Even in buoyant times, insecurity, diffidence, and every sort of anxiety press for stability, which often takes the reassuring form of a high up ideal, made of pre-ordained axioms, depictions, emotions, and expressions.
Humans dislike to experiment on themselves. Born to all overtures, human ethos is also, by the same token, liable to all closures. Any vision, naïve or sophisticated, can be adhered to to the extreme of idiocy, i.e. to the point of considering it the only one worth considering. Badly in want of social, intellectual, and moral dependability, humans abdicate to their originarian license a moment after using it to claim whatever comforts them. Thus, at this second moral stage, the first one species-specific, human ethical license is sometimes faced blindly, as an impulsive mechanism individuals and groups cannot be held accountable for. And even when it is prudently devised, it tends to appear at this stage as a key solution, a flawless morality. Classic moral theories were self-centered systems of exclusion. [top]

3. The obligation to make sense

When we grow conscious of the originarian A|D|R identity/di­versity then we see the human fundamental dilemma: to stay put within one’s own O/o|S/s|M/m arrangement, or to reach out and try to embrace alien arrangements of the same, universal A|D|R identity. If we believe that reaching out is crucial, then we are about to take a big step forward. On level three two opposite commitments have to be met: the obvious wish to configure a consistent worldview and the obligation to make sense of alien alternatives. It’s easy to convey the sense of how demanding this third level is: here the theist tries hard to understand the atheist, as well as the atheist the theist; the speciesist honestly sounds out the animalist’s views, and the animalist the speciesist’s; the urbanite makes a serious effort to see the world from a peasant’s viewpoint and vice versa, and so on. It’s a tough challenge for anybody to take up, because whatever we happen to believe or choose has got contraries, which we unsurprisingly tend to oppose. [top]

4. No end to the pilgrimage

But there’s more than that to prosophical ethics. Transducibility allows humankind two additional steep steps, which are markedly proethical. On a fourth level, proethics tackle the virtual infinity of intra- and inter-act permutation. That’s easier said than done, since no path leads to the entire horizon. The human whole is the product of an unlimited prological license; so there’s no completion, wholeness, or fullness (such as a first principle, or a supreme being, or a universal reason) at the end of the pilgrim’s journey. In fact, there’s no end to the pilgrimage. No matter how comprehensive I estimate the objectuality of my being-to-the-world, I have to nurture the concept of a further, more plentiful objectuality.
The same applies to subjectuality and mediality as well as to the entire library of nexus, which clearly exceeds what I’m accustomed to bring into play. Compared to the full prosophical circle, with its amazing variety shown over time and space, my personal O/o|S/s|M/m framework will possibly measure just an arcminute. Thus, proethics entail a confusing request, at first glance an unacceptable one, i.e. not to content ourselves with an already very challenging O/o|S/s|M/m assortment, open to alien views, but to consider it as the visible mass of a much wider universe, made for the most part of matter that is dark to us as individuals. It’s a kind of prological deduction that leads us to this evidence, following a full recognition of the originarian identity well behind the edge of individual worldviews.
Proethics might, therefore, be said ‘preternatural’, divergent from what the animal nature of our mind urgently calls for – answers to rely on, anxiety mufflers, and expedient truths. Because of O|S|M transducibility, impermanence is structural; the I & T trait engenders control and elusion at the same time. The best way to honor our debt of gratitude to human life’s manifold freedom is to roundly embrace our being-to-the-world, its built-in indetermination included. To this end, we’re called to an ironic asceticism of sort, whereby we do not deny ourselves to anything, what obstructs radical justice excepted. Wrapped up in the presentarian, we track the O|S|M activity, are aware of all sorts of agreements, scan the unlimited potential of evenience, and try to reconcile license with law, rebellion with adhesion, dialectics with dialogue, faith with doubt.
Old time societies shaped themselves around core values which had to be revered, together with their proper icons and official embodiments. Customs were sanctified. It was an outright blasphemy to ignore them, or only seem to think otherwise. Until recently, holding on to whatever was valued, without ever letting up, was regarded as an utterly rightful and virtuous behavior. In our times, instead, if only to avoid conflict of views on a daily basis, globalization requires a big measure if not of sympathy, at least of easygoingness. However, proethics require a more unequivocal commitment. Its aim is not merely to let us muddle through cultural mix-up; the actual goal is the enhancement of mutual comprehension with an eye to the ultimate freedom of identity that the A|D|R-based diversity grants every human being. [top]

5 – Our inmost dignity

We are left with one last stage to consider. General biography shows that everything happens through individual A|D|R-framed acts. Values like truth, beauty, goodness, and utility crop up within personal eveniences that shape them accordingly. The fullness of existence is achieved through the freedom to choose, day after day, what meaning & sense a person most values. A virtually absolute freedom confronts an intricate net of relativities. Not an easy job in the best operating conditions. So it is little wonder that those who experience injustice, or just assume to be put upon by life, find it hard to access perfect freewill in the form of a serene evenhand­edness. Most of the times, they react and retaliate arbitrarily. The pain in them obscures the original A|D|R identity; it does not just hinder the search for a more radical justice, it curbs their freedom of evenience, sometimes to the point of self-destruction.
Now, not being able to rise to our originarian freedom means to lose access to our inmost dignity, to live the formula but not the function of human life. It means to be deprived of the creative richness of humanity, cornered between humiliation and violence, rancor and submission. The same is true for those who access a vast O/o|S/s|M/m array, but fail to grasp the attached proethics. They regard their egotism as a right, their approach as uniquely rational, their advantages as a legal weapon, and so on. Abuse, whether inflicted or undergone, relativizes radical justice, selling it off as right or revenge. The problem is that the very A|D|R identity that makes humans human lets them free to conjure up whatever they like. To say it bluntly, you never know what people might imagine to retaliate against you for, or the other way around. Also, you never know what your new neighbor deems fair. Sixteenth century European conquis­ta­dores judged fair to wreck pre-Columbian cultures. For mid-nineteenth century Maori, it was their natural right to liquidate in blood and slavery the Moriori of Chatham Islands. They simply didn’t think they should care about them. Radical justice, the innermost guarantee of human freedom, is at risk of being nullified beforehand by that same freedom.
It seems self-evident, therefore, that only through some inner reconnaissance, rational and emotional, of our originarian being-to-the-world we can understand how justice, its absolute priority, its sublime worth, is entirely in our hands. At the same time, only the proethical progress of humankind will grant wider prosophic cognit­ion of our being-to-the-world. This implies the widening of justice’s embrace to the point that no one is left out. Our being-to-the-world is not flawed because we do not know everything, or can not travel back and forth in time; it is hampered because it should be compos­ed, for each and every one, of A|D|R existential freedom and essenti­al justice. Now, the former is inherent to the human being, easily effective in spite of whatever has been contrived along the centuries in order to slash it. The second one, though, is preter­natural. It’s a crucial complement to our O|S|M license that sort of contradicts it, since justice limits our basic identity with an authority inconceivable in the latter’s own terms. The cognition of injustice comes as a disturbance, the only apparent obstacle to the fulfillment of being. Proethical justice is not sufficiently guaranteed by charity or law. Neither of these is concerned with our originarian liberties. Injustice is fully made out, as a structural inadequacy of self-consciousness, only thanks to a thorough scrutiny of our unlimited O|S|M framework, of which justice is, at the same time, the only limit and the ultimate fulfillment. [top]

Index
Two kinds of freedom
The fourth root
1. Animal ethos
2. Human moral standard
3. The obligation to make sense
4. No end to the pilgrimage
5. Our inmost dignity
Adapted from Prosophy. After Philosophy, Chapters 40 to 45. First posted July 30, 2014.

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