4. Decision-Logic of Moral and Ethical Decision-Making

If we use solely the seven values and their mutual characteristics, and the priorities of decision-making without an integrated proactive morality and ethic, then not much would change from the decisions that are made today. What sets the socially sustained social existence of communities and societies apart from those of today are the rules of morality and ethics. The combination of the seven values and their proactive morality and ethics empower the priorities of decision-making to become capable of creating socially sustainable communities and societies, and peace. The edge that will cut deeply into self-defeating UNsustainable materialist cultures is the “other-interest” of decision-making of a self-sustaining culture compared to the dominant “self-interest” decision-making of today’s cultures.

Equality is the Pivotal Element of Proactive Organic Morality

The “equality” that is familiar to almost all people today pales in comparison to the “equality” that supports socially sustainable communities, societies, and peace. Equality is a primary value and also the ancestor of empathy, compassion, and a generalized “Love” for humanity. The more that a society adheres to the moral and ethical foundations of equality, the more capable that society becomes to attain social sustainability and peace.

The lack of widespread acceptance and application of the practices of equality is the primary cause of “social disturbances” that keep communities and societies in an anxious state of imbalance socially, politically, economically, racially, ethnically, culturally, and particularly between genders. If that is a roughly accurate statement, then most developed democratic nations have a long way to go to achieve social peace even in its narrowest parameters.

The Decision-Logic of the Seven Values and Their Characteristics

Most of us have associated the words “values,” “morality,” and “ethics,” but never before have morality and ethics been associated with a universal set of values that are innate to our species. Until now morality and ethics have never been tied to anything more substantial than someone’s opinion about “right and wrong” and how we ought to behave. Because we know that values always underlie all decisions, the only values that have the capability to provide a timeless and universal morality and ethic for decision-making are the timeless and universal values that are already innate to our species.

The following “rules,” of morality and ethic for option-development, choice-making, decision-making, and action-implementation are first of all proactive in nature. No coordination between or among organizations and the individual/family is necessary to bring about society-side social evolution when they are used consistently. They will automatically provide the ends of social stability and peace simply by their consistent and persistent use in personal and organizational decision-making.

The following Moral and Ethical Decision-Logic of the seven human values and their characteristics has the capability to keep (sustain) all of the parts of our societies running smoothly so that everyone arrives in the far distant future with the same or better quality of life as we have today. The seven values are motivators that point us in those directions to sustain our species AND organizations. Proactively they tell us what to do to sustain the social fabric of our communities and societies, and the ethics tell us who to include in the outcomes of those decisions.

Examples of the “IF ... THEN” of Building Logic-Sequences

Building any logic-sequence, as a hypothesis, begins with the statement, “IF _ _ _ _ , THEN _ _ _ _.” It begins with something we speculate to be true. When we create an “if-then statement” it must be checked for its validity to know if it is PROVEN to be true, to not. Once it is proven to be true, then we call that statement a “PROOF” for that step in the logic-sequence.
 
As an example from simple geometry, the “if-then statement” of a triangle is this, “If the ends of three lines are joined to create a three-sided object, then the sum of the inclusive angles is always 180°. The important final word in this logic-sequence is “always.” To validate this, we would measure the sum of the angles of dozens of different types of triangles anywhere in the world at different times of the day. The validation process provides us with a “proof” of the logic-sequence of the statement. Once the Proof is made, then we can use the Proof to build other “if-then sequences,” and validate those proofs by actual measurements. With the seven values, we can build an integrated logic-system of morality and ethics that will be useful to anyone, anywhere in the world, now and into the far distant future.

Building the logic-sequence for Moral Definitions begins with the seven values.

➔ Seven Values  ➔ Moral Definitions  ➔ Ethics Statement ➔ Expressed Ethics  ➔ The Graces of Expressed Ethics

We begin with this statement, “IF the values do exist in everyone, THEN are there characteristics of those values that also exist in everyone?” The following example of the “if…then” process was used to validate the universal existence of the seven values and to describe their mutual characteristics. To validate that “if-then statement” I contacted people in numerous places around the world to determine if those values really do exist in everyone. When that proved to be true I began developing a list of mutual characteristics for those values.

Characteristics of the Seven Values. Because that research has already been completed, we know the seven values exist in everyone around the world. Because everyone interviewed identified with those values, a list was made of characteristics for those values. Those characteristics include that they are universal to all people. From the written history of past societies and civilizations, we also know that these values are timeless, meaning that people have expressed these values in their life from the earliest recordings of human history.

From our own experience today, as well as our conclusions made from historical records, we know that these values are innate and organic to our being, and not learned. This suggests the seven values are embedded in our DNA.

What is remarkable about these values is that once they are pointed out to people, their existence seems so obvious that they are seen as being self-evident.

These values are also proven to be irreducible. That is confirmed when we challenge each value to discover if more basic values underlie each of them. Knowing that values always underlie all decisions, our question becomes, “What are the values that underlie Life?” Because you either have life or not, there is no decision to be made. We conclude that the value Life is irreducible.

Now, let us examine growth. What values support the value of growth? It, too, is irreducible because it is an unconscious urge of our species, not a decision, and is not learned. Growth spontaneously begins to express immediately when children are born. Within days infants begin to recognize faces, voices, and begin to babble in the process of learning to talk. Then comes crawling, standing, stepping, walking, running (and falling), then onto learning the full scope of languages, writing, music, mathematics, and art.

As for equality, the conclusion is the same. We do not decide that we want to be unequal to others. The necessity of equality is born in each of us. It is an irreducible value.

Only within the last few years has it been scientifically proven that the two secondary values of empathy and compassion exist in our DNA. Asking people, “Do you have empathy? Did you decide to have empathy? How about compassion? Have you ever decided to have compassion?” “Love” in this context is the combination of empathy and compassion that is expressed for humanity. There are no other values behind those values that support a decision to express empathy or compassion. They are irreducible as well.

NOTE: You can of course decide not to express empathy and compassion, which we will discuss in a moment.

When we become aware of these seven values as having been a part of our everyday decision-making, we are able to come to the conclusion that every person in history, now, and in the future is being urged by the values in their DNA to seek a better quality of life.

Non-humans. Consciously or unconsciously deciding NOT to grow, not to express equality with others, and not to express empathy, compassion, and a generalized “Love” for humanity is a decision to become NON-human. From my own experience from working in criminal felony adult corrections, that decision is only rarely a conscious decision.

A Few More Details. The values need to be explained in a bit more detail in order to provide a better understanding of the logical nature of the Moral Definitions and Ethics Statements that we will create.

LIFE is the logical prerequisite for the functioning of the other six values. Life is primarily a motivating value to stay alive.

Equality is a motivating value as we compare the quality of our life to the quality of life of others.

Growth is the logical evidence of life. Growth is the evidence of the genetic program expressing the innate potential of the individual and the species. Growth is a motivating value and the prerequisite for the improvement of our quality of life.

Quality of life is a motivating value that takes into account the other six values as they relate to the seven spheres of human growth and experience, (physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual).

Empathy, compassion, and “Love". The presence of these three secondary values in a person’s life is evidence of the degree of that person being human — humane. Without these secondary values life is a brutish and brutal experience.

From this point we can begin the process of building moral and ethical logic-sequences using the seven values with the confidence that what we are building will stand the test of time for all races, cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, and genders.

The Decision-Logic Sequence of Morality and Ethics

The progression from Values to The Graces of Expressed Ethics in the sections and chapters ahead will follow these steps, which are defined below:

➔ Seven Values  ➔ Moral Definitions  ➔ Ethics Statement ➔ Expressed Ethics  ➔ The Graces of Expressed Ethics

  •  Values underlie the decisions responsible for the survival of our species; and the potential for the sustainability of our social existence.
     
  •  Moral Definitions provide us with a set of rules to guide human decisions and actions to prevent destructive life-altering behavior of human interaction. As an example, using equality as the originating value of this sequence — support the life of others as you would your own.
     
  •  Ethics Statements tell us HOW TO fulfill Moral Definitions. As an example, using “equality” as the originating value in this sequence: Equality ➔ Treating others as you would your self means that you do not treat others less than your self; and it also means that you do not treat your self less than you would treat others. The value of others is equal to that of your self, and your value is equal to that of others – act accordingly. The importance of this value is that others are not excluded from consideration and opportunities to grow to improve their quality of life; and neither are you.
     
  •  Expressed Ethics tell us WHAT TO DO to fulfill Ethics Statements. “Expressed Ethics” is used in this text for what most people call ethical values and ethical principles. The words “Expressed Ethics” are used to tell the reader that this stage of the values logic-sequence is where people are expressing the seven values, morality, and ethics in their daily lives.

    Expressed Ethics are the ethical values and principles that individuals, families, companies and corporations, and public agencies adopt to conduct business without jeopardizing their personal and social integrity and to improve those relationships. As an example, the Proactive Expressed Ethical principles for “equality” would include fairness, justice, integrity, respect, loyalty, truth, trust, accountability, responsibility, and being transparent, authentic, and honest.
     

  •  The Graces of Expressed Ethics (TGoEE) is the fifth stage in the logic-sequence that provide the élan of social interaction. These take the form of being kind, considerate, caring, confident, generous, meek, mild, modest, strong but humble, thoughtful, patient, tolerant, positive, and friendly. These are only a very few of many possible examples. The Graces of Expressed Ethics are not necessary to be moral or ethical, but provide a “grace” to ethical living. People who express these graces are always noticeable because they are not pretentious, but have a confident joy of life that cannot be ignored.

    You probably have accurately guessed that the combination of these five steps provide a logic-sequence where each step supports subsequent steps in the sequence. The seven values are used as the criteria to validate each step in a logic-sequence.

Equality is the Pivotal Element of Proactive Organic Morality

To choose equality is to choose inclusiveness, not separation. To choose this value means that the individual, family, and organization of any size has also chosen to see others as being of equal value and worthy of equal treatment. In a society that has chosen to move forward toward social stability, peace, and sustainability, to treat others as having less value than our self causes separation, social agitation, and becomes an immoral act.

Inclusion does not mean that everyone all of the time and in all situations and circumstances has to be included in making the decisions and taking actions. What it does mean is that our options, choices, decisions, and actions do not exclude others from receiving equal treatment.

"The ultimate test of a moral society
is the kind of world it leaves
to its children".
Dietrich Bonhoeffer