Self Evident Truths LO7565

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
22 May 96 23:48:11 EDT

Responses to the Enquiry we started into Self Evident Truths [or
categorical imperatives] or whatever anyone wants to call them have now
slowed. This post replays back to the list all the suggestions received,
sorted only into categories thast make sense to us.

We pose one assertion and three questions.

The assertion is that, though self evident truths may not exist
individuals and social organisations behave as if they do: that is
socieities are shaped by their SETs-in-use [which may not be the same as
their espoused SETS. Both kinds of SETs -- SETs-in-use and espoused SETs
-- are important in understanding individuals and organizations.

The enquiries are:

A. Do people agree the assertion?

B. Do people wish to add to or amend the suggested SETs/ CIs generated in
the first round of the conversation? Make other comments?

C. Do people have suggestions as to next steps. Our desire and intention -
having refined the list with any contributions from originators and others
- is to seek ways of widening the inquiry by offering the synthesis to
others in the hope that the concept may develop and grow.

Over to the list for reactions

===========synthesis of responses follows========


"ultimate truths" are unknowable and that "understanding" is through
compassionate direct knowledge, subjective in nature'

SETs don't really exist, and I claim that this is irrelevant because we
act as if they do exist.

We claim that business and political parties and our neighbors should all
know inherently what is the right thing to do in certain circumstances.
These "right things" can only be the consequence of SETs.

Act only according to that maxim [rule] that you would will to be a
universal law."

Societies are defined by the Self-Evident Truths which they hold to.

The desirability of a new set of widely held national or international
societal values which recognise the fundamental need for collaboration and
mutual respect between individuals, organisations and nations, and the
place of the species in the biosphere of the planet.


Only people can make changes. We are all people. Therefore only we can
make changes.

All humans desire a degree of autonomy, a sense of control over their own

One of the guiding principles should be that disparaging the behavior of
people is not a solution. Dialog and convincing people to a belief is

'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'

To show reality and possibility in such a manner as to bring freedom and
joy to others, to be active in support where it is my responsibility, to
advance knowledge and make evident the relationship between a good
attitude and good understanding, to have to give to others.

If we have left a pleasant memory, the likelihood is that we will have
reinforced a positive relationship that will continue to be mutually
beneficial in the future. If we have created an unhappy memory, we will
likely have reinforced a relationship that will be mutually problematic.

Respect the dignity of life

Behave in a way that Supports a shared vision of survival of the species. consistent with our potential as sentient beings


we have a responsibility to only take from the environment that which we
use to survive. Can't that be stated as a guide line?

It is wise to be frugal in many things.

Our categorical imperatives are to encourage human behavior that provides
the next generation, and the next, a world better equipped to support a
richer quality of life for all species. We would have evolution, of
species and civilization, limited only by the natural ability of the solar
system to sustain life.

Nurtures rather than rape

Protect the environment

Our species exists, and depends for its existence on a balance with the
rest of the global ecosystem.

Our species should be striving to reduce its numbers. It is demanding an
unsustainable share of the energy resources available to the planet.


Cooperate rather than compete.

Build community by working towards a common purpose which is for the
greater rather than individual good

Listen to everybody - give everyone 'voice'

Seek to balance the needs of everybody involved
Seek to balance short term with long term thinking
Think positively about the future
Seek to learn from the past
Make a difference

The competitive evolution of species, societies and organisations which
has been the engine of progress and the cause of pain for billions, and in
our case thousands of years, is facing the limits to its growth.

The human species, having created the glory that is civilisation has, and
has alone, the power to destroy or preserve that glory.

Self-Evident Truths, -shared beliefs/ values etc - have the power to
enable a civilisation to escape unrestrained competition.

Competition which is not restrained by social values will not
automatically yield the greatest good for the greatest number.

Language and beliefs rather than race are the determinants of distinct
groups of human beings.


No system of language and moral believes has the right to impose itself on

Our species should be striving for equality of opportunity for all its
members, regardless of race, gender religion or class.

That no one has the right to define happiness for any other, except as the
pursuit thereof infringes upon the rights of others to pursue happiness,
for them and their families. When conflicts arise in the practice of this
tenet, resolution shall err on the side of the individual's definition of
happiness, not on the collective definition.

Private Life styles are not prohibited: Tolerance is not required by law:

========end of compilation =========


Rol and If


If Price 101701,

Rol Fessenden

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