This essay will outline a model of ethics that is both objective and naturalistic. This model, as far as I am aware, is my own although inspiration and influence from other authors and philosophers is a certainty.
Before proceeding, it is necessary to give an overview of several definitions. It is not important for the reader to agree with me on these definitions, but merely that he or she understand what they are so that my meaning is plain when using them. Even I may not agree with these definitions in all cases, but they suit my purposes for communicating these concepts.
First, by “ethics” I am referring to the rules of behavior that can be said to be moral or “right” as opposed to “wrong”. They include standards of what is evil and what is good. Whether or not I am referring to a cultural norm or a universal standard will beg the question of this essay. But it is my intention to show that ethics can be viewed as a universal, at least insofar as Homo Sapiens is concerned.
“Naturalistic” refers to the fact that this model is based solely on matters of our material world, as opposed to making use of supernatural or paranormal entities or phenomena. However, it is important to point out that this does not specifically deny the existence of such. Instead, it is more like a set of instructions for building an airplane - something that would apply regardless of the existence or nonexistence of the immaterial. Therefore, what follows should be useful and applicable to the religious and non-religious alike, simply because we all share the same material world.
By “objective” ethics, I mean ethics independent of human culture, human norms, or even human understanding. They are as they are, regardless of opinion, conditions, or preference. At the same time, they are central to human beings and of paramount importance to them. The subjective cultural norms regarding ethics, that change over time, I will generally refer to as “morals” to distinguish them from ethics, which I will argue are objective. From the objective perspective then, all morals of societies are either correct or incorrect - correct if they match objective ethics and incorrect if they do not.
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