Logically and Morally Guiding Political Correctness

In the absence of a metaphysics which places morality at its core - it's been necessary for our culture to have a traditional conception of political correctness to keep discrimination in check. Without some kind of contraints on our language to act as a continual reminder to treat others with dignity and respect - our culture would not have made the advancements it has in terms of improving the rights and wellbeing of minorities.

However, our culture is going through a bit of a re-evaluation of its relationship with political correctness. And I can identify three causes for this:

One. It has started to be taken too far. Originally intended to protect the minority - certain minorities have begun to make unreasonable demands seeing themselves as victims requiring continual and overly dependent support.

Two. Having spent the majority of the last 50 or so years on improving social injustice issues, american politics has neglected the importance of social equality and the rich/poor divide. Therefore this gap has grown so far that the disadvantaged and poor are fed up with the focus on Political Correctness and rightly see an exclusive focus on this as part of the problem. Recognising this trajectory - this was predicted by Rorty in his book Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998:

"One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion. The words ‘nigger’ and ‘kike’ will once again be heard in the workplace. All the sadism which the academic Left has tried to make unacceptable to its students will come flooding back. All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet."

Richard Rorty - Leftist Thought in the 21st Century, 1998.

Three. With our current metaphysics we're unable to easily determine the line between protecting what's good about a minority and validily criticising it from the standpoint of our culture so that it can assimilate into our culture. Whilst the Metaphysics of Quality doesn't resolve these disputes once and for all - it provides us with a beautiful logical language to discuss these issues.

For example, the MOQ provides us with a clear distinction between biological people and the cultural values with which they identify. One of those things does not matter and cannot change, but the other does matter and can change. Criticism of that which can change for something better is considered moral in the MOQ. Whilst criticism of a person simply, for example, because of the color of their skin is logically racist, evil and immoral.

So the general solution isn't to throw away the value of Political Correctness. As mentioned - it's moral and supported by the MOQ. Instead we should aim to solve these problems in a different way. Solving cause One would likely be with certain education reforms and certainly reform the way we have traditionally taught discrimination resolution.

Solving cause Two isn't to throw away political correctness but to simultaneously tackle social income inequality at the same time. In fact oftentimes, it's minorities who are economically disadvantaged as well - thus tackling both of these problems will likely take pressure off them as scapegoats for a suffering majority. This will also also improve their social mobility with a smaller wage gap between them and their neighbours.

Finally, solving cause Three would involve further cultural dialogue using the moral language of the MOQ to guide us in a better, moral direction.

Human rights don't logically exist.  But it's ok - here's the solution.

Well some must exist, surely? Nope. None. Not one. It's an uncomfortable truth but it's true. And the sooner we acknowledge this the better.

You could say that the articles of the declaration of Human Rights that all nations have agreed on, demonstrate that they do exist. But at a pragmatic level - words are so very easy to weasel out of. One country or culture says one thing, while another culture says and means something completely different. Who's to say something just isn't lost in translation? And unsurprisngly that's the exact problem continually facing the organisation put in place to implement Human Rights.

But beyond the written words of Human Rights that have been translated into hundreds of languages - there's no way to logically say something is a right for all people, and something else, is not.

Of course we can identify the main culprit here as our metaphysics. We have a metaphysics which fails to acknolwedge the importance of values and morality. There's historical reasons for this but this is the situation we find outselves in - in the 21st Century. This makes world governing bodies such as the United Nations often impotent in finding agreement amongst nations about what's right and wrong and what a violation is and is not. And this isn't a problem that's going to go away. In fact - it's only going to continue and become more and more apparent until we start to use a language and logic which transcends cultures and helps to shine a light on the right, and moral, path forward.

Luckily the Metaphysics of Quality beautifully provides just such a path and language. It's an elegant, logical, philosophical framework within which we can make such judgements across all cultures and languages and say (generally speaking) whether something is moral or not.

This is the what Robert Pirsig lays out in Lila where he writes:

There is no such thing as 'human rights.' There is no such thing as moral reasonableness. There are subjects and objects and nothing else.

This soup of sentiments about logically non-existent entities can be straightened out by the Metaphysics of Quality. It says that what is meant by 'human rights' is usually the moral code of intellect vs. society, the moral right of intellect to be free of social control. Freedom of speech; freedom of assembly, of travel; trial by jury; habeas corpus; government by consent - these 'human rights' are all intellect-vs.-society issues. According to the Metaphysics of Quality these 'human rights' have not just a sentimental basis, but a rational, metaphysical basis. They are essential to the evolution of a higher level of life from a lower level of life. They are for real.

Robert Pirsig - Lila

It's really very hard to understate the size of these words so I'll repeat them. There's no such thing as moral reasonableness or human rights. There's subjects and objects and nothing else (See The Story for why).

But sadly until very recently the unique insight and beauty of the Metaphysics of Quality in solving this particular problem of Human Rights has been largely ignored by the academic community.

Of course that was until a recent graduate - Matthew Lafontaine wrote a masters thesis called - 'Human Rights as the Safeguard of the Intellect Against Society'. It lays out a very thorough and concise explanation of just how the Metaphysics Of Quality provides a far superior foundation for Human Rights than our current understanding and metaphysics.

It has been posted online and if you're intellectually inclined - I recommend giving it a read here.

This is a great paper by Matthew and I hope that one day the insights provided in it are recognised.

All going well - one day at the United Nations (or similar) it will use the Metaphysics of Quality as a foundational language of morality across all nations. From it they will be able to determine and easily talk about what countries are indeed being evil and immoral vs those that are not. Not from a he said / she said metaphysically unsound perspective, but one that has a logical and moral philosophical foundation which cannot be denied.

Our Metaphysics Creates Westworld

I have been following the TV series Westworld recently and enjoying its unique take on the standard sci-fi metaphysical questions it directly poses to its audience. Is artificial life morally indistinguishable from human life? What is consciousness? What is real?

A lot of the power of the show comes from the premise. The premise is a robotic theme park where its human guests can do as they please. And this setting immediately raises a number of philosophical questions and it has these philosophical issues staring right back at you on the screen. Often times it can be difficult to not feel uneasy as 'human-appearing' robots are treated as nothing more than the robotic parts with which they were made.

Such scenes immediately bring to mind the clarity with which the Metaphysics of Quality can bring to understanding these issues. The unease of watching 'human-appearing' robots treated that way can be explained because robots aren't just the inorganic parts they are made with. The robots express and reflect the cultural values they have been programmed with. What the MOQ makes clear is that these values are just as real as the physical parts they have been created with. Even though these robots may not be able to directly respond to the undefined betterness of Dynamic Quality(are conscious), the static values with which they are created still exists and so those values are just as real as if they were expressed by a human being. Therefore raping or killing such a robot so that they are reduced once again to their inorganic parts is immoral.

And this is what's unique about the MOQ. Within those few words, we are able to quickly get to the heart of the matter. We can describe with a clarity not found before - exactly why it feels so wrong to watch what the guests do to the robots in the park. We're also able to easily describe what is and is not consciousness - something our current Metaphysics struggles with greatly.

The Logical Correctness of Fair Trade

When money is the driver of a corporation's behaviour - creating goods in the most economical way possible makes sense.

Not all goods are created equal however and while the cheapest manufacture process for a corporation may be valuable - there are workers rights to consider as well. It's no coincidence that the cheapest places to manufacture are those which have the loosest labour laws. Looking after workers costs money.

And therein lies the problem of modern day neoliberal policies. Simply put, neoliberalism supports the use of foreign countries to manufacture goods whose low prices exist, in part, because of substandard conditions.

And conversely, this is the problem that Fair Trade companies solve. They respect all levels of the individual and don't treat them as just expendable pieces of biological meat. Fair trade rules dictate policies such as reasonable working hours, a livable wage, health insurance, along with sick and personal leave. All designed to improve biological quality, provide equal social dignity, and give time away from work for the individual to grow.

That's what makes fair trade goods better than their non fair trade counterparts. They're supported by many of the codes of the MOQ. From 'the law of the jungle' in that they improve the health of their workers, 'The Law' in that they respect the workers right to not be abused, and finally the Code Of Art by providing downtime and space for growth.

That's why being on the right side of these codes is what makes, when possible, buying fair or locally made goods moral and supported by the MOQ.

The Evil of Disregarding Climate Science

The MOQ is a beautiful intellectual framework. As an intellectual framework, it uniquely shows that it’s both immoral and illogical to not change our behaviour in response to global warming. Traditionally, the argument to change our behaviour goes something like this:

“We are running a dangerous experiment to see how much CO2 we can pump into our atmosphere. At its worst, global warming threatens the existence of mankind. The right thing to do is to heed the dire warnings of climate scientists. They speak of rising water levels and increasing global temperatures. With these increasing temperatures and rising water levels, mankind may be no longer able to survive. So we should, we must change our behaviour.”

This argument has many opponents however. From those in power who like things the way they are to those co-opted by power with bogus arguments about the validity of the science.

That’s because, without the MOQ, climate change opponents and even proponents are easily able to question the validity of truth and scientific fact. They are also easily able to immorally question the content of those facts for their own monetary gain.

With the MOQ however, we can make the argument for change much stronger. With it – the issue of climate change becomes not only a matter of fact but as a matter of quality. It does this by showing that not only is it moral to change our behaviour, but it’s evil not to. An MOQ argument for changing our behaviour follows:

“If we don’t value the biological quality of the life in our oceans and allow inorganic particles of CO2 to fill our planet. Then allowing this lower level to subsume the higher level is immoral. If we allow the social values of money and power to trump the intellectual truths of scientists explaining the threat. Then this is immoral. The threat of CO2 winning in the fight against life on earth is very dire. Biological quality is necessary for the social and intellectual quality of human beings to exist. Without it, the existence of these two levels is at risk. The moral thing to do then is to act to no longer allow CO2 to win its fight against biological quality. The moral thing to do is to follow what makes sense intellectually and not succumb to social greed. The moral thing to do is to change our behaviour in response to Global Warming.”

This is the unique thing about the MOQ. With the MOQ we can reject excuses of cultural relativism or scepticism about the existence of truth. We can call out paid arguments for the non-existence of global warming as the evil that they are. And we can logically say that responding to global warming is moral. This is true not just for some people in some such a place and time, but for all people -everywhere. And that’s very powerful.