I've developed a "new" theory of atheist morality.  I wondered if anyone would like to have a go at critiquing it.  The first two principles, 1 and 2, are the most important parts: 


I put "new" in quotes because the theory turns out to be a deconstruction of the age-old Perennial Philosophy of religion. 

It may not look like much, but it's extremely elegant and powerful.  I've been living my life by it for the past two years, and it works very well.  So if you're mystified at first - this is to be expected.  Please persevere with it, don't give up.  It is the mystery of mysteries after all, and yet so simple. 

If you have any questions, I'd love to hear them. 


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Thanks Belle.  For some reason everyone seems to find it really hard going.  Probably because it's so deeply profound.  As would be expected from something of this nature. 

If you don't feel completely wrung out by wrestling with it for the first time, you're not doing it right.  After it's been understood, it's completely plain sailing.  That's how I found it.  When I first worked it out I had to have a day's rest afterwards, and my mind felt wrenched.  Now it's ABC. 

It needs to be treated like a mathematical theory:  a collection of bald facts and principles which go on to have complicated implications and applications.  You have to think about it a lot to make it work.  It's necessarily brief and inscrutable. 

I have a theory of competitive ethics developed from fundamentals - link

This is great, let's all get our theories out.  Your theory seems to be a cooperative rather than a competitive one. 

"when a significant percentage of actors in a particular society are ready to act in self-defense, that society becomes more peaceful over time" - i.e. when they don't compete.  

"Trade and production are considered acts of civilized competition for gathering resources."  - but these are also cooperative enterprises.  Groups cooperate together for the purpose of trade, then the groups compete amongst each other.  

"that society becomes more prosperous as levels of trust increase" - cooperation.  

Thank you for making your argument so organized and symmetrical.  This makes it much easier to understand.  

"survival" - the Healing Principle in its purest form.  

I don't see how your ethical methodology helps people in everyday life, except that it encourages people to cooperate.  Instead of Competition ethics, it should be called Cooperation ethics. 

Belle - "We're both DYING to have babies... " 

Yes, women seem to feel it really hard, whereas men usually aren't too bothered.  That reflects the amount of effort each puts in to the process of reproducing, but I'm not sure of the exact connection.  After all, it's the primary distinguishing feature of a living molecule like DNA - it splits in two and makes a new copy of itself, and it's another biological imperative along with quality-of-life seeking

Competition is another, as is group-forming

@Belle Rose

I am completely unfamiliar with your situation and your situation may well be an exception to the rule. I am going to give you a piece of advice assuming that it is not an exception.

Go back to your husband and try to make it work. That is the best thing you can do for your son. You can hate me for this advice if you like, but I've seen too many instances of good marriages destroyed and children's lives ruined by marital problems which can be resolved by firm commitment.

marital problems which can be resolved by firm commitment

Aware of Belle's story, I believe a turkey baster has more reliable "commitment". (I'm trying to be concise here, and keep Simon's thread from going off track. I'll say no more.)

Are you (Civilizationalist) absolutely certain you're not a closet Catholic?

Here's an interesting quote (from this article), on the "process" nature of life.  Just as the Healing Principle is a process. 

‘Life: a constellation of vital phenomena — organisation, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction, adaptation.’ That, in a sense, is what ‘life’ means. I should add that we now know it is a special kind of physical process: not atoms or chemicals themselves, but the highly organised dance they perform. The chemicals in a body are pretty much the same from the moment before death to the moment after.

Here's what AC Grayling has to say about it:  ("The Good Book - a secular bible")

"In all species, nature works to renew itself as it works to nourish itself, and to protect itself from danger, each by its kind and for its kind, in the great work of continuation that is evolution. In humankind the work of renewal lies in the work of affection, the bond of one to another made by desire."

He should have run with that.  If he wasn't so busy bashing religion, he might have done. 

We're talking about the biological definition of God's grace. 

What I like about yellowgrain so far is that it's easy to read, and doesn't proclaim too much about shoulds and shouldn'ts. I've been thinking recently that any kind of spiritual enlightenment should be in a form (like yours) that's teachable to kids, even if it carries heavier, profound weight in adult conversation. Likewise, for teachable science.

We're talking about the biological definition of God's grace.

I was pretty okay with what's currently at yellowgrain, but didn't notice anything that looked this woo-ish. How do you plan to incorporate it, or not? Isn't "God's grace" a human invention?


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