Ethics 2.0: provisional, nondogmatic and functional

We are all humans. Right now, for the sake of sharing meaning, we provisionally use English sandwich language. My phone voice recognition is certainly aware it is my second tongue. 🙂 Similarly to our intelligence, text recognition AI has templates to match my words against.

Unsimilarly to us, AI does not feel discomfort when its templates are in conflict with reality. But we do.

Evolving worldview

Worldview evolution

Personal worldview, a model of how things work, is not a rigid structure. As life is happening to us, sometimes we have to polish or even replace our templates so they stay up-to-date with reality. Whatever our preferred outlook is, secular/scientific, spiritual, “none”, etc. — it is in constant flux to remain viable. Our brain, being a “meaning-making machine” it is, makes sure no conflicting notion is missed. However, the updates take time and quite a bit of emotional discomforts.

“The problem”

Escalating global mental health crisis is a reflection of the friction. A pace of updates is not sufficient. Hence, we struggle to interact with an increasingly changing world in a harmonious, compassionate manner. Our obsolete views and medieval habits take the best of us.

Obsolete views and conflicting reality

Ethical bridge

Humanity’s attempts to bridge the gap between obsolete views and new realities brought to life diverse “rules of correct engagement”, — ethical norms based on secular, religious and other theories.

Provisional ethics bridge

 

We try to behave and think ethically even if deep inside a certain part of us is unhappy. We fake it until we educate our worldview and emotions to make it.

Provisional

It is important to understand that ethics is provisional. It is a means to an end, temporarily adopted to serve a certain purpose (along with other instruments). The crutches of ethical rules become an obstacle after we learn how to walk without them, — new ecological views are embodied, become functional.

Non-dogmatic

The problem with dogmas is not their meaning, but its loss by those who enforce it, being lead by ulterior motives. There is no clash between “rational arguments” and “dogmas” within those who understand their meaning. Or rather embody their common ground.

Misuse of “rational arguments” or “dogmas” in a real-life situation when money, well-being are unsafe

On the other side, any viewpoint is open to misuse if the ulterior motives behind it are unchecked. To our subconsciousness, the black-box that actually drives our responses, —  both dogmas and rational arguments are just these, mere viewpoints. Skewed in real-life struggles as our implicit functional outlook and habits deem fit.

Way out? The responsibility is on those who understand. To make their theoretical understanding practical, actually used in stressful situations, embodied. So their patience and compassion to others are not merely demonstrated to enforce egotistic motivation. Allow space for others to obtain their own understanding and change willingly. Otherwise, issues restrained blindly under the pressure of authority eventually backfire.

Functional

Whatever our best intentions are in a peaceful, non-agitated state, they are normally not the ones managing our interactions in stressful situations. 🙂 The letter, basically, reflect our functional outlook, — what we and our priorities are in reality, not what we think we are.

We occasionally get a glimpse of some of the functional black-box content once a particularly discomforting emotional reaction is triggered, exposing obsolete views, exaggerated desires, traumatic experiences, destructive habits, etc.

Palpable change alerts

The reach of our mindfulness, awareness of the black-box content is limited to its situational responses. Emotions, thoughts, states of mind triggered, etc. Basically, the extent of what we can learn about ourselves and work with.

From theoretic to functional

We normally pass three stages of learning to adopt new knowledge, e.g. ethics or “new” worldview:

  1. Conceptual knowledge: we learn about theoretic consequences and provisionally agree to new behavior and the supporting worldview. However, obsolete mental habits are still prevailing in stressful situations.
  2. Conviction: we test new concepts and verify outcomes. We obtain personal experiences of non-production of unwanted reactions in previously triggering contexts. Residual unwanted reactions may still be produced in some situations, but we know how to handle them.
  3. Becoming: we have successfully adopted new habits. Unwanted reactions no longer arise, we embody new worldview, interact with previously triggering stressful situations gracefully. Maintain balance, peace of mind and resourcefulness.