Lesser Morality

Being a patient soul, you continue to watch.

The topic of the Lesser Morality brings us closer to that of practical human ethics. The divinities were previously put forward to account for the consistent and universal aspects of Change. Our own contributions to Change must also be included in this model. Every living thing has its own set of directions. They therefore have their own perspective on how things ought to play out.

The most obvious distinction between the divinities and these lesser moral agents is one of scope. As previously described, a person is smeared across the dimension of Change. Their particular location grants them a perspective. That perspective, combined with the personal directions, provide a creature with a basis for deliberation and action. They know where they are relative to other things, they have an urge towards activities and goals, and so they push forward in accordance with their will and hopefully some process of wise deliberation.

That experience is what it feels like to be us, smeared as we are across Change. The whole continuum of our existence is present, it involves chronological relationships, and so to be us is to experience them all and their order. We can consider a model of time and try to highlight or privilege one moment and then another, but to do so is artificial. There is no succession of moments that we watch from outside, rather our awareness is subsumed by Change. Therefore we necessarily live our destinies completely and eternally; we are the stories.

Let's refocus and talk about deliberative change. Unlike the divinities, we consider various possibilities in light of our interests, and we try to glean the paths towards them. The experience seems characterised by a sense of limitation and chance. At any rate, if we are to live our destinies "completely and eternally", do our choices matter? For the chronology exists as a complete whole and we will experience all of the possibilities. The answer is no. The concept of "mattering" does not make sense if you try applying it to the chronology as a whole. It's like asking for an explanation or justification for Being; it's a non-sensical question because Being extends beyond that context. At that metaphysical scope, there simply "is", without alternative.

When we said we live our destiny, we understood that our destiny involves details. We experience those details, and in their immediate context the decisions are significant. We feel them, we recognise good and evil, we feel gain and loss, all of it is entirely real and impactful. Whether you like it or not, you are it. When you watch a movie you can see the actors experiencing their role, and they will carry you along with them as they act out the particular scenes. Yet the movie exists as a complete recording, and you know this. The actor does not break the fourth wall, and neither will you; we fully experience our lives and decisions, without exception, and that is true regardless of how we may characterise the broader context.

In fact, our lives are richer thanks the metaphysical context. We can say that given sufficient change, all that is possible is necessary. Given that everything ultimately happens, free will is not relevant in the big picture, for you will inevitably make every possible decision. People who fail to appreciate the nature of Being might assume their life is just a linear set of events, where one possible "next moment" is selected and the others are destroyed. At every turn they lose something of themselves; possible paths fall away and they will never know their full story.

For us, we understand that life is far more secure and rich in content. The chronology is complete, so whatever is possible will come to pass. Therefore, we will know our full story. Whatever is lost will return in the fullness of time; no failure or success is final. We have been blessed with absolute security and justified hope, we will know all there is to know about ourselves and the world around us, and in recognising this we can enjoy the experience in a pure and untroubled manner.

Regarding the branching chronology, some might claim that we are incorrectly identifying mock-moments as genuine, alternative paths forward. These mock-moments would be wholly contained as objects within a linear chronology, and our deliberation is really just the experience of perceiving a group of these objects. The objects do not represent a branching path in the chronology. Yet, how curious that these mock-moments all look the same prior to the occurrence of one of them. We can assign a probability to some of them, we can yearn for one, but at best we have a set of potentials that all seem viable. In a linear model, one would not expect us to consider such objects as possibilities at all, because such an interpretation presupposes possibilities. That is meaning that cannot be contained in the context of linearity, so how are we considering it? We know from the earlier metaphysical discussion that it "is", therefore its presence must be honoured.

Forgive me, though, for going on such a long digression about experience and possibility. I want to talk a little about the frustration of our will. Organisms often fail to align themselves correctly with the greater morality, resulting in failure. Organisms are also numerous and experience competing directions. This discord can be the source of great evil. The result of inharmonious behaviour is the frustration of our personal directions and a general failure to achieve the desired state of happiness or excellence.

This provides a general framework for all ethical judgments. It defines what each organism ought to do, and when considered in light of the Greater Morality it completes the general picture of how events ought to progress. We can therefore say that it is good for events to progress in such a fashion whereby things are in harmony and can successfully behave in accordance with their nature, and it is evil for their efforts to clash and be frustrated. However, this simple explanation hides a great deal of complexity. People must carefully determine the nature of an organism, and then consider what would constitute excellence relative to its current state and context. The beginning and end of the organism’s life must also be accommodated. Other fields will frequently be drawn upon to examine and answer practical challenges.

There will come a time when one must decide whether to favour one organism over another. It is easy to claim that one will always support excellence and avoid frustration, but that standard will not provide an answer for every practical scenario. For example, in times of scarcity a person may need to decide who will eat and who will starve. The decision will invariably result in both excellence and frustration. Only by considering issues such as sustainability can one successfully follow the most promising path.

You once again hear the video being extracted, but nothing takes its place. The room lights up, and a new tour guide appears.

I hope you enjoyed the presentation! It is an old video, but people still find it interesting. Please help yourself to a cup of tea and follow me into the next exhibit room. I would like to tell you about some other metaphysical concerns that we have considered.


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