Noetic Positivism & Vlad K. Once (video essay)

Noetic Positivism & Vlad K. Once (video essay)
...."The spirit of freedom of a people is expressed by its artists and composers. The dignity and honour of a people are determined by its politicians and academics. The wisdom and hope of a people - in its thinkers and writers"..... ' The Σ (Sigma) Passion' A science novel by Vlad K Once

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Tuesday, 1 March 2011

'ETHICS' (academic essay).

or why, though revolutions may have different names,
they are always a social phenomenon..
                                             by VLAD K ONCE

It is no secret to anyone that our modern world is less than perfect. And things have been this way for a long time! But how exactly does the imperfection of our world manifest itself?
What criteria can be taken to form the basis of a comparative judgement?
Obviously, we cannot judge the fairness of the world order by how effective technology is.  So should we take the cost of a basket of shopping as our yardstick, the health care system or the length of the working week?  One could spend a very long time drawing up a list that would take the many and varied aspects of modern living into account.
But suppose we start with ETHICS, or the science of morality. It is a science whose subject is the good of society.  Its aim is to find the integral or formula for achieving this good.
When we speak of morality we understand it to mean above all the imperatives to which it summons us.
Thus since as long ago as the time of Aristotle (who carried out a great deal of research in this sphere of philosophy), the study of ethics has been regarded as one of the most important lines of philosophical enquiry.
The Aristotelian principle for a fair society sounded like this: one person’s happiness should not interfere with the happiness of another ….
You could hardly put it more precisely or succinctly than Aristotle.  Well, after all, he is Aristotle!
But - you will ask – how is this ancient principle applicable to modern life? The more so, given that even in the Stagirite’s own time some
manifestations of ethical norms (from the point of view of a modern human being) were, to put it mildly, far from salubrious (for example, the slave trade)!
Yes, that is all true, and there are many questions.  There are far fewer answers, but then that is the science - finding the right answers to questions that have been correctly put, and when the reality is current and the need is there, the process of perfecting the methodological aspects will develop.  Without doubt, it has to be noted that the trend in development will correspond to requirements and expectations (in this case the expectations of society).  Yes indeed, precisely that - the expectations of society (whichever society it may be), because ethics is a social science! And, of course, I don’t think anyone would suffer from doubts over the truth of the proposition that the modern world with its problems has not become any simpler than the ancient world was in its time.  And this process can be seen (in the foreseeable future) to be getting worse.
It seems entirely reasonable to suppose that the failure of this science in ancient times (as now, by the way) was not merely caused by the authorities’ unwillingness to change things in order to make progress - progress in the development of positive relationships between social strata.  I rather think that another idea should be added to unwillingness on anyone’s part (in this area) and that is – not knowing how to.

           In fact, where can you find and learn an exact definition of the boundaries between fairness and unfairness in the social context?  The life of a society (from as early as the time of the great exodus from Egypt) is regulated by a corpus of rules and norms that are called law.  The law is the sum total of those generalised and non-contradictory practices of human imperatives expressed in ‘may’, ‘must not’ and ‘allowed’, and the leeway between them.  It is all like this.
But where, you will ask, is the room in all this for social ethics? Or, who is in a position to foresee change in the way the paradigm of social morality develops?  Who is capable of foreseeing the moment when ‘allowed’ turns into ‘must not’? Who is there today who is able to teach this?  Humanity today is in a position to work creatively at the level of the gene (genetic engineering) by introducing corrections to natural processes. How old are such sciences?
They are young, these sciences, but they are in great demand and they are subsidised.  This is where their success comes from.  And how old is the science of Ethics?  And what success has it achieved if, as in the time of Plato and Aristotle, we can still conclude without the slightest fear of contradiction:

- Our world is unjust!

The urge to strive for perfection and fairness is implanted in us by nature! Is this a contentious postulate? Not at all. History teaches us that at the root of any social revolution lies the masses’ dissent from the norms of moral imperatives that exist for a specific period of time. 
Or is everything the same as it was before, with humanity’s striving for perfection (in the age of space travel and nano technology) unachievable without social cataclysm?
This question is addressed to those who have become accustomed to discussing ethical norms and values sitting in a comfortable armchair without paying any attention to the maidservant deftly laying the table for dinner …..
For everyone else, it is time to find out what Noetic Positivism means.

Copyright © 2011 Vlad K Once


       part of  'The Chance Confession' book

                part of  'One of Us' book



  1. ‘The proceeds from sales of books by
    Vlad K. Once
    are the sole source of funding for
    research into Noetic Positivism...'

  2. After losing an earlier, lengthy comment after submission, I decided to just respond with the gist of the last paragraph...

    Perhaps, could it be, that your academic essay was refused because they were looking for the second page, where the substance and definition of Noetic Positivism was presented for readers to consider?

  3. The article is called ETHICS, but perhaps you are right.
    I have written six letters to various sections of the newspaper
    and not received so much as a single response. It therefore seems possible that there is
    a different reason: that the editors do not believe that problems of social ethics are of any
    interest to readers of the Guardian...
    Well, suum cuique

    (Anyway, thank you for your comment)"