The Moral Temperature

All Morals Come from Mutually Beneficial Behavior

Where do morals come from? For Christians, morals come from divine law, which implies that what is good or evil is the arbitrary decision of a central authority or “God”. In Confucianist spirituality, which offers no place for a central authority or “God”, morals stem from the social relationships between people - impossible, according to Western religion. But Confucianists are closest to the truth: human moral, what is right or wrong, comes from mutually beneficial behavior.

Two people who agree not to murder each other, shake hands and sleep tight. No central authority was required to enhance their nightly rest and their daily productivity. Those people who agreed upon such mutually beneficial agreements therefore had higher chances of survival. Mutually beneficial behavior is the foundation of human spirituality, as such behavior works in the benefit of life, wellbeing and towards (reproductive) productivity.

Therefore, I argue, put your morals on a Kelvin scale. The Celcius scale puts 0 degrees at water’s freezing point, thereby allowing negative temperatures such as -100 degrees. Fahrenheit similarly enables negative temperatures. But Kelvin set 0 to the absolute lowest point, where matter stops moving and vibrates along the quantum field. The Kelvin scale recognized that the universe has an absolute minimum temperatur (unknown to Celcius) of about -273,13 degrees Celcius. The same holds true for morals. Right and wrong is a false dichotomy. Instead, there is an escalating neutral, good, better and best.

Steer away from right versus wrong, good versus evil. Put your morals on a Kelvin scale. All actions are either good or not good (neutral), but there are no wrong actions. There is low versus high potential for good. What about murder, is murder not wrong? Murders can be of benefit to the killer, it is therefore not wrong. But a simple act of kindness can easily be thousands times better than murder. Low mutual benefit actions should be avoided.


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The Moral Temperature by Mathijs Koenraadt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.