This web site is intended to be a resource for people interested in ethics, teaching of ethics to children, and self-improvement. This site is a "non-denominational" indepedant site, not sponsored by any particular religion, political party, or philosophical organization.
The title of "Universal Ethics" differentiates the ethics here from "Local Ethics." A local ethic is one that is limited in scope, setting a standard within a nation or culture but not outside of it. For example, a local ethic might prohibit murder within a nation, but citizens are free to kill elsewhere. The latter case they call "war." For most of human history wars of conquest have been acceptable in many societies, even though it is a source of terrible misery. Today most people think war to be immoral, but in many parts of the world people still get pulled into opposing sides of a war, without necessarily understanding how it happened or what could have been done to prevent it.
Universal Ethics offers a solution by expanding ethics across space and time as far as possible, not just across nations, but also across generations. We see in the world today that even when people cooperate among themselves, they may nevertheless destroy the ecology in a short-sighted lack of caring for future generations. We need to overcome that too.
Some people may assert there is no such thing as "universal ethics," nor even any kind of ethics at all, as it is merely a subjective preference. However, if there are no rules of behavior, one might find life to be very dangerous. One could not go down a street without worry of being robbed, injured, or killed, if all those things are acceptable within the society.
In fact, it is very predicatable that people generally do prefer to have rules that protect them. When we can explain and predict, that's science. When we can devise methods to achieve predicatable goals, and improve those methods over time, that's engineering. This web site is about social science and engineering.
It is typical for each person to believe that he or she is moral, and in many cases people do have a correct understanding of fundamentals. However, they may still face challenges in their personal lives and in the roles they play in society, where they are unsure or mistaken about what is the best thing to do.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available that will help people to avoid pitfals, and to greatly improve the odds of having a happy life. This web site offers some unique demonstrations, simulations, methodology, and explanations, as well as hyperlinks to many other web sites with useful information, all of which are avaiable for free.
Links to external resources on this web site are selected by our editor based on their usefulness and general consistency with standard principles of ethics, such as honesty, integrity, kindness, generosity, etc.. However, the contents of sites are subject to change, so the presence of a link on this site does not necessarily constitute a full endorsement of the content of that site.
If you know of a web site or web pages that you would like to see listed on this web site, please click the button at the bottom of this page in order to submit your recommendation.
The following sections describe in more detail the standards and goals associated with this web site.
In past eras, long ago before there were people on the earth, animals fought for survival. When the first humans appeared, they had an advantage that gave them dominance: the abilities to learn and to cooperate. Even though humans couldn't run fast and didn't have big fangs or claws, by working together to pool their discoveries and abilities, they could defeat any larger, faster preditor.
However, this also gave rise to a problem: because humans could cooperate to form large groups, larger groups of humans could prey on smaller ones. This has given rise to war, oppression, slavery and other such problems that have occurred throughout human history.
In general, people have not been happy living in a world where they are by random luck assigned a role of "oppressed" or "oppressor." Nor are they happy to be at risk of natural disasters, disease, or other such problems with nobody willing to help them. In order that people can build themselves a more satisfactory world, standards of ethics have been developed by philosophers over the centuries. While no single theory has successfully achieved preemence above all others, there is a tendency for the most popular theories to endorse similar principles or virtues, such as:
This web site is devoted to the further development and elaboration of ethical principles, and to passing on the human legacy of ethical discovery to our children.
It is the goal of this site to promote "good" choices, so that happiness will be
spread as much as possible and suffering will be avoided. If you are wondering
what is meant by "good" (insofar as this site is concerned), you can get a
clearer idea by reading through this 12-page explanation:
Conscience and the difference between Good and Evil
In presenting ethical principles, we hope to come as close as possible to the scientific ideal. In science we strive to have provable results, so that anybody who wishes to can repeat the experiments and derive conclusions objectively. In science there are no real "authorities". Nature is simply there to be discovered and anybody is free to discover it for themselves.
Similarly, cause-and-effect rules of behavior are there to discover, and inventions of how to do things better are available to invent. Each person is free to examine the evidence for themselves and to draw their own conclusions.
Unfortunately, when it comes to recommending or prescribing behaviour, there are some people who would for selfish reasons provide false information to deceive other people in order to cause harm to them. This is particularly a threat to children and youth, who are in a learning process in which they will not yet have been exposed to all the relevant evidence.
Therefore, the content of this web site and the resource links on it, and especially the content targeted toward children, are selected and screened based on provable or well-established standards. Web links will NOT be posted to sites that promote harmful behaviors such as racist hatred, non-medical use of dangerous drugs, etc. Such sites typically have flaws in their arguments, such as contradicting themseleves or offering demonstrably false evidence. If you discover that any link on our site takes you to a site with those characteristics, please inform us by submitting a comment (click button below).
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