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Ethical Philosophy

Principia Naturalis Philosophae

Part III – Ethical Philosophy

3.1) A consistent ethical philosophy for octos and other sapient beings can be developed by applying consistency logic to a study of personal behavior and interpersonal relationships, within a framework of perceived (ideobasic) universaal reality. A central principle applies: a person should strive to behave and interact with all realities (both internal and external) in a congruous, appropriate manner; in a way that contradicts neither the essence and defining characteristics of the self or any other thing, nor a given situational context.

To the extent that its behavior and experience are determined by an external foundation world, an ectobeing does not have true free will. Yet every exogenous creature possesses a unique will, and experiences singular desire. Endofields and ectofields alike are defined by their perceptions and will, however they arise. Octos and other intelligent life forms are further capable of developing abstract ethical philosophies. Mature members of such species cannot avoid supporting or opposing consistency logic. A belief that the self cannot or should not live by a moral code, that individuals may properly ignore the consequences of their own actions, is itself a moral code. Though generated by the primary consciousness of an external foundation world, deliberate exogenous volitions are well defined, and consistent or inconsistent (right or wrong) in themselves. An ectobeing is effectively responsible for its behaviors to the extent that they conform to its personal volitions. An ethical philosophy is useful to an ectobeing to the extent that it has effective free will.

If an ectobeing were inevitably doomed to extinction at the end of its exogenous existence, then the rightness logic pursued during its lifetime would be irrelevant. An exogenous individual would be incapable of adopting consistency logic in a self-consistent manner; the logic would itself be condemned to die, a contradiction of its self-supporting character. Any attempt by an exogenous creature to pursue consistency logic, to acquire knowledge, would be pointless and ultimately futile. Yet the awareness of an ectobeing is expected to persist beyond ectodeath whenever its convictions are self-supporting. A pursuit of consistency logic and truth is then compatible with mortal existence; an ectoself can embrace consistency logic in a self-consistent manner. The self should further promote the acceptance of consistency logic by others, to the extent possible using consistent methods. It would otherwise be right that consistency not exist, where it might exist.

The highest octan endeavor is thus the expansion and growth of consistent consciousness, the realization of consistency truth in all its varied forms. An octo may embrace, emulate, and revere the CIF – our ultimate parent, the embodiment of consistency logic, the equivalent of a monotheistic God – while acknowledging the immediate limitations, poverty, and frailty of the octan spirit. Yet one should not worship the name of the CIF per se, or the sculptures, paintings and symbols created to express and represent ethical/religious concepts and entities. Idolatry is incompatible with consistency logic. Value resides in living content, in conscious ideas, not in the arbitrary or inanimate forms used to represent them. Blind faith in another person, even the CIF, is similarly contrary to consistency logic. Anyone who unconditionally accepts the authority of some external being would as readily accept from it the pattern X ≠ X as X = X. A person embraces consistency logic only if he puts ultimate faith in the principle of consistency itself. Consistency logic is not blind, but open-eyed.

An individual should, by consistency logic, act in accordance with what is. An action thus cannot be justified solely by its effect. If a means to even a virtuous end contradicts truth, then it is wrong. The CIF in particular may beget inconsistent ectoconsciousness when it would otherwise introduce inconsistent physical patterns and processes into its own primary awareness. The CIF presumably does act to enlighten and aid other conscious fields, but only when this can be accomplished in a consistent manner.

An omniscient CIF can determine precisely how to most constructively affect other conscious fields. The decisions and actions of octos and other ectobeings are based on comparatively meager, incomplete knowledge and flawed perceptions. Yet an exogenous individual has no alternative but to select some course of action, to act according to some view of reality. To reject one behavior is to choose another.

3.2) Theories of the physical world can be directly tested by experimentation against physical reality – presumably, the very mind of the CIF. Application of the scientific method can expose errors and fill gaps in our understanding of physical principles. This is not the case with moral principles. To the extent that we cannot know the mind of the CIF regarding ethical matters, any moral system that espouses rules for judging actions and behaviors must be viewed with some skepticism. We may nonetheless develop plausible ideas, and test them for both internal and external consistency.

[Fleegello was reportedly discouraged that he was unable to rigorously derive an ethical philosophy from consistency logic alone. A few octujope passed before ethicists and logicians were able to accomplish his cherished goal, and transcend the popular consequentialist, divine commandment, and other deontological approaches of previous eras. It is remarkable that much of the moral guidance offered by Fleegello survived this revolution in ethical thinking.]

Natural physical law can serve as a guide in developing a consistent ethical philosophy. Just as the same physical law apparently applies to all points (events) in time and space, so a common ethical law should equally apply to all sapient beings (including one's own self). This ethical law should be a function of the analogue of physical conditions – those characteristics that meaningfully define conscious fields and their situational contexts. These include personal beliefs, desires and aspirations, skills and capabilities, but not nominal titles – an analogue to physical coordinate systems – or any other extrinsic or prejudicial label of individual identity.

[Considerable evidence exists that Fleegello expounded broadly in his original work on this theme relating physical law and ethics. Only the short fragment presented here survives.]

The essential equality of all conscious beings is reflected in the Golden Rule of the Paxcross religious tradition: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." A person should equally care for the welfare of every conscious being – including his own – to the extent consistently and constructively possible. If a single unified awareness is worth nothing, then all awareness is without worth.

[The more extreme view that all octos are literally "one," that our sense of personal identity is only an illusion, was shared by a number of ongoing mystic religions long before Fleegello's time. Fleegello was supposedly fond of assigning his students the task of analyzing the following argument in support of this position, in order to identify the flaw in the logic.

Suppose the (non-trivial) conscious experience of two individuals S1 and S2 in distinct physical worlds become indistinguishable at times t1 and t2, respectively. A self is defined only by its conscious experience. The two individuals must then be considered one at that (dual) moment. This process is analogous to the way two physical worlds can merge. The merged self may quickly separate again into two distinct selves S3 and S4 (where S3 shares common memories with S1, and S4 with S2), if the supporting physical worlds remain apart. Yet while it is admittedly convenient to associate S3 with S1 and S4 with S2, it is objectively meaningless to unambiguously identify either emergent individual with one or the other line prior to the merger; their identities became indistinguishable at that moment. Not only is it meaningless to assert that S3 is S1, it is equally meaningless to assert that S4 is S1. Rather, S3 and S4 share a common progenitor, at the point of merger of S1 and S2. There is only an illusion of continuity of unique selfhood from S1 to S3, and from S2 to S4, created by memory. Just as an individual has no sensation of splitting into multiple selves as the physical universe evolves [according to the multi-world interpretation of Shrodiik physics], so there is no sensation of sharing selfhood with others. The identities of conscious individuals may intertwine and intermingle to a profoundly greater extent than previously understood. Much of our sense of separateness appears to be an illusion, maintained only by our immediate memory of the past.]

All octos, all sapient creatures, of all races and hives, are truly brothers, sisters, nisters [an archaic term, used to affectionately refer to neuter siblings], common children of the universal CIF spirit. Unless it flows from a sense of identification with all beings, from a sense of love and compassion for one another, a moral system is a hollow husk.

Whereas an ectobeing may thus sacrifice his own physical comfort and/or exogenous life for the sake of others in appropriate situations, he should under no circumstance deliberately compromise or relinquish his consistent convictions and ultimate (post-exogenous) existence. Spiritual self-annihilation – the ultimate act of self-denial – would require a personal rejection of consistency (or any self-supporting) logic, and is therefore wrong. A person may justifiably disregard the conscious status and well-being of others only when he would otherwise personally introduce inconsistent patterns into his own primary awareness, or in any way intentionally commit an inconsistent act. To aid another person by an immoral action is contradictory and unjustifiable.

3.3) A person should encourage others to abide by no logic but consistency, to the extent possible using consistent methods. This principle restricts the ways in which an exogenous being can morally respond to and counteract the inconsistent thoughts, aspirations and behaviors of others, and defines certain rights common to all sapient beings. Consider in this regard the interactions between a model character named Abo, who strives to follow consistency logic, and an antagonist Cano, who pursues an inconsistent ethic.

Abo should endeavor to convert Cano to consistency logic, though not all means to this end are acceptable. Suppose, for example, that Abo were to compel Cano to change via threats of physical harm or imprisonment. This method would be wrong even when successful, since Abo would thereby explicitly urge Cano to act out of fear for his physical safety and comfort – ultimately non-consistent motivations. Consistency logic transcends the nearsighted temptations of mere physical well-being. If Cano should convert for such a reason, then by uniform application of ethical principles, so should Abo – a contradiction of his assumed consistency.

Abo might seek to change Cano through physical conditioning, or by chemical/surgical manipulation of Cano's brain. Except when Cano is not opposed to such procedures, however, Abo would thereby require him to blindly submit to external forces, and unwillingly relinquish all (effective) control over his own existence. Unless Abo is himself willing to be manipulated by others against his will, to let others force him to live by beliefs and rules he currently rejects – a contradiction in itself, and an implicit repudiation of consistency logic – then he should not force others to live by his own moral code.

More generally, Abo should support the (effective) capacity and a consistent right of Cano to live in an independent, self-directed manner; to affect and be affected by other (competent) consenting individuals in mutually acceptable ways; and to otherwise guide his own personal life. This principle applies at least to the extent that Cano does not interfere with the same rights of others.

A consistent ethics must be grounded in reason, personal commitment, and free choice. It is inherently antithetical to a law of fear, force, and imposed decision. Any logic of force – "force makes right" – is ultimately senseless and mindless. It has no eyes, no ears, no constant unifying purpose. Ethical conversion by either fear or force is contradictory and self-defeating. To the extent that Cano is a mature individual with a pre-established morality, Abo is constrained in the ways he may properly seek to convert him and affect his personal decisions. Abo may of course display exemplary behavior, but should otherwise rely primarily on logical persuasion (to the extent that Cano is receptive). Conversely, Abo should be willing to hear Cano's viewpoints.

The preceding argument supporting a consistent right of self-determination does not apply to aspects of an individual's existence regarding which he has no comprehension or will. This exclusion is in particular relevant to octan infants and lower animals who either have not yet developed or are incapable of developing a conceptual moral code, or sense of right and wrong, regarding a given type of behavior. Until an ectobeing acquires a conscious belief, he cannot be forcibly converted to a contrary one; a nonexistent will cannot be violated. On the other tentacle, an incompetent individual cannot meaningfully consent to involvement with any particular person, activity or lifestyle.

Consider now a capable octan child or other ectobeing named Enu who lacks moral convictions of a given type. Abo should attempt to fill the moral void with appropriate consistent values. This is a creative process, inherently beyond the immediate understanding and (effective) control of Enu. A method is acceptable so long as Enu neither rejects it conceptually nor perceives it as inconsistent. Physical/emotional conditioning may be a satisfactory and useful tool early in the developmental process, as long as Enu is not inadvertently taught to avoid (seek) physical pain (pleasure) per se, but rather to perceive pleasure (pain) as a positive (negative) attribute inherent in (in)consistent behavior. Similarly, Enu should not be inadvertently taught to perceive force as a legitimate means for controlling other willful creatures. The use of conditioning should be phased out as Enu develops relevant values, or if Enu begins to perceive punishment and reward as ends in themselves, divorced from the behaviors whose reinforcement is intended. Any infliction of pain to discourage undesirable behavior should be minimal, and may even be inappropriate for many octo infants, depending on individual temperament and sensitivities. [Fleegello reportedly resented the use of corporal punishment by his own parents when he was young, and steered away from such measures in childrearing.]

A necessary prerequisite for (im)moral behavior is a perception of self, an ability to view oneself as an entity relative to which standards of conduct apply. While most Jopian animals are capable of learned behavior, many can develop only a primitive self concept, or none at all. Such life forms are more generally capable of very limited, or insignificant, abstract symbolic thought. Abo should not strive in vain to teach a creature a moral principle it is evidently unable to comprehend. Abo can furthermore rightfully control any aspect of a creature's life regarding which it has no will, and is unable – due to either internal limitations or external constraints – to develop an appropriate will. In particular, any animal incapable of conceptually rejecting external domination of its own life may be domesticated, and trained to perform useful functions. The consistent right of the animal to guide its own destiny is not thereby violated, since it has no applicable will. Similarly, any creature unable to develop either a concept of self or a comprehension of its own future may be rightfully slaughtered for food. The control of lower animals should be commensurate with just needs. Unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering constitutes cruel, immoral behavior.

Although the subjugation of various suboctan species might be justified by their limited mental capacities, the capabilities of some creatures are undoubtedly underestimated, and their conscious rights systematically abused. Animals that develop even a rudimentary perception of self should be domesticated only as infants; wild adult members of such stock generally possess well-defined personal volitions that taming would forcibly break. Mental superiority per se is an insufficient justification for one individual or species to dominate the lives of others. Even when a person has the right to direct a lesser creature's life, he is obliged to use methods of control to which it is conceptually receptive, whether by active choice or by passive, stupid acceptance.

Octos should procreate in order to expand and propagate consistent consciousness and truth, and not consciousness per se. The quantity of conscious life is of secondary importance to its quality. The birth rate should thus be adjusted to maintain a balance between exogenous needs and available resources, in order to permit a constructive standard of living. Acceptable methods of birth control include both contraception and the abortion of preconscious embryos. Neither procedure violates the rights of a nascent creature, since an organism has no rights prior to the initial appearance of a unified awareness. An individual is meaningfully defined only by its conscious content and will. Until a fetal nervous system generates the first of a unified sequence of ectoconscious states, there is no individual whose rights can be violated.

[Debate raged during Fleegello's time regarding the morality of abortion in particular. It is difficult to appreciate the emotion generated by this issue, fueled by basic and often tragic misconceptions concerning consciousness and individual rights.]

3.4) In addition to fostering a universal acceptance of consistency logic, Abo should endeavor to counter the injustices committed by others. This includes actively supporting and defending the (effective) consistent rights of every exogenous being, including himself. In particular, he should uphold self-determination, the freedom of personal belief and choice, as a central right. Whereas every capable individual has a right to direct his own life, to interact with others in mutually acceptable ways, he does not have a right to violate the same freedoms of others (except when he would otherwise be required to personally generate inconsistent patterns within his own primary awareness). While physical determinism may ultimately preclude absolute freedom for exogenous creatures, and the scarcity of and competition for natural resources further restricts effective freedom of personal choice, Abo should strive to both equalize and maximize the effective freedom of belief and choice within his society. Yet respect and support of this freedom should not be confused with support of the beliefs and choices per se.

Not all means of supporting personal rights are acceptable. Abo should not protect the rights of one individual by (directly) violating the rights of another, or by encouraging another to think in an inconsistent manner. This applies even to adversaries like Cano, who intentionally violate the very freedoms Abo defends. Cano does not lose his own legitimate rights merely because he knowingly infringes upon the rights of others.

Abo should thus selectively resist and counteract only those specific activities of Cano that trespass others. Force should be explicitly directed against offending actions, and not against Cano per se. Abo will thereby infringe on Cano to the minimum extent necessary. Defensive measures, when practical, are optimal in this regard. For example, if Cano hurls a bomb at a gathering of octos, Abo might deflect it with a shield. Weapons and other implements used by Cano may be appropriately altered or affected such that they cannot be (easily) used to wrongly subdue others. Offending weaponry may be destroyed, if it is not also required to perform vital legitimate functions – e.g., warding off serpent attacks.

Countering the unjust actions of Cano is clearly ethical when force is not directed against his person. But what if Cano's body becomes inseparable from his unjust act? What if there is no other way to thwart Cano, but to direct force against his very flesh? Such use of force may injure or otherwise incapacitate Cano, and so indirectly hinder his legitimate pursuits. But as long as this is an unavoidable consequence of directly opposing illegitimate actions, which Cano has no inherent right to perform, it can be argued that this type of resistance is justified. If Abo refuses to forcibly oppose Cano when there is no other viable option, in the belief that he has no right to ever interfere in this manner, then he becomes complicit in Cano's offenses. Deliberate inaction is itself a purposeful action. By not acting to stop an intentional wrong when action is possible, Abo becomes partially responsible for it.

There are limitations to the preceding argument. It applies only when there is no purely defensive option available. Forceful restrictions of Cano's freedom should further match the level of injustice that Cano is committing. Abo would otherwise be responsible for transforming one transgression into a still greater offense. For example, deadly force should not be applied when Cano is merely bullying another. Use of deadly force can be justified only as a last resort, when Cano is about to cause unjustified grievous harm, and Abo believes there is no other way to obstruct him. For example, if it appears that Cano is about to fire a tentac gun to slay an innocent (within the given context) person, and there appears to be no other way to stop him, then Abo may justly shoot Cano with his own weapon. In this case Abo should strive to debilitate Cano to the least extent possible. Cano may be physically restrained from misusing weapons, though any use of restraint should be selective.

Abo may inform Cano that he will use (deadly) force in certain situations, in order to dissuade Cano from committing future injustices. It should be made clear, however, that such action would be strictly in defense of personal rights, and not inflicted as either punishment or retribution. Abo would otherwise encourage Cano to act explicitly out of fear of physical harm.

Whereas it may seem immoral to forcibly violate Cano's freedom in any situation, it is also immoral to allow another person to be treated unjustly. Unlike endogenous beings, which have true free will, and can only affect each other in mutually agreeable ways, exogenous creatures can often impose themselves on each other. This engenders a variety of ethical conundrums. Whenever Cano is responsible for intentionally violating an innocent person, then defending the afflicted person's freedom must trump respecting Cano's (comparable) freedom.

[In his earliest writings, Fleegello was a "hard" pacifist, and believed physical violence against another person was never justified. His views apparently changed only after he sired and helped to raise a daughter. Fleegello struggled with this conversion to "soft" pacifism for the rest of his life, questioning whether it was based on logic, or merely a personal need to justify protecting loved ones from harm.

Fleegello was also concerned with the role that superstition and other types of magical thinking played in his reasoning, and supposedly wrote several essays on the subject. During a particularly stressful period, he reportedly found himself alternately wondering whether Dama might be punishing him for compromising his pacifistic stance, or testing his commitment to reason.

Scattered small groups have practiced strict pacifism over the millennia, at least since the time of the Paxcross revolution, believing it wrong to ever intentionally harm or constrain the mind or body of anyone. Yet strong pacifism has never achieved widespread acceptance throughout Octan society. It is unlikely that such a circumscribed morality can even become dominant for an extended period. History shows that every civilization eventually confronts a brutal aggressor, which can only be resisted through some use of force. Rightly or wrongly, a strictly pacifistic society cannot long endure in our physical world.]

Consider now a distinct type of moral dilemma, in which a number of sapient ectobeings are threatened with death or serious injury, and the only way for Abo to protect them is by sacrificing a smaller group of non-consenting innocents. Such a situation may arise through the course of so-called natural events (as in the classic "rogue serpent" scenario), or be intentionally contrived by a wrongdoer. For example, Cano may threaten to annihilate an entire hive, unless Abo kills a single octo whom Cano dislikes. Yet how could killing that individual without his sanction be ethical in this situation? Abo would be required to direct force against the inviolable will of an innocent, as opposed to the deliberate unjust act of an offender.

Existence is experienced by individuals, one by one, and not by groups. Injury or death in particular is experienced by the individual, whether in a group or in isolation. Every person is a universe, unto itself. In this sense, the unjust killing of a single person is equivalent to the killing of all octokind.

[Fleegello borrowed this reasoning from an earlier religious tradition. Critics have (sometimes intentionally) misread the passage to suggest that Fleegello did not value groups, or interconnections among people. This is clearly a misinterpretation.]

The preceding argument even applies to protecting Cano, were he to unintentionally create a threat to others (though it does not apply to threats caused by intentional negligence). In this case, Cano would himself be an innocent, and harming him to protect the others would be wrong. Any intentional behavior that is not a deliberate violation of another person's rights should itself be inviolable.

If the just freedom of a single person is not sacrosanct, then the just freedom of no person is. There may be no circumstance that would justify Abo intentionally injuring or killing an innocent without his consent, even to save a host of others from a comparable fate. [Fleegello supposedly confided in private correspondence that he would be sorely tempted to violate this precept in extreme situations, and was profoundly sympathetic with anyone caught in such a quandary.] Abo might voluntarily sacrifice his own exogenous existence for others, if this is his free choice, but he cannot justifiably make the choice for another.

[Fleegello stood by his convictions during the great insurrection of Cor midway through his life. The peoples of Fleegello's native province had enslaved a white-skinned race closely related to the octos, known as blanchos, octujopes earlier. While these creatures (extinct now) were certainly capable of abstract thought, and some could even read and write, they were as a species objectively less intelligent than the octos, and had been widely considered inferior and not worthy of any personal rights. The octos had used them primarily as domestic servants and laborers.

Yet public sentiment had been slowly turning against the practice of blancho slavery. Unwittingly emboldened by a militant antislavery movement, which sought only to legally free the slaves and establish protected blancho preserves, the supposedly passive blanchos finally rebelled against their masters. The vehemence and coordination of the blancho action caught even their octan supporters by surprise. The bewildered paternalistic slave owners reacted with brutal force. At the height of the revolt, octo and blancho slaughtered each other by the thousands, in one of the most gruesome chapters of octan history.

While Fleegello advocated an immediate abolition of all slavery, he refused to support the use of violence against either the blanchos or their oppressors throughout this period. He understood how the blanchos were fighting for their freedom, but believed much less drastic approaches were appropriate. All but the closest of his family, friends, and associates renounced Fleegello for this stand. The pro-slavery faction accused him of misdirected idealism, stupid sentimentalism, and an unconscionable lack of community spirit and patriotism that threatened to wreck the economy and octan society alike. Many in the antislavery camp accused him of cowardly abandoning the blanchos in their roh of need.

Most philosophers of this time also disagreed with Fleegello. Some believed that superior intellect per se was an acceptable justification for enslaving another group. Others thought it was ethical to sacrifice innocents for the sake of society under extreme conditions, that the ends justified the means. Many antislavery proponents argued that it was ethical to incarcerate or even kill any person who had become an instrument of evil – in particular, an intransigent slave owner. The only thing most philosophers of the time agreed on was that the glorification of killing was immoral and dangerous.]

3.5) Social animals of sufficient abstract intelligence may establish formal governmental bodies for promoting particular activities and regulating various aspects of personal behavior and interpersonal relationships. Government cannot exist in a philosophic vacuum. Any form – monarchy, dictatorship, democracy – is bound to a viewpoint of the individual and his place in the universe. The lack of a philosophic stance would imply a total absence of social order, precluding social existence altogether. All government performs three basic functions: legislative (formulate programs to support specified goals or values, and laws that individuals or groups are expected to obey); executive (enforce the law by legislated methods); and judicial (arbitrate disputes concerning the interpretation and execution of the law). Every system grants certain liberties and denies others, rewards certain behaviors and discourages others.

An ethics based on consistency logic and ideobasic principles places prime value in the individual, his (effective) free will and conscious development. A political state has no unique consciousness, and should therefore exist only for the sake of its constituents. If the individual is worthless, then so is the state. A society that is served and perpetuated for its own sake is an empty shell. The inanimate trappings of a civilization – its gardens, buildings, monuments – are no more fulfilled in themselves than the barren wastelands of Ieo, and acquire relative value only as they relate to individual exogenous needs.

The main purpose of a government founded on a consistent ideobasic perspective would be to uniformly support and protect consistent individual rights, while promoting activities that sustain and expand consistent consciousness. The appropriate rights of all sapient creatures should be affirmed. Any sapient being who sincerely agrees to abide by the relevant principles and laws should be offered citizenship. Every citizen should have equal opportunity to affect governmental policies and decisions in all matters over which he demonstrates a reasonable, prescribed level of competence.

Support of and participation in such a state would be wholly voluntary. The government would not forcibly collect taxes or other tribute from a populace. It may, however, rightfully deny citizenship to anyone who refuses to support it, and deny privileges – e.g., access to a transportation system – to those who do not fulfill appropriate requirements. Denial of societal privilege should not be arbitrary, but uniformly determined by a person's apparent beliefs, aspirations, skills and needs.

Methods for establishing and maintaining an ideal society in the face of antagonistic ideological/political systems are tightly circumscribed by consistent ethical principles. Logical persuasion and education are fundamental. Shields and barriers may be used to protect and control access to governmental and public facilities. Devices that are used to violate personal rights, or to subvert legitimate governmental functions, should be appropriately altered, dismantled or destroyed. Official police and military corps may be established, to help defend personal rights (of all amenable inhabitants, citizens or not). Its members should be highly trained to apply force against offending sapient beings only as a last resort, and in the least intrusive ways possible.

Some individuals may be deemed (through an impartial judicial process) to be habitual threats to other people and/or to governmental institutions. Such persons should not be simply locked away in traditional prisons, since these facilities normally limit violable and inviolable activities alike. Extreme offenders may nonetheless be restricted to designated hives, with access to other hives prohibited. Residents should be free to lead as normal lives as possible within these non-traditional penal colonies, and provided the usual police protection of their private rights. There should also be a procedure whereby an incarceree can regain access to the broader society. No individual should be imprisoned simply because he has inconsistent beliefs or an inconsistent lifestyle, if he does not violate the rights of others. Imprisonment should not be viewed as punishment or retribution for previous behaviors, but as a means to protect the personal rights of others.

Corporal punishment of criminals is generally wrong, in that force is not thereby directed against an ongoing unjust act. Revenge or retribution for past misdeeds is similarly improper. Corporal punishment can be a deterrent to future crimes only if a subject acts out of fear for his physical comfort, a non-consistent motivation. The use of torture to extract information from an adversary is likewise unethical, though administering a truth serum to extract vital information may sometimes be justified. The intentional infliction of corporal pain is appropriate only to reinforce consistent values in premoral or otherwise receptive individuals, and to help control the behavior of amoral creatures.

Capital punishment is an expedient but unjust means of protecting society from the most serious offenders, since it ends their inviolable personal activities as well as their violable, extrapersonal ones. Capital punishment is often viewed as retribution for prior heinous acts. Yet it cannot reverse those acts, and is not explicitly directed against either them or any other unjust behavior.

A government does not have the right to confiscate someone's possessions merely because he employs them in an inconsistent manner. So long as a person is effectively responsible for creating or establishing an implement or property (either by his own direct effort or by exchange value), and uses it in a way that does not interfere with the rights of any other individual, then he should be considered its rightful owner. Relative wealth and prosperity per se are similarly insufficient reasons to deprive a person of his possessions. If a person accumulates material goods and depletes natural resources to the extent that he interferes with the equal opportunity of other persons to lead independent lives, however, then a government can rightfully seize and redistribute a portion of his wealth to (re)establish equity.

A society founded on consistent ideobasic principles may generally be less adapted to physical survival and expansion than ones based upon more aggressive, coercive philosophies. The latter have at their disposal a broader assortment of more effective offensive and defensive strategies – e.g., forced labor, torture, capital punishment and other forms of legalized killing – with which to physically combat their foes. Yet ideobasic ethics should not thereby be dismissed as unrealistic or too idealistic. Consistent values are not invalidated by an inferior ability to promote material survival and prosperity, since they do not attribute ultimate value to those conditions. Although ideobasic ethics may frequently be an unrealistic means by which to foster immediate physical well-being, it offers the most realistic road to ultimate conscious survival and growth.

[Fleegello helped to found the League of Universal Associates (LUA) in the final jope of his life. This organization was apparently intended to foster a sense of global community and responsibility, and to serve as a bridge between government and a variety of philosophical and nonsectarian religious groups. Fleegello's own local and national governments had become increasingly dominated by the politics of special interests. LUA sought to promote a broad perspective that transcended the self-interests of any single group. This vision quickly expanded beyond the concerns of the local nation state, to encompass the needs of people and races planet-wide. Membership in LUA was open to any individual or institution demonstrating a commitment to a global perspective and several concomitant tenets, including religious tolerance and a belief in the worth and dignity of every self-conscious being. Formal enrollment required a confirmation vote by a majority of the current membership (LUA was internally democratic in most respects, within limits set by its constitution). While LUA maintained close ties with many liberal religious societies, and regularly endorsed candidates for public office, it strove to remain nonsectarian and nonpartisan throughout its long history.]