Ethics

Ethics

Sacrificing Your Ethics for Your Ethics

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 16 2022

Establishing rules for life is pretty straightforward: to avoid harm to yourself or others, don’t do x, y, and z. To thrive, do a, b, and c. It seems simple, right? However, there is one problem: what happens if you agree with others on the rules and then they break them? This one seems simpler than it is: punish them in a way that is...

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Happiness

Life Is Not a Zero-Sum Game

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 9 2022

Life is all about growth, but we live in a world with a near-incalculable (i.e., how many bottom of the ocean?) number of organisms on it, all competing for growth-enabling resources.  Trees compete for sunlight, animals compete over food and water, and some animals have to eat others to survive.  Naturally, it would seem that the fight-for-your-li...

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Meaning

Conflating Ethics and Meaning Can Create a False Sense of Progress

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 19 2022

Every well-adjusted person wants to be viewed as a good person. “Good” in this case means ethical. Everyone follows rules to live their lives optimally, and ethics are rules to follow when other people are involved to maximize your own growth while minimizing any harm done to anyone else in the process. But is that enough to find meaning and fulfil...

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Emotions

The Ethics of Honesty and Openness

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 14 2022

“Honesty is the best policy.”  “Always tell the truth; that way, there’s less to remember.”  Everyone spouts the benefits and importance of honesty.  But is it really ethical to be open and honest all the time?  No, no it’s not.  Let me explain. There are two factors at play in this: ethics and emotions.  Ethics are rules you follow to minimize har...

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Ethics

Why People Argue So Vehemently Over Politics

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 8 2022

Everyone knows the sensitive topics in the presence of polite company: religion, politics, and money. Money makes sense, as it breeds jealousy, and religion can spark deep debates about the meaning of the universe.  So why is politics such a hot topic?  Let’s discuss. You might think that this is obvious: politics is tribal; people align to a trib...

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Ethics

Facts vs. Principles

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 30 2022

You're in a heated argument.  You have your list of facts and principles, and so does your adversary.  Who wins?  Clearly, you believe that you do almost every time.  Of course, your adversary thinks that he or she has won almost every time as well.  So who's right?  Well, it turns out that most people in arguments have already drawn conclusions an...

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Ethics

Hypocrites: Everyone Hates them…Everyone Is One (with Simple Ethics)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 9 2022

“It’s not fair!” is the rallying cry of injustice.  Everyone hates when someone insists that everyone follows a certain set of rules or ethics and then does not follow them.  Why do we hate it so much, and why do people do it?  Let’s explore. There are few ethics that are both logically derived by intelligent beings and biologically engrained in so...

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Ethics

The Limits of Ethics

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, February 2 2022

We have come a long way from a world that was about fighting to survive.  Today, society is more about not harming any person while trying to grow and thrive in life.  In the billions of years since the first organism came into existence, social animals evolved to cooperate for greater survival and well-being.  Now, we face a strange situation wher...

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Growth

Life’s 8 Major Fallacies

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 5 2022

Mistakes People Make in Their Search for Meaning When people are looking for their meaning in life, they will have trouble finding it if they make erroneous assumptions about how life works or what they’re supposed to do with the one that they’ve been given.  Unfortunately, such fundamental assumptions are held sometimes without people having thoug...

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Meaning

What Do You Value?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 23 2021

In The Meaning of Life, there are two points where we run into the issue of values: growth and ethics.  In the Growth chapter, we talk about identifying growth areas that matter to you.  Obviously, you can do 100 finger curls today and 101 finger curls tomorrow and you’ll have “grown” in your ability to do that, but not many people would say that t...

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