There is a flaw in both categorical and utilitarian philosophies, especially with Kant's Categorial Imperative.
The flaw is in the lack of factual knowledge. While theoretically it is possible for all rational and ethical beings to arrive at the same universal ethical laws, each person is not merely the member of a collective with the same knowledge and experience.
To come to a perfect conclusion of coercive laws, we must either have perfect knowledge, which would require omnipotence and infallible logic, or at least the exact same shared knowledge. To know all things and to take all things into account perfectly would result in perfect conclusions in logic.
As human beings, we both understand that we do not have perfect knowledge and that having perfect knowledge is impossible for any member of our own known universe due to scientific principles on the effect of observation and determinism.
Therefore, we can create no perfect universal maxim of law that can apply to all people in all situations at all times.
With regards to close approximations of perfect laws, we would then need to at least have the exact same knowledge and experiences. While it is possible for humans to share experiences, we cannot all occupy the same bodies, the same personalities, the same life situations, the same time frame, or the same associations with other humans.
Because of this limitation, we are struck with the limit of the special circumstance applying to all humans at many times.
And because we do not even share the same values as humans, not even basic ones such as the maxim against killing, ethical morality then falls prey to subjective judgement rather than objective ones.
We see this occur when we look at a basic concept of duty versus utility.
Let us take the situation of ten men lying unconscious in a room. An earthquake at a nuclear power plant has knocked them unconscious and the ceiling will collapse in 30 minutes. Inside the room, they are safe from radiation. But just outside the room, in the hallway, there is a radiation leak. Down the hall is a room outside of the facility that is safe even after the room collapses. A man is in this room and is uninjured.
The man can go through the hall to the other room, and pull one man out at a time. Each trip to go and save an unconscious man will require one full exposure to the radiation in the hall, but only one half of a full exposure for each saved man.
According to the safety manual, a human can withstand three exposures without any ill effects. Four to six exposures will cause non life threatening injuries and scarring. Seven to nine exposures will cause life threatening organ failures if not treated immediately. Ten exposures guarantees death.
The ethical question is, how man men should the healthy man save?
Let us look at the utilitarian response. The utilitarian says that, all things being equal (assuming every life is of equal value and none are secretly serial killers), the man is most justified in saving all ten men. He cannot even stop at nine, because he's very likely to die. By saving the tenth, he insures that the last man lives even if he dies.
As we see in this situation, we cannot rely on human intuition nor on the detached observer's judgement. Surely the family of the men saved will consider the sacrifice of the hero to be brave and noble. But the child of the sacrificed man may be bitter for life towards the surviving men and their families. The surviving man plays no part in causing their situation, yet is compelled by the wishes of society to be the hero. The child is then fatherless due to what it sees as a cold calculation. The child suffers without any choice in the matter.
So how does Kant or a Libertarian respond to this situation?
According to Kant, suicide is immoral because if it became a universal law, it condones murder for the sake of convenience. Kant, who rejects consequentialism, says that the means by which we act must be a universal moral law. He rejects self sacrifice as a moral means by failing the universality of the action.
Further, Kant says that any moral law must treat all people as an ends unto themselves, not merely as a means. In this situation, the healthy man cannot use himself simply as a means to the ends of others.
And so on two counts, Kant rejects saving any man that requires self injury. Even if we expand this to a group of men drawing straws or casting lots in a lottery, Kant still rejects the action. The libertarian agrees with Kant, in that a man has nontransferable right to self possession. Therefore, a man cannot sell himself into slavery or sacrifice his life for another.
By exposing both of these extreme views, we expose the fault in both, and the fault in relying on human gut intuition in determining what we should or what we must do as a law or maxim.
Intuition gives us a sense of self preservation. It also gives us a sense of the sanctity of life and allows us to praise those who help others as heroes.
The utilitarian says save them all. The categorical says save none. And yet, if a group of people were all asked, their answers would vary wildly. Some would save three, since they would suffer little but save some. Others would chance life threatening illnesses to save most. And yet others would save all or none based on fear or sense of duty.
So we do not have a special circumstance, such as the famed "killer at the door" argument. This example does not expose the fallacy of universal laws. This example exposes the fallacy of any law or maxim.
And in this situation, all points of view can be defended. Saving none, saving some, saving most, or saving all can be argued successfully on moral grounds.
What universal ethical framework remains of laws compelling action or inaction then?
To answer this question, we must change our perspective about the universality of the equality of man, and understand that circumstance, situation, life experience, knowledge, and ability are completely different for every individual. We must therefore start with the premise that all people are independent agents of change in the world around them, and are not part of any collective.
For a collective, like a company, can operate by a singular circumstance, need, want, ability, and ethical policy. But individuals are not simply collectives of all of humanity.
We have tens of thousands of years of changing circumstances to deal with in formulating anything universal. We have thousands of different combinations of countries, cultures, races, and even the difference in gender to deal with. We must apply anything universal to the poorest beggar and the richest tycoon.
Among the complete diversity that is all of humanity, what can we therefore declare universal above the fact that each was a human that lived and died?
To formulate the A Priori of universal ethics, we must go with something fundamental to all humans, and what differentiates us from all other life on this planet.
The human is the only animal capable of complex thought. While we may find communication and complex family structures in other mammals, only the human has achieved fundamental separation from nature. This was achieved by our intellect as independent moral agents and self determination. For this argument, we will presuppose that predetermination cannot apply. For if predetermination is true and the course of history is fixed, making the argument or not making the argument ultimately doesn't matter.
What determines an independent moral agent then? What is it's fundamental guiding principle by which we separate ourselves from other forms of life that we are aware of?
Kant glimpsed the answer to this when he spoke of autonomous actions. He formulated that autonomous actions were those which were decided upon based on a universal moral law and were not simply to satisfy a pleasure or avoidance of pain.
I find this answer unsatisfactory in the same sense that I find the explanation of a snow cone as inadequate when described as a spherical frozen object that is flavored for oral consumption. This hardly is specific enough to be called a real explanation. It could be describing a snow cone, or ice cream, or a frozen hamburger patty.
What is the autonomous action, specifically? Kant seems to be trapped in Aristotle's cave describing the shadow of something which he has not directly observed. What is frustrating about his answer is how close it is, yet how completely unhelpful it is.
The advantage we have in changing perspective is that to determine the universal autonomous action of the collective, we are looking at individuals. Therefore, we can take any individual from any time and any culture, and examine them for the common universality that makes them an independent moral agent.
When we place people in the spot of the healthy man, we find that they all make different decisions. Is there truly any commonality?
There is no observable commonality, and they appear to all be operating by different guiding principles. Some are religious, acting from a sense of serving the divine. Some are acting in self preservation. Some are atheists and acting as collectivists serving the greater good.
No philosophy binds them all, or so it seems. There is one philosophy that binds them is the fact that they all make a decision.
The philosophy of decision is that all independent moral agents make decisions that guide their lives, regardless of how they act them out. There is the fact that they all have a guiding principle, whether they adopted it from others or formed it independently. They are not robots.
But like Kant, this is very broad and nonspecific. What we must explore in forming a philosophy of decision is not to simply acknowledge that people make them, but to determine what universal decision all people make and what this means in terms of universal ethics.
And where we will arrive will challenge the fundamental premise of Kant and the utilitarians.
Let's form a new scenario to explore the very simple law at the heart of the philosophy of ethics. Kant pointed out that we have automatic responses to many things. At the heart of all life, human and otherwise is a level of compliance. Often, even as humans, we can forgo the act of making a decision. We follow the crowd, stay in our traffic lane, and eat when those around us sit down to eat.
This behavior is observed in schools of fish, flocks of birds, ants, bees, and trees. Compliance and group following is either an automatic or near automatic life response. It is the act of nature and evolution.
To break away from this, we must put an individual in a position where they are forced to decide in a way that breaks down all compliance.
Imagine a man is tied to a chair, unable to move but able to see and speak. Across from him are the people he loves most in life, his only child and his wife, tied to chairs, blindfolded and gagged so that they are unable to speak or see.
Next to the man is a masked figure. The masked figure puts a gun to the side of the man's head and says, "I am going to kill someone here, but who I kill is up to you. If you decide that I should kill your child, your wife will live. If you decide that I should kill your wife, your child will live. In either case, I will still kill you as well. However, there are two other options. You can decide that I kill both of them, and I'll let you live. Chose now who shall live and who shall die."
This is a real tangled mess in terms of ethics. The means and the consequences are unavoidable. Already, you the reader, have placed yourself in the position of the man. You have taken the information into your mind, created a picture, and are in your mind sitting in the chair trying to decide for yourself what the right action is to take.
I left you an out, though, didn't I? I left out an option. I didn't tell you what the fourth option was? And the reaction of almost all people is to logically find this fourth option. That option is what the killer will do if you make no decision. The masked figure explains that if you make no decision, then they will kill all of you.
At the moment that you know this, you truly feel trapped.
Why do you now feel more trapped, less certain, and unable to decide? What did I take away from you in revealing this last option? I took away your fundamental ability to say "no".
I made the "no" option so horrible, that you will look for any other moral justification for any other option. And yet, there are still individuals that will say, "No."
When you hear the situation, you can think an infinite number of things, but most run along these lines. When you hear that you have to choose, you think either that your wife and you can have another child, or that you can raise your child by yourself because your wife already had the chance to live a full life. But when you hear that you will be killed as well, you wonder if your child can live without parents. You wonder if your wife can life without her husband or child. You even, selfishly, may think that if you decide that they both die in your place, that you will do something to make it up. You will live if only to get free and kill this masked person in revenge.
We wonder if the masked person can even be trusted or is lying and will kill whoever they want anyways, crushing any decision you make. We assume they are deriving some sort of pleasure from the collective suffering of those tied up.
This decision then becomes so impossible in the minds of even detached observers, that they cannot say for certain that any decision is truly right or wrong. But universally, all independent moral agents observe that the masked killer is immoral and that they do not want to be complicit in their scheme.
Universally, whether detached or actually in the situation, the root of decision making gives us a near instant and immediate answer to the situation. We say, consciously or unconsciously, "No!"
And when we hear the three options, we only know one thing. So long as we don't make a decision, so long as we refuse, everyone remains alive. We will not help this murderer. We will not decide who lives and who dies. And many of us would even say, "If only I could just decide myself. If only I could self sacrifice!"
We say no. Even suicide is a form of saying no, which we will explore later.
Axiom 1 - The first, fundamental, inalienable, nontransferable, universal right every independent moral agent has is the right of negation.
Therefore, let us postulate a theory of the philosophy of decision and ethical moral law. Let us explore the moral law broken when the fourth option is given, when saying no makes the situation worse.
The ability to make a decision is for the human as an independent moral agent is the fundamental, inalienable, nontransferable, universal right to say no. This right to refuse rests at the core of every moral code of conduct and human right.
Let us explore that famous "killer at the door" scenario that Kant struggles with so much.
A man with an axe comes to your door. He says that he is looking for a family member of yours who happens to be hiding in your home. He asks if the family member is in your home? Do you tell the truth or lie?
Kant says that telling the truth is a Categorical Imperative, a universal law that it is our duty to honor. He says that the consequences do not matter because we cannot control the actions of the killer. The consequentialists argue that of course we must care about the outcome, and we should lie. Kant returns the argument that even lying may not save the family member.
But the philosophy of decision is not something we can even control, which is the true power of its universality. Our first reaction to the killer and their request is that we fundamentally refuse to be a participant in a murder. We might directly say, "No, I refuse to talk to you." But even if we decide to lie or to tell the truth, we would assume that there is an unverbalized no in the mind of the person, and certainly if we have decided to lie.
I also postulate that not only do we have a right to negation, but that we are completely incapable of making an autonomous decision if negation is obstructed. We explored this once with the masked killer, but let us use another example. This is the example of violent coercion as a form of false dilemma.
This is not a set example, but a series of similar examples:
The Thief - Give me your money or your life!
The Bad Parent - Eat your broccoli or get a spanking!
The Slave Owner - Get to work or get a beating!
In all of these examples, even the one of the parent that we might agree with because we may think that eating broccoli is a positive action, we are still presented with a false dilemma otherwise known as a fallacy of false choice.
Why is this an actual fallacy of logic? Because it ignores a more rational choice that doesn’t involve the threat of violence. When an argument eliminates rational options, it eliminates rationality itself.
In this case, we can see that The Thief presents to options of harm, the loss of money or death. It is a presentation of coercion through the choice between the lesser of two evils. It eliminates the most rational choice, to not rob someone for money. The thief could also ask for the money voluntarily without the threat of violence. But the violence is meant to eliminate the victim’s ability to refuse, and thus fundamentally violates their humanity.
We can see that the Bad Parent does the same. To the child, both options are unwanted. To the child, the rational response is to say no to the broccoli. Violence is threatened to eliminate this option. The other rational option is for the parent to present another eating choice, or to simply allow the broccoli to go uneaten. Of course, we might consider uneaten broccoli to be a form of harm itself. But as we will discuss, every individual retains the right to this choice.
With the Slave Owner, we have the same situation as the thief, but simply with different terms. The option eliminated is the ability to refuse work. The Slave Owner could simply do the work themselves.
Now, in each of these cases, we presented options for the bad actor. However, we are not assuming that because the bad actor has other options that this is the only reason they do harm. Even if they had no other option but to act as they were acting in the scenarios, the individuals still retain the right to say no, and the bad actor is not justified in removing this option.
One might argue that the thief can’t get a job, or is feeding a starving child. Even without options, the victim still retains the right to say no which is obstructed by coercion.
Even if the parent can’t cook anything else and that the broccoli might be the last meal they can provide to the child for days, the child still retains the right to say no which the parent is obstructing by coercion.
Even if the Slave Owner somehow has no other option but to drive slaves forward, the slaves retain the fundamental human right to say no which is being obstructed by coercion.
Let us look closer at the parent and look at another example.
A man comes into a hospital with a horrible disease. He is not infectious, but without treatment, he will surely die within hours. The doctors explain this to the man. The man refuses treatment. Why can’t the doctors force treatment onto the man? Because we violate his most basic right of negation.
But what does this say of suicide? If we are to have the fundamental right of negation, it must be absolute, even unto death.
The ability to say no to even our own existence is the most powerful form of negation available to a human being. It is by this right that humans have the right to refuse treatment, the right to a hunger strike, and the right to self immolation.
The consequences of having this right, to which all men have generally had since the existence of thinking men, has been a minimal level of suicide throughout history. It has certainly not lead to our extinction. The consequences of removing this right is to force all men to continue existing through all forms of torture that life might provide. And what might be a merciful and quick death would be strained into slow torturous death. It would also extend into keeping a growing number of brain dead victims alive in hospitals to simply wait for their bodies to rot.
The libertarian doctrine of self possession is not the core of ethics, but is simply a byproduct of the absolute right of negation. By illogically reversing the order of mind and body, the libertarian doctrine against suicide as a form of violation of the nontransferable self possession. And that doctrine most opposed to slavery makes every man a slave to life, regardless of its tortures and humiliations.
Kant makes the same error. His universal law assumes that having the right to do a thing only exists if that right is exercised, as though a right cannot be reserved for a later date. This author certainly reserves the right to commit suicide rather than submit to a totalitarian existence as a slave, for instance. This does not mean that this author has any intention of exercising this absolute right of negation.
We therefore dismiss both the means and the ends. We dismiss both the consequentialists and the deontologicalists.
Axiom 2 - The right of negation extends to all independent moral agents, and is absolute to the point of self determination of death.
But what then is morality? Morality can be expressed as a set of axioms by which we act. What we have described so far are the rights of individuals. The relationship between these is that a moral act is the respect of that right while and immoral is the disrespect. To act ethically or morally, therefore is to set out a prescription of rights that cannot be violated.
But another point of morality and ethics is as a set of obligations that must be followed. However, this makes no sense. If the most fundamental right of every individual is to say no, especially to coercion, there can be no set of obligations formulated outside of those agreed to by each individual. Any other form of obligation, be it religious, societal, or philosophical that tells an individual that they must follow and have no right to refuse does itself violate the foundation of all ethics and morality.
We must especially and prejudicially reject religions that promise of hell, fire, and brimstone for those who refuse its moral obligations. Philosophically, this is no different than the thief or the slave owner.
But we must also reject utilitarianism and consequentialism which mandates that individuals do for the greater good of others, refusing their right to negation.
We must also reject all forms of dictatorship governments and mock democracies that present false choice elections. When an entire population is refused the right of negation, it is every individual in that population who has had their fundamental human right of negation violated.
One could eliminate any authority as being legitimate, ethical, or moral the moment it tells any individual that it must act in a certain way, “Because I said so.”
What obligations do we have then? We have none, but two.
The One Obligation - We must, absolutely, respect every individual's right to negation.
To do otherwise violates the fundamental right of negation in other individuals, which cannot be morally violated by any rational being.
Obligation Corollary - We may not impose our right of negation on another.
To do so violates the right of negation that the individual themselves have.
What issues are caused by this? What about the power of attorney if the right is nontransferable nor imposed upon by another? With the power of attorney, the individual has already made decisions they simply want carried out in the event of their incapacity. It is no violation of the philosophy of decision if a person makes a decision prior to incapacity, then becomes incapacitated, and the decision is carried out during their incapacity.
Ultimately, it is their will that is exercised. And under a just law, should the incapacity be reversed, the individual doesn’t need to ask for their rights to be “transferred back” ethically. They never lost their rights or transferred them, but simply had a surrogate to act according to their will, which is at no time violated.
What about children and parents? What about the bad parent example? Can children then refuse to go to bed time? Do parents retain no obligation to take care of their children?
The right of negation applies to all rational beings, as independent moral agents. But as noted in the case of power of attorney, we can have surrogates when we are no longer capable of acting as rational beings. Parents, therefore, are the surrogate agents of their children until they mature to the point of making rational decisions. The child, not being a rational being, cannot therefore negate going to bed.
The parent is not obligated to take care of children for external, undefined reasons that lie outside of the philosophy of decision. The parent has the right to negate their children through abstinence, contraception, abortion, and adoption for the entire length of the child's time as the ward of the parent.
Parents are therefore parents voluntarily taking care of their children at all times. In doing so, they are consenting to being the surrogate.
Many would assume that the plea here for why they must take care of their children, and not simply choose suicide for their children, otherwise known as murder by a surrogate, would be that we must resort to a fundamental “right to exist” rather than a “right of negation”, and that this right to exist must follow with the right to a roof, food, and education of the child.
But that is incorrect. There is no right to exist. For a right to exist is unlike a right to negation, which is always carried out by a rational independent moral agent. A right to exist, in most interpretations, extends to life itself, causes a paradox with the right to self determination unto death, and coerces individuals thus violating their right to negation.
Rather, we rely solely on the One Obligation and the Obligation Corollary.
First, we must respect that while a child cannot act on their own right of negation without a surrogate, they still retain this right. Further, it is not the surrogate’s right. It is the child’s right, always, and the surrogate has consented to act in the child’s interest by bringing them into existence and by continuing their care.
But why must a parent clothe and feed a child? Have they no right of negation of this supposed obligation?
We argue that ultimately, parents have many forms of negation that do not violate the humanity of the child, such as imposing starvation. We must remember that while a child is not fully mature and thus cannot act as a rational independent agent, they are not without any faculty of thought and therefore limited right of negation on their own behalf. A screaming baby is obviously yelling “no” to the hunger pains in its belly.
But why is the parent obligated to fulfill this need? For this, we must talk about the second corollary of the One Obligation. The flip side of the coin for negation is affirmation, which is a natural corollary. One cannot truly decide anything with only the option to say no, but the option to say yes as well.
The parent can therefore act on negation at any time. That they haven’t acted on negation means that they have given affirmation to their role until such time as they chose otherwise. And in modern society, any parent is free to give up their role as surrogate independent moral agent at any time.
Does this mean that a parent can leave a child to starve? No, because of the Obligation Corollary. Because a child is incapable of taking care of themselves, abandoning a child without other care imposes our will upon the individual we are a surrogate of, violating their assumed will and imposing the will of the surrogate on them. This violates both Obligations.
We may therefore negate, but only in a manner that does not violate the child unto death, and therefore by extension, unto harm. A parent may not physically harm the child as an imposition of their will over the will they are exercising as surrogate.
In essence, fulfilling the will of the child as surrogate means that parent must rationally imagine their child has grown up healthy and happy, and is looking back in time and either affirming the actions of the parent or negating them. In those instances where the adult child would reasonably and rationally negate the action of a child, the parent violates the Obligations.
This does not mean the child can later judge the parent’s personal acts of negation. A child who grows up and resents being given up for adoption is not respecting the rights of the parent.
Do we say that the parent does or doesn’t retain the right of negation, even to the point of suicide? No, we reaffirm that right. Let us assume that a child is brain dead on a ventilator. The parent retains the ethical authority to pull the plug and let death end their suffering and preserve human dignity.
The parent, then, even in the choice of death of the child’s body can respect both Obligations.
But let us enter into a seemly impossible situation where one individual's rights must be violated.
Imagine that a father and young son have a boat wreck and are stranded on a deserted island. The island has enough supplies to feed and protect the both of them for as long as they live. But if the father dies, the son will die, not old enough to take care of himself. The father has sustained an injury to his back. To survive, the father must crawl everywhere on his hands in excruciating pain.
Does the father have the right to commit suicide, knowing that he will have to either kill his child first out of mercy or let his son starve to death after his suicide?
This seems like a conflict between the right of the father’s negation and the obligation as surrogate and against imposing his right on the son. But there is no conflict. No right can ever be preserved through the violation of a right. This is a paradox, illogical, and just plain absurd. What right does the father truly have if he can violate the right of his son? Negation doesn’t extend to the negation of the rights of others. This paradox destroys itself, as the father can’t claim a right he is actively trying to destroy.
Our concern here is not the life of the father, or of the child. But that their life and death is rational, ethical, and moral. In doing so, the father affirmed the birth of his son through care. His right to negation has not been violated by his affirmation. Unfortunately for him, circumstance doesn’t allow him a negation which relieves him of the Obligations he is under. Ethically, he must live until his son can act as his own independent moral agent. And at that time, the child must respect the father’s right to suicide, even if it means living the rest of his life alone.
Does this paradox apply to other situations? Yes. Negation is not a “get out of jail free” card allowing individuals to simply shirk all of the obligations they’ve voluntarily entered. All agreements we enter into are moral so long as they don’t violate our right of negation.
We must satisfy the Obligations before we exercise our right of negation. We can never operate in paradox. But this paradox only exists in situations of surrogacy, not contract.
Let’s look at a few situations whereby we are dealing with contracts rather than surrogacy.
A man purchases a car for $10,000 which he must pay back back to a bank for five years with interest. After two years, he decides that he doesn’t want to pay anymore. Can he be forced to pay?
No, he may not be forced to remain the contract. After all, let's use the extreme of suicide. How shall one punish the dead for an unpaid debt? However, he may be forced to give the car back so that the bank might sell it to make up the difference. He may be forced to suffer in his credit score, and to be sued for the money he didn’t pay that the returned car didn’t cover.
Why? Doesn’t he have the right to negation? Of course he does. But he gave affirmation, not negation. The pure right of negation exists in the first state of man, in which man doesn’t exist with affirmations. Man is not born with contract obligations. Men enter those together of their own free will.
And while any contract may be broken at any time, the right of negation is not the right to be absolved of consequences for breaking affirmations. What these consequences are for breaking affirmations is of no concern to this philosopher. Such are the laws of society and men. So long as men have the right to negation, they may refuse to enter into contracts not to their liking in the first place. The only concern here is if there was any form of coercion, including trickery. And in those cases, the right of negation was violated through obstruction by the other party.
If a man violates an agreement with another man, this is simply a legal matter (pertaining to the fair exchange of money, goods, and services). The law concerns itself with violations of affirmation. Ethics concerns itself with the violations of negation. It only enters into the ethical realm when the One Obligation, or its Corollary is violated.
Can a criminal be jailed against his will? Can’t he negate going to jail? This is ridiculous bastardization of the right of negation. If we define a criminal as a violator of the Obligations or an obstructor of the right of negation, then we define both an easy to see set of criminals who have violated the moral law. A thief, murderer, cheat, liar, conman, arsonist, rapist, or other form of criminal violates the fundamental rights of all of their victims.
However, let us be clear. No, criminals do not lose their right of negation. Rather, they are proved themselves to not be rational independent moral agents because they have violated the fundamental right of negation to their victims.
Rather than losing their right of negation, they are treated as children and the state becomes surrogates of their rights. Does this have consequences? Yes. The state can negate them, but only in the same way that a parent can negate a child. The state therefore has no right to kill the individual, but can decide to cut off the “relationship” by releasing the individual.
The state can therefore take actions to protect the person and society’s rights of negation. However, the state is then under the Obligations. And it is to be held to the same standards as a parent is to a child.
The state that imposes its will on a surrogate rather than the surrogate will is, therefore, such a moral scoundrel as that of a child murdering parent.
While no god steps forward to openly claim ownership, the Obligations rule both man and state.
How about an affirmation of lifelong commitments? I could waste time here upon the reams of reasons that any lifelong commitment is bold faced coercion, most easily identified through forfeited negation in the face of new information, that it should only receive a brief statement.
Lifelong commitments are illegitimate and not worth the paper they are printed on. Whether it is a religious commitment such as marriage, or that of a sucker paying for blackmail money, the coercion is the request to forfeit the right of negation. This is simply impossible.
Let every divorce ring forth with joy with all who understand this philosophy, that negation does not ask for permission!
What of adultery? I say, what of sexual slavery? What of ‘until death do us part’? I say, ‘come sweetly my suicide knife!’ Thankfully, suicide is not the negation of choice for brides coerced into abusive marriages. Yet never forget, that it once was and still is in some lands, and we celebrate the bravery of such lengths to exercise one’s right of negation.
And it is at this point that we expand beyond simple personal negation and move to group negation.
All revolutions were started by someone who said, “No.”
Negation can be passive, such as Rosa Parks. When asked to move, she quietly refused. She was saying, “No.”
Negation can be active, such as the Boston Tea Party. The cry of this started with the most important word, “No taxation without representation.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was told not to march. His entire group was told to stop. They said no by refusing to stop.
Gandhi said no to the salt tax with a march to the sea.
“No” is the most powerful word in every language in all of human history. Should aliens give us a name, they will not call us earthlings. They will be better to call us “The No”.
And if we look carefully, we find justice behind the defense of the Axioms, and injustice behind every violation of the Obligations. And while uncovering the full truth of facts is required, as those who violate the Obligations are quick to run for cover under the Axioms incorrectly, I stand completely firm on the logic of this fundamental right as to call it A Priori, and declare it the sole judge and jury of all of mankind’s actions for time eternity.
This is a bold statement. For, if even in one instance exists in true contradiction, it is disproved.