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Specialized Terms from Love, Sexuality & Ethics

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Specialized Terms: Love Sexuality & Ethics by Michael T. McCrocklin, Ph.D.

agape, sexual: (1) one engaging in sexual activity that one dislikes in order to please one’s partner (meaning partner as the person with whom one is having a sexual encounter), thus risking some undesired consequence or sacrificing comfort or one’s own sexual satisfaction for the partner’s benefit; (2) one forgiving or accepting one’s partner’s refusal to engage in sexual activity that one desires, thus sacrificing sexual satisfaction (where partner means the person with whom one wanted to engage in a sexual act; (3) sexually sacrificial love

believing: (1) holding anything to be true, logical or probable without experiencing it directly at the time expressed or without having perfect proof or certainty; (2) theorizing, interpreting, understanding, finding meaning, relating; (3) contrasts with knowing which is experiencing something in real time; (4) whereas we know we are currently experiencing something, we cannot know anything else about it, but we construct beliefs about it; (5) once we have experienced something our brains begin to operate on that experience with the result that any statement we make, understanding we achieve, or memory we recall is the result not merely of our experience but of our experience modified in unknown ways by our brains which means anything we think is true could be wrong and constitutes belief and not truth (for instance, we can know we are experiencing a memory that something happened, but we cannot be sure our memory is accurate or we can know we are seeing something that looks ghostly but we cannot be sure that our interpretation of it being a ghost is real); (6) our brains construct our experiences from raw data and the models of reality we get may be wrong but necessarily comprise what we “know” we are experiencing and then our brains instantaneously and necessarily access, modify, construct and operate on beliefs

bisexuality: (1) any sexual tendency toward, sexual activity with, or sexual responsiveness with, both males and females over one’s lifespan; (2) once set remains unchanged; (3) enables person with this sexual orientation to change between male and female sexual partners; (4) contrasts with heterosexuality and homosexuality; (5) bisexual orientation is not chosen, but a bisexual can choose either male or female partners or both and the orientation develops and becomes immutable by sexual maturity although it might never be expressed in overt sexual behavior

COMA: (1) Constrained Overlapping MAgisteria; (2) contrasts with NOMA, NonOverlapping MAgisteria and with TOMA, Totally Overlapping, MAgisteria; (3) describes relation of science to ethics where ethics sets goals, science establishes means; (4) idea that ethics is top-down ideals, science is bottom-up description of reality, and the two overlap in the middle to make the ideal real

consciousness: (1) emerges from unconscious processing in brain; (2) awareness, experience; (3) that which is in one’s consciousness is all that one can personally know; (4) I experience, therefore I am (with apologies to Descartes, one cannot be sure that one actually thinks beyond what one experiences, because one might only be experiencing thinking without doing thinking)

constricted universe: (1) the idea that the universe is neither entirely closed nor entirely open to influence from outside of physicality, but that the universe allows limited influence from outside; (2) idea that the universe neither fully determines human behavior nor that human behavior is fully free, but that the universe allows free will and creativity; (3) the idea that people are delusional neither when they experience free will nor when they perceive constraints on their behavior

created god: (1) value and belief system; (2) purely physical, constantly changing system of cells and patterns of interaction in the brain; guides behavior; (3) constructed by a person; (4) created, stored, transmitted, received, and modified physically and imperfectly from one person to another; (5) coexists, competes, cooperates, and otherwise interacts with many other value and belief systems in the brain; (6) unique for each person; product of influence (response to prior learning history) and creativity (initiative); (7) tremendously important in human behavior; (8) largely operating without conscious choice, but always subject to conscious feedback

Creator God: (1) preexistent, nonphysical source of physicality, space-time and all of the characteristics and rules thereof; (2) source of reality and therefore not real as we understand reality; (3) source of existence and therefore does not exist as we understand existence; (4) source of consciousness and therefore not conscious as we understand consciousness; (5) unknowable; (6) cannot be sensed directly through any physical means; (7) acts through creation; (8) not human-like at all; (9) cannot be described accurately or confidently; (10) best described as nothing a human being can imagine; (11) can be inferred to preexist from the physical chain of cause and effect observable in physicality, the beginning of which chain would be the Creator God; (12) whatever preceded the existence of any physical system in the universe or multiverse if such exists; (13) minimally a potential for existence; (14) interacts with human beings if at all through the physicality of created gods; (15) possibly continues creation through acts of love emerging from living creatures, although there is no way to know whether love is a creation of the Creator God or of living creatures; (16) cannot be proven to exist or not to exist; (17) source of love and therefore not love as we understand love; (18) evidence is the existence of physicality of space-time, of existence itself; (19) alternative is to believe in the more fantastic notion that everything came from nothing, without rules or potential for anything to exist; (20) creator of all that living beings cannot create; (21) NOP, Nonphysical Ordering Potential

creativity: the capacity to generate something not seen before in the first sense from restructuring prior or existing ideas of others or in the second sense from radically new ideas without traceable precedents

deal-breaker: honorable (moral) means to end an obligation without fulfilling it

endarkenment: (1) in a state opposing the Three Es, generally pursuing self-interest in a manner that harms others unjustifiably (harming innocents without consent of the innocents, harming ineffectively in pursuit of justice, or harming excessively in pursuit of justice); (2) state of disequilibrium between the person-strategy and the species strategy

enlightened decision: (1) a decision that is more ethical, or, being sufficiently ethical, is more effective or more efficient than some other, preferably any other, possibility; (2) a decision that satisfies the Three Es

enlightened self-interest: (1) in its best sense means rationally pursuing one’s own interests while making sure that one acts ethically first, effectively second, and efficiently third; (2) sometimes thought in its common sense in philosophy and psychology to be the only way a rational person can find reason to consider the interests of others in that treating others morally can serve one’s own greater self-interest; (3) reduces to trying to improve one’s own lot to an even greater degree than one may accomplish by acting without regard for others; (4) less blindly self-centered but not less self-interested; (5) given its assumption of rationality, its weakness is in fact that it can be extremely rational to treat others very badly for the payoff one seeks, as happens in much crime; (5) used at least partly to en-courage self-control by examining the greater implications of one’s behavior but rests in the person-strategy while ignoring the species-strategy; (6) fails to recognize that there may be instances when the doing the right thing, being moral, requires sacrificing one’s own interest

faith: (1) a commitment to or any degree of confidence in specific belief; (2) one has and exhibits faith by acting in accordance with one’s belief; (3) belief in absence of perfect certainty: because we can be certain of nothing beyond the fact that we are experiencing something, beliefs of any sort constitute expressions of faith; (4) unavoidable and expressed by all functioning human beings; (5) having faith involves believing anything and contrasts with knowing which is experiencing something in that each person and only the person knows what he or she is experiencing; (6) relates to ideas for which we have no personal and perfect proof; (7) required when we rely upon anything done or professed by others, including science and any form of authority

free will: (1) limited ability to make undetermined choices; (2) ability to initiate behavior; (3) contrasts with determined behavior that is behavior that is automatic and purely conditional or responsive to one’s environment; (4) assumes a person can ignore or counter environmental influences; (5) assumes a person is not merely a puppet; (6) assumes perceived human ability to make choices is real; (7) establishes basis for holding people morally responsible, creditable (worthy of reinforcement), innocent (not subject to punishment), or guilty (blameworthy, subject to punishment) for wrong, evil, immo-rality; (8) absent free will, morality is meaningless; (9) person’s behavior is neither radically free nor radically determined, but choice in an atmosphere of influences and limits; if the block universe hypothesis is true, free will does not exist because everything one does, feels, or thinks is entirely determined

GEM: In relation to justifying punishment for bad behavior: (1) Guilty, Effective, Minimal (related to the three Es: ethical, effective & efficient); (2) necessary steps toward punishment; (3) guilt is condition of being responsible and accountable for immoral action which makes punishment ethical; (4) effective is expected influence of planned punishment in diminishing blameworthy behavior; (5) minimal is judgment that planned punishment is the least harm that one can do to a guilty person to end immoral behavior or reduce it to a morally acceptable level, ultimately making the punishment efficient; (6) punishment may be applied to another only if the person is guilty of immoral action, the punishment is reasonably expected to be effective in reducing immoral action, and the punishment is the minimally harmful consequences that will be effective

giver: a person who loves others in its ethical sense, so named because moral love involves giving energy, resources and time necessary to avoid hurting others unjustifiably and supermoral love involves giving to help others

God of Love: idea that the Creator God embodies love; cannot be known to be true but can be believed

god of love: created god embodying love physically in neuronal systems involving values and beliefs

heterosexuality: (1) exclusive sexual tendency toward, sexual activity with, or sexual responsiveness with, the opposite sex over one’s lifespan; (2) once set remains unchanged; (3) prevents person with this sexual orientation from changing between male and female sexual partners; (4) heterosexual orientation is not chosen but develops and becomes immutable by sexual maturity; (5) bisexuals can wrongly label themselves heterosexual not yet realizing their homosexual tendencies or improperly rejecting the implications of their homosexual tendencies

homosexuality: (1) exclusive sexual tendency toward, sexual activity with, or sexual responsiveness with, the same sex over one’s lifespan; (2) once set remains unchanged; (3) prevents person with this sexual orientation from changing between male and female sexual partners; (4) homosexual orientation is not chosen but develops and becomes immutable by sexual maturity; (5) bisexuals can wrongly label themselves homosexual not yet realizing their heterosexual tendencies or improperly rejecting the implications of their heterosexual tendencies

imagineering: (1) process of establishing moral means to reach a moral goal established through orienteering; (2) uses imagination to engineer moral means such that one does not merely experiment upon people to see what works but one must imagine carefully in advance what will result from any action such that one avoids immoral action; (3) one must weigh results of any imagineered action against orienteered goals such that one can determine whether one has an obligation to counter some wrong one has committed

influence: (1) any source of encouragement or pressure to act in a particular way or discouragement or pressure to act in a particular way; (2) especially reinforcement, punishment, modeling, and initiative

influencism: the recognition that many things influence human behavior, including initiative, but that none of them function in isolation to completely determine behavior

initiative: (1) creative, undetermined behavior; (2) contrasts with determined behavior called response

knowing: (1) experiencing something directly in that we are all certain that we are having specific experiences and we alone are certain of our own private experiences; (2) contrasts with believing something that someone else has communicated or that one theorizes but cannot prove to oneself by current and direct experience; (3) one can know what one experiences, but one cannot know that one’s interpretation of the experience is true; (4) we know we experience something that we believe represents life, but everything we hold about that experience is belief; (5) we cannot know that we are doing anything or have ever done anything, because our interpretation of what we are experiencing may be wrong in that we may be doing nothing at all and we may be remembering things that did not happen; (6) we experience something we interpret as memory and we believe we are remembering things accurately, but we cannot know it; (7) knowing is limited to current experience (immediate time and space) whereas belief bridges time and space by relying upon processing and memory that might be faulty; (8) knowing is entirely private; (9) we can develop confidence in the nature of reality by sharing and confirming interpretations and memories of our private experiences but we cannot know that we are correct nor that anyone else is correct; (10) anything remembered might be wrong; (11) we cannot know the truth of anything beyond what we are experiencing (Truth as ultimate perfect belief does not exist and any belief can be wrong and probably is wrong to some extent)

love: (1) to be moral or supermoral; (2) contrasts with being immoral; (3) morally, to avoid making the experience of life worse for other human beings absent morally adequate justification; (4) supermorally, to make the experience of life better for other human beings; (5) to further the interests of individual human beings while also furthering the interests of the human species as a whole; (6) not to use punishment without GEM but to use positive stimuli to influence people to make life better for all; (7) survival of the species is love’s pur-pose and thrust, the vector of its energy; (8) avoids increasing positive entropy and works to increase negative entropy; (9) a pattern of energy that exists to further survival and reproduction, a pattern that exists to prevent conditions that threaten life and to improve conditions necessary or desirable for life.

morality: (1) not to hurt any innocent person; to employ GEM in re-sponding to guilty people; (2) to fulfill obligations or to break them honorably; (3) biologically based but psychologically shaped; expression of the species-strategy of DNA

moralities of scale: (1) tendency to treat moral issues differently when there is more at stake; (2) more latitude is given to act immorally and to label it as moral when more is at stake; (3) morality does not actually scale

Nonphysical Ordering Potential (NOP): (1) the source of all physicality, therefore not physical; the source of all order, the rules that govern physicality; and the potential for anything to exist; (2) unknown and unknowable because it is beyond the reach of physical creatures; (3) a less provocative name for the Creator God; (4) a name that does not imply all of the doubtful or incendiary qualities and baggage associated with God in the Abrahamic religions; (5) not the God of Abraham, nor any other religiously-based God; (6) a Creator God for agnostics and atheists who believe in a first cause but reject common depictions of God

obligation: (1) condition of having made a commitment to another human being, a commitment upon which the other is depending; (2) a deal, promise, or role that one has voluntarily taken that one must fulfill or terminate honorably in order to be moral; (3) cannot be established to perform immoral action

operational definition of love: (1) moral love is one person or more giving to any other person(s) or companion or intelligent animal(s) whatever is necessary or helpful to avoid increasing punishment of any other person(s) or companion or intelligent animal(s) unjustifiably; (2) supermoral love is one person or more giving to any other person(s) or companion or intelligent animal(s) moral love and whatever is necessary or helpful to increase reinforcement of any other person(s) or companion or intelligent animal(s).

orienteering: (1) process of choosing moral goals; (2) explicitly recognizes that intended results of behavior are morally important in their own right and must be considered apart from the means used to achieve the goals; (3) goals limit means, so orienteering limits imagineering

person-strategy: (1) thrust of DNA toward creation and maintenance of individual beings; (2) self-centered

physicality: everything in our space-time or any other space-time — all energy, matter, rules, patterns, thought, logic, perception, beliefs, values, understanding, emotion, imagination, consciousness, spirituality, transcendence, and love

scientismist: a person who has faith that science can replace theology and philosophy in guiding human behavior and that believes science can provide a scientifically valid and reliable grip on reality as a whole

Scripture-ism: uncritical faith in any written “holy” work

self-interest: (1) self-defined goal; (2) one person’s self-interest could appear irrational or negative to another person considering self-interest differently; (3) a person’s self-interest of the moment might differ from the person’s self interest a moment later; (4) a person’s self-interests taken as a whole could be self-conflicting and impossible to achieve; (5) guided by personally held value and belief systems that define what the person wants

sexual exclusivity: (1) tendency to have no more than one sexual partner; (2) fluid, chosen condition; (3) perhaps more common within marriage; (4) not morally required or prohibited per se

sexual inclusivity: (1) tendency to have more sexual partners; (2) fluid, chosen condition; perhaps more common outside of marriage; (3) not morally required or prohibited per se

sexual maturity: the stage of life beyond onset of production of viable sex cells

sexual orientation: (1) a determined, fixed state of potential sexual responsiveness toward same-sexed partners (homosexuality), opposite-sexed partners (heterosexuality), or both male and female partners (bisexuality); (2) cannot be chosen or changed once established; (3) one cannot take credit or blame for one’s sexual orientation

soul or spirit: the physical pattern of matter and energy from which the person’s nature springs

supermorality: (1) doing anything that one is not obligated to do to help or please people; (2) to establish an obligation to do something to help people; (3) to increase or protect life, quality of life, knowledge, or liberty; (4) a subset of all possible moral actions, therefore always moral

species-strategy: (1) the thrust of DNA to live as long as possible as a species; (2) accounts for thrust toward reproduction (sex for human evolution reaching back nearly to the genesis of life) and morality; (3) in tension with person-strategy; (4) other-centered

spirituality: (1) emergent from consciousness; (2) gives sense of something intangible or mysterious, and greater than self, greater than all humanity, or greater even than all of observable creation; (3) not necessarily connected to religion

Three Es: (1) Ethical, Effective, Efficient; (2) to be moral and optimal, a proposed behavior must be ethical, second effective, third efficient; (3) it makes no logical sense to do something efficient if it is not effective; (4) it makes no moral sense to do something that is effective if it is unethical; (5) satisfying the Three Es is the nature of enlightenment and working against them is the nature of endarkenment

transcendence: (1) emergent from spirituality; (2) can give sense of being shaped by something at the limits of physicality; (3) in some contexts can be interpreted as religious experience, but without the implication of formalized religion; (4) results in a change in behavior

reality: (1) sense of everything; (2) constructed in one’s brain from signals generated by perception; (3) altered by changing perception or changing anything happening in the brain, including value and belief systems; (4) in constant flux; (5) unique to each person although similarities in realities held between persons allow cooperation

value: (1) emotionally influenced, sometimes analytically processed approach or avoidance (selection, rejection or ordering) of anything; (2) can be expressed as a belief, but is always emotionally based

value and belief system: (1) a physical, largely unconscious system aimed at realizing some value and/or achieving logical consistency between thoughts or global consonance of values with beliefs, other psychological processes, and behavior; (2) a pattern of activity in the brain that integrates disparate influences into an actionable whole

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