(This page can be used in two primary ways.)
The concept of Humanianity is not easily understood, because it is not a usual way of thinking. It is a view of our species maximally consistent with modern science, but also a view that sees our species as just beginning to undergo certain cultural (not biological) changes that ultimately will make it drastically better than it has always been so far, changes based on increasing cooperation made possible by a newly emerging, unifying ethics produced by conjoint, intensive study of differences in ethical beliefs. This page of the HOME section is a fairly detailed, organized presentation of the major components of the concept of "Humanianity." It is designed to be either read in the order written (for orderly concept-building) or used as a reference for the basic concepts and definitions, by means of the underlined headings to take you directly to what you are seeking.

(Agreed-upon meanings of words are essential for achieving optimal mutual understanding, necessary for highly effective cooperation.)
DEFINED AND EXPLAINED BELOW (as used on this website):
1. "Basic animal (hominid) nature" as used here refers to all those emotions (e.g., joy, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and surprise) and behaviors (e.g., eating/drinking, sleeping, defecating/urinating, sexing, laughing, playing, singing, dancing, displaying, exploring, attention-seeking, lovemaking, tool-using, tricking, and fighting/submitting) manifested by some, even many, other (animal) species in addition to our own.

(Note added 2/19/2018: For a long time, this website has used the term "basic animal nature" for referring to those things that are built into us and many other species through the processes causing evolution, but reference to our "basic hominid nature" may actually be more helpful by virtue of being more specific and descriptive of some of our most important and relevant tendencies, that need ethical management and modification in order to move optimally toward the goals referred to in the HUEP. So now this website will usually use the phrase "basic hominid nature" even though the tendencies referred to are present in many non-hominid species also.)

Each species manifests these same basic emotions and behaviors in ways that may be somewhat unique to that species. This is true also, of course, for the human species, in which our basic hominid nature is being manifested often through our highly unique and complex symbolic language capability and even our highly unique rationality that has given us our science and technology. So through our language and our science and technology we often do the same things other animals do, in our own human ways that are so different from what any other animals do that it may be difficult to recognize them as being basically the same as what other animals do (e.g., fighting and love-making with our words, exploring and playing with our cellphones, etc.). And these things that we do can be very enriching and promote a wonderful life for us, but they can also sometimes detract from a positive life and even bring us tragedy.
Note: Although probably almost all of the above behaviors can at times be positive and helpful, they can often also lead to PSDED (pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death) if done in certain ways or under certain conditions. Dominance-hierarchy-related phenomena, such as struggling for dominance (fighting, competing), rebellion/submission, and punishment/revenge, are especially noteworthy in this regard.
Note: It is important to recognize that any particular behavior may be being produced by more than just one motivational state (state of wanting to do something), and that those motivational states may be a mixture of ones that are usually beneficial when acted on and ones that are usually detrimental, so the presence of a usually detrimental motivational state as one of the underlying motivational states producing a particular behavior does not automatically mean that the behavior itself is non-optimal. To make a judgement about a particular behavior, the important determining factor regarding the "goodness" of the behavior (consistency with the HUEP) is the set of predicted or actual outcomes of that behavior.
Note: Our basic hominid nature manifests itself in ways that vary from that which is very obvious and "animalistic," such as physical fighting and raping, to that which is possible only for humans and thus highly sophisticated and subtle, such as fighting by using in our language clever, demeaning, hostile connotation and implication (e.g., pejorative adjectives), or engaging in other dominance-hierarchy-related behavior such as territoriality by using money, or wealth. And a fair amount of our sophisticated, human manifestations of our basic hominid nature, despite causing PSDED, is admired and enjoyed by many, such as the fighting involved in some sports (even ones causing disability and early death), the use of cleverly hostile speech and physical display of anger in interpersonal communication in the media, and (frequently violent) mob protests.
Note: Our basic hominid nature has been formed by the processes of natural selection, which have to do with survival of the species, not quality of life. But we humans, with our newly acquired enormous capabilities compared to all other species on this planet, can modify (ethically) our natural behavioral tendencies, in order to not only survive but also have a much better quality of life. And accomplishing this on the broadest possible scale is what Humanianity is about. However, we have a long way to go before we eliminate as much as possible our preventable, human-induced PSDED.
Note: The term "human nature" is widely used, but in highly ambiguous, poorly defined ways, so that it is not used on this website. To be consistent with the terminology of this website, it would probably be something like "our basic hominid nature, plus our uniquely human ways of manifesting that basic hominid nature." But there would probably be multiple suggested alternatives to this definition, and no ultimate agreement as to an optimal definition. The idea of human nature being that which we uniquely have that comes naturally would be subject to the question as to what is meant by "naturally" and what was actually unique in our characteristics that was not just a human version of something that was not unique, but found in other species also.
Note: The concept of "our basic animal (more specifically hominid) nature," i.e., tendencies to engage in certain kinds of behavior that have become built into us and many other animal species by evolution, is an extremely important one. If our aim is to achieve a far better way of life than we have had so far, then we have to markedly increase our ability to change our behaviors that are not optimal into ones that are much more optimal. In order to do that, it is very important to recognize how powerful certain tendencies (kinds of behaviors) are within us, as a species, and also the many ways in which those tendencies manifest themselves, so that we can take much more seriously than we have so far the necessity to gain much greater control over them. Although these tendencies manifest themselves in specific behaviors that are to a great extent learned from our cultures, and therefore vary between cultures, and can be very different than the behaviors in many other species produced by these same tendencies, the tendencies themselves are extremely strong, and not easily modified. For instance, it may be relatively easy to stop being hostile in one particular way only to manifest that hostility in some other way. To gain control over hostility in general, it is important to recognize all the different ways in which it is manifested, and to be able to see and understand the basic tendency itself. Otherwise, we will find ourselves simply substituting certain specific behaviors for other specific behaviors, without recognizing that we are still manifesting the same basic tendencies, built into us through the process of evolution. Understanding as thoroughly as possible the causes of our non-optimal behaviors helps us to modify them.
Note: Some people may interpret the concept of "basic hominid nature" to be a judgmental, derogatory view of humans, and may therefore be prone to reject the concept. This would be related to the tendency to refer to someone derogatorily as "behaving like an animal." The effort on this website is to increase the awareness of tendencies that we humans have that are shared by many other species, and has nothing to do with the judgment as to whether our species is "good" or "bad." It is simply an effort to increase our understanding of ourselves as deeply as possible, so that we can make more rational and effective decisions about what we should and should not do. Whether our specific behaviors are "good" or "bad" is a judgment that should be made on the basis of the predicted or actual outcomes of those behaviors, not on the basis of what basic tendencies have produced them.
2. "Culture" as used here refers to all of those more specific ways of manifesting one's basic hominid nature that are characteristic of individuals in a specified group and may (or may not) be different from those of individuals in some other groups, produced by the characteristic ways that the individuals in the group interact with one another, through the effects of positive and negative reinforcement (usually thought of as punishment, reward, teaching, and modeling for imitation and identification).
Note: The "specified group" may be of any size, ranging from something like the family all the way to the "global community." It may be geographically located, or defined in some other manner, such as by a particular work setting or club membership.
Note: When the group is geographically located and large, such as a nation, one of the most culture-formative processes is that of child rearing. It is during that process that basic "cultural values" (e.g., preferences, aversions, ethical beliefs, etc.) are passed on.
Note: Change in culture most usually occurs when the individuals in a group are exposed to the behaviors, including the expressed thoughts, of individuals not in that culture. This will especially occur when there is immigration of individuals from one culture into the group of another culture. But it can also occur by other means of becoming knowledgeable about or familiar with the culture of another group, such as through education and exposure through the media.
Note: Because "tribalism," that includes the tendency to be unempathetic with and even hostile or predatory toward those not within one's "tribe" (tribe proper or larger group, perhaps even nation), is a part of the basic hominid nature, the integration of two cultures is often accompanied by a temporarily increased amount of hostile conflict. Such conflicts can be avoided to some extent by the minority group members "staying to themselves." Because the basic hominid nature also contains tendencies toward attachment, the tendency toward conflict can be significantly reduced as the individuals from different cultures "get to know each other personally." Under such circumstances, the values of "tolerance" and "understanding" tend to arise in such groups containing individuals of different cultures. Thus, one will often see conflict within such groups regarding the management of attitudes toward those who are "different" (ranging from discrimination and persecution to tolerance and welcoming).
Note:"Cultural victimization" is a phrase referring to the fact that every culture, at least currently, has some components that cause PSDED. Characteristically, individuals who are being victimized by their culture do not recognize their victimization, because, according to the beliefs produced by that culture, what is happening is indeed what should happen. But recently, with the capability of seeing cultural differences more clearly by virtue of modern media, there has been a growing awareness of such cultural victimization, and probably therefore faster correction of these phenomena (though not necessarily without much disagreement and struggle.)
3. "Dominance-hierarchy-related (DHR) phenomena" as used here refers to all of those components ("DHR emotions" and "DHR behaviors") of the basic hominid nature involved in the development and maintenance of hierarchical social organization, as well as more complex cultural management (e.g., ethical, governmental, political, legal, religious) of such DHR emotions and behaviors.
Note: For humans, DHR behaviors include competing, demonstration of prowess, play-fighting, actual fighting, threatening, cursing, scolding, punishing, shaming, ridiculing, laughing at, smirking, arching of the eyebrow, ignoring, yelling at, interrupting, shouting down, refusing to speak, putting down, mocking, pejorative labeling, apologizing, lowering the gaze, bowing, complimenting, bullying, cyber-bullying, needless horn-blowing, teasing, annoying, tormenting, showing off, territoriality, passive aggression, triangling, vandalizing, desecrating, protesting, obstructing, disobeying, obeying, etc.
Note: For humans, DHR emotions (motivating such behavior and resulting from it) include joy, affection, admiration, looking up to, excitement, pride, looking down upon, fear, anger, envy, jealousy, depression (even suicidal), guilt, shame, feeling superior, feeling looked up to, feeling inferior, feeling looked down upon, hatred, self-hatred, etc.
Note: For humans, DHR complex cultural phenomena (the manifesting and managing of DHR phenomena within a culture) include class, property, money, wealth, capitalism, tribalism, racism, loyalty, slavery, fashion, grading (educational and other), sports, child rearing, law enforcement (including incarceration, solitary confinement, torture, and execution), war, genocide, terrorism, authoritarian ethics, authoritarian-ethical religions, dehumanization, discrimination, subjugation (e.g., of women), harassment (sexual and other), etc.
Note: Social organization, enabling increased capability through division of function among members and coordination of effort thereby, and perhaps through more optimal mate selection (in the natural environment), promotes survival of the species, but it has nothing to do with the quality of life of the members of that species. Some parts of such social organization, involving things like attraction, affection, bonding, nurturing, and mutual grooming and pleasuring, may indeed be especially associated with increased JCA (joy, contentment, and/or appreciation), though also with some PSDED (pain, suffering, disability, and early death), as when attachment bonds are threatened or broken through death or shifting attachments. But other parts, e.g., struggling for dominance, are unusually associated with markedly increased PSDED, and are therefore focused on more for the purposes of this website. (An extremely important example of the potential significance of DHR tendencies is in the political area, in which leaders of nations can either engage in struggles for dominance by increasingly threatening speech and behavior, thus increasing the likelihood of war, or engage in non-hostile, cooperative efforts to converse with and understand each other, thus increasing the likelihood of preventing war and benefiting everyone. Struggles for dominance are very hard to reverse, once begun, and generally end with some amount of PSDED, if not tragedy.)
Note: For humans, punishment (and the very strong belief in the necessity for it) is a DHR phenomenon that is especially prone to cause enormous amounts of PSDED. As used here, "punishment" means any (physical or psychological) induction of PSDED in response to disapproved of ("offending") behavior. Its purposes are (1) deterrence of repetition of the offending behavior, on the part of the offending individual and/or others (by making the offending individual "an example"), and (2) revenge (hostile behavior motivated by the anger produced by the offending behavior). Often the revenge motive, while perhaps sometines denied, is quite prominent, producing a reluctance to refrain from unnecessary punishment expressed by statements that the individual must "pay for" what was done. The idea that an individual should be supervised, and even quarantined, because of being harmful or dangerous, is not the same as the idea that the individual should be punished, though the two concepts are often regarded as one, especially in the case of adult incarceration. (The idea of making the life of an incarcerated individual as good as possible seems strange to almost everyone, currently. For example, we readily torture such individuals by prolonged, damaging solitary confinement, even though we may profess a belief that torture is not okay, though of course we are beginning to be concerned about and to address this problem.)
Note: Although punishment to some extent works, it often has very unfortunate unintended consequences. Although an individual (adult or child) should indeed be helped to overcome non-optimal behavioral tendencies, the use of punishment causes the individual being punished to regard those who are trying to help the individual improve the non-optimal tendencies essentially as enemies (seeking dominance), causing thereby a very strong tendency toward being oppositional (the effort to demonstrate "freedom" from being "controlled" or dominated). Indeed, primarily punitive child rearing produces not only low self esteem, demoralization, and fear (anxiety), but also chronic anger, manifested often by cruelty toward others (e.g., bullying) and even self, destructiveness, and oppositionalism, in turn manifested as overt defiance, passive-aggression, and sneakiness / lying. The goal of change is very difficult for the individual to have as his or her own goal, when the project of bringing about such change is that of those who are punishing. (The success of the punishment is felt by the punished individual as submission, not as personal accomplishment.) Rational-ethical child rearing (as opposed to the normal, or standard, authoritarian model of child rearing) eliminates punishment and instead utilizes highly-skilled (optimally requiring training) use of reward, teaching, and modeling for identification, wherein the parent becomes the coach in the child's project of "growing up." A similar approach to adult unacceptable behavior would seem to be a more optimal model, rather than the currently highly ineffective "penal" model, but such change would have to be supported by the culture, which probably will need to change primarily by a change in the child rearing methods within the culture. And the beginning development of such change is the recent emergence of the concept of "positive discipline," a term used to avoid the term "non-punitive," a currently highly unaccepted concept ("Children have to be punished; otherwise they will run wild.").
Note: Although punishment comes naturally to probably all dominance-hierarchy species, humans are prone to use punishment to a much greater extent than other species, because whereas most of the behavior of offspring of other species fits into the natural environment and thus does not need modification, humans have constructed an extremely artificial (social) environment, an extremely complex culture, requiring extensive modification of the naturally-occurring behavior of its offspring to meet the demands of the culture. So, just as we humans have become drastically more sophisticated than other species with regard to our capabilities, there would seem to be a very needed increase in sophistication of our child rearing methods. Perhaps child rearing is our technically most difficult profession, for which, however, there is no accepted and required training program, the assumption often being that child rearing should come naturally, or at least be learned from one's parents and other adults. Making that assumption, of course, would tend to promote the assumption that the resulting widespread PSDED was "just a normal part of life," e.g., "teenage rebellion," and thus not an area that needs drastic study, clarification, and improvement.
Note: There has arisen a political concern about "hate speech," that is complicated by linguistic ambiguity resulting in an uncertain boundary between hate speech and free speech. "Speech" usually refers to the use of symbolic communication (the use of symbols and the rules of syntax), and such behavior can be for various purposes (including information, instruction, advocacy, request, performance, dominance / denigration, motivation, deception, etc.). One (extremely important) purpose is to convey what one believes to others, with the purpose of sharing and comparing beliefs in order to strive for more accurate existential beliefs and more optimal ethical beliefs on the part of those participating. "Hate" usually refers to intense or chronic anger, that tends to motivate hostile behavior (purposeful infliction of PSDED). Unfortunately, there is the very frequent DHR phenomenon of anger and hostile behavior in response to the belief that the other has a different opinion (belief), especially when the maintenance of such belief is required for secure membership within one's "tribe" (group, nation, religion, etc.), such that the awareness of such difference of belief results in a struggle for dominance, i.e., the effort to bring about "submission" (agreement) on the part of the other. This response of anger to difference of opinion also plays a role in much relationship breakdown in all areas of human interaction (parent-child, significant-other, occupational, social, etc.). In response to this phenomenon, as an effort to reduce hostility and therefore PSDED, there sometimes arises a political movement to suppress the expression of certain opinions (such expression being called "hate speech"), rather than a cultural movement to value the non-hostile expression of any opinion for the purpose of open discussion and (friendly) debate. This difficulty in dealing with difference of belief may be our species' most difficult CHALLENGE.
Note: We humans, because of our highly capable tool usage (especially language and technology), may manifest our DHR behaviors in extremely sophisticated ways, such that we do not recognize that we are doing what other animals do. In fact, probably most of our PSDED is indeed produced by our extremely sophisticated DHR behavior. This important issue, and its relevancy to Humanianity, is discussed in detail on the CHALLENGE page.
4. "Ethics" as used here refers to efforts to understand and improve the enhancement / inhibition / modification of the tendencies produced by our basic hominid nature by positive / negative reinforcement provided by the culture, through child rearing, adult individual and small group interaction, and societal organization. Ethics consists therefore of concern with what behavior (including thought, i.e., anything that there seems to be voluntary control over) is considered good / bad, or right / wrong, i.e., with beliefs as to what should / should not be done. Important related terms, defined below, are "ethical belief," "existential belief," "ethical sense," "authoritarian ethics," "rational ethics," and "legitimization of a belief."
Note: "Positive / negative reinforcement" might seem to refer only to "reward and punishment," but there is much positive reinforcement produced by the awareness that one is accomplishing learning what is being taught, and also much positive reinforcement in becoming aware that one is successfully imitating (and ultimately identifying with) the behavior of an admired other or the behavior of one's group members. Thus, the idea that acquiring ethical beliefs is only a result of specifically being punished for "bad" behavior and rewarded for "good" behavior is an oversimplification. Basically, however, "ethics" as used here has to do with modifying what one would naturally do "on one's own," because of being in some sort of social situation that calls for different behavior. Thus people talk about doing what one should do rather than just whatever one "feels like doing." And it can be said of any group, of any size or definition, that there are customary and expected (to varying extents) ways of behaving that are what is meant here by the "culture" of that group.
Note: Such enhancement / inhibition / modification can also, of course, consist of even further change of previously arrived at ethical modifications, allowing for improvement in ethics (and ultimately even improvement in cultures). And indeed, Humanianity is an improvement in our cultures (especially our religions), that have always been highly problematic (causing much PSDED).
Note: Although the term "ethics" and related terms such as "ethical" usually refer to human phenomena, these phenomena manifest themselves in other species also, though of course quite differently in non-humans because of the almost complete absence of such phenomena in, and their modifications by, symbolic language (exceptions perhaps being some verbal instruction of pets and accomplishments of sign language communication with some non-humans). Ethics is referring to that phenomenon that is manifested by a child, or dog, or chimpanzee, etc., involving learning what should and should not be done, but it is also referring to our human study of, and consequent improvement of, those phenomena, primarily by use of symbolic language.
Note: Although we tend to think of ethics as involving a conscious thought process, our ethical beliefs are guiding our behavior to some extent in all that we do, outside of conscious awareness and essentially automatically. In all that we do, at any moment in time, there would be other options that could be considered but aren't, because they would "obviously" be something we believe we shouldn't do. These options just do not "occur to" us. For example, when shopping and seeing things that we would like to have, most of us do not even consider shoplifting an option. And when greeted by someone, most of us automatically respond with some pleasing ritualistic greeting behavior because of the belief that it is the right thing to do.
Note: The terms "moral," "morals," and "morality" are not being used on this website, because there is no clearly and generally understood distinction between those terms and the term "ethics" (and related such terms), despite occasional efforts by some to make such a distinction. For the purposes of this website, the assumption can be made that, usually, the terms ("ethical" and "moral") are referring to the same phenomena, but using the two terms would probably result in increased ambiguity and uncertainty as to their possibly different referents, with resulting reduced clarity of thinking.
5. "Belief" as used here refers to a model (in the brain, or in the "mind") of something presumably in or about "reality." (What "presumably" refers to is that what is believed to exist in reality may not actually exist in reality, in which case the belief, or model, is not accurate or correct.) The belief can be further modeled linguistically in the form of a sentence, or proposition. A way of designating that a proposition is indeed a belief is by stating that it is, e.g., "I believe that [proposition modeling the belief]," as in "I believe that it is going to rain (existential belief)" or "I believe that I should do something nice for this person (ethical belief)." And of course a proposition may not be a belief, as would be true with the sentence "I don't believe that [proposition, e.g., 'it is going to rain']." (Most of the time, the "I believe that" is unspoken, but understood from the context in which the statement is made.)
Note: The term "belief" (or "believe") is easily used, appropriately, in relationship to other animal species than just humans, e.g., "the rat believes that food is to the right in the maze, and therefore turns to the right" and "the dog believes it should sit down when its master says 'sit' and therefore does so." If we make the assumption that an animal chooses to engage in a specific behavior among a set of possible behaviors, then we can assume that the choice is determined in part by a set of beliefs as to what the outcome of that behavior will be. (What is very different about humans is their ability to put those beliefs into words, i.e., to model the beliefs linguistically, making it even possible to modify those beliefs just through linguistic interaction with others.)
Note: As opposed to our linguistic modeling of them (in the form of sentences), our beliefs are not discrete entities, but instead are confluent "systems" of beliefs which are interconnected with one another by necessity, e.g., a belief that one's car is in the parking lot being connected to the belief that one has a car, with certain characteristics, and one's belief that there is a parking lot, located in a particular place. Also, a particular belief, maintained within the brain, may be most of the time completely inactive, till called for by a particular situation (e.g., the situation being that it is time to go home activating the belief as to where one's car is). Also, we have many beliefs that are outside of conscious awareness despite being currently active, such as the belief that the ground is firm and stable as we are walking along on it and thinking about something else, or the belief that turning the steering wheel counterclockwise will result in the car turning left.
Note: A "model" as used here is anything, constructed or naturally occurring, the characteristics of which are such that they allow predictions about the characteristics of that of which it is being considered a model. Thus, a model is not the same as that of which it is a model. For instance, a model car is not the same as the car of which it is a model, but examining the model car will allow one to predict things about the actual car (if the model is an accurate one). So one's perception of something is not the same as what is being perceived, and the perception can be correct, distorted, incorrect, etc. One's belief about something can likewise be correct, distorted, incorrect, etc.
Note: "Reality" here refers to that which exists independently of our opinions (beliefs) about it and of our possible perceptions of it. Thus, our beliefs and perceptions are only models of reality, that can be good or poor models, but are basically different than reality itself. The word "reality" is used in various other ways in normal discourse, allowing for much ambiguity. (An example is a statement such as, "What is reality for you may be different than what is reality for me.") The most basic, primary function of the term "reality" is as an explanation for the ability to predict, there being no other evidence available for its existence. It is the explanation for how a belief or perception or statement can be "correct," i.e., lead to accurate predictions. For an indepth discussion of the concept of "reality," refer to the book on the mind-body problem, available as read-only or as read-and-listen podcast.
Note: The word "belief" is also sometimes used in very different ways in normal discourse, leading at times to breakdown in communication. An example is that the word "beliefs" means, to some people, that set of beliefs that are advocated for in certain religious doctrines, and some of those people therefore react negatively to the word, and represent themselves as having no beliefs. That is not the meaning of "belief" used here. The meaning used here is the one which is most consistent with the usual usage in everyday discourse. Examples are, "I believe that tomorrow is going to be a good day," or "I believe that I left my keys in the car," or "I believe that humans have caused dangerous climate change," or "I believe that Jesus actually did exist," or "I believe that we will eventually eradicate cancer." (In each of these examples the linguistic model of the belief is the proposition that follows the word "that.")
Note: Because our species has acquired the enormous capability of modeling our beliefs with essentially unlimited symbolic language in the form of "sentences" or "propositions," we have developed an unusual capability of improving the precision, consistency, and accuracy of those linguistic models of the beliefs, as described in the three notes below. (This capability, however, has been acquired by specific individuals only to varying extents, dependent upon their unique experiences within child-rearing, education, and the culture (as well as specific subcultures), and can be further limited by various other determinants of belief that have to do with maintenance of comfort and compliance with cultural and subcultural expectations and demands regarding specific sets of beliefs.)
Note: The "precision" of (the linguistic models of) our beliefs refers to the ability to know exactly what we are thinking about and talking about, in great detail. Our initial learning of our symbols (primarily words), in childhood, is very general and often rather ambiguous, only gradually becoming more specific, and seldom highly specific except in areas of activity usually referred to as "technical." Our much more common use of language is very imprecise, this imprecision usually not causing significant communication breakdown unless this lack of clarity in meaning results in social conflict based upon perceived difference of belief, or results in mistaken action due to faulty communication. This lack of precision is actually often valued as a source of creativity (the thinking of new thoughts), and is sometimes skillfully enhanced with the use of metaphor, innuendo, connotation, etc., referred to often as "poetic," essentially the opposite of "technical." The specific technique used to increase precision of meaning is definition, which is therefore a very important part of what must be learned and used properly in technical areas of thought.
Note: The "consistency" of our beliefs refers to the ability to have systems, or sets, of beliefs that are non-contradictory to each other. The specific technique that accomplishes this consistency is the use of the rules of logic. In normal, everyday thinking, there is some (limited) ability to detect contradiction in one's beliefs, producing "cognitive dissonance," that may be accompanied by some degree of suffering. We have mental methods of preventing that suffering without revision of the contradictory beliefs, sometimes referred to with terms such as "denial," "rationalization," and "compartmentalization." Again, the use of the rules of logic is very important in any technical area of thought.
Note: The "accuracy" of our beliefs refers to the ability to avoid making mistakes (at times a source of PSDED), by virtue of the ability to predict correctly. The specific technique that accomplishes this accuracy is the use of the rules of evidence, the extreme of this activity being the methods of Science, sometimes referred to collectively as the "scientific method." Our species has only very recently acquired to an extreme extent this capability (which is dependent also upon precision and consistency), that has resulted in our second major exponential change (making us drastically different from all other species and from the way we were before the change), namely, the growth of our science and technology. But we have come to recognize that although we are able to accomplish a fair amount of satisfactorily accurate prediction, we are quite capable of making mistakes due to inaccurate beliefs arising from more primitive methods of arriving at conclusions, often referred to as "superstition."
Note: One can observe a frequent occurrence of rejection of, and discrimination against, efforts to make use of precision, consistency, and accuracy in discussions, such efforts being criticized as improper interference in such discussion. (This can be observed frequently in group discussions where a member of the group suggests that one or more of the terms being used be defined for the purpose of that discussion. Such tendencies are described in more detail in the CHALLENGE page of the HOME section, link above.)
6. "Legitimization of a belief" as used here refers to the reason(s) a person has or gives for having the belief and for believing that others should agree (have the same belief). Two main methods of legitimization of belief are (1) authoritarian and (2) rational. When neither of these methods is used, the term (3) "arbitrary" would usually be used, referring to the various reasons why an individual would have a belief, reasons that may be variable, hard to specify, and/or not convincing as to value.

"Authoritarian" legitimization of belief would be maintenance of belief as an act of obedience to a dominant entity (e.g., parent, leader, culture, deity).

"Rational" legitimization of belief would be maintenance of belief by demonstration, as much as possible, of consistency with the use of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence (see definition of "rationality").

In the case of legitimization of an ethical belief, the clearest presentation of such (rational) legitimization would be the demonstration that the ethical belief being legitimized would logically follow from a higher-level (more comprehensive or inclusive) ethical principle (or rule of conduct) and one or more existential beliefs and/or definitions. (E.g., "I should not do A [existential belief]." "Why should you not do A? [request for legitimization.]" "Because I should not do B [higher level ethical principle or rule of conduct], and if I do A, I will be doing B [existential belief or definition].") And of course, B could be legitimized similarly by showing its logical consistency with an even higher level principle, C, and additional existential beliefs and/or definitions. The uppermost (broadest) principle would be an ultimate ethical principle.
Note: The term, "authoritarian," does not have the same meaning as "authoritative," and "authoritarian rule" or "authoritarian leadership" refers to something different than the having of one's decision-making be influenced by someone (an "authority") who is recognized as being highly knowledgeable with regard to information relevant to that decision-making. "Authoritarian" rule or leadership is referring to the controlling and influencing of behavior through usage of methods that involve dominance/submission patterns of social interaction, for instance the threat of or use of dreaded behavior (often referred to as "punishment"), as well as the giving or offering of some sort of significant reward.
Note: An individual may have as a reason for believing something that another person, considered an "authority," stated it to be so, but the two main reasons for considering that person to be an authority would be either authoritarian or rational, i.e., that that "authority" was believing it out of appropriate obedience (e.g., the "authority" himself or herself being a "disciple") or out of rational understanding (e.g., the "authority" being a scientist or historian, with adequately increased odds thereby of being correct).
7. "Existential belief" as used here refers to a belief about existence, meaning how the world is, was, and/or will be, including what is likely to happen or have happened (in general or in response to something), and how it works (the rules it operates by).
Note: All behavior (all decision-making) is based in part upon (existential) beliefs about existence and how it works. All decision-making involves efforts at prediction of outcome based upon existential beliefs. And of course such predictions are themselves existential beliefs. So the more accurate our existential beliefs are, the less likely we are to make mistakes (that increase the odds of outcomes involving PSDED).
Note: Existential beliefs range from the very simple to the very complex, e.g., "I believe that my keys are in the drawer" and "I believe that black holes exist." They can refer to the past, the present, or the future. They are often referred to as beliefs about "facts," as opposed to beliefs about "values," such as beliefs about ethics (what the "right" things are to do).
Note: The term, "existential," as used here has nothing to do with the philosophy of "existentialism."
8. "Ethical belief" as used here refers to a belief about what should or should not be done (by the self and/or others). It is belief as to what the right thing is to do (in order to be a "good" person, however "good" is defined), no matter what else one might want to do for other reasons.
Note: The word "should" has two main meanings, but in this context, only the second meaning is relevant. (The next two notes explain further.)
Note: The first main meaning of "should" is that which is implied in a sentence like, "According to the map, it should be just around the corner." This meaning, then, models an expectation (prediction), an existential belief, not an ethical belief. This same meaning of "should" would be reflected by the statement, "It should be around the corner." This would be a way of stating one's existential belief that "it is around the corner" (perhaps accompanied by an admission of some lack of confidence in the belief, with an implied reference to the uncertain reliability of the source of the belief).
Note: The second main meaning of "should" is that which is implied in a sentence like, "[I, you, we, they, those interested, etc.] should (or should not) do X." X would be some behavior (perhaps a procedure). This second meaning implies the associated words "in order to." So, a complete statement would be something like, "In order to accomplish goal Y, we should do X." This is still not a model, necessarily, of an ethical belief. (Y could simply be an optional goal among many to consider, or even an example of a goal that many would agree would not be the right thing to want to do.) So this sentence again would be an existential belief (about how the world works, and therefore what is predictable). In order for the sentence to be a model of an ethical belief, goal Y would have to be "to do the right thing," or some more specific behavior that was assumed to be "the right thing to do." This of course leaves the meaning of "the right thing" undefined. There would therefore remain the necessity, for complete legitimization, to legitimize goal Y as being the right thing to do. (As explained below in the defintion of ultimate ethical principle, if there is such a principle, it cannot be so legitimized; otherwise, it would not be ultimate.)
Note: In the situation in which an ethical belief is being stated, the component of the sentence having to do with "in order to" is usually omitted, there being an assumption of agreement (questionable, of course) that goal Y is indeed the right goal to have. Two goals that would be possible examples would be "to please God" and "to be consistent with the HUEP" (these two examples, of course, being related to the concepts of "authoritarian ethics" and "rational ethics that is Humanian," to be clarified below, under the definitions of authoritarian ethics and rational ethics).
9. "Ethical sense" as used here refers to the wanting (motivation) to do something because of one's ethical belief that it is the right thing to do, or the not wanting to do something because of the belief that it is the wrong thing to do. It is a good or bad feeling produced by the imagining of engaging in some behavior, or the good or bad feeling that is produced by remembering having engaged in, or having contemplated engaging in, some behavior because of one's belief as to whether it is right or wrong to engage in that behavior.
Note: The ethical sense may be strong or weak, and it may be in successful or unsuccessful competition with other motivations to do other things instead. Also, one may want to do the same thing that one believes that one should do, for other reasons. But "ethical sense" refers only to that motivational state, or wanting to do it, that exists because of the ethical belief that one should do it.
Note: The ethical sense is not a specific psychological or biological entity, but instead in most cases probably a mixture of more basic motivational states that varies according to ethical belief and the situation that is causing that ethical belief to manifest itself in some way. Also, what motivational states will be brought about by a particular ethical belief will be determined in part by the way in which the ethical belief was acquired, including how ethical beliefs in general were acquired during childhood (depending for instance on whether the child rearing was more punitive or more non-punitive). Thus, the ethical sense may include an unpleasant fear of punishment or anticipation of guilt and/or a pleasurable anticipation of being admired, liked, or appreciated, or of having accomplished something valuable (to self and/or others). The term "conscience" coincides most closely with the term "ethical sense."
10. "Ethical rule of conduct" as used here refers to an ethical belief about what the usually right kind of behavioral response is to a certain kind of situation, i.e., what (usually) should be done in such a situation.
Note: Such a rule is a warning device to increase the awareness of an increased probability of making a mistake if one is about to act differently than the rule suggests, the warning being that one should therefore "stop and think before acting." Thus, there is no assumption that an ethical rule of conduct must always be followed. The ultimate decision must be based upon the situation involved and all of the relevant ethical rules of conduct and ethical principles.
11. "Ethical principle" as used here refers to an ethical belief about the general goals that should be sought in all that is done.
Note: There is no definite dividing line between "ethical belief," "ethical rule of conduct," and "ethical priniciple," all being ethical belief (about what should be done), the difference having primarily to do with degree of specificity/generality.
12. "Ultimate ethical principle" as used here refers to that ethical principle (belief), if there is one, with which any other ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle should be consistent within a basic ethical philosophy, the demonstration or claim of such consistency being its legitimization. Thus, it is the most general ethical belief, if there is one, in a specific basic ethical philosophy.
Note: Since the principle is "ultimate" (most general), this principle cannot be legitimized by demonstration of consistency with an even higher, or more general, such principle. Therefore, its legitimization can be neither authoritarian nor rational, and therefore could be said to be arbitrary. (See "legitimization of a belief.")
Note: The idea that the ultimate ethical principle is "arbitrary," or not based upon some irrefutable "fact" that can be "found" with proper study and understanding of existence, will for many people be met with by disbelief and/or discomfort, with the idea that if there is no "foundation" for an ethical belief system, then there really are no "right" or "wrong" things to do, meaning, to them, that "we can just do whatever we want." In actuality, however, if we grow up in a family and a society, we will acquire beliefs about what is acceptable and desirable, even though such beliefs may vary from family to family and society to society. So we are going to have ethical belief systems, and the issue for all of us is what we want such belief systems to be. Our ethical belief systems have enormous effects on our quality of life. And the concept of Humanianity is that we are working toward an ethical belief system, or basic ethical philosophy, for our species, though this effort is currently in its infancy, with a long way to go.
13. "Basic ethical philosophy" as used here refers to a system of basic existential beliefs and ethical beliefs related to doing the right thing, or the optimization of activity ("activity" referring here to anything that one seems to have any voluntary control over, thus possibly including "thought" and "feeling" in addition to "behavior").
Note: A person's basic ethical philosophy may be largely unverbalized and automatic, or very verbalized and well thought out, depending upon how much the individual has studied ethical issues, either alone or with others.
14. "Religion" as used here refers to the adult systematic study of how best to live our lives, i.e., what we should and should not do, and thus to the adult systematic study for the purpose of improving our ethical beliefs and ethical sense. ("Do" refers to behavior, thought, and feeling, whatever there seems to be any voluntary control over.) It is our set of systematic efforts to improve our basic ethical philosophies, whether undertaken individually or within groups. Those efforts consist of listening to presentations, studying of literature, sharing and comparing of ideas in small groups, and engaging in meditative thinking and reviewing of one's life, for the purpose of identification of, and improved adherence to, a set of optimal basic ethical beliefs (rules of conduct, principles).
Note: The concept of "definition" being used here is that of a statement of the sort, "X (the label being defined) is all Y of which Z is true." Thus, if the statement is that Z is generally true of X but that there are exceptions, then the statement would be considered a "description of most X," rather than a "definition of X." So if theism is generally true of Religion, but there are exceptions, then theism would be a description of most Religion rather than a definition of Religion. This is mentioned because currently there is a strong, negative reaction on the part of many individuals to anything that is labeled "religion," by virtue of stereotyping all Religion as containing some of what they consider the worst characteristics of many, but not all, religions.
Note: There is a tendency to assume that the concept of "Religion" implies existential beliefs about the existence and nature of a "god" or other entities considered "supernatural," but there are non-theistic, non-"supernaturalistic" religions, and also even some such individuals (non-theistic, non-"supernaturalistic") in some of the generally theistic, "supernaturalistic" religions, so theistic beliefs and/or beliefs in entities regarded by many as "supernatural" is not here considered a defining characteristic of Religion.
Note: There also is a tendency to assume that the concept of "Religion" implies belief based upon "faith" (belief maintained in the face of lack of evidence, or in the face of evidence to the contrary) or belief based upon obedience to authority, but this is not true of all religions, nor of all individuals in some of the religions, so such is not here considered a defining characteristic of Religion.
Note: There is also a tendency to regard the concept of "Religion" as having to do with beliefs about, and efforts to experience, the "transcendent," sometimes referred to as exploration of "spirituality," but then there is currently a tendency among many to say that they are "spiritual but not religious." Also, there are individuals involved in some recognized religions who do not consider that they experience the "transcendent" or anything they would consider "spiritual." So the concept of "spirituality" is not here considered a defining characteristic of Religion.
Note: There are thus many definitions of "religion," some based upon their content (e.g., beliefs in gods, spirits, etc.) and some based upon their function (e.g., social cohesion, moral or ethical study and guidance, etc.). All of our other major social entities and activities, such as science, government, law, medicine, recreation, etc., are defined by their functions (or purposes), not some specific content produced by some of them (which can change over time), and religion ideally should be defined similarly. (Just as Science is not "the belief in black holes," Religion is not "the belief in ....") So, for the purposes of this website and an accurate understanding of the Humanianity concept, a functional definition is most appropriate, especially because doing so results in inclusion of more entities that are indeed recognized as and called "religion," and because Humanianity is specifically an emerging change (within the religions and within our species in general) in how such function is carried out (authoritarian vs. rational, etc.), a central concept that this website is about.
Note: Most religious activities and organizations have other functions, or purposes, also, primarily those of promoting an optimistic outlook (e.g., whether there is life after death), helping the disadvantaged and troubled, providing a sense of belonging and participation, and expriencing entertainment (music, poetry, art), but working on being a good person is the one function of Religion that is and has always been the assumed primary purpose of Religion, and Religion has always been, throughout history and all over the world, the recognized culturally-provided activity most readily available to everyone wishing to study how to become a better person, thus making working on becoming a better person the primary, and therefore appropriately defining, function of Religion. (Those who have become opposed to religions readily refer, negatively, to their "controlling" function. Indeed, ethics has to do with attaining ever-better control over our non-optimal tendencies.)
Note: Becoming a better person does not just pertain to how one treats others and the environment, but also how one treats oneself, such as to become as healthy as possible (physically and mentally), this then making one more capable of having a positive impact within one's sphere of influence in the world. And of course the HUEP refers to promoting the good life for everyone, this then including the self. For many people, working on their "spirituality" is of this nature. Therefore, the work on promoting an optimistic outlook, mentioned in the last note, can actually be considered a part of the first listed function, i.e., ethics. So again, the primary function of Religion is ethics, what one should and should not do in order to work on making the world a better place for everyone, including the self.
Note: Regarding whether working as adults on personal ethics has been the recognized primary function of Religion, one might consider the following "thought experiment." Suppose an individual went to a new town and approached a stranger on the street, asking the following question: "I'm new in town, and I want to get together with others to work on how to become a good person. Where might I go?" What answers would most likely come to mind? Compare that with "I want to help some disadvantaged people," or "I want to feel a sense of belonging to a group of people" or "I want some good entertainment." Would not religious organizations be the first to come to mind for the first question? What other answers to the first question might come to mind, and how easily? The answers to the other questions of course could include religious organizations, but would there not likely be other possibilities also? So for the purposes of this website, "Religion" is here being defined by its primary function, not by some content that varies considerably from religion to religion.
Note: The definition of "Religion" used here (and considered most appropriate for the purposes of this website), then, will result in the possibility of considering some cultural activities as religious ones, even though the individuals participating in them might object to such a designation because of the frequently used, non-optimal definition of "religion" that identifies religion with some of what they have considered to be its worst examples. (It is expected that, if progress continues to be made with regard to rationality, the individuals in such organizations will ultimately gladly consider their efforts to be "religious," due to their recognition of the extreme importance of "Religion," as more appropriately defined.)
Note: Unfortunately, there will always be the possibility of disagreement by virtue of the ambiguities that are normally present in language that is not technical, an example being the set of labels involving or implying the term, "secular," i.e., secular (and therefore "non-religious") organizations, secular humanism (as opposed to religious humanism), secular religion, etc. And in order to try to claim that some ethical set of beliefs is "non-religious," some will state that the set of beliefs is instead a "philosophy." The issue being dealt with in this linguistic disagreement and at times conflict is primarily the question as to how the ethical beliefs in an ethical belief system are legitimized, i.e., whether by concepts that remain only in the sciences or by concepts that are outside the realm of concepts involved in the sciences. This tendency has been occurring because of the increasing recognition of the new and impressive capabilities that the use of the scientific methods has made possible, compared to the unpredictability related to beliefs in "the supernatural" (utilizing entities not recognized as existing in the natural sciences). Such efforts at linguistic separation are often a manifestation of our tribalistic tendencies, that keep us divided up into groups that look down upon each other (and at times fight with each other).
Note: There has always been the recognition that our "tribes" (ranging from small groups or tribes proper to nations) have needed some source of guidance and/or coercion to do the right thing, according to the values of that group, such that these "tribes" have needed some ultimate source of "authority." Initially, there was no distinction between an understanding of existence (which easily contained beliefs in entities that we now regard as "supernatural" or even nonexistent) and beliefs about what should and should not be done. There was no distinction between "religion" and "government." As time has gone on, perhaps due to these "tribes" becoming increasingly large (e.g., nations) and therefore multi-religious, there has been a gradual separation of these concepts, government having to do with procedures involved in decision-making and religion having to do with the ethical foundations for the goals of such decision-making. This has occurred probably also because of the increasing disillusionment with some of the existential beliefs advocated for in most of the religions, due to the demonstrated superiority of scientific explanatory models as foundations for existential beliefs, and the inability to agree with regard to the religious existential beliefs. So increasingly in many parts of the world people have been putting some distance between religion and government. This has been despite the fact that the government is made up of individuals, all of whom have various basic ethical philosophies, many of which derive from religious teaching and from the mutual sharing of beliefs (study) within religious organizations, and despite the fact that individuals working for and within such governments will necessarily be guided to some extent by their basic ethical philosophies, and sometimes therefore their religious memberships.
Note: Because there is fairly widespread recognition and agreement that there are some bad things in at least some of the religions, there are two possible recommended corrective responses, namely, that Religion should be "stamped out" (or allowed to "die out"), or that Religion should be improved. Because there is much good in the religions that is not easily found elsewhere and generally available to all, the response advocated for in this website is the improvement of Religion. A strong analogy would be that of helping children to mature, or become more civilized, rather than stamping them out (or allowing them to "die out"). This orientation is consistent with this website's general view of our species as being very young in its development, young in terms of what we can possibly accomplish in an improved way of living on this planet. (Of course children have the advantage of adults to observe, whereas our species has to use its imagination, perhaps stimulated by the behavior of some of its members, and further guided by increasingly accurate beliefs acquired through the sciences, for guidance as to what is necessary for such maturity to occur.)
Note: Our religions have been our collective efforts to improve ourselves, or stated in another way, our species' efforts to improve itself. Our religions have reflected who we are, because it is we that have constructed them. As our species improves, so will its religions that it creates, and those religions will be our tools to aid in that self-improvement. Those tools will of course have their imperfections, but will be improved over time as our species improves over time. At this point in our history, we are having difficulty improving our religions because of their containing existential beliefs maintained by most of the creators of those religions at the time of their creation, those existential beliefs now being found to be somewhat at odds with existential beliefs arrived at through our scientific methods (that we recognize are far more useful because of their accurate modeling of reality, thus drastically increasing our capabilities).
Note: In our religions, our studying of ethical issues, we must make use of symbolic language in order to communicate. The problem is that our language of everyday use is to a significant extent "poetic," making some use of all of those methods used more intensively in poetry proper, e.g., metaphor, idiom, connotation, etc., resulting in creative but ambiguous meaning, and therefore to some extent possible communication breakdown. Thus, we could speak of "poetic ethics," the ethics that we have normally. What is needed, then, is "technical ethics," characterized by word usage that is as much as possible precise and unambiguous. In the actual implementation of a culture's ethical beliefs, technical language is indeed used, in the legal sphere. However, as a species, we have come to no satisfactory agreement with regard to the best ethical foundations for any of our highly variable, culturally based legal systems. This means that what is legal in one culture could quite easily result in beheading in another culture. Humanianity, then, is a movement that, it would seem, would involve the emergence of "technical ethics" in its effort toward increasing agreement with regard to a basic ethical philosophy for our species. And, indeed, that increase in linguistic precision is one of the efforts engaged in by this website, especially in this section.
Note: Each of our religions can be described as being primarily authoritarian-ethical or as being primarily rational-ethical, as these terms are defined below. Religion that comes naturally to the human species is that which is consistent with authoritarian ethics, and is thus authoritarian-ethical Religion. The emergence of rational-ethical Religion is to a great extent what is meant by Humanianity, and is made possible by the recent development of rationality (see the next definition), and therefore rational ethics. (Humanianity, however, is rational-ethical Religion that is also specifically based upon the HUEP as its ultimate ethical principle.) And, of course, Humanianity is not a religion, but a movement within the religions to varying extents, and within our species in general.
15. "Rationality" (and "Rational") as used here refers to the requirement that belief be consistent, as much as possible, with the results of using the rules of logic and the rules of evidence.
The rules of logic are the procedural rules that determine whether a set of propositions, or sentences, that might for instance express (model) beliefs, are consistent with one another (involve no contradiction).
The rules of evidence are the procedural rules that have been demonstrated to lead to the most accurate existential beliefs (about the nature of existence), the most advanced rules of evidence being the scientific methods, sometimes referred to collectively as the "scientific method."
Note: The vast majority of decisions we make on a moment-by-moment basis are not based upon beliefs that are the results of scientific studies, but instead are based upon our daily experience and upon what we are told by others. However, we have recognized the benefit of having non-contradictory beliefs and of having beliefs that seem to be consistent with what we observe and what has become fairly reliably predictable. We nevertheless know that we can fail to see contradictions and can draw incorrect conclusions. The sciences have found ways of reducing the likelihood of such error, namely, by following the rules of evidence, i.e., scientific methodology.
Note: The ultimate goal of rationality, as the term is used here, is the avoidance of making mistakes, and its assumed benefit is derived from the observation that we are subject at times to having inaccurate beliefs, resulting possibly in mistakes leading to increased probability of PSDED, those inaccurate beliefs perhaps being maintained simply because of how they make us feel (including, within certain cultures or subcultures, worry about the reaction of others to knowledge of one's own beliefs, a DHR phenomenon).
Note: Major, significant rationality has been possible only with the development of the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, and this development has been the second great exponential change for our species, giving us science and technology. The first great exponential change was the development of the ability to make essentially unlimited use of symbols and the rules of syntax, or symbolic language, this change having been necessary for the later development of rationality. These changes, though dependent upon capabilities produced by evolutionary biological development of the brain characteristic of our species, are psychosocial changes, dependent upon interaction with others, this interaction being responsible for the exponential characteristic of these changes. And these changes are what is making possible the (very early in its development) third great exponential change, the improvement in our ethics, or Humanianity.
16. "Authoritarian ethics" (and "Authoritarian-ethical") as used here refers to the legitimization of any ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle by showing that it is consistent with whatever X wants, X being whoever or whatever is most powerful (able to cause pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death, and/or able to offer major, desired reward), thus allowing for non-rational and even logically inconsistent legitimizations, depending on the nature and/or mood of X. "X" may refer to parent, group, leader, culture, or (representatives of a) deity. Authoritarian ethics is the ethics that comes with our basic hominid nature, being the ethics that exists in all (social) animals that manifest some sort of dominance hierarchy (entailing thereby behaviors that can be characterized as "rewarding," "punishing," "obeying," "disobeying," "struggling for dominance," etc). It is thus the ethics that we all start out with in life, though we may later move in the direction of rational ethics (see next definition).
Note: Thus, in authoritarian ethics, the ultimate ethical principle, that "one should do whatever X wants," is also arbitrary, just as is true in rational ethics (see next definition), in that there is no even higher level ethical principle being used to legitimize that one. There will of course be reasons for having that ultimate ethical principle, such as to avoid punishment, but such legitimization by a higher level ethical principle cannot, by definition of "ultimate," be one of them.
Note: In authoritarian ethics, obedience is the way of "being ethical." In rational ethics, conjoint study, openness to feedback and to the possibility of being incorrect, and agreement to that which seems optimal and most likely correct, combined with the motivation (ethical sense) to behave according to the conclusions of such thought, are the ways of "being ethical."
Note: Any individual starts out in early childhood acquiring a basic ethical philosophy that is authoritarian-ethical, acquired through the child rearing process as obedience to the wishes of the parent. As the individual becomes older, the child rearing process may continue to produce an authoritarian-ethical basic ethical philosophy, or it may increasingly promote, through unusually skilled parenting, a rational-ethical basic ethical philosophy, as may also unusually optimal further life experience beyond childhood.
Note: The social contract is the opposite of authoritarian-ethical social structure, which involves expected obedience to the wishes of the most (physically, psychologically, economically, etc.) powerful individual(s). The "social contract," consists of an agreement to a set of decision-making procedures that involves all of those to whom the decisions apply cooperatively engaging in an agreement among themselves to adhere to such procedures with the goal of achieving that which is beneficial to everyone in that group of individuals, this set of agreements becoming therefore a set of (non-authoritarian) ethical principles and rules of conduct. Of course the procedures decided upon will most likely include the establishment of an "authority structure" that assigns decision-making responsibility to certain individuals because of the prediction of most optimal functioning thereby (due to those individuals having exceptional knowledge and/or skill in certain areas), but this will have been decided upon by procedures agreed upon by the group, not imposed on the group by those individuals or by others from outside the group. This way of engaging in social organization (i.e., by social contract) is significantly different than the ways produced by our DHR phenomena, which can lead sometimes to so much PSDED. If one evaluates a specific example of a social organization to determine to what extent it is operating according to an authoritarian-ethical model versus a social contract model, one is most likely to find a mixture of both, especially the larger the social organization is. The reason for this is that since authoritarian-ethical social organization is much more in tune with our basic hominid nature, the maintenance, instead, of a social contract by all for all requires a more complex and difficult-to-accomplish ethics and is therefore achievable by much fewer people currently. Nevertheless, we see a growing effort throughout our species to move in that direction, resulting in, for instance, political phenomena that are "democratic" in nature, including the developing United Nations organization as an alternative to worldwide organization determined by repetitive war, with dominance by the most powerful. And this movement within our species will result in, and be promoted by, newer, much-higher-skilled child rearing, drastically different from our normal, standard model of child rearing (read one Humanian's contribution, or hear and read as podcast).
Note: The social contract has always existed as a phenomenon among humans, and probably other social animals, as mutually agreed-upon cooperative behavior for the benefit of those involved, not behavior required by an external, dominating entity. But this phenomenon has usually been limited to a very small number of individuals, usually only two. Also, such phenomena very easily convert into relationships in which the most powerful in the relationship compel the other(s) to obey, thus making the ethics of the relationship authoritarian, rather than that of rational adherence to the social contract, where the ethical sense (motivation to do what one believes one should do) is produced by the recognition of the importance of doing what one has agreed to do, by virtue of anticipated probable undesired consequences of failing to do so (e.g., failure to achieve a desired goal).
Note: As stated above, Humanianity is the label given to the "movement" within Religion, and within our species in general, from authoritarian ethics, which has allowed for, and even led to, much tragic PSDED, to rational ethics, with its ultimate ethical principle, the HUEP. This movement is very early in its development, and not guaranteed to succeed to a drastically greater extent, but if it does, it is likely to be an exponential (accelerating) movement, as its benefit to us all, as well as its feasibility, becomes increasingly evident. An example of this exponential growth of the movement can be seen in the relatively recent (in the history of our species) growing popularity of the idea of democratic government as opposed to dictatorship. (And the idea of a written social contract is realized in the development of the written "constitution.")
17. "Rational ethics" (and "Rational-ethical") as used here refers to the legitimization of any ethical belief, rule of conduct, or principle by showing that it is logically consistent with a higher level (more general) ethical belief (rule of conduct, or principal) and certain existential beliefs (or definitions), if one uses the rules of logic and the rules of evidence, to the extent possible, in that legitimization, with the implication that there is therefore an ultimate, or highest level, or most general, ethical principle (ultimate ethical principle), which can therefore not be legitimized in this way.
Note: The HUEP has in the past been referred to here and elsewhere as the "rational-ethical ultimate ethical principle" (REUEP), but because there can be other, non-Humanian, rational-ethical ultimate ethical principles, the HUEP is a more appropriate term than the REUEP. (An example of a non-Humanian rational-ethical ultimate ethical priniciple might be that "we should do that which will promote the greatest diversity of species on our planet," leading to a possible conclusion that the human species should be eliminated.)
Note: Although in rational ethics every ethical belief, rule of conduct, and (non-ultimate) principle is expected to be capable of legitimization by demonstration that it is logically consistent with an even higher level, more general ethical belief, combined with currently accepted existential beliefs and relevant definitions, the ultimate ethical principle, by definition, cannot therefore be legitimized by reference to an even higher level ethical principle (otherwise it would not be ultimate), so the ultimate ethical principle is therefore in this sense arbitrary. There will, of course, be reasons for having the ultimate ethical principle, but such (rational-ethical) legitimization cannot, by definition of "ultimate," be one of them.
Note: So, with regard to any ethical belief except the ultimate ethical principle, the legitimization of that ethical belief, in a rational-ethical system, is the demonstration that what that belief states should be done is what should be done in order to accomplish what the higher, or more general, ethical belief states should be done, which in turn is an accomplishment that is presumed to be valued (as the right thing to do). So the highest level ethical belief, the ultimate ethical principle, states a goal that is presumed to be valued in and of itself, for whatever reasons (but not in order to accomplish what an even higher level ethical belief states should be done). So that which is presumed to be valued above all else in Humanianity is what is specifically stated in the HUEP, i.e., "not only the survival of our species, but also as much JCA as possible and as little PSDED as possible, for everyone, now and in the future." Needless to say, currently there are individuals who value most highly being able to achieve some sort of revenge against others, and will gladly give their lives in order to accomplish such revenge, but the probability is great that very few such individuals will exist when our species achieves a drastically better way of living, with drastically different methods of child-rearing, adult ethical study, etc., all consistent with the HUEP. Accomplishing this, of course, is in no way guaranteed, and represents a major CHALLENGE (link above) for our species, requiring much study, understanding, openness to new and different ideas, and working cooperatively toward resolving differences of opinion.
18. "JCA" as used here stands for "Joy, Contentment, and/or Appreciation." These labels are an effort to designate, in as basic a way as possible, what all humans could acknowledge as the quality of subjective experience being sought, "making life worth living."
Note: There are, of course, other things that a person might want, which might even take precedence over such a wish, such that JCA was sacrificed to some extent. And this of course would always be true if the person was sacrificing some JCA currently in order to acquire more in the future. Also, of course, the person may make an ethical judgment that JCA should be sacrificed in the course of doing what one believed was the right thing to do (for instance, the foregoing of some JCA in order to prevent significant PSDED). One might say, under such circumstances, that the person was deriving some degree of contentment from such an ethical sacrifice. All of these qualifications, and perhaps more, will inevitably need to be acknowledged in any effort to state in the most general, fundamental way what we are seeking in life. It would be essentially impossible to state in precise words what most all of us are seeking at all times in life, but what is being presented should be adequate for the current purpose, namely, working on a basic ethical philosophy that is an effort to optimize life for our species. Such ambiguity should only occasionally interfere, and any such project is always involving "playing the odds," in an existence characterized by uncertainty. The important point is that we can do drastically better than what we are doing currently.
Note: Joy as used here is referring to the general "good feeling" that accompanies any more specific way of feeling good, as, for instance, might accompany singing, dancing, putting on a good performance, making a positive contribution, pleasing another person, eating something delicious, etc. There are of course abnormal states, such as hypomania and mania, in which the experience of joy may actually be excessive and unwarranted. Maintenance of the capacity for joy is an important part of mental health, in that, for instance, the loss of such capacity is a prominent part of depression.
Note: Contentment as used here is referring to a lack of distress in response to contemplating some aspect of one's existence, i.e., the current "state of affairs." The opposite state of mind would be the worry about some significant problem regarding the current situation being considered, with some variable degree of sense of urgency to do something about the problem, if possible.
Note: Appreciation as used here is referring to a particular experiencing of joy as one is contemplating some aspect of his or her past or present experience, as if the experience was being made possible by someone having contributed to bringing it about, whether anyone was indeed responsible for bringing it about or not. Thus, one can appreciate a work of art, appreciate what has been done for oneself or someone else, appreciate a beautiful sunset, or even appreciate the opportunity to have been alive.
19. "PSDED" as used here stands for "Pain, Suffering, Disability, and/or Early Death." These labels are an effort to designate, in as basic a way as possible, what all humans could acknowledge as the main things that we would like to avoid as much as possible. It is of course obvious that there is no way to avoid such things completely, but the assumption is made that if any of these are human-induced, or at least avoidable, and if eliminating them would not have some even worse consequence, then reducing them as much as possible would seem to be a sensible goal that would be acceptable to almost everyone.
Note: Pain as used here is referring to a kind of subjective experience that should be familiar to everyone. (The word is not being used metaphorically.) It is of course understood that pain is a necessary phenomenon in life, and has an important role in keeping us safe. It is also understood that some pain may be welcome in that it indicates the likelihood of progress, as in the assertion, "No pain, no gain." So the use of this word in the current context is referring to pain that has no associated benefit and is unnecessary for some specific purpose.
Note: Suffering as used here is referring to any subjective experience that is accompanied by significant wanting of it to stop. There might seem to be some redundancy involved in including both "pain" and "suffering," in that pain is indeed a form of suffering. Including "pain," rather than just using "suffering," is primarily resulting from the awareness that the phrase, "pain-and-suffering," is in widespread use, and it does call attention to the fact that there are many ways of suffering other than experiencing of pain, if "pain" is not being used metaphorically.
Note: Disability as used here is referring to in the inability to do what most people in a culture are able or required to do, resulting in the individual being unable to enjoy or participate in what almost everyone else is able to do, at least without special assistance. Of course, since abilities vary within a population, there could be difficulty in deciding whether a specific individual was disabled with regard to some activity, as opposed to simply being on the lower end of the normal distribution of that ability. This inability to have a definite line of demarcation between "disability" and "acceptable low-level ability" should not be a drawback to the use of the term in general, since there are many, many examples in which the inability can be considered a definite abnormality. And of course it can come to pass that what was accepted simply as an expectable low degree of capability comes to be realized as being an actual disability, possibly subject to treatment and/or prevention.
Note: Early death as used here is referring to an amount of time that of course cannot be well-defined. There will of course be times of death where it would be a matter of opinion as to whether they were "early" or not. However, there are so many examples of (needless, tragic) death, brought about by what we do or fail to do, and relatively predictable, that reduction in such events would be considered desirable by almost anyone who did not have a specific wish for the death to occur. So, as is true for all of these terms for what we desire or don't desire, although there can always be some uncertainty in specific cases, our species would be drastically different if we were able to make substantial progress in reducing what is obviously human-caused, preventable "early" death (or PSDED in general).
20. "HUMANIANITY" as used here refers to the maturation of our species in one specific way, namely, ethically. It is the emergence of a new kind of ethics that is different from that which comes naturally to us (and other social animals) as a part of our basic hominid nature. It is the move away from authoritarian ethics and the development in its place of rational ethics with an ultimate ethical principle that is dependent upon, not obedience to the most powerful, but a social contract among all humans for the benefit of all humans. That social contract is the agreement to try to live in a way that is likely to result in that which is verbalized in the Humanian Ultimate Ethical Principle (HUEP). To do so involves our adult effort to train ourselves to behave drastically differently than has been true over our whole past history as a species. The cultural activity that has always been considered our most obvious, readily available to everyone, effort to train ourselves to be good people has been that set of activities called "Religion."

Regarding the HUEP, it should be noted that there can undoubtedly be many different ways of stating it, all meaning essentially the same thing. Also, it should be noted that there will always be situations in which figuring out what will be the way of most adhering to it will be difficult or impossible. For instance, there will be circumstances in which to try to adhere to one part of it would require sacrificing adhering to another part of it. But this does not eliminate the need to try to make such judgements, and many things that we currently do can easily be seen to be inconsistent with it as it is verbalized on this website.

There is much that we do to ourselves and each other that results in unnecessary PSDED and a significant reduction in JCA. Much of our PSDED (though by no means all of it) is caused by our naturally-occurring DHR behavior (involved in establishing and maintaining social hierarchy), so our adult effort to work on our ethics to a great extent involves consciously inhibiting much of our DHR behavior. Although we have to have an organizational hierarchy, our ways of establishing and maintaining it, including revising it as needed over time, need to be drastically changed. One of the most important examples of social hierarchy maintenance is that of the child rearing process. Humanian child-rearing will necessarily be drastically different than what has always been the standard, normal way. (An important difference, already beginning to emerge, is a set of non-punitive approaches to non-optimal behavior.) When our children are raised in such a manner (read one Humanian's contribution, or hear and read as podcast), they will grow up to be adults for whom the attainment of such ethically guided behavior is much more easily accomplished.

This change in our ethics has already started, but it is very, very early in its development. There are improvements in our way of living and relating to each other, including our child rearing, that have been accomplished to some extent by many of us, but mostly only to a relatively small extent compared to our imaginable potential. And there certainly is currently no general agreement. That is why our studying together regarding our ethical beliefs, with the ever-existing goal of agreement, is so important.

As already stated above, our adult efforts to systematically study how to be good people, and thus do the right thing, i.e., to work on our basic ethical philosophy, have always been primarily those activities that we have referred to as "Religion." Religion has begun to respond to the above-described set of changes, but only to a very small degree so far. This is because most of our religions have arisen in the past, before the scientific era began to any substantial extent, and it has been difficult for those religions to give up some of their existential beliefs upon which their ethical beliefs have been based (in addition to our still existing belief that ethics must be authoritarian, rather than rational). And because of our tribalistic nature, it has been easy for us to remain divided into conflicting groups consisting of various religions and various anti-religious organizations. For us to really move ahead with this important change, it will be very important for us to stop fighting each other and actually work together in legitimizing our beliefs in ways increasingly acceptable to us all. Note: It is very difficult for any of us to think in terms of a drastic change away from the way we have always been. And this is easy to understand. After a child is born, how early in its life does the child begin to realize that he or she is involved in a process of "growing up"? And how does the child begin to comprehend what it may be like to become an adult? Is it not evident that the child derives such an understanding from seeing adults? Well, there is no adult human species for us to look at and derive therefrom any picture of what it would be like to be so drastically different. Yet, we do have a fairly capable imagination, and also we can see the little bit of improvement that we have accomplished by virtue of our early efforts in the direction of Humanianity. (Also, by observing the wide range of "goodness" among us humans currently, we can imagine the potential for positive change in how we think, feel, and behave as a species.) It is by virtue of this beginning ability to notice the benefits of certain kinds of changes in how we do things that can enable us to increasingly feel the importance of putting more effort into such changes, along with some increasing understanding of how to do so, and as more and more of us develop such an awareness, this can bring about an exponential growth of this set of changes that are encompassed by the concept of Humanianity. This website, then, is an effort to contribute to that exponentially increasing awareness of what we can accomplish and of how valuable it will be for us to achieve such change.
21. "GOD" is not defined on this website, because it is an extremely widely used word with almost no agreement as to what it means. There is no agreement regarding whether such an entity exists, and among those who believe that the entity exists, there is no agreement as to what the entity consists of and what its nature is. Among those who "believe in God," there is a tendency to divide up into conflicting groups (as a part of our tendency toward tribalism), causing much PSDED. (There is a recent lessening of this tendency, with a growing felt need for "interfaith" efforts, but the problem is still enormous.) And there is significant conflict between those who do have such a belief and those who don't, many of each group tending to look down upon (a DHR phenomenon) and avoid the members of the other group, thus interfering with really working together.

All of that tribalistic conflict keeps us from cooperating with each other as members of a unified species. Since this website is an effort to contribute to the development of an ever-increasing, worldwide basic ethical philosophy, based upon our increasing development of a new ethics that is not authoritarian-ethical, it is apparent that such an ethics cannot be dependent upon a concept of, or "belief in," a God. The absence of a belief in the existence of a God is not required for this new ethics; what is required is that this new ethics is not legitimized by being based upon obedience to such an entity, since there is, at least currently and for the foreseeable future, no possibility of agreement regarding the existence of a God or regarding what that God wants or expects of us humans. Such belief should probably be considered completely personal, with of course the sharing of such experience among those who find doing so valuable.

The ethics described and advocated for on this website has for its ultimate basis the HUEP (or an ultimate ethical principle very similar to it), a goal to aim for that would seem to be desired by all humans (except perhaps some few individuals who have substantial mental illness or have been indoctrinated under unusual, intense circumstances). Such an ethics is therefore an ethics that can possibly be expected to increasingly move toward worldwide agreement, independently of beliefs about the existence and nature of a God.
Note: Our beliefs about what exists "in reality" are simply models of that which "reality" consists of, and therefore the only access to "reality" that we have is to our models of it, our beliefs. In other words, all we ever have is our beliefs about reality, whatever reality may or may not actually contain. Additionally, and importantly, some of our models (beliefs) may possibly be demonstrated to allow for accurate predictions, what is meant by belief being "accurate." (For more detail, read about the mind-body problem, or hear and read as podcast.) Beliefs about "God" are well known to fail to allow us to make accurate predictions, this being dealt with sometimes by referring to God as being more complex than we are able to understand, and therefore prone to engage in decision-making that we cannot necessarily understand (or therefore predict).
Note: It would seem, from the above, that one's beliefs about God could be considered just a personally preferred way of maintaining the quality of one's personal subjective experience, not necessarily relevant to the kind of ethics that our species may increasingly adopt. However, currently much of authoritarian ethics is derived from such beliefs. If such beliefs led to a basic ethical philosophy that was influenced only positively, by increasing JCA for instance, then that should not be a problem. But beliefs about God actually do influence the basic ethical philosophy of some individuals in such a way that the resulting behavior produces PSDED. It would seem that only under these circumstances would it be rather urgent to engage in a discussion as to what the evidence was for that set of beliefs.
Note: The change from authoritarian ethics to rational ethics based upon the HUEP is a real challenge for our species, because of the widespread assumption that there is no basis for a set of ethical beliefs other than through obedience (possibly under threat of punishment or abandonment), as opposed to the social contract for the benefit of all. Such a conviction is promoted by the standard model of child rearing, in which there is the assumption that punishment is necessary. This is true because individuals raised in this manner (the standard model) will have an ethics that is usually very authoritarian (or very influenced by a tendency toward oppositional behavior). That is why the change from authoritarian ethics to Humanian ethics will have to involve a substantial change in child rearing, with a move toward non-punitive, rational-ethical child rearing (read one Humanian's contribution, or hear and read as podcast). Indeed, one's experience of having been reared as a child may have substantial impact on one's ultimate beliefs about the existence and nature of "God."
Note: The belief in, and even the seeming experience of contact with or relationship with, an important, all-powerful entity that is aware of oneself and has attitudes toward onself, may be a normal and natural phenomenon for us humans as a part of our basic hominid nature. We are an intensely social species, and the need for human contact is present in us as newborns and infants, even before we have any significant awareness of "self" and "the other." At that time, our way of eperiencing existence is very much dependent upon this entity, "Mother," who has everything to do with how we feel. It is understandable that we all have a basic wish to return to that early situation, assuming it was optimal. It is perhaps a very basic way of avoiding the feeling of being completely alone at times, and it therefore may for many have a very favorable effect on quality of life. On the other hand, if one's rearing as a child has been characterized by much authoritarian punishment or other negaive experience, then one's "experiencing of God" may actually reduce the quality of life, with a self-concept that includes seeing oneself as inadequate or bad, and even in store of some ultimate punishment. And indeed, there appears to be among those "believing in" a God a range of belief in the nature of that God from being all loving to being angry and punitive. And there is a special problem when within a culture there is a strong tribalistic tendency that promotes the idea that God wishes for the members of the tribe to act against other tribes or cultures, such as to cause pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death.
22. "Spirituality" is not being defined here, because it is used in diverse ways, usually never clearly stated by the user. Sometimes it refers to everything related to the experiencing of the "spirit" of the other person, a feeling of something being present that would not be present if the other person were actually just a very realistic robot. (And sometimes it refers to the experiencing of such "presence" in the absence of perception of an actual physical body.) Sometimes it refers to feelings of awe and appreciation related to the awareness of being alive and able to have subjective experience. Sometimes it refers to appreciation of the complexity of the scientific model of reality, compared to the much more familiar model of reality that consists of one's subjective experience. It would seem that a person's "spirituality" should almost never be a problem for the development of Humanian ethics, and could even promote such ethics to the extent that it increased the capacity for empathy and concern for the other.
23. "Supernatural" is a word that can be a noun or an adjective, and that, as used on this website, refers to entities and processes that are not found in, or dealt with in, the natural sciences. The natural sciences are the areas of scientific study of what is considered the "natural world," such as physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, biology, anthropology, etc., as opposed to the social sciences (e.g., psychology and sociology) and the formal sciences (e.g., mathematics and logic). The natural sciences all make use of terms and concepts that are consistent with one another, utilizing currently the basic entities of space, time, matter, and energy as defined within physics, and the phenomena involving them. Supernatural entities include god(s), spirits, ghosts, souls, angels, devil(s), and demons, and supernatural phenomena include magic, miracles, telepathy, extrasensory perception, and divination. But these are just items on a list of supernatural entities and phenomena, and there are multiple other items on the list, using this definition, that most people do not think of as being "supernatural," to be discussed below. And as is also noted below, there is much disagreement regarding the validity, or correctness, of any, or certain, supernatural beliefs (beliefs in the existence of what are usually thought of as supernatural entities or phenomena).
Note: There is a question as to whether "belief in the supernatural" is something to be avoided, or something to be cultivated, or something that is unavoidable and necessary. And there is the question as to whether there are supernatural beliefs that are important to have, as well as ones that are best avoided in that they lead to PSDED (pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death). These issues will be addressed below.
Note: What perhaps most people do not recognize is that there are almost universally shared, basic supernatural beliefs that we all have, unless we are severely impaired and unhealthy. One basic such belief is that we can choose what we are going to do, the concept of "free will." Another is that when we interact with another human (or animal, at least certain animals), there is a feeling, sensing entity (associated with that visible entity) that we refer to usually as a "mind," this entity actually never having been observed, but instead "sensed." This entity is often referred to as "consciousness." In fact, one never can perceive one's own consciousness, just what is "in it." And in fact there are all of those entities considered to be "in" the mind that would by this definition be "supernatural," such as thought, wish, intention, goal, etc. (These concepts are dealt with in great detail in the free book on the Mind-Body Problem, available as read-only or as read-and-listen podcast.)
Note: Some people, who are against "believing in the supernatural," propose that consciousness and free will are compatible with the natural sciences, and that it is just a matter of time before the natural sciences indeed explain and incorporate the concepts of "choice" (or free will) and consciousness, though without any evidence for such proposal. (Some such proposals are accompanied by references to the most complex and difficult-to-understand concepts from the natural sciences, especially the conceptual system of quantum mechanics, impossible for most individuals not so educated to understand other than by metaphoric use of words causing a feeling of comprehension that is really poetic imagination rather than actual, technical understanding.) Those who believe that Science will eventually explain these phenomena (choice and consciousness) usually do not make the same statement about other such entities and processes, such as God, spirits, telepathy, prayer, etc., without giving an explanation of the difference between the two sets of phenomena.
Note: It may turn out to be correct that there are certain supernatural beliefs, not supported by any evidence obtained within the natural sciences, that are actually beneficial, even strongly beneficial, for at least some of us. An example might be the feeling that one is in touch with and approved of by an all-good, "loving" entity (God). (This could possibly be an effort to relive the experience that one had in infancy, upon becoming aware of the mothering entity and the good experience of being cared about, taken care of, and made to feel good). Another might be the belief in an afterlife, because of the prevalence of an emotionally painful feeling accompanying the imagining of ceasing to exist. (This belief in an afterlife may be a belief in being with, or re-uniting with, valued others, or it may be a negation of the cessation of one's existence by envisioning it as the merging with a "self" that is everlasting, such as a God, e.g., that consists of all there is, as in pantheism, or the "soul" inhabiting all that is, as in panentheism).
(Concise overview of this website's thesis using above word-usage.)
Purpose of Science: To optimize existential beliefs (about existence and how it works).
Purpose of Religion: To optimize ethical beliefs (about what should and should not be done).

Science without Religion is dangerous. (Science can enable us to do remarkably good and bad things.)
Religion without Science is dangerous. (Religion can motivate us to do remarkably good and bad things.)

Bad Science is dangerous. (We can do terribly bad things due to beliefs based on faulty, non-rational, scientific methods.)
Bad Religion is dangerous. (We can do terribly bad things due to beliefs based on coercive, authoritarian-ethical, religious methods.)

Good Science is rational. (It helps prevent doing bad things due to mistaken beliefs.)
Good Religion is rational-ethical and Humanian. (It helps prevent wanting to do bad things due to mistaken beliefs or bad motivational states.)

"Authoritarian ethics": based on obedience to the most powerful (e.g., parent, leader, culture, deity).
"Rational ethics": based on rationality (consistency with rules of logic and rules of evidence), and an agreed-upon ultimate ethical principle.

"Good" here means "resulting in increased JCA and/or reduced PSDED."
"Bad" here means "resulting in reduced JCA and/or increased PSDED."

"JCA" means "joy, contentment, and appreciation."  "PSDED" means "pain, suffering, disability, and/or early death."

"Humanianity" is "the emerging movement (especially in Religion) from authoritarian ethics toward rational ethics and the HUEP."
"My Humanianity" means "my commitment to try to live in rational consistency with the HUEP."

"HUEP" means "Humanian Ultimate Ethical Principle," verbalized here as, "We should do that which will promote not only the survival of our species, but also as much JCA as possible and as little PSDED as possible, for everyone, now and in the future."

The Emergence of "Humanianity":
  • Probably exponential: At first unnoticed, but accelerating, to finally become a drastic change perhaps describable as a new "emergent."

  • Very early: Currently unnoticed and unidentified by almost everyone, relatively uninfluential, easily dismissed, hard to grasp.

  • Based upon: Rationally constructed social contract for the benefit of all (as opposed to dominance by the most powerful).

  • Exemplified by: "Human rights" (cf. citizenship); "democracy" (cf. dictatorship); decline of authoritarian theism; non-theistically based ethics.

  • Requiring: Openness of mind; willingness to study, debate, advocate; valuing of critiquing, being questioned, accuracy of belief, agreement.

  • Involving: Conscious, ethical inhibition of some natural tendencies (e.g., anger, fighting), enhancement of others (e.g., empathy, nurturing).

  • Affecting: Personal ethics, relationship ethics, environmental ethics, lifestyle, child rearing, societal organization, culture.

  • Not guaranteed: Will occur only if understood, valued, and worked for by an increasing proportion of our species.

  • Severely needed: In face of increasing threats to our species caused by our extreme capabilities and non-optimal natural tendencies.

  • Personally rewarding: Satisfaction from living by a much more consistent, well-thought-out, and effective ethics benefiting self and others.

  • Generally beneficial: Making the world a better place, for everyone, now and in the future.

Will you join the effort? (Involves studying, learning, practicing, improving, modeling, advocating--individually and with others.)
(It is important to understand that its purpose is neither entertainment nor commercial marketing, and that understanding it properly will require STUDY.)

This website is simply one Humanian's effort at advocacy, in addition to the provision of tools for study and cooperation. It is not an "official headquarters" for Humanianity, nor does it contain any "official" concepts or guidelines or "truths." However, it results from much thought over many years, and hopefully will (and should be required to) make complete sense to anyone wishing to understand and participate.

It is advocating specifically for participation in an already occurring (but in its infancy) species-wide, new, and difficult undertaking, in the face of increasing urgency, with uncertain but potentially extremely beneficial results for our species, that benefit being to some extent now (for the benefit of us as individuals and groups), but also in the future (for our threatened species).

And it provides for everyone some tools, including a new tool (Humanian Belief Manual, link below) specifically designed to be helpful in what is being advocated.

The desirability of this project of species-wide self-improvement is produced in part by the observation we can all make that there is an enormous amount of PSDED, at times to a tragic extent, brought about by what we, the members of our species, as individuals and as groups, decide to do:

  • unhealthy lifestyle behavior (uninformed, unconcerned, and addictive) resulting in poor and even fatal physical and mental health for the self and consequent emotional and financial hardship for others.
  • careless risk-taking behavior leading to accidents that result in enormous amounts of physical and mental suffering, disability, and early death, for the self and others.
  • hostile interactive behavior leading to relationship breakdown, from the interpersonal to the international (including parent-child relationships, friendships, employer-employee relationships, primary significant other relationships, societal subgroup relationships, and international relationships), often referred to as "fighting."
  • unempathetic exploitative behavior to even a criminal extent, producing not only sorrow and at times agony and even death, but also widespread, painful and disabling distrust in our fellow humans. (We are our most feared predator.)
  • destructive consumptive behavior that has been increasingly ruining the environment upon which our comfort and health, and even our very lives, depend.
  • non-optimal governmental behavior leading to social problems such as poverty, inaccessible healthcare, inaccessible education, and excessive, unnecessary, harmful incarceration.
  • victimizing cultural behavior consisting of painful and even fatal intolerance, discrimination, and aggression toward harmlessly non-conforming ("different") individuals and groups, by individuals and groups (including mob behavior, terrorism, and genocide).

Through much cooperation based upon accurate belief, thoughtful agreement, and ethical motivation, our species has accomplished truly wonderful things, enabling a far better and longer life than had been true closer to our beginning. But that accomplishment has remained marred by our tendencies listed above, and many believe there is a growing sense of urgency about the fate of our species at our own hands (because of our now enormous capabilities).

It is relatively easy to see a widespread, though not universal, pessimistic/cynical response to any consideration of working toward a vastly better life than what we have been enduring so far, based upon beliefs that:
  • "This is as good as it gets."
  • "That's just the way we are."
  • "History has shown that when we try to make things better, we make them worse."
  • "To consider working toward drastic change is being idealistic, not realistic."
So this website is for those who can get beyond that attitude enough to at least evaluate whether what is being presented makes sense.

This website is thus advocating for progressive global cooperation in behalf of everyone, involving increasing accuracy of belief, increasing agreement (always open to questioning and revision), and increasing ethical dedication to the welfare of us all, and it is providing a currently unique special new tool for that purpose (the Humanian Belief Manual, link below).