The Five Points: My Personal Philosophy

I’ve been reading up on many philosophies lately, and they have come together to create a general system of though for me, which I believe can be best illustrated by the five points down below. Keep in mind that this is just an extremely rough outline of my current thoughts and is subject to drastic change. I’m by no means asking anyone to treat this as a dogma, as it is not one for myself either. Think of this as the pre-alpha of my current philosophy: it still needs plenty of refinement, tweaking, and construction, which is where you come in. If you have any opinions, I’d like to hear them, so please feel free to comment them below in a constructive and respectful manner, and explain your reasoning for such.

  • Utilitarianism: This is the core basis for my philosophy, and it combines well with the final element, Humanism. Everything in society must serve a purpose (including society itself). If it does not serve a purpose, it is worthless. The purpose it serves must further the interests of humanity as a whole. Morality serves the purpose of encouraging or discouraging certain behaviors in an effort to control people for a specific goal. Take repression of homosexuality, as seen in many moral codes, for instance: In the tribalist structure in which these rules were codified (i.e. the “Old Testament” as written by the Israelites), homosexuality was seen as bad as it had a certain portion of the population to abstain from mating, limiting the total population (and thus power) of the tribe. However, now that most societies have comfortable levels of population - or at least enough people to where the 5% or so who are gay no longer significantly impact the actual growth rate of society - the population benefit of repressing them is outweighed by the happiness created by allowing them to form relationships in accordance with their sexuality. Nations, likewise, are a fairly recent invention (with the earliest examples of what we would consider to be “nations” or “nationalism” dating back to the classical age at best, and not really gaining steam until the 1700s, although its parent concept of tribalism dates back to the early social primates if not back even more) and serve the purpose of a unit of organization. However, this system is inherently divisive, and thus can also further divide humans into their own camps, limiting the potential of humanity through discouraging cooperation. All systems must serve the purpose of tangibly improving the quality of life of human beings and the sustainability and advancement of humanity as a whole. Once better systems of achieving these goals become available, they should be swapped to. Just as steam power eventually made sail ships obsolete, so will certain systems obsolete their older predecessors. Likewise, society must serve the interests of the people for it to be worthwhile. If a social element no longer serves the people, it must be done away with.

  • Liberty/Liberalism: Not in an economic sense of liberalism so much as in the general idea of human rights and individual freedoms. By enabling individuals to live how they see fit (provided this doesn’t harm or hinder others too much), people are able to achieve happier and more fruitful lives. Likewise, the existence, recognition, and enforcement of human rights act as a safeguard against the abuse of authority which can lead to tyranny, corruption, etc. This segment of my philosophy is pretty much ripped straight from John Stuart Mill, so if you want to learn more about it, just read his stuff

  • Socialism/Democracy: Along the same lines as the previous point, the individual is the key to society. Humans generally tend to act in their own interest, and will act accordingly. Thus, collectively-led governments (democracy) and workplaces (market socialism) are vital to the goal of a better humanity. By allowing individuals to decide what course society takes, with the majority opinion being chosen, society is more likely to take a course which benefits the most people (this is taken straight from utilitarians such as Bentham). Likewise, the same is true in democratic market socialism, whereby the economy is regulated by democratic vote with democratic economic institutions (cooperatives) competing for consumers. The consumers are able to chose the best product, creating the best result. These cooperatives are democratically organized, unlike corporations, and thus the fruits that result from the collective labor output are distributed more evenly than in a corporation without the inefficiency or room for corruption that a centralized state-run socialist model creates. Through democracy in all aspects of society (albeit with restraints to ensure that the rights of the individual are upheld) society benefits the majority rather than a small elite.

  • Pragmatism: However, all I have previously mentioned is how society should be, not necessarily how it is. That’s where pragmatism and political realism (specifically as taught by Machiavelli) come in. Society is based on power. Power is necessary to perform actions, which create outcomes or ‘consequences’. Thus the goal of any movement should be to gain more power in order to create better outcomes. Methods of gaining more power, such as propaganda, enforcing systems of morality, or providing things to people are vital to achieving one’s goals. Power itself is a means to an end, as mentioned previously. Thus, the recognition and use of power structures in order to create positive outcomes is vital to all movements. Morality and legality are simply systems of maintaining or attaining control and power, and thus must be seen only as tools rather than “rights” or “wrongs” (or ends in and of them selves). So to summarize: politics is defined exclusively by power, which enables action, which creates outcomes or ‘consequences’ which push specific agenda.

  • Humanism: And finally we get here. If everything I mentioned before is the “means”, then humanism represents the “ends”. What I mean by this is that the end goal of my philosophy is to create a sustainable system which enables and encourages the stable, sustainable, and consistent: growth of human knowledge, improvement of quality of life for the greatest amount possible, and expansion of human potential. This means relying on empiricism and science. In order to attain what is best, we must first know what is best. We achieve this through the observation of our universe, which allows us to better understand the consequences of actions as well as what actions to take in order to create the desired consequences. This is a front with no end, hence why I have marked it as the final point.