revised/edited 11/2010, 10/2014, 5/2015, 2/2018, 6,9/2018
3.0 Summary [revised/edited 5/2015, 6,9/2018]
In the pursuit of a scientific basis of political thoughts and natural
ethics, relevant knowledge and understandings are derived from many
fields of research: anthropology, ethology, including the study of
animals, very primitive cultures and technologically more advanced
civilizations, psychology and psychiatry, and
Instincts are very important in directing social
interactions and influencing cultural developments. Some instincts have
impeded progress particularly people being very much oriented towards
learning from parental figures and older peers, generally not wanting
novelty and usually believing that the past was better than the
present. Instinctively, people are also docile, comparable to the
animals that lend themselves to be domesticated and exploited: animals
that are easily subdued with punishments and that continue reproducing
even when severely abused; women generally go along with cultural and
religious teachings that victimize them. In addition, cooperation among
people is often prevented by “us-versus-them” thinking.
Generally, cultural institutions develop in a rather
random fashion, influenced by environment, strong leaders, contact with
other cultures, technological developments, etc. Cultural institutions
cannot change human nature, but they modify, exaggerate or suppress
expression of natural predispositions with little or no consideration
of ethical principles. Broad efforts to improve people’s behaviors and
quality of life must address changing their culture and institutions.
The study of global and science-based natural ethics is
important. Ethics deals with conflicts between self-interest and
altruism. It is primarily based on social instincts and empathy. A
distinction is made between natural ethics and culture-bound, often
with religions associated mores or morals. Empathy, the study of human
nature, and our broad understanding of disparate cultures are
fundamental to a worldwide pursuit of human rights and natural ethics.
Ethical values must comply with the limitations of human nature. While
ethical thinking includes prescriptions, such as not to lie, steal or
kill, there are no absolutes: humane, ethical thinking must be
pragmatic including intuitive valuations of positive and negative
factors, and conscience.
Ethical attitudes and conduct, particularly compassion and
empathy, are partly learned. Compassionate empathy and healthy
expression of social instincts probably results from favorable early
psychosocial environments. Support of nuclear families by their
community is usually needed for the healthy development of children.
Ethical thinking, particularly the broadening of empathy and overcoming
the propensity towards us-versus-them thinking, must be taught at all
levels of education and applied in all human endeavors.
Institutions must address other aspects of quality of
life, including a natural pursuit of healthy lifestyles, communities
that give a sense of belonging, access to natural environments and
artistic expression, a reasonable standard of living, and the further
development of medical and psychological-psychiatric treatments.
The scientific understanding of cultural anthropology, of
instincts in humans, of neurosciences, and of ethics provides the
foundation of the proposed model framework of institutions.