On the Ethics of Quotation

2C There is always interpretation.

2C1 The action of quoting another (and of interpretation) is always, ultimately, an expression of one's own. As with any self-expression, one is responsible to, and for, the outcome. In this way, the responsibility for any 'quote' always becomes shared from the original speaker to all who would repeat what was spoken.

2C2 The essence of the action of quotation is to be re-interpreting the context in which the quote is considered to be appropriate. The original speaker is responsible for their expressed content, but only to the exact degree that it is within their context. When others restate that content, they are responsible to the exact degree that the context of that quote is different (i.e., is interpreted; is placed in a new and different context from that of the original author at the time of their expression). The more one takes an expression out of context (the more one interprets or chooses a new context that quote is used in), the greater the degree that one is responsible for one's own expressed content. In this way, the ethics and morality of a 'quoted' expression becomes one's own responsibility, and not 'just' the responsibility of the original author.

2C3 The shorter the quote (where a longer quote would develop its own context), and the more the context is changed and interpreted by oneself, the more one is responsible for the content expressed. The longer the quote, and the more the original context of that quote is the maintained, the more the original speaker retains their own natural responsibility. In this way, one's own responsibility for quotation/interpretation is lessened. The ratio of content to context defines the balance of responsibility for all ideas re-expressed, by any means, and by any persons, in whatever their circumstances.

2C4 Those who listen to or read a quotation, will know the 'quote' through the lenses of their own understandings, bias, beliefs, and preconceptions. It is best if one accounts for this, and acknowledges it.

2C5 One does not 'own' (even one's own) perceptions, ideas, and concepts. The limits of influence extend only to the expressions of those ideas and concepts; and even then only to the degree (and for the short period of time) that one is (acts as) the source of that expression.


Alternate Formulations of the Ethics

A Summary of the Method of Derivation

2R The two principles of ethics are the two assumptions necessary for 1) the establishment and persistence of the integrity of a general communication channel and, 2) the maximization of the degree of meaningfulness (significance in the terms of actuality and potentiality) in conjunction with the same. The symmetry principle asserts that there is a time/position/possibility symmetry in the content of the input and the output (image) of the communication channel. The continuity principle asserts that there is an independence between the message and the language used in the communication channel itself: that the content of the communication, regardless of its specific nature will not arbitrarily affect (the integrity and continuity of) the context, the communication channel itself. A general communication channel, to be such, must assume that all messages passed through maintain their own (content) integrity and that no message in the communication channel will overtly 'crash' or change the dynamics of the communication channel (the language) itself.

2R2 The significance of this consideration of a general communication channel (in terms of understanding ethics) is a result of various isomorphs of the Root Tautology: that the dynamic of the relationship between a self and a reality is a general communication channel (communication is an isomorph of both being and doing). Furthermore, Axiom I identifies this particular (immanent modal) isomorphism as having ontological implications: that the intrinsic aspects of communication will be reflected in the nature of beingness itself. This ontology is verified by recognizing 1) that the first assumption of communication (the integrity of the message, a principle of symmetry) is itself an isomorph of the concept of objectivity and, 2) that it is an inherent assumption of physics that no experiment done within the universe can have the (unexpected) impact or effect of damaging the integrity of the universe itself (the integrity of the communication channel, the language of being itself; a principle of continuity).

2R3 The definition of Ethics (as the study of the principles of effective choice), in combination with the isomorphism identified by the Root Tautology and the necessary ontological implications of Axiom I, is therefore seen to have a strong form intrinsic to the very beingness of self and reality (consciousness), regardless of the particular self or world involved. It is in this sense, directly, that the two principles of Ethics identified in terms of the intrinsics of a general communication channel are seen to be inherently non-relativistic. This is especially appropriate in that the concept of choice itself, as a member of the triple choice, change, and causality, is identified as being an ontological term.

2R4 The key correspondences are established by noting that meaningfulness in association with a communication channel is dependent on both the intensity of the transit of information and the integrity of all aspects of the channel itself, including the image of both of the endpoints. As such, a set of isomorphisms between Self and Reality, and the interchange between them, shows a method by which one may maximize the bandwidth of the interaction (the degree of potentiality and actuality), while at the same time maximizing the integrity of all three aspects. These isomorphisms are themselves consistent with the basal motivations (creativity and experience), and the moralistic principle of "to live (love) well and fully, at all levels of being".

2R5 The abstractness of the formulations involved in the two principles of ethics is a necessary aspect of the generality (scope) and degree of inherentness of their application.

The Formal Structure of the Ethics

2R6 Symmetry Ethics:

Where there is a sameness
of the internal context of an interaction,
that there shall be a sameness
of the content of an interaction,
where there is a difference
of the external context of an interaction.

2R7 Continuity Ethics:

Where there is a sameness
of the internal content of an interaction,
that there shall be a sameness
of the context of an interaction,
where there is a difference
of the external content of an interaction.

Derivative Restatement of the Ethics by Personal Locus

2R8 Symmetry Ethics:

Where the observer/internal (subjective) context is the same,
and where the observed/external (objective) context of perception is different, that the observer content of expression is (shall be) the same.

2R9 Continuity Ethics:

Where the observer/internal (subjective) content is the same,
and where the observed/external (objective) perceived content is different, that the observer expressed context is (shall be) the same.


The Origins of Worlds

1M1 1. The popular notions of the Big Bang, as developed by cosmological science, and the myth of the event of creation, as developed within many historical religions, both have in common several implications. They each implicitly posit the idea that all of creation happened once, very long ago, in a place very far away from the here and now.

1M2 2. The myths of creation as an event additionally posit that nothing can, or could, be personally added to this long ago event of creation. This carries the implication that individual choice is of no real creative significance beyond its purely causal effects. As such, popular science and common religion both will strongly deny that Self is ever genuinely creative, or could in any way add something truly new to the basic nature of the universe (i.e. that there is "nothing new under the sun").

1M3 3. In that creation, by definition and in its essence, is neither observable nor repeatable, it is also inherently unknowable, illogical, unreasonable, and unpredictable. As may be expected, many people fear the unknown and the unknowable, and anything else which is regarded as capricious, arbitrary, or random. As such, it may be expected also that any aspects or indicators of creation (and of personal creativity) would be disowned (both from the self and from the world), and placed as far away from the here and now as possible.

1M4 4. In that there is the common/popular denial of any real personal creativity (with the attendant emotional blocks and conflicts that result from this denial), there is also a near complete denial of personal responsibility for one's own choices. In assuming that the choice of self can only have consequences, and in assuming that choice never has creative aspects of its own, there is always a tendency for people to place responsibility for their own choices on agencies external to themselves (1).

1M6 5. This tendency to disown, reject, or fail to acknowledge personal creativity, to externalize true creation to impersonal agencies, and to reject personal responsibility and responsiveness for one's own choices, is enacted both on the part of individuals and as a society. As such, there are often wide and sweeping rejections of responsibility for ethical behavior on the part of both religious and scientific institutions (2).

1M8 6. True creativity, and creation, is, and must be, inherent in all choice (3). Regardless of how much one may know and may see, there will always also be the unknown and unknowable. In recognizing that love is also -- in its essence -- inherently and naturally unrepeatable, illogical, unreasonable and unpredictable, one may transcend the emotion fear and acknowledge its larger basis in the potentiality of love. As such, in the acceptance (spirituality) of the unknown and unknowable (of awe and of Mystery), there is freedom from limitation and potentiality to enrich the quality of life.

1M9 7. Acceptance of the truth of potentiality, creation, of oneself as being creative, as well as the causative, as being aspects of all of one's choices, promotes the acceptance and integration of responsibility. The ability to respond to life, to be truly participating in the world, alive and fully conscious, is the result of acceptance. The world (the environment) in which we live is as much a product of personal creation and choices, as it is due to the causative effects of any external agency or long ago and far away events. Like responsibility, creation is ongoing, participatory, and a freedom from limitation.



Notes:
1M5 [1] For example, many people live their lives with the assumption and implicit disclaimers that "God created me this way", or that "one's actions are conditioned by one's environment". By always projecting a portion (the creative aspect) of one's responsibility for one's choices external to oneself, one would always deny the truth of responsibility within oneself, and thus be and become "irresponsible", and/or "unresponsive" (not fully living).

1M7 [2] For example, within the practice of science, many physicists continue to carry the common judgment that they have no responsibility for the expressions, implications, or usage of their theories. As such, the proponents of science and technology will often deny any responsibility for the impact that their works have on culture, the environment, or in the nature of this world. Similarly, it has been long acknowledged that many popular religions are notorious for hypocrisy, intolerance, self-righteousness, prejudice, unethical practices, and in the general promotion of war and conflict in the world.

[3] This statement is in recognition of the fact that creation is not an event in itself, but an aspect of all events.



Back Up To TOC Next


For recommendations, comments, suggestions, or other offers to provide qualified assistance,
Please write to:

[20_14/12/09;17:18:50.00]