V-50 Session 2

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the second session of the V-50 Lectures.  If I were to start tonight’s lecture by asking you the following question, to write down the answer to this question on a sheet of paper, namely, identify the standard or criterion that you employ to determine which ideas are right and which are wrong, how would you answer the question?

Can you identify a difference between a right idea versus a wrong idea?  When, for example, are a man’s actions right?  When are they wrong?  Define right.  Define wrong.  If I were to read all your answers to this question, would you anticipate that there would be very much agreement in this room?  When I’ve done this in the past, I’ve gotten about as many different answers as there are people in the room.  And I’m certain I would likely obtain the same results here this evening.

If there is a general disagreement among us, as to just how we determine what is right, who is right, then which of us is right on how we make this determination?  Can all of us be right on how to determine what is right and, at the same time, be in disagreement on how we determine what is right?  And so, I have this most fundamental question.  On what basis have you determined if your standard of rightness is right?  How can we be certain if our standard of rightness, per se, is right?  In other words, how can you determine if the method or means that you use to determine what is right is, in fact, right?  Have you ever asked this question or answered the question?

The title of this evening’s lecture is “How Do You Know You are Right”?  Lecture #2 this evening, Lecture #3 next week, are both two of the most important lectures in V-50 and also two of the most difficult to understand.  You’ll find, however, starting with Lecture #4, it gets much easier.

During the first session I demonstrated, I gave you this chart, and I said that the entire social crisis is a derivative of the observable fact that the physical sciences have advanced too far beyond the so-called social sciences.  By applying physical science technology, as I explained, toward destructive ends, we are smart enough to destroy ourselves.  The social, so-called sciences, in contrast, are so primitive, we are not smart enough to prevent our own destruction.  And so, the question is how can we prevent the destructive use of the knowledge we’ve acquired in the physical sciences?  And what is the prognosis if we fail?

Well, history has taught us that sooner or later every achievement of the physical sciences is used towards destructive ends.  And as I stated in session one, the greater the progress of the physical sciences, indicated on the left side of this chart, in contrast to the social, so-called, sciences, the greater the progress of the physical sciences, the greater the magnitude of the social crisis.  We’ve reached a point where the entire species is in jeopardy of extinction.  In order to comprehend how we can get out of this crisis, we must first clearly understand how we got into the crisis in the first place.  Why is there such a wide gap between the progress of the physical sciences versus the progress of the social, so-called, sciences?  Because, before you can close the gap, you have to identify correctly what caused it.

Among the physical sciences, a standard of rightness was developed that made it possible to make a very clear distinction between two things, guess what, right versus wrong.  And this criterion of rightness could be employed to determine which hypothesis was an accurate representation of natural principles and which was not.  The standard of rightness we call the absolute standard of rightness.  And by applying this absolute standard of rightness as an intellectual tool, the physical sciences, in just a few centuries, leaped far ahead of the so-called social sciences indicated by this chart.  And one of the principal differences between these two has been the approach to how you determine what is right.  The standard of rightness in the physical sciences has been an absolute standard.

In contrast, the standard of rightness in the social, so-called, sciences has been a relative standard.  For example, the social standards of what constitutes right social action have been relative to many things.  Relative to the time in which you live, for example; one standard of rightness if you lived three thousand years ago, a different standard if you lived three hundred years ago, and a still different standard if you live today.  It has been relative to your age: one standard of rightness for people below a certain age; a different standard of rightness for people above a certain age.  It has been relative to such things as sex.  One standard of rightness for men, another standard for women.  Relative to ethnic origin.  One standard of rightness for Orientals, a different standard for Occidentals.  Relative to culture.  One standard of rightness for the Greeks.  A different standard for the Romans.  Relative to theology.  One standard of rightness, let’s say, for a Hindu, another for a Muslim, a still different one for a Christian.  And, of course, in history we have had a relative standard relative to physical strength.  One standard for the physically strong.  Another standard for the physically weak.

In fact, historically, the social standard of rightness has always been relative.  “Might makes right” has been the prevailing social standard.  One individual or, let’s say, a group of individuals, appoint themselves, or are appointed by others, to establish a standard of rightness for everyone else.  And this relative standard of rightness is imposed by physical force.

This brings us, then, to a discussion of another failure that has led to the present social crisis, the failure to apply an absolute standard of rightness to the basis of the social structure.  Now, ladies and gentlemen, as soon as I introduce this very interesting term, absolute, as soon as you bring the word absolute into the conversation, you’ll be greeted with one of the most common clichés of all time.  Namely, listen, everything’s relative.  Therefore, there are no absolutes.

Well, the popular view, of course, is, well, the only realistic concept of rightness would have to be relative.  I mean, in fact, most people will tell you that everything is relative.  Who’s to say that, you know, one code of rightness is superior to another?  Who’s to say that one code of morality is better than another because morality, rightness, well, these are relative concepts.  Are they?  What do you think?

If the subject is individual behavior, is there such a thing as a right action versus a wrong action?  Is it even possible to have a concept such as an absolutely right action applied to, let’s say, all of man’s actions?  Now, before I can launch into a rational discussion of what is a right action versus what is a wrong action, I have to carefully examine what right means in the physical sciences.  I have to answer this question: is there such a thing as rightness versus wrongness in any domain of knowledge?  In the physical sciences, first of all, does it even exist?  Is there such a thing as an absolute right?  And, if so, what does the term absolute mean?

If there is a rational concept of rightness versus wrongness in the physical sciences, then the next question is can this standard of rightness be successfully applied to determine what is right versus what is wrong in the social arena with respect to individual actions, volitional actions?  Is it possible to develop a standard of rightness that can determine who is right on any subject, anywhere, at any time?   Or is this impossible to do, at least on any scientific basis?  Is it possible to devise a practical standard of rightness to determine when an individual’s actions are right?  Can you determine, let’s say, when the actions of a government are right versus wrong?  When does the government do the right thing?  When do they do the wrong thing?  When are your children right?  When are they wrong?  When are you right?  When are you wrong?  When am I right?  Is anything right?  Does it even matter?  Is the question even worthy of one’s time?

This evening I’m going to be laying the groundwork to answer one of the most significant questions and that is how can you determine who is right without resorting to bloodshed?  How can you identify which position in a particular property dispute is right without resorting to violence?  How can you resolve all controversies over property without initiating catastrophes?

In order to understand the origin of the solution to this problem of what is right, we must turn again to the physical sciences because the concept of absolute rightness was first developed in the science of physics.  The development of this concept finally, the concept of absolute rightness, occurred over a several hundred year period, reaching its full development in the year 1666.  What happened in 1666?  Usually somebody will say, “Well, 1666, oh that was the Battle of Hastings”.  That’s what someone usually says.

No, it was not the Battle of Hastings.  That was 1066.  Anyhow.  1666 is the year that Isaac Newton completed his major work on the universal law of gravitation, the three laws of motion. And I will return in a later lecture to a discussion of the significance Newton’s remarkable accomplishment called the integration of the physical sciences.  Newton’s work represents the culmination to the answer of one of the most important questions in the history of man and that is how do you know you are right in the physical sciences?

Now before I can illustrate the first example of a test for absolute rightness, I would like to address my remarks to those of you who do not have a background in the sciences.  You’ll find there are many, many people today who are literally afraid of science.  This fear may be due to the fact that, perhaps, their science teachers in school did not understand science or, perhaps, they did not know how to teach it effectively or even both.  On the other hand, the science teacher may have been highly competent but, perhaps, you, as a student, simply were not interested in the subject material.  Perhaps the student could not be motivated.  Perhaps, maybe, you failed a science course.  Maybe you did poorly.  As a result, your attitude may be today, well, if it’s got anything to do with science, I know I just possibly couldn’t get it.  It’s science?  No, I just couldn’t get it.

And then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Every time the subject of science comes up, you tune out.  Well, if any of you do fall into this category, my advice is simply stay tuned into what I’m saying.  Don’t black out mentally.  The second and third lectures, in particular, which deal, to a large extent, with science, are very difficult lectures, the two most difficult lectures in this course.   They will be difficult even for those who are Physics majors.  But don’t let this frighten you away.  As I say, starting with Lecture 4, the lectures start getting much easier.  And we’ll continue to come back to these concepts and expand upon them and, in time, your comprehension will grow if you stick with it, even if you have zero background, from an academic standpoint at least, in the sciences.

Secondly, there are many in this room present this evening who are professionals in the physical or biological sciences.  And when I discuss the intellectual foundation of science, you may have a tendency to tune out because you might be thinking to yourself, wait a minute, you know, I had this when I was a freshman in college.  And then you tune out.  Alright, if you, at this time, before I discuss the subject, have the knowledge to clearly articulate the nature of what is called scientific epistemology, if you understand what absolute rightness means in the physical sciences, before I discuss it, which is possible, then I have some outstandingly good news for you.  Because I’m going to demonstrate how to do something you do not know how to do and that is how to apply the physical science concept of absolute rightness outside of physics as an intellectual tool to discover solutions to our principal social problems, the problems that affect society and the problems that affect you directly or indirectly.  In other words, the same standard of absolute rightness that is used to build a successful rocket engine could also be used to build solutions to the principal problems.  I’ve discussed them:  overpopulation, unemployment, inflation, increasing crime, inadequate education, on and on and on.

First of all, let me ask you a few questions on the subject of rightness.  Is an idea right because your father said so?  Does that make it right?  Dad is shaking his head.  Of course.  Is an idea right because the teacher said so?  Is an idea right because it’s printed in a book or because the author is famous?  Is the more famous author more right than the less famous author?  Is the man right because he has, let’s say, a BA or a MA or a Ph.D.?  Is a man with a Ph.D.  more right than a man who has only a MA and the man with a MA more right than a man who only has a BA? And the man with a BA, is he more right than the man who only has a mere high school diploma?  And is the man who finished the third grade more right than the one who flunked Kindergarten?  Is a man with three Ph.Ds more right than the man who has only one?  Would he be three times as right?  Is the man right because he has an esoteric, erudite vocabulary that few people can comprehend?  Is a man right because he’s a dynamic lecturer and the audience sits in rapt attention?  Is the dynamic lecturer more right than the dull lecturer?  Or is it the other way around?

One of the dullest lecturers in history, his lectures were so dull and uninteresting, very few students ever attended his lectures.  His name?  Isaac Newton.  One might, however, ask the question is it possible maybe that Newton’s students were dull, too dull to get the message?  Because all they were hearing in his lectures is the most significant and important disclosures in the history of mankind up to that point in time.  That’s all.

Is a man right because the overwhelming majority of people think he is right?  Is a man right because he’s considered the leading authority in his field?  Is the leading authority more likely to be more right than the so-called authority who’s in third or fifth place?  Is a man right because he feels he’s right?  “I know I’m right.  I have to be right.  I wouldn’t have this view if I wasn’t right”.  Is a degree of rightness relevant to the degree of your confidence in your views?  Does that have anything to do with it?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, you may think I’m belaboring this point but I want to make a large point.  And that is most people use one or more of these, that I have just enumerated, as their personal standard of rightness, on an explicit or implicit basis at least, and they all represent one thing, namely, rightness on authority.  That is right was the authority that I respect says is right.  I’m afraid that’s what most people mean by rightness.  Rightness on authority is a relative standard of rightness.  I will demonstrate that in order for man to progress, we must discover a much more advanced standard of rightness than a mere relative standard of rightness. This more advanced standard of rightness has a name.  We call it simply the absolute standard of rightness.

Now, the first subject I’m going to discuss, in answer to the question how do you know you’re right, or how do you know you’re absolutely right, involves a major intellectual fallacy.  There is a pseudo-intellectual blunder that is accepted by the masses.  It’s even popular in the academic community.  It’s a cliché all of you have heard, namely, “Well, there are no absolutes.  Everything is relative”.

Ladies and gentlemen, the concept of absolute, what it means, is almost universally misunderstood.  A common reason that many people, who may indeed have the ability to think but who assume that there are no absolutes, is due to the fact that most of the things that people call absolute are not absolute.  What is usually called absolute by most people is more likely to be a mere relative.  If you should encounter someone who insists that there are no absolutes, everything is relative, you might ask this question, “Well now, if there are no absolutes as you claim, then how, sir or mam, do you define the term absolute”?

At this point, the average fellow will not continue an intelligent discussion because he cannot define the term absolute.  He cannot articulate what he claims does not exist.  And please recognize his statement is called an internal contradiction.  The statement, “Everything is relative”, that does not allow for exceptions.  That’s tantamount to saying, “Everything is relative.  That’s an absolute”.  I had someone tell me not long ago, “I am absolutely convinced that everything is relative”.    Again, an internal contradiction.

Now there are many reasons why this philosophical fallacy, there are no absolutes, is commonly accepted today. One reason is a general misinterpretation of Einstein’s theory of relativity.  In 1905, Albert Einstein introduced his special theory of telativity, later in 1915, his general theory of relativity.  Ladies and gentlemen, the theory of relativity is not the easiest theory to comprehend.  And many people have erroneously interpreted Einstein’s remarks, or his concept of relativity, by concluding that Einstein is postulating that everything is relative.  On the contrary, not only is Einstein not stating that everything is relative, ladies and gentlemen, he begins the theory of relativity with guess what?  Some of you know.  An absolute.  The velocity of light in a vacuum is a universal constant.  The speed of light in a vacuum is not a mere relative but it is, in fact, an absolute.

A lot of the difficulties in understanding the concept of absolute is that there are very few absolutes in nature.  Almost everything is relative.  There are only a few absolutes that we have been able to identify in all of nature, only a few.  The statement, “Almost everything is relative”, that is correct.  It’s only when the statement is all inclusive, that everything is relative, that you have a major, serious, intellectual blunder.  The entire theory of relativity, ladies and gentlemen, involves the search for absolutes in a universe in which almost every relationship is clearly relative.

I think this would be a good time to present the definition of absolute.  We turn to the physical sciences for our definition.  In physics, an absolute is independent of arbitrary standards of measurement.  An absolute is independent of arbitrary standards of measurement.   Alright, what does this mean?

Well, to illustrate, let’s assume we are measuring, let’s say, two dimensional planes.  Every school child has heard of the mathematical concept called Pi, well hopefully have heard of this.  Do they still teach this in school, anybody know?  Alright.  Yeah. They don’t?  Pi, of course, is a ratio, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the circle’s diameter.  And the ratio is an absolute.  The ratio can be measured in feet, millimeters, rods, furlongs.  Nonetheless the ratio will be the same, 3.14159265…

However, I might also point out, our entire number system is arbitrary and relative.  Our number system, incorrectly called the Arabic numeral system, is based on how many characters or integers?  How many characters or integers is our number system based on?  How many of you know?  It’s based on ten, isn’t it?  Ten integers or characters.

Alright.  I have this question for you.  Why ten?  I wonder if that’s got anything to do with it? Why not eight or twelve or forty-two?  Well, the fact of the matter is our number system is based on ten for no other reason than most men are born with ten fingers and ten toes.  As a matter of fact, if man had been born with twelve fingers and twelve toes, we would likely have a number system based upon twelve.  In fact, for reasons some of you may know, in mathematics we’d be much better off.  Whether or not man as a species would be better off if we had twelve fingers and twelve toes, I can’t really say.

Let me ask you this question to illustrate this point.  What will the ratio of Pi be for a circle with a 6 inch diameter?  What will it be?  Well assuming we’re using a number system based on 10, the Hindu numeral system, since it was not developed by the Arabs but by the Hindus, and so it should be properly called the Hindu numeral system, if we’re using the Hindu numeral system, based on 10, the ratio for a six inch diameter, as you know, will be 3.141.  However, what if we have a 6 foot diameter, what will the ratio be?  3.141. What about a 600 meter diameter?  What will it be?  3.141. The ratio will be the same for all observers, assuming we’re using the Hindu numeral system.  If one is Chinese, what will he get?  3.141. What will a Russian get?  3.141. A Frenchman?  3.141. What will a male get?  3.141. However, what will a female get?  3.141. A nine-year old the same.  A 109 years old, 3.141.  A Catholic, Muslim, Quaker, Druid, 3.141.  Even a Druid will get 3.141.

Man, then, cannot alter or change absolutes that exist in nature.  And yet some time ago, in the state of New York, a legislator introduced a bill to change Pi from 3.14159265…., some of you know that is a transcendental number, it just keeps going on apparently without…or coming out even.  I’m going to change Pi from 3.14159265… to just 3.000000 with an infinite string of 0’s.  Gee, this is a tremendous step forward in mathematics.  Look at the simplicity of this, just one whole integer 3 to factor by instead of this ridiculous number Pi that just goes on and on and on.  It will be much easier for the kiddies to do their math problems.

Well, what if this bill had passed unanimously?  Would this change the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter?  Will it change the ratio?  No.  Let me ask you this question.  What if we assume that Pi is 3.00000, infinite string of 0s, you think we could have gotten to the moon, from the earth to the moon?  How many recognize that we’re not going to make it if we assume Pi is 3, have enough knowledge of physics?  It’s worse than that.  Not only could we have not made it to the moon if you assume that Pi is 3, you can’t even get off the ground.  It’s even worse than that.  You can’t even crash.  In order to crash, first you got get off the ground.  And so, in the case of Pi, what is an absolute is the ratio per se, of itself.

…in the biological world, there are absolutes.  Perhaps some of you ladies will collaborate this.  Conception is an absolute.  For every woman in this room, there are two possibilities at this instant.  One, you are pregnant.  Two, you are not.  That covers all possibilities.  Have you ever met a woman who was, let’s say, 26% pregnant?

“Well, I’m kind of pregnant, you know”?

“No, I don’t”.  It’s black or white.  Either conception has occurred or it has not.  What people think or would like to think or want or don’t want is irrelevant because either it has occurred or it hasn’t.

Even those who concede that there are absolutes in the physical or biological world, they often deny the existence of social absolutes.  And the standard statement is, “Well, why are you making all this fuss about who’s right because rightness is a relative concept.  Everybody’s got a different idea of rightness.  Who’s to say that one idea of rightness is better than another because rightness depends upon the time you happen to be living, your race, the place you happen to be, the culture, the circumstances”.

Well, it may sound like I’m belaboring this point but the survival of the species, Homo sapiens, depends upon our ability to build a science, ladies and gentlemen, in the social domain.  And if it’s going to be a science, it must be built upon a foundation of not mere relatives but upon a foundation of absolutes, few though they may be, just as the physical sciences is built upon a few absolutes.  And that is necessary if we’re going to become smart enough to prevent our own destruction.  And it’s not that I want it that way.  That’s the way it is.  If we’re going to progress in any area of science, if we’re going to acquire useful, practical knowledge, we have to replace the relative standard of rightness with the absolute standard of rightness or there will not be any progress.

With that introduction, I’m going to now illustrate the first example of a test for absolute rightness.  To do this, I would like your cooperation.  And this is the part of the course.  And I would like to know if you have heard…and incidentally, as I go through this illustration, be patient, because you may be wondering, “I don’t get it.  What’s it got to do with anything”?  I’m going through a historical illustration.  It’s very important.  And even though at the time I’m discussing it, you may not understand what’s this got to do with anything, you have to be patient.  I will eventually explain why we’re going through this.

How many have heard…you don’t have to be patient, but it is necessary in order to get value from the illustration.  How many of you have heard of a historical figure by the name of Genghis Khan?  How many have heard of Genghis Khan?  Let’s see a show of hands.  Presumably, most of you.  Well, under Genghis Khan, the Mongol armies of swiftly moving horsemen conquered first, I believe, northern China and then later Turkistan, Persia, Asia Minor.  This man, Genghis Khan, was absolutely ruthless in his destruction of life and property.  As you know, he struck terror into the hearts of people whom he attacked.  Cities that resisted were sacked and destroyed as an example to others.  He controlled more physical territory, probably, than any other time in history.  And, just to give you a little indication of the magnitude of the terror that he imposed upon the world at this time, there was a city in Afghanistan which he had taken called Herat.  And he set up his own military governor in the city of Herat and then moved on to war in other parts of Asia.  And while he was gone, the city folks in Herat decided they weren’t too happy with the military governor that Genghis Khan had appointed.  So they decided to appoint their own and they kicked out Genghis Khan’s appointee.

And so, when news of this reached Genghis Khan, to use a more popular, contemporary expression, he was just a little bit bent out of shape over this insult to his authority.  And so, he goes to the trouble to return with 80,000 men to Herat, storms the walls, and systemically proceeds to kill every man, woman, and child in the city of Herat as a lesson to others.  As a matter of fact, there were only thirty people who escaped this holocaust out of this entire city.  Thirty people.  Incidentally, would any of you be interested in knowing what the population of Herat was before the massacre?  Anyone interested?  Alright, sir.  Are there others of you interested?  Alright.  The population of Herat before the massacre was 1.6 million, a population was somewhere in the general magnitude of 1,600,000.  Thirty escaped.  This took one week of wall to wall, 24 hours a day massacre, systematically killing every man, woman and child.  If you’re interested in the sordid details, this occurred in the year 1232 A.D.. Now, of course, the thirty are allowed to survive.  They were allowed to witness the execution of their own families.  And, of course, they’re eye witnesses, thirty eye witness.  Don’t mess with this guy, Genghis Khan.

Now does that give you a little greater appreciation as to why people are afraid of Genghis Khan?  Alright.  Let me you ask this question then.  Have any of you ever spent a restless night worrying about what Genghis Khan would do to you?  Anyone?  Why not?  Well, the fellow has been dead for over seven hundred years.  The only reason he’s even remembered is that he was a destroyer because he had nothing constructive to contribute.  But everyone in his day remembered him because he was dangerous.  But please note, when Genghis Khan died, what happened to the magnitude of his corrosive power?  It died with him, of course, and from that point forward, he was unable to command one minute of anyone’s time.

The same would hold true for any of these historical thugs, whether it was Attila, King of the Huns – in the last battle between Rome and Attila, the Battle at the Catalonian Plains, there were one million battle casualties, one million killed in that battle.  And these battles usually took about a day.  Other historical thugs – Julius Cesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, more recently Adolf Hitler.  Of these four, measured in terms of coercion, of course, Hitler seems the most important to us because his life has overlapped our lives.  And he was responsible, you know, for the murder of some 30 million people in addition to the World War II battle casualties.  He was responsible for some 30 million deaths.  That’s in addition to the battlefield casualties.

Hitler seems the most important to us because he is from our time.  But as time goes on, these murders will continue to diminish in importance.  I think it’s quite safe to predict that ten thousand years from today, the only people who will have even heard of Genghis Khan will be what people in what profession?  Historian, that’s right.  Remember, we’ve only got a six thousand year record of history at this point.  So in ten thousand years from now, the historians will have to do a major research project to find out this fellow even existed.

Now let me ask you another question.  How many have heard of another historical figure by the name of Archimedes of Syracuse?  How many of you have heard of Archimedes?  Presumably, most of you.  Well, Archimedes lived three times as long ago as did Genghis Khan.  However, Archimedes was a man of much greater significance than Genghis Khan but with this difference.  When Genghis Khan lived, almost everyone had heard of him.  I might point out, ladies and gentlemen, that when you massacre an entire city with a population of some 1.6 million people, even without the benefit of telegraph technology, news will travel fast.  That gets around fast even without telegraph or wireless.

When Archimedes lived, however, there were very few people who ever heard his name mentioned.  But today, probably the same number of people who have heard of Genghis Khan have also heard of Archimedes.  You people have tended to, at least for this room, collaborate that.  If you’ve heard of Genghis Khan, you probably have heard of Archimedes.

Ten thousand years from now, the fame of Archimedes will be far greater than it is today, but at that time almost no one will have heard of Genghis Khan.  The question is why?  Because their fame rests upon two entirely separate and distinct characteristics.  Genghis Khan was a murderer, an attacker, a destroyer of property.  People were aware of him for one reason.  He posed a threat to their very existence.

In contrast, the fame of Archimedes rests not upon his ability to coerce his fellow man, but upon his ability to think.  The ideas that he developed establish him as probably the world’s greatest scientist.  His greatness and his importance rest upon the fact that all of us today are followers of Archimedes.  Everyone in this room is a follower of Archimedes.  If you arrived here this evening in one of those contraptions called an automobile, you’re a follower of Archimedes.  The automobile is based upon certain leverage principles.  One of the many important discoveries of Archimedes includes our understanding, very important concept, called “The Three Types of Leverage”.  There is no machine in the world that does not depend upon leverage principles in one form or another.  If you’ve taken a ride on a boat, you’re a follower of Archimedes.  He developed the principle of buoyancy, principles that explain how a boat can be constructed that will not easily capsize.

The point is the various discoveries of Archimedes are so basic, they are so fundamental, that every person in the world benefits from his discoveries.  It’s true.  Few people realize they’ve gotten any value from Archimedes, fewer still will understand his principles, but when you choose to own an automobile, you choose to accept the principles of Archimedes and you choose, at the same time, you become, actually, you don’t even choose it, you become, whether you recognize it or not, what we call his ideological follower.  You’re following his ideas.  His ideas have a major impact upon your life.  And you’re not forced to make use of the ideas of Archimedes.  You do not even have to follow him.  Archimedes does not impose his ideas upon you in any way, whatsoever.  Why, then, do you follow Archimedes?  Why follow this man?  Why follow his ideas?  You’re actually not even following Archimedes, the man.  You’re following his ideas.  Why do this?  I can think of a very good reason.  It’s profitable and it’s rewarding.

Alright, here is the principal question I was leading to.  What is there about the achievements of Archimedes, about his ideas, that here we stand two thousand years later and it is still very important to make use of his ideas?  What qualitative statement can we make about his ideas?  What do you think?  What kind of a statement, of a qualitative nature, can we make about his ideas?

Well, I can think of one.  He was right.  And the point I’m illustrating here is that absolute rightness is completely independent of time.  The fact that he achieved this two thousand years ago is irrelevant.  It’s completely independent of place.  The fact that this was done in Syracuse, in the Mediterranean, is irrelevant.  The fact that Archimedes is part of a Greek culture, what difference does it make?  Two thousand years later, the ideas of Archimedes are still significant because they were then, and are now, right. Right not simply on a relative basis, but they were then, and are now, right on an absolute basis.  In fact, Archimedes has got a two thousand year track record of zero failure.  His ideas are absolutely right.

I’ve examined here what rightness looks like, absolute rightness looks like, in terms of historical perspective. I’ve illustrated an absolute concept of rightness, one that is completely independent of the observer without respect to time, place, culture.  Alright.  Question.  Is this a means, the historical standard, is it a means ultimately of determining who is right?  Yes, it is.  If you wait long enough, the people who are right will rise to the surface and be clearly visible.  And those who are wrong will sink to the depths of perpetual oblivion and be forgotten forever, ultimately.

Does this historical standard of absolute rightness present any limitations?  Do you see any potential difficulty with it if it is the only standard we have?  You know, afraid so. We have to do a little bit better than this.  We can’t expect to make very much progress in this world if we have to sit around waiting for two thousand years in order to find out who’s right, which hypothesis is right, which is wrong, who knows what he is talking about and who doesn’t.  We don’t even have two hundred years to wait around.

And so, the significant question is how can you determine if an idea is right, a concept is right, a hypothesis is right at the time of disclosure, at the time it’s being innovated or shortly thereafter?

What characteristic of rightness can we identify today that we might predict that in the future, two thousand years from today, the people living at that time will call the concept right?  If you know how to do that, then you’ve got a powerful tool.  And this concept of absolute rightness was developed in physics.  I mentioned the concept reached its culmination in the year 1666, the year that Newton formulated the concept of the universal law of gravitation and the three laws of motion. But the concept of absolute rightness since that time has been applied to what domain of knowledge?  The physical sciences, period. Hence the crisis.

So we have to apply it now to volition in order to get smart at it, to prevent our own destruction.  Simple as that. And for those who are curious, I will explain how to do it.  Alright, if the concept of absolute rightness was first discovered in physics, then what is meant by right in physics?  In the physical sciences, that is right what fulfills two separate, distinct characteristics simultaneously, any proposition that fulfills both of these characteristics will be defined as right. And here it is.

In the physical sciences, that is right which is both true and valid.  This is the standard of rightness that forms the foundation of the physical sciences. Now there’s two possibilities with respect to your comprehension of this standard before I discuss it.  One, you understand it before I discuss it or, two, you do not.  That covers all possibilities.  The measure of your comprehension is your ability to articulate it.  Could you articulate it clearly before I explain it?  Could you have articulated it before I even told you this much about it?  And there are two possibilities. One is yes and the other is no.  But the reason I stress this is the measure of your comprehension of a concept is also the measure of your ability to articulate it.  You clearly comprehend what you can clearly articulate, either verbally or on paper or in application.  Application of a principle is a form of articulation, especially successful application.

Alright.  Maybe a good question at this point is, well, what do we mean in the physical sciences by true?  Is that a good question?  Excellent question.  Alright.  What does true mean?  How do we determine what is true?  What is truth?  Is there agreement on the subject?  Do the philosophers agree on how you determine what is true?  Is there agreement here among the philosophers?  No.  Do historians agree on how you determine what is a true account of history?  No.  Do economists agree on what is a true concept of economics or how you make this determination?  No.  Do educators agree on what is a true concept of education?  Of course not.

Alright.  How many definitions of true is it possible to have?  Could you have a million definitions of true?  Certainly.  Could you have ten million definitions of true?  Of course.  The number of definitions of true, or concepts of true, that you could devise approaches infinity.  Well, how do we know which one to use?  Well, the one we are going to use is the one that has a good track record of success.  That’s the same one they use in the physical sciences.  In the physical sciences, true means that which is observable.  Now, to be sure, this would bring to mind the question what is observable?  Well, that is observable which is perceivable to us through the five senses.  Observation includes any information obtained through the perception of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch.

Then this question arises.  How can you distinguish between these two things, an observation versus a mere hallucination?  It is very important to be able to make a sharp line of demarcation between these two.  I would say the number of people who can do this with consistency is not as great as one might think.

Some years ago, a woman taking V-50 made the statement that during one of her psychology classes in college, suddenly someone came running through the room, jumped up on the table, started waving his arms, screamed out something.  Then the person ran out.  All of this took only a few seconds.  Then the professor calmly asked the class to write down what they’d seen.  What was the person wearing?  What did he say?  What were his physical characteristics?

Then she said, why, when the results were compared, there was virtually no agreement in the class as to what the person looked like, what he was wearing, what he said.  In fact, there was not even any agreement as to the person’s sex.  This is some years ago when you could still tell the difference.  Anyhow, she said…  I’m from the old school.  Viva la difference.  Anyhow, she said, “How can we trust what we’ve seen?  There was no agreement as to the exact details of the event that occurred.  Who’s to say that one person’s description of what took place was more true or more accurate than another person’s description”?

Alright, how would you have answered this woman’s question?  How can we be certain of the truth of our own observations?  Well, there are two classic means in science to determine the accuracy of our observations.  They are repeatability and the use of a non-volitional receiver.

Alright, what if we repeat this classroom exercise?  What if the person runs through the classroom more than once?  What if he runs through ten times, is expected, always wears the same thing, does the same things, says the same thing?  Will the observers then be in greater agreement over what he said, what he looks like, etcetera?  Will they be?  Certainly.  He repeats the experiment again and again.  Each time, you record the results.  But even then, perhaps our imagination may be playing tricks upon us.

The next thing we do is we use a non-volitional receiver.  And an example of a non-volitional receiver might be, let’s say, a motion picture camera.  We record the action of the person running through the classroom on motion picture film.  Then we project the results.  If necessary, we can record the action on a high speed camera, play the entire action back in slow motion.  The value of a camera or a photo-electric cell or a tape recorder is that a brain can hallucinate but not a motion picture camera or a photo-electric cell or a volt meter or a tape recorder.  These things do not hallucinate.  The point is that anything we can see, taste, smell, hear, touch can be repeated again and again for the non-volitional receiver.

Or let’s apply these tests to certain things that occur on a common basis.  For example, let’s say someone has a dream or a vision or what have you that the earth is coming to an end, abruptly, on January 1, 1978, 4PM in the afternoon.  And the individual having this vision, or whatever, says, “If you want to be saved, you must sell all of your worldly possessions, donate everything to charity, and go to this particular rock in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  And if you are standing on top of this rock by no later than January 1, 4PM in the afternoon, 1978, you will be spared total destruction”.  This person has this vision.

First of all, do people have such dreams or visions?  We read about such things all the time. Alright.  How do you deal with this?  Well, the person may be telling the truth or he may not.  As a matter of fact, it’s hearsay.  Unless he can reproduce this vision for others, there’s no way we can determine if what he says is true or not.  The man may have actually had the vision.  He may have reported it exactly how he claimed to have seen it.  A scientist would not say he did not have the vision.  I wouldn’t tell you, or the person, well, you didn’t have that vision or you reported it incorrectly or you misinterpreted it.  I wouldn’t tell him that.  But we cannot call it true, according to science, unless there’s some independent, observational evidence to support it.  The claim cannot be supported.  There’s no means of collaboration.

Do you believe in fire-spitting green dragons?  Have you ever seen one?  I’ve never seen such a dragon.  But does that mean that I can prove that they do not exist?  No, I cannot.  As a matter of fact, that’s a major point.  The purpose of science is never to prove non-existence.  You cannot prove non-existence.  The purpose of science is not to prove what does not exist but to demonstrate what does exist.  Those are not the same.  They’re entirely different concepts.  I’ve never seen a green dragon that breathes fire and smoke.  I will say this, however.  If you bring one to class next week, you will get my attention.  I wouldn’t do it.  The room is not that big.

Let me give you another illustration.  Two thousand years before the time of Galileo, the great Greek scholar, Aristotle, made the following statement.  He said, “Heavy objects fall faster than light objects”.  In other words, if you take a heavy object and a light object and release them at the same time, the heavy object will fall faster.

Alright.  This is a proposition, a generalization.  It can either be true or not true.  How can we test Aristotle’s generalization that heavy objects fall faster than light objects?  How can we test this for truth?  Do it?  Try it?  Good idea.  It just so happens I have with me a couple objects this evening.  In my left hand I have a small cannonball.  It weighs about five pounds.  And in my right hand I have a golf ball.  It weighs about an ounce and a half or so.  Alright.  And actually what Aristotle said was that the rate of the fall is proportional to the weight.  Now this is five pounds.  This is an ounce and a half, 16 ounces to the pound.  So this will clearly fall faster than a cannonball.  I mean the cannonball will clearly fall faster than the golf ball if we release them at the same time.

Now, of course, that’s one possibility.  The cannonball will fall faster.  However, another possibility is that the golf ball will fall faster.  Isn’t that so?  Another possibility is I will let go of them and they’re just hang there.  They won’t go anywhere.  Another possibility is the cannonball does up, golf ball does down.  And so, the way to make this determination, and this is not a minor point, the way to make this determination, there is only one way to be certain.  Try it.  How many of you have tried this experiment?  Let me see a show of hands. How many of you also know this is one of the most important experiments in the entire history of mankind?  That simple little experiment leads to things like this tape recorder and much more.  Going to the moon.  And much more.

Now, it would also be nice if we had a vacuum chamber to release these in, precisely calibrated instruments that release them at the same instant.  But without any of that, I’m going to drop these on the stage.  You watch the fall.  It’s not easy for me to release these at the same instant.  It’s a little difficult but I will do the best I can.  We’re going to test out Aristotle’s generalization on falling bodies. We’ll see what happens.

Within the limitations of our experiment, clearly the cannonball did not fall sixty times faster than the golf ball.  As a matter of fact, they fell at the same rate.  Alright.  Now what do we have?  We have an observed exception to Aristotle’s generalization.  Now, for a good scientist, of course, it’s not enough that we perform the experiment just one time.  Remember repeatability?  We’ll just do it one more time and see what happens.  The first one could have been a fluke.  I’ve never done it on this stage before.

So what this means, among other things, is Aristotle is not looking so good.  Because the true statement, or the true generalization, is that heavy objects and light objects fall at the same rate.  You could have a 100,000 pound cannonball and a feather.  If you had a vacuum chamber, they would fall at the same rate.  How many of you saw an astronaut drop a hammer and a feather on the surface of the moon?  How many saw this experiment?  And what happened?  They landed at the same time because the atmosphere of the moon, although clearly not zero, it has a very rare atmosphere, especially compared to the greater density of our earth’s atmosphere, so the atmospheric resistance was negligible on the surface of the moon and the feather and the hammer landed at the same time.

Please note that the physical science definition of true is completely arbitrary.  Let’s look at it again.  That’s completely arbitrary which means it’s subject to individual will or judgment.  All definitions used in science are arbitrary. All definitions are coined by individual volitional beings.  You do not have to accept or agree with this definition of true.  All definitions in science are used for the specific purpose of precision communication.  If you prefer to use some other definition of true, then do it.  And even though we may have different definitions of true, we can still communicate.  And if I define true, then you know what I mean.  And if you define true, then I know what you mean.  And it is not necessary to argue over every definition.  Someone might define true, for example, as that which the authority I respect says is true.  Fine.  Then I know what he means by true.  As a matter of fact, that’s what most people mean when they say something is true.  It’s true, based on the authority I respect, what he or she says, although most people don’t realize this.  Most people have not independently observed and tested the things that they say are true for truth.

Well, the question arises then, how broadly can the physical science standard of truth be applied?  Can it only be applied to build, let’s say, television sets, 100 story skyscrapers or pop-up toasters?  Is that all this is good for?  Because that is where it has been used almost exclusively.  I will demonstrate in V-50 that the standard of truth based upon observation can be effectively applied to build solutions to the principal social problems.  We have to build upon observation to get results but what if your standard of truth is, let’s say, beyond observation? And what does “beyond observation” mean?  That means you can’t see it.  You can’t hear it.  You can’t feel it.  You can’t taste it.  You can’t smell it.

Well now, if you throw out all of the senses as a source of knowledge, what knowledge can you perceive?  What does knowledge beyond observation mean?  What does it mean?  Well, it means you have no observational or empirical input.  If the mind has zero inputs, then what can the best of minds evaluate?  If there are no inputs going into a computer, then what can the best of computers evaluate?  Zero inputs equals what? Zero outputs.  If you have zero inputs and any outputs at all greater than zero, something is wrong.  The machine is broke.  Essentially, that would involve quackery.

Alright, as I said, if one had the time, he could devise an infinite number of definitions of truth, if you had an infinite amount of time to work on this.  In the last analysis, how do you know if your definition of truth is any good, this one or any number of infinite definitions, how do you know anyone’s definition is any good?  That’s pretty important to know how to test this.  There is an acid test for you.  Ask this question: “Can your definition of truth build an electrical generator that successfully generates electrical energy?  Can your definition of truth result in the discovery of microscopic bacteria?  Can it do that?  Can your definition of truth transport you safely from Los Angeles to New York?  Will your definition of truth enable you to have lunch in Los Angeles and dinner in New York City on the same day, on the same day?  Will your definition of true accomplish that?

Would you say if a definition of true could lead to that, that that might be a useful definition of true?  One that builds tape recorders, rocket engines, electric clocks?  Would that be a useful definition of true, if it could do all that?

Finally, will your definition of true enable you to build solutions to the social catastrophes: poverty, war, riot, inflation, vandalism, famine?

I will demonstrate in V-50 that just as there is only one concept of true that can lead to a technology that will enable us to have lunch in Los Angeles and dinner in New York City on the same day, and true means that which is observable, because that’s the one that has enabled us to do all these things, I will also demonstrate there is only one concept of true that will enable us to ultimately obsolete the international hostility that leads to war and all the other problems.  And that’s the same definition: true means that which is observable.  And I will explain that up to this point in time, prior to this theory, this concept has not been successfully applied on a total basis to the social structure to solve the problems.  One of the things I will accomplish in this course is to explain how to apply it as a total concept to everything.

I think one of the most amazing things about Aristotle’s statement that heavy objects fall faster than light objects is not so much that Aristotle was wrong, I have not brought this up to embarrass Mr. Aristotle. I think this is at least, in my opinion, the second most amazing thing that I know of in all history.  Would any of you be interested in knowing what I think is the second most amazing thing about history, anyone?  Alright, sir.  Thank you.  I know there are more than just one.  The second most amazing thing I even know of, think about this, for two thousand years, that’s a period of time ten times longer ago than was the American Revolution, for two thousand years, no one ever tested Aristotle’s generalization on falling bodies for what?  Truth!  For two thousand years.  Ladies and gentlemen, all they would have had to have done was what?  To test this out.  Was it because they didn’t billions of dollars of money funded for this experiment?  Was it because they couldn’t find any high places where they could drop something?  Or they didn’t have the time or they didn’t have the resources?  Was that the reason?  Ladies and gentlemen, for two thousand years, nobody tried it. And if there was someone who did, they didn’t make anything of it.

Finally, two thousand years later, Galileo and one of his assistants dropped a cannonball and a light shot from the Leaning Tower at Pisa, right off the leaning side.  And guess what happened?  They landed at the same time.  And Galileo repeated the experiment over and over again.  In fact, Galileo repeated this experiment in front of most of the students and faculty at the University of Pisa.  And the students and the learned faculty were so overwhelmed, they were so impressed with this major discovery of Galileo that Galileo was forced to leave the university.  Please note the learned faculty and students are watching them fall from the Tower at Pisa clearly at the same rate.

“This is unacceptable.  Aristotle says heavy objects fall faster than light objects.  This is not acceptable”.

And you do remember the little story I gave you at the end of the first half last week on intellectual honesty?  Another illustration of how deeply rooted is intellectual dishonesty.

Would any of you be interested in knowing what I may think in time will be looked upon as the most amazing thing in history?  Alright, I’ll share it with you.  I’ll make this prediction.  That when freedom is finally established, as a matter of fact, when it is fully established as I defined it – I said freedom is what?  I said when you, as an individual, have liberty, that’s when you have total control of the derivatives of your life called your property, primordial, primary, and secondary property, when you have liberty and everyone else has liberty and there’s not one slave, I said that’s freedom.  When freedom is finally achieved, ladies and gentlemen, this definition I gave you, where everybody has 100% control over his own property, that’s the other way of saying it, when this is finally achieved, people will look back with even greater amazement and they will ask this question:  why did it take six thousand years for man to discover that you cannot solve a single problem with physical force?  Why did it take six thousand years to discover that you cannot help a man by stealing his property?  Why did it take so long to find this out?  And you know what the answer will be?  The same – nobody tried it.  Nobody tried it.  Well, we’re going to try.

And when you do try it, you will find out it works.  In the long run, ladies and gentlemen, freedom is the only thing that will work.  That is true, however, only once the physical sciences are integrated.  If Newton had not integrated the physical sciences and they had not been done subsequently by someone else, there wouldn’t be any crisis.  If your kill technology is bows and arrows and spears, as I’ve already pointed out, I mean,, how many men can the world’s most outstanding spearman spear and kill in one day?  One man.  How many can he kill in one day?  A hundred men in one day?  If you can kill a hundred men with a spear in one day, and they’re fighting against you to keep themselves from getting speared and killed, and you can kill a hundred men in one day, that’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?  But even if you had spearmen, an army of spearmen,  that were that competent at throwing spears, it doesn’t matter because people procreate faster than you can kill them off.

This, as a goal, is only necessary when you have the integration of the physical sciences because shortly thereafter you’ll be smart enough to destroy yourself.  When one man can push a button and wipe out a hundred million people, or we can do this through other means I haven’t even discussed, like bacterial warfare, which is even a greater threat than thermonuclear warfare to the species, and they’re improving the technology all the time, at that point, then freedom must be a goal.  And that is a product of integrating the third domain of knowledge.  We call that domain of knowledge the volitional sciences.

 

Continuing now with the second part of Lecture #2, I’ve explained that the absolute standard of rightness in the physical sciences is that which is both true and valid.  And it is therefore time to discuss the concept of validity.  I will begin with a quotation from the French mathematician, Henri Poincare, who said:

“A science is built up of facts in the same way that a house is built up of bricks.  But a mere accumulation of facts does not constitute a science any more than a pile of bricks constitutes a house”.

Alright, what does this mean?  Of what value is a pile of bricks?  A pile of bricks is in your way.  It’s clutter.  A pile of bricks only have value if and when they are organized in some rational form.  The form could be a brick wall, a brick chimney, a side of a building. That is the only time the bricks have any value.  Prior to that, at best, it’s potential value.  The same thing applies to facts.  You can have a pile of facts but that is not a science.  It’s organized knowledge that makes a science.  Science is actually defined as the totality of organized knowledge.  It doesn’t deal with any particular branch of knowledge.  It deals with any domain of knowledge that can be called organized.  But where does the order come from?

This brings us, then, to the second component of rightness in the physical sciences called validity.  Validity refers essentially to a mental process whereby one arrives at a conclusion. Validity essentially constitutes the totality of the rules of logic. Now, logic itself is a large subject.  We could spend sixteen lectures just on the subject of logic.  We’re not going to do this.  We don’t have the time to do this.  There are books written on the subject although I don’t have one to recommend to you. And from my own experience, much of it is a lot of esoteric gibberish. I will come to the grand test for validity next week anyhow, more significant than anything I will have to say today on the subject.  I’m not going to give you diagramming of syllogisms but I will give you a few syllogisms.  I’m going to give you a very cursory view of the subject.  The grand test for validity, I’ll discuss next week.

Let’s look at a syllogism. And we would like to find out if the conclusion is valid.  We might have a syllogism that has a first premise, a second premise, and a conclusion.  A first premise might say, “Blah”.  The second premise might say, “Blah, blah”.  Therefore, “Blah, blah, blah, blah”.  We would like to know is the “Blah, blah, blah, blah” valid?  The therefore implies, when you even use this term, that you are now reaching some conclusion based on prior premises.

Let’s test this first syllogism for validity.  The first premise says, “All students at Princeton are men”.  The second premise, “John is a student at Princeton. Therefore, John is a man”.  Is this a valid syllogism?   Is the inference valid?  Does it flow from the premises?  Yes, this is a valid syllogism.

Let’s look at a second syllogism.  Test it again for validity.  “All people who graduated from college are always right.  Smith graduated from college.  Therefore, Smith is always right”.  Is this a valid syllogism?  Does this follow?  Yes, this is a valid syllogism.

One thing to learn when you’re testing for validity is always assume that the premises are true.  Whether the premises are true or not is irrelevant if we’re testing only for validity.  You assume them to be true.  They may not be but it’s irrelevant when you’re testing for validity.

Alright, let’s now give you a ground rule that has some value.  And that is, when all of the premises are true and, in addition, the thought process is valid, then the conclusion will be right.  If all the premises are true and, in addition, the thought process is value, then the conclusion will be right.

Let’s now test the first syllogism for rightness.  We’ve already determined that it is valid.  Now what must we do?  Go back and test the premises for what?  Truth, alright?  The first premise is “All students at Princeton are men”?  Is this true?  Well, it was when I made up this slide.  I understand they changed the ground rules at Princeton.  Is that right?  It’s now a co-educational school.  Is that right?  I’d heard that.  What do we do now?  A very simple solution for this problem.  We assume that the ground rules have not changed.  The reason we’re doing this, I don’t have time to redo the slide.  So we assume the first premise is true.

Alright, second premise: “John is a student at Princeton”.  We checked the records.  John is enrolled.  Alright.  The first premise is true.  The second premise is true.  The conclusion is valid.  Therefore, in addition, the conclusion must be what?  Right.  And it is.  It satisfies the ground rule.

Alright, let’s test the second syllogism.  We’ve already determined that it’s valid.  Now we must test the premises to see if they are true.  “All people who graduated from college are always right”.  Is that true?  That is not true or false.  I will define false as the negative of true or not true.  We actually don’t even need the false in science.  All I have to say is not true.  But when I say false, I mean not true.

The second premise: “Smith graduated from college”. That’s true.  We checked the records.  Smith did graduate.  So the conclusion is valid.  The conclusion is valid.  The second premise is true and the conclusion is not right.  It flunks the ground rule because the first premise is false.

We’ll go to one more syllogism, testing it first for validity.  “All Germans were and are philosophers.  Socrates was a German.  Therefore, Socrates was a philosopher”.  Is this valid.  Yes, this is another example of a valid syllogism.  Now we’re just testing for validity, is all.  Because you see something wrong with what you see doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s invalid.  The thought process is valid.

 

Alright, let’s look at the conclusion: “Socrates was a philosopher”.  Is that true?  Yes.  Alright.  The conclusion is valid and the conclusion is true.  The next question is, is the conclusion right?  Does it pass the ground rule or flunk it?  Well, it’s true and it’s valid.  And it’s not right because it flunks the ground rule.  Why?  What must we do now?  Test the premises for truth.  First premise: “All Germans were and are philosophers”?  Is that true?  That’s false.  Some Germans were and are philosophers but not all.  Because some Germans were truck drivers, others butchers, bakers, Stormtroopers, etc..

“Socrates was a German”.  Is that true?  That’s false.  Alright, now there is an interesting syllogism.  The conclusion is true and the conclusion is valid and the conclusion is not right because the first two premises are false.  Now you don’t normally hear somebody say, for example, “Well, I think what you’re doing there, I think your conclusion is true and I don’t think it’s valid.  It’s not right”.

And people use all of these terms interchangeably, mostly, truth, validity, rightness, they use all interchangeable without really understanding what any one of them actually means in any scientific sense.  In other words, there is no precision in their usage.  Just like the word prove is in almost everyone’s vocabulary but what does prove mean?  Most people have not the foggiest idea what prove means in the physical science sense of the term.  I’ll cover that next week.  It’s very important.  Because most people do not know what prove means, that means you cannot prove anything to most all people all the time because they would not know a proof if you hit them over the head with it.  But it isn’t necessary to prove anything to most people.  It’s irrelevant in a scientific sense.  We’ll come to that later.

Alright.  This is a very tricky syllogism, incidentally.  This type of syllogism is essentially designed to trick you into doing something without realizing it and that is accepting two false premises  because you look at the conclusion, that’s valid and that’s true, therefore, the premises must be true.  That’s invalid.  And here’s an example explaining why it is.

Alright.  As I say, we could have gone into this in much greater detail.  It is not really necessary for the purposes of this course.  If you want to pursue it on your own, there are many books on the subject.  The main thing to remember is the ground rule, namely, that if all the premises are true and the thought process is valid, then the conclusion will be right.

Alright.  We’re building a science called volition.  The etymology of volition, it’s a Latin term, volo, meaning “I will”, from the verb, velle, meaning “to will”.  And volition is defined as the act of willing or choosing.  In view of the fact that the entire modern world of our physical technology is built upon the standard of truth plus validity, if it’s been that successful, then essentially we’re saying why don’t we apply it also to the third science called volition?  I think this would be a rational approach but perhaps I should define rational.  Rational means, that is rational, ladies and gentlemen, which is both true and valid.  Rational, essentially, means the same thing as absolute right in physics.  In other words, rational means all the premises are true and the thought process is valid.  A rational action is simply any action based upon true premises and valid thought processes.  A rational person is one who strives always to employ rational thought processes.  In other words, arriving at conclusions based on true premises and valid thought processes.

To be rational does not mean, however, that you have to be 100% perfect.  To be rational does not mean that you have to be a cold fish.  To be rational does mean that you cannot express warmth or love or affection.  A rational man or woman simply bases the important decisions of his life upon true premises and valid thought processes.  Everyone will make mistakes.  Everyone will commit errors.  How do you avoid error?  Don’t ever attempt anything.  That’s the biggest error you could make.  As a matter of fact, that’s a great tragedy.  Many people are so fearful of committing error, they never do anything and their life becomes an endless error.  Their whole life becomes an error because they’re afraid of failure.

A rational striving individual, when he discovers that he is in error, will recognize that it is always in his interest to rectify that error.  An intellectual is simply one who always strives toward rationality.  And I think this would be a good time to discuss the four types of intellectuals.  It’s very important to have a sharp line of demarcation among these four.  The four types of intellectuals are the genuine intellectual, the pseudo intellectual, the part time intellectual, and the compartmentalized intellectual.

The genuine intellectual, although not perfect, he may or may not have gone to school, but in any event, he strives to base conclusions on true premises and valid thought processes.  He may or may not have gone to school.

The pseudo intellectual, a very common type, the pseudo intellectual may have the external trappings and façade of intellectualism.  He may have, for example, a sophisticated, esoteric vocabulary that he commonly uses.  He may have all the proper buzz words.  If you ask him to define his terms, though, he’ll commonly come unglued.  The pseudo-intellectual, for example, may have this posture.  He’s always trying to impress you with his academic credentials.  You may walk into his office and the walls are smeared with diplomas and certificates of every shape and variety and size.  Perhaps even all properly framed in non-glare glass.

Now do not misinterpret what I said.  Simply because a professional, for example, has diplomas on his office wall does not mean he is a pseudo-intellectual.  I did not say that.  I did not say that.  I did not imply that.  But the more an individual seeks to impress you with his academic credentials, the more he makes of it, the more likely you are dealing with a pseudo-intellectual.  For example, a genuine intellectual in the field of the physical sciences was Albert Einstein.  You look up a book by Einstein, turn to the title page perhaps, and it does not give the title of the book, written by Herr Professor Doctor Albert Einstein, Ph.D., doctor this, honorary degree.  That would take pages and pages to list, perhaps, his various honorary degrees and certificates.  All it says is the title of the book by Albert Einstein.  At least all the ones I’ve seen.  From that, you wouldn’t even know he went to Kindergarten.  And if you can develop the theory of relativity without going to school at all, it’s irrelevant, isn’t it?

Alright.  Then we have the compartmentalized intellectual.  Albert Einstein was one of those.  That’s very common among those in the physical sciences.  They use their knowledge of rightness on a compartmentalized basis.  And either they believe, well, you can’t apply this outside of physics, which is a common position among those in the physical sciences, so they don’t even try.  Or if they think it can be done, then they will admit that they don’t know how to do it.  Although most of them would say you can’t do it.

In the field of the physical sciences, Albert Einstein was one of the giant intellectuals of all time.  But outside of the physical sciences, he did not apply truth and validity as a standard effectively.  So we have the four types of intellectuals:  genuine, pseudo, part time, compartmentalized.

It’s important to recognize that the standard of rightness, truth plus validity, is simply an intellectual tool that’s employed to discover the nature of the universe.  There’s a very practical reason to use the tool.  It gets results.  You simply cannot build anything useful on a false premise.  You cannot build anything useful on an invalid thought process.  You can’t do it.  I can’t do it.  Nobody can do it.  It’s never been done and never will be done.  So forget it.  The only reason to forget it is you can’t do it.

Let’s put some precision now into the term wrong.  Wrong implies that it is not right.  Not right implies either the premises are not true or the thought process is invalid or both.  The standard of rightness based upon truth and validity is an absolute standard.  That means it’s independent of your likes or dislikes.  A standard of rightness in physics has a mountain of collaboration to support its position as a true absolute.  The entire modern world of technology is a derivative of this most useful standard.  Incidentally, if one rejects the standard of true + valid = right, then, to be honest, you should reject everything built on that standard.  Turn in your television set, the refrigerator, the automobile, the pop-up toaster.  All of these are derivatives of true + valid = right.

Well, the next all important question is will it work effectively outside of physics?  Can you use the same standard in the social domain?  Can you use this to determine when a man’s actions are right?  Can we extend the absolute standard of rightness in physics to the social domain?  This concept of rightness works in physics.  Physics, of course, is a subject that deals with the nature of physical phenomenon.  And because the phenomenon is physical, it’s easier to make predictions about physical phenomenon.  Physics is the simplest subject there is.  For example, if a stone is at rest and it has no outside forces acting upon it, it will remain where?  At rest.  If the stone moves, there can be only one reason.  There is some force or forces acting upon the stone.  And if we know the forces acting upon the stone, we can predict, for example, where and when the stone will land or where it’s going to be at a given time.  In physics we can make accurate predictions about future events if we know the forces acting upon a plan.  We can predict where it will be at a given time.  We can make predictions of lunar eclipses, solar eclipses with amazing accuracy.

But beyond the obvious fact that both a man and a stone are composed of matter, they don’t really have very much else in common.  A principle distinction is that a stone does not have volition.  A stone cannot exercise choices.  A stone cannot determine where it will land.  Once in motion, the stone cannot alter its own course.  But a man does have volition.  A man can exercise choices.  A man can determine his course of action or not action.  And so, you can predict accurately and consistently the course that a stone in motion will follow but what you cannot predict accurately and consistently is the course of action that a man will follow.

For example, where are you going to be on January 1, 4PM in the afternoon, 1978?  Where are you going to be?  On the rock?  Who’s going to be on a rock?  Maybe I better not ask for a show of hands.  Incidentally, if you’re standing on that rock at 4PM on January 1, 1978, you just flunked Lecture #2.  It’s a good way to measure the flunk rate.  Anyhow.  Well, where are you going to be tomorrow afternoon at 4PM?  That’s easier.  I have a doctor’s appointment.  I’ll be at the doctor’s office.

You may have a doctor’s appointment at 4.  But does that necessarily mean you’ll be at the doctor’s office at 4?  Well.  Your automobile might break down on route to the office.  You might change your mind at the last minute.  The doctor may have to cancel the appointment because he’s sick.  You could get lost on the way.  You could get stuck in a traffic jam.  Or any number of other things can determine that you may not be there at four, correct?

Well, many things will happen to you in the future that you will not be able to accurately predict.  Well, if you cannot even predict your own future, how could someone else, some external observer, predict it for you?  Therefore, there is a very important distinction between the science of physics and the science of volition.  Physics explains the nature of non-volitional, inanimate phenomenon.  The science of volition explains the nature of volitional, animate phenomenon.

Physics is a simple subject due to the fact that in physics, in physics, it is much easier to observe accurately cause and effect relationships.  For example, in physics, you’re not concerned with a question such as, “Well, I wonder if it’s proper for the planet earth to revolve around the star called the sun”? Or “I wonder if it’s moral for the earth to move in an elliptical orbit around the sun”?  You see, it’s enough in physics that you can prove that the earth moves in an elliptical orbit, whether this is moral or proper is not even a factor of consideration because morality, proper conduct, ethics, these are not subjects that are dealt with in the volitional domain.   I’m sorry, in the physical domain.  In other words, in physics we are not concerned with ethics, morality, and so forth.  But in volition, we are.  Physics is an amoral subject.  There’s two words not to confuse.  Immoral means not moral.  Amoral means morality doesn’t apply.  Physics is amoral.

Alright.  How do you apply the concept of absolute rightness to volition?  There have been those who have tried this, even those in the physical sciences have attempted to apply their knowledge of the physical sciences to volition.  For example, a physicist might begin in the following way.  He might say, “All men should think and act rationally.  All men should base their conclusions on true premises and valid thought processes”.  He says this is where we should begin.

Well, that’s all very nice but it’s a fact that all men do not base their conclusions on true premises and valid thought processes.  As a matter of fact, they are the exception.  So what are you going to do then?  “Well”, says the physicist.  “In that case we have to make the fellow do what he’s supposed to do.  You will think and act rationally”.

However, that presents a problem.  How do you make somebody think and act rationally?  This cannot be done through force.  So it doesn’t work.   So there are problems connected with the application of this whole concept to the social structure.  And this course explains, however, how to solve the problem.  And much of the solution will be presented in the first three lectures. Part of a solution has got something to do with our understanding of a concept called semantic precision.

Part of the solution has got something to do with our understanding of a concept called semantic precision, not to be confused with just a subject called semantics.  The term semantic is a Greek term, “semantikos”, which means significant meaning.  If you comprehend, ladies and gentlemen, just a few basic terms in this course, and you understand precision, I claim you will be capable of a communication level higher than anything you considered possible.  However, I should offer a word of caution here.  Simply learning to communicate, per se, does not solve a single problem.  None of man’s problems will be solved if this is all you accomplish.  A popular fallacy today is people say, “Well, if we could just learn to communicate, why we could eliminate war, international conflict, internal conflict”.

That is total nonsense.  The ability to communicate, per se, of itself, even with precision, solves nothing.  On the one hand, semantic precision by itself is an essential component of a solution, but it is only a component.  By itself, it solves nothing.

And I’m also emphasizing the importance of semantic precision because many people think, especially in the early sessions of V-50, well, why are you wasting my time with all these definitions?  Let’s get on with it.  I’m a busy man or woman.  I don’t have time for this.  Let’s get on to the main meat of this, main point of this.  What many people want is a kind of summary in twenty-five words or less.

Sure.  Would you like me to give you a summary of the theory of relativity in twenty-five words or less?  It’s easy: E = mc².  Now that you got that, we’ll go on to another subject.  It takes a little more than knowledge of what each of those terms in that equation represent, a little more than that to understand the theory of relativity.  That’s a ten or fifteen-year concentrated investment in physics or mathematics and then, maybe, you might have some comprehension of that theory.  Maybe.  Anyhow.  Without a foundation of semantic precision, communication approaches zero.  And that’s where the level of communication is for most of the four billion people on this planet.  Their ability to communicate with precision approaches zero.  It’s one of the things we’ll be illustrating in this course.

And that applies to both classes.  I’ve already mentioned the two classes.  Did I mention that last week?  There are two classes of people?  Did I mention it last week?  Two classes of people: one, those who have gone to school.  Two, those who have not.  Did I mention that to you last week?  Alright.  Now you know about the two classes.  Incidentally, someone said there are basically two classes of people: those who divide everybody up into two classes and those who do not.

You will find that most of your thinking is verbalized.  If your native tongue is English, you will likely think in the English language.  Your thinking is verbalized.  There’s some vocalized.  Not all of your thinking has to be.  For example, if your field is physics or mathematics, you may think in terms of schematics or equations, but even behind these basic fundamental terms, equations and so forth, there is still some basic verbalization.  You can see an equal sign and your mind can say equal or not equal or less than or greater than and so forth.  And we have specific terms that represent these concepts in mathematics and science.

Alright, if we think with language, what happens, if our semantics, the various terms we use, what if our semantics are muddled, confused, and imprecise, what can we then say about one’s thinking?  In a like manner, so will our thinking be muddled, confused, and imprecise.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why most people have muddled, confused, and imprecise thinking.  Because the terms that they use, the language they use, is imprecise.  There’s no precision.  I’ll be illustrating, especially today and next week, without semantic precision, you cannot have precision thinking and there’s no exception.  And that applies to both classes: those who went to school and those who did not.  There is no exception.

Other clichés you should watch out for, a common one, you ask someone, “Define your terms sir (or mam)”.  And commonly you’ll get back, “Well, that’s only semantics”.  You’ve heard this cliché?  That’s only semantics?  Hmm, well.  Anyone who tosses out this cliché has immediately admitted he doesn’t know what he is talking about.  Because if he knew what he was talking about, he could define his terms.  And the cliché, “that’s only semantics” is a defense mechanism.  He doesn’t want to admit that he’s been exploded and he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Remember that definitions in science are always arbitrary.  That simply means somewhere, sometime, someone coined the definition.  A definition is defined in order that the one coining the definition can communicate.  And the only time you should ever use somebody else’s definition is if you think it’s useful.  And this is how you can avoid so-called hang-ups on definitions.  If an individual, for example, does not like a given definition, then he can define the term to his liking.  But if two parties cannot agree upon a particular definition, if they both define their terms, both of them, even though they disagree, they can still communicate.  If you don’t like Isaac Newton’s definition of force, the same definition of force that built this tape recorder, that enables us to go to the moon, if you don’t like Newton’s definition of force, than define it your own way.  Fine.  But then you might also ask yourself this question. Will your definition of force build tape recorders?  Will it get you to the moon?  Etcetera.

Another difficulty we have with communication is that too many people own dictionaries.  I won’t ask for a show of hands.  I’m sure many of you own a dictionary.  And there’s a great catastrophe.  Most people do not understand the principal function of a dictionary and that leads to great problems.  What is the principal function of a dictionary?  You know what most people believe?  That the purpose of a dictionary is to define words.  That is a major intellectual blunder.  What is the principal function of a dictionary?  To record something.  What?  To record common usage of a language.

What happens is someone will look up some particular term in the dictionary, perhaps even an unabridged dictionary, and they will read the definition.  This is the definition.  And there’s a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder and it’s etched in stone.  It says right here.  That ends all argument on the subject.  Here’s the definition, right here.

No, ladies and gentlemen.  The purpose of a dictionary is to record usage.  If it happens to be, for example, a great, big, fat dictionary, like an unabridged dictionary, in addition to recording the common usage, it will also record the uncommon usage which might be the archaic usage; this is what the term meant in Elizabethan England.  Or the esoteric usage; this is what it means in biology this is what it means in art, this is what it means in geology.  Esoteric, in other words, implying peculiar to a specific domain of knowledge, not generally known to people outside of a field.  That’s esoteric.  Secondary functions of a dictionary  might be to standardize pronunciation, spelling, and so forth, but its principal function is record common usage and then uncommon usage, in that order.

Other problems that the dictionary impose.  This is a frightful one I’m sure you have all encountered.  You look up a term in the dictionary.  You carefully read the definition.  And then you notice that there are several terms in the definition that you’d like to look up.  So it occurs to you, well, let’s look these terms up and find out what they might mean.  Invariably, you look those terms up and guess what happens?  The very term you first looked up now pops up in the definition of the second word you looked up and you’re right back where you started from.

There’s a name for this.  It’s called circularity.  You just keep going around and around and around.  Essentially, a dictionary is a study in circularity and imprecision.

In science, ladies and gentlemen, we actually have no room for synonyms.  If you have a science, you cannot afford changing definitions.  You cannot afford duality, ambiguity. The definition, to be a useful one, must have one, single, unique, – there’s a term people sloppily use, unique comes from uni meaning one, one only, no other, just one, unique, single, lone, precise meaning.   That’s what a definition in science should look like.  And here’s what it looks like from a graphic standpoint.  You draw a very sharp line of demarcation around the territory which is being defined by the term.  And you separate that from what?  Everything else in the entire universe.  So that it has one, single, lone, unique meaning.  In addition, of course, the definition should be observationally corroborable. In other words, it should be true or fit reality.  It should be a useful and consistent part of the total structure of the science.

Alright.  I’ve given you a cursory statement on the subject of semantic precision.  To understand that brief discussion of the subject, I claim you’ll get more out of that than you could by reading a dozen books on semantics.  What the so-called semanticists do not comprehend is the part that is significant and that’s the precision part, the semantic precision.  We learned that concept in the physical sciences.  Without it, there’s no science because everyone is in the dark as to what everybody’s talking about all the time on all subjects until you have precision.

Now, as I promised you, I’m going to be coming to a discussion, in the second half, of absolute morality.  Even more than that, I will discuss absolute rightness as a total concept applied to volition.  However, in order to do that, I want to reiterate the concepts of property that I discussed in Session 1.  And since there are a number of people present who did not hear Lecture 1, I want to reiterate for their benefit the meaning of property in order to prepare the way for absolute morality; also for the benefit of those of you who were here last week in Session 1; I will also reiterate these concepts.

The entire science of volition is structured upon one single definition, this definition of property.  Property is the individual volitional being’s life and all non-procreative derivatives thereof.  You might take note of the fact that this is not a definition of property that you will find in a dictionary.  You look up property in any unabridged dictionary, you will not find this definition.  In fact, someone might even say, “Well, that’s not property”.

We mean one thing by property.  There it is, right there, on the screen.  This is a departure from other concepts of property that have come down to us.  Historically, in fact, we have failed to identify the exact nature of property.  We’ve failed to precisely answer the question what is property?  And so, individual volitional beings generate property.  Property is a product of individual volitional action.  Individuals take actions that bring property into existence.  Property, your property, is simply any derivative of life, excluding your children.  And property begins with life itself, called primordial property, the biological derivative of life.  Who is the owner of your life, your primordial property?  You are.  If you do not own your own life, then who does?  If someone other than you is the owner of your life, we have a name for that.  That’s called slavery.

The first derivatives of your life are actions, thoughts, beliefs, ideas, innovations.  We call this primary property, the intangible derivatives of life.  And the second derivatives of life, the tangible derivatives: food, clothing, hammers, automobiles, pop-up toasters.

It’s important to emphasize, when I say property, I mean more than just these tangibles because, if every time I use the term property, your computer prints out property, property, well let’s see, tables, hammers, automobiles, hair dryers, diamond rings, yachts, if every time I say property, you think tangible, you’ll miss the entire point of this course.  Secondary property is the least important form of property anyhow, for reasons which I will discuss later.

Building upon the definition of property, I gave you a definition of stealing which is the seizure of an individual’s property without his permission, or more simply stating the concept, stealing is simply the taking of a man’s property without his permission; man generic for either sex.  The definition of stealing depends upon the prior definition of property.  The object of theft is always property.  The only thing that is possible to steal is property.  And again, to reiterate, some of the consequences of theft.  If a thief steals your automobile, you have been enslaved.  The thief now enjoys the benefit of your automobile, not you.  You are not voluntarily serving the thief.  Therefore, you are involuntarily serving the thief.  And so, the theft of any property always place the victim into a state of involuntary servitude.  Therefore, all thieves are enslavers.  All thieves are slave masters.

I gave you illustrations of this.  The chemist has his formula stolen without his permission.  It’s sold to a textile firm for half a million dollars.  Even though the chemist, he does not have a chain around his neck, he’s in a state of involuntary servitude.  His ideas are being used without his permission.  That’s his primary property.  And he’s just as much a slave as if he were in a prison. I gave you the definition of slavery: the control of the individual’s property without his permission.  We’ll come back to the subject of slavery later.  I will just make one statement on the subject.  Slavery represents the optimization of incompetence.  Therefore, in addition…well, I’ll come to the subject of morality in a moment.  That’s what I want to discuss now.

Absolute morality, a major subject, a seemingly impossible subject to derive on any rational basis.  How can you determine if a man’s actions are moral on an absolute basis?  What does moral versus immoral mean?  On the subject of morality, one could assume three broad positions:

  1. Every volitional action is moral.
  2. Every volitional action is immoral.

However, if you assume every volitional action is moral, or every volitional action is immoral, than, in either case, the concept of morality would be meaningless, I presume you recognize. It would be meaningless.  The only remaining position is some volitional actions are moral, some are immoral.  The question is how can you make a distinction between the two with precision?  Can you identify absolute morality versus relative morality?

Now one of the immediate problems we encounter in dealing with this question, at least on a scientific basis, involves the conflict that arises between individuals over what is good.  For example, what is a good action?  Or what is good music?  Is there agreement on the subject?  What do you think?  What is good music?  I like, personally, certain chamber pieces from the Baroque period, like, oh maybe,  J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra or Antonio Vivaldi’s well-known Four Seasons.  However, the innovator of this course, Professor Galambos, would call this bad. As a matter of fact, if it’s Baroque, he pretty much calls it bad.  He doesn’t like anything Baroque, Baroque architecture in particular, although I can pretty much live without most Baroque architecture.  As far as the music of Vivaldi and other Baroque writers, that’s another matter.

In the domain of food, I prefer, in general, fish to beef.  On the other hand, Professor Galambos will go out of his way to avoid one hundred percent of all fish.  If it’s got anything to do with fish, he will have nothing to do with it.  As a matter of fact, if I should ever have dinner with Professor Galambos, knowing his view on the subject, I don’t even have a tuna fish sandwich.  No fish.

Well, now, all of this indicates something that you must have recognized long ago.  And that is what each individual calls good is relative to his frame of reference.  Good is whatever an individual voluntarily chooses or prefers.  Good means any phenomenon, process, action, event, condition that an individual voluntarily chooses or prefers.  To illustrate, let’s say a man with three shirts considers the transition of going from three to four shirts.  Alright, most men would call this transition, from three to four, good, especially if you live in a society where it’s common to wear shirts.

To another man, one of the highest concepts of good would be to knock down ten sticks, twelve times in succession for a perfect score of 300.  Such a man might spend thousands and thousands of dollars, thousands and thousands of hours trying to knock down ten sticks with a ball, twelve times in a row.  Am I right?  Yes.

To another man, good is to own one each of every hubcap of every automobile, foreign and domestic.  Where do you find these hubcaps?  Oh, they’re all over.  Parking lots are filled with these.  And you see one, you don’t have it in your collection, you look around and pull out a screwdriver and pop it off, stick it under your coat and run home and tack it up on the wall with the rest of your hubcap collection.

However, maybe you have your 1941 Cadillac parked out there.  And you come out and three of the hubcaps are missing.  If that’s your 1941 Cadillac, and those are your hubcaps, the probability is remote that you will call this good, the three missing hubcaps.  And it may not be the easiest thing to replace, a 1941 hubcap.  Am I right?  So there’s a disagreement over what’s good.

Let’s say you own a farm.  Your farmhouse and barn were built by your great-grandfather but it’s now going to be all demolished without your permission in order to build a road right through the barn and the house.  You call this bad.  The people demolishing your house, without your permission, call this good.  They might even say, as the bulldozer smashes through your house, this is in the interest of progress.

Alright.  We have a problem then.  If everyone’s concept of good is relative and frequently in conflict, then how can we effectively deal with the conflict?  How can we resolve the conflict?  How can we resolve disputes over what is good without violence?  If you can’t do that, the species will perish.  That’s why we have to learn how to do this.

The solution to this problem has got something to do with the development of a seemingly impossible concept called absolute morality.  And to prepare the way for the solution, I will give you a new definition.  It will be the definition of coercion.  Coercion is any attempted and intentional interference with property.

Now this definition of coercion I’ve given you is not a relative definition of coercion but, rather, it is an absolute definition.  Whenever you have any volitional being interfering with the property of another, when it’s intentional interference with property, you have coercion.  It doesn’t matter whether the person doing the coercing is one age or another age, one sex or another, whether they went to school, whether they flunked Kindergarten, whether they’re intelligent, unintelligent, live in this culture, live at this time, it’s totally irrelevant.  It’s still coercion.

Now we’ll give you a very important definition that will enable us ultimately to bridge this gap between the physical sciences and the so-called social sciences.  It is a definition of absolute good.  Anything is an absolute good that is a relative good to at least one person but does not involve the exercise of coercion upon another.  Anything is an absolute good that is a relative good to at least one person but does not involve the exercise of coercion upon another.  Another way of stating this, an absolute good is simply any non-coercive action that the individual prefers.  Or you could call that an absolute good action.

Another way of stating this, an absolute good is simply any non-coercive action that the individual prefers.  Or you could call that an absolute good action.

Now let’s see if we can test certain actions to determine if those actions are absolutely good or only relatively good.  Let’s say a man is loafing on the beach, alright, watching the sunset.  Is that an absolute good or a relative good?  Well, nominally, it’s an absolute good.  However, we don’t quite have enough information yet.  What is the critical question that must be answered in order to determine if his actions of loafing on a beach watching a sunset is absolutely good or relatively good?  What must we know?  Whose beach is it?  Is that a critical question?  Indeed.  Because if this fellow, maybe he just climbs right over the fence, right over the no trespassing sign, he’s on your beach without your permission.  Trespassing involves coercion.  And so his actions are relatively good but not absolutely good by definition.   On the other hand, if it’s his beach, fine.  If it’s your beach and he’s there with your permission, that’s fine.  It would be an absolute good.

Alright.  How about another action – let’s say shooting pool in River City or anywhere else.  Alright, shooting pool, is that an absolute good or a relative good?  Well, of course, generalizing now from the first illustration, what question must we ask?  Whose pool table is it?  Does that make a difference?  Indeed.  Because if he’s just smashed his way into the pool hall, using the pool table without the permission of the owner, that’s a relative good but not an absolute good.  If he stole the pool table, that’s not an absolute good.  But if it’s his pool table, or he goes into the pool hall, he pays his $1 an hour, whatever they charge for the usage to hit balls with sticks and so forth – do you ever think about how much energy is pursued in hitting balls with sticks or hitting sticks with balls?  I kind of mentioned in Session 1 something about that being the national pastime, didn’t I?  Hitting balls with sticks.  Anyhow. How about stealing hubcaps?   That’s a relative good but it could not be an absolute good because that involves coercion.

I will give you a critical question that we call, essentially, we call this concept the universal can opener, and it asks this critical question, namely, whose property is it?  In order to determine whether the action is absolutely good or relatively good,  all you have to determine is whose property is it and is the action being taken with the owner’s permission or not?  And there’s two possible answers.  One is yes and the other’s no.  And that covers all possible answers.

I like to point out, then, that a subjective good is simply a relative good that does not involve coercion.  It doesn’t mean that you have to call it good.  For example, you don’t have to enjoy the music of Vivaldi simply because I do.  And this form of music will never likely be popular.  You don’t see something by Vivaldi on a jukebox, or likely.

Absolute good is not the same as universal good.  If everybody likes the music of Vivaldi, that’s a universal good.  But that’s, as I say, not likely.  All that’s involved is the individual thinks it’s good and then the good does not involve coercion.  It becomes an absolute good.  It’s as simple as that.

Alright.  Another question.  What is a moral action versus an immoral action?  Is there any agreement on the subject?  Do philosophers agree on this?  No.  Theologians agree on this?  No.  There’s virtually no agreement on what constitutes a moral versus an immoral action.  Are you aware of this?  Virtually no agreement at all.

Alright. I will give you now the definition of absolute morality, a seemingly impossible concept to devise or derive on any rational scientific basis.  Nevertheless, here it is.  Morality, or absolute morality, is the totality of absolute good.  Since morality deals with the totality of volitional actions, that is, any action you choose to take, a moral action, more simply stated, is simply any volitional action that does not involve coercion.  As simple as that.   This is an absolute standard of morality.  It’s a simple concept.  Either a man’s volitional actions attack the property of another or they do not.  Either Smith stole an automobile or he didn’t.  Either he robbed a bank or he didn’t.  Either he trespassed or he didn’t.  So either a man’s actions coercively interfere with the property of another or they do not.  There are no gray areas. Absolute morality, as defined, is a black and white concept.

A common objection to this concept is, “Well, clearly you’ve oversimplified”.  I’ll deal with that next week, the subject of oversimplification.  There’s a major, giant, horrendous philosophical blunder connected to the cliché, “You’ve oversimplified”.  The whole concept is alien to science.  I’ll come back to that next week, the fallacy of the cliché “You’ve oversimplified”.

Now that we have an absolute standard of morality, that is moral which is absolutely good, you can test any volitional action of any individual, anywhere, at any time, and determine whether the action is, one, moral, two, immoral.  Immoral is defined as not moral.

And now that I’ve introduced you to the concept of absolute morality, or just morality, I’ve laid the foundation for an even more lofty concept than morality and that is absolute rightness.  Let’s look at that concept.  I’ve already said that absolute right in physics means that which is true and valid or all the premises are true and the thought process is valid.

Since that is such a useful concept, we’ll retain it.  Here’s what absolute rightness looks like for the third science, volition.  We retain truth, plus we retain validity, plus we add to that the concept of absolute good.  That equals absolute right for the third science, volition.  And since truth and validity is the same as rationality, then absolute good is morality, the logical equivalent is, that is absolutely right for the third science, volition, which is both rational and moral.

Further, I would like to illustrate that absolute rightness is a more lofty concept that transcends in importance either rationality by itself or morality by itself.  For example, a man’s actions may be completely moral but that does not mean that they are necessarily rational.  To illustrate, a man goes bowling to cure his asthma.  Now assuming that he does not have a psychosomatic induced case of asthma; further, we’ll assume, that the bowling alley is surrounded by a field of goldenrod and the pollen is sucked up in the air conditioning system and permeates the effluent air in the bowling alley, which is aggravating his asthmatic condition, what’s the probability that, by going bowling, he can cure his asthma?

Alright, first of all, is this a relative good?  Yes.  He pays for the use of the bowling alley.  Is it then an absolute good?  Yes.  Therefore, his actions are moral.  Alright, so we know they’re moral.  Are his actions rational?  In the domain of rationality, I think you can see his actions leave much to be desired.  And so, his actions are moral and not right because they are irrational.  Rightness transcends either morality by itself or rationality by itself because it includes both of these as a component and therefore it will always be a more lofty concept.  In other words, the problem is how many sticks must he knock over before he can cure his asthma?  Another is remission will not come from knocking over these sticks with a ball or any other way.

Alright, what is the difference between absolute rightness versus relative rightness?  The concept of absolute rightness applied to the social structure is a complete departure from the past.  And you should recognize that simply by calling something absolute does not mean that it’s truly absolute in the physical science sense of the term absolute.  Historically, the prevailing institutions have always assumed that their positions were absolutely right.  But if you comprehend the scientific concept of absolute, in other words, that which is independent of any arbitrary standard of determination…actually, I should give you the definition of absolute for volition which I think I did not give you.  I’ll go back to that.  In physics, I gave you this definition of absolute: that which is independent of arbitrary standards of measurement.  For volition, we have the same concept but we change one word, the last term, measurement, is changed to determination.  Well, the third science volition and absolute is that which is independent of arbitrary standards of determination.  We simply use the term determination because it applies more effectively to volitional actions and measurement applies more effectively to physics and non-volitional actions.

Another way of stating what the absolute concept means is the same for all observers.  All observers, for example, using the Hindu numeral system will come out with a ratio of 3.141 for the concept called Pi.  It’s the same for all observers.  Alright.

You recognize, if you look at history, that the historical standards of rightness applied to man have been, in fact, relative, though they were called absolute.  Calling it absolute doesn’t make it absolute.  Calling it science doesn’t make it science.  A tragedy has been that the relative standard of rightness has been imposed upon the individual either through force or fraud.  Since morality is traditionally looked upon as a theological subject, where does absolute morality fit into, let’s say, theological morality?

You’re all familiar with the Decalogue or The Ten Commandments.  One of those well-known statements is “Thou shalt not steal”.  All of you have heard this before?  Alright.  What does that mean, “Thou shalt not steal”?  I’m for that but what does it mean?  Is there any way to know?  Is there a glossary of terms that accompanies the Decalogue and provides us with a precision definition of at least one critical term in the statement, “Thou shalt not steal”?  What is the critical term that must be defined?  Steal.  What if there is no precision definition for steal?  What does that mean?  It means there is absolutely no way to know what the statement “Thou shalt not steal” means.  There is no way to know.  That presents a problem.

Your religion, or your non-religion, in the first place is your opinion.  And your opinion, regardless of the opinion, is what kind of property?  Primary property.  It’s important to recognize that the theological concept of morality has been relative to the theology.  Look at history.  Have the theologians agreed on what is moral?  What is right?  If you look at the history of theology on this planet, you’ll find there is much more disagreement than there is agreement.  Are you aware of this?  All you got to do is look into it.  And historically, how have these disagreements, these disputes over what is right in theology, how have they been resolved or how have they sought to resolve them?  Commonly with swords and bullets and canons.  Is that true or not?

In this advanced age of enlightenment, have we resolved all of the theological wars?  Are there still Protestants and Catholics shooting at each other, killing each other over various theological disputes?  Yes or no?  Muslims and Christians shooting at each other, killing each other?  Are these things still happening?  Sure.  What is the professed theological position of the people responsible for killing the greatest number of Christians?  Have any idea?  Christian.  Have not the Christian nations gone to war for centuries killing each other off?  Yes or no?  Before each battle, both sides praying to the same God for victory?  Does this happen?

Much of the dispute is a derivative of semantic imprecision.  A very important subject.  Without a foundation of precision semantics, you simply cannot have a science which means everybody is in the dark as to what everybody is talking about on all of the subjects all of the time.  Again, if you question this, ladies and gentlemen, take any dozen people at random, ask them to define any significant term that deals with society:  government, crime, morality, stealing, and see what you get.  And I’ll tell you what you get.  As many different answers as there are people answering the question.  And it will not even be clear in each person’s mind what he really means in general by the term which means he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  As I say, if you think this is an exaggeration, test it.

The nature of absolute morality, what constitutes a moral actions versus an immoral action, that is a derivative of rationality.  And where did we discover the nature of rationality?  In physics.  Therefore, absolute morality is a derivative of the physical sciences.  In other words, this is a scientific concept I’ve introduced.  It is not a theological concept.  It is a scientific concept.  One of the points we’ll be illustrating, as this course unfolds, is that rationality leads to morality.

In Session 1, I gave you the following trilogy.  Remember this one?  I said, well, do you think we should have a lot less stealing or we should have a lot more stealing or we have just about the right amount of stealing?  And then I asked you what’s your view?

  1. Stealing is always right.
  2. Stealing is always wrong.
  3. Stealing is sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

And then I said, “Would you like to know my view”?   I said, without any equivocation, without any hesitation, I said, “My view?  One of those three”.  And I said, “What’s yours”?  Alright, now this is nearing the completion of Lecture 2.  Now you should be able to answer the question, which is my view?

  1. Stealing is always right.
  2. Stealing is always wrong.
  3. Stealing is sometimes right, sometimes wrong.

How many think my view is number one?  How many think it’s number two?  How many think it’s number three?  How many aren’t sure?  And, of course, how many don’t care?  It’s not you.  You care.  But most of the four billion do not care about what we’re discussing in this course because we’re discussing major, giant subjects.  The more important a subject, the fewer will be the number of people interested.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s physics, any field.  Great masses of people have a single interest, trivia.  That’s all they think about.  It’s all they care about.  Most of the four billion.

My view, why is my view number two?  Because stealing is always immoral for one thing and, as I will demonstrate, it is always irrational.  As a matter of fact, stealing is the highest achievement of both irrationality and immorality.  Other than that, it’s alright.  The highest achievement of wrongness is that which is simultaneously irrational and immoral.  That applies to stealing.  It’s an absolute.  It doesn’t matter who does the stealing, what the so-called justification for it is, where, when, why  – it’s totally irrelevant.

I presented you, for example, with this trilogy also in Session #1:

  1. Slavery is always right.
  2. Slavery is always wrong.
  3. Slavery is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.

Now, of course, and I said my view? One of those three.  Now you should be able to answer, of course, which one is my view.  As you can see, it’s number two:  slavery is always wrong because it’s always immoral and it’s always irrational.  And, as I pointed out earlier, the most effective way that you could optimize incompetence is through the application of a concept called slavery.  It is the optimization of incompetence.  Why will be clearer later.

Now if the definition of morality is indeed an absolute, and we cannot allow for exceptions, if you ask the question whose property is it, then every volitional action will fall either outside of this circle or within the circle.  Within the circle, we have morality or the totality of absolute good actions.  Alright.  Let’s go back and look at some things we discussed in Lecture #1.  You remember this illustration.  If A takes the property of C, without the permission of C, then by definition A’s actions are what?  Immoral and they do fall outside of the circle.  Incidentally, every volitional action will either fall within the circle or without.  That covers all possibilities.  No exception.

Alright.  If A takes the property of C, with the permission of B, but not the permission of C, then A’s actions are what?  Immoral and, of course, they fall outside of the circle.

If A takes the property of C with the permission of the majority of the neighbors, but not the permission of C, then A’s actions are, again, immoral and they fall outside of the circle.

If A takes the property of C with the permission of the great majority of the nation, but not the permission of C, then A’s actions are what?  Immoral and they fall outside of the circle.

Now assuming that C has produced property that would not even exist in the first place had he not produced it, wouldn’t even exist, then the question is, if C refuses to give up his property that he built, then when is it moral to take away C’s property without C’s permission?  Or how many people must A get to appoint him to seize C’s property in order for A’s actions to be moral?  How many?  When A has the permission of the neighbors?  When A has the permission of some majority?  When A has the permission of three-quarters of the people?  When A has the permission of a million people or ten million + one?

Or I have this question for you.  When is it moral to steal property?  I have this question for you.  When is it rational to steal property?  What do you think?  I have this question for you.  When is it right to steal property?  And are any of you 100% convinced that the only way that the problems of mankind and society can be solved is by stealing property?  Are you convinced?

What if stealing is the custom?  Does that make it right?  What if stealing is the custom?  Does that make it moral?  What if stealing is the custom?  Does that make it rational?  What if murder is the custom?  Does that make it right?

Of course, one might ask, “Well, this is all very interesting but what’s it got to do with me”?  And a principal question on your mind at this time may very well be, well, how is this going to affect whether or not I get my raise in salary this year?  Or how will this help me get the house cleaned up for this weekend’s out-of-town company?  Or how is this going to help me get my children through school?  I aint doing so good and so forth.  Or how will this help me get ready for my trip to Europe next summer?  Or how will this help me solve my personal problems?  Or how will this help me with my love life and so forth?  What’s all the world’s problems got to do with me and so forth?

Well, one of the important things that will be demonstrated in the full context of this course called V-50 is how all of these things are connected.  However, in order for you as an individual to be able to identify the connection, it is necessary that you accomplish what we call an intellectual integration.  To integrate means to make whole.  What you must acquire is a whole or complete understanding of both the problem and the solution.

In Session 1, I gave you this failure, the failure to integrate, to tie together, the sum of the social problems.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, I will use the absolute standard of rightness and this method, the scientific method, to relate and to tie together all of these various social problems and you will see that there’s clearly a direct connection between the stealing of property to, let’s say, build a road, the theft of your barn and your house and your land and the theft of other people’s property to help pay for the road, including also the one who owns the land and the barn and the house, there’s a connection between that and a large number of other problems such as increasing inflation, increasing poverty, increasing war, increasing pollution, increasing crime, increasing unemployment, increasing energy crisis, increasing job dissatisfaction, increasing theft of invention, increasing racial conflict, increasing low quality education.  But what is the connection?  Well, that’s what we’ll explain.

Now, of course, if one suggests that it’s wrong or immoral to steal property for the purpose of building a road, the most common question in response would be, “Well, wait a minute.  How could you possibly build a high quality road, or at least enough roads for the whole nation, if you do not at least steal some land or steal some funds to build the road, steal land for the right of way and the means to build it”?    Would that be a common question?  Would it be a question that almost everyone might ask?  Of course.  “But, bbbbbb……how are you going to do it”?

In Lecture #10, I will demonstrate how to build a road that is better, safer, cheaper, faster than any road we have now and it will not be necessary to steal one square foot of land, it will not be necessary to steal one dollar to finance the project.

Ladies and gentlemen, by the time the V-50 is completed, I will have reduced every argument that advocates stealing to a shambles.  The well-known Latin phrase will apply.  Most of you have heard this before, a simple concept called reductio ad absurdum.  I will take every single argument that reaches a conclusion that you must steal property to solve a problem, or take away another man’s property without his permission, I will take every one of these arguments, 100% of all such so-called arguments, and reduce of every one of these to a hopeless absurdity.  When I’ve completed V-50, you will see the argument that you must steal property in order to solve problems is no more intelligent than the earlier argument we must burn witches at the stake in order to end the plague.

Remember that people have a habit of assuming that if something is customary than it’s right.  That does not make it right. If everyone on the planet believes that Pi is 3, that doesn’t change the ratio.  It just means that everyone on the planet is wrong on that subject.  In this room next week, Lecture 3, I’m going to explain how to apply the scientific method to build solutions to our principal social problems, the importance of understanding, also, certain scientific absolutes that apply to the nature of man, absolutes that apply to you, the importance of understanding these absolutes, how to build solutions with our understanding of them.

You will find, I hope you will find, it will be continually rewarding for you to look through the tube.  If you know any intellectually curious people, if they have a mind, bring them with you next week and they can pick up later the sessions that they’ve missed, 1 and 2.  I look forward to seeing you again next week.  I bid you a good evening.


© Sustainable Civilization Institute 2010