The Ultimate Cause

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with various forms of mettic well-wishing. I caught myself spontaneously indulging in loving fantasies for others and realized the Brahma-Vihara (loving-kindness, compassion, compersion, and equanimity) had apparently become normal. It’s been interesting to tweak the following words (some appropriated from Steve) and observe how the basic feel changes:

In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all, and with divine balance, if you allow it, I wish you the ongoing fulfillment of your needs, desires, dreams and fantasies, possibly in forms you haven’t asked for or imagined. If you do not allow it, I wish this energy freely go wherever it is welcome and appreciated.

Today’s topic came up as I pondered a character trait/flaw of mine:

  1. I tend to probe the integrity and symmetry of people’s statements
  2. I often aspire to treat people by their own standards.

For example, if someone doesn’t want me to utter certain obscenities in eir presence, such as “fucking cocksucker” (actually a virtuous compliment in my book), then I might adversarially pick some word ey enjoy using regularly and ask em not to use it in my presence. Do ey oblige regardless of what ey think about why I would rather not be exposed to the word?

  • If so, then this appears to be a universal standard of courtesy :- ).
  • If not, then this appears to be the self-serving force of one’s preferences on others :<.

I tend to probe causes for justice similarly.

For example, if sex and gender disparity in education is considered undesirable, then does one care about fields where any sex is disproportionately present? Psychology seems to be fairly stably 25% men [1] while Physics seems to have risen to be 20% women [2]. As a feminist, I pronounce you as fishy if you only consider one of these disparities to be note-worthy :- p. I can see some wild causal speculation: maybe men in the US are less in touch with their emotions and caring sides.

I’d venture that an advocate will seem more credible when eir concerns are symmetric in this manner.

An example of members of an advocacy group that fail this test is incels who (apparently) claim that, “it is impossible for women to be an incel at all.” Oh, if undesired sexual experiences count against involuntary celibacy, I’m sure we can probably arrange something for many a male incel 😈😈😈.

Today I learned that a woman coined the incel term with “Alana’s Involuntary Celibacy Project” [3]. Now in response to hateful rhetoric and murders by some incels, she’s created a new website: beyond involuntary celibacy. This looks very sweet, inclusive, and to pass the symmetry tests for credibility.

The next step is realizing that testing for symmetry is just part of abstraction: take a statement and wonder if any part of it can be expanded to include similar people or situations.

  • “There are far fewer women in physics than men in physics”

generalizes to

  • “There are far fewer group X in context C than group Y in context C.”

Is this a problem?
Only if there exists a reason for the disparity aside from “that’s how they want it.”

The core of social justice is that everyone receives eir due and to ask how people or groups are not receiving their due.

Thus all social justice causes pretty quickly generalize to, “full and complete enjoyment of everything one desires in life.” So long as this is fulfilled, any statistical disparities are perfectly fine. Actually, they’re just right and reflect how people want to experience life!

The ultimate cause is to simply support everyone to experience life as they see fit. All other causes are special cases of this and when the ultimate cause is forgotten, they can become myopically imbalanced. In essence, the ultimate cause is universal love.

In this light, economic inequality is perhaps the grandmother of social injustices so long as human civilization organizes its resources and energy flows via monetary economies. Kudos to Eray Ozkural for often emphasizing this point.