Universal Morality (UM)

A Moral System that Applies to All Advanced Civilizations in the Universe

Suppose human beings are not the only advanced civilization in the universe. Suppose there is a moral system that applies to all advanced civilizations, that would enable them to interact in non-destructive ways. What would that system be like? Universal Morality is an ongoing attempt to work out the basic principles of a moral system that would apply to every individual member and every sub-group of every advanced civilization in the universe, to every advanced civilization as a whole, and to how all such civilizations should interact with each other. It turns out that these basic principles are obvious. There are only three basic principles, and all complex moral principles can be derived from them, although often with surprising results. It is my contention that any advanced civilization that doesn't discover these principles must ultimately destroy itself. I also contend that, if there are any other advanced civilizations who have discovered these principles and therefor not destroyed themselves, they will not develop relations with any other advanced civilization who has not accepted these principles.

There are a lot of obvious questions which this web site will attempt to answer, including the conflicts of Universal Morality with principles of various religions, conflicts with the idea that philosophy has shown that there is no absolute truth, and conflicts with the concept that morality is culturally determined and can never be absolute. However, for this opening page, I will only explain the basic principles and how to use them. For more details, click on the links at the bottom.

The Three UM Principles

Attempt to maximize your own
personal happiness and fulfillment.

This is fairly straightforward. All individuals should try to keep in mind increasing their own personal happiness and fulfillment.

Attempt to maximize the happiness and fulfillment of
all other present and future individuals of your species.

There is a major condition to this principle. This attempt should be made to the degree to which these other individuals attempt to follow this same principle. That is, is someone is trying to hurt you, you should not necessarily attempt to maximize his or her happiness.

Attempt to maximize the happiness and fulfillment
of all other sentient creatures in the universe.

This principle has a couple clarifying conditions. First, it applies only to the extent these creatures have the potential to follow this same principle. Second, this attempt should be made to the degree that these creatures have the ability to feel happiness or fulfillment (or lack of pain).

How to Use These UM Principles

Human beings are not advanced enough to actually be able to obey these principles. The most we can do is to try hold them in our minds. All you have to do to follow the UM system is to attempt to keep all these principles in your mind as much as possible, and attempt to have them influence your actions.

UM Principles in More Detail