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Friday, June 29, 2012

Being Whole.

I have named my theory of ethics Integrity. Integral means "complete" or "whole." The term "whole" comes from the old English hāl (Greek holos) which is also the root for "holy," "heal," "health,"and "hale." And "hologram"?

Integrity is being whole.  Acting with integrity is the act of achieving wholeness.  But there are four kinds of wholeness.

1) Identity.  Something is whole if it is totally one with itself.  This is univocal (as opposed to anagogic or metaphorical) thinking of myth and pre-modern times.  Think "God" in medieval theology or "Absolute Being" in metaphysics.

2) Summation.  The whole is the sum of its parts.  This is the machine thinking of classical science and the industrial age.  Think of Newtonian Physics and Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times.

3) Organismic.  The whole consists of interacting elements that form a new dynamic organism that is more than the sum of its parts. Think the evolution of species, interacting cells, DNA and Gaia theory.

4) Complexity.  The whole is a system of relationships.  The universe is a hologram, a pattern of information sharing.  Think multi-dimensional string theory of contemporary science as well as the unified theory of everything.

Humanity is a complex system of interacting organisms with a capacity to adapt to the environment through artificial media, that is symbolic interaction which defines human being in and to the universe.    The four dimensions of symbolic interaction or human existence which humanity brings to the universe are: temporality, spatiality, communality, and reality. They are dimensions of a complex system or relationships perceived in tension within and among the dimensions. The tensions of symbolic interaction (previously explained) make possible both truths and fallacies and the achievement of truth through (or overcoming) fallacy in a never-ending process of achieving greater levels of wholeness.

Integrity is the ethics of engaging in the process of achieving truth overcoming fallacy by interacting with self and others, in time and space. "Engage," the command of Captain Kirk to his crew of the Enterprise, is an expression of the categorical imperative of human existence. Go forward, together, to discover ourselves and our universe.

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