David Knuffke Is an Educator Based on Long Island.
Statement of Beliefs
Regarding Ethics & Morality:
- Multiple moralities can be congruent with the same ethical framework.
- We have an ethical obligation to leave those aspects of the world that we have agency over in better condition than they were when we took agency over them.
- We have an ethical obligation to understand that our ethical framework is not, by virtue of it being ours, superior to the ethical frameworks of others.
- All ethical frameworks are fundamentally subjective.
- The subjective nature of all ethical frameworks requires that all ethical frameworks be subject to constant self-scrutiny by those who subscribe to them.
- Contradictions in ethical frameworks are unavoidable when they are universally applied.
- Contradictions in ethical frameworks do not, in and of themselves, invalidate those frameworks.
- Suffering among organisms that can suffer should be limited as much as possible.
- Conscious individuals have an immutable right to suffer if that is their preferred state.
- Notions of fairness are not wholly congruent with notions of equity.
- An ethical society has a responsibility to protect and nurture the rights of all individuals in that society.
- Willful ignorance is unethical.
Regarding the Self:
- It is not possible to truly know the motivation of one's self or of others.
- We should live in a way that results in continuing development of one's self.
- Science is the most objective mode of analysis of the physical Universe that is available to the human mind.
- The human mind is not capable of conducting scientific analysis in a completely objective manner.
- Scientific understanding of the Universe should be used to inform ethical frameworks.
- No domain of existence within the larger Universe should be removed from scientific investigation.
- Scientific evidence is useful when integrating/resolving conflicting ethical frameworks.
- Scientific understanding will never explain all Universal phenomena.
- It is not possible to completely model any aspect of the Universal system.
- Technology can be used to both expand and constrict cultural expression.
- It is unethical to constrain technological progress to support specific business models.
- Wherever possible, open models of technology usage and implementation are always better than closed models.
- It is unethical to patent any aspect of the biological system.
- Patents for ideas should end no later than the end of the life of the individual(s) who developed those ideas.
- Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial superintelligence pose realistic existential risks for human society and should be regulated as such.
- If a Great Filter exists, it is most likely technological in nature.
- Humans are not removed from the laws that govern the Universe in any capacity.
- Humans have a unique capacity for agency among terrestrial life.
- Humans are not the only conscious animals on Earth.
- All great apes and cetaceans should be afforded the same individual rights as humans.
- Terrestrial life is not the only life in the Universe.
- You can not change just one thing in the terrestrial system (aka "Hardin's Law").
- There is no upper limit to the levels of organization of Universal systems.
- There is a finite lower limit to the levels of organization of Universal systems.
- Biological evolution is one manifestation of a more generalized physical law that affects all systems in this Universe.
- It will never be possible to travel through time in a non-linear progressive path.
- Morality exists independently of religious belief.
- Religious beliefs can not be rational or objective.
- Religious belief does not hold any special authority by virtue of its being religious in nature.
- No religious tradition, tenet, or individual should be removed from criticism.
- Religious considerations should only affect the lives of those who hold them as applicable.
- There is no agent in the Universe that approximates the characteristics of the god of any so-called "revealed" religious tradition on Earth.
- An ethical society has the responsibility to offer opportunity for education to all members of that society.
- All members of a society have an ethical obligation to learn.
- Humans have the most highly developed capacity to learn among all terrestrial organisms.
- It is unethical to compel participation in a specific learning system.
- It is unethical to refuse to participate in any learning system.
- Learning is frequently neither easy nor enjoyable.
- Assessment is only useful as an indicator of learning.
- Evaluation is inherently subjective.
- Until such time as the mechanisms involved in learning are understood at the cellular level, there can not be a cohesive theory of learning.
- Representative democracy is the most ethical form of government.
- There is nothing exceptional about modern American culture with respect to the cultures of other representative democracies.
- The influence of money has caused fundamental flaws in the modern American political system that can not be rectified until such time as the influence of money is substantially lessened, if not entirely removed.
- The United States electoral college should be abolished.
- Tradition is not an acceptable justification for any behavior.
- Art includes all creative expressions of conscious beings.
- It is not possible to determine the value of a work of art.
- It is unethical to make money from any enterprise that does not improve the state of the world.
- Artistic copyright should not extend past the lifetime of the artist.
- The usage of art within any non-commercial context should be legally permissible.
Regarding the Law:
- Any behavior that does not affect the health or well being of anyone other than the individual that evinces that behavior should be legally permissible.
- Any behavior that affects the health or well being of anyone who provides informed consent to engage in that behavior should be legally permissible.
- For legal purposes, the concept of a "person" should apply from birth to death.
- Constructivist interpretations of the Constitution of the United States are irrational.
- The dynamics that have resulted in the mass incarceration crisis in the United States are fundamentally racist in nature.
- The individual protections afforded in the second amendment to the Bill of Rights should not include the right to keep and bear weapons that have been principally designed to cause maximum harm to other human beings.
- It should require at least as much training and licensing to own and operate any gun as it does to own and operate an automobile.
Updated February, 2018