Past Meetup

Is a Universal, Objective Ethic Possible? (Examination: UPB)

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Goal of Meeting
We will be addressing the question, "Does Molyneux's UPB suggest that an objective, universal ethic is possible?" Any universal ethic is far too complex to cover completely in one meeting. Because we ventured onto this topic from last meeting's discussion on whether any ethic could be objective, we'll continue that discussion now that we have a sense of what an objective ethic might look like.

At our last meeting (click to read the meeting notes) (, the discussion ended with whether any ethic could ever be objective, or whether all ethics must only be just subjective.

If all ethics are only subjective, ethical exploration would be relegated to questions like: "Why should we follow any ethic at all?"; "Can anyone ever argue that one ethic is objectively 'better' than another?"; "Does Might (or success or ...) Make Right in ethics?"; and, "Are we ever obligated to follow someone else's subjective ethic (a ruler's, a religious figure's, a majority's, etc.)?"

However, if there is a chance that an objective ethic can exist then the discussion can turn more "scientific" -- "What qualities would such an objective, universal ethic have?"; "What rules does such an ethic impose on human interactions?" and "How we can objectively determine ethical violations?"

Richard suggested that we look at Stefan Molyneux's UPB (Universally Preferable Behavior) as an example of a recent (2006) attempt to create an objective, secular, universal ethic that would guide:
- all humans,
- during any epochs
- across all cultures
- during any resource situation
- equally,
- reciprocally,
- simultaneously,
- clearly,
- absolutely.

Optional Homework:
Given the unusualness of an objective ethic, you may want to review some of the material before the meeting, and join us on the bulletin board ( for a pre-meeting discussion to figure out where we might have the most problems understanding this concept.

To brush up on the topic:

1) An 18 min overview of the underlying characteristics of UPB

2) An hour video overview of the book

3) Click here ( to read or download a free 120 page booklet detailing UPB. You can also download an audio version of it here (

4) Discussions of objections to UPB

5) Please join us here ( for the pre-meeting discussion on our discussion board.

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