Discovering Corruption & Defining Morality

Discovering corruption is integral to the entire human experience. In an imperfect world our bodies are designed to try and fight anything that can hinder our progress and physically it takes the form of our immune system. Like many things in our lives, the body can be used as an example to explain larger more complex social issues that might seem unrelated.

When it comes to corruption, and by extension morality, the first thing to realize is that there is no perfect system yet. In the same way our immune system can fail, so can we when we try to identify corruption. While many argue about morality in terms of what is right, what is wrong, or if there is some divine origin or not, I see morality in a different way. Morality is merely our tolerance for things that may or may not get us to our perfect goal. I use the word may because it is really hard to know for sure if something we consider moral is indeed progressive in nature.

What we are constantly doing with morality is trying to find the “sweet spot”. The sweet spot is enough focus to move us forward but at the same time being able to allow things that would hinder us otherwise. Imagine you had to warm up a small point on a wall and you could either choose a laser or a flash light. The flash light, representing a large tolerance, could warm up the spot at a slow rate. The laser on the other hand could warm up the spot much quicker but it requires you to be on target. This has been the case with human morality since the dawn of time; trying to find the right amount of rules, not too many and not too few. Divine morality which people often call upon as a standard has deviated greatly in tolerance over time. If we look at Judaism for example, it has 613 Mitzvah (rules). Neo-Judaism, also known as Christianity, has significantly less. Using this example as a reference, Christianity would be the flash light where as Judaism would be the laser.

It is difficult for a lot of us to think in tolerance terms. Every action must be either right or wrong even though it is completely possible for an action to be simultaneously both right and wrong such as a person stealing food to feed their starving family. We, as architects of the future, have a challenge on our hands. As technology proliferates everything we do new questions of morality will need to be tackled. So how do we go about this?

Discovering Corruption
The easiest way is through modelling. The very idea of corruption is based around the idea that something should be one way but what is really happening is different. Our immune system functions by identifying things that don’t belong and this same method can be utilized for discovering corruption. When a model doesn’t exist, or needs to be changed, it can only be changed through a democratic function. Any kind of model change outside of a democratic function will ultimately not be able to survive and will collapse under the needs of the whole.

Once we have established a model then we can start seeking out the anomalies. Who is involved that shouldn’t be? Who is doing something they don’t regularly do? Once we establish for ourselves the way things should function it becomes much easier to figure out what is not functioning properly.

In real life practice we do this all the time and just don’t realize it. When a husband or wife suspects their mate of cheating it is because there is corruption present in their model of reality. It might be unconscious subtlety that makes the person believe they have some kind of intuition or special powers. In fact most things that could be considered exceptional intuition are a result of understanding models. You can actually utilize this method to gain intuition through basic deduction instead of relying solely on the itchy feelings you get.

In order to identify if there is corruption taking place follow these steps.

  1. Identify the Model
    This can be one of the most challenging parts but is the most important. Figure out what is “normal” or what “should” be happening. This can be challenging because what you consider to be normal might not actually be normal. The easiest way to figure out normal is to figure out long lasting precedents. While it is true corruption can be there from the start, this is not usually the case.
  2. Identify Anomalies
    What doesn’t belong? Again, this can also be difficult. You need to try and stay as objective as possible. If you feel something is wrong, you might have the need to prove yourself right. If you’re out to prove yourself right versus trying to discover true corruption you will identify things as deviant that actually aren’t. If you are emotionally invested in the potential corruption you think exists, it might be prudent to ask for feedback from a third party.
  3. Verify
    The final step is to do some kind of exploration to see if the anomalies you identified in step 2 are actually taking place and if they are a product of corruption. There is always the possibility that something might be off or different for valid reasons.
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