Discordian Ethics

Greed, Chico:29, 6006 YD

Section 1: Introduction
Syllogism 1A
Confusion causes people to think
Thinking is good
Confusion is good

Such is the art of Discordian Ethics. Confusion causes freedom, a state in which one must strive toward resolution. Confusion fulfills potential. Confusion allows individuals to use their respective brains. Discordians, above all things or almost all things, prefer the general public to use their brains, that they can become intelligent creatures instead of the domesticated primates the output-only television determines them to be. This revelation is the key to all proper ethical and moral thought.

Section 1: Theoretical Rhetoric

There is but one duty. There is but one thing that determines rightness in moral conduct. There is but one commandment. There is but one obligation, liability, onus, burden, load, responsibility, decree, dictate, accountableness, charge, weight, encumbrance, pressure. That duty, commandment, obligation, liability, onus, burden, load, responsibility, decree, dictate, accountableness, charge, weight, encumbrance, pressure is freedom.

Freedom is not that which the natural rights advocates would have you believe. Freedom is not a natural right, it is a natural event which occurs from it’s own essence. There is no freedom that dictates the right to do one thing, for if it gives the right to do one thing, it must also dispose of the right to do the opposite. Simpler, natural RIGHTS always imply natural WRONGS, and if freedom is a natural right, imposition is a natural wrong, and if there are natural wrongs, there cannot be complete freedom. Furthermore, freedom is said to occur in nature due to a separate reason, namely, the existence of mankind. This is an incorrect postulation. Freedom does not necessarily exist for mankind (i.e., there can exist a man who is not free), as it does not necessarily exist for birds, trees, or algae. It does not exist because mankind exists. This is evident in the fact that it lies syntactically away from the subject/object connexion. The sentence “The bird ate the worm” does not imply that the bird was free to eat the worm. Likewise, “the boy swam across the river” does not indicate any particular freedom, the indicator is one of action. It can be said, therefore, that mankind’s existence does cause to occur action, but does not cause to occur freedom.

Western culture has also done a great deal to derange the meaning of freedom. Among Westerners, there is a common misconception deriving from the incidental association of the concept “freedom” with the concept “freedom of choice”. This is what the Western culture has valuated – a freedom that is conceptualized by the ability to distinguish, separate and select one particular object as higher, better, or greater than another. This is not freedom, but freedom of choice. Freedom of choice is a specific type of freedom, but it is not what freedom is. All readers are urged to perform the Disassociation of Ideas between freedom, choice and freedom of choice. (For more information or praxis disassociation of ideas, see Wilson, R.A. The Illuminati Papers.)

Yet another flaw comes from yet another noble and respected source. Webster’s dictionary’s definition of freedom is, as expected, “the state or quality of being free” and, also as expected, it gives a plethora of definitions for free. Most of these definitions have one thing in common, the word “not” – not being confined, not being restricted, not being held back. These are perfect definitions for what freedom is not; and freedom is not what these definitions are.

This is not natural-rights account of freedom. This is not Western culture account of freedom. This is not Webster’s account of freedom. Yet, this is what freedom is.

Section 1: The struggle of freedom

To say “I am free” is an instantaneous denial. It is never the case that any one is free, but it is the case that all should be striving toward it. Freedom embodies itself in that strive, in that yearning for accomplishment. Where there is purpose or desire, Spanish cajones, a need with passion for advancement, there is freedom. To see one’s self as far in front, ahead, and striving to reach that front is where freedom can be seen. When the front is reached, the self will have gone farther, and the struggle continues. This is why freedom is unattainable; when freedom is thought to have been reached, it has actually been driven further away. Freedom is an inclined plane – when one stands still, one moves backward. Mankind has been standing still for how many centuries, now?


It is a good analogy to picture freedom as an inclined plane, but it goes somewhat beyond that. Man is at the base of this triangle, and the light or idea of freedom appears at the top. Man starts up the triangle side, yearning toward the idea of freedom, and in this struggle, he has attained freedom. He never can reach the apex, the idea or appearance of freedom, but at the same time, in his struggle to be free he becomes free and is only free in that struggle. When man stops to say “I am free; I have reached the top and I have freedom,” he lies; because if his struggle stops he stands still, and if he stands still he slides down the side, in an opposing direction to his freedom.

To fulfill potential, is freedom.

Section 1: Formulation of an ethical theory

If it is understood to the reader that the Discordian belief maintains that freedom is the end for the means, and that right conduct is determined by actions that promote freedom, SHe is wrong. Actions that promote freedom are the actions that Discordians wish to accomplish themselves, but these actions are not essential because of moral obligation, they are merely free acts in themselves caused in the individual’s struggle of freedom. It is true that the ethical theory is based on the struggle of freedom; but, if it was that right conduct was the promotion of freedom, there must first have been an absolute sense that freedom was the greatest thing to promote (in some sense similar to Mill’s happiness), thereby denying that freedom was unattainable, in that if it wasn’t attainable it could not have been the greatest of all things, as there would always have been one thing possibly greater, an attainable freedom. This theory would have run concurrent with the natural rights theory, in that to say “I am free” would have been not only possible, but also an accepted state of human nature. This not being the case, the Discordian Theory of Ethics will now be built.

To build an ethical theory, there must first be a basis of understanding, a basis in which all ethical theories have in common, a basis on which ethical theories are compared. So stated, it is understood that normative ethics allows us to give a rule of right conduct, and supportive reasons for that conduct. To begin:

Discordian ethics should therefore describe in some way right conduct, as in what one “ought” to do in a given situation. In a sense it does, and in a sense it does not. The free man sees his struggle and reacts in a way unique and individual to himself. His duty is the struggle of freedom, in which he attains the unattainable. His moral conduct would be “right”, because he has done so. Of the unfree man, however, does this make his conduct morally wrong? Is a person who is not striving for freedom being unethical?

Simply put, nothing is morally wrong. Neither the free man nor the unfree man can perform an act that is morally wrong. All acts have a potential, and where a person strives to fulfill it’s potential, a moral wrong cannot occur, since freedom is being asserted. In the unfree man, an act can occur and a potential can be fulfilled, but the spirit of the act, the emotion, the passion, will be different; in this case, no freedom is being asserted, so it would seem that this is a moral wrong. But who would hold an unfree man morally responsible for his actions? This act is not a moral wrong, it is simply not morally right. Acts which neither hinder nor promote freedom have no basis in it and, therefore, are excluded from the determination of morality altogether.

It would appear, however, that an action which is done by a free man in order to worsen his or another’s freedom would be morally wrong. As said before, EVERY act has a potential, and where a person strives to fulfill that potential, a moral wrong cannot occur. The consequences of that action are immaterial and irrelevant, the action itself is what determines rightness in moral conduct. Moral wrongs, then, would not exist in any action, despite it’s consequences.

Section 1: Applying the Discordian Theory of Ethics
Systems are made up of Order and Disorder. A system that contains only ordered information is incomplete, as is a system that contains only disordered entropy. (This is not incomplete as a car without an engine is incomplete, but incomplete as a hydrogen atom is without an neutron. It is not “unfinished”, it simply “does not contain all parts”.) The brain is such a system. If the brain receives only ordered information, it would never be capable of filling-in- the-blanks. If the brain only receives static images of disordered entropy, it will never be able to learn.
This is the driving force behind many Discordian practices. Knowing that the general public has an excellent idea of order but no clue as to how to appreciate disorder, disordered information is sent randomly into society in various forms to compete with the opposition.

The effect of disorder on an ordered structure can serve two functions. First, the ordered structure can collapse, unable to incorporate the new data, or second, the new data can be integrated and the ordered structure modified. (There are other possibilities of the order-disorder integration, but these are not useful for Discordians. For example, the disordered information could be discarded by the ordered structure, and thus rendered useless. This kind of treatment has been given for years by the government on topics like LSD research and some branches of quantum physics.) Of these functions, the second seems to be the more desirable. The breakdown of a structure is sometimes deemed necessary, but more often than not it appears as though the structure should at least remain intact, and new information just be gradually accepted into the structure. This would give a greater “value” to the whole structure, as it would be more readily able to accept further disordered information.

The application for a Discordian, then, would be to force disordered information into a society without the society invalidating itself, so that it gives either the society as a whole or individual members of that society the chance for greater freedom. Whether the potentials of those freedoms hinder or contradict each other is irrelevant, the freedom itself is the aim of the Discordian’s actions.

(Note, however, that this is not the only action that can be derived from the theory; there are other possible courses of action in, it seems, an infinite number. Since any given action has a certain potential, if there are an infinite number of possible actions, then there are an infinite number of possible potentials that could be filled. The ability for enhancing freedom by composing disordered information is merely one of these possible potentials, and is not part of ethics itself.)

To understand how freedom is enhanced by the integration of disorder, please re-read the first two paragraphs of this section, on systems’ order and disorder. When disordered information is sent into an incomplete ordered system, it can be integrated, and this integration can only take place freely. Until an individual notices the potential of this disordered information, the potential cannot be fulfilled. The ordered information will deal only with other ordered information, since it would not be able to understand the disorder. Only after an individual realizes that this disorder can be used will it be integrated into the system. This is a free integration, the only kind of integration possible.

Section 1: Application in Syllogistic Form
The application of the theory can be stated in the form of a syllogism.

Syllogism 1A2A

Integration of disorder leads to freedom
Freedom is good
Integration of disorder is good

This form can be used to place more specific subjects and predicates. For example, Syllogism 1A at the top of this report dealt with freedom in thought, with the disorder being confusion. The following syllogism further examines this. Syllogism 1A2A2B

Heresy exhibits religious freedom
Religious freedom is good
Heresy is good

Here, the form of freedom is religious belief, and the opposing disorder would be, literally, heresy. The understanding would be that organized religion can only be conquered by disorganizing religion.

Section 1: Conclusion

There are many controversies: the definition of freedom, the preference of disorder, the number of possible potentials, and others. They are all linked together by the Discordian Theory of Ethics, which shows that:

– Rightness of an action is based on freedom of the action,
– There are no moral wrongs
– Consequences are irrelevant to ethics
– Actions which have no basis in freedom have no basis in ethics

It is asked of the reader to delve into these controversies in an effort to draw them to their reasonable conclusion, whether that means ‘solved’ or not. Papers will be written, pamphlets distributed, the usual lot, but until the Discordian Theory of Ethics is studied and known by every individual possible, the cause seems lacking. The Discordian Theory provides an alternative to the bogus theories that were it’s predecessors; please read, write, listen, speak, and generally aid the cause.

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