Proof That Man is Basically Good
The following is exerpted from L. Ron Hubbard’s article of 1980 entitled, Ethics, Justice and the Dynamics.
“Years ago I discovered and proved that man is basically good. This means that the basic personality and the basic intentions of the individual, toward himself and others, are good.
“When a person finds himself committing too many harmful acts against the dynamics, he becomes his own executioner. This gives us the proof that man is basically good. When he finds himself committing too many evils, then, causatively, unconsciously or unwittingly, man puts ethics in on himself by destroying himself; and he does himself in without assistance from anybody else.
“This is why the criminal leaves clues on the scene, why people develop strange incapacitating illnesses and why they cause themselves accidents and even decide to have an accident. When they violate their own ethics, they begin to decay. They do this all on their own, without anybody else doing anything.
“The criminal who leaves clues behind is doing so in hopes that someone will come along to stop him from continuing to harm others. He is basically good and does not want to harm others; and in the absence of an ability to stop himself outright, he attempts to put ethics in on himself by getting thrown in prison where he will no longer be able to commit crimes.
“Similarly, the person who incapacitates himself with illness or gets himself in an accident is putting ethics in on himself by lessening his ability to harm and maybe even by totally removing himself from the environment that he has been harming. When he has evil intentions, when he is being “intentionally evil,” he still has an urge to also stop himself. He seeks to suppress them, and when he cannot do so directly, he does so indirectly. Evil, illness and decay often go hand in hand.
“Man is basically good. He is basically well-intentioned. He does not want to harm himself or others. When an individual does harm the dynamics, he will destroy himself in an effort to save those dynamics.
“This can be proven and has been proven in innumerable cases. It is this fact which evidences that man is basically good.”
Read the entire article below:
Ethics, Justice and the Dynamics
by L. Ron Hubbard
Presuming, as put forth in Scientology, that man is essentially an immortal spirit with experience well beyond a single lifetime, we all possess an infinite ability to survive. Yet how well we survive, L. Ron Hubbard explains, that is dependent upon ethics. In summary of this truly monumental view of ethics as the means by which we may flourish forever, comes his 1980, “Ethics, Justice and the Dynamics.”
The photographs appearing below, were all taken by Ron in 1961 while touring the Acropolis, Athens, Greece.
Survival is accomplished on eight routes which are known as the dynamics.
The first dynamic is the urge toward survival as self.
The second dynamic is the urge toward survival through sex, both the act and the production and raising of children.
The third dynamic is the urge toward survival through groups – social, racial, political.
The fourth dynamic is the urge toward survival through the species – mankind.
The fifth dynamic is the urge toward survival through animals.
The sixth dynamic is the urge toward survival through the matter, energy, space and time of the physical universe.
The seventh dynamic is the urge toward survival through spirits.
The eighth dynamic is the urge toward survival through a Supreme Being.
An individual seeks survival on one or all of these dynamics and fails when he abandons a dynamic as a survival route. For instance, one who has abandoned all routes to survival except self, the first dynamic, is in a desperate state.
The individual who says, “I can live alone” is very interesting. He can’t live without lichen and moss. They create soil so that vegetables can grow. He can’t live without a lot of odds and ends like, for instance, trees to make firewood. That is a life form and he has to be interdependent with this life form. Most important, he is interdependent with the physical universe as he would sure play the devil surviving as a human organism if he didn’t have an earth to walk on.
The dynamics mean, simply, how many forms of survival are there. The number of dynamics merely adds up to the number of fields or entities a man has to be in cooperation with to get along.
The individual is trying to survive, one way or the other, on all these dynamics at once. No solution is an optimum solution unless it takes into account all the dynamics influenced by it and gives each one its optimum solution. That sounds complicated, but it means if you and Bill were in business together and you tried to do a solution that gave you all the benefit and didn’t give Bill any, you would find that it would not work out. It is fundamental in these dynamics that every time you get a solution where the other dynamics aren’t taken into account, where their interests aren’t taken into account, you get a general failure.
As soon as you knock out one of these dynamics on a human being and say, “For this individual, this dynamic cannot possibly exist,” you get trouble, because they all get knocked out. They come down to the same level, in other words. If you cut out half of one dynamic, you have cut out half of the rest of the dynamics. This package of dynamics is very vital to the survival of an individual.
Every being has an infinite ability to survive. How well he accomplishes this is dependent on how well he uses ethics on his dynamics.
Ethics technology exists for the individual.
It exists to give the individual a way to increase his survival and thus free himself from the dwindling spiral of the current culture.
The whole subject of ethics is one which, with the society in its current state, has become almost lost.
Ethics actually consists of rationality toward the highest level of survival for the individual, the future race, the group, mankind and the other dynamics taken up collectively.
Ethics are reason.
Man’s greatest weapon is his reason.
The highest ethic level would be long-term survival concepts with minimal destruction, along all of the dynamics.
An optimum solution to any problem would be that solution which brought the greatest benefits to the greatest number of dynamics. The poorest solution would be that solution which brought the greatest harm to the most number of dynamics.
Activities which brought minimal survival to a lesser number of dynamics and damaged the survival of a greater number of dynamics could not be considered rational activities.
One of the reasons that this society is dying and so forth is that it’s gone too far out-ethics. Reasonable conduct and optimum solutions have ceased to be used to such an extent that the society is on the way out.
By out-ethics we mean an action or situation in which an individual is involved, or something the individual does, which is contrary to the ideals, best interests and survival of his dynamics.
For a man to develop a weapon capable of destroying all life on this planet (as has been done with atomic weapons and certain drugs designed by the US Army) and place it in the hands of the criminally insane politicians is obviously not a survival act.
For the government to actively invite and create inflation to a point where a depression is a real threat to the individuals of this society is a nonsurvival action to say the least. This gets so batty that in one of the South Pacific societies infanticide became a ruling passion. There was a limited supply of food and they wanted to keep down the birthrate. They began using abortion, and if this didn’t work, they killed the children. Their second dynamic folded up. That society has almost disappeared.
These are acts calculated to be destructive and harmful to the survival of the people of the society.
Ethics are the actions an individual takes on himself in order to accomplish optimum survival for himself and others on all dynamics. Ethical actions are survival actions. Without a use of ethics we will not survive.
We know that the dynamic principle of existence is Survive! At first glance that may seem too basic. It may seem too simple. When one thinks of survival, one is apt to make the error of thinking in terms of “barest necessity.” That is not survival. Survival is a graduated scale with infinity or immortality at the top and death and pain at the bottom.
Good and Evil, Right and Wrong
Years ago I discovered and proved that man is basically good. This means that the basic personality and the basic intentions of the individual, toward himself and others, are good.
When a person finds himself committing too many harmful acts against the dynamics, he becomes his own executioner. This gives us the proof that man is basically good. When he finds himself committing too many evils, then, causatively, unconsciously or unwittingly, man puts ethics in on himself by destroying himself; and he does himself in without assistance from anybody else.
This is why the criminal leaves clues on the scene, why people develop strange incapacitating illnesses and why they cause themselves accidents and even decide to have an accident. When they violate their own ethics, they begin to decay. They do this all on their own, without anybody else doing anything.
The criminal who leaves clues behind is doing so in hopes that someone will come along to stop him from continuing to harm others. He is basically good and does not want to harm others; and in the absence of an ability to stop himself outright, he attempts to put ethics in on himself by getting thrown in prison where he will no longer be able to commit crimes.
Similarly, the person who incapacitates himself with illness or gets himself in an accident is putting ethics in on himself by lessening his ability to harm and maybe even by totally removing himself from the environment that he has been harming. When he has evil intentions, when he is being “intentionally evil,” he still has an urge to also stop himself. He seeks to suppress them, and when he cannot do so directly, he does so indirectly. Evil, illness and decay often go hand in hand.
Man is basically good. He is basically well-intentioned. He does not want to harm himself or others. When an individual does harm the dynamics, he will destroy himself in an effort to save those dynamics.
This can be proven and has been proven in innumerable cases. It is this fact which evidences that man is basically good.
On this basis we have the concepts of right and wrong.
When we speak of ethics, we are talking about right and wrong conduct. We are talking about good and evil.
Good can be considered to be a constructive survival action. It happens that no construction can take place without some small destruction, just as the tenement must be torn down to make room for the new apartment building.
To be good, something must contribute to the individual, to his family, his children, his group, mankind or life. To be good, a thing must contain construction which outweighs the destruction it contains. A new cure which saves a hundred lives and kills one is an acceptable cure.
Good is survival. Good is being more right than one is wrong. Good is being more successful than one is unsuccessful, along constructive lines.
Things are good which complement the survival of the individual, his family, children, group, mankind, life and MEST [the physical universe. A word coined from the initial letters of Matter, Energy, Space and Time].
Acts are good which are more beneficial than destructive along these dynamics.
Evil is the opposite of good, and is anything which is destructive more than it is constructive along any of the various dynamics. A thing which does more destruction than construction is evil from the viewpoint of the individual, the future race, group, species, life or MEST that it destroys.
When an act is more destructive than constructive, it is evil. It is out-ethics. When an act assists succumbing more than it assists survival, it is an evil act in the proportion that it destroys.
Good, bluntly, is survival. Ethical conduct is survival. Evil conduct is nonsurvival.
Construction is good when it promotes survival. Construction is evil when it inhibits survival. Destruction is good when it enhances survival.
An act or conclusion is as right as it promotes the survival of the individual, future race, group, mankind or life by making the conclusion. To be entirely right would be to survive to infinity.
An act or conclusion is wrong to the degree that it is nonsurvival to the individual, future race, group, species or life responsible for doing the act or making the conclusion. The most wrong a person can be on the first dynamic is dead.
The individual or group which is, on the average, more right than wrong (since these terms are not absolutes, by far) should survive. An individual who, on the average, is more wrong than right will succumb.
While there could be no absolute right or absolute wrong, a right action would depend upon its assisting the survival of the dynamics immediately concerned; a wrong action would impede the survival of the dynamics concerned.
Let us look at how these concepts of right and wrong fit into our current society.
This is a dying society. Ethics have gone so far out and are so little understood that this culture is headed for succumb at a dangerous rate.
A person is not going to come alive, this society is not going to survive, unless ethics technology is gotten hold of and applied.
When we look at Vietnam, inflation, the oil crisis, corruption of government, war, crime, insanity, drugs, sexual promiscuity, etc., we are looking at a culture on the way out. This is a direct result of individuals failing to apply ethics to their dynamics.
It actually starts with individual ethics.
Dishonest conduct is nonsurvival. Anything is unreasonable or evil which brings about the destruction of individuals, groups, or inhibits the future of the race.
The keeping of one’s word, when it has been sacredly pledged, is an act of survival, since one is then trusted, but only so long as he keeps his word.
To the weak, to the cowardly, to the reprehensibly irrational, dishonesty and underhanded dealings, the harming of others and the blighting of their hopes seem to be the only way of conducting life.
Unethical conduct is actually the conduct of destruction and fear. Lies are told because one is afraid of the consequences should one tell the truth. Destructive acts are usually done out of fear. Thus, the liar is inevitably a coward and the coward inevitably a liar.
The sexually promiscuous woman, the man who breaks faith with his friend, the covetous pervert are all dealing in such nonsurvival terms that degradation and unhappiness are part and parcel of their existence.
It probably seems quite normal and perfectly all right to some to live in a highly degraded society full of criminals, drugs, war and insanity, where we are in constant threat of the total annihilation of life on this planet.
Well, let me say that this is not normal and it is not necessary. It is possible for individuals to lead happy productive lives without having to worry about whether or not they are going to be robbed if they walk outside their door or whether Russia is going to declare war on the United States. It is a matter of ethics. It is simply a matter of individuals applying ethics to their lives and having their dynamics in communication and surviving.
Now, we have ethics as survival. But what of such things as morals, ideals, love? Don’t these things go above “mere survival”? No, they do not.
Romantic novels and television teach us that the hero always wins and that good always triumphs. But it appears that the hero doesn’t always win and that good does not always triumph. On a shorter view we can see villainy triumphing all about us. The truth of the matter is that the villainy is sooner or later going to lose. One cannot go through life victimizing one’s fellow beings and wind up anything but trapped — the victim himself.
However, one doesn’t observe this in the common course of life. One sees the villains succeeding everywhere, evidently amassing money, cutting their brother’s throat, receiving the fruits of the courts and coming to rule over men.
Without looking at the final consequence of this, which is there just as certainly as the sun rises and sets, one begins to believe that evil triumphs whereas one has been taught that only good triumphs. This can cause the person himself to have a failure and can actually cause his downfall.
As for ideals, as for honesty, as for one’s love of one’s fellow man, one cannot find good survival for one or for many where these things are absent.
The criminal does not survive well. The average criminal spends the majority of his adult years caged like some wild beast and guarded from escape by the guns of good marksmen.
A man who is known to be honest is awarded survival — good jobs, good friends. And the man who has his ideals, no matter how thoroughly he may be persuaded to desert them, survives well only so long as he is true to those ideals.
Have you ever seen a doctor who, for the sake of personal gain, begins to secretly attend criminals or peddle dope? That doctor does not survive long after his ideals are laid aside.
Ideals, morals, ethics, all fall within this understanding of survival. One survives so long as he is true to himself, his family, his friends, the laws of the universe. When he fails in any respect, his survival is cut down.
In the modern dictionary we find that ethics are defined as “morals” and morals are defined as “ethics.” These two words are not interchangeable.
Morals should be defined as a code of good conduct laid down out of the experience of the race to serve as a uniform yardstick for the conduct of individuals and groups.
Morals are actually laws.
The origin of a moral code comes about when it is discovered through actual experience that some act is more nonsurvival than prosurvival. The prohibition of this act then enters into the customs of the people and may eventually become a law.
In the absence of extended reasoning powers, moral codes, so long as they provide better survival for their group, are a vital and necessary part of any culture.
Morals, however, become burdensome and protested against when they become outmoded. And although a revolt against morals may have as its stated target the fact that the code no longer is as applicable as it once was, revolts against moral codes generally occur because individuals of the group or the group itself has gone out-ethics to a point where it wishes to practice license against these moral codes, not because the codes themselves are unreasonable.
If a moral code were thoroughly reasonable, it could, at the same time, be considered thoroughly ethical. But only at this highest level could the two be called the same.
The ultimate in reason is the ultimate in survival.
Ethical conduct includes the adherence to the moral codes of the society in which we live.
When an individual fails to apply ethics to himself and fails to follow the morals of the group, justice enters in.
It is not realized generally that the criminal is not only antisocial but is also antiself.
A person who is out-ethics, who has his dynamics out of communication, is a potential or active criminal in that crimes against the prosurvival actions of others are continually perpetrated. Crime might be defined as the reduction of the survival level along any one of the eight dynamics.
Justice is used when the individual’s own out-ethics and destructive behavior begin to impinge too heavily on others.
In a society run by criminals and controlled by incompetent police, the citizens reactively identify any justice action or symbol with oppression.
But we have a society full of people who do not apply ethics to themselves, and in the absence of true ethics one cannot live with others and life becomes miserable. Therefore we have justice, which was developed to protect the innocent and decent.
When an individual fails to apply ethics to himself and follow the moral codes, the society takes justice action against him.
Justice, although it unfortunately cannot be trusted in the hands of man, has as its basic intention and purpose the survival and welfare of those it serves. Justice, however, would not be needed when you have individuals who are sufficiently sane and in-ethics that they do not attempt to blunt others’ survival.
Justice would be used until a person’s own ethics render him fit company for his fellows.
Ethics, Justice and Your Survival
In the past the subject of ethics has not really been mentioned very much. Justice was however. Justice systems have long been used as a substitute for ethics systems. But when you try to substitute ethics for justice, you get into trouble.
Man has not had an actual workable way of applying ethics to himself. The subjects of ethics and justice have been terribly aberrated.
We now have the technology of ethics and justice straightened out. This is the only road out on the subject that man has.
People have been trying to put ethics in on themselves for eons without knowing how. Ethics evolved with the individual’s attempts at continued survival.
When a person does something which is out-ethics (harms his and others’ survival), he tries to right this wrong. Usually he just winds up caving himself in. (Caved-in means mental and/or physical collapse to the extent that the individual cannot function causatively.)
They cave themselves in because, in an
effort to restrain themselves and stop themselves from committing more harmful acts, they start withdrawing and withholding themselves from the area they have harmed. A person who does this becomes less and less able to influence his dynamics and thus becomes a victim of them.
It is noted here that one must have done to other dynamics those things which other dynamics now seem to have the power to do to him. Therefore, he is in a position to be injured and he loses control. He can become, in fact, a zero of influence and a vacuum for trouble.
This comes about because the person does not have the basic technology of ethics. It has never been explained to him. No one ever told him how he could get out of the hole he’s gotten himself into. This technology has remained utterly unknown.
So he has gone down the chute.
Ethics is one of the primary tools a person uses to dig himself out with.
Whether he knows how to or not, every person will try to dig himself out. It doesn’t matter who he is or what he’s done, he’s going to be trying to put ethics in on himself, one way or the other.
Even with Hitler and Napoleon there were attempts at self-restraint. It’s interesting in looking at the lives of these people how thoroughly they worked at self-destruction. The self-destruction is their attempt at applying ethics to themselves. They worked at this self-destruction on several dynamics. They can’t put ethics in on themselves; they can’t restrain themselves from doing these harmful acts, so they punish themselves. They realize they are criminals and cave themselves in.
All beings are basically good and are attempting to survive as best they can. They are attempting to put ethics in on their dynamics.
Ethics and justice were developed and exist to aid an individual in his urge towards survival. They exist to keep the dynamics in communication. The technology of ethics is the actual technology of survival.
An individual’s dynamics will be in communication to the degree that he is applying ethics to his life. If one knows and applies ethics technology to his life, he can keep the dynamics in communication and continuously increase his survival.
That is why ethics exists, so that we can survive like we want to survive, by having our dynamics in communication.
Ethics are not to be confused with justice. Justice is used only after a failure of the individual to use ethics on himself. With personal ethics in across the dynamics, third dynamic justice disappears as a primary concern. That’s where you get a world without crime.
A man who steals from his employer has his third dynamic out of communication with his first dynamic. He is headed for a prison sentence, or unemployment at best, which is not what one would call optimum survival on the first and second dynamic (not to mention the rest of them). He probably believes he is enhancing his survival by stealing, yet if he knew the technology of ethics he would realize he is harming himself as well as others and will only end up further down the chute.
The man who lies, the woman who cheats on her husband, the teenager who takes drugs, the politician who is involved in dishonest dealings, all are cutting their own throats. They are harming their own survival by having their dynamics out
of communication and not applying ethics to
It may come as a surprise to you, but a clean heart and clean hands are the only way to achieve happiness and survival. The criminal will never make it unless he reforms; the liar will never be happy or satisfied with himself until he begins dealing in truth.
The optimum solution to any problem presented by life would be that which leads to increased survival on the majority of the dynamics.
Thus we see that a knowledge of ethics is necessary to survival.
The knowledge and application of ethics is the way out of the trap of degradation and pain.
We can, each and every one of us, achieve happiness and optimum survival for ourselves and others by using ethics technology.
What Happens if the Dynamics Go Out-Ethics
It is important to remember that these dynamics comprise life. They do not operate singly without interaction with the other dynamics.
Life is a group effort. None survive alone.
If one dynamic goes out-ethics, it goes out of communication with (to a greater or lesser degree) the other dynamics. In order to remain in communication, the dynamics must remain in-ethics.
Let us take the example of a woman who has totally withdrawn from the third dynamic. She won’t have anything to do with any groups or the people of her town. She has no friends. She stays locked in her house all day thinking (with some misguided idea of independence or individuality) that she is surviving better on her first dynamic. Actually she is quite unhappy and lonely and lives in fear of other human beings. To ease her misery and boredom, she begins to take sedatives and tranquilizers which she becomes addicted to and then starts drinking alcohol as well.
She is busy “solving” her dilemma with further destructive actions. You can see how she has driven her first, second and third dynamics out of communication. She is actively destroying her survival on her dynamics. These actions are out-ethics in the extreme, and it would not be surprising if she eventually killed herself with the deadly combination of sedatives and alcohol.
Or let us take the man who is committing destructive acts on the job. These acts need not be large; they can be as simple as showing up late for work, not doing as professional a job on each product as he is capable of, damaging equipment or hiding things from his employer. He does not have to be overtly engaged in the total destruction of the company to know that he is committing harmful acts.
Now, this man finds himself sliding more and more out-ethics as time goes along. He feels he must hide more and more and he does not know how to stop this downward spiral. Very likely it never even occurred to him that he could stop it. He is lacking the technology of ethics. He probably doesn’t realize that his actions are driving his dynamics out of communication.
This may affect his other dynamics in various ways. He will probably be a bit miserable, and since he is basically good, he will feel guilt. He goes home at night and his wife says cheerily, “How was your day?” and he cringes a little and feels worse. He starts drinking to numb the misery. He is out of communication with his family. He is out of communication on his job. His performance at work worsens. He begins to neglect himself and his belongings. He no longer gets joy out of life. His happy and satisfying life slips away from him. Because he does not know and apply ethics technology to his life and his dynamics, the situation goes quite out of his control. He has unwittingly become the effect of his own out-ethics. Unless he gets his life straightened out by using ethics, he will undoubtedly die a
Now I ask you, what kind of life is that? Unfortunately, it is all too common in our current times.
A person cannot go out-ethics on a dynamic without it having disastrous consequences on his other dynamics.
It is really quite tragic, the tragedy being compounded by the fact that it is so unnecessary. If man only knew the simple technology of ethics, he could achieve for himself the self-respect, personal satisfaction and success that he only believes himself capable of dreaming of, not attaining.
Man is seeking survival. Survival is measured in pleasure. That means, to most men, happiness, self-respect, the personal satisfaction of a job well done and success. A man may have money, he may have a lot of personal belongings, etc., but he will not be happy unless he actually has his ethics in and knows he came by these things honestly. These rich political and financial criminals are not happy; they may be envied by the common man for their wealth, but they are very unhappy people who more often than not come to grief eventually through drug or alcohol addiction, suicide or some other means of self-destruction.
Let us look at the all-too-common current occurrence of out-ethics on the second dynamic. This is generally thought to be perfectly acceptable behavior.
It is easy to see how second dynamic out-ethics affects the other dynamics.
Let us say we have a young woman who is somewhat happily married and decides to have an affair with her boss, who happens to be a good friend of her husband. This is quite obviously out-ethics, as well as against the law, although an amazing number of people would find this sort of behavior acceptable or mildly objectionable
This is quite a destructive act, however.
She will suffer from guilt; she will feel deceitful and unhappy because she knows she has committed a bad act against her husband. Her relationship with him will certainly suffer and since her boss is experiencing much the same thing in his home, she and her boss will begin to feel bad towards each other, as they begin to target each other for their misfortune. Their dynamics end up quite messed up and out of communication. She will feel unhappy on her first dynamic as she has abandoned her own moral code. Her second dynamic will be out of communication and she may even begin to find fault with and dislike her husband. The situation at work is strained as she is now out of communication with her boss and her fellow workers. Her boss has ruined his relationship and friendship with her husband. She is so embroiled in these three dynamics that they go totally out of communication with her fourth, fifth and sixth dynamics. This is all the result of ethics going out on a single dynamic.
The repercussions spread insidiously to all the dynamics.
Our survival is assured only by our knowledge and application of ethics to our dynamics in order to keep them in communication.
Through ethics we can achieve survival and happiness for ourselves and for planet Earth.
L. Ron Hubbard