Exploring 3L Practical Political Philosophy and Principles
The Live and Let Live Philosophy contains two sub-parts or principles. The end goal? In exploring the 3L Philosophy, we separate our own personal morality from the law for the purpose of achieving global peace.
Part One: To ‘Live‘ – This means you are in charge of your life. You get to define and pursue your own happiness; you get to decide how to live your life on your own terms. You should be solely in charge of your body, all your peacefully acquired property and money, and all your time. Stated simply, you are in charge of you. You own your life! 3L Moral Principle – Be an Exellent Human.
Part Two: To ‘Let Live‘ – To properly observe the Live and Let Live Philosophy, and to promote freedom and peace, we must allow others the exact same right to also peacefully live their lives on their own terms. To aggress against another person’s body, property, money, or time is to violate the other person’s right to live their lives. Each competent adult owns their own life and the property they peacefully accumulate. 3L Legal Principle – Don’t Aggress.
What is an Excellent Human?
In Our Founder’s Words…
I suspect you already have a sufficient general understanding of what this means. However, as with the 3L Legal Principle, honest disagreement is at the edges. That notwithstanding, there is more agreement than disagreement regarding the general meaning of simply being an excellent human. While being an excellent human certainly requires that a person not aggress against others, it also includes the following aspirational values:
High Character – A person’s character results from their core values and motivations for acting. It is the quality of doing the right thing for the right reasons. Traits like integrity, honesty, loyalty, responsibility, accountability, compassion, empathy, gratitude, fairness, patience, fortitude, and others that promote good behavior encompass this concept. The traditional four virtues present in both ancient philosophy as well as in many of the world’s most successful moral traditions include practical wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance or balance. The 3L Moral Principle specifically promotes these four virtues as part of aspiring to a high degree of moral character. Always striving to improve one’s character and act accordingly is arguably the most basic, comprehensive, and important aspirational value.
A Commitment to Thinking Win/Win – We should always seek ways to align our self-interest with the interests of others to achieve mutually beneficial results. Not only does this approach foster free trade and thereby raise standards of living for both parties, but it also fosters cooperation, mutual benefit, long-term relationships, and a high level of trust. Investing time to genuinely understand another person’s thinking, preferences, and proclivities to determine what constitutes a “win” for another person is a necessary prerequisite to achieving and engaging in a win/win agreement. As such, carefully listening to others is an important skill to be refined to realize this aspirational value.
Open-mindedness – We should always remain willing to consider new or different ideas, opinions, and conclusions from the ones we currently hold. This open-mindedness should be the case for all issues. If we confront a better idea, opinion, or determination, we should not be afraid to modify our current position on any subject. This willingness to change does not mean we ought to be fickle. However, we should recognize that none of us is perfect, and we all currently hold some incorrect views. Remaining open-minded is the best way to learn and improve. There is simply no downside to being open-minded.
Tolerance – We should recognize that people look, speak, celebrate, love, think, act, and even live differently. We should aspire to accept genuinely the peaceful behavior and beliefs of others that differ from our own, even if we do not personally agree with or approve of them. We recognize that all people are imperfect and therefore act imperfectly at times. Let’s resolve, at least legally, to tolerate the rights of others to live, however, they choose so long as they do not violate Rule #1.
Voluntary Kindness Towards Others – We should aspire to be caring, compassionate, generous, and helpful towards others in need even when we are not required to do so, and there is nothing tangible to gain. While we reject forced kindness, we seek to inspire people to voluntarily be kind towards others because it is the right thing to do and for the sake of creating a peaceful world.
Civility Towards Others – We seek to inspire people to maintain a dignified demeanor of friendship, politeness, goodwill, and respect toward others. We reject the idea of harboring unjustified hostility towards others, calling people derogatory names, or being rude. We should set an example for others to emulate. This remains the case even when others act in uncivilized ways. Harboring anger, hostility, and resentment are unproductive and does not foster peace. We can always agree to disagree in a calm and respectful way. Let’s treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves.
A Commitment to Truth, Facts, and Rational Thought – We should be firmly committed to pursuing knowledge about what is objectively true about nature and the universe. This commitment remains the case even if the facts of reality overthrow our current beliefs. We should not cling to beliefs merely to be “right.” Instead, we should pursue the limits of human knowledge wherever it leads.
Building High Levels of Trust with Others – Trust is the foundation upon which all productive human relationships are built. Our best relationships are the ones where we have earned a high level of trust. We should never miss an opportunity to build trust with another person. To build trust, we must first be trustworthy. We should always act in ways that inspire others to believe in our integrity and underlying high character strongly. We should encourage all people to honor their word and do what they promise to produce ever-increasing high levels of trust with others.
Consistent Self-Improvement – We recognize no person is perfect. We all make mistakes, which we should enthusiastically own, accept full responsibility for, and constructively learn from. We should foster and maintain a commitment to excellence in all areas. We each have countless opportunities to improve in all ways. We recognize that learning is a life-long process requiring practice, diligence, and commitment. As part of being an excellent human, the 3LM attempts to inspire all people to frequently bring the best new version of themselves forward and continually work towards self-improvement in all areas of life.
This list of aspirational values is non-exhaustive. These aspirational values, and possibly others, are necessary to achieve the 3LM’s overall goals of achieving global freedom and peace while optimizing human happiness and well-being and decreasing suffering. To minimize the suffering of all sentient beings is an aspirational goal of many in the 3LM.
Some Areas Addressed in Applying the 3L Legal Principle:
It is important to note that the proper 3LP analysis has no connection or relevance to any person’s personal opinions or preferences. A discussion about personal views is an entirely different discussion. For example, we can certainly respect the rights of competent adults to choose for themselves whether to eat ice cream. Whether we opt to eat ice cream is entirely irrelevant. If we do opt to eat ice cream, what flavor we fancy is also irrelevant. Our position on whether people ought to eat ice cream is also totally unrelated to a discussion about how we apply the 3LP. How any other person, or even a hypothetical reasonable person, opts to live their life is not relevant to a discussion about applying the 3LP. Exploring the 3L Philosophy, we should always be mindful of keeping these discussions separate.
We have an increasingly severe problem with social and news media outlets. It seems there are few, if any, news sources that are committed to presenting facts unbiasedly. Social media organizations have become shockingly better able to bombard us with skewed versions of the news they conclude we are predisposed to believe already. If you utilize social media, you probably live in an echo chamber of voices agreeing with your current constructions of facts. As a result, large groups have significant disagreements about basic facts on many issues.
Given that we do not usually have personal knowledge of the relevant facts for a given issue, this is a growing problem unnecessarily causing discord and chaos in our world. Others can now easily manipulate what we believe factually about the world. We should always remain aware of this issue. Because of this reality, we should each allow for the possibility that the facts underlying many questions may differ from what we currently believe. We should generally be more-humble when we assert our beliefs about important facts underlying issues we discuss.
Agreeing to legally prohibit individuals from violating the 3L Legal Principle but then allowing them to simply form groups, organizations, corporations, or governments to legally violate the 3L Legal Principle would defeat the entire project of advocating for a free and peaceful world. It would be the most explicit example of allowing the exception to swallow the rule entirely. Indeed, this closely resembles the legal situation we have today. While we legally prohibit individuals from violating the 3L Legal Principle, people whom the most prominent group employs, we refer to as “government,” are routinely legally permitted to disregard it for countless reasons. We can never achieve freedom and peace unless we oppose all violations of the 3L Legal Principle regardless of who is violating it, even if the government employs the person violating it.
What matters is not whether a person is also a member of some group, organization, corporation, or government, but whether the person or the collective group of people is aggressing against another. Exploring the 3L Philosophy, there are no distinctions between the individual and group or government, the same rule applies.
Competent adults should be free to believe and do whatever they want so long as they do not violate the 3L Legal Principle. That what they believe falls into the category of religion is irrelevant. The entire issue of separation of church and state becomes mostly irrelevant if we simply adhere to the 3L Legal Principle. Many people champion a strong separation of church and state because they either fear the state will forcefully impose religious mandates on those who reject those mandates or fear the state will forcefully prevent religious people from peacefully practicing their particular religion. Simply adhering to the 3L Legal Principle resolves both reasonable concerns.
As with all other issues, whether one likes or dislikes firearms and other weapons and whether one opts to possess or refuses to possess them is irrelevant to the question of what laws are proper. We get the appropriate answer if we fairly, reasonably, and honestly determine whether someone is violating the 3L Legal Principle. Stated simply, if a person, even a person possessing a firearm, is not violating the 3L Legal Principle, that person should be left alone. We are not addressing moral questions with this analysis. As usual, the relevant initial inquiry is always whether someone is violating the 3L Legal Principle.
War is the absolute worst expression of humanity. Given our technology today, almost any war can result in the mass murder of innocent people. While there may exist arguments to mitigate punishment in certain cases, any harm to any innocent person is always unjustified and deserving of legal consequences for the aggressor. We must urgently coalesce around a firm commitment to avoid all wars. The best way to accomplish this goal is to convince the reasonable people of the world to accept and live in accordance with the 3LP. War cannot occur without someone or some government resorting to the initiation of aggression. We should always employ reason and conversation as our best tools to avoid all physical disputes.
Our world is replete with endless mandatory regulations. Indeed, no person can be familiar with the countless compulsory regulations that apply to our daily lives. As such, it is easy to become anti-regulation generally. However, not all mandatory regulations are created equal. Regulations that are both in harmony with the 3L Legal Principle, and are necessary to prevent the 3L Legal Principle from being violated, are indispensable to a free and peaceful society and world.
There should be no doubt that a free society and world needs the services of police officers, courts, and national defense. It is fair to assume that, despite our best efforts, the world will always include aggressors. While we suspect most people will agree with them upon learning about and fully understanding the concepts underpinning the 3LP, some will not. While some of them can learn from their mistakes and conform their future conduct to the requirements of the 3L Legal Principle, it would be naïve to believe this will ever be the case with everyone. Exploring the 3L Philosophy, we will always live among aggressors, and we need to be prepared to determine who is an aggressor and to deal with them appropriately.
Competent adults are free to spend their money on any charitable or noncharitable purpose they choose. They should also be free not to spend any money at all. Many people already voluntarily spend their money to help others. While voluntary kindness is an essential ethical aspirational value in a civilized and virtuous society, forced kindness is not. We should strongly encourage and highly value voluntary kindness towards those less fortunate than ourselves.
As standards of living rise and people become wealthier, we should expect more people to voluntarily spend their money on those less fortunate. There are many opportunities to willingly help those less fortunate. The 3LM strongly encourages people to spend some of their money on charitable causes voluntarily. We acknowledge your right to live your life however you please so long as you do not violate the 3L Legal Principle.
It is safe to say we are not yet aware of all issues that could arise. However, we can reliably predict future issues will appear that will cause people to disagree. While we cannot intelligently discuss many aspects of that yet unknown issue, we can now say some things about that issue. If any person or group violates the 3L Legal Principle, we are against it and support immediately terminating the conduct. We would further conclude with certainty that yet unknown conduct should be illegal. On the other hand, if no person or group violates the 3L Legal Principle, we can now conclude that yet unknown conduct ought to be legal.
We can also further conclude now that, even if we determine the yet unknown conduct should be legal, if it violates the 3L Moral Principle, we would strongly advise against it even as we strongly support its legality. Even if the yet unknown conduct does not violate the 3L Moral Principle, we may strongly advise against it nonetheless because the behavior may violate another higher moral value we hold on any other conceivable basis we choose. We expressly reserve the right to peacefully advocate against any conduct we choose, on any basis we prefer, even if we strongly support the legality of that conduct because there is no violation of the 3L Legal Principle.