The Thirteen Stevic Rules of the Earth

OK, I’m gonna get all comparative ethics on you…

Daisy posted Anton LaVey’s Satanic Rules of the Earth up on her own site a while back and I commented that I liked them all right, but thought I could do better. So, some of these are worked up from LaVey, some of these are mine.

The Thirteen Stevic Rules of the Earth…

The FIVE LAWS OF FRIENDSHIP and OBLIGATION

Give your friendship generously to those you like and admire, and ask honestly for the same in return. To these people are your true obligations.

You should make a reasonable effort to ensure that you count your family as your friends, but in such cases where they clearly are not your friends, then you have no obligations to family members other than your own children.

To dislike particular people is honourable. Do not befriend or keep the company of people you dislike, if you can reasonably avoid it.

Do not complain about something or someone to which you need not subject yourself, nor listen to the needless complaints of others. Similarly, do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked, and expect the same of others.

Countries, religions and all other groupings of people based on ideas are illusory. They may be useful means to ends but they are not binding. In many cases, they are attempts to create obligations for you based on abstract ideas rather than on real friendships. These are false obligations. You have no true obligations to ideas.

The TWIN LAWS of TERRITORY and DEFENCE

Each person has a right to personal territory, and a right to be unharmed and unhindered within that territory, and they may reasonably defend themselves within it.

Open territory exists as a place where no-one holds personal territory. For a person to claim this space as his or her own is an aggression towards all others, and in such cases this territory may be defended temporarily, as though it were personal territory.

The FOUR LAWS of RIGHTS and KNOWLEDGE

Each person has the right to act reasonably in order to fulfil their desires, based upon their knowledge of the world at that time.

Older people do not know more about the world than anyone else and are not exempt from the laws of territory unless they are disabled by age. Many old people are simply people who have had more practice at being stupid than others.

Little children do not know any less about the world than anyone else. However, their ability to achieve their desires is less than others, and they are exempt from the laws of territory and must be protected within the territory of adults until such a time as they can reasonably be expected to fend for themselves.

People who are mentally or physically disabled may have impairments to their ability to achieve their desires.  They may be exempt from some of the laws of territory, and in such cases, must be protected to some degree within the territory of capable adults.

The TWIN LAWS of ENVIRONMENT

Do not harm animals unless it is in self defence or for you food (sorry, you vegos. I love meat.)

If you pollute the environment you must remediate it with your own actions. Therefore, do not pollute the environment to the extent that it cannot be remediated by your own actions.

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8 Responses to The Thirteen Stevic Rules of the Earth

  1. Great Southern Steve says:

    Hah!

    I had to think about that. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to write out my intuitive ethical position as a set of laws or maxims.

    In practice, I do actually follow the first five as much as possible. In particular, I am pretty sharp at knowing the difference between real and false obligations.

    In terms of the laws of territory and defence, I generally dislike being on other people’s turf, and I can sometimes be weak when it comes to defending my own turf – but I guess lots of people are like that. I am fairly private, which makes it easier.

    In terms of rights and knowledge: I will care for my children. The stuff about old people and the disabled being “looked after by capable adults” is easy for me to say right now, because I don’t actually have to do it. If I did, I’d probably hate it. Actually I’m hoping the government would do it for me by proxy. That’s the kind of thing they are for.

    In terms of the environment I am a hypocrite. I have solar and watertanks and all that, and I try to buy green, but really, I find that having a global economy job and living an environmentally neutral life is virtually impossible.

  2. k- says:

    Yeah, these are pretty good. But why not treat animals the same way you treat the environment; that is, they are for food as long as they are treated and killed with a sense of dignity that isn’t disruptive to a ‘natural’ equilibrium (thus, the modern meat factories are recognized as both unethical and unsustainable).

    I also have a concern with your treatment of ‘private territory.’ How is ‘territory’ defined? As physical space? Material possessions? Both? And how does one draw the distinction between ‘private’ and ‘public’? I’m not being flippant, for such distinctions are increasingly illusory and difficult to maintain.

    Regarding the environment, we are all hypocrites because, as you point out, the tension between living a ‘modern’ life and living an ‘environmentally neutral’ life is impossible. But you suggest an admirable goal.

  3. steve says:

    Part of me wants to go “ah fuck it, I can’t defend this, I just made it up in half an hour.” But I could think more about it, I suppose.

    I will say that I find Lavey’s concept of personal territory (lair) and open territory kind of useful. My own definition of personal territory would be enough physical space to fulfill basic human needs as well as the mental space to do so – i.e. being free of illusory obligations.

    Possessions beyond that would be things that were attained through work rather than a basic human right. I wasn’t thinking of possessions as part of territory. I was thinking of personal living space in which other people could not dictate terms, as a basic human right.

    I agree that natural equilibrium is a useful concept with animals but something about lack of harm or lack of cruelty also has to be in there. It would be perfectly possible to have a stable and sustainable way of dealing with the environment that would also be monstrously cruel to animals.

  4. steve says:

    It’s OK.

    I think we can survive without your unique bend of humor and pathos.

  5. Daisy Anne says:

    I must say that I like both LaVey’s and Steve’s rules.
    I especially liked these Stevic Rules:

    You should make a reasonable effort to ensure that you count your family as your friends, but in such cases where they clearly are not your friends, then you have no obligations to family members other than your own children.

    Little children do not know any less about the world than anyone else. However, their ability to achieve their desires is less than others, and they are exempt from the laws of territory and must be protected within the territory of adults until such a time as they can reasonably be expected to fend for themselves.

    People who are mentally or physically disabled may have impairments to their ability to achieve their desires. They may be exempt from some of the laws of territory, and in such cases, must be protected to some degree within the territory of capable adults.

  6. Daisy Anne says:

    I have posted the Nine Satanic Sins on my blog, and I’m hoping we might get the Nine Stevic Sins in return 🙂

  7. steve says:

    Failure to publish my novels

    Failure to provide me malt whisky of great age and complexity

    etc…

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