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G . The Rules of Virtue and Vice

A fundamental rule of conduct is that every individual should strive to lead a virtuous life by always seeking the virtuous alternative for each choice which life presents to said individual. For a definition of the individual virtues, a good starting point is the twelve virtues defined by the Boy Scouts of America. A scout will always be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. To that list should be added at least the virtues of "modest," because nobody likes to have their face rubbed in somebody else's virtue, wealth, or other desirable attributes; "considerate,"36 because harmony with others is a primary goal of civilized life; and "progressive," because without progress towards some common goal, an individual lacks a useful purpose to define the life of said individual. There are probably more virtues which merit some mention, and as they arise or are otherwise named, they should be mentioned herein. A "vice" is therefore any conduct which runs counter to one or more of the virtues, and "vice" may usually be recognized in any circumstance where an individual seeks personal pleasure or profit at the expense of another individual without the informed consent of said other individual37 and of society as a whole, which consent may be given either explicitly or implicitly.38 Seen in this fashion, "virtue" is conduct within boundaries established by society as a whole and the other individuals with whom a given individual interacts, while "vice" is conduct, lawful or not, which falls outside of those boundaries. Thus, conduct which is a "vice" is always condemned by society as a whole, and to which various penalties will attach, ranging in severity from merely the condemnation referred to (as the least serious consequence or punishment) all the way through the death of the individual (which is commonly called "capital punishment").

36 The virtue of being "law abiding" falls entirely within the virtue of being "considerate" of others. Society should have laws only for the protection of individuals and the society as a whole. Laws which do not serve a useful function of protection should be eliminated. The conforming of the conduct of the individual to the standards established by laws created by society is the basic element of being "considerate" of other individuals as all individuals have a right to expect that all other individuals will obey all such laws.

37 The concept of "fraud" is clearly included within the concept of "vice" because the essence of "fraud" is the inducement of an individual to act or fail to act by the use of a falsehood or by a failure to inform. In each case where "fraud" appears, informed consent is lacking.

38 All individuals seek personal pleasure. Many will achieve personal pleasure from virtuous conduct. Others will achieve personal pleasure from various forms of entertainment which are tolerated, or even promoted, by society as a whole. Pleasure becomes wrongful only when indulged to excess or when indulged to the point of harm to self or to another, either directly or indirectly. (However, it should be remembered that the concept of "harm upon self" is limited by the Freedom Dogma.) People who are addicted to "pleasure," in one form or another, have lost the capacity to cease indulging in the pleasurable activity when said activity begins to inflict harm.

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