Measuring “Well Being”

We often measure the success of processes with numbers that represent some state of the output or operation of the process. Financial organizations tend to use a “bottom line” number of profitability. But nation-states and some other groups have different purposes and need different measures. When the purpose of a group is to sustain or improve the state of well being of the group members, we need the means to take a measure of well being or quality of life.

Quality of life needs to be defined by more than just financial status or cost of living. Physical health, safety, protection of individual rights, and happiness must be considered. Financial health can be measured with income, net worth, and cost of living. Combining all of these numbers and more can create a usable measure of well being.

Our ability to measure well being is important because it is key to making ethical decisions. Ethical considerations should begin with self and move outward through a series of concentric circles that include others and groups of others and more. For analyzing what is best for self and others and groups of others, a measure of well being is a good starting place.

Being able to consistently quantify measures like this will be essential to creating a framework for “general ethics” that allows computer software to analyze ethical considerations.

SEE ALSO:
How Ethics Works
Super Intelligent Ethics
Using AI in the Development of Ethics
Ethics is the Best Measure of Civilization
General Applied Ethics

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