Vector Analysis of Ethics

Ethical analysis requires some form of establishing values for properties of the components of an ethical scenario and comparing them to determine the best pathway through the options.

Using vectors to represent ethical components should be helpful. A vector has a directional factor and a magnitude factor. In many vectors, the magnitude factor shows distance or velocity or some other factor.

For ethical analysis, the direction factor of the vector should show transition against a framework that represents progress toward desired end states. In a cartesian coordinate system, the x-axis could represent progress from bad to good. The y-axis could represent progress of “scope” from fewer to more (scope = number of individuals and groups that are considered). The z-axis could represent progress of “depth” from only considering simple survival to expanding into consideration of sustaining and then enhancing survival. The magnitude factor could be used in a manner similar to velocity to show progress against time.

An algebra of vectors could then be used to compare vectors to each other, creating an ethical analysis tool. The results could show not only end-point comparison, but also progress or developmental comparison. In other words, it would helpful to consider that while one ethical vector might reach a more desirable end-point within a given span of time, another one that reaches a less desirable end-point in the same time span, since it has a greater magnitude, could be predicted to overtake the first vector and reach better end-points as time continues.

SEE ALSO:
Ethics vs Morals
The Logic of Ethics
Ethics as Prediction

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