I don't think Hubbard knew much about philosophy...beyond what he learned from 'Chef Boyardee' -- my type bold
From HCOB 12 July 1980R The Basics of Ethics by L. Ron Hubbard who wrote:
Throughout the ages, man has struggled with the subjects of right and wrong and ethics and justice.
The dictionary defines ethics as "the study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others."
Dictionary definitions of 'ethics' put first emphasis on group morals, not individual choices. While Hubbard's definition roughly outlines "Every Day" ethics, it does not adequately describe"Philosophic Ethics". Hubbard should have used a better dictionary. The "ethics" entry in St. Martin's "A Dictionary of Philosophy" runs three columns and in the "Encyclopedia of Philosophy" encompasses several pages.
In Philosophy, 'Ethics' is not commonly a 'stand-alone' subject. It's usually a characteristic of a particular philosophic system or an inference drawn from a specific philosopher's ideas.
Socrates, for example, didn't set out to 'solve ethics' and THEN conceive a 'Philosophy of the 'Polis'. Socrates' 'Philosophy of the Polis' LEADS TO ethical ideas about the individual in society.
As a 'stand-alone' topic in Philosophy -- 'Ethics' is a theoretical study of fundamental Ethics, such as the origin, existence, or validity of ethical claims. "Philosophic ethics" need not pertain to "the individual and his relationship with others" or even pertain to humans -- recent philosophy has focused on ethical claims in symbolic logic.
The same dictionary defines justice as "conformity to moral right, or to reason, truth or fact," or "the administration of law."
This definition is too broad to encompass philophy. 'Justice' for Kant, Hobbes, Neitzche, Aquinas, Kierkegard is very different -- but all would 'fit' into this generalization.
As you can see, these terms have become confused.
All philosophies from time immemorial have involved themselves with these subjects. And they never solved them.
'Breakfast' -- All philosophers "from time immemorial" have also "involved themselves" with eating breakfast. Saying that all philosophers "have involved themselves" with ethics and justice, is equally silly.
Philosophy, generally, seeks to explain, not solve. Philosophy deals in theoretical constructs, not 'Action Plans'.
That they have been solved in Dianetics and Scientology is a breakthrough of magnitude. The solution lay, first, in their separation. From there it could go forward to a workable technology for each.
'Dianetics' is a 'therapeutic' approach to mental health, not a 'philosophy'. Mental Health is a 20th century psychological construct.
Mental Health is NOT a common topic' in philosophy. As far as I can tell, Dianetics contributes NOTHING to the field of 'philosophical ethics'.
ETHICS consists simply of the actions an individual takes on himself. It is a personal thing. When one is ethical or "has his ethics in" it is by his own determinism and is done by himself.
In Philosophy -- 'Ethics' is rarely "a personal thing". It's usually the opposite -- an adherence to group morality, civic codes, religious doctrine, community traditions, or universal principles, i.e. 'Ten Commandments,' 'Golden Rule', Kant's 'Categorical Imperative,' J.S. Mill's 'Utilitarianism', Karl Marx 'Proletarian Ethics', Aristotle's 'Golden Mean', etc. etc.
Throughout Philosophy's first 2000 years, the 'individual' is largely irrelevant -- outside of his relationship to the 'state,' 'society,' or God.
For example, Socrates chooses suicide over banishment, because banishment from society equates to non-existence. For Socrates "human individuality" has no meaning or context outside the group (polis).
The 'Individual' as an independent agent doesn't figure prominently in philosophy until the 'Enlightenment' -- with thinkers like John Locke and J.J. Rousseau.
Neitzche is possibly the only major philosopher to express anything close to Hubbard's assertion "Ethics are simply the actions an individual takes on himself. It's a personal thing"
However, Neitzche considered his 'take' on 'Master and Slave' morality to be an operative force of 'cyclical history' -- an inevitability, not necessarily, a behavioral prescription.
A 'twisted' version of Nietche's 'Will to Power" was 'a hit' with 20th Century Totalitarians.
JUSTICE is the action taken on the individual by the group when he fails to take these actions himself.
If "the group" chooses to throw bananas at a murderer -- because the murderer failed to throw bananas at himself -- is that "Justice" ??
Hubbard's bromidic statement is not a philosophic construct.
Additionally, there is no 'philosophic' necessity that "Justice" be an "Action" of any kind. 'Justice' might be a consequence, a condition, a force in Nature, the will of God, an impossibility, or (for Hegel and Marx) a component of history.
These subjects are, actually, the basis of all philosophy. But in any study of the history of philosophy it is plain that they have puzzled philosophers for a long time.
'Ethics, Justice and History' are NOT the "basis of ALL philosophy"
God, Existence, Evil, Epistemology, Society, Politics, Nature of Power are the dominant topics in philosophy.
'Ethics' and 'Justice' are not 'starting points' in philosophy, they are a characteristic of a specific philosopher's thinking.
J.J. Rousseau didn't start off saying, "I'm going to think about what's ethical" and then 'hit upon' an idea of 'man in a state of nature.'
Rousseau started out with a supposition about 'man in a state of nature' which then lead to characteristic constructs of 'ethics' and 'justice'.
'History' ? Hegel, Marx and Neitzche develop 'philosophies of history' but it's not a prominent topic for most of the 'major philosophers'.
BTW: Philosophers don't "puzzle" -- most are egomaniacs that KNOW they are right
The early Greek followers of Pythagoras (Greek philosopher of the sixth century B.C.) tried to apply their mathematical theories to the subject of human conduct and Ethics.
Pythagoras and his followers DID NOT "apply mathematical theories to the subject of human conduct." Pythagoras discovered the mathematical relationships in music.
Some time later, Socrates (Greek philosopher and teacher 470? - 399 B.C.) tackled the subject. He demonstrated that all those who were claiming to show people how to live were unable to defend their views or even define the terms they were using.
The 'Sophists' did not run around "claiming to show people how to live". They were a class of itinerant teachers who instructed affluent young men in law, logic, and public policy. The 'Sophists' were the 'law professors' of Classical Greece.
He [Socrates] argued that we must know what courage, and justice, law and government are before we can be brave or good citizens or just or good rulers. This was fine but he then refused to provide definitions. He said that all sin was ignorance but did not take the necessary actions to rid Man of his ignorance.
Socrates believed that 'truths' about subjects like "courage" are best discovered through friendly argument -- "Socratic Method." In that process, Socrates employs 'verbal jousting' as a tool to gain understanding.
In Plato's dialogues, the 'standard script' pits Socrates against a Sophist interlocutor, who is eventually forced to admit the inadequacy of rigid definitions of terms such as 'courage,' 'justice' 'honor', etc.
Hubbard's writing in all this is maddening. It's like a "C" grade High School paper, certain facts are correct, but the conclusions are wrong
Socrates' pupil, Plato (Greek philosopher, 427? - 347 B.C.) adhered to his master's theories but insisted that these definitions could only be defined by pure reason.
We have no knowledge of Plato's 'opinion' of "his master's theories" beyond the honor Plato bestows in casting Socrates as his protagonist.
The 'Dialogues' present Socrates and Plato as one voice. Scholars have no idea how much of the work is attributable to Socrates. We mostly suspect that "his master's opinions" are predominantly Plato's opinions.
This meant that one had to isolate oneself from life in some ivory tower and figure it all out—not very useful to the man in the street.
The Philosophy of Plato/Socrates' is called "The Dialogues" for a reason. It is a philosophy of civic society (the polis) that manifests as a conversation with every class of citizen. That discourse usually takes place in public and often out-of-doors.
Describing Plato and Socrates as "Isolationist" or "Ivory Tower" is an utterly absurd.
"Isolationist" ? Socrates was a social gadfly! Always 'on the prowl' for groups and individuals to engage in conversation. 'Socratic Method' is an investigation of meaning through lively discourse. "Symposium" is an account of Socrates 'philosophizing' at a "drinking party"!
"Ivory Tower" ? Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates' teaching method is called "the peripitetic school' because it takes place 'walking around' with students and encountering citizens in public spaces.
Aristotle (Greek philosopher 384 - 322 B.C.) also got involved with ethics. He explained unethical behavior by saying that man's rationality became overruled by his desire.
Aristotle wrote a book entitled "Nichomachean Ethics" but it is NOT about man's psychological passion or "desire" -- it contains various subjects and asserts that reason, pragmatism, experiment and compromise are 'benchmarks' of truth.
This chain continued down the ages. Philosopher after philosopher tried to resolve the subjects of ethics and justice.
The history of philosophy is NOT a 'chain of thinkers toiling unsuccessfully to resolve problems of ethics and justice'
Philosophers are theorists who inquire into various subjects that may (or may not) have implications on ethics and justice.
While there are exceptions, philosophers are typically NOT 'resolvers' or 'social activists'
Unfortunately, until now, there has been no workable solution, as evidenced by the declining ethical level of society.
Our 5000 year progress in LAW (which is where 'practical ethics' is most appropriately considered) has been a stunning success in liberating the individual.
So you see it is no small breakthrough that has been made in this subject in the last 30 years or so. We have defined the terms, which Socrates omitted to do, and we have a workable technology that anyone can use to help get himself out of the mud. The natural laws behind this subject have been found and made available for all to use.
This is horseshit. As stated, Socrates' purpose is to demonstrate the inadequacy of definitions.
Hubbard "Impossible to Grade"
The breakthrough in Scientology is that we do have the basic technology of ethics. For the first time man can learn how to put his own ethics in and climb back up the chute.
This is a brand new discovery; before Scientology it had never before seen the light of day, anywhere. It marks a turning point in the history of philosophy. The individual can learn this technology, learn to apply it to his life and can then put his own ethics in, change conditions and start heading upwards toward survival under his own steam.
I hope you will learn to use this technology very well for your own sake, for the sake of those around you and for the sake of the future of this culture as a whole.
L. RON HUBBARD
There's nothing in Scientology that bears a resemblance to philosophy. And, apparently, not much in philosophy that 'stuck' with L.Ron Hubbard
Scientology is a 'quasi-psychological' 'self-help' doctrine, not a "turning point in the history of philosophy" -- not by a looooong stretch!