Why Ethics? (... Why Spirituality? ...Why Philosophy?)

I remember signing up for Computers, Ethics, and Society with no small measure of enthusiasm. The course title promised an environment of lively debate on ethics and their function in society and technology, a debate I strongly desired to engage in with my peers and professors. However, my excitement was quickly dampened upon reading the opening chapter of the first assigned reading, CyberEthics by Richard A. Spinello. As one who identifies strongly with the tenets of Objectivism, Spinello's flippant dismissal (followed by his outright condemnation) of moral relativism did not sit well with me.

My enthusiasm was replaced with apprehension as I began to entertain fears of small-minded professors insistent on bending the minds of their impressionable young students to agree that the acceptance of Spinello's metanorms is the only appropriate way to approach a discussion of ethics. I soon discovered that this was not the case; the course instructors are open-minded and fair-handed. However, the text they assigned helped me to formulate ready responses to the questions put forward in the title of this article by way of opposition to the text itself.

Engaging the study of ethics enables one to understand and discuss the topic with authority. Those who cannot contextualize and evaluate ethical philosophies are vulnerable to whatever ideas anyone else might choose to present as 'right' and 'good' or as 'wrong' and 'evil'. Indeed, without an understanding of what my own morals are, I could not have recognized Spinello as immoral, nor would I have been able to provide a lucid explanation for this standpoint. Therefore, this article will briefly address the question "Why Ethics?" in the context of a refutation of Spinello's general arguments, after which it will address the necessity for individuals to develop personalized codes of ethics. It will not require any great insight to spot my bias toward moral relativism as I address these topics. Unlike Spinello, however, I will defend my beliefs with an evaluation of the opposing viewpoints before identifying them as "myopic" and "dangerous".

Spinello's God Given Wisdom

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. ~ Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662)
No moral system can rest solely on authority. ~ A. J. Ayer (1910 - 1989), Humanist Outlook

Of the many flaws in Spinello's reasoning, I take strong offense to his use of the Bible while attempting to build his case. Throughout his text, he references the Bible as a valid philosophical construct. One of the many examples of this can be found in his introduction, wherein he expands on a biblical edict to develop a moral framework for use in one's daily interactions:

The Golden Rule, for example, states that "whatever you wish that men would do to you do so to them" (Matthew 7:12). From this "love your neighbor as yourself" principle, one can derive more specific core moral values about murder, theft, and so forth. These principals can function as more practical guidelines for moral decision-making, and enable us to pursue the basic human goods in a way the respects our fellow humanity.1

By using biblical decrees in support of and as a foundation for his ideas, he is submitting the Bible as a legitimate resource for ethical guidance. Therefore, it is important that the reader evaluate whether or not that particular book and all of its teachings provide a suitable foundation for moral instruction. Consider the following: Ethics are created by critically examining the veracity of ideas, which are then accepted or rejected based on that evaluation, and by personally deciding for one's self what is truth and what is fiction. For this to be meaningful, the process must be allowed to take place in an unfettered environment; ideas forced on an individual in a totalitarian fashion are adopted out of fear, not out of reason. The Bible is unambiguous about the consequences of considering (let alone discussing) opposing ideas, and it provides explicit directions for coping with contradictory information. One such example can be found in Deuteronomy 13:6, which speaks quite directly to these issues:

If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.2

By this passage alone the Bible comes out against the objective evaluation of ethical principals, let alone constructive discourse on the topic. Even if the rest of the text was not riddled with endorsements for slavery, stealing, lying, and killing, this single excerpt causes me to discount in total the use of it in support of any reasonable philosophical discussion. However, Spinello's repeated use of the text as a resource seems understandable in light of his affinity for group-think philosophies (which I'll discuss more fully later).

Objectivism's Wisdom On God

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. ~ Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot. ~ Mark Twain (1835 - 1910), What Is Man? (1906)

The process of ethical development prescribed by the philosophy of Objectivism is centered on the assumption that each person possesses the independent capacity for evaluation, thought, and consideration. Each individual is expected to evaluate for him/herself whether or not to accept each (or any) tenet of each (or any) philosophy; an individual is expected to think for him/her self and not to accept anything at face value. This stands opposed to the fundamental idea put forward by the metanorms value systems, which states that all comers are subject to an external authority and that each of us must comply with edicts from "the other" whether they like it or not.

Objectivism goes on to state that anything which cannot be demonstrated as scientific fact is not real and must be rejected. It holds that no theology has been demonstrated correct by scientific methods, therefore no theology may be considered factual. As such, any argument, be it on ethics, creation, or otherwise, that utilizes theological 'proofs' is fundamentally flawed. How, then, can one be a spiritual being and still be an Objectivist? The answer is simple: moral relativism requires that one believe only in what can be demonstrated as factual. This does not mean that all moral relativists think, feel, or worship the same way or that they are all atheists; we are each required to evaluate the issues and come to a personal understanding based solely on factual evidence. Therefore, if an Objectivist possesses proof of the existence of a divine being - proof that is satisfactory and convincing to that particular person as being scientific and incontrovertible - then that person may believe in that divine being and still be an Objectivist.

For myself, I believe only in what I can see and touch. Having been influenced in my youth by the teachings of Florence Scovel Shinn3, I place great store in the proof of experience and the return on investment where prayer is concerned. As an adult, I think of this process in terms of energy work or visualization, but the end result is the same. When I wish for something in earnest, I witness a direct return on the investment of time and effort, and I have found this to be a reliably repeatable phenomena. Beyond my own experiences, there exists ample demonstrable evidence of the power of focused meditation. For example, a well documented experiment in 1993 demonstrated that the concerted focus of 3500 members "in the Transcendental Meditation® and TM-Sidhi® programs [were able] to increase coherence and reduce stress in the District [of Columbia, USA]."4

Spinello's Group-Think Tank

The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others. ~ Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)
I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it. ~ G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

CyberEthics stands firm by the assertion that the only appropriate ethical frameworks are those that are based on metanorms but fails to address contradictions inherent in this assertion. If the 'group-think' school of thought is right, then we all have the same ethical foundation; we all share a common moral code. If this is so, there is little point in surveying the populace to determine what an individual identifies as his or her ethical code; the act of asking the question acknowledges that each individual will offer an independent evaluation of what is moral and what is not.

After conducting the survey necessary to establish what the ethical metanorms are, the proponents of the group-think ethic attempt to perpetrate a fraud on their audience. Their studies demonstrate that most of the populace believe in values A, B, and C, while some small percentage claim X, Y, and Z, and an even smaller group of misfits claim P, D, and Q. The argument goes that because the core group is holding fast to the common set of values we all share, those who do not follow suit are abnormal. The conclusion is then put forward that there is one right moral code, and that this code is made up of the morals defined by the "A, B, and C" group. Of course, they are more than happy to explain the finer details of the code on the off chance that there exists any ambiguity in their audiences understanding of the material. However, if you claim to have morals different from these, then you are making the claim that you have developed an ethical code on your own. Of course, deviant behavior of that kind is unacceptable; individuals are not qualified to develop independent moral codes. Spinello states this sentiment thusly:

[The theories of Utilitarianism, Duty-Based, and Right-Based Morality] have certain elements in common, particularly an orientation to "the other" - along with the need to consider the interests and perspectives of the affected parties when assessing alternative action plans. And they all stand in opposition to the dangerous and myopic philosophy of ethical egoism, which is blind to the rights and aspirations of others.5

Of course, the logical fallacy involved here is obvious: "The Bandwagon Fallacy is committed whenever one argues for an idea based upon an irrelevant appeal to its popularity."6 The popularity appeal is irrelevant in this case because moral codes are developed by individuals in response to what they observe and how they interpret those observations over time. As noted previously, the act of questioning the content of an individual's moral code is itself an acknowledgment that we hold diverse, independent beliefs. Therefore, advocates of the ethical group-think mentality acknowledge the individual process of moral development we all engage in and then immediately deny the validity of that process, stating that moral relativists have narrow-minded and unsafe philosophies. Spinello is correct on this count: anyone who looks to hard at his defective and contradictory reasoning poses a serious and immediate 'danger' to the influence he hopes to bring to bear.

To clarify a possible misunderstanding: I am not claiming that it is immoral to discover your ethics are in alignment with those around you, though it is immoral to bring them into that alignment because some ill-informed authority claims this to be the only acceptable action. This is exactly what Spinello does when he wields the philosophies of metanorms like a tank, driving over opposing points of view and attempting to dismiss them with some mean-spirited comments and no ethical evaluation whatever.

Objectivism Takes the Offensive

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. ~ H. G. Wells (1866 - 1946), The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman (1914)
Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. ~ G. K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)

If one accepts the morals of 'the group' by adopting metanorms without first considering their source and meaning, then one is subject to the random or malicious whims of "the other". If we do not understand why we do what we do, then we are at best mindless and at worst destructive. Determining what morals work best for us is much like determining what music works best for us as the path to ethical development is directly analogous to that of music appreciation:

  • Listening to different composers and types of music provides a basis for gaining familiarity with the form and function of music, providing a framework to consider the art form in a broader context (e.g. its function in the world and in ourselves).
  • By considering these various forms of music one becomes familiar with the components of the art form (e.g. harmony, tone, rhythm).
  • In turn, this leads to an understanding of what 'works' and 'does not work' in a composition (e.g. reels are 4/4 time, but jigs are 3/4 time).
  • All of this knowledge and evaluation provides context for informed listeners to subjectively evaluate what music is 'right' or 'wrong' for themselves.
 
concentration7
the direction of all thought or effort toward one particular task, idea, or subject
–»
contemplation8
long and attentive consideration or observation of something
–»
comprehension9
the grasping of the meaning of something
–»
adoption10
an instance of adopting something such as an idea, name, or attitude
 

Growing up in modern culture and with modern media, we have all engaged the process of music appreciation to one level or another. Some have approached it in a deliberate manner, evaluating and vigorously contextualizing all they hear. Others have accepted by default what culture has provided them, not questioning its contents or purposes. Those in the former category gain a richer, more meaningful experience from their music; those in the latter cannot conceive of why they like or dislike this or that composition, and they remain in this fog until they begin to think in earnest about what they are hearing.
In much the same way, one cannot effectively understand the study of ethics without first addressing the issue of philosophy and all of the steps leading to an appreciation of ethics.

  • Listening to different ideas and ways of viewing existence provides a basis for gaining familiarity with its form and function, shaping a framework to consider philosophy in a broader context (e.g. its function in the world and in ourselves).
  • By considering various and opposing philosophical concepts, individuals gain the skill to analyze fundamental beliefs held by themselves and others, leading to a closer understanding of the nature of being and beings, existence, time and space, and causality (i.e. metaphysics).
  • In turn, this leads to an understanding of what 'works' and 'does not work' in a philosophy (i.e. epistemologies).
  • All of this knowledge and evaluation provides context for one to subjectively evaluate which ethics are 'right' or 'wrong' for oneself.
 
philosophies11
a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means; an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
–»
metaphysics12
the system of principles underlying a particular study or subject
–»
epistemologies13
the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity
–»
ethics14
a set of moral principles or values
 

As participants in a culture, we are exposed to ideas that must be either evaluated or ignored. There are those who search for new experiences, ever seeking to expand their knowledge and understanding. And, as with music, there are those who do not question what they are given, accepting all ideas like some broken thing without the capacity for self will. Members of the first group are the thinkers, movers, and shakers in society. Members of the second group move and shake as directed, lacking the capacity for original thought, and proceed through life without realizing what great philosophical ideas are battling for control of their minds. Ayn Rand addresses this point eloquently:

You might claim - as most people do - that you have never been influenced by philosophy. I will ask you to check that claim. Have you ever thought or said the following? "Don't be so sure--nobody can be certain of anything." You got that notion from David Hume (and many, many others), even though you might never have heard of him. Or: "This may be good in theory, but it doesn't work in practice." You got that from Plato. Or: "That was a rotten thing to do, but it's only human, nobody is perfect in this world." You got that from Augustine. Or: "It may be true for you, but it's not true for me." You got it from William James. Or: "I couldn't help it! Nobody can help anything he does." You got it from Hegel. Or: "I can't prove it, but I feel that it's true." You got it from Kant. Or: "It's logical, but logic has nothing to do with reality." You got it from Kant. Or: "It's evil, because it's selfish." You got it from Kant. Have you heard the modern activists say: "Act first, think afterward"? They got it from John Dewey.

Some people might answer: "Sure, I've said those things at different times, but I don't have to believe that stuff all of the time. It may have been true yesterday, but it's not true today." They got it from Hegel. They might say: "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." They got it from a very little mind, Emerson. They might say: "But can't one compromise and borrow different ideas from different philosophies according to the expediency of the moment?" They got it from Richard Nixon--who got it from William James.15

All of this by way of saying that we each come to a personal understanding of the nature of life and reality, but that culture informs this process at some level, like it or not. If individuals do not recognize and respect this fact of existence then they are subject to the whims of those who wish to take advantage of their naiveté. If they're lucky, these people will be benevolent; if they're unlucky, these people will be malicious. For myself, I do not trust to chance those things I can so easily control.

The Rest Of Spinello's Wisdom

His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy. ~ Woody Allen (1935 - )
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible. ~ Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), Marriage and Morals (1929)

This brings me back to the topic at hand. Throughout CyberEthics, as previously mentioned, Spinello returns to the Bible as a resource for evaluating what is right and wrong in moral discourse. Given this observation, it is not surprising that he fails to understand ethical relativism, since this philosophical school of thought requires that individuals perform independent, objective evaluations of what is right or wrong, a process antithetical to many biblical teachings or to the "group-think" and "mob-rule" codes of conduct he endorses:

The fundamental principals of ethics, however, are metanorms, since they have universal validity. They remain the same whether we are doing business in Venezuela or interacting in cyberspace. Like cultural norms they are prescriptive, but unlike these norms, they have lasting and durable value since they transcend space and time. Ethics is about (or should be about) intelligible human goods intrinsic to our humanity and the chosen acts that realize those goods. Hence the continuity of ethical principles despite the diversity of cultures.

Our assumption that ethics and customs (or cultural norms) must be kept distinct defies the popular notion of ethical relativism, which often equates the two. A full refutation of that viewpoint is beyond the scope of our discussion here.16

In fact, it is the philosophies that Spinello puts forward as being worth consideration that marry the notion of culture to that of ethics:

  • Utilitarianism states that "the right course of action is to promote the general good. This general good can also be described in terms of 'utility,' and this principle of utility is the foundation of morality and the ultimate criterion of right and wrong."17 [italics mine]
  • Contract Rights "looks at moral issues from the viewpoint of the human rights that may be at stake. [.] Rights are unequivocally enjoyed by all citizens, and the rights of the minority cannot be suspended or abolished even if that abolition will maximize social welfare."18 [italics mine]
  • Natural Rights "supposes that all human beings have fundamental natural rights that are grounded in their common human nature."19 [italics mine]
  • Moral Duty "assumes that the moral point of view is best expressed by discerning and carrying out one's moral duty. [.] In Kant's systematic philosophy our moral duty is simple: to follow the moral law that, like the laws of science or physics, must be rational. Also, like all rational laws, the moral law must be universal."20 [italics mine]

All of these ethical constructs begin with the assumption that only the morals endorsed by the group are valid (A, B, and C, but not X, Y, and Z, or P, D, and Q); therefore, they all state that ethics and culture are combined. The idea that he would dismiss moral relativism on the claim that it brings these two concepts together while extolling the virtues of ethical codes that do exactly that is at best specious and is at worst deliberately manipulative. Reading CyberEthics did not bring me to understand why he would take this approach, but it is my sincere hope that it was out of ignorance rather than malice.

In support of the 'ignorance' theory, I'll illuminate another obvious irony in Spinello's argument. He has designated a well-defined subset of the philosophical schools of thought as being valid for use in a discussion of morality. Codes that utilize a morally relativistic approach are explicitly excluded from consideration while the rest are implicitly excluded for lack of mention. The incongruity here is that Spinello has made assessments relative to his personal worldview as to which philosophies are 'good' or 'bad' and is imposing these value judgments on his reader. The basis of his assumption is that moral codes must all be derived from a representative sampling of all the philosophies in all societies. Given this logic, how can he justify excluding groups within a society whose philosophical perspectives oppose his? The answer is that he can't, which is why "a full refutation of that viewpoint is beyond the scope of [his] discussion."

What Spinello Doesn't Know

Ethics is not definable, is not implementable, because it is not conscious; it involves not only our thinking, but also our feeling. ~ Valdemar W. Setzer
To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For he who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man's nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts. ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778)

The refutation Spinello referred to above is not only beyond the scope of his discussion, it is beyond the scope of his knowledge or understanding. Ethical relativism does not equate morality and culture, but specifically states that customs must not unduly inform the development of one's ethical code. Ayn Rand, arguably the most severe philosopher of moral relativism to date, states this separation as follows:

The men who are not interested in philosophy absorb its principles from the cultural atmosphere around them--from schools, colleges, books, magazines, newspapers, movies, television, etc. Who sets the tone of a culture? A small handful of men: the philosophers. Others follow their lead, either by conviction or by default. For some two hundred years, under the influence of Immanuel Kant, the dominant trend of philosophy has been directed to a single goal: the destruction of man's mind, of his confidence in the power of reason. Today, we are seeing the climax of that trend.21

Moral relativism is, in fact, not tied with culture as Spinello claims, but rejects cultural influence in preference for evaluation by the individual. People like Spinello claim that taking care of your own needs before those of others is evil - that only by caring for everyone else first can we hope to be good people. It appears that, from his perspective, being of good moral character requires self sacrifice for the benefit of others and that the more you sacrifice 'for the sake of others' the more moral you are.

Conversely, Objectivism states that the opposite position represents the highest moral character; that caring for oneself before caring for the needs of others is the most moral path. People like Spinello would have you believe this is an indictment against moral relativists, who must act only for their own needs, who do not intentionally take any action for the benefit of others, and that they are therefore all mindless brutes who cannot empathize or identify with those around them. This is not the case at all.

Moral relativists recognize that in order to help others, they must first care for their own needs. They take offense to the assertion that it is their responsibility to care for others, at one's own expense, before considering their own needs. They do not take issue with the need to help "the other", to take into account the needs of "the other", or to offer respect for "the other", but all of these actions are based on the expectation that these same considerations will be provided in return.

To understand this mindset, one must comprehend the nature of egocentricity as it is understood by Objectivists, not as it is misinterpreted by the "group-think" mob. To take an example from The Virtue of Selfishness22, one might ask the question, "If you saw a man drowning in a lake, and you could help him to survive, would you?" If you answer 'Yes', then Spinello would likely argue that you are a moral person - one who is willing to make sacrifices for the needs of others - and that you must hold metanorms as your moral code. If you answer no, then he would probably label you a mindless, selfish brute - a social deviant - who is incapable of functioning in civilized society. And he would be right to say so, but he would commit a grievous error if he were to suggest that the latter response should be expected from a moral relativist. In fact, only a sociopath would choose not to help without further consideration.

Those with morals from the "group-think" model would advocate jumping in to the lake without hesitation, dragging the man out of danger, and pushing him on to shore even if doing so required your last ounce of energy, causing you to sink to your own death. They would advocate this on the grounds that to not do so would require that one later face a wrathful society that would demand an explanation for this evil deviance from the behavior that was expected.

Similarly, those with morals from the "relative" model would also jump to the man's aid, but only if their evaluation of the situation led to the conclusion that help could be provided and that giving that help would not lead to their own deaths. Both parties would most likely take the same action, but they would do so for very different reasons. According to the morals Spinello puts forward for members of the former group, the motivation for action is fear. According to the morals Objectivism puts forward for the second group, the motivation for action is respect for life, both one's own life and that of the drowning man. However, it should be noted that the question of saving the man's life is based on a flawed premise.

The intent of the inquiry is to gauge ones moral standpoint based on a reaction to an emergency situation. However, we do not live in emergency situations; tragedy is the exception of our existence, not the rule. Ethics, on the other hand, are brought to bear by every action we take in our daily activities whether or not there is an emergency. Further, the actions one takes in an emergency do not provide an accurate evaluation of one's ethics, although an examination of what motivations cause one to take action might yield some informative insights.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right. ~ Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)
The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education. ~ Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD), Morals

There are innumerable 'good' and 'bad' philosophies one might consider for adoption, but it is not for the producer of those viewpoints to decide which ideas are valid for everyone and which are not. As informed, thinking beings, it is our individual responsibility to decide for ourselves which to integrate into our consciousness, which to shelve for later consideration, and which to toss out with the garbage. In my terse analysis of Spinello's work you have surely discerned where I stand, but I would advise you not to take my condemnation at face value. My moral indignation at his tripe is based on my very personal, strongly held convictions. My advice is to go and discover that his work is tripe for yourself.

This idea brings me to my final thought on the question "Why Ethics?": avoiding bad philosophies may be more damaging than helpful. If people cannot articulate why a school of thought is 'bad', then they have little defense against this 'bad' philosophy when brought face to face with it at some later date. When confronted with the Spinellos of the world, you must recognize them for what they are, study them so you can recognize them again in the future, and then make informed decisions about what to ingest next. The individual choice to be made is whether to be a philosopher or a sycophant.

  • 1. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 6
  • 2. The Holy Bible, New International Version, Michigan: The Zondervan Corporation, 1973, Deuteronomy 13:6
  • 3. Florence Scovel Shinn, The Game of Life and How to Play It, C.W. Daniel, 2004
  • 4. Hagelin, J.S., Rainforth, M.V., Orme-Johnson, D.W., Cavanaugh, K. L., Alexander, C.N., Shatkin, S.F., Davies, J.L, Hughes, A.O, and Ross, E., Effects of group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program on preventing violent crime in Washington D.C.: Results of the National Demonstration Project, June-July, 1993, Social Indicators Research, 1999, 47(2): 153-201
  • 5. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 21
  • 6. James B. Freeman, Fallacies: Classical and Contemporary Readings, edited by Hans V. Hanson and Robert C. Pinto. Penn State Press, 1995, The Appeal to Popularity and Presumption by Common Knowledge: pp. 265-273
  • 7. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/concentration
  • 8. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contemplation
  • 9. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/comprehension
  • 10. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adopting
  • 11. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/philosophies
  • 12. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metaphysics
  • 13. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epistemologies
  • 14. Mariam Webster Online: www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethics
  • 15. Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It?, New York: New American Library, 1982, pp. 4-5
  • 16. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 4
  • 17. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 11
  • 18. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 13
  • 19. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 15
  • 20. Richard Spinello, CyberEthics, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2003, p. 16-17
  • 21. Ayn Rand, Philosophy: Who Needs It?, New York: New American Library, 1982, pp. 6-7
  • 22. Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism, Signet Book; Reissue edition, 1989