The modern secular morality or code is- in nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder.
Nature is very efficient, but you may wonder why efficiency is stated as a moral imperative and so here are a few examples where it should be applied as a moral or ethical principle.
If you want a good service from anyone then you expect them to be honest with you and you want the service to be done efficiently or at minimum cost in terms of money and time.
If it is a car mechanic then you don’t want him to lie to you but you also want him to be efficient or repair the car as soon as possible, at minimum cost, and competently with good value in the short and long duration.
There is short duration efficiency and long duration efficiency which includes concepts such as quality, durability, and reliability. The question to ask is do you want long duration efficiency or short duration efficiency or medium range efficiency at a reasonable cost? In effect the cheapest price or cost may not be the best price or cost for the long or medium duration.
If it is a medical doctor then you want him to cure you if possible and minimize any pain if there is no cure. You want him to be honest with you but you also want him to do so efficiently by doing a competent job in the least amount of time and at minimum cost to you. If the doctor is trying to hook you on addictive pills with bad side effects just to get you as a permanent customer then he is not doing his job efficiently from your point of view.
If you are a defendant then a lawyer should defend you if you are not guilty and try to minimize the punishment for you if you are guilty. He should not lie to you and he should do so efficiently in the shortest amount of time possible and at minimum cost to you if he is a competent lawyer.
In your personal life if you talk too much, watch too much entertainment, listen to too much music, eat too much, drink too much, argue too much, gamble too much, shop too much, etc. then you are not being very efficient and you probably have severe moral efficiency flaws in your character or personality. You are wasting your valuable time, energy, and money by being inefficient and sometimes grossly so.
You might perhaps be tempted to say that stealing is more efficient than earning the money to buy it but that is why there are six secular moral code principles and not just one. Don’t steal is another ethical or moral principle which overrides the efficiency principle so that criminality is not rewarded.
Yes, there are also efficient liars and murderers and they tend to get away with lying and murdering more often than other incompetent liars and murderers. But once again that is why the moral code has don’t lie and don’t murder as a sign of morality or good behavior and these override the efficiency principle which is nature’s golden rule since murdering predators are vital in the overall balance of nature.
Efficiency in it’s purest sense is amoral since it is a principle applicable to good and bad goals and/or behaviors and hopefully collective humanity will continue to apply efficiency to the good rather than the bad goals and/or behaviors.
Efficient humans and organizations such as businesses survive more often than the inefficient ones so efficiency in the pursuit of good is a virtue or a good value to have.
How can you justify turning a basically amoral principle into a moral one? Because it is time to include scientific knowledge about efficiency so fundamental to nature as a major consideration in all our behaviors. If we continue to ignore efficiency in moral or ethical questions then we do so at our peril in the long duration and nature will severely punish human civilization for being grossly inefficient.
There are inefficient humans, governments, educational systems, businesses, organizations, professions, etc. and very few of them are respected and admired by many humans which is as it should be. It is time to discipline all these entities and make them function more efficiently at a great cost savings to all contributors and recipients.
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