The word heuristic is pronounced hyoo-RIS-tic. Wikipedia defines it this way…
Mental short cuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision.
Heuristic thinking — the use of heuristics — is the acquirable part of intelligence. Everyone has the capacity to learn and use heuristics to make better decisions.
It follows from this that we can also use heuristics to improve society.
We want to make increased use of heuristics to work smarter in 2013.
Imagine what we could achieve if society started to learn and employ certain heuristic rules? The Zero Aggression Principle (ZAP) is an example of one such heuristic. The ZAP says…
No one should initiate harm against others,
or delegate doing so to “the government.”
Harm means fraud, violent threats intended to coerce, and actual violence.
Aggression means threats of violence backed by actual assaults, not mere assertiveness.
Key word? Initiate. Defense is morally acceptable. so the ZAP can be embraced by pacifist and non-pacifist alike.
The ZAP is derived from the Golden Rule (another heuristic principle!), which holds that we should treat others by the same standards we want applied to us. The ZAP logically extends the Golden Rule as follows . . .
Governments must live by the same moral principles as individuals.
A government is merely a group of people.
A group has no special magic to turn wrong into right. Therefore…
Any action that’s wrong for an individual to do is also wrong for a government to do.
This principle even applies to democracies — no number of votes is sufficient to make wrong become right.