Morality and thermodynamics

Mark Janes on good and evil (2010)
Mark Janes in his 2009 “Morality and Thermodynamics” video attempting to explain good and evil, the religio-mythology components of morality, in terms of thermodynamics.
In hmolscience, morality and thermodynamics refers to study of the thermodynamic implications of morality, moral theory, and ethics.

In 1809, German polyintellect Johann Goethe outlined his take on the moral implications of physical chemistry, specifically affinity chemistry, the precursor to chemical thermodynamics.

In 1978, Dick Hammond competed his EdD on “Analysis of Entropy Reduction and its Implications for Ethical Instruction in Public Education” under Ilya Prigogine; would go onto teach, promote, and organize workshops on instilling a type of "entropy ethics" morality model to children and young adults; the summary of which culminated in his 2005 book Human System from Entropy to Ethics.

In 1982, American physicist Alvin Saperstein, in his “Point of View: Ethics in the Classroom: Morality and the Laws of Thermodynamics”, suggested that moral implications of thermodynamics be taught to college students, the abstract of which is as follows: [1]

“The first and second laws of thermodynamics are usually presented as straight physics. Local problems (such as heat engines) may be assigned but seldom is any effort made to examine universal human problems. Considering moral implications of these laws makes them relevant to students, gaining their attention and easing instruction.”

In 2009, English thinker Mark Janes published his “Morality and Thermodynamics” video, which was followed by his 2012 Mr Carbon Atom and the Theory of Carbon Entromorphology.

In 2012, FanngIsland, at the sub Reddit “Stoner Philosophy”, posted his scratch note ideas on “right” and “wrong” considered thermodynamically as follows: [2]

“I've been thinking about the best way to describe what I consider to be "right" or "wrong". I wrote the following over the past couple of days and wanted to get other people's opinions, but feel like doing so anonymously. The meaning of life can be described by the second law of thermodynamics. Our goal in life should be to create small low-entropy pockets throughout the universe. This agrees with what we intuitively understand as "good" or "moral"; for example, life reduces local entropy while killing or destruction increases it. This approach to understanding morality provides us with an objective and scientifically derived utility function which can numerically estimate how good or bad something might be. This method might shed light on the way we view issues shrouded in moral ambiguity. Abortion is a hotly debated subject and generally degrades into a two strongly defended opinions: those who are for or against it in any situation. As with most aspects of life, this issue is neither black nor white, but exists on a continuum where the appropriate action is highly (if not solely) dependent on circumstance.”

In 2014, Manuel Molina and Victor Toledo, in their The Social Metabolism, attempt to stitch out connections between morality, thermodynamics, and Boltzmann models of social systems. (Ѻ)

The following are related quotes:

Moral norms are more similar to the laws of a particular polity than to the laws of nature such as the first law of thermodynamics.”
— Jean Porter (2006), “Moral Ideals and Human Nature” (Ѻ)

“Most of the key terms used in thermodynamic science carry with them moral implications: the inflection of words like ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ as descriptors of energy in Tait's lectures is subtle, while terms like ‘squandered’ or ‘wasted’ are more overt, and ‘dissipated’ or ‘degraded’ unavoidably loaded.”
Allen MacDuffie (2014), Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination (Ѻ)

See also
Philosophical Implications of Thermodynamics

Further reading
● Thims, Libb. (2011). Thermodynamic Proof that Good Always Triumphs over Evil”, Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 7: 1-4.

1. Saperstein, Alvin M. (1982). “Point of View: Ethics in the Classroom: Morality and the Laws of Thermodynamics” (abs), Journal of College Science Teaching, 12(1):10-11, Sep-Oct.
2. FanngIsland. (2012). “Morality Based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics” (Ѻ), StonerPhilosophy, Reddit.

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