Moral Debate: An ethical code you can’t enforce

I just finished reading probably what is one of the most deep, most profound, and singly most significant articles I think I’ve read in Scientology.  It’s the passage L. Ron Hubbard wrote in 1954 entitled The Code of Honor.

I’ve read it before I don’t know how many times, and read it first probably when I was about 12.  The code itself is easy enough to duplicate — it is:

1. Never desert a comrade in need, in danger or in trouble.

2. Never withdraw allegiance once granted.

3. Never desert a group to which you owe your support.

4. Never disparage yourself or minimize your strength or power.

5. Never need praise, approval or sympathy.

6. Never compromise with your own reality.

7. Never permit your affinity to be alloyed.

8. Do not give or receive communication unless you yourself desire it.

9. Your self-determinism and your honor are more important than your immediate life.

10. Your integrity to yourself is more important than your body.

11. Never regret yesterday. Life is in you today, and you make your tomorrow.

12. Never fear to hurt another in a just cause.

13. Don’t desire to be liked or admired.

14. Be your own adviser, keep your own counsel and select your own decisions.

15. Be true to your own goals.

(the above is a quote, cited from the Code of Honor site)

Now, like I said, the code of honor itself is easy enough to duplicate.  Of course, you’d never want to desert a comrade in need.  Of course – don’t withdraw your allegiance once granted.  Sounds easy enough.

But, it’s the paragraphs after this (printed in full in the Creation of Human Ability book and the Scientology 0-8 book), which quite fully explain the significance of this code.

The point is that whereas a moral code, like a “don’t kill other people” and “don’t steal” and so forth — such codes can be enforces as they are moral — and by definition come about by necessity through the interactions of groups and people rubbing elbows with each other.  We’ve found by experience that if you run over your neighbor’s wife with your car, the neighbor gets really mad, and you end up experiencing something very unpleasant and the whole of life just doesn’t go well.  So, even if you don’t like her, you moral codes in society would prevent you from doing such an act.

But what about something that is for you.  Something – a code by which you can agree to and follow because you yourself have honor and self-respect, and know that you will do certain things because you respect yourself and others.

A code with a clause like, “Never compromise with your own reality.”  If you think that someone’s kid shouldn’t be put on drugs just be cause they’re active and full of energy — and yet you shut up and don’t say anything and when asked about it just shrug and say, ‘well, I guess it’s — well, do whatever you want.’

Nobody is going to send you to jail, but dammit you feel just terrible and like you should be sent to jail, as you’ve just violated your own internal honor by not speaking up and saying NO and telling the other person that instead of turning his kid into a chemically-jacked-up zombie who’ll be our next university murderer, that perhaps he should just take his kid for a walk out to the park and run him around the soccer field until he falls over if he’s got too much energy.

It’s one’s own honor and pride and feeling of self-worth that such a code is for, and really, can be applied by anyone anywhere and of any religious background.

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