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About the Authors
Ron House and Gitie House have been conducting a quest for truth, or reality (call it what you will), for some thirty years.
The quest has covered matters scientific, spiritual, philosophical, historical, psychological, sociological, you name it — for boundaries don't matter, only the rigor of the search and the standards by which evidence is to be judged. This search resulted in Ron's discovery, in 1987 after a difficult personal spiritual journey undertaken by Ron and Gitie together, of the remarkable summary of ethical knowledge encapsulated in the Principle of Goodness. Since then, Ron and Gitie have continued to work together to develop the study of the Principle.
Ron and Gitie are firmly convinced that the realities summarised in the Principle of Goodness transcend all issues of personality, and so the identities and personal journeys of its discoverers are in a sense largely irrelevant. However, the following biographical notes might be of interest.
For many years both Ron and Gitie had been members of a religious community, which claimed to believe in principles of world unity, racial tolerance, freedom of belief, and the need for personal independent search after truth; and it was in the spirit of what they believed their religion stood for, that they spent about a decade researching 'loose ends' and small pieces that didn't fit the tidy self-contained picture taught by the official religious organisation.
At the culmination of that search, they made a pilgrimage, during which they experienced a profound, yet extremely difficult, spiritual (or religious) experience, as a result of which their outlook on life and reality could never be the same again. The details of that experience are not relevant to this academic site, but they will be made available elsewhere.
Some six months after this transformative experience, in a single instant, without any conscious preparation, Ron suddenly understood the ethical Principle we now call the Principle of Goodness. That one should never attempt to harm innocents, for any reason, no matter how large the payoff for doing so, and the equally obvious truth that leaving anyone at all out of one's efforts to create happiness is less than the highest moral behaviour, these twin insights laid bare to Ron's eyes the bitter, terrible error being made worldwide in following the popular ethical theory known as utilitarianism, or the greatest happiness for the greatest number. Controlling us continuously through the simple fact that we are subconsciously indoctrinated in it all our lives to the point that we are scarcely aware of using it and having it used upon us, utilitarianism allows millions to 'fall through the cracks', their lives a misery (or worse, ended), their fate unnoticed because some great and marvellous 'good' has captured our imaginations and made us blind to the real and terrible suffering of the fewest, or the poorest, or the least powerful.
It became clear to Ron and Gitie that no real unity, no genuine flourishing, no secure happiness, can ever come to a planet in the grip of utilitarianism and other false ethical theories. Only the ultimate concern for all sentient beings that is encapsulated in the Principle of Goodness, and which has been the hallmark characteristic of the greatest human souls from Socrates to Jesus to Gandhi, only that highest ethical standard can free our planet from its shackles of sectarianism, nationalism, racism, and all other category-based divisiveness. Only that highest standard is good enough for a planetary ethic that can guide humankind to a condition where setting one against another, or sacrificing the fewest or the most expendable, will be unthinkable.
So, having attempted to develop their understanding of the Principle largely on their own for over a decade, early in the new millennium the authors decided the time was right to explain their understanding to the world.
They started by communicating to the leaders of the religious community that had formed the environment in which they had conducted their search for reality. The Principle of Goodness is the simple guiding light that puts ethical understanding and power into the hands of every single individual. Those who believe in God can stand before Him and justify their own actions from their own understanding of this basic law of universal compassion; those who do not so believe can stand likewise before their own consciences. The time of unthinkingly obeying rules, even rules in holy books, or of obeying religious committees or clergy, is long past, and this is the message, framed in the language of their religious community, that Ron and Gitie gave to the religious leaders. Unfortunately that message was a threat to the power of those leaders, and they directed every member of their religion to shun the discoverers of the Principle of Goodness. They sent representatives even to countries which Ron and Gitie had never visited to threaten to wreck the families of people who befriended them. Sadly, their former religious community is required, on pain of having their own families and relationships destroyed, to maintain this persecution even today.
Thus born in the fire of persecution, this understanding of the realities of Good and evil is now offered to the world. Ron and Gitie continue to write academic papers, which will appear here, and they also invite all friends of humanity and of life to join them in analysing the Principle and discovering its further implications and applications. The Principle of Goodness belongs to everyone, and Ron and Gitie remain convinced that impartial, scholarly and academic study — but study informed by love and compassion — will demonstrate its soundness and its value in forging a future world of joy and wisdom.