April 28, 2015

Joshua’s Definitions

This site talks a lot about rationality, philosophy, ethics, morality, culture, religion, politics, et cetera.  To understand how I define terms, and how they are used in my essays and posts, I’ve put together this cheat sheet.  Often, misunderstandings and disagreements can be solved by the realization that the basic definition two people use differs. 


Rationality: The use of intellect, facts, and reason to assert a given position or decide upon a particular course of action, with demonstrable evidence that justifies behavior toward the most moral outcome.

Morality: A moral action is one that results in the maximization of both individual and collective happiness, freedom, and fulfillment without imposing unreasonable or unjustified costs upon third parties or the broader civilization.  For more information, see What Is Morality?

Financial Independence: The ability to remain fiscally self-sufficient without lowering your lifestyle standards, even if you and your spouse were to lose your job and / or the national economy fall into a depression.  Often, financial independence requires little or no debt, significantly diversified streams of income that include dividends, interest, rents, wages, licensing fees, or other sources of cash, and diversified assets that are non-correlated (e.g., banking and real estate returns generally move in tandem as driven by interest rates so it would not be ideal to have half your net worth in a local bank and half your net worth in an apartment building because an event that hurt one would likely hurt the other, as well).  

Rich: The ability to financially afford the lifestyle you desire, while spending your time doing exactly what it is you want to be doing.  The figure is different for everyone.

Marriage: A civil marriage is a publicly recognized covenant in which two individuals, acting of their own volition and wishing to create a permanent bond for the purpose of working toward mutual objectives of emotional, physical, and personal fulfillment, merge into a shared legal and economic partnership unit that results in unique responsibilities and privileges being vested in each party for the protection of the other, as well as that of society as a whole.

Worldview: A worldview is a lens through which someone understands, processes, relates to, and experiences the world.

Passive Income: Income is passive if it requires no work, effort, or time to generate once the initial investment has been made.  Economically, many forms of income are not binary in whether they are active or passive.  For example, you may launch a business that requires your time and effort (active) but then slowly transition it to a management team so that you can focus on other things and collect checks (passive).