Here’s some comment about the “Core Principles” issue.
Everyone has a morality that guides them. Most people don’t seem to know what that is but they have it and they follow it. Morality can be good, bad or wrong.
Morality is a set of principles to guide choices; decisions.
The basis of any morality is metaphysics, a view of the universe.
There are many choices for metaphysical principles. Most people seem to be supernaturalists meaning they don’t believe in a true universe. If they do they also believe there is some other universe that’s different than the one they can apprehend with their senses. They’re understandably vague about it but they accept it.
Next is Epistemology, the way a person thinks. Most people base decisions on some kind of hodge-podge set of true and false facts, belief’s and memorized shibboleths .
Those who use a defective Metaphysics and a wrong Epistemology cannot identify a proper set of Ethics. that’s why by the time they get to Ethics it’s anything goes.
Ayn Rand explained her philosophy, Objectivism, as:
That’s the only set of Core Beliefs that work.
Anything else may work in part or not.
It’s worse than shooting craps because there are only 36 conclusions in craps.
A wrong set of Core Belief’s, a wrong philosophy is worse than CRAPS because there are an uncountable number of decisions that a person must make.
So there is a set of core belief’s that are correct but there are an uncountable number that are not.
Mostly, people just don’t know much about their morality or about moral principles in general.
Ayn Rand’s book “Philosophy, who needs it?” is a good start for people who want to get it right.
The Galt Speech in “Atlas Shrugged” has far more information about morality than any religious tract.
Most people seem to grab Religion to explain their Core Principles. Dr. John Ridpath’s presentation “Religion vs. Man” is a wonderful introduction to the basis of all religions.
There are core principles that are correct but most people will not accept them because they’ve been indoctrinated from birth with far too much nonsense. Ayn Rand’s Philosophy; *Metaphysics, *Epistemology and *Ethics is a correct basis for a person’s Core Principles.
Good/Evil are moral conclusions.
Good according to what standards?
Evil according to the same standards.
The standard is what is good for human life. Nothing else would make any sense.
What does the nature of an individual, each individual have that is good for that life and by multiplication, every human life?
What is the purpose of life?
To Live. The same for each individual an for every individual.
Religion is Philosophy. Yes or no?
Religion began, (probably) because there were questions to be answered.
Where are we?
In a stable knowable universe where things operate in accordance to laws and rules? Or in a swirling flux, an incomprehensible chaos, a place where miracles and unpredictable phenomena provide no way to know anything or to know some things with certainty?
How do we know for certain the answer to question #1 above?
Is the universe real or does it dance to an unseen and unknowable designer whose whims and pleasures direct the outcomes?
Do you have the means to discover what you claim is knowledge and can you prove it?
Do you have sudden revelations from a supernatural power that provides you with the knowledge you need to thrive?
Can you achieve Certainty? Or must you accede to perpetual doubt?
The third basis of religion is the answer to the question What should I do?
Am I powerless against the vicissitudes of the designer or the mobs? Must I do as I’m told by others or face terrible consequences and punishments?
Religion has taken charge of these answers.
It’s removed them from this earth and taken them up beyond the clouds where there are launched back into humanity where they incinerate the evildoers which is every one of us who doubts the existence of the miraculous designer.
This is the state of most people today.
Witness the helplessness as people attempt and fail to identify the good.
To destroy the truth on such a massive scale ; to hide a secret in the open without any power to break it up cannot be done by any conspiracy of evildoers. It must be done with the agreement of those who know better.
Yes, there is more evil in the world today than ever. When the Pope openly supports Marxism and no one except only a few of us stand against that tsunami of sacrifice it’s the so called good people who agree. That in a few words identifies how easily evil wins.
What’s the answer? How can Evil be stopped? The larger answer is in the above words. Identifying the correct principles, the Core Values for life on earth.
What’s the biggest impediment to Life on Earth? A morality that elevates self sacrifice, the acceptance of a lesser value for something greater. That’s the basis of Altruism.
Altruism destroys the value of everything it touches. It’s the condemnation of value which leads to the condemnation of Capitalism, the political system that rewards value.
The acceptance of self-sacrifice is an issue of Epistemology. A wrong Epistemology leads to a worse life.