That is, if good is done, then evil will be done in proportion to rebalance the moral universe; like wise for evil.

I should be clear, that I'm not advocating this as a moral philosophy, or the seed of one; but am simply looking for reference to someone who has.

  • Sort of like conservation of energy in physics? But physics also has things that aren't conserved like that. For example, entropy, which is always increasing. Maybe moral balance is like that. Maybe the rule is in all actions, morality either stays the same or increases. – mwengler Jun 15 '12 at 22:02
  • @mwengler: Sort of. My interest is whether a physical theory inspired a moral philosophy, or vice-versa... – Mozibur Ullah Jun 15 '12 at 22:10
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    is this proportion in quality or in quantity? done by people or by God? – Tames Aug 3 '12 at 22:58
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    Sounds like Karma – Sepero Sep 7 '12 at 3:35
  • @sepero: I was thinking about that too - but I don't know enough about it to say anything. – Mozibur Ullah Mar 4 '13 at 3:33

This is probably not what you're looking for, but in classical economics a violation of Pareto efficiency could be considered a form of moral imbalance. (Pareto efficiency itself can also lead to constellations we consider immoral, though.) Then there are also theories of fair resource allocation in which people try to find principles for balancing resources in a fair way. For example a transfer that takes away an amount a of goods from a rich and gives this a to a poor and afterwards still leaves the rich at least as wealthy as the poor is called a Pigou-Dalton transfer. There are many similar principles and many interesting impossibility theorems in this area. For example, you cannot have social welfare based on Pigou-Dalton transfers that always remains Pareto efficient. Unfortunately the math behind this is not very easy.

Of course, this tradition is mostly utilitarian and usually concerned with goods, commodities, and welfare in the sense of 'utility', not with moral values. However, a mathematically sound theory of moral balance would have to use very similar methods and face similar problems as this research in welfare economics and social choice. Some people work on this connection, e.g. Vlodek Rabinowicz in Sweden.

  • is classical economics an outcome of utilitarianism? – Mozibur Ullah Mar 15 '13 at 10:51
  • Historically, yes. However, the economic and philosophical research traditions have split up early and developed partly independent from each other. There are authors in welfare economics who say that they do "normative economics". You will find a bit more information on the history in the Wikipedia entries link and link – Eric '3ToedSloth' Mar 15 '13 at 14:24

The IEP entry on Anaximander paraphrases the only fragment to have come down to us:

"Whence things have their origin,

Thence also their destruction happens,

As is the order of things;

For they execute the sentence upon one another

  • The condemnation for the crime -

In conformity with the ordinance of Time".

In the fourth and fifth line a more fluent translation is given for what is usually rendered rather cryptic by something like giving justice and reparation to one another for their injustice.


What you are looking for is Dualism.

Moral dualism is the belief of the great complement or conflict between the benevolent and the malignant. It simply implies that there are two moral opposites at work, independent of any interpretation of what might be "moral" and independent of how these may be represented.

Taoism is probably the best fit for your description.

And before I get tarred and feathered again, here's a wiki entry.


It is not possible to formulate such a theory IMHO. I see you are talking about good vs evil with the universe as its domain. Have you considered good vs evil that happens in the animal kingdom ? A good act could be a cub from one species being taken care of by another species. If suddenly all humans became good, would all animals turn evil ? Thankfully the universe doesn't require anyone's moral to balance itself. Or, how would it have sustained itself during its very initial years ? Some one said karma ? How does an animal which does not have the innate ability to differentiate between good and evil generate karma ? (For ex., take a dog that you have loved for years, you accidentally stomp its tail and it turns around to bark at you and even bite you. Does this give Dog a bad karma ?) But, who/what defines what is good or evil ? What is good for one, is evil for another. Many examples can be seen even when one compares one culture to another.

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