West London Humanists and Secularists




The Triax

The Triax is defined in the book "The Backslider's Guide To Success" by Philip Veasey. The name Triax refers to three rules or axioms from which, it is claimed, a useful moral code can be derived. They are:
Have Integrity              Be Kind              Be Courageous
This can only work, of course, because the words are given quite specific definitions. Kindness is regarded as an instinct that has given our species an evolutionary advantage and which different people exhibit to differing degrees. It also has a spread dimension - many people are fiercely protective of their families while showing total disregard for most of humanity. Courage is overcoming our fears and does not exist in the absence of fear. What is unusual about the Triax is the way Integrity is defined as "not lying to yourself". This is close to how most people use it but, defined in this way, Integrity can act as the missing link that allows the three axioms to be mutually reinforcing. Combined with Courage, it also makes the Triax distinctively secular.

When people claim that there is a natural morality that we can all agree upon, they are usually restricting themselves to things that could be derived from a requirement for kindness which would suggest that murder and stealing are bad. The second rule of the Triax covers all these but the three rules working together suggest, for example:
  • Without Courage, our Kindness cannot be relied upon and we let down those we love.
  • Lying to others may be good or bad:
    • White lies might be good when they are told out of Kindness but often not when told out of Fear of another person's reaction.
    • If you lack Integrity and lie to yourself, you will be dishonest to others as you don't even have the truth to offer.
  • Belief in God is often highly suspect since it can be a refuge of those who lack Courage in the face of the unknowability of things and allow their Integrity to be compromised.

Obviously a much better case is made for the Triax in the book