Albert Levis
May 18, 2018 · 13 min read


Albert Levis, MD

The world is in a moral crisis and wars will not stop until we agree on a universal moral paradigm. Until then, there will be much back and forth. After the collapse of communism as the inspirational ideology, the world returned to the default moral position, rediscovering religions like good old friends. But globalization tested the cultural differences and rekindled religious conflicts because of differences between those that believe and those who believe otherwise or who do not believe at all. The differences polarized tensions between USA, a bastion of civil rights and Islam, a bastion of traditionalism and of militant authoritarianism.



One is how the world became religious and how America chose Trump as its defender and how his leadership brought about the Islamization of America and how the democratic institutions seek to rectify his abuse of power with a moral message for the world about the advantages of democracy and the disadvantages of antagonistic dominance be that in a person or a culture.

The second point is analyzing the underlying dynamics of all religions from a scientific analytical position in the search for a better moral paradigm with the understanding that morality is a purely scientific conflict resolution entity, leading us to the consensus of a Moral Science.



The intensity of moral values differences led to the 9/11 Islamic attack at America. The American response was military action with social values consequences. The Iraq war toppled an Islamic dictator and undermined the authoritarian political structure of the Islamic world. It elicited the Arab Spring, internal upheavals throughout the Arab world, the uprising of the young people against the Islamic autocratic, authoritarian political power model, empowered by its oil reserves.

The public’s quest for modernity intensified the Al-Qaeda fundamentalism into the ISIS fanaticism, as a vision of a new caliphate. In spite of the defeat of IISIS animosities based on sectarian differences have spread from Iraq and Afghanistan to Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen India and Europe. The worst scenario has been the persistence of the Syrian dictator to remain in power. His authoritarianism destroyed the nation and spread refugees to Europe.

Europe affected by the Islamic refugee crisis and its terrorist fallout, upset with the murder of the French journalists, of innocent travelers and pedestrians remained discreet in dealing with Islam. France protested the use of hijab, and other European countries became nationalistic reclaiming sovereignty in their territories. Britain exited the EU. But overall, Europe’s response to Islam has been quiet resistance. It has been an audacious American, a new Paul Bunyan, who emerged to confront Islam head on, as a religion that is dangerous. The brave American challenging all humanitarian rules, had the stamina to set limits to all Islamic people, then to limit the restraint to only certain countries. His audacity has been unrestrained aggressiveness and limit testing reversing international treaties like climate control and the Iran Deal. His audacity also addressed America’s naïve altruism: boundary weaknesses, taxation liabilities, importation looseness; he is erecting walls and tariffs. His audacity has insulted the sensitivities of many people but he is not faced with any criticism or attacks. The public though, has been critical of his outrageous behavior against the American Institutions, the press, women, minorities and individuals. A number of actions have been initiated to contain him.

His personality and values have polarized America. He, like Islam, has favored authoritarianism, tyrannical style leadership, commanding loyalty from others like a ‘mobster’. His authority could be qualified with the word ‘Submit’, the meaning of the word Islam. His pattern and his lifestyle compares well to that of a caliph. While America is prospering in its nationalist revival thanks to Trump’s mean leadership, the country is experiencing Islamization, a cultural reversal into authoritarianism.

There is a difference between the two cultures: America was built to control the abuse of power with its triple institutional balance and the freedom of the press. The Islamic cultures do not have either; they have the rule of unquestionable Sharia law. Instead of free press they suppress expression. They pronounce fatwas for critics and murder dissenting journalists as a group. America is intolerant for any abuses of power.; it restrains abusers and protects the abused. So while the new Paul Bunyan has been effective in confronting Islam and communism, he has become a tragic hero successful in politics but failing in front of the country’s laws and norms.

What are we supposed to learn about this moral rift? What do we learn from Trump on how to treat women, minorities, justice, the press, power — how to behave in the family, the office and the classroom? Should this American president be the world’s new role model? Should he prevail over the Islamic arrogance while feasting in his own? Should he control the faithful base while blatantly abusing power defining fraudulence as reality, while dismissing our perceptions of reality as fake?

America is in a quandary. Can it admire the conduct of an unethical individual as its hero? Are we going to embrace Trump’s nihilism, alienation, opportunism, self-righteousness and disregard of values and rational thinking? Or endorse them? If Islam is unjust to women, how about the #MeToo movement countering Trump? And if Islam is offensive to other political and moral value systems, how about Trump’s prejudice for disadvantaged people — while promoting Arian supremacism? Is he any better than the ultimate caliph?

So what is the moral of this drama for America and the world audience in suspense? Democracy is commanding fairness; no one is above the law, not even the effective President of this country. Trump to be of any moral value for the world, is a hero that has to be punished. While he emerged into becoming the leader he has disregarded the American charter. So while he is fighting for the country he deserves to be criticized and prosecuted. It is with his downfall that America can help Islam by delivering the moral message of the containment of dictatorial conduct.

Stories have measurable scientific dimensions useful in the analysis of stories. The creative process reflects the inner quest for the reduction of psychic and social tension following a simple mechanism abiding by the laws of two scientific equilibrial phenomena: the pendulum oscillation and the balance of the trays of a scale.

The time has come to establish fairness in dealing with anybody’s inappropriate aggressiveness, thereby equalizing the treatment of Islam and Trump. The moral of this drama is in the understanding of morality beyond a power play. Can an ugly nasty bar brawl turn into the vindication of justice?






This installation is interpreted as representing the Abrahamic family. It is examined not as art but as a story that has inspired three major religions in conflict with each other.

We see in the Abrahamic family the inequity of the genders as lack of mutual respect. It presents three huge patriarchs, four diminutive matriarchs and two symbolic Horus birds as the nameless concubines with beaks to peck on the wives. Beware of its moral message. It was a lighthouse celebrating the father-son covenant. Now it is the sirens that magnetize sailors- the faithful, to the rocks by portraying the sanctification of the inequity between men and women. The museum exhibits highlight a new way of looking at art interpreting stories as having measurable scientific dimensions.

Stories have defined the divine. They have given it the power of the role models of happiness. Our perspective is that stories are only particular and alternative ways of resolving conflict and that religions have evolved stories as the unique normative paradigms to happiness. Now we must recognize that stories have dimensions and that happiness is not in any one role model advanced by a best seller. The secrets to happiness are in the Science of Conflict Resolution, the Moral Science, in the scientific interpretation of metaphors along the optimization of conflict as following three principles: mastery, cooperation and mutual respect. Accordingly we see in the Abrahamic family the inequity of the genders as lack of mutual respect. It presents three huge patriarchs, four diminutive matriarchs and two symbolic Horus birds as the nameless concubines with beaks to peck on the wives. In our times this model of resolving conflicts is unacceptable by the Western cultures; it is unjustet this model oppressive to women is central to all Abrahamic religions.

This focus of analysis presents a new way of looking at art to identify science underlying psychology and morality. The exhibits place art installations in the context to each other to illustrate a universal conflict revolution order. This can be observed in the museum exhibits. They illustrate the creative process portraying the unconscious as a measurable energetic and relational transformative phenomenon presenting a shift of paradigms from art to science uniting psychology with both science and moral order.

The scientific analysis of the creative process as a conflict resolution mechanism identifies four alternative resolutions as diagnostic categories; this assessment method integrates the religions of the world into a continuum of discoveries of the Moral Science, which completes their quest for the divine. The science identifies it as the laws guiding the unconscious as a homeostatic software.

The creative process in art-exhibits examines the relation of emotions evolving from a conflict to its resolution following the laws of science. In art we find science. In religions we rediscover the evolution of paradigms of conflict resolution as discoveries of science. They evolved improving conflict resolution in the person.

After 9/11, America slipped into a cultural war responding to the attack. The world is engaged again in seeing a spectacular brawl, the daily exchange of punches, and body counts, and we totally forget, when and why the fight began. We better get smart and help our cultures be they Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

We need to understand the divine and morality. Let us go back in time and think of the conflict of ideas before the war. All religions are in need of serious moral guidance. Let us examine the conflicts between religions as the alternative to military action. The world is ready for a new moral paradigm, one that integrates the moral monopolies as the range of alternative ways of resolving conflicts.

The function of a good drama, like the current one that engulfs our entire world, is punishing the deviant, here all religions, helping the audience to confront moral issues. Thinkers need to question traditions and opt for a new path to resolution that could lead to moral consensus and peace.

At this point, the world is hostage to the cultural stories regarded as the ultimate truths. People kill and die in their defense. Rather than killing or being killed on behalf of stories, which is the military solution, let us reflect. We should understand each other’s stories. The problem is that ideologies and religions, prophets and political leaders, have escaped the scrutiny of scientific analysis. The conflict between cultures is really a drama of ideas. Psychology is weak; it has been medicalized. Morality has been usurped by each religion as their monopoly of virtue. Can analytical reason claim to understand psychology and morality as a rigorous science?

It is a difficult innovation: to penetrate the shield of the medical establishment as well as the sanctification of stories. But with assertiveness the public must question religions as psychological theories and become objective about morality. Religions have made historical choices of particular role models, worshiping them and then deifying them stopping the thought process. But let us put the scriptures on the table, demystify their claims, and restart analytical thinking. Let us examine the differences between our sanctified role models. Let us stop killing each other in their defense and simply let us be analytical of our respective heroes. The reason the world is in turmoil over the centuries is because of the injunctions of these sanctified hero-books defining what is right and wrong. Let us study them and see what is common with all of them.

The Formal Theory validated into the Moral Science examines stories as measurable scientific phenomena. The Moral Science, the Science of the Conflict Resolution analyzes stories as abiding by the laws of two scientific phenomena: energy transformation, and alternative solutions.

The analysis of the creative process as a conflict resolution mechanism identifies the unconscious as a scientific conflict resolution mechanism; it has four alternative resolutions as diagnostic categories; it is possible to assess the alternative solutions analyzing the stories. We can integrate the religions of the world as partial and complementary discoveries of science.

The science understands the scientific structure of stories and their moral function. It has identified the scientific principles to conflict resolution as the alternatives of power and attitude. Using these principles, we may analyze the differences of the individual personalities of the prophets and of the respective religions. The Moral Science integrates the alternatives as the complement of conflict resolutions. It reduces religions to measurable parameters of formulas into a continuum. The good news is that we can sit back, stop the fight, and seek to understand the evolution of conflict resolutions integrating religions into the continuum of moral reason. Here we can find the new understanding of morality by studying the creative process as a scientific conflict resolution universal phenomenon and considering the scriptures as exemplifying the alternative ways of resolving conflicts.

The game-board of Moral Monopoly, an educational card-game, presents religions as partial and complementary discoveries of science evolving improving family relations and the definition of the divine. Moral Science integrates them and completes their mission for peace on earth.

The religions of the world have evolved by identifying how to improve family relations and how to rethink the divine more abstractly. The epics and the scriptures differ according to the Formal Theory along the alternatives of dominance and submissiveness, cooperation and antagonism, alienation and mutual respect. Religions discovered the alternative ways in resolving according to these three dichotomies. Matriarchy identified the power of the mother, of women. Greece introduced patriarchy discovering dominance, India introduced Asceticism, discovering cooperation; Judea introduced Monotheism; it discovered mutual respect between fathers and sons. But here is where religions have failed. They deified their heroes’ relational modalities and vilified the alternatives. The new insight: we can look at religions as partial and complementary discoveries of science seeking to understand human essence in terms of the variables of the creative process. Each has led the world to a great civilization but also upon Globalization, as visions in conflict with each other. While all stories lead to happily ever after, the ends differ so the world has never lived happily. Religions’scriptures have handicapped the path to unity, currently to Globalization.

Morality is there in every story as the conflict-resolving mechanism. In our stories, we can identify the process as our personality as one of the four different ways of resolving. All paths of resolutions are dramas with syndromal consequences. Trump’s and Islam’s choices are now illustrating the painful disadvantages of the dominant antagonistic modality of resolving. The Greek culture, illustrating dominance antagonism, discovered the need for tragedy as the dramatic correction of hubris, as the means for self-correction for antagonistic behavior.

All modalities have merits but they are also problematic; it is therfore good to know the consequences of one’s relational choices. The secret to happiness is in understanding the range of these alternatives manifested in the differences of our personalities and our religions.

The implication is that individuals and religions have to shift their focus from promoting divine role models to demystifying the human condition. It is a simple exploration. We need to examine our own stories as well as those of our culture. We can learn how we manage power as well as how our religions do. Here is where psychology can help the world by showing that morality, the moral motivation manifests as seeking a range of power and attitude choices.

The optimal path to conflict resolution or to peace is in promoting moderation, cooperation and mutual respect. The time has come for the world to understand the inner software principles as the universal moral values. Divines have been invented empirically through introspection by slowly understanding the scientific secrets to ‘happily ever after’. Religions have created temples converting spiritual focus from one illusion to another. Pagan temples became churches, then mosques, then churches again. If we want happiness and peace we better understand our religions’ patterns and their normative consequences. May be we can convert all temples into sanctuaries respecting creativity as the unifying and healing process.

Psychology understanding the difference between personality types as the alternative ways of conflict resolution, our world now will know the difference between people as well as the prophets. We should not need any longer to defer to the military to solve cultural differences or police to address violence in the classroom. Instead we should examine religions and personalities as conceptual problems that require rethinking our paradigms. We need no longer spend our resources fighting rather we should engage each other in thinking and reengineering relations and norms.

We just have to recognize the differences and the price prophets and their religions pay for their relational choices. What Islam is experiencing today is the consequence for the dominant antagonistic model of resolving conflicts. It is a militant supremacist faith and it pays the price of its dominance turned into civil wars. It suffers because of its dominance relational choices. The dominance pattern is revealed in Trump’s choices. America’s cultural hero is powerful but in a world of conflicts that he has created with his limit-testing dominance. Is he happy or is he suffering? I would not like to be in his shoes. What a painful predicament for a leader to be besieged by so many adversaries in his own domain!

The challenge for peace-loving people is in understanding morality beyond that of current religions. Morality is a science, the science of the creative process. Both Trump and Islam suffer of a particular relational modality. It is called dominant antagonism. They both suffer from the same psychological sociological problem. They both want to have too much power, too many wives, too much money; as a consequence, they are intolerant of others and their followers are at war with them and with each other. Islam is torn between two alternative claimants to Mohammad’s throne. Our Ben-Ladin was the victim of a big and divided family. How many mothers and how many siblings did he have? How many women did Trump marry and how many more did he enjoy in his thousand and one nights before he wake up in the nightmare of his White House experience?

Somehow being a lion is not easy. You can readily become scared, like Oz’s cowardly lion. So the moral of the current drama is a reminder of our need to clarify our moral guidelines. We all need inner restraints. Morality is about managing power; some people need to soft-pedal their excessive horse-power, while others need to spurn their horses out of deep slumber.

Albert Levis

Written by

Albert Levis MD, is a psychiatrist and the author of The Formal Theory of Behavior. He’s the founder of the Museum of the Creative Process in Manchester, VT.

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