Our culture has this very binary way of thinking about morality, in which actions are either “okay” or “not okay”. Conventional morality is focused on the concept of obligation, which is the minimum you can do without falling into the “not okay” zone. Positively good actions, when their existence is even acknowledged, are seen as “extra” and don’t seem to get nearly as much recognition as a negative action of the same magnitude – if I steal ten dollars one day and then give someone ten dollars another day (completely unrelatedly), how do you fancy I deserve to be treated compared to someone who did neither? I think most people would say worse.

In Protagonism (my religion), morality is much less binary and much more focused on good actions. Instead of being either okay or not okay, actions come in four kinds: punishable (outright evil things, such as stealing), reprimandable (the category that things sins of laziness and such are usually in), admirable (eg. me writing liberty.me articles when I feel like wasting time on Prismata), and praiseworthy (eg. risking your life in a heroic fight against a government). (There are also completely neutral actions but those only appear in fringe situations and aren’t really relevant to anything.)

Notice how conventional morality is all about minimums and Protagonist morality is about maximums? In conventional morality, your objective is to fulfill your obligations – no pressure to go above and beyond them. In Protagonist morality your objective is to do more. More than what? More than you’re currently doing, however much that is. There is always pressure to increase; it doesn’t cut off as soon as you reach some arbitrary ‘bare minimum’ (aka obligation) point. No wonder conventional morality is conventional – it only asks a minimum of you whereas Protagonist morality never stops asking more until you reach absolute perfection.