Before we get into this, I just want to make it clear that I'm still philosophizing, and I am not 100% sure about all of this. My philosophies do change from time to time (you can see examples in the update log at the root page), and so I'm not certain that the below list is entirely right.
Protagonism uses a virtue-ethics-like system where a number of virtuous behaviors are established, and an action's moral merit (the value that actually determines how good a person is) is based on its exhibition of these behaviors and the temptation overcome to do it (no temptation or negative temptation means the act is not virtuous at all). More rigorously, the formulas are:
Any action that exhibits the below virtues to a greater extent than it flouts them (it's inevitable that they come into conflict sometimes) is "good" and the amount of moral merit received is equal to the temptation overcome. You might object that this means it's morally better to do a worse but still good action if it's harder. That loophole is plugged by the theorem of necessary motivation.
Any action that flouts the below virtues to a greater extent than it exhibits them is "evil" and the degree of guilt (negative merit) is equal to the degree of net violation of the virtues times the ratio of that to the temptation. The reason for this formula is so that: A) raising the magnitude while keeping the ratio the same raises the guilt; B) A sufficiently high temptation can render a horrible act essentially nil, and likewise in reverse.
One more thing about vice: obviously, to compare virtue and vice, these formulas require us to establish a "baseline" 1:1 ratio of viciousness to temptation. This ratio is exemplified by the act of causing X suffering to another in a way that doesn't violate their rights (this could be done with emotional suffering for example) to gain X pleasure for yourself when the two of you are offset in faring just so that the emotional factors pertaining to inequality would balance out exactly. As per the virtue formula, any good act that requires a sacrifice of X magnitude puts you back to moral neutrality, regardless of how much effect it has.
One thing I need to make clear is the rule of prudence: when necessary, sacrifice any of the below goals in the short-term for the long-term strategic interests of the cause (ie. of making up for it later). This isn't on the list because it doesn't get weighed against the others; it oversees the others.
However, I believe that things closer to the present are worth more than things farther in the future. This is the reason for the occasional apparent exceptions to prudence I make, such as any situation where you give up reusable power for a sufficiently large good effect that won't ripple into the future. Without this principle, it would seem that a good person should devote all of their effort to accruing power so they can do more good in the future (or pass on the power to someone who will), and never give any thought to helping people in the short-term, since there's no telling how long the world will be here and it has a positive feedback loop where the more power good people get over the world the easier it becomes to gain more and so this would always be the best investment.
Now, a few definitions before we get going:
"The cause" refers to the collective global interests of maximizing all of the below goals.
"The three rights", to which all innocent people are entitled, are physical sovereignty (exclusive control over one's body, including a space bubble), property (exclusive control over one's things), and truth (not being lied to or left out of the loop on things that involve them).
Redemption is to exhibit enough virtue to balance your sin.
Restitution is a fundamentally separate concept which is to undo the damage caused by your violations of others' rights. Even if the violation is accidental, you must make restitution at least up to the point where you've sustained as much suffering as the victim (and if you gain fortune later then you continue this); to do otherwise constitutes a sin against Rectitude.
To "repent" is to intend either (depending on context) to redeem yourself or to make restitution. (See the Notes on Choice on Morality for an exploration of the concept of intention.)
And finally, the list.
- Personal virtues:
- Ambition - Seek a role in the cause that involves both getting to exhibit virtue and having a good impact.
- Uncontainability - Seek your own freedom.
- Rationality - Believe what your reason tells you to.
- Purity - Avoid impure and perverse pleasures.
- Defensive virtues:
- Rectitude - Avoid infringing the rights of those have not knowingly infringed others'.
- Liberation - Set captives free, ask questions later.
- Honesty - Tell the truth even outside of others having a right to know it. (Obviously this doesn't encompass disclosing sensitive information to strangers.) Omitting the truth in situations where the other person would want to hear it counts as dishonesty. Also protecting others' feelings by witholding information that might be hurtful does not justify dishonesty.
- Compassion - Help those who have it worse than you and worse than they deserve. The faring that someone "deserves" is determined by their virtue; the degree to which you're wrong not to help them is the degree to which their current faring is below what they deserve times the degree to which it's below yours (times the efficiency of helping them of course).
- Offensive virtues:
- Retribution - Punish those who sin and do not repent. It's important to note that "punish" doesn't always mean violence. For sins that do not violate Rectitude, ostracism or public shaming is a good go-to; using violence in such a situation would itself be against Rectitude and so would only be justified if the sin was so severe that Retribution outweighed Rectitude and any strategic concerns such as resource costs or the risk of turning others away from your ideology and there was no other way.
- Self-Respect - Defend your own rights, even when they have purely symbolic value.
- Fecundity - Lead others into betterment as a moral agent and an instrument of the forces of good. An example of this could be a parent refusing to give their toddler ice cream. Even if the cost of replacing the ice cream is extremely low and the child really cares about it, if you let someone live their formative years always getting everything they want, they might develop into a weak and entitled person. Suffering in moderate amounts can make a person better, and so of course it's good to do it in ways that don't involve violating the target's rights.
- Equity - Do not judge others differently based on superficial or otherwise amoral traits.
(The reason I didn't list Courage or any similar concept is because that falls under resisting temptation. Being brave isn't a goal of its own; it just makes the other virtues more admirable.)
Another thing I need to say is the rule of reverence or soldiarity: since the above goals are about caring about things, there's also a calling to avoid indulgence while horrible things are happening even if it's beyond your power to immediately act. For example, it would count as a sin against Compassion to eat candy while the innocent suffer around you. See the articles on emotions and miscellaneous psychology insights for more exploration of this.
I also would like to point out something elegant about the virtue list: Fecundity is Ambition for others, like Liberation is Uncontainability for others. You can see how the two complement each other: acquiring freedom and using it. And Honesty and Equity can perhaps be understood as corresponding to Rationality. I'm sure there's more here to realize.