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What Gives Things Value?
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Clinically Insane
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Jan 1, 2013, 04:45 PM
 
Like, say, a human life?

Discuss.



Thread inspired by raleur, who tried to make my smut discussion all educated and shit.
     
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Jan 2, 2013, 02:49 AM
 
Things are valued based on what humans want. Humans generally are interested in self preservation, so on a most fundamental level "valuing human life" would be as self-serving as it is altruistic. Once we get past that point, we can start enumerating that which is valuable about human life, such as potential for creativity, contribution to the collective good, etc. (Hopefully not too educated here, my philosopher goddaughter isn't handy to ask for a formal definition.)

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Jan 2, 2013, 05:50 AM
 
What I think...
Short answer, what you said in the other thread, perception is reality. Value is whatever we think has value.

Long answer, it's a meaningless question because what you mean by "value" in the question is as malleable as the answer. Presumably there is some objective quality of value, and we (individuals) have some perception of that value. In the same way that physical objects have a shape, but we humans only perceive an imperfect neural representation of that shape (and even more so an imperfect representation from our other senses). Regardless of any objective reality of "value," our perception can be whatever we want it to be, and it is skewed by our emotion, intellect, and factual knowledge. If we are simply ignorant of whatever factor it is that gives a certain thing value, we have no hope of perceiving that value regardless of our opinion on that unknown factor, should we ever learn of it.

So when you ask what gives "value," do you mean the objective value or our perception of that value? We are simply incapable of knowing the first, so we have no choice but to discuss the second. But then there's another layer of abstraction, what we (a society) consider to have value. This could be a democratic consensus of what individuals consider (or desire) to have value, or it could be a decree of what an individual ruler decides has value, or what a ruling elite party decides by whatever means. It could even be received wisdom from countless generations past of technically unknown origin, like the Bible. In the US, we have a hybrid of majority and super-majority (constitutional) consensus of what individuals perceive to have inherent value. But when you get down to it, it might as well be a preference rather than a truth, because we are biologically incapable of accessing the truth of the question. So now we have a societal sense of "value," and individuals may deviate in their beliefs from this assessment. Which is right, or more right? In a system with a ruler or ruling elite, the rulers' values are more "right" than values of anyone below them. In our system, the consensus values (weighted by those "super" values of the supermajority) are more "right" than dissenters. But under it all, it's all just a perception, or a collection of perceptions. There is no objective truth to be found, only what we all get together to agree on, based on our fallible and biased perception of truth.

In practice, we generally tend to look around us and copy what others have decided has value, especially as children. As we grow up, we tend to pretend that our childhood mimicry is innate, and rationalize some kind of objective justification for what we originally internalized by observing others. It's not a bad algorithm, because at least you get to start at a point where your predecessors left off, with a chance to go even further, rather than having to re-derive whatever it took them a lifetime to accomplish already.
     
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Jan 2, 2013, 05:14 PM
 
I'm told Maslow is a clever fellow....
     
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Jan 3, 2013, 10:11 AM
 
I don't understand the value of gold. It's a bit rare and it doesn't tarnish. It's not that strong, but it's easy to make stuff out of. But otherwise, why is it of value?
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Jan 3, 2013, 10:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by design219 View Post
it's easy to make stuff out of.
You answered your own question.
     
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Jan 4, 2013, 06:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
You answered your own question.
But tin is much, much cheaper.
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My stupid iPhone game: Nesen Probe, it's rather old, annoying and pointless, but it's free.
Was free. Now it's gone. Never to be seen again.
Off to join its brother and sister apps that could not
keep up with the ever updating iOS. RIP Nesen Probe.
     
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Jan 4, 2013, 06:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by design219 View Post
I don't understand the value of gold. It's a bit rare and it doesn't tarnish. It's not that strong, but it's easy to make stuff out of. But otherwise, why is it of value?
First you need to understand why gold was used as currency in the first place.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 4, 2013, 08:24 AM
 
Which was?
     
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Jan 4, 2013, 08:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Which was?
Glenn Beck brainwashed the Romans.
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 4, 2013, 08:38 AM
 
Relevant South Park:

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DA6f6P5Ceuc4&sa=U&ei=7xLnULqUH8q7qAHgsI GYAQ&ved=0CDoQtwIwAg&usg=AFQjCNELd9ewRMV7eTvOJU6Fd gZKB4zbyQ

Two minutes.

Gawd, I hate this crap Google puts in its search result links.
     
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Jan 4, 2013, 08:40 AM
 
Yep. Want to copy and paste? DENIED
     
subego  (op)
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Jan 4, 2013, 08:42 AM
 
And then it's a bullshit copy because Comedy Central requests you suck their flash cock.

I'm in a baaaaad mood.
     
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Jan 7, 2013, 11:28 AM
 
Aww, figures you'd start something like this while I'm on the road.

There are problems of equivalency and equivocation going on here, but it's really not fair of me to say so when I don't have the time to explain why that's a bad thing. I promise a better answer if you keep it alive for a few days.
     
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Jan 7, 2013, 10:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Glenn Beck brainwashed the Romans.

Originally Posted by design219
But tin is much, much cheaper.
Gold is beautiful, tin is ugly. If you're making something, that's pretty important.
     
   
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