Intrinsic vs instrumental value | Page 2 | INFJ Forum

Intrinsic vs instrumental value

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by tovlo, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Disguised

    Disguised Community Member

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    The new age has born into the creation of an ego that is only self representant. It only improves itself. People measure themselves by their ego. Thus it improves itself by the loss of others. We have acquaintances and that’s basically all there is to it. Just people. Love is a long forgotten method of raising someone up, not putting it down. People put others down just so that they could feel more powerful about themselves.

    Ego is something that is very necessary for survival at our time, where money, influence, power, connectivity and traits are the things that are of worth. Not our own opinions or the opinions of others, but the power that makes people follow us. It might be about the means to seem powerful, influential or wealthy but all those things are plainly imaginary to our sense of selves but important to our ego's. How can we raise our voices? By influencing. It’s a great way of changing minds, but do we really appreciate our own lives when we try to change people by judging actions and thoughts? Maybe. One of the best ways to learn I think is by mistake, a wise man might learn from others’ mistake, but no one’s memory is superhuman, it is flaud. People still think the earth is flat even though there is enough proof it surely isn’t. All the people who think they’re right and leave no room for objectivity leave no room for change, because that’s their ego that will make them survive in their habitats. People will never learn what makes them whole if they question it all on the basis of what people told them to be. Be all you can be, not what you should be.

    Nothing is more important than the love for another. People who don’t know how to trust might never be able to love. Trust and love are tied to each other, no matter what you say or what you do, people who love will understand and forgive. The trust in yourself to be whatever you can be is the force that will keep you alive, if you trust in it. Others might not but you should, above anything else. You will notice the people who don’t rely on themselves eventually, they are the people who cling on the factors that empower the ego. You will need a lot of experience to do this. But there is no room for fear in this area of the world. People who fear will fight it with anger. They don’t move forward, they fight for what they have by all means necessary. It is because they have never learned the means of war. Sometimes you lose and sometimes you win, the key is to win the war. If you put yourself on a mission, you will always be at war. If you know how to fight what is best for the outcome, it is something you must stand for. Love is the thing you need, and love is the way you can build trust. Without it, there’s nothing, only competition. For those people you are never enough, only someone they can walk on.
     
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  2. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    Can you elaborate on your position? Is value bestowed upon a person relative to circumstance? Does the circumstance of human-ing bestow value?
     
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  3. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    Aarrggh. don't tell me you actually read that. I tried and the try ended on page 20 or so.
     
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  4. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    I promised to come back with another post.
    The original question was : does human life have an inherent worth, an intrinsic value? I replied to the original question with

    I have had time to think this through (I spent 4 hours driving in my car yesterday), and I think, Tovlo, that you replied with exactly the right words, the words I could not find.
    I think it is hard to answer the question when looking at this from the point of view of a single person. We can love, hate, kill or be totally indifferent towards other people. That doesn't look like humans think other people have an intrinsic worth to them.
    When we shift perspective and look at the human race as a whole, we see that any given human will have people (s)he cares for. I can add now, that it is not only caring for certain people but also hating or loving other people. The interaction with other people is an intrinsic feature of the human race. In that lies the intrinsic value of human life. We are valuable to eachother, no matter our opinion, no matter our beliefs.
    There is this beautiful song from the Lumineers. I really like these lines and I feel they fit perfectly:

    It's better to feel pain, than nothing at all
    The opposite of love's indifference

     
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  5. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    I read parts of the book :) The ones that I wanted to go more in depth about, basically. For the rest, I have relied on secondary sources, to be quite honest. It is a very difficult book for anyone, though it is possible to get used to Kant's style and terminology (unlike Hegel, lol).
     
  6. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Thanks for your question, Wy. Let me correct myself: I am a relativist in one sense of the word value, and not a relativist in another sense. Insofar as I have values that give a meta-ethical frame to my moral behavior, I hold these values to be partly subjective, partly relative to my socio-cultural context (what in OM, and with reference to Husserl, I call the lifeworld). In short: values are not intrinsic to my being, if you like.

    Now, in terms of the value of things — worth, in other words — I am an defender of the idea that human life has intrinsic value, irrespective of either subjectivity or lifeworld. I justify it in my notebook with reference to the openness of being, and to the fact that the negation of human life amounts to a negation of being's openness, and thus of being itself. In a sense, human life has value because being is more itself when it is open. But here, I actually make no reference to "value" in the sense of the first paragraph. If I did, I would end up in relativist territory once again. It is only by means of a kind of naturalist argument that I can defend the idea of an objective, intrinsic worth of human life. The argument in my notes is more complicated, but that's the gist of it.
     
  7. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    Wow, thats deep. I will read this once more tomorrow :grinning:.
     
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  8. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Haha, sure, let me know if you want to know more. Oh and thanks for calling it deep — at least you don't think I'm a charlatan :D ;)
     
  9. Wildfire

    Wildfire Community Member

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    I wanted to say more in my last post but I kept getting pulled away.

    I wanted to say that I experience this too, but I think that it makes sense given what I see to be the reality of the situation. There are billions of us on this planet, each with our own unique set of value measuring devices, and we're running around measuring this and that, judging things according to our own conscious and unconscious needs. So we're going to experience being different things to different people, and we're going to witness others being different things to different people, along with all that that entails. It's also true that society seems to be of two minds on the subject. We go around creating these beautiful laws that essentially acknowledge our inherent or intrinsic worth and then we allow constructs into our society that undermine these principles. It may look and feel chaotic but what should evolution look and feel like?

    I have a great deal of empathy for the author of the article I mentioned in my last post in this thread (#15). This woman turned to religion because she felt it was the only place she could find real support for the concept of intrinsic value. To her this concept was foundational and she recognized that so completely, both of which really resonate with me. But she still needed to hear that it was true from some source other than herself. And humanity itself could not have the say on the subject. My question was why? Aren't we ideally situated to discover this? Don't we alone possess the experiential knowledge to uncover such a universal truth? And isn't humanity best suited to decide what best serves humanity as we evolve?

    I understand the impulse to look outside ourselves and our experience for an absolute. All I know that can be said for sure is that, for as long as we have been around, life itself was always there for us to learn to value. It seems that we're only just beginning to do so.
     
  10. Wyote

    Wyote Con Risa Absoluta
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    You still are but it's ok :grimacing:
     
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  11. OP
    tovlo

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    That fit! It just clicked and inside I was like, "yes!" That holds it together for me. Thank you. I have been misinterpreting negative value (lack of like or appreciation) as lack of value, which threw inherent value into question, but it is actually affirming value in the act of interaction. I am so excited to think more on this. Thank you!

    I have been reflecting on this the past few days. I think what happened with @Headstorm above is why I look outside myself. I know some things and sometimes I am looking for language to describe what I know. That has happened for me with @Skarekrow and his blog recently. Then there are times when I feel like I am missing something and I need a piece I can't quite find (that I think I may have found today). That was more what prompted this thread for me. I feel very comfortable with both of these interpersonal explorations. However, the thing I can be vulnerable to (and perhaps your acquaintance) is feeling obligated to take on things that don't fit for the sake of relationship that depends on shared perspectives, or because someone feels so strongly about how they see things that I lose confidence in my view and the value of my view. Actually, that's a new realization that just came together for me in this response, so thank you as well.

    I've been cautious about responding here because I had an angle on the question, but there are so many fruitful angles that could come and I don't want to derail them with mine. I think because I get easily overwhelmed by others' perspectives and submit my own to others', I think I can feel hypersensitive to accidentally doing that to others. I think we're all on different journeys and have different questions and answers that we need to complete our unique journey. So, if this question still feels valuable to someone in a way that has little to do with how my question and answers formed the process, I hope you keep using this space to explore. I will keep reading, and I hope you don't mind if I join back in again if new questions realign again for me.

    Thank you everyone for exploring this with me.
     
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  12. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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  13. Hostarius

    Hostarius Level 10 Cynical Optimist

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    'Value' as a category is inherently subjective - there is no such thing as 'objective value' that obtains 'out there' in the world separate from human mental constructs.

    Now, that being said, there are a couple of ways of looking at this now that the subjectivity of value is understood:

    1. Whether you think it is, or think it isn't, you're right
    The thing about subjectivity is that an individual gets to choose for himself; and in this case gets to choose if he ought to believe that life has inherent value.

    Much like the stock market and fiat currencies, if you think it is so, it is.

    2. The answer could rest on contingent facts about human nature
    If [1] is not satisfying for the fact that two individuals could disagree on this, and both of them would be right, then we might have to search for sonething like a 'universal subjectivity'.

    Of course these things are impossible, since human beings vary too much in their tastes, but evolution has created in us some 'relatively universal' (forgive the oxymoron) subjective preferences: most people like sweet food, &c.

    In these terms, it may be the case that most people see human life as having inherent value, and therefore it does.


    This is the weird thing about subjectivity - it's truth conditions are malleable and contingent. It's as if the human mind were a god of creation, capable of 'dreaming up' facts and, in that process, making them a reality. The word is law, &c., &c.

    That is to say, to bring in some Enlightenment terminology as @Ren mentioned with reference to Kant: subjective facts are by nature a priori. Fundamentally they are tautological.


    P.S. It should be noted that nothing actually has 'inherent' value external to a subjective 'value giver'. Gold has no value independent of the context of human economy, for example. In this sense, the phrase 'inherent value' is itself oxymoronic, because 'inherent' is incompatible with 'value', because value is always determined by an external structure/judge, and 'inherent' preludes any relation to 'the external'.
     
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    #33 Hostarius, Jan 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
  14. charlatan

    charlatan Permanent Fixture

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  15. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    Lol, I think you are a great guy and I realised that for me there is a lot to learn from you and the other people hanging out here. I am looking forward to read more of your insights, whether I understand them or not :smiley:
     
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  16. Headstorm

    Headstorm On a mountain path.

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    You 'constructed' at least half of the answer yourself :grinning:. I had the same "yes" experience, so thank you for starting this thread.
     
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  17. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    Thanks Headstorm, this means a lot! I'm really happy that you stuck around the forum and also look forward to further exchanges ;)
     
  18. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    I was only trying to bait you in, and it worked. Yay :D

    Any thoughts on the question of value/valuation?
     
  19. charlatan

    charlatan Permanent Fixture

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    @Ren -- that definitely worked, I walked straight in

    One thing that fascinates me is the difference between negative and positive values. If i take the examples of pleasure and suffering, I observe an asymmetry: suffering, I can plausibly say just ought not to be, but as to whether any given state of pleasure ought to be, it's harder to say, if there's always a greater one out there.
    That is where the subjectivity seems to come in: it seems like either we need the Ultimate Subject God who has non-finite goods, or for finite subjects, to decide what ought to be, it depends on contentment if that exists/is possible (to prevent the infinite regress that happens with finite goods of saying well, it could be better, so I might as well have that better option), which is why I think that may be the only source of objectively positive things. What state of affairs inspire the contentment seems up for grabs.
     
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  20. Ren

    Ren Pin's android and co-founder of Stoic Café

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    How would you define "suffering"?

    And what about suffering that over time brings about a greater good, as in Nietzsche's aphorism: "What does not kill me makes me stronger"?
     
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