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Values, judgment, and hate

Written by jayson. 1 comment Posted in: Ethics, Philosophy

Let’s recap for a moment:

  1. Reality is the expression of the Process of becoming, or actualization.
  2. Actualizers are realized reference points of actualization.
  3. Actualizers experience the Process through desires.
  4. Since every actualizer is a unique reference point, their desires are entirely subjective. The only consistency between them, and the only way to move between the subjective and the objective, is that they all desire to go through the process of satisfying desires
  5. Actualizers express their subjective desires by taking actions that communicate values.

This allows us to segue into a discussion of values. So what are they?

Values are the language by which actualizers express their desires. They communicate those values through actions. Actions are the mechanism by which values are communicated because an actualizer must demonstrate those values in order for them to be realized, and by demonstrating them they indicate that they would rather perform those actions instead of others. The actions have a “cost” to the actualizer, and hence, some are more valuable than others.

Values are entirely subjective, but (like abstractions) are not arbitrary. They come from the complete, sum total of all information and abstractions realized by you. This includes differences in knowledge, biology, the entirety of past experience and the expectations of the future.

There is no way for anyone else to know all of the information that makes you value what you do – otherwise, they would be you. It could be argued that you don’t “know” it either, but since actualizers are reference points of relational information, you know it through irrational completeness.

People are those actualizers that can communicate their values and understand or internalize the values of other actualizers. Personhood is realized when at least two actualizers communicate and internalize each others’ desires. When this is not possible, personhood does not exist.

A person’s values themselves are neither good or bad, right or wrong. There are no prescriptive statements that can be said about values – it is senseless to say that someone should or should not value something. However, this does not mean that we must become nihilists – it does not mean we cannot make value judgments about others’ actions. If another’s actions are contrary to our values, it is useful (and therefore justifiable) to consider those actions in the context of our own values – without this there would be no anger or distaste, which are very real sources of information.

What is not useful (and therefore not justifiable) is to dismiss the values of another actualizer – to knowingly and willfully refuse to understand the values of another potential person. To do this willfully is to hate. Disliking the actions of another is one thing – but to willfully ignore that they have their own reasons for the actions they are taking is to dehumanize (hate) them.

This dilemma is the crux of the issue that most of philosophy, and society, has with relativism. More on that later.

This lesson ties into the existence and utility of trade, the meaning of sustainability, and the spirituality of respecting actualizers that are non-human. All subjects of further discussion.

One Response

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  1. RedMango

    Very nice post!

    October 18, 2010 at 5:00 am

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