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Unintentional metaphors for modernity

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 09, 2013, 03:25:39 PM
I never said cognitive contructs (or any other thing) were unreal. I never even used the word or implied a distinction between real and unreal in any post. As a matter of fact, I said that I will not argue the existence of value a couuple posts back.

I said that value, being a cognitive construct and like all other cognitive constructs, does not exist independently of brain function. If there are no brains, there is no value. Therefore value is not intrinsic in relation to anything but our own human brains. Yes we experience it, like we experience hunger; if we did not have stomachs, though, where would we experience hunger?

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 09, 2013, 03:58:14 PM
I interpreted the assertion that value does not exist outside of the brain of biological organism as meaning value is unreal. My mistake.

My argument was essentially that value is an observed property which is not like love in that it is not something felt. One is able to feel a certain way towards something deemed valuable, but that is distinctly different than observing quality.

In keeping with your analogy, I understand value to be like a stomach. If it did not exist innately, then we would not be able to observe and experience it. A mental construct is just a totem; but totems do occasionally represent the real and the tangible. It takes intelligence to recognize anything, so of course, the only things to ascribe value to other things will be the things with intelligence. Something stellar bodies do not posses. In so far as we know.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 09, 2013, 04:35:02 PM
It is not a monopoly held by the human brain to value the valuable.
Hummingbirds value nectar. Bears value berries. Crows value the dead. Mountain goats value solitude. All of them value life. Thus life appears to be valuable to anything has has it.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 03:32:15 AM
Value is right here. Take it or leave it - it remains, whether one percieves it or not.

One who percieves reality as something valuable and sacred will inevitably become valuable himself. For in our perception, our intentions are made clear. Do we want values or do we not?

Some see value as originating in wanting reality to be such and such. But reality doesn't want to be anything other than it is.

Others see value as being rooted in the awareness of that which is already here.

The first perception is inexperience: Reality and perception are mistaken for one another. The latter is maturity: Perception is perception and reality is reality.

True value isn't a product of how we percieve it. Perception is just a means toward an end.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 07:08:39 AM
Alright. I've thought about these last three replies and decided to take a look at my argument in a broader perspective.

I realized that it is very difficult for me to say whether or not *anything* is innate or intrinsic to the universe. Not even time and gravity are necessarily intrinsic; I can imagine a universe of mass but no space, in which case everything would exist (technically) but time would not be proceeding. As well, in a universe in which all mass and energy is distributed perfectly, gravity would be uniform and practically unnoticable.

I thought I was taking my argument to the logical extreme (what an amusing term!) before but now I see the pointlesness of arguing whether something (even a purely psychological concept) is immanent.

Turns out, every *thing* in the universe is contingent on some other *thing*. If you remove thing one, thing two goes poof. So whether or not we removed brains from the universe, value is going to exist as a measurement if nothing else in a possibility space, which seems far out but is the only way I can really synthesize these arguments. Even if value would disappear if there were no brains to apply it, we don't have to worry about that because we all have brains (forgive me if I make broad assumptions).

I guess, then, it is not possible to prove an argument if the proof relies on positing a universe with some objects in non-existence (without math, anyway).

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 07:20:42 AM
Having conceded my old argument, I introduce a new question.

Is nihilism just a state of delusion?

Does a nihilist percieve (falsely) a total lack of value even though the value is "there" to be observed if the nihilist wanted to observe it?

Or does a nihilist percieve a difference between 'natural' (immanent) value and 'egotistic' (transient) value?

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 09:45:45 AM
I would say that nihilism - as understood and presented by the old ANUS mothership - is a way of seeing through transient, or egotistical 'values'. These are nothing - so the nihilist empties himself of them (they were nothing to begin with).

In the process he'll realize that there is something more: That experience itself is valuable, and yet lies beyond the 'safe' moral duality of good and bad, that most would se as the foundation of what is 'normally' perceived as value.

Essentially it's a way of sorting the real from the fake. To ask yourself the question: 'What does it really mean to believe in nothing?' is to initiate a process of cleansing.

To experience reality fully, travelling through some delusion is probably necessary. 'You don not know what is enough unless you know what is too much'.

You seem well on your way :)

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 11:02:53 AM
Evidently we've run into a semantic scramble. "Value" as a notion of capacity is not what we're talking about. I suggest another word since we say that money and cars have value. We need a word that describes unquantifiable relevance, because that's what you are talking about when you refer to intrinsic value.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 11:13:41 AM
What you're talking about seems to be value as perceived by you.
What happens to that value when you remove yourself?
Does that remove the value, too?
03-04 refers to value as the quality certain things possess, with or without a identity to judge it.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 11:26:26 AM
Yes, you are getting half of what I'm trying to say. My values will differ from another's values. This always happens; take it to the extreme; some humans do not value shelter, food, companionship, or even their own lives. Values as we percieve them are constantly being subverted, recalculated, and reintegrated. I think that trees and creeks are valuable because I detect a quality in their form and function, but another person may see value in the trees because of their potential quality of lumber.

Heirarchies do not denote value. Value tells us that one thing matters more than another thing; it is more important, for some reason or another. There is always reasoning behind it.

There are heirarchies in the universe like size; from particles to stars, we can place physical entities in a heirarchy of space and mass, but that says nothing about their value or quality. No particle is more or less important than a star. They are all here necessarily.

These are heirarchies that exist without reason. The heirarchies of value that we establish as humans say things like paper money has value, and is more important than paper that is not money. But this heirarchy of value relates only to utility. The rest of the universe seems little concerned about utility because it doesn't need to accomplish goals. That is a distinctly human thing.

This is actually a really complicated matter of ontology so I'm pulling arguments out of my ass but I think you get what I'm trying to say.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 12:52:09 PM
When the experience of living becomes beautiful, sacred and whole in and of itself, isn't this valueable? Yet there is no reason for such a state, since the state is everywhere and nowhere. There is nothing to cause it, and nothing to prevent it.

Of such a state only one thing can be known: It wasn't always like this, but now it is. It is impossible to point to some specific thing, and say: That's what makes me value this.

I know this may reek of banality, but it's all about living a meaningful and fulfilling life. That's the only thing that matters, ie. the only thing of true value. But to achieve such a life, you have to forget your assumptions about what such a life may be like. Only very few people can do this, though many will try to convince you that they can.

Such a state is what crow is communicating. It's no 'idea'. It's words directly from the wellspring.

Untangling myself
I dipped my toes -
and 'I' flew away
to the world of the crows.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 01:04:20 PM
Wow. Great stuff :)

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 10, 2013, 01:19:15 PM
Things which are of value are the most radiant. It's easy to find them in relation to other things. Since all things are defined by their differences, hierarchies are the perfect identifiers of quality.

Everything exists for a reason. What that reason is, is less important than the fact that it exists for a reason.

A king is more valuable(possessing of more worth) than his subjects because the faculties he must possess(quality) are rare in relation to his subjects. Society in relation to itself must place value on king and subject out of principle as it could not function without both fulfilling their respective tasks. The value of a king is determined in relation to those that came before him, the outcome of his leadership, and the fiber of his character. The subject is the same yet his value is determined not only in relation to other subjects, but to amount of kingliness he exudes.

From a religious perspective, the value of a king is also determined by the amount of Godliness he exudes. All things of value aim towards the higher and God is that at which all things aim.

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 11, 2013, 08:59:30 PM
Essentially it's a way of sorting the real from the fake. To ask yourself the question: 'What does it really mean to believe in nothing?' is to initiate a process of cleansing.

I agree with this, and think it's more than cleansing, it's "abandonment."

Re: Unintentional metaphors for modernity
September 12, 2013, 07:06:35 AM
Still, we are all using the same word for two different things.

Someone should have the balls to say outright that nihilism is a delusional perspective because values are indeed intrinsic.

Any takers? Nobody? No, not I.