• 180 Proof
    1.1k
    Life is food playing with its food?

    :death:

    Can anyone defend the assertion of this intrinsic value life is supposed to have?DingoJones

    It seems to me that whatever can value - evaluate - a living thing other than itself, does so in terms of itself, and thereby tangentially extends its own self in relation to another life; and whether or not this relating - evaluating - is mutual, it is, or becomes, intrinsic to both lives. The capacity to value - select, interpret, relate to - and, thereby, to be valued for (e.g.) following fighting feeding fucking etc seems intrinsic to life itself (if, by life, what is meant is, in part, 'ecology-bound agent-systems maintained and self-replicated via metabolising, while being metabolized by, other ecology-bound agent-systems'). I know, I know, over-general and simplistic ... as all intuitions are; more gestalty word salad than not, but maybe, DJ (et al), you get the gist?

    Why is my position, that the value comes from some kind of merit rather than from the life itself, the wrong one? — DingoJones

    Not wrong, just that the distinction (i.e. in-itself vs for-itself (pace Sartre)) is one that makes no difference vis-à-vis life since, as (my?) intuition suggests, living is evaluating (vide Nietzsche). "Merit" is, after all, merely an evaluation of an evaluation that's fallible, and often misplaced, and merely a cognitive artifact of an absurdly overdeveloped specimen that's wholly unrepresentative of the whole of life on earth. From amoeba to gut bacteria, flatworms to silverback gorillas ... the very existence of the living seems to consist in evaluating their ecology for, at least, affordances to furthering survival.

    A metaphysical, or even existential, question; however, not, as the OP posits, an ethical concern yet (i.e. at this preliminary stage of analysis).

    :flower:

    "When we speak of values, we speak under the inspiration, and through the optics, of life. Life itself urges us to determine values. Life itself values through us when we determine values." ~F.N.

    My only real problem with the death penalty is the risk of a false conviction.DingoJones

    Yes, the risk is unacceptably high - and not an effective deterrant - e.g. Term of art is irreversible error in the U.S. Besides, doesn't the executioner have to devalue (i.e. deny) his own intrinsic value which he shares in relation (no matter how tenuous) with the condemned every step taken towards the moment of execution? Might he too irreparably lose (i.e. amputate) some intrinsic value at the moment he irreversibly takes his other's life?
  • DingoJones
    1.7k


    Sorry, Im not sure how to respond to most of that. Any chance you could tighten it up a bit? Its hard to tell where any of what you said relates to what yiu quoted. Im not trying to be a dick, even you mentioned word salad.
  • 180 Proof
    1.1k


    Hint: Read just the bolded.

    (Not trying to be a dick either. Besides, you don't have to respond ...)
  • DingoJones
    1.7k
    The capacity to value - select, interpret, relate to - and, thereby, to be valued for (e.g.) following fighting feeding fucking etc seems intrinsic to life itself180 Proof

    I would say those things are intrinsic to experience, not life, after all you can be alive and not conscious, or alive but braindead.
    Also, I had tried to draw a distinction between individual value and collective value. Most people value their own experiences or life, but some people have no value (or such little value we can easily live without them, like serial killers) to the rest of us. Its the latter Im curious about, in such contexts as people on death row or life support. I often hear people defending preserving life in those circumstances by saying things like “all life is sacred/worth preserving” or by otherwise attributing some intrinsic value separate from the actual merits of that life (again, in the case of a serial killer where their life brings only vast suffering to others).
  • Congau
    169

    I’d say: Life has no intrinsic value and its value is not based on merit either.

    “Value” always means that something is appreciated by something else or by itself. It is wanted by something or someone. (Money is valuable because we want it.) The object that has value needs a subject, therefore nothing can have intrinsic value.

    The life of an evil person is at least appreciated by himself. (The object has an appreciating subject even though they happen to be identical. It’s not the same as intrinsic value.) Therefore, his life has some value and if there’s no other compelling reason to kill him, it would be wrong to kill him.

    Any organism, any human or animal life, and even plant life has the potential of being valued/appreciated. But not only that, an artificial organism, a machine that is, or even a thing has the potential of being valued. That simply means that we shouldn’t destroy anything if we have no particular reason to do it. Everything is somehow valuable.

    Now of course there would be hierarchy of things depending on how strong a capacity they have for being appreciated, and there’s good reason to believe that a human being usually has a stronger capacity for that than an animal or a worm or a cup. Therefore, human life is usually very valuable, but not always. A person in a coma who will never wake up, has no value.
  • DingoJones
    1.7k


    I had included a caveat, the subject is society at large. So your points about the “self subject” or “someone subject” dont really address the question.
    Also, you end up broadening the scope to include the value we place on anything at all. Of course you are welcome to do that but it negates my question, its moot at that point isnt it?
    Also, your last sentence contradicts at least some of what you said. By your own standards that person in a coma can have value to someone else, could it not? It cannot also be true that the coma person has no value.
  • Congau
    169
    I had included a caveat, the subject is society at large. So your points about the “self subject” or “someone subject” dont really address the question.DingoJones
    You set up two possibilities: Life having intrinsic value (it being sacred) or life having value through merit (for society at large). My purpose (and conviction) was to deny both of them as a source of value, but I was still trying to answer the question how a life may have value. In my view, the only way anything can have value is as an object towards a subject. “Self subject” as you call it, someone appreciating himself as an object is one possibility, so it does address the question.

    Also, you end up broadening the scope to include the value we place on anything at all. Of course you are welcome to do that but it negates my question, its moot at that point isnt it?DingoJones
    Broadening the scope may seem irrelevant to your question, but I did it to illustrate the nature of value. There is nothing fundamentally different about valuing a life and valuing anything else.

    Also, your last sentence contradicts at least some of what you said. By your own standards that person in a coma can have value to someone else, could it not? It cannot also be true that the coma person has no valueDingoJones
    The coma person can have no value when the intrinsic value of life is denied. That person, or rather that thing, can have no value for anyone for what it is. Someone may think it is valued when confusing it with the person it used to be or for having the false hope that it will wake up, but it is hardly possible to value the coma person for just what it is. (Unless you want to imagine some perverted reason.)
  • Shawn
    10.7k
    I'm pretty sure, that if we accept the problem of existence, as paramount of existential ethics, then we ought to treat life as sacred.
  • DingoJones
    1.7k
    The coma person can have no value when the intrinsic value of life is denied. That person, or rather that thing, can have no value for anyone for what it is. Someone may think it is valued when confusing it with the person it used to be or for having the false hope that it will wake up, but it is hardly possible to value the coma person for just what it is. (Unless you want to imagine some perverted reason.)Congau

    If the person has an emotional attachment to the comatose person, and values that attachment then the comatose person has value of a kind. It doesnt matter if you think they should value the comatose person or not...if they do, then it has value. You seem to be saying such a thing isnt possible but to me it clearly can have value to that individual at least, or are you talking in terms of value to society at large like I originally specified?
    If thats the case, then that puts you in the camp of life not having any intrinsic value. You dont seem to think anything has intrinsic value, is that correct?
  • Judaka
    486

    Charles Manson convinced a bunch of impressionable, gullible and desperate young adults that a devastating race war was about to occur and that they needed to kill some white folk in order to set it off. He was completely delusional and lost his freedom while gaining nothing but notoriety and some misguided fans.

    Nonetheless, it's great that he never lost his self-esteem, even if he probably should have.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    Charles Manson convinced a bunch of impressionable, gullible and desperate young adultsJudaka

    poeple need to take responsibility for their own ignorance and bad behavior. not blame it on charles
  • Judaka
    486

    They are guilty of allowing themselves to be manipulated and he is guilty of manipulating them. They are both being blamed for what they did and not more.
  • Judaka
    486

    Charles Manson was literally convicted for directing the murders and not committing them. Murderer or not a murderer, it was a crime for him to tell these kids to kill and he spent his life in jail for it. There's nothing to debate on that front... You aren't even aware of what Manson was convicted of?

    Actually, I fact-checked myself and found this:

    "In 1971, he was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people. The prosecution conceded that Manson never literally ordered the murders, but they contended that his ideology constituted an overt act of conspiracy."

    He wasn't even convicted of directing the murders but actually just putting ideas in peoples heads and manipulating them to think in this murderous way.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    Charles Manson was literally convicted for directing the murders and not committing them.Judaka

    well in my book it would depend how old they were. if the killers were kids then he may be culpable of some level of forcing them to do. otherwise he should have never gone to jail.

    you cant send someone to jail for having a bad attitude, even though america does it all the time. american justice system commits more crime then anyone
  • Judaka
    486

    I'm happy for people who opening talking about how certain people need to be murdered to be jailed for it. Inciting people to violence should be a crime, especially if the "incited" actually commit murder. He spent most of his life in or out of jail and when he was free he was getting drunk and high and being a hippy. Even without the murders, his value is debatable, when you factor in the murders he becomes a serious danger to society.

    He's fine for one to start talking about as the lowest in society, if you grant that his life has value that has yet to be spoiled or cannot be spoiled then you seem to think everyone's life has value. I think that Manson was in the eyes of most, not offering anything but actually just hurting people for his entire life and he hurt many people throughout his life in all kinds of ways.

    Many, including myself and probably Manson, never cared whether our lives were thought of as intrinsically valuable by complete strangers. I don't think Manson's life of living 23 hours a day in a metal box had either value or beauty, I think there were legitimate reasons for putting him there too. If it were up to me, I'd likely have executed him. Those things are not to do with Manson though, they are to do with me. That's the whole purpose of the thread anyway.
  • Brett
    1.9k


    An example to finish: Charles Manson, kept alive for 40-50 years or whatever, provided with food and shelter, his health preserved, let out once a day for an hour, not allowed to do interviews anymore after a certain point, not allowed communication with the outside world...all to preserve his life because presumably that life has some intrinsic value that supersedes his dark deeds.DingoJones

    Did you chose Manson after considered thought, or was it just a quick choice? Because he obviously presents problems for people because his situation is so complex.

    In a way his life does have value, locked up in his cell, fed, ministered to by the state. The value is the demonstration of the fact that we the state own him, we can take his life whenever we want or we can keep him locked up for the rest of his life; his life now belongs to us. He’s not kept alive because we value his life. This is the message to the world from the state.

    But there is nothing sacred about his life. Sacred seems to me to be some unique flame that life contains that is felt by others. However that’s so obviously subjective, but that’s all we seem to be anyway. Even after death there is still the sense of the sacred about people. Once again held in memory and subjective but still capable of moving many people.
  • Brett
    1.9k
    The sacredness of life; the assault to your senses when a child dies or is killed, compared to the elderly.

    What is that?
  • DingoJones
    1.7k
    Did you chose Manson after considered thought, or was it just a quick choice? Because he obviously presents problems for people because his situation is so complex.Brett

    Well it doesnt present a problem for the point im making, the facts about his crimes etc are irrelevant...but yes it was just the first person I thought of that we wasted time and money and energy to keep him alive for no reason I can see other than some sort of intrinsic value life is supposed to have.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    Inciting people to violence should be a crimeJudaka

    the murderers should be in jail for 20yrs

    the inciter should be in jail for one year tops. any longer and thats a crime against him
  • Judaka
    486

    Depends on level of involvement, when the inciter was a significant factor in the death then he can claim equal responsibility. Manson lived like the leader of a dangerous gang, he participated in and inspired the criminal activity of this gang. Inciters like Manson don't need the actual person who committed the crime, that person is replaceable but provided Manson was allowed to be free, he would have continued to incite people to commit crimes. He was good at doing it, he would have continued to have been good at doing it and more people would be killed as a result of his actions.

    I don't really understand your position, those who recruit others for violence are literally the people you should least want free.
  • OmniscientNihilist
    171
    I don't really understand your position, those who recruit others for violence are literally the people you should least want free.Judaka

    i have the same position when it comes to swatting. some guy calls the swat team to someones house as a prank and the cops kill an innocent person in the house. as far as im concerned the police should be investigated and at least fired. the prankster should get one or two years in prison tops. yet they gave him 20 yrs and the police walk free. this is injustice.

    personally i would want manson to be free simply because of freedom of speach. he has a right to say or do anything he wants as long as he is not physically commiting violence against others himself. if people are being influenced by him then they are ignorant. it would be better to punish and educate them then to blame manson. otherwise its injustice against manson.

    same goes for hitler. did hitler even kill a single person himself? mind you this case might be different because he had power over others. he could command someone to be killed for not listening to him.

    the level of power matters. if someone has nothing but words and no power then they should not be punished for inciting. because its just freedom of speach
  • Shawn
    10.7k
    Really? A quote by Manson? Seems we're getting helter-skelter. And, I don't see how he was in any way an advocate for the sanctity of life.

    But, you know shitposting is fun and all, right?

    personally i would want manson to be free simply because of freedom of speach. he has a right to say or do anything he wants as long as he is not physically commiting violence against others himself. if people are being influenced by him then they are ignorant. it would be better to punish and educate them then to blame manson. otherwise its injustice against manson.

    same goes for hitler. did hitler even kill a single person himself? mind you this case might be different because he had power over others. he could command someone to be killed for not listening to him.
    OmniscientNihilist

    Yeah, I'll leave this to the mods. @Baden?
  • Shawn
    10.7k


    Someone turn the lights on, it's getting really dark in here, fast.
  • HoneyBadger
    1
    Considering what we call life is a configuration/state of the Universe that has evolved to a point to be capable of labeling itself i.e. assigning a symbol to its own behavioral pattern, one could define value as any transaction of the state that reinforces that pattern. Then by definition, the only valuable thing for the pattern would be its survival. Of course, you can take issue with the definition, but I would be interested in any other definition of value that would not require introducing an external entity (outside the pattern) to asses that value e.g. God, ideological purpose, etc.
  • ovdtogt
    667
    Are you asking if humans are connected with God or a god or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration?
  • DingoJones
    1.7k


    I think thats at least part of it yes. That is one reason given for the sacredness of life, that life has been endowed by god or gods with intrinsic value. It doesnt look like anyone wants to make that claim though...so where does life's intrinsic value come from? (Contrasted with life having value for that particular lifes merit.
  • ovdtogt
    667
    Do you believe humans have a religious purpose?
  • DingoJones
    1.7k


    No, not really. I assume by religious purpose you mean purpose given by some kind of divine authority?
  • ovdtogt
    667
    Does life have an intrinsic value for you?
  • DingoJones
    1.7k


    No, I don’t think so.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment