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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default The Nature of Values

    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  2. #2
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Would you mind summarizing your stance?

    I simply see a naked reply.

  3. #3
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Would you mind summarizing your stance?

    I simply see a naked reply.
    This was more meant to continue a discussion from another thread, but okay.

    It would be very difficult for me to share my beliefs about the nature of values without first explaining my perspective on the nature of the universe.

    I've studied all four major ontological views and I found a little truth in each of them, so I sought to create my own understanding of the world. I came to the conclusion that there are two worlds. There is the natural (objective) world and there is the human (relative) world. I outlined my reasoning back in this old thread.

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...47-post25.html

    I determined that values are inherently subjective in the natural world, but objective in the human world. No human being can exist without values without eventually going insane since they are essential to the ego, but values ultimately don't exist in the natural world. In fact all concepts are ultimately perceptions of human beings, and they only exist objectively in the human world, but become rather meaningless in the natural world. That does not negate the physical existence of what those concepts are based upon, merely the distinctions by which we define them.

    The natural world and human world exist in a dualism. The natural world provides the structure and the human world provides the function. This old Taoist vase analogy provides a picture of how this works.

    Imagine a clay vase. What defines it as a vase and not a lump of clay? It has a structure, which contains an empty space. The vase isn't defined simply by the clay that makes it up, but also, the space within the clay. It's simultaneously defined by both existence and non existence.

    Or phrased differently...

    A vase is defined by both what makes it up, the clay, and what doesn't, the space within it. If the space wasn't there, it wouldn't be a vase. Therefore it is defined by both what exists (the clay) and what doesn't exist (the space). It is simultaneously defined objectively (the clay) and relativistically (the space).
    So any value, whether it is liberty, equality, etc. is inherently subjective in the natural world and is inherently objective in the human world (at least to the individual who holds them). In other words, values are simply a function of a natural human process that we experiences as "value". But the actual concept has little or no meaning in the natural world.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SquirrelTao's Avatar
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    Ah, I see you started the thread. I haven't been able to get online much today, but I'm not ignoring it. I'm interested in the topic and will return to it when I have more time.

  5. #5
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    I like everything you say Kiddo except for this:

    "The natural world and human world exist in a dualism."

    This kind of conflicts with the era we live in, IE a post-scientific revolution world where everything, including humans, are presupposed to be a byproduct of the natural world. We are not special when it comes to the Universe. Qualia est quanta, thusly everything that is human is natural and knowable.

    I don't necessarily believe that, I just kind of assume it in my goals as a scientist. So I guess the question I'm asking is - what are the limits of science to explain human psychology, if any? Are not human "values" a function of some phenomenon in the human brain that we will one day be able to objectively measure?

  6. #6
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    I like everything you say Kiddo except for this:

    "The natural world and human world exist in a dualism."

    This kind of conflicts with the era we live in, IE a post-scientific revolution world where everything, including humans, are presupposed to be a byproduct of the natural world. We are not special when it comes to the Universe. Qualia est quanta, thusly everything that is human is natural and knowable.

    I don't necessarily believe that, I just kind of assume it in my goals as a scientist. So I guess the question I'm asking is - what are the limits of science to explain human psychology, if any? Are not human "values" a function of some phenomenon in the human brain that we will one day be able to objectively measure?
    Humans are somewhat special in that they can conceive concepts, especially symbols. No other species on this planet seems to exhibit this trait. But I wasn't arguing that the human world and natural world exist in a metaphysical dualism, but rather only as far as human conception is concerned, that is the nature of the universe.

    As far as being able to objectively measure the processes of the brain, I believe we already do that with MRI imagining and other neuro-technologies. Our grasp may always be somewhat vague, such as when we imagine photons of light hitting receptors in the eye which leads to what we percieve as vision or vibrations in the air moving our eardrum which leads to what we percieve as sound, but I believe we have the idea down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  7. #7
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Wow, you really thought all this through.

    I don't think its an illusion, but I have come to the following conclusions about the nature of the universe.

    1. There is an objective reality.
    2. The objective reality can only be observed through relative means (sensory experiences, human cognition, measurement, etc.) and therefore it can only be known relatively.
    3. Our relative understanding of the objective universe (science, philosophy, etc.) is based upon standardized relative measurements (time, length, mass, etc.) and is therefore limited to certain parameters we have defined.
    4. Therefore, there is also a relative reality based upon human perception of the objective reality.
    5. The only reality that has meaning to humans is the relative one, since if we did not exist, there would be no one to percieve the objective one. Whereas the relative reality would cease to exist with us.

    And this is the tough one.

    6. Every individual experiences the relative reality differently.

    Now if you have any contention with any of those points then let me know.
    How do you know that all reality would cease to exist if humans ceased to exist? (i.e., how do you know that all reality would cease to exist if you ceased to exist?).

    "To be is to be perceived," as Berkeley said. How do you know there is an objective world?

    Why should this or that "standard of measurement" be adopted as the standard that gives knowledge of the (supposed) objective reality that you posit?

    sigh... I need to go to bed. But we need to talk... seriously.

    Cheers.

  8. #8
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    How do you know that all reality would cease to exist if humans ceased to exist? (i.e., how do you know that all reality would cease to exist if you ceased to exist?).


    That isn't what that says. Only the human (relative) world would cease to exist. In fact, the first princple states, "There is an objective reality."

    Why should this or that "standard of measurement" be adopted as the standard that gives knowledge of the (supposed) objective reality that you posit?
    You misunderstand. We already have standard measurements. Feet, Meters, Seconds, Pounds, Kilograms, etc. These kind of relative standardized measures are the means by which we attempt to measure objective reality.

    sigh... I need to go to bed. But we need to talk... seriously.
    I think you need to reread what I posted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SquirrelTao's Avatar
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    Default Relative space

    Several thoughts come to mind, but I'll start with trying to understand what you mean by relative space. I assume by the context that you don't mean to speak of relative space in a more literal, scientific way, a la Einstein. When you call the space in the vase "relative", I was not sure at first if I understood what you meant. When I tried to understand your analogy, about the third thing I thought of was the artistic concept of "negative shape". An artist drawing a vase may not choose to focus primarily on the vase. Instead, they could choose to focus on the negative shape inside the vase or around the vase.

    I didn't find that very helpful to me. It didn't seem to provide an analogy to the rest of what you said. When I thought more about it, what seemed to fit better in your context is the idea that a human being can choose to utilize the shape within the vase in many different ways. You seem to mean that there is a multiplicity of possibilities which can only be actualized by human beings. Once the human beings actualize these potentials, these potentials become reality. They are realities that are contingent upon human thought and action.

    May I humbly suggest that the word "contingent" may be more precise than the word "relative"? To me, anyway, it is more clear, unless I misunderstand your intended meaning.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquirrelTao View Post
    You seem to mean that there is a multiplicity of possibilities which can only be actualized by human beings. Once the human beings actualize these potentials, these potentials become reality. They are realities that are contingent upon human thought and action.

    May I humbly suggest that the word "contingent" may be more precise than the word "relative"? To me, anyway, it is more clear, unless I misunderstand your intended meaning.
    Contingent works well, but it isn't the entirety of what I am trying to express.

    Humans derive the function of the natural universe. We understand it in relation to ourselves, namely within our concepts which come from our perceptions which are in turn derived from our sensory experiences. In other words, the natural universe provides the structure, but our experiences provide what we comprehend as the function. As human beings are capable of experiencing the same natural structure in different ways, humans have a relative/contingent way of comprehending the function.

    A rather simplistic way of understanding this is imagining the temperature of a room. Even though the actual temperature of the room stays the same, one person may experience the room as "hot" whereas another person may experience the room as "cold". This relative/contingent understanding, as well as the concepts "hot" and "cold", the perceptions and concept of temperature, and the actual sensory experiences, are all components of the human (relative/contingent) world. The actual speed of the air molecules (which we define as the concept of temperature) in the room is the component of the natural world.

    So as you may have guessed by now, the reason I use the word "relative" is because human experiences are not absolute or complete. Any person may experience the same set of natural conditions in a slightly different way. Hence, the objectivity of the natural world (the speed of air molecules) may be absolute, but the human world is, for all intensive purposes, relative to our experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

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