Monday, June 13, 2005

Values and Choices

THis is going to be a very sketchy, underdeveloped expression of my entire analysis. I am thinking about Values and Choices... similar to my blog "God's life must be very boring." WHat is "Value" -- something that has some importance or significance, has some worth. Nothing can have any value unless there is someone to endow that thing or that experience with some estimate of value. In other words, money would be useless if there weren't anybody living on this planet who could use it. Thus, all things that attain value, do so only because of the actions of others upon it. Some things have value and then they lose all their value. Some things begin with tremendous value and then slowly deteriorate and lose some of their value. Some things are valued indirectly because they are the means to procure other things of value. Nothing can be of value intrinsically, i.e. for its own sake. Value is always contingent upon the existence of a Valuer. How do we deem what should be valued and what should not? It is completely dependent on the subject. Different people have different things that they value. What makes a thing valuable is the fact that a subject is willing to strive towards achieving that product or thing or experience for his/her own reasons. Thus, a value is something that you work to achieve and possess and keep. Now, by the very concept of the word "value", we must easily understand that in order for somethings to be of any value, there should be somethings that are of no value. Similarly, if there has to be things of differing levels of value, there should also be things of differing levels of non-value. Thus, the act of endowing certain things with value (like gold, or cars, or money) and not endowing other things with any value (like pebbles, or a leaf, or a strand of hair) requires atleast three things: A clear recognition of all the options available to you, a recognition of a personal faculty to choose, and some idea of why you desire to attain that certain object or experience from among all other choices available. Without choice, there can be no value. Without any options to choose from, nothing can be deemed valuable. There always has to be an alternative to all things that can attain any value. Humans, by our most essential nature, are endowed with the faculty to choose. We are volitional beings. The fact that we live, and work to live is a CHOICE we make everyday (conscious or subsconscious) because we are also fully capable of CHOOSING to kill ourselves and die. Thus, we live only because we CHOOSE to live, and not choose to die. So, choices are so fundamental to our nature. Because of choices, we are able to speak of responsibility, morals, culpability, and values. Without the recognition of choices, we cannot speak of any of the other concepts just mentioned. Choice endows value. The absence of choice strips away all value from everything. Thus, loving someone is clearly a matter of choice, and therefore the object of that love is of immense value to the subject. If one chooses to love someone exclusively and monogamously, one has engaged in a CHOSEN mode of behavior with a clear recognition of the fact that there are alternatives to monogamy that one rejects. Thus, that person has endowed profound value to their monogamous relationship and to the object of that love, in the face of many other alternatives (like open relationships, breaking-up, divorce, affairs, etc.) Now, suppose that all other possible alternatives were DENIED to that person. There were no possible choices left. THe only act one could engage in would be to get into a monogamous relationship (monogamous because there are no other options available at all) with one person for the rest of one's life. The only alternative here would be to either remain single (not in a relationship at all) or get into the relationship and follow the rules of that game. THe problem with this latter option is that it is an "automatic", "by default" option. Since no other options are available, one has to just follow the one prescribed, automatically (prescribed by who? Good question. Someone other than the one trying to make the decision). The nature of human beings to seek intimacy, love and social visibility will compel the human to become obedient to the rules of the game in the face of no other alternatives. The human will engage in the monogamous relationship purely because it is the automatic thing to do.. there are no other choices left to the person that would lead to the desired level of intimacy and love. The rule is: either receive love and intimacy in the context of a monogamous relationship, or forfiet all rights to those intimate emotions within a legitimate relationships by being single. Forcefully engaging in an alternative behavior to monogamy (like affairs, multiple partners, etc.) would bring that person much condemnation, disdain, and probably even criminal charges for deception, cheating, immoral conduct etc. Thus, in the face of these undesirable consequences due to social dictum, the person can do nothing else but follow the proprieties of society. With the lack of free, legitimate choices then, comes the lack of value. Thus, the relationship that has been created out of automatic monogamy due to conventional rules lacks a pure sense of value and love. One is sentenced to remain in the relationship exclusively or get out of it. Thus, the relationship either becomes a compromise (because of shared assets, children, etc. etc.) or the relationship ends in messy divorce and/or embarrassment. There is no pride, no value, no worth in any of this.


Blogger Semperviva said...

i have always wondered about that, like why a diamond is 15,000 dollars and why the shiney piece of glass that seems just as pretty to me is is garbage...when i was alittle girl i found a lamp in the garbage dump which had glass crystals hanging from it, they were so pretty and reflecting light and i took a bunch and ran to my sister and mom saying "someone is throwing away diamonds!" a very observant article-cool.

6/16/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Semperviva said...

also, i was wondering why you put long branch musings on yer site? did u like it?? personally i only like like one sentence of it, LOL, have you ever noticed that, as a writer i mean, that if you let yourself you would probly erase everything you ever write? i dunno if its just me, but its never good enough for the harshest critic, myself...oh, yes, well, i was curious about your name...mine is Sophia...

6/16/2005 12:26:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home