> What's your definition for the potential value of a being?

      I know this was directed at Jommy, but I will try to answer.

      The value of an object is not how much work went into it, but how
much useful work or energy you can get out of it.

      In other words the value of any created object is exactly and only
what other's get out of it, and not went into making it.

      What went into making it might make it scarcer, but scarcity is
only a magnifier of existing value and demand.  In the absence of value
and demand, scarcity does nothing to its value.

      So you have to ask what are the intrinsic and instrumental values
or desires of a human being.

      Instrumental values are things that lead to intrinsic values in the
present context of how things work, otherwise they are worthless.

      Intrinsic values are valuable in themselves, like pleasure, beauty,
comfort and peace.

      Most obvious instrumental values then are food, shelter, education,
companionship, groups, help, relationships etc.

      Some of this is ground level energy in useful forms, ripe corn
ready to be harvested etc.

      The others are more desired once the body needs are taken care of.

      The spirit to a body is like a body to a car.

      First you take care of the car's needs, gas, oil, water etc, then
you go out to dinner and take care of the body's needs, food, movies sex

      The spirit has needs of its own, just as the body has needs of its
own and so does the car.

      Thus each values different things, but its all in the form of
energy in useful forms where the energy can be extracted and turned into
productive action or survival.

      There is lots of energy in cellulose, ask a cow, but a human body
can't extract it, so its not useful to the body, so its not valuable.
Unless he has a cow that can covert it for him into milk etc.

      Useful energy implies two things, one that there is energy there,
and two it is in a form that the being can convert to productive action
one way or another.

      A starving miner in a mine after a collapse, might want 3000
calories of food.  You could give him an equivalent amount of energy in
batteries for his flashlight, but they are not in a form he needs them
in at the moment to survive (productive action).

      Thus a valuable member of a group is able to take advantage of the
sun/earth system which is a huge rechargeable battery.

      Sun light endothermically pushes plants into existence and stores
it's energy in the plant.

      Animals, exothermically eat the plants and reap the energy stored

      Animals are a slow fire to the plant kingdom.

      As the animal combines the carbon from the plant with the oxygen of
the air it produces CO2.

      The CO2 is then split by the sun and other plants to form new plant
material, and the cycle of sow and reap, charge and recharge continues.

      Thus what is valuable to plants is CO2 and sunlight and other stuff
in the ground to help build the plant.

      What is valuable to animals is plants and a way to digest them to
produce ATP and CO2.

      Since human society is a society of animals in this case, value
then relates to a being's ability to produce more than they consume in
the sow and reap process.

      That can involve direct sowing and reaping, or teaching others how
to do that, or getting involved in all the complexities of commerce
getting that corn from one consumer to another.

      This productive action of sow and reap and trade forms markets
which are the life blood of a society.  Show me a society without a
market place and I will show you a dead society with nothing living in

      Value then is the ability to bring goods to market, and take goods
home that help you bring more goods to market.

      If everyone were independent, the market would not be with each
other, everyone would live off THEIR land and that would be it.

      But specialization tends to produce economies of scale, so the corn
grower does not grow peas and visa versa.  Thus there has to be a market
between beings, so the corn grower can get his peas, and the pea grower
can get his oats, and the oat grower can get his corn.

      Then everyone is happy.

      In this sense unhappiness is failure to produce more than you
consume in the sow and reap cycle, eventually running out of seeds to
sow because you had to eat them, and thus having nothing to reap and
thus starving to death.

      Thus anything or anyone that helps someone produce more than
they consume of what they value intrinsically, will be instrumentally
valuable to them.

      All the great names in history produced something of instrumental
value to everyone, and we recognize them for it.

      But each person has their level of greatness and should work
at it to leave the coffers of food, art, science and wisdom fuller
than they were than when he was born.


Homer Wilson Smith     The Paths of Lovers    Art Matrix - Lightlink
(607) 277-0959 KC2ITF        Cross            Internet Access, Ithaca NY    In the Line of Duty
Fri Dec 10 23:27:33 EST 2010