X-Message-Number: 16832
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2001 16:14:24 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Does inherent value exist?

>From: Scott Badger <>
>Subject: Re: Why beings of the future *will have to* bring us back
>OK, Dave. I see the distinction you re making in your
>ethical argument.  But I don t really understand the
>notion of  inherent  value which you stress. 

What I am struggling to understand and develop further is an understanding
of value or worth that is indendent of everything else - if there is such a
thing.  I am having trouble putting together the words "inherent" and "value."

Inherent, as a technical term in this work, is non-conditional that is
permanent and unseparatable, and value in many cases, (maybe all - if I am
wrong, is what someone thinks something is worth. So the trick is to be
able to *explain* the value in inherent value as being independent.  

An example that comes to mind is, perhaps, a universe that is not
accessable from the outside that has the answers to all mathematical
theorms and nothing else in it.  In other words it just has some wonderful
information in it but no one to receive that information.  Is that universe
valuable?  Valuable in itself, not to any person?  If you think information
is valuable for its own sake, then this approach may fly if we follow it out:

If life is "merely" information, and if information has inherent value,
then life has inherent value.

If there is this type of value, then I would think that life, in general,
is a candidate for it.  

If this is so, then a specific life may have inherent value.

If you grant that life has inherent value, then you would probably grant
that life keeps that inherent value, and a specific life keeps it too, as
long as that specific life never harms any other innocent life.  (Trying to
combine the best of inherent value theory with a libertarian principle.
This may not work because then I have to say that "good" life has inherent
value and "Bad" life doesn't - there goes the inherent part?  I need help

*The power of the inherent value argument comes from the position, that if
someone denies this, he/she is saying his/her own life has only conditional
value, if it has any value at all.*  I think we would all like to think of
our lives as more than that.  Our lives are more valuable if they have
absolute value.


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