Sunday, August 13, 2017

Intrinsic value and intrinsic morality

This continues last week's thoughts on whether there are any moral certainties, or moral values that can be held as universal. This includes a recap of last week's thoughts, and lays out three of the most basic steps in exploring human universals, human values, and what that means for morality.

1. The inherent value of life
Life in its natural and healthy state is inherently valuable to the one living it.
The most fundamental value is self-value, self-respect, or self-love.
2. The bond of shared humanity
If each each human life is inherently valuable to the one living it, and others share that same humanity as ourselves, then we can derive the general bond of humanity: the regard for others as having lives that are inherently valuable to them in the same way.
The first social value is recognizing that others have the same humanity as ourselves.

As mentioned before: from this, we can derive all laws that protect life and the quality of life. Even traffic laws are, in the end, about not deliberately endangering a life. The culture-specific laws towards those ends derive from the culture-transcending, intrinsic recognition of the shared value of human life.
3. The fragility of life: the corollary of compassion
During the life cycle, we each experience inherently vulnerable states. When young, before the age of self-sufficiency, we experience a vulnerability that is intrinsic to that state. There is a vulnerability in pregnancy that is intrinsic to that condition. There is a vulnerability in injury, sickness, and old age that is intrinsic to our mortal condition. From our self-value, we will develop self-compassion towards our own vulnerability. From our recognition of others' shared humanity, that compassion extends to others. 
The second fundamental value is self-compassion.
The second social value is compassion and mercy for the vulnerable.
This list is meant as a beginning; there are several other values that I believe are human universals because they are intrinsic to the human condition. However, it's a topic shift between this group and the next, so this seems a good place to pause.


Martin LaBar said...

I think you meant "meant" in the last paragraph. Feel free to delete this comment.

Weekend Fisher said...

I definitely meant meant.
But if I deleted your comment, mine would be totally without context: Thank you!