all 18 comments

[–]Mnemonic 9 insightful - 1 fun9 insightful - 0 fun10 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

If you make this Sub you're....

pretty cool.

But there are people who, if they died tomorrow, would cost hundreds or thousands of people their jobs. So I believe those people are quantifiably more valuable,

No this is a flaw of the machine/system.

Maybe (and this is just me musing about your intentions) you were thinking of community pilars (and not the ones that are 'promoted' by MSM, but people YOU yourself regard as community pillars (your neighbor can think of another person then you for their own reason).

I liked your intentions (as I read them) up until that part, because I'm not sure what to think of it... Do you mean it capitalistic? do you mean it as a sarcastic Marxist? [two overused and hopefully non-of-the-two depicting your intentions of that sentence].

Why do I post this and subscribe and not just ignore? Well, because I'm not sure about what mental lock you're talking about.

I don't know a economic view/life philosophy/life view that doesn't account for death (albeit some do do reincarnation, but I'm pretty sure that's not a thing for here).

[–]Alduin[S] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (5 children)

I don't think of it in terms of capitalist/marxist. I guess either one can have applicable examples...

What I was trying to say is, if we correlate the superiority of a person with their importance, some people are measurably more important than others. The president of the US is more important than his bodyguards, which is why it's literally their job to take a bullet for him if need be - just as an example.

But because there is this natural imbalance, people keep this in their minds and imagine themselves higher up in the hierarchy than they actually belong. "You don't matter, only I do." sort of mentality, even if they don't actually matter that much.

It's natural to see others, especially strangers, as not very important. But almost no one sees themselves that way.

(This post is more just an example of how to post in the sub. I maybe should have chosen a simpler topic as an example.)

[–]JasonCarswell 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (4 children)

My first reaction was exactly what Mnemonic perfectly stated.

By the end of it I had tried to view it differently and by the time I'd read to the end of your response that I don't really agree with I came up with a third way...

As you said, some people have more effect on circumstances of others, but I still don't see them being more "valuable" (discounting property).

Someone shoots the president and a lot of things change. Someone shoots a bodyguard and a few things change. It's just change. The bodyguard is doing his job, but I don't think he's less valuable. Maybe it's time for a change, sometimes change is for the better or worse, or different, or just more of the same. Maybe the bodyguard would have had a grandchild who would have been president.

The existential right to exist and the inherent value cannot be divided or diminished. You exist or you don't. You're either pregnant or you're not. And you cannot be more pregnant than someone else who's pregnant (though you may have more puppies), unless they are not pregnant. And if you are not pregnant and have a living creature inside them then it may be a parasite twin or you may soon have an alien burst from your chest. Consult a doctor.

[–]Alduin[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

So if the change a person's death causes could be better or worse, do you also think the value of a person's life could be positive or negative?

Or maybe a better question is, what do you think makes a life valuable?

[–]JasonCarswell 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

If I give you a crisp brand new $20 US dollar bill - how much is it worth?

If a crumpled up, with "US out of Iraq" scrawled across the bottom, partly ripped but intact, $20 US dollar bill is found on the floor of a truck stop bathroom with excrement on it - how much is it worth?

It may not be pleasant but a life is a life.

Theft is bad. Murder is the greatest theft.

There's a lot of grey in how you or your tribe or state may or may not participate in theft, and even the greatest theft, but a life is a life.

Value like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I like and don't like a lot of stuff, but those are my judgements, and it's evolved over the years, and I may freely express my views, but I draw the line at forcing anyone to conform. I abide by Natural Law.

[–]Alduin[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I'm not talking about murdering anyone. I don't have any more of a right to take another person's life or property than anyone else. But if they do nothing with the life they're given, then I think it's worthless. If they do nothing but harm with the life they're given, then I think it's a liability. If they do good, then it has value and is worth preserving.

I don't understand the $20 bill analogy. The thing that gives the $20 bill value is what it can do (be traded for things), so in that way the pristine and the damaged bill are worth the same, being able to be used for the same purpose. But a person has neither the capability or the inclination to do the same thing as the next.

[–]JasonCarswell 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

You are free to judge and have opinions as you see fit. You have a right to express these too. No one has a right not to be annoyed by assholes. But when it crosses the line from words and ideas to physical actions or non-actions, like denial of proper food, water, shelter, healthcare, etc - then it's no longer an opinion and freeshpeaches.

Their life is theirs to waste. As is yours. If you're not earning for the boss then one could argue you're wasting your life on SaidIt. You can "waste" your life doing all sorts of things - online nonsense, watching movies, sports, watching sports, doing drugs, painting shit no one will see, fixing old cars, gardening, inventing, charity work, community projects, helping others, protesting, teaching, caring for family, etc.

When you put a value on life, as insurance companies do, then you begin to make it a life or death matter.

A $20 dollar bill, new or covered in shit, is still worth $20 dollars. Universally. A life is still a life, whether they're "valued" or not. There are no $20 dollar bills in circulation that are worth more or less than $20 dollars. What, where, when, why, how you spend it on is another matter. It's still $20.

[–]Robin 5 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 0 fun6 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

I think racism is closely connected to death anxiety. Becker explains quite a lot of human psychology from this perspective. I think he was broadly correct:

[–]Alduin[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

I haven't read The Denial of Death or listened to this particular podcast, but I'm reading here a bit about it.

The book’s basic premise is that human civilization is a defense mechanism against the knowledge that we will die.


People try to create or become part of something which they believe will last forever—art, music, literature, religion, nation-states, social and political movements, etc. Such connections, they believe, give their lives meaning.

So if I can broadly connect the dots here... Racism has roots in people wanting to preserve their heritage, which they equate with themselves, as a means to live on beyond death. Is that roughly correct?

[–]Robin 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Mmmmm, roughly. Immortality through a larger self which persists.

[–]Alduin[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I could certainly see that perspective. I think there are several factors that come together for racism to take root, and this is definitely one I had not considered. It may be even more central to the idea than the need to feel superior.

If we had bots to do deltas I would award a delta for this. But we don't so.. Thanks!

[–]zyxzevn 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

trying to feel superior. Implies that they are not feeling that.

Feelings can change.

I think that people that are in balance with themselves and others, do not feel that need.

[–]Alduin[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

people that are in balance with themselves and others,

People who are superior in this way...^

do not feel that need.

.... are ignorant of their superiority? What makes you think they don't feel that need?

[–]zyxzevn 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

What makes you think they don't feel that need?

I think that need comes from being in imbalance.

[–]lateralthinker 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Race might seem like a silly thing to feel superior about, but if you're the trashiest person in your community, what else are you going to latch onto?

This is the flaw of identity politics. It places all of your worth into categories that you cannot change. Or at least, not easily.

So what are you going to latch on to? If you're smart, you latch onto your competencies. These are what you use to measure yourself. The more you can do, the more you are worth, objectively.

[–]Alduin[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

And what if you're not smart? Say you're in the bottom half for intelligence and not particularly good at anything? People take pride in all sorts of superficial things that they have little to no control over. Sports teams, nationality, hometown, whatever. There's no reason to feel pride in these things but people do it because the pride itself (and also the community) is something they crave.

It could also be that pride is like an addiction. The more you get the more you want. So maybe, given the opportunity to take pride in both meaningful and superficial things, people will more often than not choose both.

I don't know if any of that is true or not. But there's an awful lot of unearned pride in the world so I'm just guessing as to the reason for it.

[–]Tiwaking 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Such black and white thinking is useful if you want to survive

But not as useful if you want to thrive

[–]LoneButch 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Hey, you hit it on the mark. This is why racism exists... and why a lot of nasty things exist. I've been studying Buddhism mostly secular Buddhist philosophy. Humans first crave essentials: food, water, shelter. Then humans crave identity. Identity is something we all desire. It helps fuel our ego and gives us a sense of purpose. We are domesticated in society to learn our identity. The problem is we become so entangled with our identity that we forget that all humans are essentially the same. We are all just biological bodies with consciousness. We all have same needs: food, water, happiness, love, etc. So how can we really be superior? It's easy for me to feel superior as I identify as an "intellectual." I often see other people as unintelligent and ignorant. But, when I look at the world in a third-person perspective, I realize we are all essentially the same. I always think about Frankl's (Man's Search of Meaning Author) description of the holocaust. All the men he was around were stripped. Stripped of their identities (other than being jews), stripped from their families, stripped from their clothes, stripped from their possessions, and were all starving and suffering together. All humans can end up like that. We can all end up being naked, cold, afraid, and only our bare bodies to identify us. We can all have concussions that wipe our minds from all our memories and knowledge. Then what essentially makes you, you. It is your consciousness... your ability to think... and your ability to observe you are thinking. That's what makes us human. And if you can internalize this concept, you will find it hard to hate anyone which will bring you peace.