Friday, October 2, 2015

Sacredness Part I: Twisting Infinity into our Values

Squeezing the Infinite into a Rectangular Box
In the scheme of human perception we assign a range of values to things in this world.  A short example list of things with declining value might be: life, love, the environment, a tank of fuel, a chocolate bar, a pebble, a cockroach.  (implicit in this ordered list is the idea that values for a variety of things can be measured using the same units--a simplification to be sure)

Actual valuations, of course, will vary from individual to individual and within a larger context.   A pebble that is an emerald might be moved up on the list by those who value jewelry. Someone starving will likely move the chocolate bar to the head of the list.  And when talking about the life of a cockroach, the first and last items create a wrap-around paradox of sorts.

This subjective valuation causes a complexity of problems as humans attempt to integrate their "values" toward pursuing states of greater well being for themselves.  Perhaps, the greatest conundrum lies in the idea that certain things are sacred, essentially having infinite value.  Whether it is a sacred text, the sanctity of life itself, or the need to have coffee in the morning.   If we value something too highly, it has the potential to destroy things that have value in the attempt to preserve these sacred things.

More on this in the future as I consider possible solutions to how the delusional valuation of sacredness can be confronted.

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