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Is there a value that you can't live without?

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Many say that reason is their highest value, and I agree with that, but I don't think it would be a good answer to my question because, even if it is possible to lose reason, you would have to possess reason in order to regret its loss.

So, other than reason, is there any value which you hold as so sacred to you that you wouldn't wish to live without it?

You may have many values, but is there any one value upon which your ability to enjoy the others is dependent?

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You may have many values, but is there any one value upon which your ability to enjoy the others is dependent?

Only reason and my life, because they provide the ability to value.

If I lose my freedom, I'll aspire to have it. If I lose my sight, I'll aspire to live my life in a new way. Fortunately, if I lost the ability to reason, I wouldn't even know it. The fact that if you lose reason means you won't even be able to regret its loss only further emphasizes the importance of reason.

Edited by Eiuol
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Only reason and my life, because they provide the ability to value.

If I lose my freedom, I'll aspire to have it. If I lose my sight, I'll aspire to live my life in a new way. Fortunately, if I lost the ability to reason, I wouldn't even know it. The fact that if you lose reason means you won't even be able to regret its loss only further emphasizes the importance of reason.

Yes indeed. There's a disease that first strips a person of his reason, and then finally, of his life. This is Alzheimers' Dementia. It slowly shuts down the brain, so that one gradually loses consciousness, reasoning ability, and self-identity; then all bodily functions also shut down too.

I cannot imagine a worse 'fate' for anyone, but particularly for those for whom their mind is their life.

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You may have many values, but is there any one value upon which your ability to enjoy the others is dependent?

This is personal and contextual question, has you have seen. But yeah, that is why it can be rational to commit suicide or to die for someone else. Someone else said, "all talk" though. Well maybe but, I could see someone being so incredibly devastated by the lose of a value, i.e., a loved one that they would not want (not based on a whim) to live. My dad (who I was very close to) died at a young age in my life but, I would not think of killing myself. I wouldn't kill myself because it did not take away from my possibility to achieve happiness . Like I said though, I can imagine that situation damaging somebody so severely that their life can not be productive (like if your freedom was taken away as somebody else said).

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think if I were to lose the ability of effectiveness, however possible it its- where I would have no interaction with the world besides being suspended as a mere observer- I would contemplate whether I should live. Also, my brain- if my neurological setup was somehow deprived and incapable of producing specific receptors and neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin thus unable to feel pleasure or joy, my life would seem rather meaningless.

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So, other than reason, is there any value which you hold as so sacred to you that you wouldn't wish to live without it?

This is a tough question for me, because I've been battling depression and anxiety disorders for a long time, but I think if I were to become brain damaged and significantly reduced in intelligence, I'd want out. Well, more than I already do, anyway. :thumbsup:

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You may have many values, but is there any one value upon which your ability to enjoy the others is dependent?

No one has said "mortality" yet, and mortality is a good candidate. If something is a precondition of having values, that thing makes life worth living. Mortality is a precondition of having values, as the thought experiment called "Rand's robot" proves.

Edited by ctrl y
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No one has said "mortality" yet, and mortality is a good candidate. If something is a precondition of having values, that thing makes life worth living. Mortality is a precondition of having values, as the thought experiment called "Rand's robot" proves.

That would be a contradiction though. One cannot wake up one morning, discover he is now immortal, and decide he now wants to die. Immortality seems like a condition one would simply have to live with.

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This is subjective.

It would actually be impossible to be truly immortal in the first place. Just as it would be impossible to be omniscient. The only "immortal" things are inanimate objects, and obviously they aren't alive. Anything that acts is dependent upon certain physical attributes in order to continue acting. Reason in humans requires a brain; if a robot with reason were created, it would require something like special circuits. Those physical attributes must be taken care of. No physical instance of thing can remain the same *forever* without one acting to preserve it. You are always mortal if you are capable of acting (if you don't act, well, you die). The only way to be "immortal" is if you are incapable of acting on your own, like a rock. So no one, not even with science, can become immortal.

Edited by Eiuol
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It would actually be impossible to be truly immortal in the first place. Just as it would be impossible to be omniscient. The only "immortal" things are inanimate objects, and obviously they aren't alive. Anything that acts is dependent upon certain physical attributes in order to continue acting. Reason in humans requires a brain; if a robot with reason were created, it would require something like special circuits. Those physical attributes must be taken care of. No physical instance of thing can remain the same *forever* without one acting to preserve it. You are always mortal if you are capable of acting (if you don't act, well, you die). The only way to be "immortal" is if you are incapable of acting on your own, like a rock. So no one, not even with science, can become immortal.

Being immortal is not the same as remaining the same forever.

Edited by ctrl y
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Being immortal is not the same as remaining the same forever.

My point was that the parts that allow you to act must be functional. They must be maintained. The fact that those things must be maintained means one isn't immortal. Those parts can cease to function. "Same" have may been a poor word choice. The point is your brain would stop working if you didn't consume any nutrients. If you were a robot, you would need to take care of your internal wiring. If you did not do these things, at some point, decay would occur, no matter what you are "made" out of. It may take hundreds of years, it may take a millenium, but *all* things will decay over time (or change into energy if my understanding of physics is correct) without maintenance. It is simply impossible to be immortal.

I define being immortal as being incapable of dying. I imagine you define it the same way. To clarify, it would be impossible to value if you were immortal, yes, but my point is that being immortal isn't even possible.

Edited by Eiuol
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This may not be true.

Can you elaborate? Nothing can remain in a condition that makes it a particular thing forever without one acting to keep it so. A rock can't remain a rock forever, unless you put it somewhere to prevent erosion. The only way a thing can remain essentially unchanged is if it is unaffected by other objects. That would mean to be unaffected by causality. But all things in reality are affected by causality.

I'm not sure if I used causality correctly here, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

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If you were a robot, you would need to take care of your internal wiring. If you did not do these things, at some point, decay would occur, no matter what you are "made" out of.

But such a robot could replace worn out parts with the latest technology, including downloading it's entire memory and program to a new computer/brain. Much the same as every cell in your body is replaced every...what, seven years?.... and you are still you. So a robot could theoretically live forever.

Bob Keller

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Can you elaborate?

Certain particles may leap into existence uncaused, according to physicists.

Nothing can remain in a condition that makes it a particular thing forever without one acting to keep it so. A rock can't remain a rock forever, unless you put it somewhere to prevent erosion. The only way a thing can remain essentially unchanged is if it is unaffected by other objects. That would mean to be unaffected by causality. But all things in reality are affected by causality.

I'm not sure if I used causality correctly here, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Why do you believe that all things will decay over time without maintenance?

Edited by ctrl y
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But such a robot could replace worn out parts with the latest technology, including downloading it's entire memory and program to a new computer/brain. Much the same as every cell in your body is replaced every...what, seven years?.... and you are still you. So a robot could theoretically live forever.

It could live indefinitely (and theoretically even forever), sure, but would "immortal" be applicable if it *can* die?

Edited by Eiuol
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Why do you believe that all things will decay over time without maintenance?

I already told you. Don't focus on the decay so much. The important point is things cannot remain unchanged forever without being maintained. By unchanged, I mean still the same type of thing. A rock still being a rock rather than a lava flow. Nothing can remain unaffected by the things around it.

Edited by Eiuol
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