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Youth as a value

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Excuse me if this is a stupid question.  If there is any materiel that comes to mind to anyone reading this, please refer it to me as I am in the process of re-learning objectivism.

Values are defined as what an organism gains and keeps for survival.  Aging is a process that occurs regardless if the person wants it to happen or not; aging can be slowed down, but it cannot be stopped with current medical technology.  

Is it appropriate to value youth, or anti-aging?  To value something that cannot be gained or kept? 

People buy into "anti-aging" products, but this only gives the characterization of youth.  One can make changes to one's habits, or engage in certain exercises to gain youthful characteristics, but that does not actually stop, or reverse the aging process.  

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You are mostly right about how to define value, but it doesn't necessarily entail or require "for survival". As far as the things you ought to value, they won't go against your survival, and may only benefit your life in a psychological sense. Youth as a whole is valuable to many people, and maintaining youth or going in that direction can be a very nice thing in terms of quality of life. You might not gain youth itself as some static thing you hold onto, and you can't keep it forever (because even psychologically speaking you won't be youthful forever because you will learn more about life). You still comes value the things that stands for, as a type of admiration for the good things out in life. You might find your own youth valuable because it maintains some antidote against pessimism. Plus, you can see it as a medical concern that can be dealt with like anything else. 

Of course, valuing youth can become a bad thing. For example, someone can explicitly hate who they have become and lose any self-esteem because they see themselves as worthless compared to who they once were. Some people develop body image issues if they see their body in this way. I've heard of people going as far as having frequent plastic surgery as if nothing about who they are now is any good; the only good things were when they were young probably. 

 

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16 hours ago, Jimbean said:

Is it appropriate to value youth, or anti-aging?  To value something that cannot be gained or kept? 

Youth or aging is too broad to determine appropriateness. 

There is the issue of what is the point of valuing, or wanting to be a 2 year old? Or a preconceptual baby, or a teenager fighting pimples.

The goal is to exist.

To enjoy any value, you must exist to do that.

Whatever you want, from eating to ice cream to winning the Nobel prize, it all presupposes existence.

To survive is to exist to experience ... whatever it is you want.

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I would flat out deny the premise of the question. It's possible to pursue youth as a value by funding scientific research aimed at enabling us to live indefinitely in young bodies. If the research is successful within your lifespan, you could have the body of a 20 year old at the age of 200. (Obviously you'd still get "older" over time here in one sense, but that's a crude equivocation.)

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2020 at 8:43 AM, Jimbean said:

Excuse me if this is a stupid question.  If there is any materiel that comes to mind to anyone reading this, please refer it to me as I am in the process of re-learning objectivism.

Values are defined as what an organism gains and keeps for survival.  Aging is a process that occurs regardless if the person wants it to happen or not; aging can be slowed down, but it cannot be stopped with current medical technology.  

Is it appropriate to value youth, or anti-aging?  To value something that cannot be gained or kept? 

People buy into "anti-aging" products, but this only gives the characterization of youth.  One can make changes to one's habits, or engage in certain exercises to gain youthful characteristics, but that does not actually stop, or reverse the aging process.  

 

21 hours ago, Jimbean said:

I thought about this a little more.  I should specify that it is not a disintegration from reality if someone works to gain the attributes of youth, but to work to gain youth as a whole is a disintegration. 

 

"Youth" if referring to a chronological and/or biological "age", as such, is not anything which can be pursued, it is merely a metaphysical fact of reality one goes through.

"Youthfulness", if one defines this as the attributes and properties accompanying a person who is at some point their youth, is not a value in and of itself, as many aspects which can accompany "youth", immaturity, irrationality, some underdeveloped physical systems etc. are not (or not yet) conducive to maximal flourishing, but instead are various aspects of a person during stages of maturation, some good, some not so good.  Statistically, it is true that some aspects of a person in their youth (at certain stages... once developed and in full health) represent well what state that aspect should be in when maximally flourishing, but that does not equate with "youthfulness" in general being maximally flourishing.

Looked at critically, simply "youth" or "youthfulness" is not a synonym with maximal physical and psychological health, applied generally to all aspects of a person. 

It makes more sense to stay grounded in the concept of what maximally flourishing physically and mentally means, and to strive towards such a state, which might include striving toward the immune system of an X year old, the mind if a Y year old, and the cardiovascular system of a Z year old.

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On 2/7/2020 at 5:43 AM, Jimbean said:

Is it appropriate to value youth, or anti-aging?  To value something that cannot be gained or kept? 

It's not clear whether anti-aging can be gained, because you haven't defined what you mean by such a term. Aging might refer to certain effects of gravity, for example, which might be avoided by creating anti-gravity machines. There are many possibilities for addressing different aspects of aging. We already reverse some of these problems through medical means, such as extending life via organ transplantation. Obviously we can't turn back the clock, but doctors can certainly turn back your body to a healthier state. So it matters what you mean by concepts like "aging."

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On 2/7/2020 at 8:43 AM, Jimbean said:

Is it appropriate to value youth, or anti-aging?  To value something that cannot be gained or kept? 

In the long run we are all dead despite all of our efforts, so can one really value life?

There seems to be something wrong with that sentence I just composed.

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4 minutes ago, Grames said:

In the long run we are all dead despite all of our efforts, so can one really value life?

There seems to be something wrong with that sentence I just composed.

I have been submersed into irrational society that my psycho-epistemology is cluttered with subjectivity; I'm still at the metaphysics and epistemology stage of re-learning Objectivism. 

Life presupposes the act of valuing.  Your own life is the basis of all other values you have.  Your efforts are at least an attempt to sustain your life, so for example, if you can act in such a way that would reverse the aging process (i.e. extending your telomeres, or boosting HGH long term), then you would do that since it would sustain your life, similarly in the way you sustain your life by eating. 

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1 minute ago, Jimbean said:

Life presupposes the act of valuing.  Your own life is the basis of all other values you have.  Your efforts are at least an attempt to sustain your life, so for example, if you can act in such a way that would reverse the aging process (i.e. extending your telomeres, or boosting HGH long term), then you would do that since it would sustain your life, similarly in the way you sustain your life by eating. 

Actually its even simpler than that.  A value is that which one acts to gain or keep.  There is no presumption of ultimate success, merely the action for the sake of some end.  So objectively, it is possible to act to achieve all kinds of things even things which are impossible or things which are harmful and in a real sense those are values.  Whether the impossible or the harmful should be something to strive for is a different question.

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1 minute ago, Grames said:

Actually its even simpler than that.  A value is that which one acts to gain or keep.  There is no presumption of ultimate success, merely the action for the sake of some end.  So objectively, it is possible to act to achieve all kinds of things even things which are impossible or things which are harmful and in a real sense those are values.  Whether the impossible or the harmful should be something to strive for is a different question.

"...acts to gain..."  I missed that "acts to" part, so by definition it is possible to integrate with reality while acting to gain the ability to reverse the aging process if one is qualified to do that kind of work in bio-medical engineering, or whatever related field of study.

Thanks for the observation.  In a debate with someone like stefan molyneux, that would make the difference haha)

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1 minute ago, Jimbean said:

"...acts to gain..."  I missed that "acts to" part, so by definition it is possible to integrate with reality while acting to gain the ability to reverse the aging process if one is qualified to do that kind of work in bio-medical engineering, or whatever related field of study.

Or if I were a multi-billionaire donating money to that kind of research.

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