Value and meaning

by Andrea Elizabeth

In the previous post I linked to the video on the website, Closer to Truth, “Why is consciousness so mysterious?”. The lecturer did not believe in the notion of self as a credible identifying source of reality. His examples regarded music, color, humor. He thinks the value of the components of each is undeterminable. This idea is one reason I like to study what is popular. Popular things demonstrate a consensus about desirability. A consensus says something about human nature and intuition. I’ll not say that they always represent proper humanity, but there must be something that most people respond to. That something to the lecturer seems to be random chance and not innate value. But our intuition says that some pairings are harmonious and some aren’t, that color seems to transcend it’s frequency, and humor transcends its circumstances. Whether we are programed through evolutionary processes to respond strongly to these things or if there is something innately telos-like to beautiful or funny things that we recognize, is the question.

They brought up eastern harmonies, which is an interesting distinction, but I think people from different hemispheres can still recognize when the other’s is done well or not. I bet there is an argument for God being necessary to beauty.

When people don’t value beautiful things, or at least disagree with me, thus breaking consensus, then we come up with some of the component arguments he describes such as the intended, though perhaps unrecognized value of dissonence, or what is considered beautiful in other cultures or even times. This also brings up fads. Timeless beauty seems to have more value, however. And sometimes retro fads come back in improved ways, validating an original intention. And when revolutions occur, perhaps people were too caught up in a narrow mindset. But too often too much is thrown out. I’m still coming from the point of view that there is an intended goal to the pursuit of truth and beauty that we are supposed to seek after. These atheist philosophers who seek truth but deny meaning and that it is eternal depress me. They would say I have a psychological need for religion. The opiate of the masses as it were. Why do they devalue the psyche? Psychic states seem to them to be random electrical byproducts. They must be controlled in order to have a surviving society I suppose. Not that there is any innate value or meaning to peace, just survival.

But in my last post I talked about faulty perceptions. Just because we can be peaceful about bad things, doesn’t mean that there is no meaning to peace. We just need to mature to be worthy of it. Or at least have a mature, correct, deified person taking care of us.