In a previous post, I wrote about the term philosophy (love of wisdom) and emphasized the word love, but spent most of the post describing the conceptions of wisdom, knowledge and other such incomplete mini-models about the human action of thinking.
In that post I did introduce “value hierarchy” fairly early, and ended up scattering some value-preference indicating phrases indicating what I valued more or less (in at least a partially ordered sense). I wrote about what I liked; and I wrote about what I didn’t love.
I like science in a very general sense. I am rubbish at lab-work.
I like understanding basic principles. I’ll skip physics, though I have read into relativistic physics and quantum mechanics enough to know the limits of the physical universe are absolute zero, the speed of light, and the plank scale. Relativity and the quantized nature of physical phenomena limit what we can achieve and know from a reference continuum of observation and action. But within those limits we have practically boundless potential to observe and build knowledge. We may not be able to plumbs the “infinitely minute” details of the universe, or cosmologically see beyond the event horizon of the universe, but there’s a lot of play between those bounds.
I like understanding how chemical reaction and interactivity work largely on very basic electrodynamic principles in combination based on configuration in relative molecular spaces. The fact that those principles work on physics (which we have limits on probing) hasn’t kept chemistry from being a multi-headed “discipline” including solid-state, organic, molecular bio-chemistry, etc.
I like being able to read about how complex bio-organic molecules operate from very basic chemical principles, and how they form what appear to us to be “natural” systems optimizing for continued self-replication and the generation and replication of support systems to carry genetic patterns. I am fascinated on how the variety of genetic replication scenarios can favor such a wide variety of genetic replication strategies: including those that seem optimized to hijack the replication mechanisms of other structures.
I am equally interested in how the minds of individuals form knowledge systems, value hierarchies, and choose what they love or despise. Humans individuals seem naturally predisposed to form conclusions. I like to think of humans as knowledge integration machines.
Human animals are social animals. At some point during their life they are dependent on others, even if it’s just the immediate family members. To survive (as a nominally successful species), members must have some predisposition to form interdependent relationships.
The social environment of the individual can provide access, or limit, the raw cultural material one can use to integrate knowledge. At the moment we live in an age when it is possible to sample (in theory) broader swaths of information and knowledge webs than ever before. So much so, that many people are incapable of disconnecting from the apparent demands of the social orders they see flowing around them and available “online”.
But what kinds of societies are best? I’m not sure there is an answer to that. How can you measure best? If you want a “perfect” society, you are trying to decide what’s “best” for other people, even the ones who don’t agree with the knowledge you have built up and have justified. If you find intransigent people that disturb what you consider the perfect social order, what do you do with them? And shouldn’t you do that to them before they do that to you?
The “truth” is, people decide what’s best for themselves based on the value-systems they have created through the acquisition of knowledge available in their relative cultural sphere of accessibility. They act through those value-systems and feel strong emotions like love and hate, anger and despair, joy and sorrow, empowerment and helplessness based on what limits and possibilities they see themselves capable of acting through.
There’s nothing wrong with negative emotions, they helps us see what we understand. But we get to choose what we value and what we know.
Emotions like love, joy and empowerment are what should predominate in any long-term viable society of people; they are the ones that pull people together. The alternative is to base societies on the negative, and those are hard to keep together, as they keep looking for enemies even after they’ve purged all the easy ones they thought they could identify.