Re: Immortality and Resources

Jim Legg (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 14:59:40 +1300

Eric Watt Forste asks:
> What is an "intrinsic value system"?

Pister found a way to put the concept of intrinsic value across clearly. To
the question What good is it?, he replied, What good are you?

"That answer forces the questioner to confront the fact that he or she
regards his or her own total value to exceed his or her instrumental value.
Many people hope to be instrumentally valuable -- to be useful to family,
friends, and society. But if we prove to be good for nothing, we believe,
nevertheless, that we are still entitled to life, to liberty, to the
pursuit of happiness. (If only instrumentally valuable people enjoyed a
claim to live, the world might not be afflicted with human overpopulation
and overconsumption; certainly we would have no need for expensive
hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and the like.) Human dignity and the
respect it commands -- human ethical entitlement -- is grounded ultimately
in our claim to possess intrinsic value. "



Jim Legg
Man * Soul / Computer = 12 ^ (I think therefore I surf)