We’ve established that if you act like you value your existence, then reality will “reward” you with more existence. It’s also been stated that reality can’t reward anything else. Well, what if someone valued something other than existence, like a ZF-1 Pod Weapon System, with flamethrower, net shooter, grenade launcher and poison dart attachment, and they work toward getting one, isn’t reality still “rewarding” them with a ZF-1 when they finally get it?
Well for starters, if anyone valued anything other than “existence”, it could only be valued as long as the individual existed. As soon as the individual that valued something stopped existing, whatever they valued would cease to have value. So for anyone to value anything, they would still have to put existence as their primary value before all else. Well, you could do otherwise, but notice that people or things that value something above their own existence aren’t here any more or soon won’t be (how this works with altruism is explained in another post).
Second, and more importantly, what if you decided to value not owning a ZF-1? Is reality now rewarding you with non-ownership when you sell it on ebay? If reality is “rewarding” both owning and not owning a ZF-1, how can that be seen as mimicking an opinion? How does rewarding both a value, and the opposite value, give us anything to go on?
Third, and most importantly, this whole process works based on one’s actions (or lack thereof) and those need to happen in reality before reality can pass judgement. If Vearl acted as if frying in lava was good, he would have to jump into lava before reality could pass judgement.
Reality can’t reward or punish owning a ZF-1 until you own a ZF-1. If there’s a zombie invasion, then reality would reward you for having one. It is objectively good at that point to own a ZF-1. If you like pushing little red buttons and don’t like reading manuals though…
Reality can’t stop you from doing something, but it can stop you from doing it again! Vearl won’t be jumping in a pit of lava twice, and you won’t be pushing the little red button twice (that’s the self-destruct button).
Again, you can value anything you want, but since reality can only weigh in on things that affect existence, anything else, any value that doesn’t affect existence, is simply subjective.
That being said! The Big Answer still allows room for a huge array of varying values and approaches to life – you can achieve the seven qualities in many different ways! This will be talked about in a future post, but the very next post will help set the stage. We’ll be looking at how The Big Answer explains evolution, and then how evolution shapes our “subjective” values, opinions, likes and dislikes! And after that, we’ll be looking at the evolution of morality… oooooooohhhhhh.
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House keeping: a few things to clean up.
1. Yes, you need to exist to value existing, but in this case it’s a nice, neat, elegant, internally consistent, independent, self-reinforcing value system that doesn’t need anything external to it to work. That’s kinda the point – you and reality are “agreeing” on the one and only value that reality rewards.
2.. “Reward” is kind of a metaphor. If you value non-existence, and reality makes you not exist… sure, you could say reality is rewarding you. Just like some guy could say he hit the other guy’s fist with his face. Whatever. Even if you meant to lose, you still lost.