Value judgements are just so retrospective!
Having spend 11 hours discussing ‘choice’ in a blog post here the other day – I was milling over in my mind the meaning of life – in a philosophical way – as I do - whilst driving along a freeway after a 2 day camp for the Eel Festival at Lake Bolac, Victoria, Australia – when it came to – value judgements are just so retrospective!
I think this a great catch phrase. I’m really keen for us as naturalists to find ways to reinforce our world view for ourselves and for the benefit of those around us – who perhaps don’t share our world view – but they can benefit for our ability to reinforce the reality that we find ourselves in, based in Naturalistic understanding of the world around us.
Catch phrases are one of those repeatable comments that we can make that can inject some perspective and meaning into being.
This phrase reflects the idea that when we make a value judgement in a moment – it is a judgement that is based on a particular space of time – it is not an ultimate fixed fact – it is an expression of a perspective in time of another position in time – but as time moves forward the value judgement becomes retrospective. It is no longer current. So by the time a person has made a value judgement, the statement only applies to a past fixed point in time – it became obsolete before it was stated.
And yet, value judgements are made all the time, and can cause people much distress, pain and sadness.
When a person expresses a value judgement – it often comes from a place of sadness, hurt or pain in themselves.
This phrase specifically also has other connotations for me – I’m very keen on finding ways to communicate in ways that express the compassion I feel, due to the understanding that we could do things no other way – we are determined to do what we do – we lack contra-casual free will to do otherwise. Our ‘choices’ and ‘decisions’ are on a determined and fixed path.
I would love to hear other phrases that might assist in our responding to situations that can bring or draw our own and others’ attention to the realities that we are faced. A simple application with – for me – profound implications for change in a positive way – assisting to unlock minds from the bondages of notions of contra causal free will and other such potentially harmful supernatural beliefs.
Alice : )
I'd amend your statement about value judgements, by saying that they are sometimes, perhaps, even often retrospective, not ALWAYS. Just because a moral judgement is popular at one point in time, but not in another, doesn't make it true or not true. There are facts that don't change with time, though perception of that fact does change. I think we are given a ship (circumstances,environment,family, body, genes), but that our mind is the rudder (yes, the mind influenced by genes and circumstances) that gives us freewill. I have witnessed guilt, embarrasssment, and some freewill in animals, too. We humans choose whether or not to use our minds or consciences. I know of times when I knew the better path, but took the one that vented my feelings, whether right or wrong. We ARE heavily influenced by circumstance/environment/genes, by aren't COMPLETELY controlled by them. We also have the choice, at some point, to remove ourselves from circumstances (drinking,drugs, physical abuse).
I read an old text book on criminolgy and it's studies on identical twins removed at birth. Genes did play an enormous role, but so did the nurturing (or lack of) in the adoptive families. And so did freewill, though the studies rarely went into this. Why are all 3 of my brothers Christian and only I am atheist? Genes obviously aren't the answer. Circumstance is also unlikely, since my decision was so early/young.