Value systems
464 visits since 25/05/2016
Manu Herrán
Philosophy, Ethics

Value systems respond to the question "What is important?". Depending on the value systems that we prioritize, we will have one answer or another to moral issues.

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Value systems are those underlying principles that define and ethical considerations, and can not be (and therefore should not be) explained by others.

I agree with Brian tomasik that we should seek convergence in value systems. In fact, there are many situations where you can reach the same moral conclusion based on different value systems. Assuming that ethical speeches are made, at least among other things, to eventually put into practice its findings, it will be easier and therefore more likely to apply some moral consideration if it is supported by different value systems. It is therefore interesting to identify those issues on which we, the moral agents, while still based on different values, we reach the same conclusion.

But one should not confuse the "agree with the conclusion", with the "agree with the argument", or with the "principles (values)" that lead us to that conclusion.

Principles + Argumentation => Conclusion

In discussions on moral issues we can correct erroneous arguments based on bad data, wrong reasoning, argumentative fallacies or cognitive biases. But we can not prove the invalidity of the principles or values ​​since by definition they are unprovable.

Here I show a list of value systems. The list is something provisional and hope to go expanding it and improving it over time. If any of the "values" of this list could be deduced from other, should not belong to it.

Each of us can base our ethical considerations in various values ​​of this list, and complex combinations of them. For example, you may be intellectually utilitarians, but emotionally deontologists, and combine both criteria in making moral decisions, even if they seem contradictory.

There are some cases where it may be useful to have a list like this:

  • I found people who criticize utilitarianism and then defend a moratorium, or directly reject the application of CRISP technologies to modify genetic alterations, arguing that at least in the case of people with certain genetic deviations above the mean, we see that are they happy and we can not have sufficient confidence that modifying their genetic can contribute to their happiness. This argument is purely utilitarian. If the value system of this moral agent is based on conservatism or prudentialism it is a good idea to emphasize that the same conclusion can be reached from different value systems. But it is not consistent to criticize utilitarianism and also use it as and argument. It is also possible that this person is even unknowingly, a utilitarian, at least one anthropocentric utilitarian.
  • I found people who encourage experimentation with animals, but when they are asked, do not have a clear explanation of why they do it. Perhaps their value system is selfishness or anthropocentric utilitarianism. May find it does not suit them to make public their reasons. It is possible to act entirely consistent with its principles form, but it also may not be clear why they do it and a list like this can help them clarify their ideas.

What is important ? : Value

I: Selfishness, egotism narcissism
My group, my culture; certain group or culture: Elitism, snobbery
My Nation: Nationalism
My race: Racism
My species; certain species: Speciesism
People, human species: Anthropocentrism
Males, Men, Macho Androcentrism
Nature, natural, non-human: Ecocentrism
Life: Biocentrism
Complexity, Diversity, Biodiversity: Complejicismo
Gaia: Gaiacentrismo
Beings who have experiences: conventional sentiocentrism
Experiences: strict sentiocentrism
Clearly positive experiences: Utilitarianism, Hedonistic Imperative, Positive experiences
(Only) happiness: positive utilitarianism, hedonism
No negative experiences: negative utilitarianism
Consequences: Consequentialism
Conservation, Restoration: Conservatism
Innovation: Progressivism
Caution: prudentialism, Imperative reasonable
Moderation: Moderacionismo
Intentions principles: deontologism
Virtue: Neoaristotelismo
Knowledge, Wisdom, Truth: Gnoseologismo
Doubt: Skepticism
Equanimity: Ecuanimismo
Honesty: Honesticismo
Equality: Egalitarianism
Freedom: Liberalism
Love, Kindness, Friendship disinterested: Altruism
Cooperation Contracts: Contractualism
Laws that may be universal: Categorical Imperative
Infatuation: Romanticism
Beauty: Aesthetics
physical, sexual appearance: superficiality
Entertainment: Ludocentrismo
Transcendence: Mysticism
Fantasy: Imaginacionismo
holy book, faith, submission, authority: Religion
The supernatural, superstitions, the Unexplained: Magic
scientific appearance: Scientism




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