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Location: Tampa, Florida, United States

Saturday, September 18, 2004

If the foundation of values is not intrinsic, what is it? values arise from alternatives... specifically the alternative of life and death - without that, there would be no need for values... 'life' is the yardstick, so to speak, on whether something is considered good or bad, or an action considered right or wrong... 'life', in other words, makes the concept of value both possible and necessary... this means that values have basis in facts - the actual relationship to an organism's life - and thus provides for a firm basis for ethics which are objectively true... a value, as Rand pointed out, is 'that which one acts to gain and/or keep'... and while values benefit, there is a difference between a value and a benefit... not all benefits result from the beneficiary's actions - certain salutary events can and do occur without any effort on the part of the beneficiary... other benefits, however, require effort on the part of the one being benefited - thus a value is what one ACTS to attain... values, however, are not self-evident - a person cannot spot a value AS A VALUE in the same manner as, say, can be spotted a tree as a tree, a chair as a chair, or a blade of grass as a blade of grass... what may look like a cool and refreshing drink, for instance , might be very toxic - and a fierce looking animal may be perfectly harmless and good to have around... in other words, what makes something of value may depend on facts about it that are not immediately or necessarily readily apparent, making it crucial to understanding what it is that would make or render something of value...


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