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Author Topic: Human Values  (Read 4796 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Topic Start: August 31, 2009, 02:24:55 pm »

We talk sometimes about values.  What we value, who we value, etc.

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating?  Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?  Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

What truly matters?  And why?
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« Reply #1: August 31, 2009, 05:10:46 pm »

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?

I really enjoy being around people who can be themselves, state their own opinions, while still getting along with others.  It's something I've never achieved myself, and I'm always completely wowed by it.

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what to you makes someone worth emulating

Lots of things, for lots of different reasons.  People have a variety of strengths and talents I seek to emulate.  I love talented people, in whatever discipline, though I tend to be most focused in people with interests similar to my own.  Environmental action, "old fashioned" skills...and people who try and fail and try again at these things are kinda my heroes.

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Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?

I don't worship people.  I'm often in awe of their accomplishments, their inventiveness, or their intelligence.  But celebrity makes me queasy.  Physical beauty (and all that that word entails in the Western world) ranks lower than damn near anything else.  I don't understand it and I never have.  I do the minimum necessary to maintain my job (and I still think it's pretty ridiculous).

I will say, though, that the closed I come to idol worship is around intelligent people.  Someone searingly bright always makes me feel like an awestruck kid.

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Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

Well, I really like Clooney.  And not because he's a looker, but because he's so damned smart and funny.  I admire Hawking as a creature of such profound intelligence that I'm not sure he and I are of the same species.  Wink  Oh, and for this.

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What truly matters?  And why?

Gravity pulls me to things that are useful in specific ways.  And to people who get along well enough with other people to teach them how to be useful too.  So "to be of use", perhaps, which means something different to me than to most people.

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« Reply #2: August 31, 2009, 06:08:10 pm »

George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

Can I say George Carlin?  I value humour and intelligence.  

I also value insight and the ability to appreciate.  Being able to laugh at people without making fun of them.  People who can encourage others without telling them what to do, which can be a very fine line to walk.

Most of the people I admire are writers of one sort or another, often essayists and humourists.  The abstract sort of admiration, that is.  Personal admiration usually lands on older members of my family or of my home town.  People whose flaws I know well, and whose admirable qualities don't interfere with those flaws and vice versa.

Physical beauty and prowess don't really excite my admiration to the point of wanting to have anything to do with them or to be like them, but I like looking.  I don't think beauty etc. interferes with my admiration either.  It just isn't a factor, plus or minus.

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« Reply #3: August 31, 2009, 08:00:20 pm »

What truly matters?  And why?

I'm going to answer the question now and reply to people tomorrow when I'm (hopefully!) not sleep depped.

What matters to me, most of all, is those that try to make the world better.  Be that through art, through science, through just helping people - it's those that try to push the "why not" and turn it into "why".

One of my personal heroes is the doctor that couldn't get people to believe that ulcers were really caused by an infection - and actually GAVE HIMSELF the infection, proved that he had an ulcer, then took antibiotics to get rid of it.  And proved that he had an answer.

It takes real guts to do something like that!  (Pun .. yeah, I mean it)
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« Reply #4: August 31, 2009, 09:31:27 pm »

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating?  Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?  Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

What truly matters?  And why?

In a friend, I like quiet sneaky intelligent humor, unsuspected spontaneous wackiness and a willingness to try new things. My friends also kind of have to be more outgoing than me because (unless I am extremely drunk & somehow feel far more interesting and exciting than when I'm sober) I do not approach strangers & strike up conversations. It's not that I'm trying to project some sort of aloof mysterious glamor, I just automatically assume that unless someone approaches me, they are 100% not interested in me, probably don't even 'see' me, and I always feel like I'm intruding on someone's personal space or forcing them to acknowledge me if I go over and try to start a conversation.

I love that all my good friends are incredibly talented artists. I don't look for artists to be my friends, I just end up with amazingly artistic people around me.

For me to have the whole quiet idol worship thing going on is to be doing stuff that is just freaking amazing without becoming a publicity whore. It's the difference to me between Bono (publicity whore) & Peter Gabriel. You never, or rarely, hear about the amazing humanitarian efforts Gabriel is involved in, but Bono's face is everywhere. Peter Gabriel inspired me into activism when I was a teenager... Bono makes me feel embarrassed when I perform a random act of kindness & someone says, "thank you".
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« Reply #5: August 31, 2009, 10:39:17 pm »

what do you value in other people? 

Different things in different people, but for the most part, I value people who are genuine, not afraid to admit to their shortcomings, yet smart enough to know when they need to improve themselves.  I value people who have true compassion and passion for others and for our world and I always admire people who are talented, yet humble and willing to share their knowledge with others.

Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating? 

People who not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.  People who are truly kind to others and care deeply about people and the world around us. 

Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence? 

I don't idol worship human beings, we're all just students of this world IMO.  Money - would like more, but wish we didn't.  Beauty - Truly an internal thing not external.  Intelligence - I usually admire intelligence

Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

While I admit Mr. Clooney is a fine looking man, he's done some things in the media that go against my morals, so I have no fondness for him.  Mr. Hawking on the other hand has made the most of his life despite the odds, I admire him for never giving up or giving in.

What truly matters?  And why?

At the end of the day, is this a person I can call if I need them.  Do I think of them with a smile and look forward to speaking with them?  Are they moral and do they believe passionately in something that matters?  Are they willing to take the time to teach others?  These are some of the things that matter to me.
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« Reply #6: September 01, 2009, 12:01:49 am »


But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people? 

Self-awareness, good conversation, manners, a sense of humour, an appreciation of how much you don't know, a deep interest in something, and kindness. All of my friends have combinations of these.

Quote
but what to you makes someone worth emulating?

Discipline, ambition, conscientiousness, commitment to higher ideals, continual self-improvement, patience, kindness. Qualities which I don't much have!

Quote
What truly matters?  And why?

Happiness, because it's better than the alternative.  Smiley

(Happiness as in sustainable satisfaction and contentment, not necessarily pleasure.)
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« Reply #7: September 01, 2009, 12:37:31 am »

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating?   
What truly matters?  And why?
Saw this earlier and was noodling it around while I was finishing up my day.

I value people that are/do who/what they say they are/will and that will stand up with me, or possibly help me stand up, if the going gets tough.  I try to be this kind of person too, it's not always easy.  The people I know that can and have done this are (1) truly great friends and (2) people I attempt to emulate.

People who seem hollow tend to worry me.  They seem to either be so shut off from being human, or so focused on material things, that I suspect they would do and say anything to get an edge.

Quote
Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?
Like Hollywood idol worship?  No-one.  To me there isn't a person on this planet that is worth following around with a camera, knowing all the intimate details of their lives.  Blech! 

Money's great if you have it, lots of it enables a person to do things that those with less of it are usually not able to do.  Beauty is icing on the cake, if it's all you got though, well too bad for you.  Intelligence goes a long ways, how it is applied makes all the difference though.

If someone has one or all of these things, good for them!  Now, show me what they do with it.  It doesn't have to be on a global scale.  In their own back yard is fine, but help make the world a better place.

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Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?
I would have to say Stephen Hawking.  He has made contributions to our understanding of the world around us.  He made an effort to reach all of us through his books, not just the elite or the intellectuals.  I particularly admire that he has continued on with a major disability/disease. 

Clooney is handsome, witty and a good actor.  He's fabulous eye-candy!  I am not sure that any of the star's in LaLa land are what the PR people present them to be.  So, other than being a pleasant diversion, I don't see what Clooney has contributed to the human race.  He may be the sort of person who is/does what he says he is/will, but I doubt I will be able to experience that given he is a *star*.



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« Reply #8: September 02, 2009, 01:00:10 pm »

We talk sometimes about values.  What we value, who we value, etc.

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating?  Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?  Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

What truly matters?  And why?
I like alot of what everyone has already said here but I would like to take a crack at it.  Not saying I'm going to say anything new, just giving my opinion.

what do I value in other people?  What I value most is intelligence and honesty.  I love being able to debate with a person.  I'm always up for a healthy argument.  I hate people that twirl their hair and stare vacantly at me when I try to talk to them.  I like a person to have some substance to them.  I like a person with personality as well.  I like a person who is brutally honest with me because I need that.  None of this beating around the bush shit!  I don't take to hints very well and I don't like that.  I like it when you just say how you feel, when you feel it, the way you feel it.  Say what you mean, mean what you say.  That's how I try to live my life.

What makes someone worth emulating?  No one human being is worth emulating, only God is worth trying to be like.  I know that sounds all Christian like and all. But shouldn't we all strive to be a little more God like?  That's just what I strive for, perfection.  Not human frailty.  The human condition is to fail in the end.  We are designed to succumb to our desires in the end.  I think, anyways.  We usually do.

Worth idol worship? Brad Pit!!! No just kidding.  Like I said above no human is perfect and therefore not worth worshiping.  Only Gods and Goddesses are worth worshiping.  Perfection is key!

What truly matters?  Well that depends on where you are coming from on this but or for example what truly matters in life, the answer would be love.  What truly matters as far as this line of questioning, intelligence, personality, honesty and perfection.  And I could go on but I think I have answered it in a way that you probably wanted.
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« Reply #9: September 02, 2009, 01:16:39 pm »

What makes someone worth emulating?  No one human being is worth emulating, only God is worth trying to be like.  I know that sounds all Christian like and all. But shouldn't we all strive to be a little more God like?  That's just what I strive for, perfection.  Not human frailty. 

I can't agree with this, on several levels.  Firstly, I find it a bit hubristic to aspire to be like gods.  I am not a god; I am human.  My trying to be god-like would be somewhat like a toddler trying to run a major corporation, I think.  Secondly...  I'm not sure we have the same definition of what a deity acts like.  The myths about my gods describe all kinds of behaviour that I don't think it's necessary to emulate.  We can start with murder, rape, abduction and extreme infidelity and move on from there.

And honestly, if we're talking failure here--which is more likely to fail?  Accepting what you are and working within those parameters to achieve goals that make sense for you, or trying to reach beyond the limits of your being because you're convinced that what you are isn't good enough?  I'm not arguing that we shouldn't push ourselves, that we shouldn't test our limits--but there's testing limits, and there's setting yourself up for failure (and then complaining when you... fail).
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« Reply #10: September 02, 2009, 01:56:08 pm »

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating? 

Creativity.  Intelligence.  An open mind.  The ability to think critically.  Honesty.  Integrity.  Curiosity.  Whimsy and humor, but the ability to be serious when the situation requires it.  Loyalty, though not to the point of stupidity.

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Worth idol worship? 

I don't do idol worship.  I'll drool over a particularly attractive person, or gape in awe at a particularly well-done piece of work (art, music, food, business deal, whatever), but...  I'm not exactly building shrines to the people who provoke those reactions.

Quote
Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence? 


I have an appreciation for beauty; that includes beautiful people.  But:  Exterior beauty means nothing about interior quality, of course, and it's not something that necessarily makes me want to be like them on any level.  I do appreciate it, though.

As money goes, I've always felt like too much of it must be a burden in a lot of ways.  I don't wanna be rich.  I just want to be out of debt and have enough to live comfortably on.  So I'm not likely to start idolizing someone based solely on money.

Intelligence I think I covered above.

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Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

Clooney's prettier (although not always entirely my taste), Hawking's smarter.  Shrug.  Different scales.  Apples and oranges.  I'm not in the habit of ranking people's worth as human beings, if that's what you're asking.  The obvious answer here is Hawking over Clooney--brains over a pretty face, because we all know that choosing the pretty face is shallow, right?  But, really, is Clooney worthless just because he's not a brilliant scientist?  No, no more than Hawking's worthless because he's not a big Hollywood star.  They're two totally different people with totally different skill sets and totally different places in our world.

Who's more important to me personally?  Honestly, my mom's more important to me, and more emulatable, than either.  I do not have the intellect to be anything like Hawking, and neither the face nor the talent to emulate Clooney.  My mom, on the other hand--she worked her way up from teller to VP of Mortgage Lending, beginning in the late 70's when careers weren't as accepted for women as they are now, and juggled two kids, a successful marriage, a long string of pets, and (with help from kids and hubby) keeping the household running smoothly while she did it.  My mom is freaking supermom, as far as I'm concerned.  There's something I find achievable, and something I want to emulate.
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« Reply #11: September 02, 2009, 10:05:06 pm »

Clooney's prettier (although not always entirely my taste), Hawking's smarter.  Shrug.  Different scales.  Apples and oranges.  I'm not in the habit of ranking people's worth as human beings, if that's what you're asking.  The obvious answer here is Hawking over Clooney--brains over a pretty face, because we all know that choosing the pretty face is shallow, right?  But, really, is Clooney worthless just because he's not a brilliant scientist?  No, no more than Hawking's worthless because he's not a big Hollywood star.  They're two totally different people with totally different skill sets and totally different places in our world.
Thanks for pointing this out.  I just jumped in at A or B, not even thinking that it could be A and B because they are different.  I gotta stop that not thinking thing.   Cheesy
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« Reply #12: September 03, 2009, 11:02:22 am »

I can't agree with this, on several levels.  Firstly, I find it a bit hubristic to aspire to be like gods.  I am not a god; I am human.  My trying to be god-like would be somewhat like a toddler trying to run a major corporation, I think.  Secondly...  I'm not sure we have the same definition of what a deity acts like.  The myths about my gods describe all kinds of behaviour that I don't think it's necessary to emulate.  We can start with murder, rape, abduction and extreme infidelity and move on from there.

And honestly, if we're talking failure here--which is more likely to fail?  Accepting what you are and working within those parameters to achieve goals that make sense for you, or trying to reach beyond the limits of your being because you're convinced that what you are isn't good enough?  I'm not arguing that we shouldn't push ourselves, that we shouldn't test our limits--but there's testing limits, and there's setting yourself up for failure (and then complaining when you... fail).
I was always taught to strive for perfection, in school, at home, and in life in general.  It's not a new concept.  Many people do it.  I don't see it as setting your self up for failure.  It's just setting the bar a little bit higher than most people like to set it.  And true I may never get there, but Buddha got there supposedly, so why can't I?  Why can't I reach some sort of perfect nirvana?  I don't see it as arrogance at all, which is a more simplistic way of saying hubristic.  I don't feel that I am arrogant.  It is a very left over christian idea of trying to be more God like.  And I see nothing wrong with that.  I don't know about your Gods but from what little I understand of mine, he is loving and kind and has shown me nothing but that.  I would love to be more like him.  I would love to be as generous as he has been to me.  I would love to be as understanding, and compassionate as he has been with me.  Not everyone worships the same Gods and not all Gods are alike!
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« Reply #13: September 03, 2009, 11:35:52 am »

I was always taught to strive for perfection, in school, at home, and in life in general.  It's not a new concept.  Many people do it.  I don't see it as setting your self up for failure.  It's just setting the bar a little bit higher than most people like to set it. 

If to be human is to be imperfect, and you are human, then how is attempting to be perfect not setting yourself up for failure?

I understand wanting to be perfect; I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself.  What I don't understand is the implication that humanity is this icky undesirable thing that will only hold one back from perfection and that no human being could possibly be a good role model because they're human.  I don't consider myself limited by my humanity.  It is a parameter within which I must work, sure, but that doesn't prevent me from achieving plenty of really excellent things.  To say that a person cannot be completely perfect in every way because they are human seems to me rather like saying that human beings can't fly without mechanical assistance because we're not built like birds and there's this gravity thing.  OK, well, true, but I don't understand the point of getting hung up on that rather than seeing what else we can do in the shape we do have. 

We're human.  What's wrong with that?  Maybe we can be perfect at some things, or at least really really good.  Recognizing that total perfection is out of reach doesn't mean you have to stop striving for excellence.

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And true I may never get there, but Buddha got there supposedly, so why can't I?

I thought you said there were no humans worth emulating.

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I don't see it as arrogance at all, which is a more simplistic way of saying hubristic.  I don't feel that I am arrogant.

As you yourself point out, not everyone's religion is the same.  I mentioned hubris because it was relevant to my religion.  It may not be to yours.  I was not intending to suggest that it should be, and if my post sounded like I was suggesting that I do apologize.  I was only trying to discuss a differing point of view.

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Not everyone worships the same Gods and not all Gods are alike!

I never said they did or were, respectively.  You asked whether everyone shouldn't strive to be a little more God-like.  I used a lot of words to say "not necessarily", essentially.  I suppose at this point I should add that universal love, kindness, compassion and generosity are also not values that everyone agrees are important--so even if you define "God-like" in those terms, the answer is still "not necessarily".
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« Reply #14: September 03, 2009, 10:07:00 pm »

But looking honestly at your own life - what do you value in other people?  Not as relationship prospects necessarily - but what to you makes someone worth emulating?  Worth idol worship?  Is it money?  beauty?  Intelligence?  Who ranks higher to you - George Clooney or Stephen Hawking, and why?

What truly matters?  And why?

A very thought-provoking question...one which might be a little beyond my reach at 9pm on a Thursday evening, but I'll try my best  Cheesy

One of the first things that comes to mind is honesty. I value honesty in people. Although not honest to the point of abruptness (ie; I think there is nothing wrong with the occasional 'white lie' we tell in order to spare feelings).

I also value intelligence. Not that I think all people should be walking encyclopedias, but rather I value the type of intelligence that in a lot of ways goes hand-in-hand with other values. For example, how open-minded a person is, or how considerate they are of other people. I also value a person who stops to think before opening their mouth (...a huge shortcoming of mine unfortunately).

As for the amount of money a perosn has, it doesn't interest me in the slightest. I'm not sure about beauty though. I don't value a person based on the shape of their cheek bones, but I do like when people make an effort with their appearance. It makes me think they respect themselves, and I like that.
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Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath

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