IS value imaginary

I read something in a Buddhist magazine called Lion’s Roar about how nothing is “worth it” because value is just some imaginary metric that we use to judge the world around us and that it doesn’t really exist. The response to the “if its not worth it then why do it” was something along the lines of “the marvel of your being” which doesn’t really answer the question at all (then again expecting it would was hoping too much).

Reading it to myself I thought “that’s not an answer, that’s just a contradiction”. It was even more interesting that if there was no value and it didn’t exist then why submit and article for the magazine, why write at all, why tell me and other readers about it? More importantly why listen to what you are telling me. That whole “just because” doesn’t work because humans don’t do things just because, there is a reason behind the action or a value, it just doesn’t have to be grand. To me saying there is no value and trying to live by that is like a balanced scale (empty for the sake of argument), you don’t move anywhere because no action has any greater weight to decision than the other.

Then again there are those experiments that supposedly disprove “free will” (with the reaction times) where the subjects subconsciously made a decision before they actually became aware of it.

Either way, I wouldn’t say value is imaginary (unless you mean it’s created in which case yes) so much as it is personal.

Well food, water and such but also a person can look at some product and see how it would enrich their lives or make life easier. Obviously a home will have value.

So yes, things have value.

Value isn’t imaginary, it’s subjective. It’s easy to say that value is imaginary for material possessions (especially things that aren’t a necessity), but I would think that even to a Buddhist, you could show value in things like time (opportunity cost) and necessities (like UrbanRedneck mentioned).

Value is a concept, not a law of physics. In that sense it is imaginary because it exists in the mind. But it is quite real and can be measured, and economists have done so quite thoroughly. It is a subjective judgement so is different for every individual. A Buddhist magazine would approach the question as a philosophical one rather than an economic one.

Because the author gets paid to produce the content. Which has value to him/her when they need to pay their bills. The magazine or site posts this content which you read. This has value to the magazine that hired the writer and to the sponsors who paid for the ads because that drove consumer traffic. All adding value to those entities.

It’s value all the way down.

I am not a ‘things’ person. But I have 2 things that are ‘worth’ so much to me. My Daddy’s wedding ring and a pair of diamond stud earrings. They have monetary value. I don’t care, the sentimental value is SO much more important to me. If I had to run because of a fire or weather event that’s the first things I would grab, after my pets.
So, yeah it’s personal.

There’s your answer, right there. :rolleyes:

I don’t know. Is value squared negative?

Well not really. But I do know that some of our reasoning is unknown to us (subconscious thinking and whatnot). But I was reminded of what Jordan Peterson said in that without value you wouldn’t do anything.

Try preparing a meal without a good set of knives and appliances. Try sleeping on a hot july night without air conditioning. Try living without a car.

Yes, all the above can and are done, but at times you need things.

I would say value = usefulness is real. But value = coveted possession that is so subjective as to be meaningless to most other people is not.


Didn’t the mods once tell the OP to keep all his nonsense to one thread? Did I misremember, or has that been rescinded?

That’s not really what I’m getting at here. I’m talking about Value not luxuries.

How does the magazine justify charging a subscription fee, or charging for ad space?

The more I thought about it the less I could reasonably defend the guy.

I keep wanting to repunctuate the thread title as: i’s value imaginary

Even economists know that value is subjective.
How much would you pay for an ice cream cone on a hot summer day?
How much would you pay for the tenth ice cream cone on a hot summer day?

No, a home (or a house, for that matter) does not have an “obvious” value. There are people who are quite content to have neither, but live a nomadic lifestyle instead. They see the concept of “home” as odd. Granted, their numbers are dwindling but nonetheless show that the value of a home is completely subjective.

Wow, that is indicative of a very small world view. Many, many people in places around the globe get by just fine without a good set of knives, appliances, a car and AC. In fact, I would submit that it is quite easy to get used to having none of those items, which argues against inherent value.

In fact, after spending a few weeks in those societies, the thing I missed most was my favorite soft drink. By that logic, then, Diet Coke would have obvious value. (As an side, try finding a Diet Coke in a nation where obesity is not an issue. It’s an eye opening prospect - or at least it was for me).

Then what’s my turtle worth?