The following is a high level summary of the author’s personal life philosophy.  It is an example of how the approach, processes, and resources recommended on this site might lead to an end product, even if it remains a work in progress. As is the case with the rest of the site, questions and comments are welcome on the contact page.

Overview — The Philosophy of Valuism

The Philosophy of Valuism holds that the highest good is to create “value.” Based on an entirely naturalistic view of the universe, it suggests that everything is interdependent, that we are all part of a long stream of evolutionary history, and that we each earn our quality of life on the basis of the investment we make in ourselves, in our fellow human beings, and in the world we inhabit. Our moral choices should be so guided, and we may expect to achieve meaning and fulfillment in direct proportion to the value we create.

Who am I and where did I come from?

Human beings are the product of billions of years of evolution by natural selection. Our existence is not a function of design, death is finite, and agency is earned.  Human nature is objective as our actions reflect our motives to gratify innate needs that are universal and hierarchical in nature (Maslow).  Individual growth, maturity, and well-being are a function of the environment’s ability to accommodate our hierarchical human needs and the individual’s ability to progressively gratify them.   The quality of an environment, culture, or system of governance are best evaluated on the basis of how well they ensure the satisfaction of basic human needs of the broadest number, while simultaneously inspiring individuals to achieve their highest aspirations.

What is the nature or reality and how can I know it?

The Truth is a convergent proposition and the nature of reality is objective. Science, logic, and reason offer the best means of understanding the nature of reality.   All science, knowledge, and claims to the Truth should be considered tentative.  Efficacy (what works) corroborates understanding and yields knowledge in the process. Knowledge evolves over time and is best validated by repeated, but unsuccessful, attempts to falsify it.   Wisdom accrues to the individual who works the hardest at trying to falsify their beliefs.

What is morality and where does it originate?

The more accurate are our perceptions of reality, the better are the results of our interactions and relationships. The quality of our interactions is best evaluated by their effects on human well-being. Well-being is objective and together with reason, provide the underpinnings for our moral decisions and value choices.  With maturity, individuals learn that self interests are best aligned with collective interests and to sacrifice one for the other undermines both.  Good moral leadership aligns individual and collective well-being to gratify innate needs.   Laws, rules, standards, codes of behavior, oversight, policing, and the judiciary are all necessarily constructive to dissuade those with less maturity from pursuing their own selfish interests at the expense of the well-being of others.

What is the good and meaningful life?

The good and meaningful life is derived from a commitment to principles that focus on the creation of “value.”    These are the principles that achieve that end:

Integrity is the aligning of one’s “value” proposition and actions with reality and well-being.

Love is the mutual investment  manifest in the creating and exchanging of “value” with others.

Achievement is the building of knowledge, skills, and abilities that give “value” to the world.

Wisdom is the “value” we accrue to ourselves  through increased insight, efficacy, and security.

Note: In this context “value” is defined as follows:

Any idea, work, or product of creative energy, that without compromise to the natural world and the potential of future generations, creates life, enhances the longevity and quality of life, increases the knowledge and skill level of human beings, fosters joyful experiences and mutually beneficial relationships, or contributes to the progress of humankind.

What is the good society and the best method or governance?

A healthy culture values the truth and aligns human progress and prosperity with both individual and collective well-being. Effective leadership and governance provides opportunity commensurate with individual human needs and capabilities.  Unless forced or coerced, only individuals who perceive themselves gratified in their own basic needs, will voluntarily place the needs of the common good ahead of their own. A good society should be socialistic in  ensuring the fulfillment  of  basic needs, like education and healthcare, and capitalistic in its satisfying of higher order wants and desires. Accountability and moral behavior are a natural product of a  fair society where basic needs are prioritized and broadly gratified.