As much as it frightens me to contemplate, there are many people who subscribe to the idea that most human beings are insignificant, worthless, and contemptible. I believe this stems from a materialistic, ‘Objectivist’ view of the world, wherein only physical facts comprise Truth and only those who capitalize, produce, or otherwise exert influence in the world are worthy of value or praise.
The Objectivist philosophy is well-known, just read any of Ayn Rand’s books such as Atlas Shrugged (or try to and then get desperately bored and skim through the final fifty pages of pontification to get to the end, like I did). However, although there exist fairly well-developed versions of opposing ‘Subjectivist’ philosophy such as Idealism, none is particularly clear.
So here is my philosophy, put here for consideration: Like in most Idealist formulations, the universe is ultimately an illusion. Unlike Idealism however, in my view nothing exists, not even mind. This nothingness is fundamentally undefined, and so it can appear to be anything, and this gives rise to the illusion of the universe.
Science has a lot to say about consistent natural phenomena, but it can say nothing beyond the fact that they are consistent. Science cannot find ultimate Truth, and natural phenomena cannot be proven to be true, merely consistent in their behavior. There is a difference between facts and Truth.
Even though nothingness is undefined, and thus ultimately unknowable, one can approximate fairly well its basic attributes. It is singular, simple, unchanging, dimensionless, and pure. Just consider a point. It is also True, and for that reason it is the subjective core of all things. I believe that it is the soul that religion speaks of, and all life shares this simple, beautiful Truth.
So when someone tells me that humanity is worthless, or the universe is without meaning, I will cordially disagree. Life creates meaning through an exploration of the illusion that is the universe, for the more falseness we know, the more we can understand Truth, and ourselves. Self awareness arises from this relationship with falseness. It always changes, but its source is always the soul.
So in summary: Zero! (but isn’t that kind of heroic?)
I agree there are great problems in Randian philosophy. It’s essentially Social Darwinism with the belief that it will trickle down to improve the lives of the rest. Let’s not forget that Leftism is hyper-elitist twattle for psychopathic control freaks, in spite of it’s noise about concern for the little guy. It wasn’t Ayn Rand who was slaughtering those 100+ million people while savagely enslaving and driving to cruel and early deaths BILLIONS throughout the twentieth century, it was socialists under red banners. These same sorts of Globalist Fascist/socialist/communist enlightened dears are now eagerly awaiting the ‘Big Glitch’ to save the world from man-made global warming.
The ZERO idea, while clever, strikes me as another desperate effort to avoid even considering the Creator. As science provides ever-more compelling evidence that intelligent life is beyond a four billion year span of this planet and/or a fourteen billion year span of this universe, more people turn to space aliens or Many Worlds speculation. Space aliens will be as unlikely as we are, and I’ve come to the conclusion that Many Worlds generates a Creator as almost a logical necessity.
Does human life have value? Does it require a Creator to have value?
Value is a purely subjective term in some contexts, or it can be objective within the context of subjective valuation. Value to whom? There are those who believe that it has no intrinsic worth to a godless universe, those who believe that only people who can make an important contribution to some socio/political/economic operation they prefer are worthwhile, and those who recognize that in order to have the lives they value valued by others and/or in order to achieve optimal conditions of decency and pleasantness, they must sincerely assign a considerable degree of worth to all relatively innocent human life. Once Value has been assigned to all of the relatively innocent, it is possible to honestly search for objective methods of upholding that worth and determining which are better or worse.
A creator’s existence and it’s wishes are independent of our valuation and so whether humanity has value for us might depend upon a need to please our creator in order to achieve the optimum desired conditions. If, as promised, God has a sense of justice and concern for creation, the lives of the half-decent will have value to us for that reason, if no other.