I have suggested that several things seem to “really matter.” If something “really matters,” such as happiness, then we can live a meaningful life when we promote it (such as make people happy). If something “really matters” then it has “intrinsic value.” I have argued that there is at least one meaning of life (one thing that has intrinsic value)—Pain. However, pain is “bad.” If pain is the only thing that matters, then nothing could make life worth living. I don’t want to suggest that pain is the only thing with intrinsic vale, but we need to know how to find out what has intrinsic value. I have discussed one way to provide evidence that something has intrinsic value—our moral experiences.
We can provide evidence that X has intrinsic value based on the following evidence:
- We experience X as good (or bad).
- We know X is good (or bad) for everyone.
- X’s intrinsic value explains our moral experiences.
- Our experience of X’s value can’t be fully accounted for as a “final end,” usefulness, and/or a pre-existing desire.
I will attempt to explain each of these elements of evidence: (more…)