Clinton Tyler Patterson

Value systems are alternative facts

2 min read

Value systems do not exist. They exist in principle, and they exist on an individual level. This does not translate to labels for a value system. There is not a Democrat. There is not a Republican. There is not a Christian. There is not a Muslim. These are labels we made up, and they are demonstrably false. There are two individuals with different languages, customs, beliefs, and cultural upbringings.

What I'm trying to do here is to eliminate a method we use to identify ourselves and identify others. There are just people. People are inherently equal. All systems that do not support this fact must be eliminated. Identifying the other only hurts us and must be abandoned. The means we choose to believe a Republican is not different from a Democrat. There are two different individuals, just like any two other individuals are different from each other, just in different ways.

Science discovered this 30 years ago. The way in which I present this story may use more recent science. When you present a test subject person with images of two people and label one as having a similar value system and the other as having a different value system, the test subject prefers the person with a similar value system. Newer research shows that people do not prefer the image of the person who holds a similar values system more, they just prefer the person who holds a different value system less. A social psychology experiment I read for work started with this assumption when trying to identify an experimental method of inducing an intimate bond between two test subjects. They assumed value systems mattered. The results surprised them. People provided each other with as deep a connection and preferred each other as much after the study whether they were later told the person held the same value system or a different value system. Thus, it is scientifically determined that value systems do not exist. And combined with other research, it shows us that our belief that value systems exist only harms us.

Please abandon all use of such labels and have conversations. Thanks.