How do you take the measure of a man?

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How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Horizon » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Or, rather, by what metric do you determine the value of another human?
I was asking myself this today, after my mother and I got into an argument where she said that I shouldn't determine if somebody can be my friend based on how smart they are. I countered with the twin points that 1) I want to be able to have intelligent conversation with my friends, and being unintelligent hinders one's ability to have intelligent conversations, and 2) I'm just holding them to the same standards that I hold myself to. She then went on about how "not everyone is as smart as you are", to which I wish I had responded,"And not everyone is my friend. Your point?", but I did not, because I did not think of that until the time of writing. Anyways, TL;DR, my mother thinks my standards are too high.
My point with this is, how do you gauge the worth of a human? I think it's by what they can do, and that what they can do is tied to intelligence and experience. But I'd like to hear what you guys think. Am I on to something? Am I dead wrong? Are you one of those terrible New Age parents who think that everyone is equal? If the last question is a yes for you, please go somewhere else, because you're not going to contribute to the debate at hand in any meaningful way.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Alex Starkiller » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:33 pm

Determining someone's worth as a living person and a human being is totally different from determining their worth as someone you'd like as a friend or acquaintance. Or lover. Or confidant. Etc. Bundling it all, putting it under the blanket statement "what's the worth of a man", is counter-productive.
For the foremost, all are equal to me. A life is worth exactly as much as another life. This does not keep it from conflicting in the standard "a life you love vs. many lives you don't know" moral choice, but it's still a viable belief in my eyes.
All of the other ones? Completely subjective*, totally different from person to person.

*Yes I realize that both are technically subjective, but the latter is subjective even within itself.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Horizon » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:41 pm

Hm. Alright, revision: 1) How do you determine somebody's worth to society? 2) What do you want in a friend, and how do you select your friends to best sccomplish that?
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Globus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:46 pm

I believe that any man's friendship is worth as much, as much good he does to you. That sounds very selfish, but consider that it includes values like entertainment, favours, being aesthetically pleasing, and yes, also the ability to have intelligent discussions - if you put value to having them, and so on. How much value you put on different qualities should be your choice, and should be only as open to discussion as any other choice of yours. Also, some of this value-assigning is, if not hardcoded, at least cut short - if a person looks like a beggar, you are more likely to not befriend him even before you consciously reach the conclusion that he has a lesser chance of being able to have intelligent conversations. I've found that these shortcuts - statistically speaking - serve one well, even if they aren't always right, and that's one reason why I don't list my criteria and values - I haven't worked them out, because I know who I want to be friends with anyway.

Also, I'm really repulsed by the idea of forcing a man to take another as a friend. That's like rape in a lot of ways. A friend isn't just a dude you habg out with.
Last edited by Globus on Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Alex Starkiller » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:53 pm

Great quote, Globus. I love you for as long as you keep that.

I cannot find the right words, but basically I want to say personality is important. Most people agree on this. That's a selfish thought as well, in a way, but people don't object to it. So what you said is only as selfish as wanting to hang out with someone who doesn't make you want to murder puppies, and that's hardly an upsetting mindset.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Globus » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:03 pm

Alex Starkiller wrote:Great quote, Globus. I love you for as long as you keep that.

Then I'll obviously have to replace it within the day. Well, actually, thank you. I'm glad I know now that someone noticed that I've been doing this for a while.

But let's not derail the thread any more.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Horizon » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:03 pm

I suppose that I had not considered all the facets of this, and that I did not, in fact, want to find out what you guys thought, but actually, subconsciously, I wanted to complain about my mother's beliefs that I should lower my standards. Wow. I didn't think I'd ever write that sentence, but here it is. I am in a situation in which my mother thinks my standards are too high. Anyways, I noticed, globus, because you mentioned it, I just never drew attention to it.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby RyukaTana » Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:21 am

Horizon wrote:I suppose that I had not considered all the facets of this, and that I did not, in fact, want to find out what you guys thought, but actually, subconsciously, I wanted to complain about my mother's beliefs that I should lower my standards. Wow. I didn't think I'd ever write that sentence, but here it is. I am in a situation in which my mother thinks my standards are too high. Anyways, I noticed, globus, because you mentioned it, I just never drew attention to it.


Fuck your mom... That's too harsh, but I wanted to say it because how often do you get to say that without it being a lewd joke... Which essentially makes it kind of lewd joke because I said it for that reason... Damn...

No, but seriously, I know she's your mom and all and whatever, but she doesn't make that decision for you. I think most people have shitty standards in general. I don't pick and choose the details, if I like a person and feel attached, then that's what matters. I sure as hell wouldn't stay friends with someone that I didn't enjoy spending time with... That's not selfish, it's self-centered, but not selfish. I would describe 'selfish' as an action actively ignores the value/welfare of others to serve yourself. I think everyone should be 'self-centered' (you come first, because even if you love other people, you aren't very fun/useful if you neglect your own needs/desires).

However, I think you've pretty much nailed it on the head. Your original topic isn't about what you thought it was about. We all seem to be on the same page that it's all subjective after that.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Horizon » Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:02 am

Well, my mother was born in Port Arthur(that's coastal Texas) in 1960, so take from that what you will. Granted, both of my parents weren't the norm for their day. Why, my father, despite being raised catholic and being born in Port Arthur(same place as mom) during 1955, was very much NOT a racist man. His train of thought was that we're all god's children, and the black children weren't inferior to him simply because they were black. Anways, what I'm getting at is that my parents are oddities. And that they're probably better off for those oddities.
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Re: How do you take the measure of a man?

Postby Merle » Thu Jul 25, 2013 7:29 am

Remember Gollum; even for the most seemingly worthless individual, there is going to be a large degree of unpredictability as to what value they may actually hold.

That said, I think the "Elements of Harmony" setup works pretty well to gauge someone's status as a friend. Loyalty, generosity, kindness, honesty, and laughter are all things I want my friends to possess, more than sheer raw intelligence.
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