Does Society Have Intrinsic Value?

A Bear - Poles Apart

Society is an organism. It consists of parts that are connected together in a more or less well-functioning unity. A society that can contribute to the happiness of its members is a valuable society, but if we disregard this function, does it make sense to speak of society as having an intrinsic value?

A human being is of course also an organism, and it has an intrinsic value. It doesn’t matter whether the person is useful for anything at all, it still has a value. Why?

First we need to be clear about what that word “value” actually means and what we in fact mean when using it. (Like all fashionable words it tends to be overused and easily becomes meaningless.) “Value” indicates that someone wants something. Objects on the money market have a value because some people want to buy them, but what no one wants is valueless. Here…

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