Lust of Dragons

Gold does Nothing

Gold is valuable because it is useless.

Gold is valuable because it is a measure of value (i.e. Gold is valuable because it is valuable).

Gold is valuable because it is beautiful. (How much is actually ever seen and enjoyed with more than a thought of “Damn, I’m rich.” Not to say gold is ugly, but it would be more plausible if most gold was formed into something more ostentatious than bricks in a vault)

God is valuable because men desire it for no other reason than does nothing.

Gold is a measure of the economy, because it measures how much extra wealth people will invest in something worthless.

Gold is valuable to sit in dragon hordes, because dragons need something to sleep on.

Buffet is to buffeted for appreciating things that actually appreciate rather than appreciate according to the population of dragons.

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16 Responses to Lust of Dragons

  1. Zippy says:

    The modern concept of value is pure, unadulterated human avarice. Avarice has to have some object though. Gold makes a good object for unadulterated avarice because it is shiny, durable, rare, and mostly useless: as close as we can get to avarice with no object.

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  2. Since money is a measure of desire, per the Philosopher, and given modernity’s skepticism of objective knowledge and the move to the subjective, value as pure desire seems a necessary conclusion.

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  3. Zippy says:

    Money does measure desire: any A traded for B measures the desire that the purchaser has for B in units of A. But no actual thing used as money is merely a measure, reducible to nothing but a measure.

    Money qua measure is any good traded for another, considered as a measure.

    Sovereign currency is a financial security, and thus a kind of property. It has no greater ontic status as a measure of value than any other fungible good.

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  4. I would go farther that a pure measure, something that is nothing other than a measure, is incoherent. A measure must in some way contain that which it measures. Anything used as money is something desirable and actually desired. Anything used as a ruler is something spatial. Anything used as a clock is something mobile and moving.

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  5. Pingback: Price and Value | Infinite Semiosis

  6. ZachN says:

    Gold is an fantastic conductor of both electricity and heat, and the metal’s reddish-yellow color results from gold’s uniquely relativistic valence electron behavior. http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/72368/why-are-most-metals-gray-silver

    Gold is very non-reactive, making it remarkably resistant to oxidation. This allows gold to be cold welded at relatively high atmospheric pressures. https://youtu.be/GtcuURSYgvo

    Gold is extraordinarily dense for its hardness, and extraordinarily hard for its low melting point. These make gold an excellent choice for explosively-propelled projectiles. https://youtu.be/cquESpirEmU

    Out of all the metals, gold has the most special relationship to light, both electromagnetically and relativistically. We should all know the importance of light symbolically and theologically in Medieval Catholicism.

    That is to say, gold is valuable as both a useful and fascinating material given us from God. Gold qua gold is beautiful and adorable because of the wondrous physical properties God made gold to have.

    The above suggests the very real and valid reasons altar vessels have traditionally been made from gold. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01357e.htm

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  7. Note that none of those useful properties made it into the linked article and the value noted therein is incoherent or empty.

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  8. Even worse the author holds that gold is more valuable than silver because of the lack of its industrial utility.

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  9. ZachN says:

    “Even worse the author holds that gold is more valuable than silver because of the lack of its industrial utility.”

    I made no such claim concerning the relative values of gold and silver. My entire defense was meant to show that gold is good. Silver is also good. In certain circumstances, silver is better than gold, and vice versa.

    “Industrial utility” is an injustice to my position. The usefulness of precious metals are only one among many good qualities. My point was that God made gold useful, as well as interesting, as well as beautiful, and everything that gold is because it was good to make gold so.

    I will agree with you that a possessive, avaricious attraction to gold is unhealthy and immoral. However, finding gold attractive of itself is not only not either, it’s positively required by Thomistic Catholicism. “God saw that it was good.” Failing to see what God saw can never be a virtue, and if you are able to see it but do not, then it is a vice.

    “Note that none of those useful properties made it into the linked article and the value noted therein is incoherent or empty.”

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20040423_redemptionis-sacramentum_en.html

    Chapter V, Section 3, 117. Emphasis mine.

    “[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.[205]The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,[206]so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.[207]”

    If you have a problem with these requirements, take it up with canon lawyers. Defending precious metals as a material for altar vessels will require their objectively good properties to explain their valid and licit use.

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  10. I would actually clicking on the link at the top of the OP to get context for what I wrote and who I meant by “author.”

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  11. ZachN says:

    Stack exchange is a public forum for asking questions, not an article with a single author. The physics stack exchange is bound to be full of heresy and apostasy. I linked to it because the top answer (http://physics.stackexchange.com/a/72412) has a good explanation of the relativistic behavior of gold’s valence electrons and how that impacts gold’s visible color, and nothing else. I renounce every error the rest of the discussion contains.

    The only link I posted that came close to a stand-alone article with a solitary author was the Catholic Encyclopedia entry. Hence my assumption.

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  12. ZachN says:

    Oh. The link at the top of your post that I didn’t even notice.

    I’m an idiot, and I’m sorry for being an idiot. Please feel free to delete any of my comments, if I don’t figure out how to delete them myself.

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  13. I can delete them if you like. To be clear, I agree with you in general.

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  14. ZachN says:

    I wanted them deleted out of embarrassment. Now I think they should be left, for my penance, and for the possibility that someone might benefit from any truth they might contain.

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  15. ZachN says:

    And to also be clear, by someone I meant another reader.

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  16. I think the author here can benefit from your links/comments as well. 🙂

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