Square one must be a statement of Absolute Truth, beyond reproach in any form, but we find, as we look for such a bedrock onto which we may build an understanding of existence, that there is no such objectivity. Any statement—any observation lies not within what is observed but within the observer and, as the observer perceives, so is the observer a subject. By virtue of being a subject, all observations and statements become not Absolute Truths but subjective claims—true within the context of the observer’s perceptions and in accordance with the observer’s intent.
In any honest inquiry into the nature of truth, belief, and conclusion, it must become evident that one is biased toward the notion of rationality; the emotional belief that reason is superior to emotion leaves one not looking for the truth—perceived though it is—but instead looking for ways to substantiate the emotional belief, to rubberstamp it as reasonable, though it must be irrational.
The goal of anything must be to separate out arbitrary human constructs from actual reality—like separating fictitious things like “the stamp collection” away from the real thing, “stamps”—but this is built on the bedrock that “actual reality” is an objectively real thing, which the only methods we have for measuring and ascertaining the realness of reality are our own subjective senses and biased perspectives. The argument can certainly be made that reality itself is an arbitrary human construct.
For the purpose of this conversation, we have to go further into what “value” means, because most people think about it in economic terms. The value of a McDouble, or the value of a home. These are certainly types of value, and this type of value is one that we easily measure in dollars or some other currency. That’s right–currencies are merely units of measurement that are used to measure value. Many things go into this “economic valuation,” but it can all be summarized as a matter of need and want. Needs have practically infinite value, while wants have an enormous variability in their value, but are also boolean–one either wants things or not. What I mean by this is that–if a person’s needs are not met, then no want has any value. We’re not talking “I need a few hours of sleep” here. We’re talking “I need food to not die.” We lack the capacity to even want things when our needs are not being met. The man who is on the edge of starving to death has absolutely no desire in his heart that is not a need. The largest television, home, and Lamborghini in the world would not pique his interest if they cannot be used to acquire food. When needs are met, the boolean value of want is “true,” and we begin to place economic values–as measured in dollars, which is a representation of how much we want it.
Whether the tree is actually engaged in the act of being a tree cannot be ascertained. To make this a statement of “truth,” we would need to modify it further, such that we’d say, “It appears that the tree is presently engaged in the act of being a tree.”
However, such a statement contains its own ellipsis, just as the initial one did. “It appears to me that the tree is presently engaged in the act of being a tree,” is what the sentence actually says, once we remove those banes of non-native English speakers that make grasping the language so difficult. This is because English often assumes one perspective or another, and hides the assumption in an ellipsis that the average native English speaker isn’t even aware of. Quite literally, they are unaware of the assumptions they are making, because the language of expression provides the means by which they can hide their own assumptions away from themselves and instead claim to be Heralds of the One True Value System.
Is there any non-emotional reason that we should value reason? Of course not. Value systems are derived wholesale from emotion, which I’ve seen put many anarchists in the unenviable position of attempting to provide a scientific and rational basis for their allegiance to the NAP. Such a basis doesn’t exist, because they are merely looking for justification of emotions and value systems. One would expect them to know better, but, like everyone else, they’ve succumbed to the dangerous mentality that *their* value system is the One True Value System, and thus they end up looking for justification of this pretense of absolute certainty. Since they cannot directly force their value system onto others (as their value system rejects force), they insidiously search for other methods of surreptitiously forcing it onto others; rather than using force, they attempt to strong-arm people with what they say is “reason,” and almost coercively imply that any “reasonable” person will agree with their One True Value System. It’s a modern way of saying “If you don’t believe in my deity, then you are a heretic.”