Value machine

The human brain is a value machine. It constantly ascribes value to things, experiences, people, events etc. It forms a value hierarchy and ranks everything it contacts. The question is whether that hierarchy is based on a pre-existent, innate template, or it simply evolves as the person matures. Perhaps both take place; some things are ascribed value de facto (‘basic’), while others depend on the conditions and knowledge of the person. Survival, for example, is a de facto value. Every living creature strives to maximise/extend its physical life. But in the course of life – certainly for humans – other values may supersede survival. People may gladly die for ideals, beliefs or even to save other people. A de facto value can be modified.