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Posted on 2005.11.13 at 04:46
Current Music: silence of the night
Tags: , ,
Ahh, beat the game on hell mode. Again. Gotta love Diablo II. Anyway, since I'm still up...on a forum I post in someone asked the question "What is the value of human life?" People have responded in various ways, many saying that the lives of some are worth more than the lives of others. But they're against taking life unless it's necessary. I find this a contradiction. Anyway, I'm going to post my thoughts from that thread here as I find it's probably the best, and closest, I've come to defining what I believe about life.

Re: "What is the value of human life?"

Well, what gives a life value? Is it what you have, what you do, who you know? What would make say my life more or less valuable than my brother's? Are we equal, for we certainly are not the same in any other aspect in life?

I see life and death as part of a cycle, something far greater than any of us. To think that our individual life is more meaningful than the rest is arrogant in my opinion. Life is life, and we are all born, live and die. No matter what happens in between, in the end we are exactly the same. However, life is something that should not be taken for granted and should not be wasted. It is something to be respected, and I see far too few people respecting their own life, much less the lives of others.

Think about it, we so quickly respond to hatred and anger with force rather than compassion. We jump into a war, risking more lives without considering the alternatives. Whether you're for the war or not doesn't really matter, in WWII there were people for and against the war. It was a war we felt we had to fight, and many lives were saved because of it. But that knowledge offers little comfort to the countless graves in Normandie. My point is, this goes far beyond just "the value of human life."

WE give life value. WE are the ones who put labels and values and categories on the world. If we stopped trying to put a value to everything, and started to figure out who we are I think the gap between self respect and our percieved value of life would disappear. I see this all the time with the kids I work with, they don't respect themselves so why should they respect anyone else? Honestly, if you can't find one good thing about yourself, if you can't feel how we are all alive, if you can't feel how we are all connected...you don't have anything to respect. What makes life wonderful is the experience and sharing it, good and bad, with others. To me, the value of life is the actions you take at this moment in this place with these other lives--human or not--around you. What's past is a memory and the future may not come to pass, but right now you are alive and part of this wonderful cycle of life, but are you really experiencing it?

I hope that makes sense...if not, that's what I get for typing that at 4:45 am. Just disregard the parts that don't. ^_^

Re: "The value of a life changes depending on the person your talking about."

Who are you to judge one life as more important? (I don't mean that to sound angry, because I'm not, just posing the question) Life is life and in the eyes of nature we are all equal. It does not select you because you are more important or because you are deemed more deserving of life. Nothing in life is that way. Bad things happen to good people all the time and not so good people get away with many things. WE are the ones who place that value on life. We treat life as an object, a possession when it is not really ours at all. We are part of it, not the other way around. We are all connected through it, not separated by it. When you start treating life as an object or possession, that is when the countless graves of a war have no meaning, that is when standing up for a humane cause has no weight, and that is when you take the first step in making it easier to kill. You in essence de-humanize life when you make those judgements. That is what a serial killer does...s/he does not see life, they see an object, and thus it is of little consequence if it lives or dies as it is totally unconnected to themselves or anyone else.

Re: "The value of human life depends on the human. A common thief steals for money and wastes their life."

Jean Valjean was a theif and I'd hardly say he wasted his life. Is it right to judge a person based upon a few actions? Especially when you really have no idea why those actions are taking place? And are actions the extent of who you are, or are you more than your actions? What happens if they steal because that is the only way they know how to support themselves because as a teenager they made a mistake, were thrown in jail and now no one will give them a job because they judge them based upon that one mistake? Soceity does that all the time, judge people by their mistakes to the point they are nearly destined to make more. Who are we to say if someone is spending their life well or wastefully? Those judgements would be based upon our values, whereas another society might have different values. One is not right or wrong, same thing with religion and governments. They are just different.

Regardless, your life is the same as the rapist. When you die, people will be sad and miss you and some people won't even know and some people may even be happy. Same with me. Same with anyone. When the rapist dies, people will be said and miss them and some won't even know and some will be happy. The outcome is the same no matter who you are. Some people know you and love you, some don't like you or hate you, and most people don't have a clue who you are.


(Anonymous) at 2005-12-01 06:52 (UTC) (Link)


Oh you and your Diablo II. I'm impressed. Hell mode. Anyway, the value of human life... I don't even want to tackle such a topic. Ahh
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