Is human life valuable? 8 replies

Please wait...

Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,592 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#1 2 years ago

So my question is: is human life intrinsically valuable on its own?  The main reason I ask this is because too often I've seen people die for really incidental reasons.

My point is: a human life, let's say, takes a lot of experience to be self-actualized and realized.  A person, to me, is like a book.  There are many chapters and it just seems a shame to me that at some point, after all this experience, that someone should die because of some cunt that came along and decided that their self-ish intent was worth more than another person's life.  My point is: it's incredibly wasteful to kill someone when a human being is the some of his/her experience.  I realize that there are those who built their lives upon the ending of others' lives, but still...I think it is one of the most disgraceful things a human being can ever do in his or her lifetime.  Thoughts?

"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.


I live on Gaming Forums

452 XP

17th June 2008

0 Uploads

2,039 Posts

5 Threads

#2 2 years ago

Depends on who you ask and who you ask about. This isn't really objective.

What should have been done about Osama Bin Laden? He wasn't given a fair trial. Then again, he wasn't playing fair either, using other people's lives as bargaining chips. Same goes for some governments and the people that openly support said governments.

An argument could be made that people who make no attempt to contribute to society all the while living on welfare schemes are better off dead. Does that seem universally right?

Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#3 2 years ago

Human life is innately valuable. However, that value does not outweigh all other factors that might apply to a given individual. There was something lost when hitler died. Something right and valuable. There was also much evil removed from the world. It's never that clear cut as value or no value. 

MrFancypants Forum Admin

The Bad

217,008 XP

7th December 2003

0 Uploads

20,003 Posts

6 Threads

#4 2 years ago

I like to believe that human life is valuable. It easy to find instances where you can see that it often isn't so, but I think societies that agree on the fact that life is valuable end up with a set of ethics that makes living much more enjoyable.

Lindale Forum Mod

Mister Angry Rules Guy

241,122 XP

1st February 2010

0 Uploads

23,429 Posts

2 Threads

#5 2 years ago

Humans seem to have a double-standard for what is valuable. Humans constantly go to war with other humans, but then try to outlaw abortion, and then go eat a giant steak. Killing and eating animals is obviously accepted, but killing other humans is all based on what flag they fly, or whether or not they worship YOUR god. At the very least, the value of life is all based in self-interest.

But then, there are nations that seem to want everything dead. For example, the Middle East is just a giant sandbox, so the locals have nothing to do except fight. Russia funds and supplies every military in the Middle East, and most of Asia. And then you have America, who are the world's vigilante. Any time two nations want to have a barney at each other, well, there is another war for America to join, or start.


Andron Taps Forum Mod

Faktrl is Best Pony

261,592 XP

10th September 2007

4 Uploads

21,746 Posts

1,754 Threads

#6 2 years ago

I must confess I was drunk when I made this thread, but I like the responses I've seen so far ^_^

"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.

Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

AOE2 Addict

11,741 XP

22nd December 2007

0 Uploads

794 Posts

9 Threads

#7 2 years ago

To some degree I have to agree with Lindale - that the value of human life is based on self-interest. It is entirely subjective and the lens you put on will determine your value of human life. Instinctively people are tribal. They value the people that are close to them much, much more than people that are not close to them. In the most savage cases, you get severe cases of racism, gang warfare, or class divides. People from one side will put almost no value on the people of the other side, and may even consider the other group better dead than alive. Considered less savage, but still primal, is the tendency to save a single or small number of loved ones over a larger group of people one has never met before, even if that larger group of people may be more valuable to humanity in the long run.

You need to have a basis for defining the value of human life. Are we here to colonize the universe? If so, then it might make sense to break the concept of all humans being  equal, and embrace a system that values human evolution over all. The smartest, strongest, most motivated, and most resilient people should be considered more valuable than those who are not very productive due to genetics.

But someone else might take a more "humanitarian" approach: all humans are equal in value, and therefore maximum effort must be put into preserving all human life from the moment it is born to the moment it dies, and to ensure that all humans live the life that is best for them. Technology can go forward, but not at the cost of the quality of life of humans today.

A third perspective might be that human life has no intrinsic value at all; we are just an anomaly in the cosmos that will have briefly flashed into and out of existence. Humans are effectively the masters of all other living species. We choose to experiment on them, eat them, and drive them to extinction without a second thought. Should aliens with superior intelligence and technology exist and decide to treat us humans similarly, then oh well. Sucks for us. That's just the course of life.

I'm inclined to say that humans have enough intelligence to ask the question, and have a very real influence on the short-term future of Earth, so therefore they have relative value. In our frame of reference, human beings are  the most valuable living things  in the universe. We ought to act on this, and try to keep our species going for as long as possible. And mitigate harm we cause each other.

Admiral Donutz VIP Member

Wanna go Double Dutch?

735,271 XP

9th December 2003

0 Uploads

71,460 Posts

0 Threads

#8 1 year ago

Yes  all human life is valuable, though people may do things that may others see that persons life as more or less valueable. Relatively few people will have been upset about the deaths of Hitler or Bin Laden. But to say the loss of a life is justified? I think not, unless it was a life threatening situation. That's best to be avoided, preserving life or as many as possible instead. 

Mr. Matt VIP Member


356,406 XP

17th June 2002

7 Uploads

33,654 Posts

779 Threads

#9 1 year ago

Value is a human concept. As such, a human life is exactly as valuable as a culture decides it to be.

In the cosmic scheme of things, a human life is beyond worthless. It is a collection of common elements that just happen to have coalesced into a particular configuration. When one or all of us dies, the universe won't notice.