Thursday, July 2, 2009

What is the Cost of One Human Life?

02JUL09 1900 hrs. What Does 1 Human Life Equal?

I was thinking about something. How much is one human life worth? I don’t mean in the material cost, but I suppose the higher cost of a human life. Would you sacrifice one human life, for a world at peace? How about if that one life was your son, daughter, mother or father. It is a tough decision isn't it. The world would love peace but at the cost of a loved one.
Another example of this, sort of is if you had a child, and he/she needed your heart to survive. You more than likely would trade your life for theirs, would you? Maybe the price of a human life is another one? But to play devil’s advocate, lets say you did not sacrifice your life, and your child died. One human is still living, but since the child died, what is the price of your life now?
Maybe every life has a different utility. People are in different social classes, have different incomes, contribute different things to society. Would you give your life for the bum on the street? I can honestly say that I would. But not in the sense you may think of. As a member of the U.S. military, if I die in combat, I die for you, for the bum, for every U.S. citizen and member of the free world. But going back to the original question…
Would you trade your life for an animal? Or a whole species? Some people risk their lives to help animals. Are we any different than animals? I will save that for later
What is your life worth? Try to answer that question…what is something you would die for? Is it truly worth your life? How about if something powerful and meaningful for millions is in your destiny? Example: 20 years down the road, you will discover a cure for AIDS/HIV. Right now, your fifteen year old son is dieing. He is waiting on a heart, but far from getting one. He will die very soon if he does not get one. Yours and his are a match. Would you give him yours? Of course if you did, there would be no cure for AIDS twenty years down the road, and as a result thousands if not millions more will die. Would you sacrifice your sons life to save millions?
Of course you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week, next year, etc. But would you ever know unless you stayed alive, and lived your destiny. (Quick Thought for later writing: What if that is your destiny, to give your life for your son). All these “what-ifs” are in question when trying to figure out the price of a human life. Historically look at all the people that risked their life and/or died to kill Hitler. Especially fellow Nazi’s that knew what was going on (Holocaust, etc). They sacrificed their life in order to save millions of Jews, people that most didn’t even know. They believed that their life was worth sacrificing in order to save millions.
Some of these questions I don’t know if we can honestly answer them, including myself. One must be confronted with the situation and describe what his or her actions could be. The story about AIDS and your son, I don’t know what I would do. You would love your son unconditionally, but you could save millions. Yes, you would play devils advocate yourself and say “who is not to say someone else would figure out the cure?” But leave all the “other what-ifs” out. I am going to think more about this and figure some more things outs.

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