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The value of a human being

What is the value of a human life? Is it something that can be measured? It’s a fair question, especially in today’s world. Not fair in the sense that a human being should have a dollar value attached to it, but fair in the sense that we have done exactly that in today’s world. Despite the fact that we are at a time in history when we are more technically advanced than we’ve ever been, we still see widespread famine, a lack of clean drinking water and disease that is rampant in some countries while non-existent in others. This is where I start to see the term of value being attached to human lives. The reason I say this is that while it may not be the responsibility of other countries citizens to ensure food, medicine, or clean water for children and adults in other parts of the world, isn’t it the right thing to do? I find it shocking that we spend 660 million dollars on defense, we shoot satellites all over space all the time and in the same day and age, there are still countries where people live in huts and drink water filled with dirt.

How have we become so uneven as far as the rate of personal improvement in the world? Does the human race have a responsibility to be unified in our progress? These are legitimate, straightforward questions but the answers are not nearly as clear-cut.  On one hand, from a philosophical standpoint, one has to consider the well-being of the human race and as a race, we all have to share the same planet so it would be reasonable to believe that we would all benefit by the advancement of all of us as a whole. There is also a flip-side to this that, while not as cuddly as an option, is also reasonable to consider. Some people would say it is more beneficial to us as a race to let the less successful people suffer and die off, much like the weakest lion in a pack. They reason that the weaker people will drag the stronger ones down if the stronger ones contribute resources they need to make up for the lack of success of the weak. I guess I can see how people could come to either view, though I personally would see things the first way as opposed to the second.

The real question though, when looking at the modern world is this; is the “survival of the fittest” type theory the reason that there is such an impasse between cultures and their levels of quality of life? Or is it something else? Some people in the world feel the greed of the more powerful countries has a large impact on the lack of progress of the smaller ones. Others feel that it is their right if they are superior. I’m not here to tell you which one to believe though, just here to put the question out there. The answer is a personal one to each of us, but I feel the important thing is asking the question in the first place. You see, I’ve found that in my life, my views haven’t so much changed as they have evolved and as they evolve, it brings up questions I had never considered. I believe knowing which questions to even consider in the first place is almost as important as realizing the best answer:)


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