Too much emphasis on life.

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by boo, Oct 17, 2010.

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  1. boo

    boo Well-Known Member

    How precious can human life be? There are six billion people on the planet!

    The value of a human life is beyond any reckoning. This argument easy to refute.

    Thousands of people die in road accidents every year caused, for instance by simple things like tiredness, boredom or clumsiness on someone else's part. One death is too many! The value of a human life is beyond any reckoning! ! Good grief, we'd better ban the automobile right away.

    It is not in any dispute that inhaling smoke increases your chances of getting cancer. A certain number of deaths are caused each year by each coal-fired power station in each city. One death is too many! The value of a human life is beyond any reckoning! Good grief, we'd better shut down the electricity! Likewise the emissions from motor vehicles are carcinogenic.

    What is patently obvious is that a certain number of deaths per year are acceptable to our society, as a price for progress or convenience. You may not feel comfortable with it right now, but in general it doesn't bother us. We accept that we are all mortal, and everyone has to die sometime. Implicit in the structure of our society is the assumption that the value of a human life (which will end anyway, no matter what anyone does), is not beyond reckoning, and that the shortening of a certain number of lives is an acceptable price.

    You can prolong a life, but you can not save it. In the long run the survival rate drops to zero.

    You may argue that civilisation saves more lives that it shortens, but we do not aim our civilisation at prolonging the most possible lives. All the time, we collectively take decisions along the lines of "we estimate that the new model car's exhaust will kill 3 people per year per million cars. We are willing to spend one million dollars to reduce that, but not two million."

    We take a similar decision about the risk vs. cost to our own lives every time we go bungee-jumping or smoke a cigarette. We do not behave as if our own lives were of infinite value. We behave as if we are mortal. All rather obvious if you think about it.

    One death is too many and The value of a human life is beyond any reckoning are fine-sounding rhetoric, but are without any connection to the real world whatsoever.

    So many people say that suicide is selfish, yet they can't look beyond their own selfishness and refuse to accept that some people just can't handle life anymore. They will tie you down, deprive you of any freewill as long as you are still breathing, because by their own virtues they believe in doing the right thing.

    /end rant /flame shield on :i'm sorry:
  2. Krem

    Krem Well-Known Member

    It's politically correct to state that every life is sacred. It's socially unacceptable to deny it. That doesn't make it true. :)
  3. Borrowed time*

    Borrowed time* Well-Known Member

    Iv probably not read your statement right but i think human life is precious to anyone who's life you have touched, family, friend, work colleagues, even the old lady you sometimes speak to in the streets.
    I find it is governments and leading bodies which are always making decisions according to risk vs cost. It makes me angry sometimes but then what can they do? You cant ban everything which carries a risk to human life, no matter how small that risk might be.
    Like i said iv probably not read it right, just early morning rambles.
  4. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Totally agree.
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