Why is 'human life' so important?
For a first post, I think it'll be fine.
Now, the question-- Why is 'human life' so important? We kill way to much of everything, use absurd amounts of everything, take absurd amount of space, and it's all good and dandy. You can kill infinite amounts of everything, but if you claim that you wish to punch a human, you will be punished. It goes against all the little logic bells in my head, this system. Well, yes, individuals will see themselves more important, but when the community thinks the individual of the species is more important than other species, it's "wrong" to me. If humans left, the only real issue I see is the radioactive shite left behind, and so on, but many -people- think it's the end of the world. ( The world is beyond earth, beyond humans, in my thoughts. ) I'm sorry if this is hard to understand, but I write as it comes out. ..or something.
I believe that this is called selfishness.
Often am I reminded of Aesop's Fables whence hearing debates of such nature.
In the end, the common primitive human being goes by the pirate code, "Take what you can, give nothing back".
In the event of theft, by person A from person B, P (person) A would remain silent on the matter hoping to not get caught, whilst P B would proclaim to the world of his misery and injustice. Basically, the point is, that the situation would repeat itself even if the tables were turned around. 'T a vicious circle, indeed.
As always, I blame the government and parents for this wonderful gift they bestowed us with. The gift of idiocy, immorality, selfishness, unethical principles, etc.
Humans, by the way, tend to think highly of themselves, and generally value human life more than any other living organism.
And while my general stance on this matter is somewhere in between, I, being the elitist that I am, only value the lives of people whose existence I personally approve of. All who fail to meet my standards are valued less than toilet paper.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Well, let's look at this issue:
Fact #1: Individual humans consume large amounts of resources, including the destruction of many other life forms.
Fact #2: Attacking an individual human leads to punishment
Fact #3: The community sees the welfare of an individual human as higher than that of the welfare of a member of another species.
Facts 1 and 2 are both true, but arguably unimportant.
Fact 3 is not necessarily true though, which is where the question comes in. Communities only see the welfare of members of that community to be important, and even then this is balanced based upon the power of the members of that given community, as individuals who have more power in this community can have a greater ability to escape punishment or deal with less than those with less. Given that power within this community can distort the levels of protection, it can be argued that the obligation to protect, even within the community is not fully driven by moral concerns so much as selfish concerns. So, I would have to say that the issue is simply that being a member of a community includes protective rights, that outsiders, slaves, and so on, might not have. Due to issues with communication, and effective integration into our division of labor, other species cannot join our communities in the same membership as people can. This means that they cannot get this protection. To some extent, some animals will get some protection, but this is similarly egoist, as this protection is only for animals that we like, while a lack thereof is shown to animals we dislike. Thus, I would argue that the system is somewhat consistent, however, the average defense reasons given for it usually are not consistent.
Does this help? If I am unclear at some point, please tell me so I can hopefully clarify.
Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Now, the question-- Why is 'human life' so important?
Without 'human life', who will tell the histories of the world? No more stories and you have an ending, do you not?
Well, that depends on who you're talking to really and under what circumstances. But in general you're talking about preying on humans and that makes you a threat that is needing to be corrected, or in other words punished.
The world under heaven, after a long period of division, tends to unite; after a long period of union, tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity.
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
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This discussion immediately reminded me of a few of George Carlin's comedy routines, particularly the one where he addressed our concept of "the sanctity of life". Carlin's assertion was that said "sanctity", which we all know to be very selective (meaning that we as humans get to choose which forms of life are sacred and which are alright to terminate), is rooted in our own vested interest in self-preservation as living human beings and our ego-driven desire to feel noble. In ideal circumstances, no living organism desires to die-- and humans are, like others, driven by a powerful survival instinct. Of course the consensus among most of human society is going to reflect the urge for self-preservation. It's not because we're any better than any other organism on the planet. We just happen to be one of the few (if not the only) that is actually conscious enough of our own mortality to emote over it.
The theory I've heard most often, for why the human race as an entity behaves so self-important, blames our actions on arrogance. However, I tend to believe that, beneath the arrogance, at the root of all our posturing, mankind is ruled by the fear and insecurity that comes in knowing that the shadow of death is hanging over all of our heads, and that everyone, regardless of individual identity, has a finite time on Earth and an expiration date. Cognition of mortality is a massive burden, particularly when it is also hardwired into us to carry out our animalistic duty of self-preservation to the best of our abilities. The very reason "the sanctity of life" exists in the first place, and why it is selective, is to give us the sense that our lives are somehow protected by right of simply existing, and that we also have the natural right to destroy any other form of life that might threaten our continued existence. Of course, when we look at what our science has taught us about the world around us, we know that as a species our presence is a single drop in the ocean compared to the existence of the Universe. It's not at all irrational to say that, should the Universe as we know it ever cease to exist, it is a good bet that humanity will have ultimately been nothing more than a small footnote in its long history. And the Universe is cold, unfeeling, and completely impartial to whether our species survives another 5,000 years or another 5 days. As a whole, I think humanity is terrified of that. We're alive right now-- we want desperately to believe there's some logic to us being here, and that we're important. Personally, I don't like nihilism because I find it really depressing-- but I can't help thinking there's a grain of truth in the idea that, someday several trillions of years from now, when nothing is left of us, nothing we will have ever accomplished within our entire span of existence will have really mattered that much, no matter how much importance we may have attached to certain things. Not exactly the most pleasant or uplifting of thoughts. So it's no wonder we act like human life has some degree (although, again, it's still selective based on the circumstances) of sanctity.
Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Because when a person dies, they are gone forever. Because when someone we love dies, we can't bring them back. Because when you take a person's life and later feel remorse for what you've done, there is no undoing it. Because each person is unique and yet we are all the same. Because the people we love will one day be taken from us, and this is a non-negotiable fact of life. Because nobody lives forever.
Are you not human, OP? Are you a wasp or an ant?
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
That qualifies for all life, not just humans. The question is why should human life be valued over the rest of the life that is on earth?
I think one of the reasons is the hair-brained idea that life is sacred, but not just any life... human life, because religion seems to say so, and people of long ago where primitive, so they believed it, and passed it down to generations to come.
Another reason is all humans think and have emotions of some sort, and because of that, people feel the need to protect and value what is like them. The same can be said for different species. Elephants help and protect each other, lions protect their pride, ect.
When it comes to me....
If I saw a building on fire and inside was my beloved cat and a complete stranger that I don't know. I would go in and save my cat first and then go back for the stranger. However in reality I would be forced to save the stranger first because society says that humans are more important, and second... I don't want to get sued.
Humans are intelligent, but that doesn't make them smart.
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