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    Do you believe that, for example, the life of Albert Einstein and the 60 year old obese alcoholic working at your local news agent hold equal value? Or that the lives of Adolph Hitler and Nelson Mandela held equal value?


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    (Original post by Derp96)
    Do you believe that, for example, the life of Albert Einstein and the 60 year old obese alcoholic working at your local news agent hold equal value?

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    Sure... Einstein would have made a rubbish newsagent
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    Yes, but (perhaps hypocritically) only if they're not an ******** to me.
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    At birth yes. When they made some decisions, no.
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    Dunno why people say everyone is "equal." I mean, i'm all for equality when its about rights and legal matters but surely you have to agree with the fact that people aren't equal. Some are better athletes, physicists bla bla etc. I would completely disagree if someone told me that someone who is fat out of choice, (not medically) uneducated etc is equal in value to someone as great as Albert Einstein. Isn't that an insult to the man? Similarly why on earth would someone like Adolf Hitler be of equal value to pretty much any man/woman with good morals?
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    Depends who you ask.

    My husband is obese. Not from a medical condition, just through eating too much. Now he's working hard to rectify this and has lost 10 stone so far, but still, he's obese.

    Ignorant, above me, would therefore try to say that Einstein's life is of greater value than my husbands. Well maybe to him, yes, but to me, my children, and my in-laws, my husband's life is of far greater value than even Einstein.

    Likewise I could argue that Einstein's life is of greater value than Ignorant's mother. However I'm sure Ignorant would disagree.

    Your loved ones are always going to be of the greatest value to you, even if they are just ordinary people. Therefore it's entirely subjective.
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    Not really. Some people bring good, some bring bad, and some bring nothing at all. I couldn't tell ya who's who, but there are obvious examples Ghandi>Hitler.
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    Yes. I think that an inherent part of being human is making mistakes ( been reading too much Othello :rolleyes: ). As everyone's made mistakes, regardless of their magnitude, we are united in our ability to do wrong as well as right.Hate to be a cliche, but no-one is perfect and valuing human life without taking into account circumstance or the undesirable qualities of humanity is unfair.

    Nelson Mandela was a terrorist before he became an inspiration.He was was the head of UmKhonto we Sizwe and was guilty of 156 acts of public violence including mobilising terrorist bombing campaigns, which planted bombs in public places like the Johannesburg railway station. Many innocent people, including women and children, were killed. Your comparison of Mandela to Hitler isn't as stark and clear cut as you make it sound.
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    I subscribe to the academic belief that all society is simply focused around deciding who is worthy of life and who isn't, turning people from citizens into nothing in order to justify their subjugation/death/imprisonment etc etc.


    That's not necessarily a bad or good thing. It's the reason we have prisons, which includes Guantanamo bay, and it's the reason we treat certain people with disdain, ranging from paedophiles to homophobia.


    As a side facet of that, not all life is born equal. We have cultural and physical traits entailed at birth, and we as a populace (everyone on this site I mean) have decided that it's acceptable for the third world to be worse off than ourselves so that we can have nice things. We might think we disagree with it, but we allow it to perpetuate itself.
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    Yes because there is no universal decision to say how life is valued.
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    I think even that stance is questionable. Perhaps when we're taking it strictly from a moral, humanistic sense, the question is subjective. But I really feel like those who do their best not to do complete destruction on other people/the planet are in a sense more valuable to the common good of everyone than others.
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    Value is subjective, by definition. By that very fact it is impossible to answer this question without knowing who is doing the valuing. But let's suppose it's me. I'd like to think that I hold every human life as being equally valuable to me. Even more importantly, whether I think it or not, I'd like to treat everyone as if they were valued equally. But in practice, that's just not the case.

    I actually recall a quote from “The Great Gatsby” where Nick writes that Gatsby must have realised “what a grotesque thing a rose is”. The rose has been a conventional symbol of beauty and love through centuries of poetry. Nick suggests that roses aren’t inherently beautiful and that people only view them that way because they choose to do so. The rose has been imbued with such value, like Gatsby has in Daisy. Daisy invested her with beauty and meaning by making her the object of his dream. However she is “grotesque” in the same way as the rose, from a reader’s and Nick’s perspective she is an idle, bored, rich young woman with no particular moral strength or loyalty.

    If I were confronted with a situation where I had to choose between saving the life of my sister or a stranger who I knew nothing about, I'd choose to save my sister; she is more valuable to me. But what if that stranger was the Einstein of our generation? He's certainly more valuable to the world than my sister, yet even if I were armed with that knowledge about this mythical stranger, I'd probably still save my sister and roll the dice on someone else doing what he did/would be able to do.

    But after re-reading your question, I think the crux is whether we should value all human life equally. I think the world would be a better place if we did, but I don't believe generally that we have the capacity to devalue our personal relationships to the necessary point where they would no longer affect our decisions with regard to the whole.
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    People are better at different things, op your argument here is based on perceived value. It varies in the eye of the beholder.
    For example a boxer generating £1000s and jobs for coaches etc, would have to be physically fit and strong, a scientist who has an academic mind and focuses less on his body wouldn't suit the boxers role, just the same way a boxer wouldn't suit his.
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    (Original post by Ignorant)
    Dunno why people say everyone is "equal." I mean, i'm all for equality when its about rights and legal matters but surely you have to agree with the fact that people aren't equal. Some are better athletes, physicists bla bla etc. I would completely disagree if someone told me that someone who is fat out of choice, (not medically) uneducated etc is equal in value to someone as great as Albert Einstein. Isn't that an insult to the man? Similarly why on earth would someone like Adolf Hitler be of equal value to pretty much any man/woman with good morals?
    Hitler was ruthlessly efficient in rearranging a country that had previously been brought to its knees by overtaxing and the effects of the great depression, he restructured the economy well and had a good health initiative for his citizens. On top of that he served in WW1 and was very intelligent, as well as great at delivering public speeches. How is he any worse than someone who simply had 'good morals'? If we're looking at this from a utility perspective, Hitler is worth far more than your average joe. He might not have been very nice but he certainly achieved more than somebody with 'good morals', like it or not.
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    (Original post by Ignorant)
    Dunno why people say everyone is "equal." I mean, i'm all for equality when its about rights and legal matters but surely you have to agree with the fact that people aren't equal. Some are better athletes, physicists bla bla etc. I would completely disagree if someone told me that someone who is fat out of choice, (not medically) uneducated etc is equal in value to someone as great as Albert Einstein. Isn't that an insult to the man? Similarly why on earth would someone like Adolf Hitler be of equal value to pretty much any man/woman with good morals?
    I do agree, I believe that all should be equal in regards to oppurtunity, moral and legal issues but the reality is human beings are different to one another, we are all equal in the respect that we're human but for many of us that is the only trait in which we share; for society it is much more desirable for a man like Einstein than it is Hitler.
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    (Original post by Kiss)
    Hitler was ruthlessly efficient in rearranging a country that had previously been brought to its knees by overtaxing and the effects of the great depression, he restructured the economy well and had a good health initiative for his citizens. On top of that he served in WW1 and was very intelligent, as well as great at delivering public speeches. How is he any worse than someone who simply had 'good morals'? If we're looking at this from a utility perspective, Hitler is worth far more than your average joe. He might not have been very nice but he certainly achieved more than somebody with 'good morals', like it or not.
    But you're picking and choosing; he was less desirable than the average joe by most non-Germans as he led to one of the (if not the) most horrific wars of all time, he was however of value to the Germans.
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    Yes, or rather, value doesn't matter. Why does it matter that someone's a 60 year old newsagent and alcoholic? They're providing a service, no-one's saying they're intelligent, they're just doing their job and could have other talents. It probably isn't their top of priorities, they just want to get by.

    How do you measure value and what is the implication or consequence of having 'less' value?

    It would be boring if everyone was the same. I don't think humans are equal (just different with different values and capabilities), but if it came down to it, nobody should face death based on the choices they've made, or be told they're worth less. It's like, what gives the person that decision so much authority or importance to treat people like that. :holmes:
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    No, I don't, but I also don't believe that the state is any good at evaluating whose lives are worth more than others, so I support equality out of pragmatism.
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    (Original post by ChildishHambino)
    Yes because there is no universal decision to say how life is valued.
    Best post so far
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    Nope.
 
 
 
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