The value of life essay

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

I will conclude in my belief that the value of life is personal and entirely intrinsic. Life is valuable; especially when one considers it by focusing on human life. But, how exactly does one put a value upon life? Is the value of life abstract or quantifiable? Is it universal, applicable to all life in the universe, or is it unique to the human race? The responses to these questions are at the centre of determining the value of life. This issue is as abstract as it can be. I believe that life is precious and priceless. The value of life is intrinsic and unique to a person’s context and specific circumstances. A person who desires money and gives priority to financial wellbeing is likely to devalue the life of a person with little financial power or of low economic standing; including their own lives (Horrobin, 2006).

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They only see life as meaningful if someone possesses material wealth and richness. As such, such a person devalues their lives until such a time they will have acquired wealth is when they now attach meaning to their life. I don’t believe that richness and material wealth should be such a critical factor in determining the value of life. I think the value of life is in the mission that God means for us. Our paths in life are divine. I believe that this is what Plato adduced to when he says that the intrinsic Goodness is in some way like the sun; each being a source of immense value, yet difficult to contemplate with the naked mind (Fieldman, 1998). I think he is analogously referring to the ultimate goodness of life.

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It is difficult to envisage the ultimate value of one’s life with the naked mind. This is unfortunate, though, because such a view is always myopic. Taking someone’s life just because they wronged you, or because of some emergent misunderstanding, is a short-sighted view of the value of life or the lack of it (Horrobin, 2006). This is why people often develop intense feelings of guilt after killing or murdering someone else. At the same time, taking your own life just because something is not going as desired in life is just as short-sighted. I am sure most people who survive suicides live to regret their decision even to attempt it. Very few ever rush to complete a financial or business project or to complete their pending education or work harder at work.

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Most take time off these ‘worldly’ things to focus on the ultimate ‘meaning’ of life; the people who ‘mean the world’ to them. At the same time, people tend to show more love and affection toward their loved ones once they are diagnosed with terminal diseases and they know their time is up. This is a reflection of how much we all really value life and often only take time to reflect on the whole essence of life and to cherish what we value most when future existence is not guaranteed. Life has no price tag, and monetary value or economic positions do not have a substantial impact on the overall value of a person’s life (Matravers & Barber, 2013). The formula for determining how much money someone is worth is a degrading concept that should worry anyone with real human dignity.

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A person’s life cannot be replaced with any amount of money (Matravers & Barber, 2013). Compensations to loved ones might help to enhance other aspects of their lives, but it surely never makes them feel better about losing the person they lost. I believe that no amount of money can fill in the void felt upon losing someone. I believe that spirituality and the aspect of religion also have a substantial impact on the ultimate meaning of life. As such, it can be argued that most people value their careers or businesses more than anything. This is not entirely true if we look at the ultimate inspiration behind this fact of modern lifestyles. Most people will tell you that they are focusing on their careers and businesses to be able to provide well for their families.

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