The article on How much for a Life looks at the ethical view of an individual life in an
economic way. To say that every person on this planet is worth the same amount, give or
take a few million, is putting all individuals on an equal plain. One would argue that a
professional doctor, who is in the business of saving peoples lives, is much more
important the individual who is unemployed and only watches television all day.
Another would argue that someone like Mother Theresa is far more important and
valuable than The President of the United States. When you look at these two arguments,
who you view to be more important and valuable depends upon what end of the scale you
are living. If I were another unemployed person who stays home and watches television
all day, I would argue that I am worth just as much as any doctor in the country. I take
this view because I come from the same environment stated in the argument above. In
the second argument, if I were not a religious man, I would probably think that the
president of the United States if far more important and valuable than Mother Theresa.
What I am trying to say is that you cannot possibly put a value on any one persons life.
We all come from different parts of the world and are raised in different types of
environments. To say that the value of an individual life increases with the contributions
that person makes to the world is not even a fair statement. The person who is
unemployed and only watches television all day might have five or more children that
needs their attention. The person also may be staying home due to the ever increasing
cost of childcare and it does not make sense for them to work. The professional doctor
may be a single person with no responsibilities other than his or her work.Does this
increase or decrease the value of his or her life? I do not believe this to be true.
When you look at our society as a whole, life is definitely not considered priceless.
Through out history there are many examples in which life is an expendable commodity.
Looking at some of the major wars that we have seen in the past is a great example of the
decreased value put on life. Many high political leaders sent our military into other
countries to fight wars that we did not belong in or that were for pieces of land and
resources. Placing the life of an American soldier lower than the land or resource the
politicians wanted, shows how life is not valued at all.With the ever increasing demand
for rights to lands and resources, there is and ever decreasing supply of life to fight with.
Other examples of how we devalue life can be seen on television and even in our local
towns. Many people are living on our streets, freezing, starving, and even dying. If we
placed a high value on life, we would create the necessary shelters for these helpless
people. This is something that we are lacking in through out our whole society. People
do not care. Does this show much for life? No it does not.
In the end, I do not believe that we can ethically and economically put a value on life.
The ever-increasing demand for safer products is something that we need to get
accomplished and if it means that we need to take away from one resource to
increase it, then so be it. This needs to be accomplished even if it means a higher cost.
By increasing our commitment to safety we are increasing our commitment to placing a
higher value on life in general. This is an area that we can at least show some type of
commitment to people and the value of their lives.
Economically, the price of life is immeasurable, inconsistent, and morally iniquitous.