What is the value of a human being? | INFJ Forum

What is the value of a human being?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Satya, Nov 26, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I'm not necessarily talking about monetary value, but from a philosophical point of view, how do you measure the value of a person? Is one person more valuable than another person? How much would we give to save someone? What value would you give yourself?
     
  2. sassafras

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    Objectively speaking? We're all equal. Subjectively speaking? Depends who you ask.
     
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  3. sookie

    On Holiday

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    There is a concept in Education called Social Role Valuation. This is something that happens in society. People are devalued which can often result in abuse, neglect, and taking rights away.

    This applies to Learning Disabled, Intellectual Impairment, and race. Personnally, there are people who are considered "devalued" that have more grace and humanity than people who are affluent and not marginalized.

    I also think that when someone comes back from a disability and are able to achieve great things are amazing. Then there are people who have things handed to them. It is easy to be successful when this happens. Thomas Edison had attention deficit disorder his teacher called him "addled." His teacher made fun of him and humilated him. Whose name has gone down in history. Abraham Lincoln was bipolar. Tom Cruise is dyslex. There is a many more people who have accolmplished great things that had disabilities. Why? You may ask. If they triumphed over a disability then, I think, that they are used to hard work and adversity.

    There are things that everyone can or can not do as well as others. It is not a level playing field. This is not to say that skills and compesation strategies can not be developed.

    Who would you trust with your life or money? I think that this is what determines value. Is someone trustworthy?
     
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  4. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    It cannot be measured.
     
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  5. sookie

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    I am going to qualify. Abraham Lincoln I believe was bipolar but I cant confirm. Thomas Edison- I did research on him a while ago. It is suspected that he had ADD I was just reading from an article called Famous People LD AD/ HD

    This is at www.greatschools.net
    Here are some names that are this articles state are confirment with LD or AD/HD

    Michael Phelps- Swimming Gold Medalist
    Charles Schwab- Business Leader
    Danny Glover
    Andrew Dornenberg
    Tommy Hilfiger
    Terry Bradshaw- NFL Quarterback
    Bruce Jenner
    Richard Branson (CEO Virgin Airways)
    David Neeleman (CEO Jet Blue Airways)

    There are more names cited in this article.
     
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  6. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    Physically speaking, I don't think we're worth that much. Even insects contribute more than humans in the ecosystem. If trees were to die, as a chain reaction we would too. However, I don't know what kind of value your talking about, it can be in basis of socioeconomic status, racially speaking, spiritually speaking and so on.
     
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  7. midnightmelody

    midnightmelody nagging for truth

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    Equal in the sense that we cannot create ourselves. We needed someone else to create us.

    The greatness is determined by what we create thereafter. However, with an infinite number of variables and factors acting upon an act of goodness, or "valuable" human creation, it is impossible to give the proper amount of credit to the proper person.

    I wouldn't waste my time trying (personally).

    Interesting thread topic, though, Satya (alhough not as amusing as drunk satya)
     
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    #7 midnightmelody, Nov 26, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  8. Gaze

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    how do you measure the value of a person?
    - Each person is valuable, whatever they do. No doubt. But i value someone's spirit, generosity, ability to give of themselves in ways that benefit others and not just themselves. But i question this measure, because value is quite often relative. It has the same principle "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." What one person considers of little value, someone else considers a precious stone. So, it really depends on whose eyes you're looking through.

    Is one person more valuable than another person?
    - No. No two people are alike. We each have our own gifts, talents, quirks, etc.
    We offer different things to the world. No one can replace us. We are unique.

    How much would we give to save someone?
    - i would love to say i would sacrifice myself or my life but that wouldn't be true. It would probably depend on the person or the situation (although it shouldn't).
     
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    #8 Gaze, Nov 26, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009
  9. sookie

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    This is called normalization. Its is why people are systematically demonized and made scapegoats.

    Nazi Germany did it to Jewish people. White people have done it to Black Americans when they were enslaved. Straight people often do it to homosexuals. we perceive people as less than. I assure you this is real. We did it to people who had mental illness when they were housed in inhumane conditions and abused. We did it to people who were Intellectually Impaired who were also systematically abused in inhumane conditions.

    This is mans inhumanity to man. When people think that they are better than others.

    Man is capable of great good as well.
     
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  10. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I tend to agree. Each person has a dignity, value, and imprint of the Divine that is, from our perspective, infinite. Now this dignity may be wounded or effaced or covered over, but it is still there and so others are worthy of great respect. In some traditions (which I personally value) that value is actually extended to the rocks, trees, animals, and all that we see. It is a personal mindset that we must also extend to ourselves, and out of it a great deal of good can come.
     
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  11. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    This reminds me of something my statistics professor brought up (He was talking about military drafts and enlistment)...

    I forget which war it was. There was a British man who had invented or built something.. He made some major contribution to the world, and then he went and enlisted in the army. He was killed. Parliament decided after that to not accept scholars or academics into the army.

    I forget the name of the man.. and can't find anything about it. I could be butchering history, so I hope someone knows what I'm talking about..
     
  12. OP
    Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I'm not so sure. We are a keystone species. It would be pretty devastating to the ecosystem if we suddenly all died off. I imagine for the first hundred years or so there would be a radical reduction in the amount of biodiversity on the planet.

    On the other hand, there will be a radical reduction of the biodiversity of the planet as a result of our continued existence.
     
  13. Roger

    Roger ...

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    I think, every person has equal important on this earth. We should try to value person on the base of their thinking and acts. Because this is only one way to know others. What they are thinking and what are their deeds.
     
  14. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    I agree with the first part of this, but disagree with the second part, because I think someone has an intrinsic value regardless of their acts and thoughts. Let me explain why (I'm pulling this from a blog I wrote a while back). My mother had Paranoid Schizophrenia, and her thoughts and actions were often because of her illness, and not because that's how she wanted to be. Her non-illness personality was extremely intelligent, humorous, and very caring.

    My birth-mother's battle with breast cancer started off horrendously. Although she passed over a year ago from heart disease, she had remained cancer free for 12 years. My mother had lived in an adult foster home for about 10 years before I got the call at 19 telling me of her diagnosis of breast cancer. I met with her, and took her to the Medicaid recommended doctor. This was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life.

    The doctor told me that he recommended that my mother have a complete mastectomy.

    I asked him, "Why? If the lump is only in one breast, and it hasn't spread to her lymph nodes, why should she have to have a mastectomy?"

    This is when some of the most cold words I've ever heard from anyone came out of his mouth.

    "Let me put it to you frankly. Your mother has no value. She will probably live in that adult foster home for the rest of her life. She is unlikely to ever get a productive job in society, and she is past the age to bear children. She is lucky to get any care at all."

    LUCKY TO GET ANY CARE? NO VALUE? My mother was one of the sweetest, kindest people you would have ever met. It was not her fault to get sick enough to live in a home, nor was it her fault that she developed breast cancer.

    Because my mother had no material worth, she was 'lucky to get any care.'

    My mother, whom I never saw cry, even with all the bad things she'd been through, cried at this. She told me that she didn't feel like she could live if she couldn't have her breasts. She told me that her breasts meant to her that she had been a woman, and a mother.

    And they sure as hell mattered to her!

    I took her to get a second opinion at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The doctor, (I wish I remembered her last name), Dr. Susan, was wonderful to my mother, and always treated her with respect and dignity.

    My mother ended up only needing a lumpectomy and radiation--not a complete mastectomy. I was there for my mother's surgery, and through her radiation treatments. I made sure she got her medicine through her post-cancer life. My mother's cancer never returned.

    If I hadn't made sure she had gotten a second opinion, my mom's life would have been radically different. A doctor who didn't care about a woman's self-worth, and a doctor that put such a value on another human life, probably would not have cared about other things involved in her treatment.
     
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    #14 Moxie, Nov 27, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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  15. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Thank you moxie, I learn something new, today. This is the lesson of the day for me.
     
  16. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    Thank you Federer. It amazes me that if I were in the same shoes, the doctor would've considered me as a human being of value, while my mother was not considered so. It's a crazy world we live in.
     
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  17. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    I'm shocked and appalled by the first doctor's treatment of your mum. How awful! I'm so glad you were able, through your love and determination, to help bring about such a positive outcome. Thank goodness for that. Bless you, your mum, and Dr. Susan.
     
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  18. Moxie

    Moxie Absent-Minded Professor

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    Thank you Helpful Elf. :) This is obviously a sensitive issue to me. I wasn't going to post on this one because it is such a sensitive topic to me.

    I believe in an intrinsic worth - in humans, and animals, and in nature too. To me, everything has value. Even the worst person in the world, has an intrinsic value, even if not a moral value (does that make sense?)

    My mother looked like a homeless person. She had no teeth, and dressed funny. She did really weird things, and argued with things we couldn't see. But she had value... I'm certain of that. Her value was less on the outside than on the inside. She was just incredibly loving.
     
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  19. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    I agree with you Moxie. I think the doctor was very wrong .. in the head. Sadly, this is the quite natural result of the Social Darwinist/self interest viewpoint. Expect to see more and more of this as time goes on.

    :( :hug:
     
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  20. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Nothing and everything, depending on who you ask. For the vast majority of the population, a single person has zero worth, because they are just not that important/don't have enough impact on their lives. For a select few, a single person would be very valuable, because they give those few people around them something other people don't. Their contribution is important. Therefore their absence will be missed.
    I don't believe people have intrinsic value though. It's a nice and pretty idea, stemming from the fact that we ourselves want to seem valuable and worthwhile. But in reality, all we are are flesh and blood, destined to rot in the ground one day. Our contributions are transitory and our impact eventually nil.
     
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