The Value Of Life- Things to Know About
Among the several values that constitute the hierarchy of rights, the right to life comes first. Life is the most fundamental and universal principle of man. Its prominent position in the hierarchy tells its value. The issue as to what makes life so valuable has been a contentious one. One will wonder the kind of value that life has so much that even animals express it by their fear. One will still wonder what quality life has for which everybody must yearn instead of otherwise.
What is the point of being alive? In most societies if not all, what is esteemed to be highly valuable is life. Again, most cultural practices abhor human sacrifice because of the importance or the value attached to life. We therefore deduce from the above instances that life has great value.
Life Definition In Some Angle
Word Web Dictionary defines life as “the period between birth and the present time, a characteristic state or mode of living”. That which is crucial to the subject matter is defined by the Britannica Encyclopedia (2014) as “the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead boy”. Therefore the question will still be asked, “Why should one wish for that body vital and functional instead of just being a dead body?” Value is said to be a quality that makes a thing desirable, Value, however can be very subjective. Thus, life may either be esteemed. Our task then is to identify what is intrinsically good in life for which reason people must necessarily desire it.
We infer from that people like doctors and patients may be inclined toward valuing life in degrees. That notwithstanding it is on account of a proper description of life’s value that we get to know why lives should be saved and whether or not it is legitimate to choose between lives.
Some Theological Point About Value Of Life
From a more theological point of view, we say the value of human life originates from “the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end” says Pope John Paul II (Evangelize Vitae, 41). God who alone is the most esteemed Being and who alone is the lord of life and from whom life begins and ends, explains life’s value. Life is an expression of God’s creative power and what gives humanity a share in the divine work of God. Hence it should be so valued that no one can, in any circumstance, claim for himself the right to so directly or indirectly, a human life.
Human life valuable “simply by virtue of species membership” (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1998, 4787). That is we belong to the same family. Life is not created in a vacuum but created within society and that is what gives it value. The question is asked, whether one’s life will really have value if it were the only life in the world? Hence that which gives life its value is that it is naturally related to other lives.
Value Of Life As Irreplaceable Character- It Can Never Replace
The value of life is also seen in its irreplaceable character. Life can never be regained. There is only one life chance. (Naturally we are inclined to place value on things which are not renewable or replaceable). Once a particular life comes to an end, nothing can physically be done to bring back that life. At best, even if possible, genetic engineering can only create copies of life and not an original life.
Most theories combine autonomy, self-consciousness and intelligence or reasoning as the relevant features that give human life value especially as distinguished from an animal or thing. “Creatures with such capacities have often been termed ‘persons'” (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1998:4787). Here there seem to be problem with the inherent conclusion of such account of life’s value which seems to assert that creatures like babies are valuable not by virtue of any intrinsic properties they possess, but only insofar as they are valued by relations; their parent perhaps.
On the contrary we may assert that, these creatures too possess innately these faculties which give value to life only that it is not or may not be manifested due to biological limitations. In essence therefore, ‘that it is not manifested’ should not be mistaken to mean ‘it is absent’. This in effect will mean that their lives have value despite their condition. Therefore all persons including infants irrespective of the biological make-up that limits the expression of these faculties.
The Value Of Life Explained By Ronald, Both Natural And Man’s Formation
The value of life, therefore, is seen in what goes into forming life for which comes to waste. Ronald, an American professor in law, makes clearer this view by holding that the value of life must be understood in terms of the waste of investment in life represented. He distinguishes two types of investments. Natural investment which refers to nature’s input in terms of time, trouble and natural resources that go into creating life. For him, this investment increases in a linear way when life continues. The other is human investment which is further divided into self-creation (conscious or unconscious) and those of other people who spend time, efforts and resources in creating and sustaining life.
Therefore that which gives life value is the investment that both nature and man makes in its formation. A critical look at this view reveals the temptation to prioritize the value of life, such that the more the investment both nature and man makes in life the more valuable it becomes. However appealing this conception may sound, the common ground is that once life is formed and continue to make investment which gives life its value such that the termination of such a life and its inherent value should not be arbitrary.
From the foregoing we come to the conclusion that human life objectively has value and it must be universally accepted and respected. The fact that human life originate from God and it is irreplaceable, and that it has value in relation to other lives render non justifiable the arbitrary termination of life by means. Using autonomy, and the distinction between potential and actual human as grounds for the unnatural termination of life, undermine life’s value and is an affront to the wisdom of the natural order of creation. Humanity therefore has the responsibility to secure life’s value.