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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 16,121
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America's Captain 

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,737
Subj: Re: How much money is a human life worth?
Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 at 03:32:29 pm EST (Viewed 323 times)
Reply Subj: How much money is a human life worth?
Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 at 02:18:50 pm EST (Viewed 350 times)

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The ancient Celts measured the worth of a human life in terms of cattle. If you killed someone, the family would demand from you the precise number of cattle associated with that person's social rank. The ancient Germanic tribes had a similar concept, the weregild, which was the quantity of gold associated with the dead person's social rank.

Nowadays, I think largely due to Christian and then Enlightenment influence, we tend to think of a human life as priceless - but do we really mean that? If, in order to save one human life, we had to bankrupt every person, every business, and every nation on the planet, would that be the right choice? If not, then where do you draw the line? Would the value of a person's life be variable based on certain factors, and, if so, what would those factors be?

I do not think so. Monetary value is put on human life all of the time. Life insurance, economic activity lost due to varying factors. Hypothetically, if one only wants to consider economics, than consider income over time and get a rough idea of what a given life is worth.

Now, is that really what it is worth in things other than economics? That is up to the individual to figure out really. I would say that a given person is worth more than that to the ones they care about. By quite a bit.

Life always has value, and the value will change depending on who is arguing for what and under what context.

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