The Value of Life

What determines the value of life?

Think carefully before you answer.

Can the value of life increase or decrease?

Is a life’s value determined by situation? By circumstance?

What is life, really? Life is everything we are. It makes us human. It is the core of our existence.

Can you say, “I’m worth more than you”? Maybe you’re a greater ‘benefit to society’ — but you’re no more  alive than they are, are you?

So to say anything but “no” — to judge the worth of another’s very being — would sound ridiculous. But what do your beliefs say? What does your ballot say?

Here’s another question: does every life have a purpose?

Would God really create something useless?

Consider carefully here. Because in taking a life for any reason, you are undermining the innate (for worth is innate, not situational) value of life AND denying them the opportunity to fulfill their purpose.

That’s some pretty serious stuff.

It’s easy to say, from a political standpoint, what would be “best” — for people, for society, for the country.

But when impersonal pen and paper determine what happens to living flesh and blood…I tremble. I can’t make that call.

Like most conservatives, I used to be against abortion but for capital punishment. Obviously there’s a difference between taking the life of an innocent unborn child, and taking the life of a hardened criminal. And from society’s standpoint, yes, there is. But from a truly pro-life standpoint, when you consider the innate value of life — if its worth is not determined by circumstance — is one so much better than the other?

The criminal had a chance, and the baby didn’t, you argue. That’s true.

But regardless of chances, there is still purpose, and you cut it short either way.

What about people like the BTK killer, you ask? They’re sick. They’re obviously insane. Granted.

But is their life any less valuable? God had a reason for giving them life; if He didn’t, they wouldn’t exist. But He purposefully, intentionally breathed into them the same value — the same gift — the same life — He breathed into you.

Demanding the right to take someone else’s life into our own hands, for any reason, is a dangerous thing.

A frightening thing.

Because if we give ourselves the “right”…

One day, when you’re too old to benefit society and the system is even more corrupt than it now is…

Who might give themselves the “right” to take your life?

Someone else will determine that your value has decreased. Someone else will decide that you have no purpose.

You won’t agree.

But you, who voted away countless lives, will be unable to vote for yourself.

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love the post – and the thoughts. But I say fry the criminals nonetheless. Remember, God gives government; and the world is not as bad as it could be except by the restraining hand of God. As Christians, we can stand by and allow God’s given government to cook a few bad people. Makes life easier for us.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts! This is something I’ve been struggling with myself. It may make life “easier” for us, but is it what’s right? I’m getting to the point where I’m not sure I can vote for certain things in good conscience.

  3. I think of capital punishment as more of a consequence that fits the crime, or a loss of rights. If you intentionally deprive someone else of their life, then you lose the right to yours. Capital punishment is not applied for theft or embezzlement in ANY amount. Money does not have innate value, but human life does. You could look at it as affirming the innate value of life — the value of the life the criminal took. Demanding the right to take someone else’s life into our own hands is indeed dangerous and frightening. But putting their life into the “hands” of the government (“established by God” as “an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrong-doer” [Rom.13]) is acceptable.

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