Is human life sacred?
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09-03-2012, 06:30 AM
Is human life sacred?
If there is no God how can human life, or any other life, be considered sacred?

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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09-03-2012, 07:45 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
why you ask hard questions? sigh... ok I'l give it a try

First of all, I have a problem with the word "sacred" so I'll just read it as "important" or "relevant" as that has more meaning. Why is life important? well, it isn't, at least not by itself, I don't see a reason why anyone would be entitled to live only because that person is alive.

But, there's this thing about a living organism and it's that it can perform a myriad of different functions that no other system can, and this functions are relevant to other organisms in a very complex way, for example, plants are very important for every other organism because they can capture solar energy and transform it into chemical energy which is very useful for others to survive.

So in this intricate systemic correlations that living organisms have resides the importance of all of them to sustain each other. In the case of humans we have this abstract thinking and understanding going on in our heads, that is very useful for us and for other organisms as well.

But what I said refers to the importance of species, not single organisms, but because species are composed of the collection of every organism in a, yet again, complex net of relations, it's impossible to calculate the actual relevance an individual provides to the entire ecosystem, hence, the importance of the species must be distributed to all organisms of that species because of the potential benefit they have for the whole thing.

But why is it that all of the above is important for the universe? well, it isn't, but as we (every living thing) have evolved and exist we are important to ourselves in an auto-referential way. And as humans can think about this, we have defined that our existence is important or relevant to ourselves, because if we didn't exist the mere concepts of importance or relevance wouldn't exist.

So, in conclusion, we are important because we prefer to exist rather than not, and our individual existence is important because we understand that every individual is necessary (and potentially beneficial) to the existence of all.

or something like that :/

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09-03-2012, 08:11 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
The notion on how human life is sacred may be derived from a common perception that our lives must have a meaning.

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We think of ourselves as the most important species on the planet, ruler of the natural world. The value of human life is no different from that of an E. Coli bacteria. Each species is unique on its own, bacteria can reproduce via binary fission, but we cannot. Cheetahs run at top speeds, dogs and bats have varied hearing frequency ranges, birds can fly... there are so many actions or abilities that other animals have, but we do not. We have something too which differentiates us from other species - we possess cognitive thought.

However, that is NO excuse to go on a genocidal rampage, using the perception that we are no different from puny bacteria.

Welcome to science. You're gonna like it here - Phil Plait

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child? - DLJ
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09-03-2012, 08:42 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
My answer is NO. But as a community of people we've come to recognize suffering as intolerable (real suffering, not being unable to buy beer this weekend) and have decided that it's in the best interest of the human race if we oppose anyone that would senselessly take a life.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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09-03-2012, 09:09 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Nothing is sacred.
Human life has been talked up by humans - who, at the very same time, were busy killing, maiming, racking, starving, burning, hanging, beheading, crucifying, dispersing, enslaving, disemboweling, raping, branding, impaling, degrading, manipulating, robbing, blinding, shackling, electrocuting, imprisoning, beating, spearing, trampling, and in many, many other inventive ways using and abusing the very same humans who are supposedly sacred - and they're still doing both.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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09-03-2012, 09:26 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
human life isnt sacred AT ALL. the only reason we think we are special is we are surrounded by a bunch of other people who think it. if you sold everything you owned, and went live in the woods where there were no other humans, how would you feel. you would feel very naked and not special at all. we only think we are special because we have a nice car and house and some money in the bank. as i said in another thread, if you take away all human inventions, we would be a bunch of smelly hairy animals. if you are john kennedy who was murdered or you kill yourself at 21, it really doesnt matter. we all end up in the same place. the only way we would be special is if we did go to heaven.
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09-03-2012, 09:40 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Nothing is sacred, unless you are religious.

Does human life have value? Definitely. It has value to their relatives and friends etc., and to the person him/herself.

So you respect that. Everything else is irrelevant IMO.

The only life you have a say over is your own.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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09-03-2012, 06:17 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Depends on what definition of sacred you use... most have chosen the main religious connotations it carries but the 5th, yes 5th one I see in my dictionary is it means, too be treated with reverence.

So I would say yes it is, and all life should be respected. I say it ought to be because it's rare and remarkable in the expansive universe.

Now do I say we ought to treat all life on earth from the simple bacteria to the chicken with the same respect... no but I have a human bias, so off with their heads! guilty as charged.
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09-03-2012, 09:14 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
(09-03-2012 06:30 AM)Thomas Wrote:  If there is no God how can human life, or any other life, be considered sacred?

Its not.
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10-03-2012, 05:12 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
(09-03-2012 06:30 AM)Thomas Wrote:  If there is no God how can human life, or any other life, be considered sacred?

From a philosophical point of view I don't think life is sacred at all, least of all 'human life' I could even argue that death would be more sacred than life at this point because death is the end of all suffering while life is the beginning of all suffering, you must live in order to suffer.

But even I know that's not true, death and life are both just natural phenomenons, which given an eternity we will likely experience these phenomenons more than once.
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