Is human life sacred?
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21-04-2013, 08:37 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Human life is not sacred, it's useful in prolonging other species lives, retaining other lives through medical research and discovering the origins of everything before its age. As far as I'm concerned it's useful, but not sacred .

Leviticus does not justify stupidity, but it is more than enough to define corruption of the human mind.

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22-04-2013, 12:39 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here." - Richard Dawkins. Sums it up enough for me.

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." - Abraham Lincoln
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28-04-2013, 04:04 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2013 04:07 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Is human life sacred?
(19-04-2013 12:33 AM)fat cat Wrote:  
(16-04-2013 04:11 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Human life is sacred, thanks to the consciousness and potential it contains.
Thanks to the consciousness and potential it contains, we can all agree human life contains consciousness and potential, but to characterize those traits and subsequently human life as "sacred" is subjective/relative opinion.

You're right, and I'm right too. There are many subjective/relative opinions. Culture is made of them. Culture evolves. Cultural values are very relative and evolving.

There is nothing wrong with their subjectivity, it's a part of life. Today we live in a crisis of values, we throw away the archives of history and think the objective natural science is the only solid currency. Again, this is a kind of delusion. The objective science is an instrument with no obvious use. We have to make a subjective judgement of values to use science at all. In extreme case without any subjective opinions, all we have is just a pool of data and nothing to do with it.

In worse and usual case, our subjective values and opinions, our consciousness is so shitty, that we are unable to use science ethically and constructively. We make merchandise and weaponry. What consciousness do we need, to eradicate plagues or create a global instrument that will allow everyone to communicate, share art and bridge cultural differences? A damn good one. And that is, in my subjective judgement of values, something sacred. If I may be like Prometheus bringing fire, or Moses bringing the stone tablets, or Dan Pink bringing the science of human motivation into the business practice, there is the mysterious process of progress of culture.

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28-04-2013, 11:22 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Great thread I've enjoyed reading it very much. I think all life is cool. Sacred? Obviously not. Here's a Pooh cartoon.

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28-04-2013, 03:22 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
I gotta say, I find it... I don't know what... disturbing?... that people don't consider their own existence sacred. That seems bankrupt to me.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-05-2013, 07:08 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
(28-04-2013 04:04 AM)Luminon Wrote:  There are many subjective/relative opinions. Culture is made of them. Culture evolves. Cultural values are very relative and evolving.

Yes, I know. I only made my comment due to my interpretation of how you expressed your opinion, not because of my understanding of subjectivity and objectivity.

There's an explicit difference between saying "Human life is sacred" and "I consider human life sacred" or even just "human life is sacred to me", though somebody could mean the same thing by all these. While you had previously stated, "This potential is real and valuable and to me it is sacred" (which I interpreted as a clear indication you understood the subjectivity of sacredness), when I read, "Human life is sacred, thanks to the consciousness and potential it contains", I wondered if you hadn't actually considered sacredness a subjective characteristic, because the second statement, unlike the first, explicitly attributed the sacredness to something other than yourself.

Given your response, it's now obvious to me that you considered sacredness a subjective characteristic. Even so, because my observations have led me to believe some people see no difference between the above statements, I would still prefer we humans stop saying things are any subjective characteristic without somehow explicitly attributing that characteristic to our subjective perception.

But I think my comment also came from a lack of appreciation for subjective labeling in certain conversations. If sacredness is subjective, then human life both is and is not sacred, so the question and corresponding claims for/against human life's sacredness are moot on their own, though they may be meaningful to some individuals who don't yet perceive them that way.

(28-04-2013 04:04 AM)Luminon Wrote:  There is nothing wrong with their subjectivity, it's a part of life.

I was not trying to say there is anything "wrong" with subjectivity. I apologize if you took my comment that way.

(28-04-2013 04:04 AM)Luminon Wrote:  Today we live in a crisis of values, we throw away the archives of history and think the objective natural science is the only solid currency. Again, this is a kind of delusion. The objective science is an instrument with no obvious use. We have to make a subjective judgement of values to use science at all. In extreme case without any subjective opinions, all we have is just a pool of data and nothing to do with it.

What is a "crisis of values"? What exactly does "throwing away" the archives of history consist of? What exactly is a "solid currency"? Are you certain people are under the delusions you think they are, or are you instead perhaps presuming much about their understanding of objective science?

I ask all those questions, because my view is that science, which tells us what things "are", does not provide us with objective motivation/inspiration/impetus/purpose/whatever, so what you wrote here is entirely irrelevant to my understanding of existence.

(28-04-2013 04:04 AM)Luminon Wrote:  What consciousness do we need, to eradicate plagues or create a global instrument that will allow everyone to communicate, share art and bridge cultural differences? A damn good one. And that is, in my subjective judgement of values, something sacred.

I share your desire that humanity do these things, but that desire is partially why I wouldn't label anything "good" or "sacred". Such subjective terms provide no specifics as to what differentiates between them and "bad" or "not sacred" consciousnesses, so these terms without additional specification are completely ineffective in working toward a consciousness that eradicates plagues and creates global connectivity. Many people have different ideas about how to accomplish such goals, so different people have different ideas about what is a "good/bad" consciousness, and often times such differences are the cultural differences that aren't bridged because people get distracted from their shared passion for their shared objectives by the conflicting categorical labels they use to describe the same things.

Until humanity stops thinking and feeling divisively, we will not solve broad problems nor prevent creating new ones. Until humanity realizes how its language can perpetuate divisive thinking and feeling, humanity will not stop thinking and feeling divisively. Those of us who understand how language can do that don't help all humanity get on the same page by continuing to use subjective labels. I therefore propose that rather than talk about "good" or "sacred" anything, we might be generally much more effective by leaving the conversation open to such conclusions while discussing our objectives and methods. That is, we might be generally much more effective by keeping our language objective/intersubjective.

(28-04-2013 03:22 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I gotta say, I find it... I don't know what... disturbing?... that people don't consider their own existence sacred. That seems bankrupt to me.

I would prefer that we humans stop using the term "bankrupt" to describe anything other than the inability to pay monetary debts. Monetary bankruptcy is a function of the economy humans created and we perpetuate, and in a similar fashion bankruptcy such as you mention is a function of personal perception. Unlike the entity I was many years ago, I don't consider my existence sacred in any way, but I observe and feel nothing which compels me to consider myself bankrupt.

I therefore wonder that your perception of such a state in others as "bankrupt" comes from your own preconceptions and corresponding feelings about experiencing such a state, and thus wonder that you aren't disturbed by nothing more than such imaginations rather than people actually not considering their own existence sacred. But that's just how your situation seems to me, based only on your two statements, and I'd rather we foster understanding between us, so may I ask why you find it disturbing that people don't consider their own existence sacred?
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02-05-2013, 09:37 AM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Hey, fat.

That was a pretty awesome gobbledegook response Cool

You don't like the word bankrupt for whatever reason. Fine. But you know exactly what I meant by it. If you didn't, you wouldn't have had an objection.

You may replace it with whatever term you desire, so long as the meaning is understood.

You WOULDN'T observe or feel bankrupt. Because you don't recognise the existence of a problem. An alcoholic that does not recognise that they are an alcoholic does not consider themselves an alcoholic and, in fact, is often offended by the accusation.

I am a cultural relativist. If you honestly see no problem, I accept and even understand that. But that does not change the fact that I feel it is bankrupt. Not one jot. I am speaking for myself, not on behalf of some objective truth.

For me, it seems that there is a devaluation of human life involved, beginning with the devaluation of one's own self.





That doesn't sound healthy to me on a psychological level. It's not healthy in the sense that a person that devalues their own existence will not take proper care of themselves (the men in Fight Club were on a mission of self-destruction) and not healthy in the sense that a person that devalues their own life and the life of others won't treat other people as well as they could/should. That is to say, they won't be fully capable of empathy because empathy is about recognising the same value in others that you recognise in yourself.

I mean, I can totally get down with the idea that there's billions of humans and that life may very well be ubiquitous in the universe meaning there's an incalculable number of organisms in the universe and so forth. But that being said, the ubiquity of life, to me, does not devalue my life, nor does it devalue the lives of others. I can't be blazay about my life. It seems that there is an inherent "specialness" to life in general and my life in particular. I cherish my life. For me, I have a sacred relationship with my own existence and that impels me to treat myself and others with a degree of reverence. There's such richness in that IMO. I've certainly had episodes in my life where I didn't give a fuck about myself and the result, always, was a physical, mental and spiritual breakdown.

Again, I'm not a Theist and I'm not arguing that God made man and so we're special. I'm talking purely from the point of view of someone who exists and who sees the power of sacred relationships and the effect of the absence of the sacred. To have seems richer to me than to deny.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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02-05-2013, 11:40 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?

"Sacred" is a human concept. It doesn't exist anywhere else in nature. Much like Good and Evil. This doesn't make it any less important, especially to us, because we are human.

"Sacred" is as we hold it.
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02-05-2013, 06:27 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
I suspect that life is abundant across the universe. But it is not sacred! It is just life. Even the universe we live in is a flicker in the vastness of time. We and all of our kind are basically meaningless. So, why are we moral? Because our existance would be even shorter if we weren't. If we didn't support the small lives that we live, with "morality",and we lived "Each man for himself", the world would end very quickly! You could almost say "biblically". Because the bible teaches us to kill and oppress those who don't agree with us. Eveloution developes the need to survive as long as possible. Religion creates the need to die as soon as possible! The sooner you die, the sooner you reap gods rewards. You don't need god to create the universe. But you do need the universe to create god!
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02-05-2013, 10:52 PM
RE: Is human life sacred?
Just gonna try and jump in here since I'm new and gotta start somewhere...

Ameron, spot on. Nothing is ..sacred.., important, or consequential about an individual human life. The life we have so fortunately obtained is just that- fortune, luck of the draw, and the fact that we are even here to witness the universe around us is much more than most deserve. That is what makes it so great, really. We know there is no god or being watching us, we know there is nothing special about our lives, but yet we still respect those alive around us. That is proof of the evolution of our species. We have subconscious morals because we developed as a social species, and societal acceptance is an innate requirement to our well-being. If we had evolved differently, premature death might be a much more expected and likely thing than it is.

There is nothing special about us other than the fact that we can actively comprehend our own existence. We are egotistical creatures that want nothing more than to have a life that means something...nothing sacred about that.
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