Subjectivity of the Concept of Value of Human Life

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As much as we all value life, it is not the right thing to put a monetary value on human life. Life is something we often take for granted while everything is going well. We often forget to be appreciative of what we have and take the little things for granted, that not everyone is fortunate enough to have. However, when things don’t go the way we want them in our lives some start to think about the value of our life. People may believe age, gender or economic status is determines the value of someone’s life. That is far from true. Regardless of how bad the situation, you find yourself in, you should not take your life under any circumstance. Notwithstanding the situation, you find yourself in you can discover happiness and beauty in your life without a monetary value. All lives are equivalent regardless of an inheart difference.

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There are many times in someone’s life when they feel down, sad, or want to give up. People experience a lot throughout their lifetime. These experiences have their own ups and downs that come with them. Regardless of how bad a situation you find yourself in, I would never agree that taking your life would be the right decision or a good option. Reading through Hamlet’s Soliloquy he talks about how bad his life is and how he does not want to continue this life any longer with the pain he is feeling. Hamlet specifically explains, “to be, or not to be.” When he says this statement he contemplates whether he would be better off taking his life. Talking about his life would stop the suffering and pain that he is going through. Maybe so, but it would also stop him from feeling all the beautiful things. One of Hamlet’s major holdbacks is not knowing what’s on the other side, which he describes as the undiscovered country from where no traveler returns. Hamlet went through a lot like his dad got killed by his uncle and then married his mother and took over his legacy as king. That’s not too easy to deal with. Hamlet wants to tell people what his uncle has done, but if he does he will be locked up for life. The best option he thought at the time was to kill himself. At that particular moment, he thought life was not worth living anymore but, as we know all bad things come to pass. If he just waited a little longer and had a positive attitude his negative feeling would have gone away as his current situation changes for the better.

When a hiccup pops up in some people’s lives they automatically become down on themselves. Despite the circumstances, you find yourself in you can find joy and beauty in your life. An author, Chris Jones, wrote an article about the life of a man named Roger Ebert. Roger Ebert was an American film critic, screenwriter, and author. He was most well known for being a film critic. In 2002 Ebert was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer which was removed later that year. Cancer came back later on in 2006 and he had to get surgery that would remove cancer from his jaw. Just a week later he had a life-changing dilemma where his carotid artery burst. That caused him to not be able to eat, drink, or talk and he was forced to use a feeding tube. Despite all of these difficult obstacles that Ebert had to deal with, he remained very positive. He continued his job and had a very positive disposition about it. He continued to live his life as it had never happened. Instead of talking he would use his computer to talk for him and found ways around all of his difficulties. This shows that anyone can be positive and can value their life no matter how hard life gets. We should remain strong and positive.

Based on one’s economic status, political status, age, or gender they could have a better or worse value of life. Kenneth Feinberg was an American attorney. He specialized in coming up with resolutions to usual disputes. Feinberg was an established Special Master of the U.S. government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and he also served as the Special Master for the TARP Executive Compensation. This meant that he was in charge of deciding how much people were worth in monetary value. Kenneth Feinberg wrote an article called, “What Is The Value Of A Human Life?” in which he explains how he paid back the families of people that have died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The law had required him to calculate the value on each of the people that had died in the World Trade Center to compensate their families. He had been taught by his job that no two lives were worth the same financially. But then he slowly started to change his beliefs in the value of all life. One person said, “Mr. Feinberg, my husband was a fireman and died a hero at the World Trade Center. Why are you giving me less money than the banker who represented Enron? Why are you demeaning the memory of my husband?” That comment, made him think about his value of life philosophy. He totally rethought what the value of life is and he learned that the public compensation should not be based on things financially, which only hurt the survivors. He believes all lives should be treated equally regardless of any status. We should all value life as a life and not as someone having a high financial or social status or any variable at all. It is simple. Every life is equal to any other life.

Some may think that the value of life is a subjective notion. That could not be further from the truth. Even as individuals, some may think their life may be less or more valuable than others’ lives and some may think their own life is not valuable at all and isn’t even worth living. But the notion of life being valued on a socio-economic scale or any other scale is an ill-conceived idea. A person with one heart and one soul ought to have equal value as any other person be it economical. It is immoral and unethical to think otherwise. “All men are created equally” is part of the US Constitution and is found in many faiths. This notion has been around for generations and one could argue from nearly the beginning of time. When applied to society it has served humanity well. Keeping the value of life in mind, one should strive hard to maintain their own life in the face of severe adversity and never consider ending their own life. Taking your own life is a strike against humanity. In summary, the value of life should have equivalent for all and should be valued with the highest regard for one’s self and all.      

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