Saturday, January 22, 2011

What is Your Life Worth?

"This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow Germans, that is your money, too."

What is your life worth? Can it be quantified financially? Is one person's life worth more than another person's? Is personhood arbitrary? Does your "quality of life" determine whether or not you should live or die? Does your utility to the state decide your fate?

As we can see from the Nazi propaganda poster above, these questions are not new. History recorded what occurred when the German political system decided what the answers to these questions were.

Abortion, 'selective reduction', embryonic stem cell research, use of aborted babies for scientific research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, human cloning, 'right to die', 'quality of life', and the judicial ruling to dehydrate/starve a living human being to death---these are the answers we, as Americans, have given to the question of what a human life is worth. On this subject, we are closer to the ethic of the Nazis than we seem to realize.


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