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10/27/2017 6:54 pm  #1


Is human life intrinsically valuable?

I'm looking for a proper philosophical defense of the proposition that human life is intrinsically valuable. I find that this undergirds a lot of pro-life and anti-euthanasia viewpoints but very few people really philosophically address this proposition in detail. It's not that I doubt, it's that I'm eager to see what minds that are more intellectually nuanced than my own can come up with.

 

10/30/2017 8:17 pm  #2


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

RomanJoe wrote:

I'm looking for a proper philosophical defense of the proposition that human life is intrinsically valuable. I find that this undergirds a lot of pro-life and anti-euthanasia viewpoints but very few people really philosophically address this proposition in detail. It's not that I doubt, it's that I'm eager to see what minds that are more intellectually nuanced than my own can come up with.

I think you would really have to flesh out the resemblance relation man bears to God, who is goodness itself. By bearing this real objective similarity, by containing many of God's pure perfections, we are unlike objects that are mere means. Besides this, it is perhaps primitive. You ought to preserve those of your kind in order to fufill your nature as a social animal. Abortion does not fulfill this end because it takes another human being out of existence without a sufficent reason (seeing as the individual is innocent). Note I am assuming the pro life case is compelling in that the fetus is a human, which I think is a secondary point that needs to be debated on it's own terms. Certainly science will have a lot to say on this. Philosohically, it appears that the fetus has objective ends that are not befitting of something that isn't a human, and appears to function as a unifed whole. I cannot see what other class the fetus could fit into. 
 

Last edited by Camoden (11/06/2017 2:20 pm)

 

10/30/2017 8:24 pm  #3


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

Anyways, Oderberg's book on applied ethics will probably be helpful here. The first book of the series was all right imo, even if very light in certain areas. 

 

12/24/2017 8:39 pm  #4


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

Intrinsically valuable is a question that cannot be validated to the objective sensitivity on a universal scale. Whatever argument is put forth defending it can and will be countered and no known measure can refute one or the other. In other words, any stance taken is opinion. A single answer is a utopian request.

 

12/25/2017 3:52 pm  #5


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

lacktone wrote:

Intrinsically valuable is a question that cannot be validated to the objective sensitivity on a universal scale. Whatever argument is put forth defending it can and will be countered and no known measure can refute one or the other. In other words, any stance taken is opinion. A single answer is a utopian request.

This also means that what you're saying is equally opinion. We can discard the critic using the same argument.

Besides, we don't need objective measurement here to validate this. Values aren't measured.

 

12/26/2017 4:22 am  #6


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

I think it pays to consider the context here. If it is ethical, as it seems to be, I think it's fairly obvious that human life is "valuable" for human action. After all, every pursuit presupposes some 'life", in a way, all we seek are further determinations of "life". If it isn't worth having and intrinsically so, how can anything at all be worth the human pursuit, intrinsically or extrinsically?

 

Last edited by GeorgiusThomas (12/26/2017 4:26 am)

 

12/30/2017 11:08 am  #7


Re: Is human life intrinsically valuable?

RomanJoe wrote:

I'm looking for a proper philosophical defense of the proposition that human life is intrinsically valuable. I find that this undergirds a lot of pro-life and anti-euthanasia viewpoints...

It also undergirds anti-capital punishment viewpoints. This might be undesirable for Feserian Catholics. 

 

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