When people discuss the sanctity of life, and issues such as abortion and the death penalty, they seem to imply that human life has a fixed and unchanging value, and that everyone’s life has the same high value. But does all human life have the same value? Hardly; in fact, many lives, by the choice of those who live them, have little or no value — to themselves or others.
Many people passionately oppose the killing of a convicted criminal, while passionately defending the right to kill an innocent fetus. Juries award astronomical judgments to the families of those killed by accident, often making the victim far more valuable dead than alive. Suicide is discouraged and sometimes illegal, although the uncertainty of death may be preferable to the certainty of a miserable life.
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