The value of human life

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Today, Hypothica-style topic submission!

Most people agree that Human Life has a value, and should be preserved and protected. Human life seems to have some kind of value, according to pretty much everyone, but people disagree very much about the nature, origin and importance of this value. Lots of people, for example, give a far higher value to their own life as opposed to other people’s lives, and lots of people barely even seem to care about the lives of strangers. Some people think that all life has value, as opposed to only humans, but I feel like this makes no sense, since those same people are usually not doing any particular effort to protect insects, bacteria, grass, etc. Since we can’t even do anything remotely close to protecting all bacteria, we ignore it. If all life truly had unmeasurable value, this would make us all monsters. If it’s just animals, then how can we explain how horrified people get at the idea of killing and eating certain species (dogs, cats, horses), while eating cow and chicken all the time? If it truly is only humans, then where did this value come from? As mentionned in another topic, would other intelligent life be as valuable? are people in a coma as valuable as strong and healthy young people?

Aside from religion, which usually agrees on value for human life, at least if you’re a believer like them, how can we explain this value without having a serious superiority complex?

My own answer is the featured comment