The Comparative Value of Human Lives?

Are human lives really equal in value? I am watching Urasawa Naoki’s “Monster” for the nth time and I am JUST REALIZING a central tenet of this masterpiece is the conflict that necessarily arises when one questions whether or not human lives are equal. Although Tenma becomes disgusted with Eva when she says “all lives are not equal” and seeks to disprove this by saving Johann rather than the mayor when both require his surgical skills, he simultaneously revokes his efforts when he sits by Johann’s bedside saying that people like the Director are “better off dead.” This is an interesting conundrum, primarily because it addresses the “Catch-22” type of scenario with which we are all presented when we contemplate these types of “human” issues. It is easy to say “all lives are equal” but how many people actually LIVE by that tenet? I would say very few, if any. Perhaps this speaks to my point about how the Bible is, more or less, a means of achieving “Faith” – a much longer discussion than I can have here and now. It is just an interesting topic that can go on and on and on (and we all know I can go on and on and on!) and one that raises many more questions than the number of answers that could ever be given to those questions (which says so much and asks so much in and of itself!). Can we ever hold an opinion regarding humans (others AND ourselves) without (knowingly or unknowingly) holding the opposite view or behaving in a manner that is inconsistent with that belief? It is a good question to ask of ourselves, especially when we find ourselves in a situation like Tenma finds himself sitting at Johann’s bedside, essentially talking with himself (consciously and “unconsciously”). It is also an interesting thought to bring up whenever we hold ourselves in a morally relative position or regard ourselves as somehow “superior” to others.

At any rate, I just wanted to raise the topic and possibly a discussion if anyone feels so inclined as to discuss this here!

I hope you are all having a happy and healthy day wherever you are in the world!


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