Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Not a zero-sum equation

Dennis Prager's "The case for Judeo-Christian values: Part IV" is based on this premise:

Only if there is a God who created man is man worth anything beyond the chemicals of which he is composed.

And his piece begins with this question:

Would you first save the dog you love or a stranger if both were drowning?

He points out that an increasingly substantial number of Americans would choose their dog, and he gives two main reasons why he believes this to be the case:

-with the denial of the authority of higher values such as biblical teachings, people increasingly make moral decisions on the basis of how they feel.

-secular values provide no basis for elevating human worth over that of an animal.

His article is excellent, because it carries modern thought through to its logical conclusion - an exercise which should be undertaken more often.

He brings up another interesting topic in his conclusion:

[I]f man was not created by God, the human being is mere stellar dust -- and will come to be regarded as such. Moreover, people are merely the products of random chance, no more designed than a sand grain formed by water erosion. That is what the creationism-evolution battle is ultimately about -- human worth. One does not have to agree with creationists or deny all evolutionary evidence to understand that the way evolution is taught, man is rendered a pointless product of random forces -- unworthy of being saved before one's hamster.

Such devaluation of humans must be overcome for ours to become a culture of life. To place great value on human life (of all ages) does not decrease the value of other life such as animals and plants. Instead, I would argue that one who places inestimable value on human life would also highly value other life because of its evident and inherent similarity.

Update: Due to some sloppy blogging, I didn't post the link to the article...I just fixed it. Sorry about that.