Guest post by Sami Reed Cleaver – Click to connect
Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.
We worry about the number of reacts on Facebook. The number of followers on Instagram. Buying a house, getting a car, finding love, passing exams – we worry about something ALL THE TIME.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “does any of this really matter in the long run?”
If we considered every grain of sand on all the beaches and deserts on Earth to be the universe, then our sun wouldn’t even qualify to be a single grain of sand; in short, we can’t even comprehend the size of our tiny little planet. The mere existence of the Earth is just an inconsequential blip in the universal timeline. Our lives just last for the smallest fraction of a second in comparison.
If our lives are so exceptionally tiny, then who cares about these everyday trivial problems? Why should we do anything really if we are indeed so very insignificant? When considering the significance of an emotion, an action, even the entire Milky Way from the view of the Universe, on first thought can be that everything feels… well, pointless.
There is an essential component still missing from the above pessimistic train of thought – value. The significance of literally anything depends upon the amount of value we put upon it. A diamond ring sitting in the display of a jewelry shop may be tiny in size, but does that in any way decrease the value of the diamond to us?
Sure, a billion years from now the Earth may be destroyed, we’ll all be dead and an alien species will be living on what’s left of the planet. There may be no one left to remember humans. However, this in no way decreases the value of the present. For example, the brilliance of Isaac Newton is still revered to by humans today. Of course, there may come a time when people no longer remember his name, but this doesn’t change the fact that Newton’s life affected the lives of billions of others.
A life is significant, no matter from which angle you look at it. So, here’s another dilemma for you: if sacrificing a single life could save the lives of a million others, does this justify the sacrifice? Would you lay down your own happiness for the happiness of the nation or the world?
The easy answer here would be of course we would.
One life is a small loss compared to millions.
As simple as it may seem, when put on the spot rarely do people think like this. For example, a mother would not be willing to sacrifice her child if the baby’s death could save all of humanity. If you were faced with a choice between saving your mother and saving three strangers, you would automatically choose your beloved mother, right?
The bottom line is that the value we put on one life will always change from person to person. There is no fixed value. For some, a death for the sake of humanity may seem trivial; others would gladly let humanity die if it meant that their one special person could live.
“I love mankind, he said, “but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.” The Brothers Karamazov
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