The relative value of human life

A Chicago pastor and his wife received a $100 million settlement this week because six of their nine children were killed when their minivan struck a piece of metal on an expressway and burst into flames. It’s one of the highest wrongful-death awards ever.
No amount of money can compensate for such a horrible loss. But the cynical side of me wonders: Would the settlement have been so high if that van had been full of immigrant children, or black children?

Okay…cynical question, cynical answer.
It all depends on where you’re at, and what type of culture you’re dealing with.

Certainly, here in the good old US of A, if the van had been full of minority children, the parents probably would have gotten a bigger settlement. If they had been rich, famous people, like the Kennedys or Ted Turner or Donald Trump, the settlement would have been astronomical, probably equaling the GNP of a small country.

On the other hand, if the van had been full of pregnant women on their way to an abortion clinic, and the accident caused them all to miscarry, it would be really interesting to see what the courts would do with that. It’s always amazed me that you can abort a kid if you’re pro-choice and nobody says a word, because it’s not a kid, it’s a blob of protoplasm. But if you’re pro-life, and some guy causes you to miscarry, then hey! presto-chango!, it’s an unborn child, and you can have the guy tried for murder. Hello? (And people have problems with the concept of transubstantiation. Sheeesh!)

If you’re in Nazi Germany and the van is full of minority children, not only would you not get a dime, but whoever put the hazard in the road would probably get a medal.

“All first reports are inaccurate.”
—Gen. H. Norman Schwartzkopf, on the accuracy of the Patriot missile system.

It’s another thread, Pickman, but it’s simple - Pro-choice means a woman is making a choice as to what to do with her body.

Show me a pregnant woman who chooses to get beaten up to the point of miscarrying and you might have an argument.


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Going back to the OP on what is the monetary value of a human life, I read “somewhere” (real helpful, huh?) that based on what industry spends on preventing worker and consumer deaths, and the average value of life insurance policies, the typical American life is worth between $250,000 and $500,000.

I’ll have to tell that to my credit card companies so maybe they’ll up my limit for once…

Member posted 08-27-1999 08:31 PM

The implied claim is that the woman has the right to chose because the fetus isn’t a human life.

Just because someone interferes with someone else’s choice, that doesn’t make it murder. If you decide to go to a concert, but I kidnap you, thus interfering with your choice, is that murder? What if you choose to plant a garden and I interfere with that decision by digging it up? Is that murder? The argument is not that women choose to get beat up; the argument is that whether or not an action is murder should not depend on who performs the act.

" ‘Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter.’ " -Kurt Vonnegut, * Breakfast of Champions *

Check the price on a 100lb. bag of topsoil.
That would be about right.

This is so the wrong thread, but…

First of all, it is a living thing the size of a blood clot, which is totally dependent on life from a woman whose body I refuse to tell what she do with.

You wanna call it murder? Well, everytime you breath you kill millions of microbes in the air. And who are you to tell me that this microbe’s life is not as important as a blood-clot sized thing in a woman you will never meet anyway?

Second point: Stupid response. I can’t even follow the logic… How me getting kidnapped equated to be losing my life are two different issues…

The point is that if someone chooses to get an abortion and she is okay with that, the father is okay with that, and her God (if applicable, whomever that God may be) is okay with that for her individual choice, it does not behoove me to waste a second of my time caring about it, as it means nothing to me.

In their minds it ain’t murder, and that is her right with her body in my opinion, and I refuse to tell her what to do with it.

Whereas if a woman chooses to keep her child, and she therefore gets emotionally attatched to this blood clot, thinking of names for it, thinking about what college it is going to go to when it leaves her body, yea, I see a loss there of more than a blood clot. I can see someone calling that murder, and while it ain’t the same as the loss of a toddler, it’s more than just a punch in the stomach of a woman with child, and should be treated accordingly.

You just assume that there is only one way to look at this issue (and all issues, really). Guess what - There isn’t.

There are people out there who have no problem with a neighbor throwing loud parties at 3AM on a Tuesday. There are other neighbors who will call the cops for similar infractions. It is a right to choose how to handle this, and to say to one, “You’re just a spoil sport who doesn’t like to party!” or to say to the other, “Man, why do you let them get away with that noise all the time”… Well, I suggest we let the person make the choice right for them!

They’re both right, and the only people wrong are those (often complete strangers!) who try and force the person who chooses abortion into feeling like a murderer when in her heart she is not, and those who assume that just because they feel it is not murder thay someone losing a pregnancy doesn’t feel a loss.

And you know what? I think abortion sucks too! I just like our freedoms a bit more than I hate abortions… I like our freedoms a LOT more than I HATE almost anything to be honest… I guess you don’t.

Let’s call 'em all Anti-Freedom people from now on… How did we let them co-opt that term “Pro-Life” anyway, when most of them are FOR the death penalty, AGAINST gun control, FOR wars against folks like Saddam…

You should be the Pro-Choice people, since it’s all about you wanting to be the ones who gets to choose who lives and dies, right?

I don’t see why that is in any way the “implied claim”. The woman has the right to choose because it’s her goddam body and her right to bear or not to bear. If you interfere with this by forcing her to miscarry, it’s a reprehensible crime. If you interfere with this by forcing her to remain pregnant if she doesn’t want to be, that’s also a reprehensible crime.

Designated Optional Signature at Bottom of Post

Oops, sorry…that quote-within-a-quote was indeed from our Satan, but the larger quote was from The Ryan, whom I did not identify in my posting above.

Designated Optional Signature at Bottom of Post

ROFLMFAO!!! :slight_smile: Oh, blimey, Pickman lad, you sure opened a can o’worms with that one, didn’tcha??? Notice that I also mentioned minorities, rich white people, and Nazis, every one of which was completely ignored, but the abortion thing is snatched up, hugged tight to the chest, and it’s down the field we go, gaining yardage all the way! (Hee hee hee!!!)
Ah, dearie me. One would think that I’d know better, after all this time, but somehow, I just never seem to learn…
:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Yo Pick:

Don’t get too excited… Everything else you said made sense. That part didn’t. I don’t recall you say Nazi’s were cool or anything.

Several years ago, before protocols were in place to deal with such issues, I was part of the team assigned to answer “codes” in a hospital. We answered a code (patient not breathing) on the OB/GYN floor where we found a hysterical mom and a very small baby in a bed covered with blood. We got the baby’s heartbeat back. He was not yet breathing on his own, but that wasn’t unusual for premies. We were preparing to bring him to neonatal intensive care when the chief resident told us to cease resuscitation - when the heart was beating on it’s own. We were dismayed and figured he didn’t understand how well the boy was doing, so we ran thru the details for him. He repeated the order and disconnected the oxygen tube from the ambu bag. The person at the ambu bag was restrained by a co worker and we were all ushered out of the room. The baby was placed on a tray, heart still beating, weakly gasping for breath. When the baby’s heart stopped he/it was popped into a specimen container and shipped off to pathology. The specimen was the product of a saline abortion with the dreaded complication of live birth.
I’m sorry this is so long but I’m almost through. It occurred to me that not only the VALUE of human life but the DEFINITION of it depends on that life’s “degree of wantedness”. Perhaps that is what the courts were looking at when deciding the award to a family of nine.

‘‘Degree of wantedness’’ is a really interesting concept. I’m sure it contributed to the $100 million settlement, but should it have?
Sorry Pickman, but I think you are mistaken when you say that the parents ‘‘would have gotten a bigger settlement’’ if the van had been full of minority children. The settlement almost certainly would have been smaller if the children had not been white. And that’s a shame.
Isn’t it ironic that many conservative white couples believe women should not have a right to choose abortion, yet these same couples would never adopt a minority baby? If they can’t have their own baby, they usually wait years and years for a white baby, even if a minority baby is available now and needs a home right away. They usually reject any baby with yellow, tan or black skin.
This reflects values that continue to be pervasive in American society. Minorities are not a new privileged class. In most places, ethnic and racial discrimination still occurs.
And if that van had been full of children determined by society to possess a lesser ‘‘degree of wantedness,’’ there’s no way the parents would have received $100 million. That, unfortunately, is life in the U.S. of A.

I wonder what the award would have been had the defendant not had such deep pockets. Often these awards are based more on what the defendant is worth than on what the damages really are.

I’m sorry Netta, but there is no way you didn’t just regurgitate a common pro-life legend. You weren’t there (although I’m sure you wish you were), and quite possibly, neither was anyone else.
Next tell me about the NASA “physicist” and the missing day.

Netta - You’re a goddammed troll…

Well, I was there. It did happen. I have written this story many times over the past 19 years, so it may sound regurgitated. I have written to editorial pages when I felt it needed to be said, I have contributed it to pro-life publications. In addition, it was not so rare an occurrance, so it may have been told by others. I don’t know what “Satan” is trying to convey by calling me a troll, but don’t bother to explain. I don’t need the flaming, came here for intellectual discourse (like looking for trout in a herring barrel) and won’t be back. Have fun.

This is absolutely false. There ARE white couples who would gladly adopt children of color, but some minority groups have decided that inter-racial adoptions deprive the child of their racial heritage and do everything possible, even to the point of encouraging abortion, to discourage these adoptions.

Many couples who do not meet local adoption agency criteria, or who do not want to wait years for a baby, do adopt foreign babies; China has recently been a leading source for infants.

I do recognize that these couples are not the majority; many feel uncomfortable with the fact that the racial differences make their “choice” public knowledge everytime they walk down the street. Most parents want “perfect” children, but since we don’t get to order with specs, want children who excel at and enjoy the same things they do, and who resemble them.

Sue from El Paso

Japan has a long tradition of adoptions , going far back into the 12th cent. at least.
Adopted children are considered ‘part of the family’ far more quickly & to a greater degree than is common in the U.S., subjectively speaking.
Japan is also the only major industrial nation to have an active, current, ongoing & unofficially sanctioned practice of infanticide. NOT ABORTION. ACTUAL INFANTICIDE.

Even though adoption is easy & frequent there, this seems to have little effect on abortion or infantcide rates.For a first hand account of japanese infanticide practices see:“Memories of Silk And Straw”,a collection [in english] of recollections of small-town japanese life. Additional sources available through your public library can substanciate this account & will bear out that the practice is still au currant.

This shows that easy adoption is NOT a solution. Every human society , sadly, produces unwanted children. Man is not perfectable–not by religion, law or anything else. It is horrible , but creating laws will not solve the problem.If you ban surgical abortions, there are too many alternatives.
One example is a tea made of the bark of the hawthorne tree. It causes a chemically-induced abortion with safety rates for the mother that are comparable to surgery. This technique was widely used in the 19th cent.& abortion was quite common in the post-Civil War era. See " The Story The Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War"by DR. Burke Davis M.D. for details. You anti- abortion types gonna cut down every hawthorne tree in the US? An unenforcable law brings all law into disrespect. Prohibition should have taught you that.
I believe abortion to be disturbing & repellent. But the passage of a law won’t stop it. If you do get a law passed, folks are gonna start smuggling RUR40 & make a mint, setting of a new wave of organised crime in America----also like Prohibition.