Life Is Valuable
A DAMAGED machine can be repaired. An extinguished light can be rekindled. But who can repair a lifeless body? Who can rekindle its spark of life? As far as human power is concerned, a life is irreplaceable. Once it has ceased it is humanly impossible to revive it. This fact makes life something of utmost value.
The Creator of life stressed its value when he laid down this law: “In case a man should strike any soul of mankind fatally, he should be put to death without fail.” (Lev. 24:17) This divine law demanded the most valuable possession of a manslayer—his own life.
The modern world has a sliding scale for evaluating human life. When there is a killing, the slayer is sought with the greatest of diligence and is punished when apprehended. But when political rulers declare war, respect for human life takes a nose dive. Life is then destroyed with calloused indifference. Is it to be respected only under certain circumstances? Is it to be regarded like commodities on the stock market whose value fluctuates according to world tensions?
Disgust for the world’s attitude toward human life has caused some people to go to the extreme of considering life as something that should be reverenced or venerated. The famous Albert Schweitzer expressed this view in an article that appeared in the Atlantic magazine of November, 1958. He said: “Meditating upon life, I feel the obligation to respect any will-to-live around me as equal to mine and as having a mysterious value. A fundamental idea of Good then consists in preserving life, in favoring it, in wanting to raise it to its highest value, and evil consists in annihilating life, injuring it, and impeding its growth. The principle of this veneration of life corresponds to the one of Love.” It is proper to place a high value upon life, but veneration belongs to the great Source of life, Jehovah God, and not to life itself.
How can people learn to place upon human life the value God purposed it to have when the very entertainment of this modern generation depends upon stories that devaluate it? Is this the way to build up respect for life?
Despite the bloodthirstiness of our modern world, with its threats of nuclear massacres, the time is coming when Jehovah God will cause earth’s inhabitants to live in peace and to have the highest regard for human life: “They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea.”—Isa. 11:9.