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Value of Life Essay - 610 Words
For example, let us look at the following two cases. You will see to what extent they correspond, yet differ. Take . We find a certain young girl, Maggie Tulliver, who is an embodiment of the value of passion and who is aware of it. She is in love with a young man, Stephen, who is engaged to an insignificant young girl. This Maggie Tulliver, instead of heedlessly preferring her own happiness, chooses, in the name of human solidarity, to sacrifice herself and give up the man she loves. On the other hand, Sanseverina, in , believing that passion is man's true value, would say that a great love deserves sacrifices; that it is to be preferred to the banality of the conjugal love that would tie Stephen to the young ninny he had to marry. She would choose to sacrifice the girl and fulfill her happiness; and, as Stendhal shows, she is even ready to sacrifice herself for the sake of passion, if this life demands it. Here we are in the presence of two strictly opposed moralities. I claim that they are much the same thing; in both cases what has been set up as the goal is freedom.
One hint that begins to shed light on Weber's view on the fact-value question is a characteristic that recurs in several of Weber's essays and speeches: Weber announces, often at the beginning of a speech or essay, the standpoint from which he plans to evaluate a given situation or set of facts. Likewise, if he changes his focus during a presentation, he often declares the new standpoint. In his opening remarks of "The Nation State and Economic Policy," one of Weber's early speeches, he sets a precedent for this pattern while unveiling a justification for his perspective. The "inaugural lecture is an opportunity," Weber says, "to present and justify openly the personal and, in this sense, `subjective' standpoint from which one judges economic phenomena," revealing that he maintained that even the examination of such seemingly hard data as economic facts were subject to the influence of a perspective determined by values. When Weber shifts course later in the speech to prescribing what should be done to deal with the problems on Germany's eastern frontier, he discloses his new perspective: "the standpoint of the German people." The solution would obviously be quite different if it were made, say, from the standpoint of the Polish workers. Similarly, in one of his later lectures, "The Profession and Vocation of Politics," Weber tells his audience near the beginning of his remarks that he will expose "the political deficiency of this system ... from the standpoint of success."
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Thus, despite Portis' ideal vision of Weber's thought to the contrary, social science and political activity are compatible: The social scientist, in conducting research and analyzing facts, is necessarily influenced by his political position, at least to the extent determined by his ultimate values. Weber knew this, and exhorted his fellow social scientists to clarify both for themselves and for others the values driving their investigations. Such a clarification is the prerequisite to objective analysis of facts with a particular purpose or value in mind.
The word subjectivism has two meanings, and our opponents play on the two. Subjectivism means, on the one hand, that an individual chooses and makes himself; and, on the other, that it is impossible for man to transcend human subjectivity. The second of these is the essential meaning of existentialism. When we say that man chooses his own self, we mean that every one of us does likewise; but we also mean by that that in making this choice he also chooses all men. In fact, in creating the man that we want to be, there is not a single one of our acts which does not at the same time create an image of man as we think he ought to be. To choose to be this or that is to affirm at the same time the value of what we choose, because we can never choose evil. We always choose the good, and nothing can be good for us without being good for all.
Value of Human Life, Health Economics assignment …
The third objection is the following: "You take something from one pocket and put it into the other. That is, fundamentally, values aren't serious, since you choose them." My answer to this is that I'm quite vexed that that's the way it is; but if I've discarded God the Father, there has to be someone to invent values. You've got to take things as they are. Moreover, to say that we invent values means nothing else but this: life has no meaning . Before you come alive, life is nothing; it's up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose. In that way, you see, there is a possibility of creating a human community.
Besides, I can bring moral judgment to bear. When I declare that freedom in every concrete circumstance can have no other aim than to want itself, if man has once become aware that in his forlornness he imposes values, he can no longer want but one thing, and that is freedom, as the basis of all values. That doesn't mean that he wants it in the abstract. It means simply that the ultimate meaning of the acts of honest men is the quest for freedom as such. A man who belongs to a communist or revolutionary union wants concrete goals; these goals imply an abstract desire for freedom; but this freedom is wanted in something concrete. We want freedom for freedom's sake and in every particular circumstance. And in wanting freedom we discover that it depends entirely on the freedom of others, and that the freedom of others depends on ours. Of course, freedom as the definition of man does not depend on others, but as soon as there is involvement, I am obliged to want others to have freedom at the same time that I want my own freedom. I can take freedom as my goal only if I take that of others as a goal as well. Consequently, when, in all honesty, I've recognized that man is a being in whom existence precedes essence, that he is a free being who, in various circumstances, can want only his freedom, I have at the same time recognized that I can want only the freedom of others.
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FREE Essay on The Value of a Life
Thus it seems, both by default and implication, that Weber believed the political analyst could adhere to the principle of objectivity once an value or perspective had been laid out. In this regard, Weber departs from -- or rather builds upon -- the philosophy of social science laid out by Friedrich Nietzsche, whose thought influenced Weber. Nietzsche's perspectivism maintains that all interpretation is necessarily mediated by perspective, making analysis unavoidably laden with biases, presuppositions, values, and so forth. Weber builds on Nietzsche's perspectivism by maintaining that objectivity is still possible -- but only after a particular perspective, value, or end has been established. For the politician, the question of value is a choice of a faith; but once it is made, it should be pursued by objective means. For the social scientist, value necessarily determines perspective and influences the facts chosen for analysis, but once those decisions are made, the social scientist is bound by the principle of objectivity.
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Is valuing human life different than valuing quality of life achieved through a health intervention?
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How is the value of life measured
When we speak of forlornness, a term Heidegger was fond of, we mean only that God does not exist and that we have to face all the consequences of this. The existentialist is strongly opposed to a certain kind of secular ethics which would like to abolish God with the least possible expense. About 1880, some French teachers tried to set up a secular ethics which went something like this: God is a useless and costly hypothesis; we are discarding it; but, meanwhile, in order for there to be an ethics, a society, a civilization, it is essential that certain values be taken seriously and that they be considered as having an existence. It must be obligatory, a priori, to be honest, not to lie, not to beat your wife, to have children, etc., etc. So we're going to try a little device which will make it possible to show that values exist all the same, inscribed in a heaven of ideas, though otherwise God does not exist. In other wordsand this, I believe, is the tendency of everything called reformism in Francenothing will be changed if God does not exist. We shall find ourselves with the same norms of honesty, progress, and humanism, and we shall have made of God an outdated hypothesis which will peacefully die off by itself.
Value of human life Essay, Value of human life …
Weber's own writings support Lassman and Speirs' conclusion that Weber considered ultimate values and their subsequent political values to be subjectively determined. For instance, in "Between Two Laws" Weber writes that certain communities are able to provide the conditions for not only such "bourgeois" values as citizenship and true democracy, "but also much more intimate and yet eternal values, including artistic ones." The language that Weber uses to characterize these two types of values leads to the interpretation that he held them to be a subjective matter. Regarding the first set of values, labeling them "bourgeois" brings to light their contingent nature: They are the product of a class, a strata. Regarding the second set, the labels "intimate" and "eternal" clearly set them apart from any objective foundation. An "intimate" value is by definition personal, an opinion. Further: It carries the connotation of emotion, of mystification. Likewise with "eternal."
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