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The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Can someone judge the value of one person's life over another?

by Jewlarious.com Staff

Published: January 31, 2009


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Visitor Comments: 47

(47) Josh Franklin, July 16, 2013 3:28 AM

The Perfect Talmudic Equivalent

Bava Metzia 62a

When two are on a journey [far from an inhabited area], and one has a pitcher of water, if both drink, both will die; if one of them drinks, he will get to a human settlement. Ber Petura preached: It is better that both drink and both die, rather than that one should see the death of his fellow. But then Rabbi Akiva came and taught that . . . that your life takes precedence over the life of your companion.

שנים שהיו מהלכין בדרך, וביד אחד מהן קיתון של מים, אם שותין שניהם מתים, ואם שותה אחד מהן מגיע לישוב. דרש בן פטורא: מוטב שישתו שניהם וימותו, ואל יראה אחד מהם במיתתו של חבירו. עד שבא רבי עקיבא ולימד: וחי אחיך עמך חייך קודמים לחיי חבירך

(46) Josh Franklin, July 1, 2013 5:15 PM

Whose blood is redder? It cannot be determined

If someone is given the ultimatum "Go and kill so and so; if not, I will kill you," The Talmud advises that you let yourself be killed rather than commit murder, because all lives have equal value: "who knows that your blood is redder? Perhaps his blood is redder." (B. Sanhedrin 74a)

(45) Jacob and Yael, February 23, 2011 7:32 PM

Can someone judge the value of one person's life over another?

According to the Rabbi Dorff's theory of relativity, each individual is unable to see the world around them from any perspective expect for their own. Therefore, one cannot be an accurate judge of the value of another's life, because we are incapable of truly comprehending someone else's perspective. Considering our limited ability to understand others, it is impossible for us to truly judge whether or not one life outweighs another.

(44) Sani & Ronit, February 23, 2011 7:29 PM

No, you can't value someone's life over another just because they have been to jail before. That should not affect who gets to live or die. Also, the prisoner on the jail boat who threw the detonator out the window knew that they were not in the position to choose who gets to live or die. It was not their choice to make....

(43) Gefen Matan Joey, February 23, 2011 7:29 PM

We think that it is unfair to say that one persons life is more important then another's. How can you judge without saying that you are more important, you would bound to be biased. But sometimes you might be forced to choose, and then you would have to decide whose life was more important. Some people might be more useful though, and you would have to choose.

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