Life Has Intrinsic Value: A Graphic Proposition

A little over a month ago I was pressed to prove or justify why I believed life has intrinsic value (valuable in itself, for its own sake). With this article I will propose a counter to the notion given that life has only instrumental value (valuable as a tool or means for something else) and why it leads to demonstrably evil moral outlooks.

Prove: Viewing life with only instrumental value allows for immoral decisions.

Assume: Life only has instrumental value.

Imagine a baby that's maybe 2 to 3 months old. This child (and practically all children this old) offers no instrumental value, if anything it harms the mental and physical health of the parents through its tedious care and needs.

Thus, the child actually has negative value and can objectively be classified as a hindrance.

If we were under the assumption life has only instrumental value then we would be justified in killing this child simply for its necessary care. Now, note this child has not committed a crime, but is instead being killed for its existence!

This is comparable to Jim Crow Sunshine Laws. For reference: if you were a Black person in a Sunshine Town and were seen outside after the sun had gone down police would imprison you for it. These people are being imprisoned simply for existing just as this baby is hypothetically being killed for existing.

Since the justification for killing the child due to instrumental value and innocence of the child contradict we cannot view life as having only instrumental value. Thus, life must have intrinsic value and some additional instrumental value gathered over time.


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