Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Observations from Class

1. What is the worth of a human being?

While we would hope that a human life is the most sacred thing on Earth, it sometimes seems like risking multiple peoples' lives is not worth the possibility of saving one. In the movie, "Black Hawk Down," 19 soldiers ended up losing their lives in a series of attempts to rescue possible survivors from a crashed helicopter. They were following their motto, "no man left behind," but in the effort to save pilots who were only possibly alive, many other soldiers were killed, humiliated by the natives, and one was kidnapped. In that circumstance at least, it would seem as though the possibility of saving one life was not worth risking all of the those other people. While even I normally always say that a human life is worth almost anything, we should all be honest about reality.

2. What are some minority groups?

Asian-American 2%, disabled Americans 5%, gay Americans 5%, African Americans 15%, American Indians 2%, Hispanic Americans 20%

* I couldn't find a good graph to include

3. How does America determine a person's worth?

Most people would like to think that "all men are created equal" in America, and that is how it would be in the ideal situation, but all people are not treated equally in reality. The country generally judges and values people based on wealth, status, and race or gender. You are worth more to society if you are a big businessman rather than a "lowly" factory worker. And the happiness and preservation of rich, influential people is worth more to the government than a low-income worker who might be part of a minority group. These actions are simply products of the government acting in its own self-interest. Morals and gaining supporters are the only reasons why the government would act in the interest of minority groups, but money, influence, and power are very enticing reasons for the government to act in the interest of large corporations and influential people.

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