I was watching a film today and the thought came to me that society seems to put a lot of emphasis on the age that you die, for reasons that I don’t quite understand. In this film, a child died and I knew that most people would have had the same reaction.
‘That’s so sad, he had his whole life ahead of him.’
If you ignore the fact that from the moment you are 1-second-old, that point becomes invalid because you have had some of your life, why is life any more worth it than that of an 18 year old? Technically an 18 year old is an adult so should I be less sad at their death? In my mind, death isn’t a sad thing but that isn’t the point of this so for now let’s assume death is sad. Everybody should gain equal amounts of tears upon leaving the world, not varying amounts because of their age. The worth of a life if decided by anything should surely be decided by the merits of actions. Children have the least overall contribution to society so why do we hold them in such high regard?
If you talk to someone about this, the answer will normally be the same and will come in the form of unwavering yet unexplained beliefs. Either they had their whole life ahead of them, or they are more innocent.
What does innocence do for the world? Our economy is falling apart, we have giant social problems. You wouldn’t call an innocent person to fix the problem, mainly because innocent is simply another word for useless. An innocent person has no knowledge of how the world works and therefore cannot contribute to society. Their death should mean less if you are going to pick on an age group.
There are some societies in the world who value their elderly more and would sacrifice a child for a pensioner. This throws up similar issues. They have not necessarily lived a more worthwhile life than a child would. We are using a majority vote to decide the worth of life and that seems wrong. And the argument of time left is flawed because either side could have one day left to live, or decades.
So in conclusion, If you put a six year old and a sixty year old in front of me and tell me to smash one over the head with a brick, I’d thwack them both.
Yay for equality :D
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