What makes human beings valuable?Humans have inherent value just by virtue of being a person. Being human grants all the rights accorded to every person. There is nothing a person can do to earn those rights. They belong to that person simply because that person exists. Their value is entirely in being a person.
Human are precious living creature made in the eyes of God. Human are given with most powerful instrument known as MIND.
We know today that MIND is what a person is today but these words doesn't show the same power because we find so many anomalies affecting the quality of human that is marred with distortion of humanity BUT THAT IS NOT ALL.
Humanity is still stored somewhere to balance the equation.
This also indicates that the human mind is evolving over several thousands of years and all what appear is not only the truth as there is missing link of TRUTH which is part of positive evolution.
The evolution of mind is happening which is always of pyramid shape and that is to say as we climb higher towards the top relative fewer souls of human would ascend and more of them be stray somewhere below.
Hence what makes human being valuable?
The requirement varies with evolution unless one understands the core which remains same like a seed.
They are values of course and if we talk of seed it is simply LOVE which can flourish with RESPECT in primitive society working on minimum need and trust working as safety net.
When we see a section similar to colonial form that many organization would comply today the same RESPECT becomes prominent covering the word love which start showing malice in many. The trust is a bond even if is with selfish motive and working for welfare of one particular section the world we have created has become dependent on manmade material that is money.
If one section strengthens the security by giving more money it translates in exploiting some other could be far off in another country or even in same country in poor who still are living primitive way as they did not get condition to evolve mind.
This starts creating complexity where we exist today and have one further higher.
Today globalization is not about one rich and powerful nation dominating even if these things happen because similar things percolate down below as culture.
In this complex society RESPECT itself is not sufficient and role of moral or ethical sense has cropped.
The one who follows the best ethics would respect by default and know the value of love too.
But the human who have deviated start perceiving in different shades to suit their evolution and so suit their comfort in ignorance.
For example word love which was powerful word in primitive age as nothing more was known to bind each other today love is perceived of physical nature attracting senses or mental nature that could again create mistrust many places when different people interfacing with different perception which they would never be able to in the same plane.
There are people existing who irrespective of nation, caste and creed spend life in educating poor or helping them with a motive of humanity.
HUMANITY could be the highest value today but a human simply knowing and desiring would not reach and rise by raising the value crossing the basic love model in family and then respecting society where they are connected creating a strong trust with people possible when they are honest, less selfish and have right intent.
Some out of them could satisfy condition and work for humanity and again interface with core LOVE of higher value in every human being.
Many out of these rising mind try to isolate in form of saints who undergo penance and do meditation overseeing the basic need of body and family connect with core love of God.
Probably there store energy for day when mountain of humanity is polluted with all sort of ignorance causing man made or natural violence when such power of saints would come to reset the equation.
This way the values we see that started with LOVE enlarged to RESPECT or trust and then expanded with ethics or moral.
It has risen to HUMANITY though in very less people remains most superior today.
We can try to measure our own need by our status and can find most suitable value to attach without trying to over step. We can rise a step at a time.
From a Christian perspective, human life is valuable because humans bear the image of God. Thus, young and old, feeble and able, rich and poor, skilled and unskilled, etc... all have dignity because we bear God's image.
Value is subjective. What's the value of a piece of paper with a scribble on it? Very little. What if the scribble is an autograph of a celebrity, probably more, but not the same to everyone. That's our concept of value.
Why do we connectively value ourselves/each other? Some of it is biological instinct and social conditioning, maybe all of it. But if asked people will say that human life is valuable because it's unique and irreplaceable. They'll say human dignity is valuable, just because, it's an axiom, although some might say it's valuable because we don't want to live in a world where we have no dignity. Religious people will say because we're made by God (but they treat other creations of God badly). Short answer is, everyone tends to give a different answer. In some way it matters a lot. In some ways it doesn't matter why we value each other as long as we do. After all, how many people would be able to give you an answer other than "well, it's just is", they still behave as if they think human beings have value, even if they don't know why. So maybe it really doesn't matter, since we all believe it. Maybe it's a kind of a religion, or a shared irrational conviction.
Q. What makes human beings valuable?
-According to philosophy of Theravada Buddhism, as long as a person does not liberate from cycles of life (reach nirvana), he/she will go from one life to another (human lifeforms, or other higher lifeforms or lower lifeforms) continuously.
-According to philosophy of Theravada Buddhism, a human being has the potential to have enlightenment, and can liberate from cycle of life (can reach Nirvana) if one encounters, believes and studies The Four Noble Truths during his/her lifetime unlike other living things, especially like present time when the knowledge of The Four Noble Truths is still present.
-So lives of human being is considered to be valuable in Theravada Buddhism.
- Staying at Savatthi. Then the Blessed One, picking up a little bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monks, "What do you think, monks? Which is greater: the little bit of dust I have picked up with the tip of my fingernail, or the great earth?"
- "The great earth is far greater, lord. The little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail is next to nothing. It doesn't even count. It's no comparison. It's not even a fraction, this little bit of dust the Blessed One has picked up with the tip of his fingernail, when compared with the great earth.
- "In the same way, monks, few are the beings reborn among human beings. Far more are those reborn elsewhere. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will live heedfully.' That's how you should train yourselves."
From Samyutta Nikaya 20.2 Nakhasikha Sutta
- "Monks, suppose that this great earth were totally covered with water, and a man were to toss a yoke with a single hole there. A wind from the east would push it west, a wind from the west would push it east. A wind from the north would push it south, a wind from the south would push it north. And suppose a blind sea-turtle were there. It would come to the surface once every one hundred years. Now what do you think: would that blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole?"
- "It would be a sheer coincidence, lord, that the blind sea-turtle, coming to the surface once every one hundred years, would stick his neck into the yoke with a single hole."
- "It's likewise a sheer coincidence that one obtains the human state. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. It's likewise a sheer coincidence that a doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world. Now, this human state has been obtained. A Tathagata, worthy & rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. A doctrine & discipline expounded by a Tathagata appears in the world.
- "Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress/suffering... This is the origination of stress/suffering... This is the cessation of stress/suffering.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress/suffering.'"
From Samyutta Nikaya 56.48 Chiggala Sutta
We percieve the world and can change it to match our wishes.
Alien intelligences with the same ability would be just as valuable.
Semi-intelligent animals like cats, dogs and dolphins are valuable, but not as valuable as humans.