Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Infinite Value and Freedom

In a recent conversation with a friend, we agreed that life has inherent value.  That is something I can agree with.  There are entire industries dedicated to determining what that value is and balancing risk accordingly.  The problem with these industries however is that they are currently incapable of calculating the infinite value that life has.  Life does have infinite value to you.  Is there any amount of money for which you would give your life?  The answer is no. 

Until you live your life to reflect this infinite value, you are not free, and you will not be fulfilled.  Despite the infinite value of our time, we choose to squander away precious moments every day by placing a finite value on our time.  We continue to live our lives for finite income, letting somebody else dictate what our time is worth.  Further we tend to squander away precious moments "vegging out", or mindlessly relaxing instead of being conscious and engaged. 

So the question quickly becomes, how does one live life to reflect infinite value?  How does one attain freedom?  I have many answers to complex questions, but I have not yet been able to answer this one.  The only ideas I have come up with have been to become filthy rich, thereby virtually having infinite value, or by becoming filthy poor, thereby taking complete control of your time.  Both are equally difficult to achieve, and I look forward to any comments that could contribute to the answer.

It seems a thrid possibility, rejecting the current system of values entirely and constructing it anew, holds promise as a solution, but I do not know what that would look like.  I look forward to your thoughts on the matter in the comments.


  1. This doesn't answer your question, but is in response to when you said " Is there any amount of money for which you would give your life? The answer is no."
    That's true in our country, but I bet there are people who live impoverished lives that would answer "yes" to this question in order to make a better life for their family. I don't know any of them, but I'm sure they're out there. They would be good people to ask what the value of a life is.

  2. You are right that this happens, but I would argue that it is not the money value for which they give their life, but a higher ideological cause, namely to give their family a chance for success. People are also willing to go on kamakazie, or suicide missions in the name of bravery and honor. People also kill themselves because they feel they cannot live life to reflect its true value. But in all of these examples, including your own, there is not a scenario in which someone would directly give their life for any amount of money directly. Nobody would accept $1 billion of non-transferable money to be killed because their life has infinite value. They may see ideological causes as a worthy trade, but the decision isn't putting value on their life so much as an effort to do the greatest good.