The Value of a Human Life

St. Nikolai Velimirovic, survivor of the Nazi Dachau Camp, wrote the following comments on Luke 8:26-39, the Gergesene Demoniac:

“Let us not be in a hurry to condemn these Gergesene’s love for their swine before we consider the society of our day, and count up all our swine-loving fellow-townsfolk, who would, just like the Gergesenes, have more concern for their pigs than the lives of their neighbors.  Just think how few there are today, even among those who cross themselves and confess Christ with their tongues, who would not quickly make up their minds to kill two men if this would give them two thousand pigs.  Or think if there are many among you who would sacrifice two thousand pigs to save the lives of two madmen.  Let those who condemn the Gergesenes before first condemning themselves be filled with deep shame.  Were the Gergesenes to rise up today from their graves, and begin to count, they would arrive at a vast number of the like-minded in Christian Europe!  They at least begged Christ to leave them, while the peoples of Europe drive Him out.  And why?  In order to be left alone with their pigs and their masters, the demons.” 

A good question for all of us – would we sacrifice a fortune to save two crazy men?  Would we think it a good thing if we lost a fortune  and our jobs to help two dangerous and insane men?  What price do we put on a human soul?  We who advocate the sanctity of life – do we believe each human soul is worth so much that we would feel good if we lost our fortune and income but a human was saved?   Is it worth spending money to keep an inmate alive rather than executing them?   To give them a chance to repent?

One thought on “The Value of a Human Life

  1. IMHO, the answer to your last question is a resounding “yes.” What’s more, in the end, it costs more to execute someone than to house them for life, when you calculate the cost of all the lawyers.

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