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The Measure of Life


A specific song (row, row, row your boat) says that life is but a dream. But I believe that life is more than a dream. Life is excistence, and all life has a value. However, that value is not something measureable. Data is life, but is he less worth than Worf? Or Picard? Picard obviously don't think the latter; he risked his life when he saved Data when Data was captured by the borgs. It is wrong to say that a specific person is less worth than another. If one say so, one think in the same way as the nazis did -- and still do. That is diversity-destroying, and completely wrong. I recently saw the TNG episode "A Measure of a Man", in which Data's rights is put on trial. The questions brought up in that episode was: "Is Data a lifeform" (or even more extreme: is artificial life/a program with self-conscioness and independecy, real life), "Does he have the same rights as anyone else, or is he Star Fleet's property", and "Is it right to make a whole army of Data-copies" (an army of slaves, using Guinans words). I believe that Data is a life-form. According to many, his value is probably that he is so unique. If there had been millions of Data-like androids, it would have, in many situations, been easy to sacrifice one of them. Data has a value to those who know him, but not to others. It would endeed be easy for those who make decisions in Star Fleet to send thousands of Datas on a Mission where they do not return in their original shape -- alive and well. When one say that a specific person (e.g. a president, a friend, a rich person) has more value than another person, one might mean that:

*The person has money, and therefore has a higher value than others (in this case, the value is in the money, not in the person),

*The person has power, and peoples life might be depending on the person (the value is in the power, and in the actions the person might do in the future; in what he can do)

*The person are wise (in this case, the value is in the intelligence and the knowledge)

*The person is a friend (the friendship is what dictates the level of value in this case)

Basically, all life is worth just as much as other life. The different qualities and advantages of a lifeform -- power, intelligence, knowledge, etcetera -- is what makes that lifeform more valuable to others. Another aspect is that it is generally believed that animals and insects have a lower value than people have. But is that the truth? To us peraps. The "crowd" says that the level of intelligence and self-conscioness dictates a certain lifeforms value.




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