General Question

shrubbery's avatar

The Declaration of Independence or someone's life?

Asked by shrubbery (10251points) July 3rd, 2008

Ok so we see this in movies; a “priceless” artifact of history or someones life. Eg, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The girl or the Holy Grail? Or Indy’s own life for the holy grail? Apparently “it’s not worth it” and a human life is worth so much more. But if you were faced with the dilemma, of choosing between [insert artifact here you think is most valuable/important] or someones life, which would you choose? If it was a stranger? Or someone you knew/loved? Some examples of artifacts would be The Declaration of Independence, if there really was a Holy Grail, or the Ark of the Covenant, the teracotta soldiers, even something like the Ancient Pyramids of Giza. Choose the artifact that you think is worth the most in the world, and then see if you can decide. If you can’t, that’s fine, this is purely hypothetical, I’m just curious.

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11 Answers

shockvalue's avatar

Well if “National Treasure” has taught us anything…

shrubbery's avatar

(Haven’t seen it…)

joeysefika's avatar

Dang Shockvalue you got shut down… I on the other hand have seen it and i get your point!

shrubbery's avatar

I wanna know what the point is :P

Harp's avatar

(Haven’t seen it either)
We value these artifacts so highly because they show us, in one way or another, our human potential. We see reflected in them the beauty of humanity. To destroy the human to save a munument to humanity would be a bit ironic, no?

marinelife's avatar

Actually, Harp, that sounds noble, but mostly treasure hunters value objects because of greed, not their meaning or antiquity. I am not sure few, if any, of them would behave as the fictional Jones or Cage in National Treasure do.

That said, I would always value life over objects. We human beings tend to venerate objects that have great age. Yes, they are important. Yes, historically, they were important in their times, although not viewed with the awe that we, for example, view the Magna Carta. Sometimes, though, we get stuck in ritual and history, and it holds us back from civilized behavior.

I guess my question is why is it always lives vs. objects in these movies? Seems like artificial dilemmas created to heighten drama. Outside the movies, why does either or have to be the case?

flameboi's avatar

life is overrated…

ninjaxmarc's avatar

life is priceless.
some items and works of art are so unique that they maybe considered priceless.

Human life over physical objects.

No life is considered to be better than something physical.

lefteh's avatar

Unless you’re in Liberia.

Sorry, I can’t resist tying current events into almost anything.

Jack79's avatar

If it was the cure for cancer formula or the button that stops nuclear war, then perhaps. But there is no way I would ever place more importance on ANY artefact (and of course for me the US Declaration of Independence is about as valuable as any Hamas internal e-mail) over the human life of someone I loved. Or even of a stranger for that matter.

WolfFang's avatar

no @flameboi from what I see today in modern society, life is underrated. A life is a life no matter what. people haven’t even fully recognized its value. objects come and go, lose value, can be replaced. A life cannot however. saving someones life is far more valuable.

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