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Question: If the results of the vote (median dollar amount) in this thread would choose how much everyone should be taxed to save lives (based on the demand voted on here and the supply of dying people), then how much are the cheapest Human lives worth to you?
Human lives are worth a negative amount on average, and the more of them die the better. - 8 (30.8%)
$0 per life saved (choose this if you are against redirecting existing tax money for this) - 6 (23.1%)
$1 per life saved - 2 (7.7%)
$3 per life saved - 0 (0%)
$10 per life saved - 1 (3.8%)
$30 per life saved - 0 (0%)
$100 per life saved - 2 (7.7%)
$300 per life saved - 1 (3.8%)
$1,000 per life saved - 2 (7.7%)
$3,000 per life saved - 0 (0%)
$10,000 per life saved - 0 (0%)
More than $10,000 (you do realize the price is less than $1000, right?) - 4 (15.4%)
Total Voters: 24

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Author Topic: How many dollars is a Human life worth, if a vote would choose a tax to pay it?  (Read 5709 times)
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 01:38:29 AM
 #1

Think of this in terms of optimizing government actions. Instead of all the stupid things governments spend money on to supposedly help people, lets tell them to spend some of it on saving the cheapest lives, which works by supply and demand instead of politics.

I think this could work, but it would have to be more official than a vote in this thread. We could get many people from different countries to median-vote on how much the cheapest Human lives are worth. Ask the question separately for terminally sick people, comas, and those who want to die, since that would lead to endless arguments over where to draw lines if it was asked in the same question. Through the median-votes, we learn what the Human species really values Human life at, in dollars (or other form of money), and then we use that as a legal argument (after having enough people supporting this) to take some fraction of everyone's money, depending on what supply and demand there is for saving lives, never spending more than the voted value of a Human life, and spend the money to save the lives.

Theres a thread called "What charities are worth donating to?" you may want to read if you're having difficulty putting a price on Human life.
http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=28286.0

http://givewell.org researches charities and says Human lives can be saved for less than $1000 each. If people were willing to pay $1000, the price would rise as the cheaper people were saved. It behaves as supply and demand. Right now the supply is $1000 each. If people could stop arguing over how impossible it is to put a value on Human life and instead median-vote on the value and spend the money, we could save billions of lives while distributing the payments between everyone fairly as a percent of their total money, which would probably be a very small percent, and it would pay for itself in the increased productivity of the Human species.

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July 16, 2011, 01:40:32 AM
 #2

Value is best determined by an objective, decentralized market depending on the objectives of the bidding organizations, in this case, charities. It would vary depending on the value and what kind of value the human being brings to individuals/an individual.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 01:47:37 AM
 #3

No. Value is best determined by median-vote, not by greedy algorithms. A greedy algorithm is one that looks around for small changes and chooses the best of them then repeats. Greedy algorithms get stuck on "local maximums", which is like being stuck on an island with just enough food to live and never risking drowning to escape, for example. The economy you described is a greedy algorithm, and I reject it as the most accurate way to know the value of Human life. What I proposed would work much better.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 01:49:37 AM
 #4

No. Value is best determined by median-vote, not by greedy algorithms. A greedy algorithm is one that looks around for small changes and chooses the best of them then repeats. Greedy algorithms get stuck on "local maximums", which is like being stuck on an island with just enough food to live and never risking drowning to escape, for example. The economy you described is a greedy algorithm, and I reject it as the most accurate way to know the value of Human life. What I proposed would work much better.
People can determine value through whatever method they may prefer; however, in the end it should not forcibly exceed the maximum one is willing to pay. Otherwise, it's slavery.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 01:53:12 AM
 #5

I agree there is some slavery in forcing people who disagree with the median-vote to pay for lives to be saved, but there is more slavery in the poor dieing which would happen much less if they had a little more money. Most of us are slaves to money, and you're talking about freeing some at the cost of enslaving others.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 01:56:43 AM
 #6

I agree there is some slavery in forcing people who disagree with the median-vote to pay for lives to be saved, but there is more slavery in the poor dieing which would happen much less if they had a little more money. Most of us are slaves to money, and you're talking about freeing some at the cost of enslaving others.
There would be less poor and suffering if the central banks didn't claim a monopoly on wealth. In addition, we are slaves to money in the same we are to the food we eat and the air we breathe. It's a method to sustain. It's property. In the end, it's life.

...and you're talking about freeing some at the cost of enslaving others.

Disgusting.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 02:00:54 AM
 #7

What I proposed would stop more slavery than it creates, and it would distribute it more evenly between everyone. I see nothing disgusting or unethical about it, since it makes things more fair and reduces slavery overall.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 02:04:15 AM
 #8

What I proposed would stop more slavery than it creates, and it would distribute it more evenly between everyone. I see nothing disgusting or unethical about it, since it makes things more fair and reduces slavery overall.
Sacrificing one life for another is never compassion. Fuck you. No man has the wisdom nor the virtues to justify such aggression.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 02:07:56 AM
 #9

Who said anything about 1 to 1? It would be closer to 30 to 1, since the price of Human life is less than $1000 and many people, over a long time, make a lot more than $30,000, especially the elite where more of the money would come from.

I agree that central banks are a big problem and I want to decentralize the global economy, but what I'm proposing is more of an opposite than similar, since central banks are about making the rich richer and the poor poorer, and I'm talking about a small amount of that and a large amount of saving lives, and done democraticly through a median-vote instead of the methods banks unfairly use to get rich.

If you think that deserves a "fuck you", you have the right to your opinion, but I stand by my proposal.

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myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 02:10:06 AM
 #10

What's the value of Jonas Salk's life?
Marie Curie?
John Smith?
Agwe Mtumbo?

You can't put a value on human life, and you can't ask everyone to pay an average. Rob peter to pay Paul, rob Paul to pay Peter, and pocket a small 'administrative fee'.  Angry

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BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 02:12:43 AM
 #11

I didn't say everyone was worth equal amounts. This vote is about the cheapest Human lives to save, which would start to cost more as we save the cheaper lives.

As I see it, a person is worth as much as how much they can help the world, including artistic or other hard to measure things, depending on which things people value about their skills. Those people you listed may be worth a lot. I'm not saying their lives are worth what this median-vote says.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 02:18:10 AM
 #12

It's so saintly to deny a man his right to life and earnings in the name of your desires.
myrkul
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July 16, 2011, 02:20:52 AM
 #13

I didn't say everyone was worth equal amounts. This vote is about the cheapest Human lives to save, which would start to cost more as we save the cheaper lives.

As I see it, a person is worth as much as how much they can help the world, including artistic or other hard to measure things, depending on which things people value about their skills. Those people you listed may be worth a lot. I'm not saying their lives are worth what this median-vote says.

You're not asking the value of a human life, then, but the cost.

You know what's great at balancing benefits and costs?

The Market.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 02:21:46 AM
 #14

I didn't say everyone was worth equal amounts. This vote is about the cheapest Human lives to save, which would start to cost more as we save the cheaper lives.

As I see it, a person is worth as much as how much they can help the world, including artistic or other hard to measure things, depending on which things people value about their skills. Those people you listed may be worth a lot. I'm not saying their lives are worth what this median-vote says.

You're not asking the value of a human life, then, but the cost.

You know what's great at balancing benefits and costs?

The Market.
He doesn't understand that. He can't grasp the concept that people derive selfish pleasure from helping people.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 02:27:34 AM
 #15

Atlas, My desires? Median-vote of everyone on Earth who chooses to vote. If they don't like the idea, they can vote $0.

myrkul, the market works great, but a real democracy works better, but most people don't know that because no real democracies exist. They only exist in small events where median-vote is used, or whatever better and fair way of voting may be invented later.

Voting for who you want to win is not a democracy because it leads to small groups getting control and keeping it, since people vote against instead of for, which can be fixed by giving everyone 1 FOR vote and 1 AGAINST vote, so if 47% vote democrat (and against republican) and 48% vote republican (and against democrat) and 3% vote for some third-party (and against democrat or republican) then the democrat and republican votes cancel eachother out and the third-party wins with 3%. That would be closer to a democracy (and gets closer if you get N number of FOR and N number of AGAINST votes, for larger N), and it would work better than the economies that exist today, but I don't know if it would work better than a free market.

I understand that "people derive selfish pleasure from helping people", but that's not enough to optimize global resources based on people's actual opinion of what others are worth. The "prisoners dilemma" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_dilemma is a basic fact of game-theory, and its a flaw that "people derive selfish pleasure from helping people" hasn't overcome.

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Alex Beckenham
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July 16, 2011, 02:30:23 AM
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people derive selfish pleasure from helping people.

Awesome quote. So true.


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July 16, 2011, 02:43:31 AM
 #17

myrkul, the market works great, but a real democracy works better, but most people don't know that because no real democracies exist. They only exist in small events where median-vote is used, or whatever better and fair way of voting may be invented later.

No, no it does not. The best and fairest way of voting has already been invented. It exactly tracks human desire in aggregate, and makes sure that those that bring the most benefit to the rest of society get the most return. Can you guess what it is?

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 02:47:11 AM
 #18

myrkul, the market works great, but a real democracy works better, but most people don't know that because no real democracies exist. They only exist in small events where median-vote is used, or whatever better and fair way of voting may be invented later.

No, no it does not. The best and fairest way of voting has already been invented. It exactly tracks human desire in aggregate, and makes sure that those that bring the most benefit to the rest of society get the most return. Can you guess what it is?
He finds it unfair that a group of people can desire something really bad and cannot afford it. So, somehow theft is justified.
BenRayfield
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July 16, 2011, 02:52:20 AM
 #19

Atlas, if I owned all the air on Earth, would it be unfair for me to sell it like a business, by calculating the supply and demand of it, letting billions of people die to drive the prices up? I see no difference between that and letting people die as described in this thread.

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Anonymous
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July 16, 2011, 02:53:48 AM
 #20

Atlas, if I owned all the air on Earth, would it be unfair for me to sell it like a business, by calculating the supply and demand of it, letting billions of people die to drive the prices up? I see no difference between that and letting people die as described in this thread.
It's a false analogy. Wealth isn't a limited pie.
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