Can you put a price on human life?

Evidently yes.  And in Calgary, the nearest major city to us, that price is $4000.  No I’m not even kidding.

This is something out of the movies.  You never really think it happens.  But it does, and more often than we can imagine I suspect.

Bil and I were talking the other day whether you could put a price on human life after it was revealed that a $600,000 ransom was paid to free kidnapped reporter Amanda Lindhout.

This led to the discussion of ‘how much money is just too much’.  If your family member was kidnapped is there a certain amount of money that would just be too much money to pay in ransom?  And if so, does that mean that human life has an actual price?

It’s a scary concept that becomes even more frightening once you have a child of your own.

Would you pay a ransom?  If you do, what does that say to the kidnappers.  By doing so are you encouraging the possible kidnapping of other people?  Or would you care?  Would your only concern be for your family member?  How much money is too much?  Can you put a price on human life?

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14 Responses to Can you put a price on human life?

  • pamela says:

    that is so.. hard.

    I dont know that I would pay.. My daughter is priceless to me. She doesnt have a price to me and if she did, it would be a lot MORE than 1 trillion dollars but even that seems too low.

    This IS very thought provoking
    .-= pamela´s last blog ..i did it! =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    I’m the same way. I would give all the money in the world to keep my daughter safe.
    BUT… is that somehow condoning kidnapping?

  • mommymae says:

    easy. all the money in the world is what i’d give. i’m selfish enough to say that there’s no price that is even close to being enough for my kids, so it would take every last cent.
    .-= mommymae´s last blog own interview =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    Yes, if it was my child then nothing would be too much and I would do everything to get her back.
    The flip side, though, is, if no one paid ransoms (anywhere in the world) then would kidnappers have a reason to take people? If they knew there was no way they would get any money? So is it people who do pay ransoms who are to blame for the actual kidnappings?

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    Wow! I’m shocked, but I’m not – I think I’m more shocked that it would happen here, you know? But then I’m ridiculously naive when it comes to stuff like this and sometimes live in a little bubble of “that couldn’t happen in MY backyard, could it?”

    As to the price of life, my thought is always what if the family doesn’t have *enough* money? Then what? I can’t imagine not being able to put a price on it because my assets aren’t much. Awful. :(

  • If someone demands a ransom, we’re screwed. We’ll be forced to take the high road out of lack of funds! lol

    Honestly, I don’t know the *right* answer. You make an interesting point.
    .-= thepsychobabble´s last blog ..Busy. Insanely Busy. =-.

  • Avasmommy says:

    It’s very easy to talk about it in the abstract. To say in a perfect world, nobody would give in and pay, and the kidnappers would stop. The reality is that we live in a world where ransoms are paid by those with the means, and always will be.

    I would pay anything to get my daughter back if she were kidnapped. And then I would very quietly stalk and kill those fuckers. And, no, I’m not kidding.
    .-= Avasmommy´s last blog ..What I am Thankful For =-.

  • Issa says:

    I think I have to agree with Jenna. I’d love to say, I couldn’t put a price on my kids. But I would pay anything even if I had to rob a bank to get them back. Gah, I never want to have to think about it though.
    .-= Issa´s last blog ..The ever popular: ask Issa =-.

  • MommyGeek says:

    A great post, and thought-provoking… but when I think about it in context of my family it just makes me want to vomit.
    .-= MommyGeek´s last blog ..Embarrassing =-.

  • Heather says:

    We adopted Jack, you know, so we basically bought a baby. They don’t come cheap (like $40K)…but that’s not even a fair price for something so priceless.

    I’d sell my kidney for my kids. Both of them if I needed to…then when I got them back I could use my poor scars (and dialysis) as ways to guilt them in to being nice to their mother. (I’m totally kidding. Not about selling my kidneys, but the guilt)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Uncle Briiiii-an? =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    This is totally why I love you. Only you could make this topic fucking hysterical.

    Oh, and $40K???? ARE YOU SERIOUS? I think I need to sit down.

    Heather Reply:

    @Jenn, we’ll still be paying for him when we retire! :)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Tales from the GI office… =-.

  • Lisa says:

    Very thought provoking.

    I would pay anything, any amount to get my daughter back. I wouldn’t care if it was giving into the kidnappers or even perhaps inspiring them to try it again. When it comes to my daughter I would be as selfish as I needed to be just to get her back.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Christmas Shopping =-.

  • Pres. Kathy says:

    This really made me think. I think my answer would be that I would give any money in the world to have my son back, but since I don’t have that, what would I do? I hope no one is ever in that situation.

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