Answer: Yes. Any questions?
In a secular environment, human life has the highest value. Its preservation is the unquestioned bastion of our humanity. But in a religious environment, the worth of souls is greater than the life itself. Here are some related conclusions to that premise (see how many of these you have heard implied before):
- Prolonging life is of less value than saving souls.
- Suicide is condemned by various religions as giving in to despair (dying in a sin) rather than the loss of a human life.
- History has illustrated repeatedly that religious aims trump human life (e.g. Crusades, Inquisition, Salem witch trials, Islamic Jihad, etc.).
- A focus on the afterlife and eternal reward can equate to less focus on the here and now.
- Social responsibility is less important than proselyting.
- Why worry about the planet – the second coming will take care of that anyway?
So, which do you think has a higher value: human life or the salvation of souls? Is it important to balance both or should salvation of souls always trump human life? And does this mean that religion is a worse neighbor than secular humanism?