My dad and I just finished re-watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and I think I liked it even better the second time around. It's pretty damn profound for a show about killer cyborgs from the future. Plus Thomas Dekker (who plays John Connor) is either vegetarian or vegan depending on what source you trust, which automatically makes me love him even more.
Anyway, on to the real point of this post. There is this one scene in which Ellison (a human) is trying to explain to John Henry (an highly sophisticated A.I.) the value of human life. He tells him that human life is sacred, and when John Henry asks why he says that it is because we are God's children. This bothered me. Predominantly because he said "human life" and left out all other beings. But also because I feel like that's an idea that a lot of people share and I think it's a complete cop-out, and not just because I'm not fond of religion. Even if you do believe that God created us, that in and of itself does not give our lives value. I started wondering how I would answer that question if someone asked me.
I think, first and foremost, what makes life (and for me that means all life, not just human life) sacred is the fact that it's all we really have. Our lives are the only things that truly belong to us, and to take that away is inherently wrong. No matter how little you may feel a particular life is worth, it is worth everything to the being it belongs to.
If that's not a good enough reason though, there is the fact that EVERY life has the potential to have an impact on the world. None of us have any idea what our lives are going to mean in the grand scheme of things, let alone what the life of another will mean. As I have discussed before, the smallest things can have enormous consequences. For all you know, that bug you stepped on could have changed the world but, because you didn't think his life had value, he will never get the chance.