It's very clear that in the secular world lives have different values. Try running over a neurosurgeon and a WalMart greeter and you'll quickly learn the difference. This is to be expected...if I recall, even the Bible carries instructions on making financial restitution for the loss of a life.
But, in the moral world, where we talk in hard to gauge terms such as "justice," and "fairness," how do we value lives?
The reason I ask this question is because now, at this moment, innocent lives are being lost in Afghanistan and Pakistan...and still so, but to a lesser degree, in Iraq.
Specifically, one of our Predators (flown from Florida, or California by a pilot/technician who, after work, can go surfing) takes out a house harboring Taliban and, in the process, kills ten other people, many of whom are children.
Certainly, in such cases, our representative makes financial payments to the family of the slain innocents. This much we know.
But, is this enough? Have we made restitution?
Some would say that Pakistan is a war zone, and, as such, contains innocent people who are sometimes inadvertently killed. I can buy that argument, IF we flip the coin and address the statement I've heard that says that our war on terror knows no borders and, thus, includes our own houses. Would we send a missile into a house holding known Taliban (or other extremist groups) if innocent people were there, too? (Our most recent action of using deadly force in a situation somewhat analogous to the house in Pakistan was when we stormed the Branch Dividians in Waco, with subsequent horrendous loss of life.)
But, now, at this moment, would we bomb a house here where even the slightest prospect of taking the lives of children existed?
Then why do we do so in Pakistan?
Mind you, I'm not saying we shouldn't try to root out the Taliban, which is infamous in its treatment of those who disagree with its interpretation of Islam. I am positing, though, that we ask the question I have posed: Is the life of an innocent person in Pakistan (or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Somalia, or Mexico) worth less than the life of an innocent in U.S. of A?
We HAVE to ask this question; we HAVE to answer NO to this question; and only THEN can we find true justification for the loss of innocent lives in other places (if such justification can, indeed, be found).
Perhaps we don't ask this question for the same reason we don't ask other questions: we don't want to have to answer it with what we really feel.