The value of a life - a social experiment.


Elite Member
May 19, 2008
Im doing this along with a second question ill ask at a later date once i gather feedback from this one. Im trying to determine the percieved monetary value of a person depending on the scenario.

Ill cut right to it and ask you the question. You just won 1'000'000 pounds. Lets assume you arnt that well off, you could considerably improve your life with this money. However there is a person. Lets call them X. Without money to pay for treatment they will die. You have never met person X. You have no idea if they are a hobo or a neurosurgon. You are asked to give as MUCH as possible to help them. You arnt told how much money they need, or if others will help fill in the shortfall. How much money do you give to save this persons life? You know if you give none. The person. Will. Die. What % of this money would you give to help one single life? By honest. Like really honest. Dont say "all of it" because likely hood is if this actually happened (you won the lottery) you COULD do this but wouldnt. People need money to survive.

You wouldnt give 100% of it away. How much of this would you keep to yourself and whats the maximum amount you would give to preson x. TO clarify theres no underhanded motive here. Its not a trick. You know its going to exactly what its for. You cant give too much money. Maybe they need far more than your million. You are just asked to help.

Imagine someone is literally at your door, tells you this and asks for cash because theyve seen you on tv. And for some reason you are certain they are not lying. On the spot. How much do you donate.

Stop taking the situation so literally. I need a figure.



1: if you had this much money, how much would you pay 100% definitively save a human life.
2: You know it will work.
3: You know hes not a liar.
4: This is the ONE and ONLY time you need to give him money. Just state as a figure how much it is worth to you.
5: Stop saying because you dont know how much it is you wont give. Im asking you to look at the fact you have X money to save this life. How much is it worth to you out of a hypottetical max of infinite

ULTIMATUM:The question is if in 1'000'000 different parallell universes one person came to your door and asked for different amounts of money from 1 to 1000000 for the exact same situation, past what point would you start saying no.


Music Industry Corporate Whore
Nov 14, 2007
None. Fuck it.

If I did have a million I would probably give generously - but to people I know, not a stranger. How can I trust him anyway, maybe he's not really dying, maybe he just wants a million dollars badly enough to spin a story.

EDIT: just read the OP a little more carefully. Even if I could be 100% guaranteed he was legit and all the money was going exactly to where it should (like that's even possible anyway - even bona-fide charities find this task daunting) it wouldn't change how I feel. Charity begins at home. The guy's quite possibly an asshole who doesn't deserve life anyway, he's a stranger so what would I know, I'm not going to prioritise him over my happiness and the happiness of those closest to me.


New member
Sep 15, 2010
Will more come up asking if i give it to them? Will he learn to fend for him/herself if i give it to them or will they realies they can get away by asking rich people for money?

Mr Shrike

New member
Aug 13, 2010
Personally, I wouldn't give any amount of money to any person turning up at my door asking for it. I am not a charity.

They could get government benefits and various foundations such as the Foundation Army etc that can help them a lot better than I.


Ineptly Chaotic
Apr 5, 2020
A Hermit's Cave
I'm with BonsaiK on this.

I'm registered with CAF, so I'll give them a hundred grand to dish out as they see fit. Besides, my ex-gf needs therapy, my mom has cancer and my dad needs surgery for his spine, so I've got issues of my own to deal with.

Monkfish Acc.

New member
May 7, 2008
Try to find out the exact cost of the most expensive treatment for every life-threatening ailment.
Then pay the biggest number there.

If it is more than a million, bribe my way into getting this fucker a medical card.

Then check up in like a week and make sure whoever it is isn't using my money to buy hookers and snort a fucking truckload of cocaine.


Kid makes a post...
Jun 1, 2009

A specific number, but $30,000 goes a long way for someone without money. For me however, it's not much of a dent.


Not quite Cthulhu
May 25, 2009
i give them some chocolate buttons and a coat hanger.
If they were family or close friends then sure i'd give them money, as much as they needed. And i'd probably give 5-10% to the british legion too.
But i need a death korps of krieg army so strangers can bugger off


New member
Mar 17, 2010
None. People die fully preventable deaths every day, and while I might donate money to charity, I'm not going to put money towards this one particular guy, no matter how dire his situation. Not when I don't know him, and not when dozens of people live through that exact situation each day.


New member
Nov 18, 2009
are they part of my monkeysphere? [] no? screw them then.


New member
Mar 15, 2010
I'd do the same thing I always do with a large windfall: give about 20% to charity, distribute about 30% to various people who deserve it (sorry, random dying person, most of that is already earmarked), invest about 30% in stocks and/or retirement funds, and either put the remaining 20% into savings and use the accrued interest as income (if there's enough left to make significant interest) or use it myself.

Of course that'd be working with about half the original amount, thanks to taxes...


New member
Feb 18, 2010
None. I do not care for human lives. Not unless it's someone I do care for that is.


New member
May 30, 2010
900,000 is still going to keep me in cash for a long time, so I'd give 100,000. That way I don't have to worry about my conscience bothering me while I enjoy my riches.


New member
Feb 8, 2011
Being 100% honest here I would probably just ignore the knocking on the door or the doorbell until they went away. Unless I know a person I don't open my door or answer my phone.

If it got to the point where I actually did aggro them outside somehow, I'd probably have them removed from my property.

Everybody has to die some time, some sooner then others and I wouldn't expect or ask for any handouts if I was in the same situation. I'd just make the best out of what time I have left and possibly suggest they do the same.


New member
Apr 15, 2009
I'd give away none of it.

Yeah I like to help people and what not but not if they ask for it.

If the person came to my door and ask me for money I'd tell him to go forth and reproduce (In a slightly more condensed way)

If I wanted to help them do to liking them or something then I'd be more inclined to give them some.

People die, I don't really care (Especially with alot of people in my family dieing while I was very young) I'd use my money to ease my life (Surviving until I get a decent job) and probably help out my friends if I feel they need it (Them asking me won't work. Unless they're a girl and use my nickname to which I cannot resist for some reason :( )


Travelling Mushishi
Apr 22, 2009
None. People die all the time. All the time, hell, right now there are people dying whose lives I could probably temporarily elongate by donating even a small sum to charities which might provide them with the bare minimum of food they need to survive. But unfortunate as it is, and it is very unfortunate, saving a person here and saving a person there is just treating the symptoms. So while I'd like to find a good cause for that money to go to, spending it on one person is not that good cause. In that particular case, one way to treat the cause would be the instillation of a universal healthcare system, so I would be inclined to give money to PACs which might help with that.