Are Two Lives Saved Twice as Good as One?

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“Are two lives saved twice as good as one life saved?” A decision-analysis expert uses this provocative question as a springboard into an exploration of what we value, how we value it, the costly mistakes we make along the way — and what we can do about it. He opens with this compelling story from 1922 Munich (and concludes with an equally gripping one about the US Marines in Afganistan): “The teacher walked into the class and nodded. The class stood up and took the oath they recited daily before beginning lessons, “I was born to die for Germany.” As they took their seats, the teacher noticed one boy still standing. They locked eyes, and the boy found his voice, “I think I was born to live for Germany,” he said. That boy was Robert S. Hartman who made it his life goal to study values and come up with a scientific way to prevent value confusion of the kind that he saw during the Nazi era.”

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