Ethos Education

The Martian: Why is Every Human Life Worth Saving?

Leave a comment

Assembly Objective:

  • Why do we think every human life is worth saving? Why do we go to such extremes to save one human life? This assembly explores and evaluates the Bible’s teaching on the sacredness of individual human life.

Film:

  • The Martian (20th Century Fox, 2015, certificate 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of individual liberty is based on the notion that each and every person has the right to live freely and make their own decisions. This assembly encourages students to reflect on why we think it is so important that each individual life is valued.

OPENING ACTIVITY

What would you do? (game)

  • Inform the students that they will be given several scenarios where a difficult decision needs to be made. For each scenario they will have different courses of action to choose from. Give them thirty seconds to think about their answer. Ask for one or two students to offer their suggestions and why they have chosen that particular option.

Download the What Would You Do Quiz? Assembly PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • You are on a boat with several friends. A storm hits and one friend falls overboard. You can’t see them and know if you stay in the storm for much longer, you might not survive. If you leave your friend, they almost definitely won’t make it. Do you wait and search for your friend or get out of the storm?
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Your local community has a fund made from local taxes and gifted money. It is deciding whether to use the money to pay for expensive treatment for a child you know from school who has terminal cancer, or to give the money to a village in Uganda where it will provide water for dozens of people. Where would you send the money?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • There is a runaway train carriage speeding down a train track. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The carriage is headed straight for them. You are standing next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the carriage will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track: the president of the USA. Do you let the carriage kill the five people, or pull the lever and let them live but kill the president?
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Ask students for a hands up if they found this difficult. Ask if anyone wants to share why they found it difficult.

FILM CLIP 1

  • Play the first clip from The Martian (20th Century Fox, 2015, certificate 12A)
    • Start time: 1:28:30
    • End time: 1:30:41
    • Clip length: 2 minutes and 11 seconds
  • The film clip starts with a crew of astronauts deciding whether to take the dangerous journey back to Mars to try and save their friend. Captain Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) explains that the mission back to Mars will be very dangerous, and will mean the astronauts can’t go home for another year and a half. They must decide as a crew what to do.

FILM CLIP 2

  • Play the second clip from The Martian (20th Century Fox, 2015, certificate 12A)
    • Start time: 1:30:41
    • End time:  1:32:10
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 29 seconds
  • Straight after the first film clip we see NASA Administrator (Jeff  Daniels) having a disagreement with the Mission Director (Sean Bean). He argues that the space agency is about more than one person – (giving the audience the impression they can’t risk it all for one life). The Mission Director disagrees saying it is about one person, and nothing more. We take from the clip that one person is incredibly valuable and special.

TALK

Download the Why is Every Human Life Worth Saving? Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • It’s clearly hard to make life saving decisions, especially when you have to choose between different people. Is there ever an obvious answer when it comes to protecting and saving life? It’s clear that deep down we think that there’s something about human life that makes it worth saving; that’s why the choice is always so difficult.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • In the film The Martian, fictional astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon), sits on Mars, alone, waiting to be rescued. He is thinking about the efforts the entire world has gone into to save his life. He says: ‘Every human being has a basic instinct: to help each other out. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are [those] who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Here’s a clip from the film The Martian, where the astronaut crew must decide whether to risk their lives and spend more than another year and a half year in space to save the life of their friend.
    • Play the clip from The Martian (20th Century Fox, 2015, certificate 12A)
      • Start time: 1:28:30
      • End time: 1:30:41
      • Clip length: 2 minutes and 11 seconds
    • The film clip starts with a crew of astronauts deciding whether to take the dangerous journey back to Mars to try and save their friend. Captain Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) explains that the mission back to Mars will be very dangerous, and will mean the astronauts can’t go home for another year and a half. They must decide as a crew what to do.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • The astronauts had to make a difficult decision, but they didn’t even think twice. They all thought it was obvious that they had to save their friend, even at great risk and great cost. They believe that their friend, even though he is only one person, is worth saving.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Play the second film clip from The Martian:
      • Start time: 1:30:41
      • End time:  1:32:10
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 29 seconds
    • Straight after the first film clip we see NASA Administrator (Jeff  Daniels) having a disagreement with the Mission Director (Sean Bean). He argues that the space agency is about more than one person – (giving the audience the impression they can’t risk it all for one life). The Mission Director disagrees saying it is about one person, and nothing more. We take from the clip that one person is incredibly valuable and special.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • There are real life examples of this; many people risking their lives to save one or a few. Some of you have probably seen pages and pictures on the internet claiming to ‘restore your faith in humanity’. On these sites you see examples of people showing how much they care about individual human lives. Helping other people, keeping them safe, getting them out of danger, setting them free: these are all things that mean a lot to us. It’s a part of our humanity. Do you ever hear a story about human kindness and think ‘what a waste of time!’
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Bible teaches that this is no accident; that every person is made delicately and carefully by God, and that is why every person is precious, and worth saving.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • In the Old Testament, there are 150 songs and poems recorded in the Book of Psalms. One of these psalms (Psalm 139: 14-15 New International Version) talks about how each person is ‘wonderfully and fearfully made’. They are not wonderfully made by accident, but because God saw them when they were not yet seen by the world. The psalmist writes that they are ‘woven’. What does this make you think of?
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Imagine someone delicately sewing together something they deeply care about – making sure every bit of it is just how they want. This is how the Bible describes each person: special, valuable and worth protecting and looking after.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • What important lessons can we learn from this? Firstly, it’s important to treat every life with respect. What more can we do day to day to take care of ourselves and other people? And secondly, it’s important to remember that even when we feel like we have failed, or are not worth anyone’s time that we are delicate, precious creatures and that should not define our value on things we do, rather on who we are, as human beings.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Why is Every Human Life Worth Saving? Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • It’s hard to make life saving decisions.
    • How do you choose between different lives?
    • It is clear that there is something about human life that makes it worth saving.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Mark Watney, the fictional astronaut.
    • He believes that it is in human nature to show kindness to others.
    • Read quote from The Martian.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Introduce first film clip.
    • The crew must decide whether they risk their own lives, to save the life of their friend.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • The astronauts had to make a difficult decision.
    • Why did they decide so easily?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Play the second film clip from The Martian:
      • Start time: 1:30:41
      • End time:  1:32:10
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 29 seconds
    • The director and administrator of the space agency have a disagreement.
    • One thinks: it is about more than one man.
    • The other thinks: it is worth it all for this one man.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Real life examples.
    • Try to restore our faith in humanity.
    • These stories mean a lot to us.
    • Do we ever think they are a waste of time?
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Bible teaches this is no accident.
    • Each person is wonderfully made.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • The Psalmist writes each person is ‘woven together’.
    • Read the Bible verse.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Things that are woven or sewn are made with care.
    • People are special, valuable.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • What lessons can we learn from this?
    • Treat every life with respect and care, including ourselves. How can we care for others more?
    • Even when we feel like we are not worth anyone’s time, we must remember that each of us is special.

Photo Copyright for What Would You Do Quiz? Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Michael L. Baird / Slide 2 Community image and boy drinking water iStockphoto.com, girl holding bear by Bill Branson / Slide 3 Ultra7 / Slide 4 freeimages.co.uk

Photo Copyright for Why is Every Human Life Worth Saving? Assembly Powerpoint: Slide 1 Twentieth Century Fox / Slide 2 Twentieth Century Fox / Slide 3 TM and 2015 Twentieth Century Fox  / Slide 4 TM and 2015 Twentieth Century Fox / Slide 5 TM and 2015 Twentieth Century Fox  / Slide 6 freeimages.co.uk / Slide 7 and 8 LUMO project / Slide 9 Nikodem Zielinski / Slide 10 TM and 2015 Twentieth Century Fox


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that I am wonderfully made. Please help me to remember this when things get difficult, and help me to remember to treat others with kindness and respect.

Reflection

  • When you feel down, how do you cheer yourself up? How do you help others to feel better when they are also feeling down? How might you be able to make more of a difference to your own feelings and the feelings of others in the next week?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of The Martian (20th Century Fox, 2015, certificate 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Why is Every Human Life Worth Saving? Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. What Would You Do Quiz? Assembly PowerPoint.

 

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s