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Magazine Tries to Calculate Your Soul's Worth

Jesus once asked, "Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" An tongue-in-cheek article on Business Insider has tried to answer that question literally by estimating how much your soul is worth in real dollars. The article admitted that the business of soul-evaluating isn't an exact science. For instance, at the low end there's the comical incident where Homer Simpson sells his soul to the devil for one donut, estimated at about $1.00.

An award-winning short story from the 1930s called "The Devil and Daniel Webster" offers another estimate of the worth of a human soul. In the story, a man named Jabez Stone sells his soul to the devil for ten years of prosperity. Business Insider notes that had that story taken place today, that would have made his soul worth approximately $1,745,926.

But the article concludes that the best estimate may come from the U.S. Government's Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA uses what it calls the VSL (or Value of a Statistical Life) to determine the worth of your soul. The current VSL is at $7.4 million in 2006 dollars, or about $8.6 million in 2013 dollars.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Discipleship; Christ, Lordship of—In the original context, Jesus asked this question to challenge people to follow him because a life is too valuable to waste on lesser pursuits. (2) Human Dignity; Worth—Despite these tongue-in-cheek attempts to put a dollar value on a human soul, Jesus' point is that your life is priceless. Don't waste it.

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