Student or Learner
‘Of course a lot of nonsense is talked about the value of human life. You might just as well say that the counters you use at poker have an intrinsic value. Their value is what you like to make it; for a general giving battle, men are merely counters and he’s a fool if he allows himself for sentimental reasons to look upon them as human beings.’
(W.S. Maugham; The Hairless Mexican)
Would you be so kind to explain to me what the part in bold is supposed to mean?
Does it mean that their value is the value you like to ascribe to them?