>Whether it’s a genetic result of evolution or the way we are designed by a Creator, even very young children seem to have a sense that it’s important to understand that there are consequences to infringing rights of other people before they can express “That’s not fair!.”
My attempt a couple of days ago to discuss the foundations of conservative philosophy and human dignity is not nearly so elegant as this one from Professor Francis Beckwith, associate professor of philosophy and church-state studies at Baylor University:
It is the view that human beings have intrinsic dignity by nature that is not a consequence of their size, level of development, environment or dependency.
“We don’t become less intrinsically valuable because others think it is in their interest to destroy us.
The Professor’s letter addressed the controversy over abortion in Waco, Texas the home of Baylor. It might also give the editors of the American Journal of Bioethics a better understanding the base of the conservative philosophy and human dignity.
Admittedly, the result can be risky for people, individually and in groups. This is where government comes in and why it’s vital to educate the public about the nature of rights as endowed to each human individual from the beginning of life until death. The danger comes from other people who discriminate between which human individuals fit into artificial categories smaller than the species category. The re-defining and discrimination – and the distraction by adding adjectives and qualifiers – is the beginning of the infringement of rights, whether the categories are according to physical or political power, race, status, location, development or function.
Thanks, to Jivin’ Jehosaphat for the link to the Beckwith editorial in the Waco Tribune-Herald.
>"intrinsic dignity by nature"In the word 'nature' there you manage to focus the contriversy of nearly ever issue in human bioethics. Impressive. But, without an answer to the question of what human nature really is, useless.
>The first paragraph pretty much sets the premise up. However, "by nature" means as we are found, our propensity, our "telos." Try reading it as you would read about that bird: "capable of flight by nature."