Human Dignity: A Philosophical and Theological Approach
Journal international de bioéthique = International journal of bioethics 2010 Sep; 21(3): 29-41, 87
We all use the term "human dignity" both often and gladly. This term exists also in legislation, such as declarations and constitutions of some countries, beginning from UNESCO, WHO, Council of Europe, and they all have the same inspiration to achieve the same goal: protection of human dignity. Human dignity seems as a principle connected with the protection of life itself, protection of health, and is also connected with research. But, today it is far more difficult to determine the meaning of this term and on what grounds it is based. Is human dignity something objective or is it grounded on cultural values that vary throughout history? Is the primary finding of human dignity in its self-determination against the power of the community, i.e. state? What do philosophy, and Christian theology have to say on dignity and what are the bioethical implications of our time? The author first introduces us to the development of the meaning of the term "human dignity", starting from the pre-Christian time, through the Christian perception of person and one's dignity, philosophical notion and grounds of human dignity, to then give the idea of dignity according to bioethical standards.
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