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The Dignity Of The Human Person Created in The Image And Likeness Of God

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The understanding of dignity of the human person is derived from the image and likeness of God Himself. We remains the summit of God’s creation and so mistreating an individual is not always morally correct. Christian anthropology helps us to broaden our knowledge on the mystery of human. On the other hand, modern sciences also attempts to explain human through innovative technologies but many times fails to respect the value human life. Human dignity initiates from God, for we are his image and likeness (Gn. 1: 26-27).

Our life is holy and remains as peak and purest since we possessed supernatural gifts including intellectual that distinguished us from other animal classes and enables us to know and love God. This goodness is not merely supporting an individual’s attribute, legal obligation, personal merit or success. Our dignity as a person is undisputable, that signifies it to be an essential feature entitled to all of us and is a crucial aspect that is indivisible of other needed qualities of a person (Dwyer, p. 724-737, 1994). We are created in the image of God, able to exercise dominion and fulfil our vocation only when in that control of the universe, we manifests the qualities of God – mercy and fidelity. We are gifted to cultivate the land and transform it to suit our needs. Basis of such power of domination is reflected back to God himself, as we are formed in His image. When fulfilling that command, we reflects the works of Creator himself and we become his collaborator. While working, we realizes ourselves and develops our humanity and the ultimate goal of the work is always centred upon ourselves (O’Grady, pp. 10 -11, 1975).

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Another vocation of man is realized in the community of people – men and women. Marriage union recreates the mysteries of creation and is at the same time imposed upon us. It is an indispensable condition for the transfer of life to new generations of people. The basis for reflection are the words of the Creator in Genesis for us – be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it (Genesis 1: 28) and therefore the man leaves his father and mother and joins his wife so closely that they become one body (Gen. 2: 24). Marriage is therefore a place established by the Creator for the conception of a new life. This vocation is common to all people who can develop and realize their humanity by being a gift to others. This is confirmed by the communion structure of the person created in the image and likeness of the Holy Trinity (O’Grady, pp. 138 – 145, 1975). In addition, we were called from the beginning to live in friendship with God and to give ourselves to God to become sharers in the truth and love which is in God. We are created as open to hear the Word of God in our own life, to speak the Word of God and pronounce this Word to others. We can always be more than we are at any moment because we are connected to God and our whole being cries out for God as we strains forward to go beyond our possibilities to find a newness and a richness in life because our hearts and mind finds rest only in him. Even the lowest of us can dream the impossible dream and believe that it is possible because of God’s great gift.

Moreover, we are sinners, living in an evil world, making that evil more powerful by our own personal sin. Even if we are sin, we never loses the capacity of reflecting the qualities of God and our dignity never loses and our life remains sacred and should be not violated (O’Grady, p. 13, 15, 1975). In all, we remains God noblest and highest creature, of infinite worth, possessing the greatest gift above all life. Furthermore, our closeness to God is not discovered purely in spirit alone meaning our body cannot be separated from the soul or spirit. Oneness with God occurs when we are together by means of spiritual, physical, human possessions – including behaviours and characteristics and movements and necessities and desires (O’Grady, 125 -135, 1975). By understanding this basic philosophy of human life, I wished to consider a number of ethical issues regarding the commencement and terminating of a life such as abortion, euthanasia, and treatment of vulnerable kids, disabled and elderly. Killing an unborn child is immoral. We listen to readings of the Bible concerning the value of a human person and why destroying a human life by any means is outlawed.

The problem of terminating an unborn child argues about when the human life develop. Today it is widely agreed with the help of science as life begin at conception, hence assimilated many texts in Sacred Scripture that affirms a foetus within a mother’s womb is certainly a person reflecting the likeness and image of God. There are two distinct views that is debatable concerning the abortion. One view says; the decision of aborting a foetus has to come from the mother that base the arguments on the principle of pro-choice. While the other view suggest that, society should not allow abortion compelled by any situation because an unborn child is a human being from the moment of conception thus assimilated the pro-life conception of human being. In contrast, we cannot find any arguments in the Bible that supports the idea of pro-choice. Therefore, we are obliged to accept that terminating a foetus is clearly murdering an innocent life, which is strongly forbidden by the sixth commandment.

The explanation of it is in (EX. 23: 7); God loathes the hands, which shed the innocent bloods. Furthermore, euthanasia is a method of terminating a person’s life who is struggling with a critical illness without any physical injuries done. Euthanasia can be active or passive and may happens with or without patient’s informed consent or sometimes, if the person is unable to speak for him/herself, a responsible person may give the decision. Active euthanasia is explicitly condemned by the sixth commandment, although the person suffering requested for it. The story of King Saul gives us a clear biblical and moral position. When he was seriously harmed, he ordered his armour-bearer to put him to death because he cannot accept defeat by his enemies. However, it was not done according to his will (1 Sam. 31: 3-5).

While passive euthanasia includes withdrawing the provision of human necessities that is life giving such as food, water, air or artificial life-giving technologies for the reason of causing death to stop pain and struggling. Such carelessness in human beings that causes death was also forbidden by the sixth commandment. Similarly, the person with disabilities, vulnerable children, or old people are equal as everyone else in the society because they have attributes comparable to God himself and deserved equal appreciation given to anybody else. The people experiencing pains were by no means different from others and their values does not fluctuate according to the degree of their suffering. Referring to biblical standpoint, Jesus showed sympathy to both people with sickness (Matt. 14: 14) and the people with physical, emotional and spiritual matters (Matt. 9: 36, mark 8: 2, Luke 7: 13). Therefore as Christians, it is important and profoundly religious to show kindness to the body, soul and spirit of the people who are struggling with life-threatening issues.

To conclude, the study of human beings is a never – ending story. It is studied in Christian anthropology, theology, philosophy and psychology, etc. All of which attempts to explain the mystery of human beings from various viewpoints because humans possessed a nature that cannot be comprehend in one perspective. Our lives cannot be satisfied with the materialistic world because we are not rooted with those things. We can find peace and happiness only when God is in the centre of our hearts and minds. We are therefore bound to obey and follow everything being said in the Bible in order for us to live peaceful lives.


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