Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I am grateful to Rob for bringing attention to the work of Professor Luban regarding human dignity. The subject of human dignity and what it is has a rich consideration in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. An examination of the many treatments in the Compendium reveals that there are specific contextual considerations as well as more general understandings. In spite of the fact that this forum is the Mirror of Justice, I cannot do justice to the vast treatment the Compendium offers in this posting. However, one of the appealing explanations of human dignity is that offered by Pope John Paul II in this encyclical letter Centesimus Annus where he said there exists something "which is due to man because he is man." Human dignity is not a property that can be bargained for or given away or forcibly removed. It is innate in the existence of each human who bears the divine image of God. I think Rob has come across an important topic vital to our common enterprise that can engaged us for a long time to come.