Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dignity of the Person

Essay in answer of the question: What is the dignity of the person and where does it find its source?

The dignity of the person consists of the image of God, intrinsic in the soul and spirit, glorifying the body, and remaining in all men regardless of circumstance or ability.

The dignity of the person is founded in the belief that mankind is unique in creation. We are not merely animals and thus have both rights and duties. Out duties are not a negation of our liberty and dignity but an affirmation of them. We reject the error that rights are the substance of life and happiness but affirm that they are the protection of it. We gain happiness not by demanding that our rights be the most important thing in our world, but by the laying down of ourselves and becoming the servant of all.

The dignity of the person is violated by some limitations and upheld by others. Those limitations which are legitimate, far from infringing on the dignity of man, uphold it by protecting individuals from the sinful passions of others. We establish the difference between limitations that infringe and limitations that liberate based on the revealed and natural law. From whence comes the dignity, also comes the definition of dignity.

All men are created equal. We are equally sinners, equally in need of restraint both internal and external, equally in need of grace, and equally made in the image of God. Our dignity cannot be granted, nor revoked, by any man or group of men because it has a higher source than any possible human construct.

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