Human Dignity

Domination, Technology, and Human Nature

“The three ideas which have been discussed—”death with dignity” and human autonomy, the distinction between “persons” and “non-persons,” and “quality of life” judgments—al have something in common. They are all used dogmatically, leading to great confidence in our right to control human life. These are areas where the great religious tradition at its best has been restrained by agnosticism and a sense of transcendent mystery. Some believers have tried to combine these two views of life in a crudely simplistic manner. They have identified the freedoms of technology with the freedom given by truth. The result in the public world, if policy flowed from this identification., would be the destruction of cherished political freedoms.”

George Grant, Technology and Justice (Ontario: Anasi, 1986), 115.

Anscombe, Human Dignity

"What people are for is, we believe, like guided missiles, to home in on God, God who is the one truth it is infinitely worth knowing, the possession of which you could never get tired of, like the water which if you have you can never thirst again, because your vital thirst is slaked forever and always. It’s this potentiality; this incredible potentiality, of the knowledge of God of such a kind as even to be sharing in his nature, which Christianity holds out to people; and because of this potentiality every life, right up to the last, must be treated as precious. Its potentialities in all the things the world cares about may be slight; but there is always the possibility of what it’s for. We can’t ever know that the time of possibility of gaining eternal life is over, however old, wretched, ‘useless’ someone has become."

- Elizabeth Anscombe, "Contraception and Chastity"