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Historical Perspective on the Human Person

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According to the article "Historical Perspective on the Human Person" by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, the Western society has become highly developed however it has lost the value of the individual person. This society puts emphasis on defending individuals and their rights while "unborn babies, terminally ill patients, or those who simply "dis" other in the streets are deemed expendable." The western society makes some people so valuable while it leaves others was worthless. A question that Fox-Genovese put an emphasis on is "What remains to be explained is who gets to decide which lives deserve respect and protection and which do not?" The author begins with a Psalm that is very catching because the Psalm states that God made humans "little lower than the angels," if God has made a human so important than who are we to give respect to one and nothing to the other. In the Western culture we are familiar with this Psalm however we put little emphasis on the part that humans are little lower than angels. The article goes on by explaining that we do value human life however that life is our own. The more we value our own life the more quickly we are motivated to reduce the value of others lives. Therefore, the western society is teaching people to be selfish because we learn to satisfy and do everything for ourselves. In addition, the western world is putting an importance in belonging to "groups...members of families...clans, tribes...religious orders...professions." We are given a membership name as "daughter, father, wife, or cousin...." However, the religion Christianity puts emphasis how every individual is important regardless of race, sex, and status. In Christianity you can not value one person "without valuing all persons." The article goes on by stating what freedom means in this era? It means "autonomy, self-determination, and independence from binding obligations...." For this society freedom is when we can have "sexual liberation, abortion, assisted suicide, and an entire battery of assaults upon human life." These freedoms result in lowering the value of human life. Freedom has also had its positive points; it has made life better for many people. The abolition of slavery, women's rights, and rights of handicaps, and concentration to the needs of children are all results of freedom. However the western society contradicts itself,



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