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Thread: Human Dignity?

  1. #11
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Yes, but why does the fact that some humans confer esteem, while other don't, necessarily leads to humans having dignity? I don't see how that follows.
    You don't see how it follows that because "some humans confer esteem", humans have dignity? It's in the definition. I don't understand how this is confusing. Nothing in the definition requires unanimous recognition of that state, let alone acting on that recognition.

    It sounds like you're treating the word 'dignity' as a referent to some intrinsic quality of humanity. That's not what the word means. It's entirely subjective what qualifies as 'worthy, honored, or esteemed'. Just look at North Korea's Dear Leader. He certainly meets all those definitions, even if we don't think of him that way.
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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    You don't see how it follows that because "some humans confer esteem", humans have dignity? It's in the definition. I don't understand how this is confusing. Nothing in the definition requires unanimous recognition of that state, let alone acting on that recognition.
    So basically because some humans think we have esteem, we have dignity?

    It sounds like you're treating the word 'dignity' as a referent to some intrinsic quality of humanity. That's not what the word means. It's entirely subjective what qualifies as 'worthy, honored, or esteemed'. Just look at North Korea's Dear Leader. He certainly meets all those definitions, even if we don't think of him that way.
    So if it is a subjective consideration then who is correct - people who believe that their fellow man has dignity or those who don't? And if it is subjective what is stopping a Ingrid Newkirk from logically conferring the same dignity on animals?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So basically because some humans think we have esteem, we have dignity?
    Close. Because some humans esteem other humans, they confer dignity. 'Some' here is a little misleading, though, given that almost everyone holds someone else (if not multiple people) in high esteem.


    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So if it is a subjective consideration then who is correct - people who believe that their fellow man has dignity or those who don't? And if it is subjective what is stopping a Ingrid Newkirk from logically conferring the same dignity on animals?
    There's not a 'correct'. Someone who holds another in high esteem views them with dignity. Someone who doesn't will not view others with dignity. And nothing stops Ingrid from doing so. He can view whatever he wants as having dignity. So what? That doesn't say anything about the object of his view. It can only ever say something about himself.

    Ingrid's statement is one of belief, not fact. He can't make dogs and cats equal with humans simply by saying so, nor can he make them have the same traits we do. He can do two things: 1) state his belief that all animals are equal with humans, and 2) claim that we should therefore treat animals the same way we treat humans.
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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    Close. Because some humans esteem other humans, they confer dignity. 'Some' here is a little misleading, though, given that almost everyone holds someone else (if not multiple people) in high esteem.
    Yes, but if we didn't hold a particular person or group in esteem than that means that they don't have dignity?




    There's not a 'correct'. Someone who holds another in high esteem views them with dignity. Someone who doesn't will not view others with dignity. And nothing stops Ingrid from doing so. He can view whatever he wants as having dignity. So what? That doesn't say anything about the object of his view. It can only ever say something about himself.
    Since dignity is a subjective consideration in your view then we can confer it on whom or what we choose - no one being more or less correct about their judgments.



    Ingrid's statement is one of belief, not fact. He can't make dogs and cats equal with humans simply by saying so, nor can he make them have the same traits we do. He can do two things: 1) state his belief that all animals are equal with humans, and 2) claim that we should therefore treat animals the same way we treat humans.
    But what do you have but belief? That because of certain qualities humans have dignity, but why can't other qualities, more common in the animal kingdom, equally be the basis for dignity? I mean if human dignity is not intrinsic then people like Ingrid and Singer have a logical argument. Ingrid Newkirk BTW is a woman and the President of PETA.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather Jedidiah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    You don't see how it follows that because "some humans confer esteem", humans have dignity? It's in the definition. I don't understand how this is confusing. Nothing in the definition requires unanimous recognition of that state, let alone acting on that recognition.

    It sounds like you're treating the word 'dignity' as a referent to some intrinsic quality of humanity. That's not what the word means. It's entirely subjective what qualifies as 'worthy, honored, or esteemed'. Just look at North Korea's Dear Leader. He certainly meets all those definitions, even if we don't think of him that way.
    Since we have fairly poor communications with animals at such a level, can you tell me why you are sure that none of them "confer esteem?"
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Logically, and inherently, do humans have more dignity than animals?
    dignity-
    the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect.
    wiki:-
    Moral, ethical, legal, and political discussions use the concept of dignity to express the idea that a being has the right to be valued, respected, and to receive ethical treatment. In the modern context, dignity can function as an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights.

    Sacred-
    connected with God .....(or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.

    Religio-philosophies---the term "sacred" would express the concept of "dignity" better.....but in a "secular"/Atheist context "dignity" is fine....
    If all creation is willed by God for a purpose, then all creation has an equal value/is equally sacred. One could hold that all creation has equivalent "value/sacredness" but different inter-relations. Human dignity is the reciprocal relationships between human beings---as the term itself implies....It would be a mistake to apply the ethics of "human" dignity to creations that are not human....such as animals, plants, or any other of God's creations....that does not mean that such creations are not equally sacred...they are simply different....the ethics of inter-relationship/interactions of human beings with all of Gods creations should be based on the the God-given responsibility of being his Trustees on earth.....as caretakers and protectors of his creation....

    In Judaism and Islam this sacredness is expressed in what is referred in English as "ritual slaughter" (Zabiha-Arabic, Shehita-Hebrew)
    In some other religions (including Christianity?) this sacredness is expressed by a prayer before eating.

    When comparing this concept of dignity with that of the UDHR.....

    1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    ....it seems limited?...when we try to formulate "neutral" ethics based on the largest possible appeal and approval...a lot gets lost ?...

  7. #17
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Since we have fairly poor communications with animals at such a level, can you tell me why you are sure that none of them "confer esteem?"
    To quote myself in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Carrikature View Post
    Other animals aren't capable (so far as we know) of comprehending the concept, let alone applying it to another.
    I deliberately left in the caveat. However, we know enough of animal behavior to confidently say that the vast majority of animals don't interact with each other in this way. At best, they display fear of a larger member of the species, which isn't anywhere close to our meaning of 'dignity'.

    However, it's possible that in the 'higher' orders of social animals, something like esteem shows up. Am I sure that it doesn't? No, nor did I say otherwise. That said, I don't know of any behavior that indicates such a thing exists in other animals.
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  8. #18
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Yes, but if we didn't hold a particular person or group in esteem than that means that they don't have dignity?
    It means that you don't hold them in esteem. It could be that another member of their group does. It's not a universal trait.


    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Since dignity is a subjective consideration in your view then we can confer it on whom or what we choose - no one being more or less correct about their judgments.
    Exactly. That's why I said there's not a correct.


    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    But what do you have but belief? That because of certain qualities humans have dignity, but why can't other qualities, more common in the animal kingdom, equally be the basis for dignity? I mean if human dignity is not intrinsic then people like Ingrid and Singer have a logical argument. Ingrid Newkirk BTW is a woman and the President of PETA.
    Any quality could be the basis for dignity. That's why I say it's subjective. It's very dependent on culture.

    I'm not sure what you think the logical argument is, though. They could make a claim that uses their beliefs about dignity and animals as the premises, and they could use those premises to form a logical conclusion. The best they ever get is a valid conclusion. They can't make a sound argument without establishing that their beliefs are true, and there's no way to do that.
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  9. #19
    tWebber Carrikature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    Religio-philosophies---the term "sacred" would express the concept of "dignity" better.....but in a "secular"/Atheist context "dignity" is fine....
    Yeah, I think this is the hang-up. Sacred could actually imply something intrinsic. Dignity just doesn't, especially with the definition seer provided.


    Quote Originally Posted by siam View Post
    ....it seems limited?...when we try to formulate "neutral" ethics based on the largest possible appeal and approval...a lot gets lost ?...
    I'm not sure I follow this bit. What do you think gets lost? Why do you think we're trying to formulate 'neutral' ethics, and why are those based on the largest possible appeal and approval?
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  10. #20
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Then what does?
    I have been looking forward to your answer but it appers you have got nothing but questions. You started the thread and so far you have offered nothing in order to answer it positive or negative. You must have an opinion, or?

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