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Human Life and the Foundations of Morals

Question:

Explain the connection between the value of human life and authentic freedom.

Human life is considered sacred and hence the dignity of a person is the foundations of his or her morals compass. Technically, the belief lays the foundation for the principles of various social teachings. In the contemporary society, human life is constantly under attack from euthanasia and abortion. Authentic freedom on the other hand is considered a way of life that is described by consistent experiences of inner reflection and peace. Authentic freedom also reflects the way God wants us to live. In relation, this section will analyze the connection between the value of human life and authentic freedom while making reference to important concepts related to the topic of study. The process of authentic freedom is divinely inspired and as well a journey of self-discovery and transformation. Technically, the process leads an individual to an awareness of our false perceptions and illusions which block us from realizing the freedom that is authentically ours already. Redemption can be considered as the ultimate reason behind the sacredness of the human life. In relation it is only God who has a total claim of any form of life (Bauman, 2013). God expects us to treat live in accordance to His divine intervention of human destiny that was reflected when Jesus died on cross (Melzer 2016). Life should remain venerable just as reflected in the authentic freedom perceptive. The fate of many people is controlled by whims, passion and the pleasures directed by the selfish human heart as well as the desires of the human flesh.

In relation, when the belief in God as the creator is deem, as well as no concept of His image reflected in humanity, there exists no hopes of a hopeful future for human life and hence human life loses its respect. In connection, the church is compelled to be on the front line in asserting the purity of human life in order to ease the suffering that are rooted in disregarding Christian teachings (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi 2014). Christians have the responsibility to treat and value human life as a gift from God given to the first man, Adam. Protection comes in as an extension of the original act of the concept of creation. In relation, this places a heavy responsibility on the shoulders of men as well as women who may need to live in accordance to the value of human life and authentic freedom. The death of Jesus on the cross signified redemption for all of us, an inclusive of individuals who do not accept His death according to 1 Tim 2:6; 1 John 2:2. Subsequently, the death of Christ on the cross extended the value of new human life to everyone (Zhang 2016). Through this act, one significant food of thought is expressed, it is the cross and not an individual’s capacity, maturity or usefulness that should be used to determine the value of the human soul. Once everyone acknowledges that they have indeed reached the age of accountability, one keeps the faith and lives in a way that reflected that he or she is indeed faithful and aims at keeping the faith. God also expects us to live in terms of the human nature that reflects his position as the creator. In a way, this is also reflected in the value of human life (Ujomu and Olatunji 2017). Human creativity is a partial reflection of the creativity of God’s: organized, peaceful and productive. The reproductive aspect of human life is also very important. God’s image is reflected by the procreative act as well as the proactive power that He granted to human beings in form of sexual polarity which is influenced by will and reason (Erk 2017). Simply put, sexual powers as well as male-female polarity creative abilities are a reflection of God’s creatorship ontologically.

Authentic Freedom and the Way God Wants Us to Live

Justice is an important moral virtue and hence is a desired character for ordering interpersonal relations and establishing as well as maintaining a stable political society. As Christians and believers of Christ, it is vital to measure the economy, not by any form of what is produced but by how it influences the human life and whether it protects or undermines the dignity of human life. Some of the economic decisions we make have disastrous consequences as well as moral implications; they can either help or hurt people, weaken or strengthen family life, diminish or advance the quality of justice in our lives.

There are different levels of life where justice can be applied to enhance that personal freedom is not interfered with. The dignity of humanity is part of the moral vision for the society, whereby human life is considered sacred since Christians believe that they are created in the image of God. In our society, we have the preferential option of how it treats the vulnerable members. For us to achieve a healthy community, we are supposed to pay particular attention to those with special needs and also the poor members of the society. Everyone has a basic right to life as well as the right to things required for human decency. To achieve this, we need to protect human rights and meet up to the standard of our responsibilities (Cooney 2015). Economic justice can be achieved by ensuring that people are served by it and not the other way round which is technically the case. All employees also have a fundamental right to productive work, fair wages and good working conditions. They should also have the right to join unions and organize them. In the economic system competition just as the free markets are useful economic elements. However, the market system cannot satisfy the many needs unless markets are kept within limits (Sherwin and Cohen 2015). The society and the state should take the initiative to mediate and ensure these needs are provided. As Christians, we have a responsibility to take care of the earth since it is a gift from God. We should act as stewards and trustees not just users and consumers. Catholic teachings indicate a close relationship between peace and justice. In inference to Pope John Paul II, ‘'Peace is not the absence of war but a mutual respect and confidence between people and nations”. Peace involves collaborations and binding agreement. Participation is a fundamental demand that all people should participate in cultural, political and economic activities in the society. It's also an obligation of human dignity that all people be equally and involved in a minimum level of participation in the community (Chickering, Dalton and Stamm, 2015). Global solidarity calls upon us all to work globally for justice as one human family. Authentic development must promote and respect social, personal, economic and political rights of humans.

Redemption and the Sacredness of Human Life

Peace and happiness are only properly obtainable when the concept of the dignity of human life is valued. Human beings are willed by God and hence imprinted with the image of God (Yamin 2015). It is hence important to point out that the dignity of human beings does not come from the work conducted by them but rather from their inner person as pointed out by St. John Paul II on the Hundredth Year. The dignity of the human value can be argued out on the basis that the church argues that the moral dimensions of economic life through its vision on sacredness and transcendent of human beings (Arendt, 2013). Human life must be respected in terms of religious as well as through the use of a moral compass. While dealing with each other, it is important to do it with caution and a sense of awe. The sense of awe only arises in the presence of sacredness and holiness. Such a relationship defines what God intends us to be, just as in His image. Peace and happiness in connection to human value rest on one principle, individual human beings are the foundation and in the end the cause of the end of every social institution (Wadell 2016). Technically, the relationships among men is controlled by the fact that they are by nature social beings. Also, it is important to acknowledge that there are sinful inequalities that affect thousands of women and men who are in contradiction with the Gospel. When there is consideration for human value, individuals will strive for fair as well as more human conditions for everyone. The nature of imbalance between excessive economic and social disparity between the races as well as other sources of economic stratification has been a central source of scandal as well as influences against equity, human dignity, social justice and social as well as international peace. Subsequently, the things that insults human dignity include subhuman living conditions, slavery, and prostitution, and deportation, arbitrary imprisonment, selling of women and children and disgraceful working conditions. In cases of disgraceful working condition, employees are treated as objects or instruments that generate profit rather than free and responsible persons. The mentioned things poison the peace and happiness of the human society (Bratosin et al 2016). The irony in this is that the epidemics poison the perpetrators more than it does to the people who are subjected to the suffering. In summary, peace and happiness can be obtained only if the roots of darkness and inequality is address. Subsequently, this will be achieved through first addressing the concept of inequality in all the social levels of life such like: political, economic and social dimensions.

References

Arendt, H., 2013. The human condition. University of Chicago Press.

Bauman, Z., 2013. Consuming life. John Wiley & Sons.

Bratosin, S., Rotaru, I.G., Ivascu, L., Wagner, A., Simion, M.G. and Burcea, N., 2016. Scientia Moralitas (Human Dignity-Contemporary Perspectives).

Chickering, A.W., Dalton, J.C. and Stamm, L., 2015. Encouraging authenticity and spirituality in higher education. John Wiley & Sons.

Cooney, W., 2015. The Wild Longing of the Human Heart: The Search for Happiness and Something More. Rowman & Littlefield.

Erk, C., 2017. Health, rights and dignity: Philosophical reflections on an alleged human right. De Gruyter.

Melzer, A.M., 2016. The natural goodness of man: On the system of Rousseau's thought. University of Chicago Press.

Seligman, M.E. and Csikszentmihalyi, M., 2014. Positive psychology: An introduction. In Flow and the foundations of positive psychology (pp. 279-298). Springer Netherlands.

Sherwin, B.L. and Cohen, S.J., 2015. Jewish Ethical Values: A Sourcebook of Classic Texts and Their Practical Uses for Our Lives. Jewish Lights Publishing.

Ujomu, P.O. and Olatunji, F.O., 2017. Security as Freedom in the Quest for the Value of Human Life: A Conceptual Analysis. Tattva-Journal of Philosophy, 9(1), pp.45-70.

Wadell, P.J., 2016. Happiness and the Christian moral life: An introduction to Christian ethics. Rowman & Littlefield.

Yamin, A.E., 2015. Power, suffering, and the struggle for dignity: Human rights frameworks for health and why they matter. University of Pennsylvania Press.

Zhang, Q., 2016. Humanity or benevolence? The interpretation of Confucian ren and its modern implications. In Human Dignity in Classical Chinese Philosophy (pp. 45-99). Palgrave Macmillan US.

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