Humans made in the image of God are considered both a sacred and a social person. The dignity of a human being is regarded as the basis of an ethical image for society. Individuals have an inbuilt dignity and must not be differentiated on the grounds of place, culture, beliefs, race, gender, religion etc. The Catholic Social Teaching plays an important role while dealing with the issues associated with the human dignity (Sison, Ferrero & Guitián, 2016). It deals with the issues like how the society supports people with disabilities; how to resolve global inequality.
The humans being a social being need others for surviving in this world. Life is lived for the creation of communal unity. The common good principle states that the good of every individual in the community is closely connected to the welfare of the society as a whole. Every person has a right to adequate standard of life (Gilabert, 2015). The earth belongs to everyone and not just to the affluent. When the question of securing and protecting the rights of the individuals arise, the rich and the affluent persons have multiple ways of protecting themselves as compared to the less privileged that are given protection as doing a special consideration.
While enormous sections of people are still deprived of the basic amenities of life, on the other hand, some people have an excess of wealth that goes in waste. The less privileged are denied their freedom of choice and are often compelled to live in conditions that are not adequate for a human being to live (Koopman, 2015). As quoted by Saint Ambrose that extending alms to the poor persons does not mean handing over the gifts that one possesses, it is giving him his part of the share. The earth belongs to all and its resources are for common use of all and not for a particular section of people.
The teachings of the Catholic define humanity as one family irrespective of race or nationality.The poor persons must be considered as our own brothers and sisters rather than a burden. Poverty does not mean lack of financial resources. It is a denial of participation in the social, political and economical life of society.
The initial step to fight against poverty would be to maintain a stable economy that would create employment opportunities for the masses. Poverty injures the society as a whole. The only way to heal the society is by acting appropriately to eradicate it. One of the leading reason for poverty is unemployment, therefore expansion of the employment opportunities would enhance solidarity, and promote self-reliance of the less privileged, thus, ensuring human dignity. Another effective way to eliminate poverty would be to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race; religion, culture, and place instead promote harmony among each other and actively participate in the society for mutual benefits of all.
Today, in the contemporary world, nations have become more dependent on each other and if the social and economic disparities continue to persist, it would become very difficult to preserve peace in the nation (Narotzky, 2016). In order to maintain peace and sustain common good, it is pertinent that we become the voice for the voiceless; we must defend the helpless and most importantly, we must respond to the needs of those who need the most.
The principle of common good signifies that it should be the primary duty of all human beings to make necessary sacrifices so that it enables the marginalized to actively contribute and participate in the society. The entire society is responsible for the common good and to attain the common good, it is imperative that every individual participates in all spheres of the society. The optimum utilization of earth’s resources by humans must be equally distributed in the best interest of all. Every individual is entitled to the inherent right of participating in the society to seek welfare and common good of all, in particularly, the less privileged. The most suitable resolution to eradicate poverty would be to ensure that every human person has the freedom to be in charge of his or her own lives and make their own choices (Bhalla & Lapeyre, 2016).
The life of every human person is a God’s gift that must be respected and the dignity of an individual must be protected (Misztal, 2013). As quoted by Saint John Paul II, the dignity of the human person is at stake and it is we who have been assigned to promote and defend the same.
Bhalla, A. S., & Lapeyre, F. (2016). Poverty and exclusion in a global world. Springer.
Gilabert, P. (2015). Human rights, human dignity, and power.
Koopman, N. (2015). 'Human dignity, human rights and socio-economic exclusion?. Religion and human rights: Global challenges from intercultural perspectives, 131-148.
Misztal, B. A. (2013). The idea of dignity: Its modern significance. European Journal of Social Theory, 16(1), 101-121.
Narotzky, S. (2016). Between inequality and injustice: Dignity as a motive for mobilization during the crisis. History and anthropology, 27(1), 74-92.
Sison, A. J. G., Ferrero, I., & Guitián, G. (2016). Human dignity and the dignity of work: Insights from Catholic social teaching. Business Ethics Quarterly, 1-26.
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