Under catholic teachings, every human being is created in the likeness of God. This is the bedrock that makes human beings creatures that are dignified since every person is a reflection of God’s image. Every person is entitled to be treated in a manner that upholds human dignity. Just as rights and freedoms are upheld and respected, so should human dignity be upheld. Human dignity is all we are when everything around us is taken away since you cannot remove human dignity from a person. Every human being has human dignity regardless of being saints, evildoers, or even those in prison. This helps carve out a moral society where people treat each other with respect. Since we are all human, people should uphold human dignity by treating their fellow man as they would want to be treated (Sison et al., 2016).
The dignity of the human person is based on the fact that man is created in God’s image. This, in turn, translates that whenever we see another human being, we are looking at God’s likeness. Apart from good nature, man was also bestowed free will making human beings able to discern between good and evil. Being human sets us apart from other creatures since human life is sacred and demands respect and to be nurtured. Every person has just one life, and consequently, we are all equal in terms of the primary fundamental dignity. No one is above their fellow man since we draw life from the same source regardless of the material possessions anyone may own. If a person demeans human dignity, they also demean their own human dignity. Demeaning human dignity is a slippery slope for morality, resulting in escalated cases of violence since our humanity is lost.
The dignity of the human person is central to catholic social teachings because the scriptures command people to show love and compassion for their fellow man (McKinney, 2019). According to the scriptures, there are ten commandments that form the basis of the covenant between man and God. The first four commandments emphasize how to honor God. The other six commandments show ways how we should treat our fellow man. Among the commandments on how to treat the fellow man is against taking the life of another. This is among the themes of the catholic social teachings, which emphasize that life is sacred and nobody should take another man’s life. This theme is critical in the definition of morality within society. The ten commandments lay a foundation for the Christian religion, which is why the catholic social teachings emphasize preserving the dignity of the human person.
Another theme of the catholic social teachings that is closely related to the theme of the dignity of the human person is the dignity of work and the rights of workers (Sison et al., 2016). Even the scriptures value work and see it as a way for people to contribute to God’s creation. At the same time, the scriptures condemn laziness and paint it as immoral. We should uphold the dignity of work to the highest level by ensuring workers’ rights are observed. The dignity of work is observed by ensuring a conducive working environment for workers, decent wages, and appraisal of workers’ achievements. I chose this theme because it presents many religious and moral similarities to uphold human dignity.
As a nurse, it is critical to learn about the dignity of the human person because it helps provide better care to the patients and helps the nurses be aware of their personal dignity. This improves the care to the patients without compromising the human dignity of the nurses. Learning about the human person’s dignity helps the nurses uphold professionalism in the workplace by meeting competency standards and treating the patients with the most respect. The difference made by learning about human dignity is seen in better service provision to patients, and an improved working environment is enhanced for the nurses.
McKinney, S. J. (2019). Catholic social teaching, Catholic education, and religious education. In Global perspectives on Catholic religious education in schools (pp. 393-403). Springer, Singapore.
Sison, A. J. G., Ferrero, I., & Guitián, G. (2016). Human dignity and the dignity of work: Insights from Catholic social teaching. Business Ethics Quarterly, 26(4), 503-528.