In the Service of Human Life
Tree on a hill on a starry night
Applied Bioethics in stylized text
  • © 2019 ChetComm, LLC 0

In the Service of Human Life

The Human Person

The human person is beautiful, unlike anything else in the created order. Each person is endowed with a soul, intellect, and reason. We find our source and purpose in the fact that we’re created in the image and likeness of God. The human person is an intricate fusion of the physical and spiritual; our soul works in concert with the physical nature of our body to form our personhood.

The essential element of the human person is the soul. The soul is not a physical component of our body. Rather, it’s the principle that animates it. It’s the foundation, the part of a person that makes a human life so precious and valuable. To put it simply, the soul is what makes you, you. The human body has unique identifiers of the individual, such as fingerprints and DNA. In the same way, your soul is unique to you and unrepeatable.

In order to be considered a human person, there are two requirements. A human person must posses a body and a soul. The creation of body and soul , and their fusion together, occur simultaneously at the moment of conception. As the first cell of a new human body is created, a soul is infused and thus a new human person is created.

The genius of this idea of the human person is that it treats all people as equal. This is not a theoretical or a utopian concept of equality. It’s an idea with very practical applications. It resolves any bioethical question to the benefit of the human person. It promotes deference, respect, equality, civility, and it defends the weakest and most vulnerable.

In order to be a human person, you do not need to have a perfect body, or a perfect intellect, or a perfect spirituality. You only need a soul and a body. In sickness or health, poverty or wealth, incapacitated, unconscious, maimed, disabled, or receiving a Gold Metal on the Olympic podium, your innate value remains. That value is unchanging and unchangeable throughout the duration of your life. No action that you take can diminish your inherent value. No action by any other person, group, organization, or government can reduce or withdraw the dignity and value of the human person. No circumstance can impact this status: it is constant and complete.

In every time, culture, and place, the dignity of the human person is something that must be rigorously defended. Although we may have an intellect, our flawed nature leads us to selfishness. We tacitly approve of the degradation of other human persons, so long as we’re not adversely affected in the short term. We turn a blind eye to genocide in foreign lands, the plight of migrants, racial animus, the false legality of abortion, or the usage of the death penalty because we’re comfortable. We do the same when we ignore people on the street, neighbors who need our help, or coworkers who are being gossiped about. The universality of the human person means that the degradation of any single human person adversely affects all of us.

The human person has a definitive beginning. A soul is fused with a body at conception and from that moment forward, a unique human person exists. The human person is owed reverence, respect, and protection. Every individual has a duty to give the same deference to their fellow man.