The Origin and Foundation of Human Dignity
In modern thought one finds two types of answers to why human life is valuable; some claim the dignity of the person is earned by some human function or ability while others claim that human dignity is a gift given in a relationship. This is functionalism versus personalism.
Functionalism in its varieties is widespread. It is used to defend abortion, infanticide, active euthanasia, and extreme animal rights. In every case, a person must demonstrate certain abilities or functions to earn the status of personhood in the eyes of society. If one fails to earn the status of personhood, one’s life is not to be protected by society. For more on this subject, see the article below which was written by WRF member Dr. Thomas Johnson. In addition to his membership in the World Reformed Fellowship, Dr. Johnson is a human rights theorist, moral philosopher, and evangelical theologian. After teaching in several institutions in Europe and the US, he became Special Envoy to the Vatican from the World Evangelical Alliance, as well serving the as a senior advisor for the WEA Theological Commission, International Institute for Religious Freedom, and Society of Christian Scholars.