Abortion, Human Dignity, and Jesus

When we reject the teaching of Sacred Scripture concerning what grounds human dignity and purpose, it only follows that we’d lose all dignity and purpose.

In his book Homo Deus, Harari (a self-proclaimed atheist) concludes it doesn’t exist. If mankind isn’t made in God’s image, then we really aren’t any more special than piglets or puppies. When you don’t believe humans have objective dignity, you cannot truly value human life. If you go one step further and reject the belief that humans have objective purpose, then life no longer becomes worth living. 

 

News of New York’s abortion legislation has left many Christians heartbroken. This is yet another sign that we live in a culture of death, where society’s vulnerable are dismissed or worse, dismembered. Sadly, it’s always the vulnerable who go first. The unborn, the sojourner, the widow, the fatherless. The weak tend to be a secular society’s first victims, often considered less valuable simply because they have less power. When we reject the teaching of Sacred Scripture concerning what grounds human dignity and purpose, it only follows that we’d lose all dignity and purpose.

Just listen to what Oxford historian Yuval Noah Harari, who currently teaches at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says:

When we privilege human children over piglets, we want to believe that this reflects something deeper than the ecological balance of power. We want to believe that human lives really are superior in some fundamental way. We sapiens love telling ourselves that we enjoy some magical quality that not only accounts for our immense power, but also gives moral justification for our privileged status. What is this unique human spark?

In his book Homo Deus, Harari (a self-proclaimed atheist) concludes it doesn’t exist. If mankind isn’t made in God’s image, then we really aren’t any more special than piglets or puppies. When you don’t believe humans have objective dignity, you cannot truly value human life. If you go one step further and reject the belief that humans have objective purpose, then life no longer becomes worth living.

Happiness Doesn’t Lead to Life

Psychologists Shigehiro Oishi and Ed Diener conducted a study in 2014 on suicide rates in different countries and they found something very interesting: happiness by itself doesn’t make life worth living. Their study, which involved close to 140,000 people and over 100 countries, discovered that societies with high levels of happiness and wealth also have some of the highest rates of suicide.

Some argued that this is because it is especially miserable to be unhappy in a society that is generally happy, but Oishi and Diener’s work provided a different answer. According to journalist Emily Smith, “When they crunched the numbers, they discovered a striking trend: happiness and unhappiness did not predict suicide. The variable that did, they found, was meaning – or, more precisely, the lack of it. The countries with the lowest rates of meaning, like Japan, also had some of the highest suicide rates” (Emily Smith The Power of Meaning, pg. 23).

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