id Human dignity: quick ideas on human dignity. Foundation and consequences. Losses of dignity due to utilization.
dignidad dignidade dignitŗ dignitť
  • A. Human dignity
  • B. Utility and dignity

1. What does Dignity mean? Dignity is greatness, excellence; itís a superior beauty or quality that something or someone has and so has a special value.

2. What is human dignity based on? Man has great dignity mainly due to spiritual reasons (that is why an atheist has less reasons to respect a Human Being):

  • We have been given a spiritual and immortal soul. We have been created in the image and likeness of God. We have understanding and will.
  • God was incarnate as a Human Being: the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity has taken our human nature.
  • God loves us.
  • Grace grants us the special dignity of being children of God. Thatís why mortal sin is what hurts man the most and his dignity as it makes you lose the gift of grace and Divine Filiation.
3. Effects of this dignity in respect to our soul. Above all, it is key to avoid falling into sin. If you have committed a sin, itís convenient to go to Confession soon to recover the grace and with this the dignity of being a son of God. Generally, itís about looking after other peopleís soul as well as oneís own. Examples:
  • Respect both ones and others intelligence seeking and saying the truth.
  • Live charity with those around you, rejecting hatred, mockery and gossiping. To love other peopleís freedom and avoid fanaticisms.
  • Care for all spiritual life. For example, giving catechism lessons.
4. Consequences of this dignity on the human body. The Human body participates in the dignity of the whole person and should be handled with respect and care. Examples:
  • Respecting another personís property. Help countries and people in need. Solidarity. Caring for oneís own health as well as that of others. Reject abortion and euthanasia. Avoid drugs.
  • Adornar y vestir correctamente el cuerpo humano usando una moda digna.
  • Respect for oneís own body as well as that of others. Being moderate when eating and drinking and using sex correctly.
5. What is the correct and dignified way of sex? The dignity of man in this case demands several things:
  • The human body should not be an object of use or barter (with one person today, and another tomorrow). You should only offer yourself to another person in this way after you have made a firm commitment - with witnesses (Wedding) Ė to love each other forever.
  • The generating faculties of the human being have the hugely great mission of bringing new human beings into the world. Using it merely to get pleasure out of it degrades its dignity massively.
These losses of dignity are very clear and anyone would feel mistreated if they are simply used in a provisional way or as a pleasure-giving object.

6. Another example? When you obtain sexual pleasures before marriage as it usually leads to thinking that the other is silly:

  • When a girl lets herself be kissed, boys think: sheís silly.
  • However, similarly, girls think the same in respect to the boys as it only takes some gestures to force the boys to kiss them: they are also silly.

    Why do we call them silly? Because they allow themselves to be used in return for pleasure.


1. What is it to use? To use something is to employ it to fulfil a purpose. You could use a hammer to drive a nail in. you use a dog to guard a house, etc.

2. Who can use something? Only intelligent and free beings can use something as only they can find a purpose in each thing. A horse uses grass to eat, however, it is the Creator who has thought things out like that, and the horse does not decide.

3. Does the Lord use Man? The Creator arranged a purpose that would make us happy (being in Heaven with him) however, he also made us intelligent and free and so desired that Man could auto direct itself towards that purpose. This freedom forms an important part of the Human dignity.

4. How can a person lose his/her dignity through utilization? The loss of dignity in a person can be through two channels:

  • To impose a purpose acts against the dignity of a free person.
  • Using things in an inferior way to what they deserve in respect to the natural dignity they have been attributed by the Creator. Thatís how a human quality is misused.
5. Examples of loss of dignity due to the imposition of a purpose? Letís look for examples where humans are deprived from life, something which no one desires. Therefore, it will the imposition of a purpose upon that person will become very clear:
  • Slavery: the servant lacks rights and is completely subject to the will and purpose that his owner desires.
  • Nazism: Jews were massacred with the imposed purpose of improving the race.
  • Abortion: human embryos are destroyed to fulfil a purpose completely tertiary to the actual embryo.
  • Terrorism: human beings are killed with a political purpose that they do not desire.
6. Examples of loss of dignity due to misuse? Itís trickier to recognise these cases as its oneself who decides to do it. For example:
  • Using your intelligence to steal or hurt others is a loss of dignity for that ability to understand you possess.
  • You can include that one mentioned above when writing about sex. Using it solely to obtain pleasure degrades the dignity of sexuality a huge amount, despising the great gift of bringing children into the world.
  • Using time mainly for entertainment deteriorates the operative dignity of a human being as he ceases to do good deeds. The capacity that a human being has to do good is despised.

7. Do these consequences agree with the Ten Commandments? It makes sense that they do indeed agree as God desires our good and our dignity. Attacks against our dignity offend the Creator. You are hurting your own or another personís dignity when sinning as well as the divine dignity.