Everyone Is a Person—No One Is “Mere Biological Life”
by Robert P. George
There is a spectrum of positions on end-of-life issues, and on life issues generally, but a crucial line divides those who affirm and those who deny that the life of each human being possesses inherent and equal worth and dignity, irrespective not only of race, ethnicity, age, and sex (as everyone agrees), but stage of development, mental or physical infirmity, and condition of dependency.
People who deny this frequently distinguish what they describe as “mere biological human life” from the life of a “person.” A person possesses self-consciousness and, perhaps, developed capacities for characteristically human mental activity, such as conceptual thinking, deliberation, and choice. It is personal life, they say, that has intrinsic value . . .
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University (web.princeton.edu/sites/jmadison). His books include In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford University Press) and Conscience and Its Enemies (ISI Books). He has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives