Recently, a well-known figure made a statement suggesting that children born with congenital abnormalities should not be allowed to live. This sparked outrage — and rightly so, as such a notion is abhorrent to our fundamental values. But why?
The essence of our repulsion lies in our deeply held belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. Regardless of skin color, physical appearance, intellectual or physical abilities, ethnicity, economic status, or any other qualities, we uphold that all humans possess an innate value and dignity simply by virtue of being human. Furthermore, we steadfastly maintain that individuals with special needs, whose physical abilities might be limited, are no less valuable and dignified than those who are perfectly healthy. Countless examples show that these individuals can lead fulfilling lives.
These convictions are often rooted in religious teachings, particularly in the Christian doctrine that humans are created in the image of God. However, these beliefs are not exclusive to religious individuals; they are indicative of a civilized society. They are universal principles that are upheld across the developed world.
Civilization, however, is fragile, and even the most advanced and humane cultures can teeter on the edge of barbarism, as we've witnessed in the past with great civilizations collapsing into darkness.
The atrocities of Nazism were spawned from one root cause — the denial of the inherent dignity and value of all humans. For the Nazi regime, not all beings belonging to the human race were considered people with rights and dignity. A significant portion of the population was deemed inferior and held a lower status, some even marked for extermination. This dehumanization extended beyond ethnicity; the initial "euthanasia" program, focused on eliminating the incurably ill, was primarily aimed at Germans.
Beyond religious, ethical, and cultural reasons, there are pragmatic factors to consider why such notions are unacceptable. Aging is inevitable, and our health deteriorates over time. We may find ourselves in positions where we rely on the mercy of others, expecting them to treat us with respect and recognize our inherent dignity. Preaching inhumanity today could easily come back to haunt its proclaimer tomorrow.
The notion that certain individuals have less right to life, freedom, and dignity than others will persist in various contexts. Yet, we must remain steadfast in rejecting this notion time and time again. A healthy, accomplished individual and a child born with physical challenges are endowed with equal rights and dignity. Treating the latter with any less respect than the former is simply unacceptable.
Original article: https://radiovera.ru/o-dostoinstve-i-tsennosti-kazhdoy-chelovecheskoy-zhizni.html