7.2.5 Questions for discussion half way through unit

Back to 7.2.4

Unit 7 Contents

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

We have already covered a lot of ground in this unit, both examining how the language of rights and duties makes sense, and looking at what CST has to say about human rights, although we have not covered all of the latter yet.  Here are some questions for discussion.

(a) The following two quotations appeared on the first page of the unit:

The Church sees in men and women, in every person, the living image of God himself. This image finds, and must always find anew, an ever deeper and fuller unfolding of itself in the mystery of Christ, the Perfect Image of God, the One who reveals God to man and man to himself.   It is to these men and women, who have received an incomparable and inalienable dignity from God himself, that the Church speaks… constantly reminding them of their lofty vocation so that they may always be mindful of it and worthy of it.  (Compendium, #105)

[A]theism definitively deprives human dignity of its foundation, and with that the possibility within civilization to reflect on good reasons to protect human life. (Robert Spaemann).

What differences does the Christian vision of human dignity make to our perceptions of others and ourselves, and to how we should live and act?

As you address this, try to bear in mind not only the above quotations but also the reading on human dignity from Gaudium et Spes on 7.2.1.

(b) What do each of the following mean?

moral rights / legal rights

‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’ generation human rights

(c) Repeat as a group discussion the ‘exercise’ on 7.1.3 about benefit rights and freedom rights.

(d) Summarise the two ways in which duties and rights are related to each other.

For the following rights, what are the related duties, of both of those kinds?

A right… not to be enslaved

               to a minimum wage

               to freedom of speech

               to education

               to form a trade union

               to ownership of property

(e) Jacques Maritain found that people could agree on a list or charter of human rights, even though they differed greatly in their religious and political convictions.

Do you think this would be possible in the society we now have, 70 years on from when Maritain wrote about that?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

End of 7.2.5

Go to 7.2.6 The human right to religious freedom

Copyright © Newman University.  If you wish to quote from this page, see Citation Information. N.B. If you make use of material on this page in a course assignment, you are obliged to reference the source in line with the citation information.

Go to Top