Jonathon Van Maren: The European Court of Human Rights sentences a little British boy to death
As was discussed in a previous article, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant invented the notion of a human dignity rooted in human autonomy. The idea of preserving our dignity by insisting on the conditions of human autonomy sound noble, however they have the unfortunate consequence that where we are not capable of autonomy, we aren’t fully human.
The very notion of human autonomy is absurd, because as Christians since Augustine have argued, what distinguishes human beings is our capacity to love. Autonomy not only does not require love, it militates against it.
Human autonomy is a terrible idol, robbing people that bear God’s image of their dignity in the name of the specious ideal of ‘dignity’.
The perversity with which human rights courts now apply their legislation not to protect human personhood, but to enforce the idea of autonomy as a way of maintaining ‘dignity’ supports practices ranging from abortion to euthanasia, and now to ending a child’s life.
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