Personhood Essay

642 words - 3 pages

There are many different levels on which us humans have the ability to function. From, the lowest, being in a coma all the way up to an intelligent person, who is well educated. Can our ability to reason be the only determining factor in whether or not we possess personhood? What about those amongst us who do not have that ability? Does that mean that they don’t have moral worth? It depends on whom you ask. Some believe that there is a big distinction between being human and being a person. However, this should not be a black and white issue, there are many shades of gray that have to be considered. Some believe that when we have lost our ability to think on a higher level, whether it be due to age, illness or accident, that we then become expendable. If it is true that God gave us life and created us in his image, doesn’t that make even the lowest functioning person perfect? When judging the moral value of a human life, we must look at the whole picture, not just what appears on the surface.
There are many things that make a person, a person. Among the simplest and obvious is the ability to eat, breathe and maintain life. Newborn babies are born with only the most primitive of instincts that serve to keep them alive. I don’t think that makes them any less of people. As they grow and learn, they acquire new skills, they learn and eventually they have the ability to express thoughts and reason. However, due to birth injuries, genetic diseases and other factors not all babies will develop the ability to be come a thinking person, capable of making decisions. On the flip side, as people age they can lose the ability after becoming affected with dementia, or as they near death. Another scenario is if a normal healthy person suddenly suffers a trauma that...

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