Human dignity

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Human dignity is an expression that can be used as a moral concept or as a legal term. Sometimes it means no more than that human beings should not be treated as objects. Beyond this, it is meant to convey an idea of absolute and inherent worth. In Kant's philosophy, the claim is made that rational beings have an intrinsic and absolute value, which is referred to as dignity.

This idea is controversial. Some philosophers attempt to apply this concept to human beings at any stage of development. Other philosophers claim that the whole notion is doubtful as non-human and sub-rational beings can have morally-significant interests (see equal consideration of interests). When the idea is applied to human beings as a species, rather than to rational beings as such, it is sometimes criticised as an example of speciesism.

The term "human dignity" is also used in the first article of Germany's constitution: "Human dignity is inalienable. To respect and to protect it is the duty of all state authority."de:Menschenwürde fi:Ihmisarvo he:הזכות לכבוד zh:人性尊嚴

[edit] See also

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Human dignity

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