What defines human persons as persons and separates us from animals? Certainly, there are intangible qualities of rationality, self-awareness, consciousness, and creativity. But we ought not forget that the human body is also a fundamental aspect of our humanity. To put all the weight of our humanness on consciousness is an erroneous idea that will have disastrous consequences.
For example, award-winning philosopher Peter Singer recently compared terminating the lives of unborn children with unplugging a computer. Singer is among those who think that artificial intelligence may one day merit the same moral status as humans do. To him, terminating some form of AI would be the same as killing a person. Singer has also argued that the unborn, disabled, and incapacitated are not full persons with inherent dignity. He can imagine a world where unplugging a computer would be morally worse than euthanizing a disabled child.
Only the image of God—mind, soul, and body—can ground human dignity … and our ethics.
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