What does it mean to be human?


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  • Turn to your elbow partner and come up with at least two answers to this question.
  • Genesis is not the story of the original couple. It is the story of every man and woman. Time: there were no Christians, Muslims or Jews Revelation: truth about the nature of humanity; originally created good and perfect but later are seduced by sin and go their own way.
  • The right to personhood is not something that can be legislated – it given in creation. Throughout history, societies have not always acknowledged this right. Some denied personhood to slaves. In times of war, “enemies” were denied the status of person. The Famous Five, while changing the nature of the law, were not completely noble in their intention. All five women believe in eugenics (state-sanctioned sterilization of women of a number of ethnic backgrounds) and did not feel that all women were created equal. In fact, they were fighting for women who were just like them.
  • In Canada, one is not considered a person until he or she has drawn his or her first breath outside of the womb. As a result, an unborn child is vulnerable to horrific acts such as abortion, to which there is no legal recourse. As Catholics, we are called to uphold the dignity of human life. We believe that life is sacred from the moment of conception. This is why we oppose abortion. The unborn child in this picture was created in the image and likeness of God. A life like this is most vulnerable and we are called to protect it.
  • What does it mean to be human?

    1. 1. Unit One To Be Human Is … ? Lesson One: What does it mean to be human?
    2. 2. Key Questions to Ponder: <ul><li>What is it that makes me a human being? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I make my life more human? </li></ul><ul><li>How can I respond to the goodness of creation ? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Key Terminology <ul><li>human </li></ul><ul><li>person </li></ul><ul><li>anthropology </li></ul><ul><li>freedom </li></ul><ul><li>creation </li></ul><ul><li>culture </li></ul><ul><li>Catechism of the Catholic Church </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Catechism of the Catholic Church <ul><li>The official collection of the teachings of the Catholic Church </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on 4 areas of Catholic life: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profession of Faith (i.e. major beliefs) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Mystery (i.e. sacramental life) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Life of Christ (i.e. how Christ was our model) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian Prayer (i.e. how to pray like Jesus did) </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. What does it mean to be HUMAN ?
    6. 6. What does it mean to be HUMAN ? <ul><li>An embodied spirit who: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>thinks, acts, speaks, desires </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Created in the image of God </li></ul><ul><ul><li>abilities and gifts are traces of the Creator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relational, social being </li></ul><ul><li>Different from animals because the ability to reason, love, be moral and have free will </li></ul>
    7. 7. What is human freedom ? <ul><li>God created us as intelligent beings with the ability to control our actions, urges and emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Freedom, rooted in reason and free will, is the power to act or not to act. </li></ul><ul><li>By free will, we shape our own lives. </li></ul>
    8. 8. What does anthropology say about humans? <ul><li>A social science discipline that studies the origin, development and customs of human beings. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical anthropology: biological and anatomical evolution of humans. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural anthropology: looks social development, customs, practices and beliefs of human beings. </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. What does the Bible say about humans? <ul><li>Humans are a creation of God. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God desired humans to exist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whatever we are is a gift of God. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>God gave us the ability to reason, speak and to live a moral life. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. What does the Bible say about humans? <ul><li>Humans are a mixture of earth and divine breath. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We are the incarnation of the divine. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part of us is drawn from the earth. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. What does the Bible say about humans? <ul><li>Humans are good. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything created by God is perfect and as it was intended. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of all the creatures in God’s creation, humans are the only ones who enter into a dialogue with God (i.e. prayer). </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. What does the Bible say about humans? <ul><li>Humans are male and female. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Equal to each other </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In communion </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The Fight for Personhood: 1929 <ul><li>Women were not considered “persons” under the law before 1929. </li></ul><ul><li>The Person’s Case forced the changing of Canadian law. </li></ul><ul><li>Not an entirely noble effort however… </li></ul>
    14. 14. Is THIS A Person?
    15. 15. Humans are: <ul><li>Persons created in the image and likeness of God </li></ul><ul><li>Called to happiness and holiness </li></ul><ul><li>Rational and free </li></ul><ul><li>Moral beings </li></ul><ul><li>Capable of passions or feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Blessed with a conscience </li></ul><ul><li>Able to sin </li></ul>
    16. 16. The Five Principles of Humanity <ul><li>Read the handout. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Submit for evaluation. </li></ul>