Humans and Humanity

This letter appeared in the March 21, 2017 issue of the Inquirer.

I wish to commend the Inquirer for its March 7 editorial titled “Humane work.” It was an excellent defense of the lives of those who unfortunately have been addicted to illegal drugs. Its observation—that “given the chance, drug users can be rehabilitated”—is very accurate as evidenced by real occurrences.

It is also a defense of these persons’ humanity. One clear characteristic of the human person is his freedom. Because of it, a person is not consigned to act only in one way. Such is the fate of animals and machines: these can act only in ways permitted by their instincts or design. The human person, however, can act in innumerable ways; he can err but he can repent and change his life. Animals and machines cannot do that.

Unfortunately some people consider persons as things, somewhat like animals.

I am not only thinking of those who justify killing persons addicted to drugs. I also think of those who want to provide women with contraceptives because they think that without contraceptives women will not be able to practice birth-spacing. They think that men and women are somewhat like animals that do not have the power of freedom over their libido, so we have to give them contraceptives. They think that the enjoyment of the sexual pleasure takes precedence over anything else, even the humanity of the unborn child who will now be tagged as unwanted, unplanned, an intruder, a foreign body and even a sickness that must be extirpated. If we do not understand the meaning of humanity, we will not respect any person at all.

I have known and I know many couples who do not need those contraceptives to space the births of their children. They are examples of real humanity.

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