In John 4:16 it is described that ‘God is love’,’ which tells us that it is in our nature to love. We see this through our common characteristics such as compassion, patience, justice and faith. Being in Gods image also means we have a number of other characteristics. For example, we have a spiritual capacity, which means we are connected with God. This allows for the possibility of an afterlife, where it is thought we are reunited with god. This is also due to the soul which we have, unlike any other creature. This adds another dimension to our existence which is unique to mankind.
Humans are often described as ‘sacred,’ which is why Lactating argues that humans should never be sacrificed. This disregards theories such as Utilitarianism whom aim to please the greatest number. Lactating argues we are all special and one persons happiness (or life) shouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of others’. However, just because we are made ‘in Gods image,’ it does not mean that we are God. Rene Migrate, the artist of “This is not a pipe” argues that his painting is not a pipe, it is the image of a pipe. So, if we re made from God image, we cannot think that we are not God.
We also learn from Genesis 1 that humans are given dominion over the earth. God tells us to Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge! ‘ which shows the clear purpose which we have been given. In Genesis 2; teaching supports that of above. We are also told that mankind is united together as husband and wife. This was shown through the creation of Eve for Adam. Genesis 2:23-25 says that ‘Name her woman, for she was made from Man. ‘ Man and woman are said to be created ‘equal but different,’ and so the nature of man and woman s said to be both impartial but contrasting through their different roles.
SST Paul argues that we are all equal in our nature, when he says ‘there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, for all are one in Christ. ‘ However it could be argued that this is not put into practice, for example the role of women in the Christian church. This shows some flaws which may be identified in human nature. Genesis 3 provides teaching of which the Fall of Man is based on. This was when Adam and Eve ate fruit off the forbidden tree. This shows their nature as humans to practice free will, something only displayed by mankind.
We therefore can chose to accept or reject Gods love, chose ill or good. Our free will gives us the ability to reason, officio no other creature has the natural capacity to. Free will and the fall of man also shows that mankind are prone to sin. Because of the Fall of the man, Catholicism believes in original sin. Adam and Eve’s misconduct caused every human to be born with a stain of sin. This is washed away during baptism, which explains the importance of an early Christening, especially for ill babies.
Protestants argue that through the fall of man we lost our human dignity, which can only be regained through living a Godly life. Human dignity is that all humans should be respected, valued and treated fairly. Our natural dignity concerns our capability of rational thought, where as our supernatural dignity is related to our destiny with God. Thessalonians tells us ‘we will be with the Lord forever. ‘ Buddhism teaches that we should not attach to ourselves, as we will have negative impacts on our cycle of rebirth. Harvey states that we do not have a permanent self, and are ever changing.
Buddhism rejects the idea of a soul, instead believing in the continuation of consciousness from one life to another. The cycle of rebirth applies to all sentient beings, and therefore we should not devalue creatures who aren’t human. Humans are more special than Other animals. This is due to their possibility Of reaching enlightenment. Being reborn a human is considered one of the last steps towards being enlightened, and so even though animals are in the cycle of rebirth, they are inferior to humans. Humans have free choice, which is governed by karma.
So, by choosing the right moral decisions, they can progress towards Nirvana. Humans are not locked into bad or good, they can spiritually progress towards a positive rebirth. Equality is accepted in Buddhism. The Buddha rejects the idea of a caste system, as we determine our lives by action rather than social status as birth. ‘The human race is 1 species, not 4. ‘ Aristotle provides a secular view about human nature. He recognized that our nature is defined by individual action. He denied that any transcendent powers in the universe are due to a God.