To Create Human Dignity is the Meaning of Life

Human dignity, as coined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR/1948), is an expression of social solidarity, which should cement the relations between people. Human dignity is the foundation of all rights, including those of freedom, equality, justice, and peace in the world, and must also guide the rights and duties of social regulation. According to Dallari, the UDHR/1948 clearly reveals a concern with the promotion and protection of human dignity and indicates the benefits and conditions to which every human being has a right to access.

The realization of human dignity requires an intense commitment on the part of the state and of society. The definition of this concept will always be a work in progress, and criticisms are raised against the work of judges in narrowing it down. Human dignity must be recognized, protected, and promoted, but it can never be created, granted, or withdrawn since it is inherent to every human being.

Dignity as a right, duty and moral value has become, throughout history, a prevailing normative element over other juridical norms of modern constitutional democracies, a true pillar of the law on which all legal norms are based, including content necessary for the validity of power decisions.

Thus, the evolution of human dignity has changed. Human dignity in the light of the Constitution, human rights and bioethics from a criterion of power attributed to the social position of individuals to a valueable part of the right to freedom, which now goes beyond the right of freedom and is a basis of modern constitutional democracy, which makes possible the realization of solidarity as a duty and purpose of the state and the community.

The will of the subject, of society, of science and of the state, as well as the rules of domination and regulation, must have a limit on human dignity, and human dignity is not merely a fundamental right, in the sense of the Constitution.

In contemporary times, human dignity and human rights are two sides of the same coin. With the constitutional protection conferred in Article 1, III of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil, where there is disrespect for the promotion and protection of human dignity, there will be no efficacy and effectiveness of human rights, social, cultural and economic, side by side with civil freedoms and political rights.

Human dignity is the fruit of the struggles of human beings who, individually and collectively, have opposed the force of domination that denies emancipation, throughout history, and had consolidated it in declarations of rights, constitutions, and democratic legislation, as a supreme pillar of all rights. Such is the dignity that is enshrined in Brazilian constitutional law, as well as in bioethics and in human rights, and it constitutes all the fundamental rights of the human person.

After the barbarism of twentieth-century genocides, it is necessary to think about and develop solutions to avoid offences against human dignity, in the present and in the future, in an assumption of responsibility and protection of the rights of the next generations of human beings, and the dignity to be protected and promoted above all other values and their basis, be those economic, military, legal, ethical or merely selfish. In the face of recent technological innovations, which include algorithms that machines learn without human intervention and that feed artificial intelligence of various kinds, it is also necessary to include the mantle of the protection of human dignity in the construction of controls and modulations of such innovations and promises on the part of science.

Thus, it is concluded that the dignity of human beings is not merely a rule of autonomy and must prevail over the exclusive will of science, the state, and society. The wills of subjects, the society and the state, and the rules of domination and regulation, find limits in human dignity. Constitutional law, human rights in the domestic and international order, as well as bioethics form a bridge to the future of humanity. Human dignity is, therefore, an obligatory and non-derogable precept in the making of power decisions and in the realization of possible innovations of science involving human beings, demanding the explicit consideration of respect and promotion of it.

__Stein Messetti, P. A., & de Abreu Dallari, D. (2018). Human dignity in the light of the Constitution, human rights and bioethics. Revista Brasileira de Crescimento e Desenvolvimento Humano28(3), 283–289.

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