PHI 413 Topic 2 God, Humanity, and Human Dignity Tasks

Topic 2: God, Humanity, and Human Dignity


  1. Explain the Christian view of the nature of human persons.
  2. Compare the Christian view of intrinsic human value and dignity in contrast to secular views of personhood.
  3. Evaluate how the concept of intrinsic human dignity is applied in the process of ethical decision-making.


Topic 2 DQ 1 (275 WORDS, 3 REFERENCES)

What is the Christian concept of the imago Dei? How might it be important to health care, and why is it relevant?

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Topic 2 DQ 2 (275WORDS, 3 REFERENCES)

According to your worldview, what value does a human person have? How does your position affect your stance on controversial bioethical issues, such as abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research?

Assignment: Case Study on Moral Status (3 pages, 5 references)

Assessment Description
Based on “Case Study: Fetal Abnormality” and the required topic Resources, write a 750-1,000-word reflection that answers the following questions:

1. What is the Christian view of the nature of human persons, and which theory of moral status is it compatible with? How is this related to intrinsic human value and dignity?
2. Which theory or theories are being used by Jessica, Marco, Maria, and Dr. Wilson to determine the moral status of the fetus? What from the case study specifically leads you to believe that they hold the theory you selected?

3. How does the theory determine or influence each of their recommendations for action?

4. What theory do you agree with? Why? How would that theory determine or influence the recommendation for action?

Remember to support your responses with the topic Resources.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

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Moral status is described as what it is morally acceptable or unacceptable to do to a specific entity. Beckwith and Thornton (2020) outline five distinct points of view on moral status. Each point of view draws to certain elements that act as a measure to determine if a creature has moral status. They include cognitive elements, human elements, sentience, moral agency, and relationships. In this regard, this paper seeks to explore the Christian belief on the nature of human persons, as well as examine the theories applied in the “Fetal Abnormality” case study to determine a fetus’ moral status.

Christian View of the Nature of Human Persons and the Moral Status Theory It Relate With

The human person is defined as a man and woman created by God. Christians perceive the human person as a single entity encompassing the body, mind, and soul. They believe that the spiritual soul makes the body, created by matter, become a living body (Müller, 2020). Therefore, human beings are obliged to consider their bodies as good and honorable since they are God’s creation, and God will resurrect them even after death. Christians believe that the unification of matter and spirit within a human person will include one nature. Besides, an individual’s identity is regarded as the outcome of being a person instead of the individual’s acts of consciousness, intelligence, and freedom (Müller, 2020). Consequently, every economic, political, and social activity is bound to benefit the human person.

The Christian standpoint on the nature of human persons aligns with the cognitive properties theory. The theory of cognitive properties assumes that all individuals possess cognition. Cognition comprises memory, perception, understanding, awareness, and thinking capacity (Surovell, 2017). The Christian view considers human beings as having self-awareness, meaning that they understand time, the past, and the future. The Cognitive properties theory explains that people have the freedom to take action and the capacity to take part in purposeful deeds. It is connected to the inherent human value and dignity since it demonstrates that human beings are superior to other creatures (Surovell, 2017). Moreover, they are at the top of the cognitive ladder and thus deserve to be respected and valued.

Theory/Theories Being Used to Determine the Moral Status of the Fetus

Jessica applies the theory of moral agency in determining the fetus’ moral status considering that she has the ultimatum on the outcome. Since Jessica is the mother, she can decide if the fetus will have equivalent rights to a living infant or not. Jessica serves a moral agent’s role since she will have to act to make the most viable decision (Milliken, 2018). I believe that she holds the moral agency theory, based on the intrapersonal conflict she demonstrates derived from the hopes of improved socioeconomic status and independence, and her conviction on the sacredness of life (Milliken, 2018).  Similar to Jessica, Marco also bears the theory of moral agency. The theory is apparent from his considerations that their disabled child could weigh them down economically.

Maria braces the theory of relationship, which is apparent when she pleads to Jessica not to terminate the pregnancy and let God’s purpose come to light.  Besides, Maria asks Jessica to consider her responsibility as the mother to her unborn child (Surovell, 2017). The theory of relationship proposes that a fetus has moral status and regards abortion as immoral. Dr. Wilson holds the theory of cognitive properties. The theory suggests that for somebody or something to have moral status, it should exhibit a degree of awareness and rationality (Surovell, 2017). A fetus does not demonstrate awareness and rationality and can thus be terminated as per the theory of cognitive properties. Dr. Wilson exhibits the theory of cognitive properties when he enlightens the family of every possible solution to the pregnancy.

How the Theories Determine/Influence Their Recommendations for Action

The theory of moral agency sways Marco’s decision to back Jessica in her final decision. The theory relationship influences Maria’s perception that termination of pregnancy is wrong and the act to persuade Jessica to maintain the pregnancy. The theory of cognitive properties influences the doctor’s act of stressing more on the alternative of Jessica terminating the pregnancy (Brown, 2018). It may be associated with the doctor’s scientific knowledge of fetal abnormalities and the implications of bringing the fetus to term.

The Theory I Agree With

The cognitive properties theory is the most agreeable of the three theories. The theory states that moral status should be given to someone or something that demonstrates self-consciousness, the capacity to engage in purposeful acts, language, reasoning, and volition (Beckwith & Thornton, 2020). I concur with the theory’s proposal that moral status should be given to people or items that can cognitively think about their lives and operate with intention and objectives influenced by their belief systems (Brown, 2018). The theory would influence my recommendation for action by suggesting that Jessica has an abortion. The fetus should not be granted moral status because it does not meet every determinant of cognitive ability.


Christians believe that the human person can understand, possess, and make decisions for oneself. Their view aligns with the theory of cognitive properties, which assumes that all individuals possess cognition. In the case study, Jessica and Marco brace the theory of moral agency, which results in a dilemma on whether to keep the pregnancy or terminate it. Maria exhibits the theory of relationship, which influences her to plead with Jessica to keep the pregnancy. Dr. Wilson demonstrates the theory of Cognitive properties, which influences his emphasis on the alternative of Jessica terminating the pregnancy.


Beckwith, F., & Thornton, A. K. (2020, July). Moral status and the architects of principlism. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 45, No. 4-5, pp. 504-520). US: Oxford University Press.

Brown, M. T. (2018). The moral status of the human embryo. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine (Vol. 43, No. 2, pp. 132-158). US: Oxford University Press.

Milliken, A. (2018). Refining moral agency: Insights from moral psychology and moral philosophy. Nursing Philosophy19(1), e12185.

Müller, G. C. (2020). The Christian understanding of the human person. Principles.

Surovell, J. (2017). But for the Grace of God: Abortion and Cognitive Disability, Luck and Moral Status. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice20(2), 257–277.