Do Human Beings have Intrinsic Dignity?
I don’t believe that human persons have intrinsic dignity. Human beings are biological things that have no special meaning or worth above rocks, plants, or bugs. So ethical principles are simply inventions which carry no real obligation to be followed.
Answer: Most people, whether they are religious or not, are aware that human beings are more than just biological things because of our unique capacity to seek what is transcendental (beyond material).
In order to claim that human beings are just the sum of our material parts, you would have to ignore the fact that human beings are capable of love, empathy, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, and self-sacrifice. You would have to deny that human beings find their greatest meaning and purpose in truth, love, goodness, justice, and unity. If, on the other hand, you find that you cannot deny this, then physics and biology cannot explain who we are. Science, by nature, looks only at what is physical and material, not at what is transcendental.
Many of the greatest physicists and biologists, even in our current day, have acknowledged this unique transcendental specialness in human beings. For example, Sir Arthur Eddington, a famous physicist and astrophysicist in the 20th century had this to say: