Appeals to “human dignity” are at the core of many of the most contentious social and political issues of our time. But these appeals suggest different and at times even contradictory ways of understanding the term. Is dignity something we all share equally, and therefore the reason we all ought to be treated as equals? Or is it what distinguishes some greater and more admirable human beings from the rest? What notion of human dignity should inform our private judgments and our public life?
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