In the article titled “Christian Vision of a Person”, Patrick McArdle seeks to explain the question of what it means to be a human person, and in doing so seeks to assist or enhance people’s understanding of Christian Ethics and Anthropology. From a modern, first world perspective, the question at first glance appears to be a simple one. However, when we read further, this appears not to be the case. His article takes an almost tripartite approach to defining the human person. He looks much deeper than the socio-biological aspects of humanity and gives us an insight into the metaphysical qualities that help us form our opinion of what it means to be a human person. In the later part of the article, McArdle goes on to talk…show more content… What constitutes a human being? He questions the validity of a definition that limits the definition to ones ability to communicate with beings of the same species. He asks us to consider how we would then be able to classify people such as the severely disabled, unborn humans, or humans entering end of lifecycle phases.
For the purpose of simplifying this complex topic, McArdle then goes on to propose two ‘schools of thought’ for defining humanity: the ‘socio-biological’ and the ‘metaphysical’. He states that these classifications are of his own invention and both have do not exist in isolation that is, that there is room for cross-over.
As the title states, the first grouping of the ‘socio-biological school of thought’ deals broadly with people who maintain the belief that person-hood is the net result of your biology, exposure to “social dynamics” or some combination of the two. Within this group there are also two divisions. The first division within this group believes that classification or the assignment of humanity can take place based solely on your genetic make-up and other biological criteria. The second division takes into account your social conditioning.
McArdle goes further with refining this classification to include traits (as stated by Peter Singer) that he believed could help separate “humans” from other higher order primates. Singer suggests attributes such as: self-awareness, self control, a sense of