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Human Nature & Jewish ThoughtJudaism's Case for Why Persons Matter$
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Alan L. Mittleman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176277

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176277.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.178) Conclusion
Source:
Human Nature & Jewish Thought
Author(s):

Alan L. Mittleman

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691176277.003.0006

This concluding chapter returns to the theme of the worth or dignity of human life. What are the implications, in the face of the contemporary challenges of biotechnology and scientistic materialism, of a Jewish understanding of human nature and human dignity for our common human future? It argues that the ambivalence of the Jewish tradition toward human nature is an attitude well worth cultivating. We are holy—and capable of unimaginable evil. Judaism reminds us of both. We have the creativity and freedom to remake the world, and now, increasingly, to remake ourselves. Our own survival might depend on cultivating anew a sense of limits. Limits there will always be, many imposed by human nature. Our dignity inheres in knowing when and how to master them, and when and how to accept them with respect.

Keywords:   human nature, Jewish philosophy, human life, dignity

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