Teaching Philosophy of the Human Person

   In my class here this summer, Philosophy of the Human Person, we are asking: How do we give a description of the dignity of the human person, an account that would show clearly what’s wrong with genocide and other impingement of human rights?  Why are we a species that destroys itself?  Why do we kill each other en masse?  The Orlando shooting brings this immediately to the fore: why do we hurt our own selves?
    Some answer this question theologically: we are special because we are made in the image of God.  We are His special creation.  I completely agree with that view.
     But this does not speak to atheists or people of other faiths.  How do you convince all people to stop the torture?  Philosophers have the chance to speak to all people, all rational creatures.
    John Paul II said that in his spare time, he worked on the metaphysics of the human person, in order to combat the fascist and communist regimes.  He really believed that philosophy was more powerful than weapons and warfare.
    Let us do our job well!
    It is such a relevant question: how DO you explain the dignity of the human person?