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Document Type

Symposium

Abstract

(Excerpt)

It seems to me that what my colleague, teacher, and friend, the late Robert E. Rodes, Jr., liked to call “the legal enterprise” is the project of coordinating, structuring, facilitating, and constraining human activities in a way that promotes and secures the common good and, thereby, promotes the flourishing of human persons. This project proceeds from, and depends on, an account of what the human person is and is for—a “moral anthropology.” I have argued elsewhere, for example, that certain “truths about the nature, goods, and destiny of the human person, namely, that we were made by God—whose love for us is precisely what imparts to us the worth that makes rights-and dignity-talk meaningful—to know, love, and serve Him in this world and to be happy forever with Him in the next,” must be appreciated in order to construct and employ a good law of religious freedom. The point is, the answer we give to the question “What are humans?” or “What is a person?” is among “the more important questions we face in our lives. The answer we give . . . helps to determine our view of our own selves, our lives, our very being and purpose, and of what makes a good society.” The answer and the question matter, then, for law.

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