By Lila Hazan KidSpirit's Human Dignity issue.
The concept of human dignity has never been in the forefront of my mind.
I have been raised in a primarily atheist family within a primarily atheist culture, so this idea of inherent human worth does not connect back to religion for me as I believe it does for many others. However, despite my lack of theistic belief, much of my moral code originates in the beliefs established by religious practices. I believe that there are universal laws that we must abide by. I used to think of the idea that everyone possesses inherent dignity — that everyone is born with a universal sense of good and bad — as one of those laws: simple and concrete. But recently I have realized that everyone has their own idea or perception of morality, and so there is no real inherent human dignity.