Decent Life - Definition, Concept and What it is
In general, a dignified life is understood as the fact of leading an existence with the basic needs covered and in working and human conditions with a minimum level of well-being. This definition allows us to have an approximate idea about the concept of dignified life, but we must remember that the idea of dignified life has a personal evaluative dimension and a relative and cultural component.
Elemental vital conditions are necessary but not sufficient
If a person eats daily and can meet the material needs of their own and, at the same time, is in good health and in a situation beyond danger , it can be said that they enjoy a dignified life. Thus, covering material needs is the first condition of any existence that is considered worthy. However, the material issue, health and safety are not enough, because it is difficult to consider that someone has a decent life if they do not have personal freedom, if they live under some form of oppression and if they are surrounded by difficulties in their daily environment.
Certain personal conditions call into question the idea of a dignified life. Thus, working 14 hours a day, not having access to culture, living in a dangerous neighborhood or suffering some form of discrimination are some realities that are incompatible with personal dignity .
Decent life, a relative and questionable concept
Personal circumstances and environmental conditions determine the existence of a person. However, the label of dignified life goes beyond the personal and social context of each individual, since there are cultural factors that determine any consideration of this concept.
However, Eskimos can be considered lucky and happy with their existence. A member of an Amazon tribe who visits a first world city may think that its inhabitants do not lead a decent life, as they live immersed in the hustle and bustle. These two examples serve to remind us that the dignity of existence is a cultural issue and that it would be a mistake to value other forms of life from the perspective of a different cultural dimension.
In our days there is a broad consensus when considering unworthy situations such as slavery , discrimination against women or child exploitation. Despite this, these same situations were valued in their day as absolutely normal. Let us not forget that slavery was based on the idea that some human beings were inferior in some way, that discrimination against women was explained as a punishment for original sin and that child labor was a reasonable way to help with livelihoods. Family economic.
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