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Temple Grandin Essay

Temple Grandin
Human Dignity in the Catechism point of view explains that all humans resemble God’s image and presence so therefore if you attack someone you are attacking God. Human Dignity is not determined by what line of work they’re doing or by their strengths and weaknesses, but rather the persons they are. Temple Grandin was autistic which made her a weak auditory learner. Several people used this as an excuse to treat her with disrespect, and by doing so, violating her human dignity. On the other hand there were lots of people who respected her and saw that Temple was different but not less. Examples of these people are Temple’s science teacher, Professor Carlock and Temple’s best friend Alice.

Professor Carlock was Temple’s Mentor and Science teacher. Early on, Professor Carlock acknowledged that although Temple was autistic, she had a brilliant mind and could use her autism as a visualization tool. Professor Carlock adapted to Temple’s learning method (visual learner), and assigned her projects and tasks that allowed her to make use of her talent, like the 2 horses in a box assignment. Alice, Temple’s best friend, was another character that respected Temple’s dignity. In contrast to Temple’s first roommate, Alice was able to understand Temple and her needs due to her own disability. She didn’t mind Temple keeping the hug machine because she understood how much Temple needed it. Respecting Human dignity is treating someone fairly, no madder their strengths and weaknesses. Alice and Professor Carlock demonstrated this by showing compassion and understanding towards Temple’s needs. Despite Temple’s disability, Alice treated Temple in the same way as she treated other people, and Professor Carlock respected Temple and taught her in ways that Temple could easily understand. These examples ultimately show how much Alice and Professor Carlock respects Temple’s human dignity.

By respecting Temple’s dignity in the ways they did, Professor Carlock showed several different (cardinal) virtues such as Prudence and Temperance. Professor Carlock showed prudence towards Temple. Prudence is, “the intellectual virtue which rightly directs particular human acts, through rectitude of the appetite, toward a good end.” To be prudent is to know that

something you’re doing is good and actually doing it. Professor Carlock knew that Temple was brilliant and wanted to help her succeed in life. He helped Temple develop her visual learning abilities and encouraged her to go to college. Even when other teachers were claiming that Temple was “un-teachable”, Professor Carlock knew that Temple was intelligent and continued to do the right thing by teaching her, despite the criticism he received from his colleagues.

Alice also indirectly demonstrated the virtue of temperance. Temperance refers to being happy and having everything you need to pleasure yourself. These things may include delicious food, a girlfriend or a house. In Temple’s case, she needed pleasure in the form of a hug. She couldn’t hug people due to her autism therefore she built a machine to satisfy her needs. Alice indirectly provided this because although she didn’t make the machine, she allowed Temple to keep it because she knew that without the machine, Temple would be desperate and unhappy. By allowing Temple to keep the machine Temple could receive a hug something that demonstrated Temperance.

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