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"Social justice and the spiritual walk hand in hand" Watch

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    Whilst I will happily give and assist others, I will not do as the collectivists and the usual fools who cry 'social responsibility!' demand and sacrifice myself and my dignity as a human being for the ends of anyone else, or this society of which they speak of in abstract.

    No-one truly gains anything from the debasement of humanity in favour of material concerns and ludicrous emotionalism that socialism and similar doctrines desire.

    To refer back to the Catholic church, I will quote a section of Rerum Novarum from 1891:

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    Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honourable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers - that is truly shameful and inhuman.


    Whilst I accept a moral responsibility to others, to compel that by threat of violence or insist it in others is an affront.

    (Original post by yawn)
    Or are you an apostle of Thatcher?
    Much like his Holiness, Lady Thatcher based her political beliefs solidly on the foundation of Christian faith.
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    A couple of objections I have to the sections Yawn quoted from the Pope:

    justice is inseparable from charity[1], and intrinsic to it. Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, “the minimum measure” of it
    I disagree. Justice is not given as alms any more than what a man has legitimately earned is so given. These are not examples of charity, but rather what is his by right. Moreover, to give justice to all men is a perfectly decent and selfish act: acknowledging justice does not demand respect of the other, but rather demands respect for humanity, life and oneself. To deny a man what is his right may deprive him of some material good, but the spiritual lost - which is, of course, far more significant - lies with he who would deprive.

    To love someone is to desire that person's good and to take effective steps to secure it.
    Again, I disagree. To love someone properly is to acknowledge a mutual respect. That may at times require that you allow someone to do ill to himself, and to respect his choice and right to do so. It must also involve, at times, respecting his ability to pursue his own happiness and carve out his own life as he sees fit - which certainly does not involve securing his 'good' for him, no matter how much you may desire it and wish him well.

    Personally, I'm generally of the opinion that the Church's heart is in the right place, but that they are philosophically weak.
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    I think one of the goals of the state should be to ensure that it provides its citizens would reasonable opportunities and a quality of life, but I find the suggestions offered in the document to be mostly vague, unsubstantiated economic ideas that bear no relation to reality. For example, speculation is vital to the success of the market, so attacking speculation is strange - indeed, it seems that the document uses the word "investment" to refer to investment and speculation, so what it means by speculation is not clear at all. Nor it is clear what instruments it is suggesting provide personal benefit at the cost of savers - banks don't knowingly abuse their instruments to the disadvantage of savers as that would be self-destructive to the bank; they don't continue to make profit if they no longer have any savers (or lose their savers' money). Nor is it clear why it mentions unemployment: experience shows that complete unemployment comes at too high a cost, so what it proposes about unemployment is unknown. Indeed, most of it is written to be as so vague as to be difficult to disagree with, but of course this means that it is pretty useless as a document to consider when thinking seriously about economics because it is impossible to know exactly what it is proposing or offering.

    The economic parts sound like they were written by thinking about what would be great if there were no constraints, without any demonstration that what is suggested would work or that it would deliver results.
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    (Original post by L i b)
    Whilst I accept a moral responsibility to others, to compel that by threat of violence or insist it in others is an affront.
    I think that there are some moral responsibilities that the state should provide: physiological needs such as accommodation and sustenance being one. I also think that it has some duty to compel others to provide others a reasonable education and some healthcare, to give two examples of non-needs that are reasonable to compel others to provide. However, I seriously worry that the Church's search for social justice will lead it to a system where most people are worse off. If it shoots unrealistically high then it will end up with a society that is, overall, poorer off than if it gave more room to selfish investors and open markets.
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    (Original post by Rerum Novarum)
    Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss. The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honourable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers - that is truly shameful and inhuman.
    I was confused by L i b's comment about using the threat of violence against someone who did not subscribe to social justice since, in the context in which it was posted, it appeared to condemn this encyclical. I'm glad to see it didn't.

    This particularly encyclical is pertinent to work-place relationships and is a matter apart from social justice since the latter has a far wider application than the former.

    I intend developing this thread to enable us to look at the message in greater philosophical/theological depth to move it away from any political partisanship than it is at present attracting because I believe that there is far more to social justice than political partisanship.

    "I shall be back...."
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    I think one of the goals of the state should be to ensure that it provides its citizens would reasonable opportunities and a quality of life, but I find the suggestions offered in the document to be mostly vague, unsubstantiated economic ideas that bear no relation to reality. For example, speculation is vital to the success of the market, so attacking speculation is strange - indeed, it seems that the document uses the word "investment" to refer to investment and speculation, so what it means by speculation is not clear at all. Nor it is clear what instruments it is suggesting provide personal benefit at the cost of savers - banks don't knowingly abuse their instruments to the disadvantage of savers as that would be self-destructive to the bank; they don't continue to make profit if they no longer have any savers (or lose their savers' money). Nor is it clear why it mentions unemployment: experience shows that complete unemployment comes at too high a cost, so what it proposes about unemployment is unknown. Indeed, most of it is written to be as so vague as to be difficult to disagree with, but of course this means that it is pretty useless as a document to consider when thinking seriously about economics because it is impossible to know exactly what it is proposing or offering.

    The economic parts sound like they were written by thinking about what would be great if there were no constraints, without any demonstration that what is suggested would work or that it would deliver results.
    Maybe the Catholic Church needs better economic advisors?

    I mean, it's not like left wing thinktanks don't employ economists when devising plans to implement their ideals of social justice.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Maybe the Catholic Church needs better economic advisors?

    I mean, it's not like left wing thinktanks don't employ economists when devising plans to implement their ideals of social justice.
    Interesting you should say that, Andy.

    In today's 'The Times' Brian Griffiths, Vice-Chair of Goldman Sachs International (you know, that very famous global financial establishment) says the Pope Benedict's analysis is the best yet of the global economic crisis.

    You can read his article here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle6695104.ece

    It certainly knocks back those whose vision is so limited by political partisanship that they fail to see that everyone involved in the financial market, including even consumers - "must be alert to the moral consequences of their actions."

    Mr. Griffiths is of the view that Pope Benedict's encyclical has a postive view of profit, providing it is not an exclusive goal. He recognises that its major concern is how to promote human development in the context of justice and the common good.
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    it's again not clear what Brian Griffiths means by "The financial system has been abused by speculative financial dealing and has wreaked havoc on the real economy.". the word abuse implies intentional misuse leading to damage, but i don't see what recent examples he is thinking of where speculators have intentionally damagingly misused the financial system.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    it's again not clear what Brian Griffiths means by "The financial system has been abused by speculative financial dealing and has wreaked havoc on the real economy.". the word abuse implies intentional misuse leading to damage, but i don't see what recent examples he is thinking of where speculators have intentionally damagingly misused the financial system.
    He talks of globalisation undermining the rights of workers, downsized social security systems and exploitation of the environment.

    Maybe be reading the suggested six major ways to make global capitalisation more human will give an insight into what he means by the descriptor "abused."

    Aside from Mr. Griffiths comments, I have seen plenty of criticism of how speculators have intentionally damagingly misused the financial system for personal gain and short-term profit. Ask any quantatitive analyst how and why it was done!
 
 
 
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