Presentation on theme: "Antony Davies, Ph.D. Duquesne University Click here for instructions."— Presentation transcript:
Antony Davies, Ph.D. Duquesne University Click here for instructions.
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This unit is divided into several sections. Start with the micro-lecture. Then proceed onto each section. You can click on a link below to navigate to the section where you had recently left off. Micro-Lecture Section 1: Major Themes from CST Section 2: Compatibility of CST & Economic Truth Section 3: The Option for the Poor Section 4: Economic Growth: A Final Word Unit Summary & Assignment Course Assessment
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MAJOR THEMES FROM CST
Dignity of the Person …every human being is a person, that is, his nature is endowed with intelligence and free will. Indeed, precisely because he is a person he has rights and obligations flowing directly and simultaneously from his very nature. (Pacem in Terris, John XXIII, 1963) Common Good and Community As for the State, its whole raison d'etre is the realization of the common good in the temporal order. It cannot, therefore, hold aloof from economic matters. On the contrary, it must do all in its power to promote the production of a sufficient supply of material goods, the use of which is necessary for the practice of virtue. (Mater et Magistra, John XXIII, 1961)
Option for the Poor …the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others. (Octogesima Adveniens, Paul VI, 1971) Rights and Responsibilities …the common good is chiefly guaranteed when personal rights and duties are maintained. The chief concern of civil authorities must therefore be to ensure that these rights are acknowledged, respected, coordinated with other rights, defended and promoted, so that in this way everyone may more easily carry out their duties. (Pacem in Terris, John XXIII, 1963)
Role of Government and Subsidiarity …it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and give it to the community… (Quadragesimo Anno, Pius XI, 1931) A community of a higher order should not interfere with the life of a community of a lower level, taking over its functions. (Centesimus Annus, John Paul II, 1991)
Economic Justice …it is necessary that economic undertaking be governed by justice and charity as the principal laws of social life. (Mater et Magistra, John XXIII, 1961) Stewardship of Gods Creation By its very nature private property has a social quality which is based in the law of the common destination of earthly goods. If this social quality is overlooked, property often becomes an occasion of a passionate desire for wealth and serious disturbances, so that a pretext is given to those who attack private property for calling the right itself into question. (Gaudium et Spes, Second Vatican Council, 1965)
Promotion of Peace The obligation to earn one's bread presumes the right to do so. A society that denies this right cannot be justified, nor can it attain social peace. (Centesimus Annus, John Paul II, 1991) Participation Citizens…should remember that it is their right and duty, which is also to be recognized by the civil authority, to contribute to the true progress of their own community according to their ability. (Gaudium et Spes, Second Vatican Council, 1965)
Global Solidarity Another root of this contradiction between affirmation and practice lies in a notion of freedom that exalts the individual in an absolute way giving no place to solidarity, openness to others, or service of them, asking like Cain: Am I my brother's keeper? Yes, human beings are their brother's and sister's keepers. God entrusts us to one another. Our freedom has a relational dimension; we find our fulfillment through the gift of self to others. (Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II, 1965)
Self-Ownership No one can own another person. Each person owns himself. Property Rights Labor is the product of a persons life. Wages are the product of labor. Property is acquired with wages. Because each person owns himself, each person owns the property that arises from his labor and the property given to him by others who have generated that property by their labor. Exchange People who are free to exchange without coercion or deception make each other better off. Profit In a free market economy, profit is the reward a person obtains when the person creates value for another.
Self-Ownership Property Rights Exchange From an economic perspective, self-ownership and property rights together imply freedom. Freedom and exchange together form the foundation for a free market. A free market is what arises when people who are free come together to exchange that which they own. Freedom Free Market
Self-Ownership Property Rights Exchange In economics, freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want. Freedom is the ability to act as you want provided that you do not violate other peoples property rights. Freedom Free Market
COMPATIBILITY OF CST & ECONOMIC TRUTH
Freedom (economic truth) Freedom is the ability to act as you want provided you do not violate other peoples property rights. The compatibility of Catholic social thought and economic truth lies in what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God. To be created in the image and likeness of God is to possess free will which, in turn, we are called to exercise in moral and just action. But, to be able to undertake moral and just action requires freedom.
Freedom (Catholic social thought) …we must reappropriate the true meaning of freedom, which is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being. (Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI, 2009)
Freedom (economic truth) Freedom is the ability to act as you want provided you do not violate other peoples property rights. Freedom (Catholic social thought) …we must reappropriate the true meaning of freedom, which is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being. (Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI, 2009)
Is Catholic Social Thought Compatible With Economic Truth? Economic truth calls for people to respect each others freedom but does not say how one should exercise that freedom. Catholic social thought completes economics view of freedom by speaking to how one is called to exercise ones freedom.
How can Catholic social teaching be consistent with what you have learned about economic truths? Throughout these units, you have seen that economies generate wealth for people, promote more equitable income distributions for workers, and mitigate exploitation of the poor and weak when: 1.The people in those economies have the freedom to act, and 2.The government protects and enforces property rights so as to more guarantee that one persons actions do not violate others property rights.
How can Catholic social teaching be consistent with what you have learned about economic truths? Conversely, when governments reach beyond their proper roles of protecting property rights and attempt to effect social change, and even when motivated by good intention, they typically achieve the opposite of what they intend.
Peoples Obligations Option for the Poor People should renounce some of their property rights for the benefit of the poor. Economic Justice Peoples economic activities should be guided by justice and charity. Stewardship Property owners are stewards who should make property of benefit to others. With respect to the governments obligations, Catholic social thought is consistent with a free market approach to economics in that it calls on government to protect rights and to provide an environment in which markets can operate freely so as to make the best use of societys resources. Governments Obligations Rights and Responsibilities Government must acknowledge, respect, defend, and promote property rights. Role of Government and Subsidiarity Government must not take from individuals to give to the community. Common Good and Community Government should promote the production of a sufficient supply of material goods.
With respect to the peoples obligations, Catholic social thought does not call on peoples freedoms to be curtailed, but calls on people to willfully exercise their freedoms in moral and just ways. Peoples Obligations Option for the Poor People should renounce some of their property rights for the benefit of the poor. Economic Justice Peoples economic activities should be guided by justice and charity. Stewardship Property owners are stewards who should make property of benefit to others. Governments Obligations Rights and Responsibilities Government must acknowledge, respect, defend, and promote property rights. Role of Government and Subsidiarity Government must not take from individuals to give to the community. Common Good and Community Government should promote the production of a sufficient supply of material goods.
To understand how Catholic social thought and economic truth are compatible, one must realize that, when the Church speaks of society, it is speaking of the community of people: Society and the government are not synonymous, Society and the economy are not synonymous, but The government and the economy are tools society uses.
The call to conversion is a call to people to use these tools in ways that are consistent with the application of Catholic social thought within the context of economic truth. For example, the option for the poor is not a call for the government to tax the rich and give to the poor (a violation both of property rights and the principle of the dignity of the person), but rather a call for people who have to give to those who have not.
THE OPTION FOR THE POOR
The option for the poor is not a call for the government to tax the rich and give to the poor, but rather a call for the people who have to give to those who have not. In the four Gospels, the poor are mentioned twenty-one times: Four times the poor are mentioned as a fact, Six times the poor are called blessed or singled out as a special group who will receive the Gospel, Eleven times, Jesus instructs the listener to give to the poor. At no point, do the Gospels advocate taking from the rich to give to the poor.
To take from the rich to give to the poor requires coercion. To employ coercion to feed the poor dehumanizes the poor by treating the poor as mouths to be fed. To employ coercion to feed the poor dehumanizes the rich by treating the rich as sources of revenue.
At no point, do the Gospels advocate taking from the rich to give to the poor. To regard the elimination of poverty as an end in itself, is to miss the greater opportunity that poverty offers – to bring the rich and poor together in community. If a society has poverty but not a free economy, then the Churchs role is to call on the government to protect property rights and remove restrictions on markets so that the economy can create wealth. If a society has poverty and a free economy, then the Churchs role is to call on the people who have wealth to share with the people who do not – that is, to use their wealth to build community.
Economic principles suggest that government is the right tool for protecting property rights, but the wrong tool for moral action. This result appears to be consistent with Catholic social thought. Because rights and responsibilities are inextricably linked, if we give the government the responsibility for fulfilling our moral obligations, then we also give the government the right to determine what our moral obligations are. When that happens, people cease to be moral agents with the free will to choose moral action. Instead, they become tools that the government uses in fulfilling what it perceives to be moral action.
ECONOMIC GROWTH: A FINAL WORD
As you incorporate what you have learned in these units into forming your view of the interactions of consumers, producers, and government, keep in mind that the world you see around you is illusory. The world looks as if it is divided into static parts: the rich countries and the poor countries. In fact, the world is a highly dynamic place in which all countries are growing and all peoples are becoming richer and healthier. The two metrics that people frequently cite as marking the difference between developed and underdeveloped countries are longevity and income. People in developed countries live longer lives and have higher incomes, while people in underdeveloped countries live shorter lives and have lower incomes.
In the following slides you will see an animation depicting all the countries in the world according to their peoples; incomes and longevities.
Each dot represents a country at this point in history. The further to the right the dot is, the more is peoples income in that country. The further to the top the dot is, the greater is the peoples longevity in that country. The size of the dot indicates the size of the population. The dots color indicates the countrys location.
In this unit, you examined the economic principles you have learned in previous units in light of Catholic social thought. You learned that the principles that make for a healthy economy are consistent with Catholic social thought. You also learned that free markets and property rights are not sufficient for forming a just society, but that they are necessary. Seen in this light, the major themes of Catholic social thought give people guidance in how to use a free market economy as a tool for building community.
Read the following articles, which are available on the JPIC 220 ERes site at the Gumberg Library. To access these articles, click on the links below. You may be prompted to enter a password ( JPIC ). Davies, Antony. "The Role of Religion in the Economy." International Journal on World Peace 21.2 (2004): Web. 17 June Davies, Antony. "The Economics and Morality of Caring for the Poor - The Acton Institute." The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. Sept Web. 25 June Gwartney, James D. "A Christian Speaks Up for Capitalism." The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty. Web. 25 June .
Read the following articles, which are available on the JPIC 220 ERes site at the Gumberg Library. To access these articles, click on the links below. You may be prompted to enter a password ( JPIC ). McGurn, William. A Market in the Image of the Creator." Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) 20 March ProQuest. Web. 17 June The Good News." Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition) 26 January ProQuest. Web. 17 June 2010.
Respond to the statements on the next slide. In addressing the statements, make use of what you have learned of economic truth and Catholic Social Thought. Make sure that you fully explore the economic implications and the moral implications of your positions.
1.Education is good for society, therefore the state should provide schools and make attendance mandatory. 1.People have a right to food, therefore the state should tax people, use the money to pay farmers to grow more food, and distribute the food to those who need it. Post your responses to the JPIC 220 Wiki.JPIC 220 Wiki HOW TO POST ONTO WIKI 1.Click on the Wiki discussion link above. 2.Sign into Wikispaces so that you are able to post via the Sign In link. 3.Type your response in the reply box at the bottom of the page
After posting your response to the course Wiki, meet in a group and discuss all of your responses.
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