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Social Justice Intro


John Medaille

on 24 August 2017

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Transcript of Social Justice Intro

Raw materials
Ethical individuals
A variety of discrete systems, coordinated by business to provide products to society
Moral Order
Economic Order
The Polis
Our life in community
Complex interactions
Complex interactions
Complex interactions
Complex interactions
A variety of systems, cooperating to produce social values.
Since understanding affects the system, we have an intellectual task
All of our problems can be traced to a violation of one or more of these orders
We live in time when failures in these systems are self-evident
The task that confronts us is one of understanding. Technical knowledge will not be enough.
Natural Law
Natural Order
Economic Order
The Polis
Right Relationships
Right use of the Earth
Material provisioning of society;
Our life in community
Social Justice
And why is it required?
What is this course all about?
Or a credential?
Are you here for an education?
Not discrete units, but integrated systems
The lines between them are “fuzzy”
Failure in one system can lead to failure in all systems
Example: The financial meltdown
Just an economic failure?
Or moral breakdown?
Business Cannot Stand Apart
Four Phases of Study
The teachings in practice
The Central Question
Is Justice a Part of Economic Order?
Is Economics a "science"?
When business works against Economic Order...
Chronic recessions
Increased government involvement
Growing public mistrust of business
Economic collapse
Economic "Orthodoxy"
Economics as "Natural Law"
Economic law is separate from ethics
The "Is" & the "Ought"
So What?
I'm just trying to run a business
I'm not trying to save the world
It's not my job!
Knowledge & Wisdom
...not knowledge, but
You have no choice!
The world is in a state of flux and change
A tipping point?
In five years, Everything will change
Without understanding, there will be confusion
The most scarce commodity will not be training, but education...
But we can give the wisdom you have a workout
Technical knowledge: How to do things?
Wisdom: What things
we be doing?
For the last 50 years, Western education has shifted to the technical
We know how to do everything
Do we know how to do the right things?
That knowledge will be critical
I can't teach wisdom
Sources of Wisdom
There are many:
Your own experience
Here we are concerned with three:
It is impossible to fully understand the idea
All human ideas originate in a particular historical context
And the change and develop in history
Without understanding the history
The way cultures confront basic questions in a formal way
In short supply
"Critical Thinking"
And their implications
Deals with the relationship between ideas
The History of the Question
There is no understanding without history
The Social Encyclicals
Our Reference Point
Tensions between CST & Economic Theory
Are we counter-cultural?
Even if the Church has competency, can it affect business practice?
Galileo redux?
Can the Catholic Church have any competency in this area?
If so, can a science admit of moral terms?
Hence, there can be no "social justice"
Joined only at the individual level
Any attempt to impose ethics is self-defeating
Ethics are a private matter
Religious "Orthodoxy"?
Religion concerned only with personal salvation
Hence, there can be no "social ethics"
Personal relation with Jesus Christ mediated only by the Bible
Not here to save the world, only ourselves
"Total Depravity"
Protestant Reformation
Radical Individualism
Unites both "Orthodoxies"
If there are no universal values...
Free of custom or society
Determine our own values
We are self-sufficient
The purpose of this course is to overcome these dichotomies
How to break the dichotomy?
Speak Greek!
It is not something "added to" or "outside of" being
(ontos) = "being"
Dei = "to owe"
"What is owed to being"
The "ought" arises from the nature of being
Social Justice
The "Glenn Beck" Question
Filled by each side with ideology
Said "Social Justice" a code word for communism and Naziism
If your Church preaches SJ
He has a point
SJ has become an empty term
The Church's Response
"Social Justice" introduced by Pius XI in 1931
Ordinary Magisterium
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium of Social Teaching
Incorporated into every social encyclical since
So what is it?
Or power, birth, privilege, etc.?
Need to rescue the term from ideology
Give it a concrete meaning
SJ deals with institutions
the state,
And how they divide rewards
And mete out punishments
Do they reward work?
We can query the nature of being to find out what is "owed" to it
Not something divorced from life
Catholic Social Teaching is our reference point
We are here to build up the Kingdom of Christ
Everything in life contributes to man's last end
Not just about death
Without wisdom...
SJ part of CST
I can't run
Then only the market or politics can arbitrate individual desires
but imprecise
Families, firms, gov't, charities
The Firm
Any group producing shared goods
the people perish
Full transcript