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Human Dignity: The Pillar of the Moral Vision of Society

The Principles of Catholic Social thought or teaching mainly has a connection with self and community. There is a mutual dependency between the two. The nine elements of CST are as follows: Human dignity is about self respect and self –worth  in  any place  may  be  it  in  individual aspect  or  in organization. The Catholic Social teaching emphasis on human dignity is the pillar of the moral vision of the society (Socialjustice.catholic.org.au, 2017).

It can be sad that every person wants to sustain its dignity and some are very particular about it but many people become vulnerable at one point of time to protect the dignity of each person. 

If one person’s dignity is snatched away in term of discrimination of caste, creed, poverty and other factors, then the dignity of every person of society is deprived. The Catholic Church always observes men and women equal (Socialjustice.catholic.org.au, 2017).  Human Dignity is every person’s birth right, it is not influenced by any circumstances.

Common good is even if every person whether rich or poor has a responsibility in contribution of welfare of the society. It is said that one should fight for the justice of every person in the society.  The government and the people must concentrate on   the people who are economically lagging behind. According  to  the  catholic  church social teaching  the   overall  social  condition  of  everybody brings the  actual  fulfillment and the  unity  among  each  person  brings  common  good  very easily(Socialjustice.catholic.org.au, 2017) .   Common good must not be looked as the charity purpose, but each person of society must take it as a challenge to bring happiness among the people. 

There is another moral principle, which is assigned by the Catholic Social thought, which is preferential option for the poor. The Catholic  Church  always give  the viewpoint that  the  people  who  are marginalized  and are economically not sound ,  their responsibility  and their rights might not be optional, it must be considered  as  the  same  priority (Acu.edu.au, 2017, Module 3) . 

Thus in  any  community  like  in  school or college the  people should  not  be  discriminated  and given  just  a  option  in decision making, and  commitment.  It is a compulsion to provide them this right and duty.  Sometimes this concept  has  seemed  to  criticize  the  concept  of  charity,  but specifically  it  is  not  true because  charity works with the concept  of only  doing welfare of the people  of society.

Common Good: Responsibility of Every Person in Contributing to Welfare

The  element  of  subsidiary  protects  the  people  from  being  threatened or  abused  by the  higher level  of  the  society  which  depends  on  the same  organizations  and  people to  fulfill  the responsibility (Socialjustice.catholic.org.au, 2017). So, indirectly subsidiary motivates  in  participation and  taking  responsibilities by  the  common people same as of the  government  or  any organization. It  means  the  people  itself  will  take  the  responsibility  of  the  society, this  concept  can be  well recognized  by  the  concept  of  democracy,  where  people  themselves  elect  the  candidates  among the  common  mass for ruling. 

The universal purpose of goods   primarily focuses with the right to private property and free trade. This is the element of universal s good.  This  is  because  private  community  is  very  much required  in  order  to  built  proper  hospital,  building  of  police  system  and  others.

The  Steward  of  creation  signifies  that  in  some  way  or  other  every human being  has  a  deep relation  and  existent to  the  creation  which  is  the  Earth.    So  it’s  the duty  of  each  person  to nurture  each   the  every  creation  of  the world.

It  can  be  said  that  peace  is  not  about  absence  of  war or violence  rather  it’s  about  getting justice  and  the  equal  right  in  every  community and  organization.  Everybody must really strive for the promotion of peace.

It  can  be  said  that  every  human  being  in  society  has  the  right  to  take part  in  the  economic, cultural  and  political life  of  the  society.   This  is  the  basic   demand  of  justice  for  the  protection of  human  right  in  the  society.   Hence,  participation  is  required  to  sustain  the  dignity  of  each individual.

Global solidarity   initiates taking of  responsibility  of  each   other  in  the  society  in spite  of differences  in race, nationality, geography, culture or any other form of difference.     

Solidarity  is   the  symbol  of  common  good  and  it   mainly  focus on  the  fundamental  rights  and duty of the economically background   people in society(Socialjustice.catholic.org.au, 2017). It can be considered that Ubuntu  is  a African  word  which  denotes  the fact  that  ‘I am who I am because of who we are all’.  This means that every individual is equal to other individual. It literally specifies the fact that each person’s characteristics sare connected to every other individual in the society.

The principles of the Catholic Social teaching are about the inter dependency between the self and the community.  This  is because  the  Catholic Social  Thought  mainly  focuses   on  the  dignity  of human being ,  common  good  of  the  society, promotion peace and  solidarity  is  related  to  self  and community  because  community is  build with each individual.  It can be considered that each individual flourishes then the community will also flourish.   This is the concept of flourishing.  These core principles are golden rules which emblem the method of treating one’s lives and others live (Acu.edu.au, 2017 Moduel 1). Ubuntu reflects the nature of the other person in the society (Acu.edu.au, 2017 Module 2).

Now the  concept  of  flourishing  is  a  important  aspect  for explanation  of  self  and  community. Flourishing of individual  person denotes that  the  person  must  be  acquainted  with physiological, psychological, and  also  emotion needs and  purpose.  According  to  Aristotle  the  word eudemonia signifies  the  activity  and  also  living  virtuously.  Now  the  word  virtuous  is  about  some  quality  of bravery,  honesty, broadmindedness  and  others.  Human  flourishing  is  not about attaining temporary happiness, but  it’s  about living  a  genuine  and  meaningful  life.  Thus for that reason Aristotle opines to have positive contribution in the community (Acu.edu.au, 2017 Module 1). 

According  to  Aristotle,  Ubuntu  and  Catholic  social thought human being  are  always a  social being but Aristotle said that human being has the  characteristic  of  a  social animal. In  this  context  it makes us clear that  man  is  a  social  being,  because it has no existence without  the  relationships in the  society (Acu.edu.au, 2017 Module 1).  Hence it itself denotes about the mutual dependency of self and community (Melé 2015).

Reference

Acu.edu.au. (2017). ACU (Australian Catholic University) - national, public and not-for-profit. - ACU (Australian Catholic University). [online] Available at: https://www.acu.edu.au/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017]. UNCC100 MODULE 2:  UNCC100 MODULE 1: UNCC100 MODULE  3

Khomba, J.K. and Kangaude-Ulaya, E.C., 2013. Indigenisation of corporate strategies in Africa: lessons from the African ubuntu philosophy. China-USA Business Review, 12(7).

McCann, D.P., 2014. Who is responsible for the common good? Catholic social teaching and the praxis of subsidiarity. In The common good: Chinese and American perspectives (pp. 261-289). Springer Netherlands.

Melé, D., 2015. Three Keys Concepts of Catholic Humanism for Economic Activity: Human Dignity, Human Rights and Integral Human Development. In Humanism in Economics and Business (pp. 113-136). Springer Netherlands.

Sison, A.J.G., Ferrero, I. and Guitián, G., 2016. Human dignity and the dignity of work: Insights from Catholic social teaching. Business Ethics Quarterly, pp.1-26.

Socialjustice.catholic.org.au. (2017). Home - Australian Catholic Social Justice Council. [online] Available at: https://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au/ [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].

Whitmore, T.D., 2013. Catholic Social Teaching. Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America, 47.

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