I describe an ethic for business administration based on the social tradition of the CatholicChurch. I find that much current thinking about business falters for its conceit of truth. Abstractions such as the shareholder-value model contain truth - namely, that business is an economic enterprise to manage for the wealth of its owners. But, as in all abstractions, this truth comes at the expense of falsehood -namely, that persons are assets to deploy on behalf of owners. (...) This last is "wrong" in both senses of the word - it is factually wrong in that persons are far more than business assets, they are supernatural beings, children of God; and it is morally wrong in that it is an injustice to treat them as the former when they are the latter. I draw upon the social tradition of the CatholicChurch to recognize that the business of business is not business, but is instead the human person. Following Church teachings, I describe a person-centered ethic of business based upon eight social principles that both correct and enlarge the shareholder-centered ethic of much current business thinking. I discuss implications of this person-centered ethic for business administration. (shrink)
Branding has long been seen as an effective means of marketing products. The use of brand-based marketing campaigns, however, has come under intense scrutiny over the past 10 years for its power to facilitate deception and emotional manipulation. As a way of proceeding through the many differing moral assessments, this paper turns for insight to the tradition of writing on social ethical issues within the Roman CatholicChurch. The author suggests that CatholicSocial Teaching offers (...) a distinctive approach to advertising ethics that charts a middle course between the two poles of the debate on branding. This article introduces readers to the approach to advertising developed within Vatican documents on media, highlighting the basic values at stake and the particular moral norms for advertising that are articulated. The article then applies these values and norms to the case of brandbased advertising, ultimately suggesting that advertisers approach their work through the virtue of solidarity. (shrink)
The "justice of markets" is intricately connected to the treatment of the poor and the disadvantaged in market economies. The increased interest of multinational corporations in low-income market segments affords, on one hand, the opportunity for a more inclusive capitalism, and on the other, the threat of greater exploitation of poor and disadvantaged consumers. This article traces the contributions of CatholicSocial Teaching and its basic principles toward providing insight into what constitutes "justice" in such "marketing to the (...) impoverished" situations. (shrink)
Some religious believers may see synthetic biology as usurping God's creative role. The CatholicChurch has yet to issue a formal teaching on the field (though it has issued some informal statements in response to Craig Venter's development of a ‘synthetic’ cell). In this paper I examine the likely reaction of the Catholic Magisterium to synthetic biology in its entirety. I begin by examining the Church's teaching role, from its own viewpoint, to set the necessary backround (...) and context for the discussion that follows. I then describe the Church's attitude to science, and particularly to biotechnology. From this I derive a likely Catholic theology of synthetic biology.The Church's teachings on scientific and biotech research show that it is likely to have a generally positive disposition to synbio, if it and its products can be acceptably safe. Proper evaluation of, and protection against, risk will be a significant factor in determining the morality of the research. If the risks can be minimized through regulation or other means, then the Church is likely to be supportive. The Church will also critique the social and legal environment in which the research is done, evaluating issues such as the patenting of scientific discoveries and of life. (shrink)
In addition, this edition offers the best available translation of the late and important Government of Poland and the only published English translation of the fragment Constitutional Project for Corsica, which, says Watkins, provides the ...
This article draws upon 100 years of writings which are referred to as the CatholicSocial Tradition (CST). Using this tradition as a guide, the nature of work is explored along with the principles and virtues which vitalize the deepest dimension of work — how it affects the dignity of the human person. It develops five operational ethical principles which can be applied to questions of workplace ethics. Organizational policies and programs that seem consistent with CST are also (...) discussed. (shrink)
Statistical claims are often central to the contemporary construction of socialproblems. The failure to subject these figures to critical analysis is a form of innumeracy, the inability to deal effectively with mathematical concepts. Two cases from the United States -estimates of the number of missing children, and projections for the workforce in the year 2000 -illustrate how the uncritical acceptance of inaccurate statistics can shape policy debates. Claimsmakers, the mass media, and the media audience all contribute to (...) the innumerate interpretation of social statistics. (shrink)
O artigo aqui apresentado propõe uma leitura teológico-pastoral dos resultados do último Censo do IBGE 2010– Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – sobre religião no Brasil, publicados em julho de 2012, recorrendo também ao estudo da Fundação Getúlio Vargas – O novo mapa das religiões – publicado em 2011, e à pesquisa encomendada pela Arquidiocese de Belo Horizonte sobre Valores e religião na região metropolitana, cuja realização se deu em 2012. A leitura proposta pelo artigo toma em conta sobretudo (...) o que os dados dessas pesquisas dizem da igreja católica. Após um breve comentário de alguns elementos apresentados por tais pesquisas, o texto propõe algumas chaves de interpretação. Começa com uma leitura de tipo sociorreligioso, mostrando que a queda acentuada da pertença ao catolicismo é o resultado da saída de uma religião de tipo ‘ambiental’ e herdado para uma religião de ‘convicção’, de caráter ‘confessante’. Num segundo momento apresenta algumas raízes dessa maneira de compreender a fé no Novo Testamento e na leitura sobre a natureza e a missão da igreja feita pelo Concílio Vaticano II. Conclui, enfim, com algumas considerações de tipo pastoral, apontando não tanto para as soluções levantadas pela queda da pertença ao catolicismo, mas para as atitudes que uma igreja ‘confessante’ deve assumir na hora atual. Palavras-chave: Censo IBGE 2010. Censo das Religiões. Igreja Católica no Brasil. Leitura teológicaThe article proposes a theological-pastoral reading of the results of the most recent Census by the IBGE 2010 – Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – regarding religion in Brazil, published in July 2012, while also drawing on a study by the Fundação Getúlio Vargas – O novo mapa das religiões (The new map of religions) – published in 2011, and on the research project sponsored by the Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte regarding Valores e religião na região metropolitana (Values and religion in the metropolitan region), which was carried out in 2012. The reading proposed by this article focuses especially on what the data from these investigations says about the CatholicChurch. After commenting briefly on some elements presented by the research, the text proposes some interpretive keys. The first is a socio-religious reading, showing that the steep decline in rates of belonging to Catholicism is the result of the shift from an “environmental” and “natal” type of religion to a religion of “conviction,” with a “confessional” nature. Secondly, the article presents some roots of this way of understanding faith in the New Testament and in the Second Vatican Council’s reading of the nature and mission of the Church. Finally, it concludes with some pastoral considerations, pointing not so much to solutions regarding the decline in Catholic belonging, but rather to the attitudes that a “confessional” church should have in our time. Key-words : IBGE Census 2010. Census data on religions. CatholicChurch in Brazil. Theological reading. (shrink)
Levando–se em conta os leitores do século XXI, ao debruçar-se sobre a participação da Igreja católica brasileira na preparação do Concílio Vaticano II, o presente estudo parte de três perguntas: a) o quê interessa saber sobre a participação brasileira? b) É este um tema relevante? c) Alguns brasileiros participação significativamente na fase preparatória? Para responder apropriadamente a essas questões os autores propõem um conceito diferente de “participação” na preparação do Vaticano II por parte do episcopado brasileiro. O artigo não foca (...) apenas a presença deste ou daquele bispo ou perito nas comissões do Concílio, mas propõe a idéia de que o mais importante foi a auto-preparação, que durante certo tempo permaneceu “latente” e posteriormente se organizou através de um Concílio com um episcopado jovem, com uma média de idade em torno de 54 anos e 11 de experiência como bispo. Por isso, conscientes dos problemas pastorais que a realidade do subdesenvolvimento punha à Igreja, e com uma incipiente experiência de participação colegial, desenvolvida na construção do Plano de Emergência, este episcopado não só vivenciou em profundidade o “evento” conciliar, como foi o primeiro a sair dele organizado para colocá-lo em prática. Daqui a relevância desta reconstrução. Palavras-chave: Helder Câmara. Plano de Emergência. Colegialidade. Vaticano II. Igreja Católica no BrasilThis article aims to show the contribution of the Brazilian CatholicChurch in the preparation of the Second Vatican Council. To fulfill such purpose the present study focus its research in three basic questions: a) what is important to know about the Brazilian participation? b) Is this a relevant topic? C) Some Brazilians participate significantly in the preparatory phase? To respond appropriately to these issues the authors propose a different concept of "participation" in the preparation of Vatican II by the Brazilian episcopate. The article focuses not only the presence of this or that bishop or the expert commissions of the Council, but proposes the idea that the most important was the self-preparation, which for a time remained "latent" and later was organized by a council with a young bishop, with an average age around 11 and 54 years of experience as a bishop. Therefore, aware of the problems that the pastoral reality of underdevelopment put the Church, and with an incipient experience of participating high school, developed in the construction of the Emergency Plan, the bishops not only experienced in depth the "event" to reconcile, as was the first it held out to put it into practice. Key words: Helder Câmara. Emergency Plan. Collegiality. Vatican II. CatholicChurch in Brazil. (shrink)
Although work–family conflict is highly relevant for both families and businesses, scarce attention has received from business ethics perspective. This article focuses on the latter, presenting a set of relevant insights from CatholicSocial Teaching (CST). After reviewing the foundations and principles presented by CST regarding work–family relationships, a set of normative propositions are presented to develop work–family policies and for a correct personal work–family balance. It is argued that business responsibility with employees’ family should be considered as (...) a part of Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, the applications of these principles and propositions can lead to a mutual enrichment of both business and family. (shrink)
This piece comprises short presentations given by contributors to a symposium organized by the journal Ethics & Social Welfare on the theme of global ethics for social work. The contributors offer their reflections on the extent to which universally accepted international statements of ethical principles in social work are possible or useful, engaging with debates about cultural diversity, relativism and the relevance of human rights in non-Western countries.
If it is accepted that the real marketplace does not necessarily distribute wealth in the manner that the ideal market would have done, and that societal institutions have an obligation to bring the real and ideal market distributions into accord, then it can be argued that economic actors have a responsibility to consider the effects of their activities on the distribution of wealth in society. This paper asserts that businesses have a responsibility to consider the wealth distribution effects of their (...) wealth-creating decisions. We use arguments from moral economics and Catholicsocial teaching to support this assertion, deriving decision principles that we apply to the Starbucks fair trade coffee case. (shrink)
The social sciences, and particularly economics, play an important role in business. This article reviews the account of the interdisciplinary conversation between CatholicSocial Teaching and the social sciences (especially economics) over the last century, and describes Benedict XVI’s development of this account in Caritas in Veritate . Over time the popes recognized that the technical approach of economics was a barrier to fruitful collaboration between economics and CatholicSocial Teaching, both because the economic (...) approach is reductionist, and because modern social science is skeptical of comprehensive accounts of human nature. Through an appeal to charity in truth, one can deduce from Caritas in Veritate that economists, along with business and management theorists, need to take seriously the project of reflecting on and promoting true human goods in society. To love the person one must reflect on what is truly good for the person; to discover the true good of the person, one must love the person. (shrink)
The study discusses the paradox of the failure of the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic (RCUR) to assert itself after 1990, in the context of a revival of the life of all other religious communities. The significant decrease in the number of Greek-Catholic believers and the difficulties in exercising their rights are germane to the limits of democracy in Romania. No other vulnerable communities, neither immigrants, gays, Roma,nor Jehovah's Witnesses, have been denied, all this time, the (...) protection of the Romanian state, as Greek-Catholics have been. The systematic denial of the rights of the Romanian Church United with Rome (Greek-Catholic) is explained by the feature which distinguishes RCUR faithful from the members of other vulnerable communities: their organisation is perceived by the Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC) as an adversary. The Romanian Orthodox Church constantly proclaimed the illegitimacy of the RCUR in the first half of the twentieth century, and participated in its dissolution when the opportunity arose in 1948. It holds today the same explicit goal. The societal circumstances, specific to anarchic democracy, allow a major player like the ROC to impose its policy of undermining the RCUR. In accordance with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith's concept, the material and symbolic competition between the RCUR and the ROC is interpreted as an example of "bad behavior as good politics". The ROC strategy finds an optimal framework for maximizing gain in the circumstances of the Romanian anarchic democracy. (shrink)
This article concerns the emergence of psychological constructs of personal power and control in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s and the ways in which they contributed to contemporary political explanations of social unrest. While social scientists and politicians at the time saw this unrest as a social problem that posed threats to social cohesion and stability, they located its cause not in the power structure of society but in the individual’s sense of his (...) or her own powerlessness. The article discusses ‘locus of control’ as the central construct in new psychological explanations of powerlessness which drew on personality theory and behavioural psychology. The first half of the article traces the rise of the self-managing subject in behavioural psychology, identifying a key shift in conceptual, strategic and technical emphases, away from using behavioural approaches to modify the behaviour of others and towards developing ways of enabling people to manage their own behaviour. In the second half it examines the ways in which locus of control and related constructs were used to account for the educational under-achievement and political militancy of poor, black people in the United States. These explanations implicated individual helplessness and a sense of powerlessness in black people as a major social problem in the USA during this period: as a threat not only to personal development but, in particular, to social stability. In the process of this analysis I aim to demonstrate that the deployment of these constructs did more than reformulate old socialproblems in new ways; it enabled new socialproblems to be identified for which these constructs could offer explanations and solutions which both appealed to political authorities and helped to shape their conceptions of the ‘problem’. (shrink)
CatholicSocial Teaching has taken a remarkable turn with the May 1991 document on economic ethics,Centesimus Annus. During their one hundred year history, church documents were notable for their courageous championing of the rights of the least advantaged; they were much less distinguished for their understanding of how markets and incentives function in capitalism. Most business leaders admired church teaching for its compassion but had little respect for its competence. With this most recent document, however, there (...) is a growing conviction that the church may have come of age in economic ethics. Even theWall Street Journal has celebratedCentesimus Annus. The article outlines the highlights of the document and its points of continuity with the tradition. Responses from business and the academy are also briefly considered. (shrink)