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Ethics and Social Teaching

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Ethics is the examination of what is morally good and wrong, it is clear that philosophy would have only been in existence if humans began to reflect on the best way to live. The reflection of moral influenced actions emerged long after human societies had developed some form of ethics. Consequently, ethics started with the beginning of the early ethical codes. The word ‘ethics’ originates from the Greek words : ‘ethikos’ and ‘ethos’. Without modern day ethics there would be no righteous justice system or proper law for the community.

Catholic ethics are useful to both oneself and society as a whole. They can influence our decisions and judgements in the outside world and also enforce our morals and positively change our perspective. The 10 commandments are a good example of these attributes.

The 10 commandments are the backbones for the modern justice system. Most of the commandments are real laws. For example; murder and stealing are both punishable in the 10 commandments and in court. Other commandments aren’t widely recognised as laws, but as general rules in society. Not respecting your parents isn’t punishable by law but looked down upon by peers. Catholic ethics help people determine between right and wrong and how to make a morally responsible judgement.

Catholic social teaching

A catholic social teaching taught in the image of God is the life and dignity of the human person.

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Human dignity is one of the Catholic Social Teachings, and one of the most important considering the relationship an individual has with God. Human dignity is the principle of self-knowledge and how we are all made in the semblance of God. It is up to as humans to maintain our human dignity and to not tear down others. This is demonstrated in Galatians 3:28 - ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Example of neglect

When looking further into human dignity, we consider our relationships with one another. These relationships are often compromised, whether it is to our conscious knowledge or not.

On a regular basis, our sense of human dignity is not consistent and we fail to maintain a connection with God. An example of this neglect of human dignity is how poor people are treated and perceived in today's society. The poor are seen as burdens or as an epidemic, rather than individuals. Quite often, their misfortunes are not the consequences of their own actions and are born into poverty, without a choice or chance. The discrimination they face on a daily basis only adds to the hardships they suffer.

Improving the issue

The mistreatment of those unfortunate or lower class is a severe common issue connected with the way the homeless are treated. They aren’t treated as any typical human, but as a greedy monster even though everybody talks about equality amongst society. Why is this? Is it because everyone assumes they have a dark path due to their homelessness and would double-cross them? The less fortunate have been dubbed the outcasts of society and don’t have much help from the authorities or any higher power. Where is the empathy and compassion for these people in need? Are the homeless not considered the same to everyone else? This community could be growing into an overly self-absorbed society just because we can’t put our feet in someone else’s shoes and look at everyone the same way.

Ethics are important in decision making as they refine ones own actions and align with the morals of the general society. To not follow these set upon rules of what is right or wrong is to go against the general public’s beliefs of fairness and fortune.

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Ethics and Social Teaching. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/ethics-and-social-teaching/
“Ethics and Social Teaching.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/ethics-and-social-teaching/
Ethics and Social Teaching. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/ethics-and-social-teaching/> [Accessed 2 Mar. 2024].
Ethics and Social Teaching [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/ethics-and-social-teaching/
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