Sunday, January 29, 2006

I was on Chris' or Travis' site recently when someone maliciously posted a link to an unaffiliated website. This was my response:

The web site offered is www.thenewliberator.com and it is a site devoted to something called liberation theology. Might seem foreign to many here in SPEL world, but it is a movement with some strength and some intellectual credibility. Someday when I finish my Undergrad work at NCSU I will move on to Duke Divinity to figure these guys out.
They are right that there is a fundamental connection of ethics to economics. My contention is that the connection is law. And I don't mean government, probably something more like law vs. government.
Dr. Cordato made the point in class recently that often the difference is between focussing on the ends to justify the means, or making sure that the process is legitimate.
The liberation theologians want to see justice and usually start out with a concern for "the least of these" which is good. But they lack the correct models for interpreting what they see, and so they make a mistake in arriving at their conclusions. Conclusions like "all capitalism is immoral, greedy and selfish, and founded upon those motives!"
The most fatal flaw made by these theologies is to demand equality be enforced by the STATE.
Jesus never made such an arguement. He encouraged those whom had been blessed to recognize that those blessings came from God, and that it was the responsiblity of His followers alone to care for the "least of these."

The lesson to be learned is that proper models of economics and law lead to a less confusing ethic.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I think it is important to recognize what you pointed out. Justice or Equality via theft (state coercion) should not be the desired action by society. Voluntary contribution and giving by an individual to those in need is wholly desirable and does not have any of the significant uninteded consequences and long-run problems that State-based Coerced equality leads to.