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Catholic Social Thought Principles

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Religion
Wordcount: 1616 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Catholic Social Thought Principles

In this article, three catholic social thought principles will be explained, which is dignity of the human person, the common good and global solidarity respectively.

Dignity of the Human Person

What is human dignity? The word dignity is hard to define and refers sometimes to the respect a human being deserves, sometimes to the respect due to oneself. Yet again it can be a question of honour. But, as Simone Weil points out, honour is ‘that vital need of the human spirit’ which is not satisfied by respect, since respect is ‘the same for everyone and immutable’ whereas ‘honour is related to human beings seen not simply as such but in their social context’11.Honor must be recognized as it is linked to some important reality, a tradition, a history, of an person, family or group.Honor is on a level of greatness and reputation. Nevertheless, above and beyond the many points of view, we are talking about humanity, its present and future, not an abstract humanity, but one embodied in the singular in the ‘ human person, ‘ which can be recognized wherever it is, which is indivisible and in itself sums up the entire human race. In the Webster dictionary, the popular meaning of “dignity” is described as “the quality or state of being worthy, respected, or esteemed.” Intuitively, when we speak about dignity, we tend to think about how our family, friends, and community perceive and value us, which in turn is a key component in our sense of self-esteem and self-worth.3

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The problem of human dignity is particularly hard because there is something in human nature itself that enables experiences diametrically opposed to two distinct people of the same human nature. We’re talking about the internal world experience. So we can have a sunrise or a sunset. The sun appears as rising and setting to us. Our very language is shaped by the experience in question. And then, one day, there is a finding: the facts of the situation are that the sun is neither rising nor setting nor moving across the sky. It’s steady. It’s the moving observer. The facts of the situation are known to us. And yet, the rising and setting sun’s appearance doesn’t alter. The difference between reality and experience forms the ”contemporary human” awareness. We could say that things don’t seem like that. It is the scientist’s job to uncover a truth behind appearances.

Common Good

In the norm of the common good (or ’ general government welfare ’ or ’ government interest ’), one can differentiate an active and a passive side.The public interest is served by the reality that all respondents, as defined by that interest, do their role in dutifully working together to bring forth the values, products and results. References to the common good can only play a part in meaningful phrases and valid critical positions if the appropriate totality is defined or in its social or territorial extent can be non-contentiously presupposed.Everything is taken into account, from families or households to worldwide culture or ‘ mankind.’2

We do not understand (or at least do not agree) what ‘ right ‘ behavior is ; but it is relatively simpler to define and condemn its reverse, ‘ incorrect ‘ behaviour.In the sentences in which that concept is typically clad, the blurred limits of the concept of the common good also discover expression. While one fulfills or obeys legal responsibilities and orders and exercises one’s rights – in both instances with objectively measurable impacts that are open to judicial evaluation – the common good is something that one serves or should serve.

In instances of lasting domestic or local groups whose members have the means to dispense with the need to justify (or even notice) the adverse external effects that ultimately emerge from their exercise of the common good, the issue of contingency that persists everywhere but in theological contexts finds at best a temporary solution.7

Today the equation of the common good with the ongoing presence of nation-states is something strange. This equation, however, also shows something about the opposite move, namely how hard it is to separate the concept of the common good from the trappings of a domestic community of products and values in both its social and temporal aspects.

The exceptional problems of definition and the risks of misusing the concept of the common good are escaped only by a doctrinal theological stance. The recipients of the common good are human beings in general within the space of a theological mode of thinking.Those transient reference, at  singular level, may be single mankind’s aggregation with its existential introduction at salvation, toward the aggregate level, those continuation from claiming divine formation. And the substantive reference is the ‘ complete amount of social circumstances that enable individuals to … To achieve their satisfaction more readily and fully’9.

Global Solidarity

Solidarity can be considered as a ‘ ‘ common life ” form.10 CCommon life is officially described by a network of rights and responsibilities for ‘ ‘ mutual interconnection ” between persons.4 Solidarity has a normative component underlying this: the normativeness that can be connected with the organizations which define the ‘ common ground ‘ between persons. Welfare communities obliges “common organizations” to respond to “common requirements” and to be a source of “common pleasure,” so that birth and family accidents do not define the life opportunities of an individual.

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Solidarity At that point takes after not national lines or sentiment, yet the specific, interconnectedness contexts clinched alongside which we find ourselves ‘dwelling’ for others Also through which we define ourselves. We ought to take part clinched alongside solidaristic exertions Furthermore accept responsibilities to worldwide equity not (merely) due to our inclination to others or cooperation over procedures that produce injustice, as well as in view our personalities (and environs) would right away trans-nationally constituted, distinguished Also asserted.

Solidarity is often seen as directing, including individual feeling, ‘feeling with’ others or emotions of ‘mutual concern’ emotions.7 However, these emotions have always been restricted to our own domestic society, with which we take part in organizations promoting these emotions.


Solidarity need customarily been theorized Similarly as concerning relations the middle of parts of a specific group, region, alternately social order.5 In this regard, the application of social justice instruments such as the contemporary social welfare state and redistributive taxation is a credit to social solidarity. An significant lesson from this traditional knowledge is that the members of our fragile society receive worldwide solidarity. Due to its focus on supporting, protecting and motivating people to face some of the basic inequities in today’s world, worldwide solidarity can be helpful. Much latest research in international solidarity tries to grow it outside its traditional domestic sources.


  1. A. Mason. 2000. Community, Solidarity and Belonging. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 27.
  2. Cf. Claus Offe and Ulrich Preuss, ‘Democracy and Moral Resources’, in David Held (ed.) Political Theory Today (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991), pp. 143–71.
  3. Fedoryka, Damian P. “The concept of ‘gift’ as hermeneutical key to the dignity of the human person.” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, vol. 11, no. 1, 2008, p. 49+.
  4. H. Brunkhorst, Solidarity: From Civic Friendship to a Global Legal Community (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), p. 161.
  5. J. Dean. 1996. Solidarity of Strangers. Berkeley: University of California Press; K. Bayertz. 1999. Four Uses of Solidarity. In Solidarity. K. Bayertz, ed. Dordrecht: Kluwer: 3–28.
  6. John Gray, After Social Democracy: Politics, Capitalism and the Common Life (London: Demos, 1996).
  7. Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971).
  8. R.H. Tawney, Equality (London: Allen & Unwin, 1965),pp.55–6.
  9. Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes [Joy and Hope], in Austin P. Flannery, The Documents of Vatican II (New York: Pillar Books–Costello, 1975), no. 26.
  10. S.L.Bartky.2002.Sympathy and Solidarity.Lanham,MD:Rowman and Littlefield: chap 4.
  11. Weil, Simone (1949) L’Enracinement, prélude à une declaration des devoirs envers l’être humain. Paris: Gallimard (now in the Collection Folio Essais).


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