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Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders say the market is lacking morals

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Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church, speaks at the opening of a panel about poverty and the dire state of the world economy at the church's national conference in Anaheim, which runs through Friday.

In writings and speeches, church officials suggest that fixing the economy will need to include an ethical element.

By Larry B. Stammer, LA Times

In the midst of a global recession, religious leaders are looking beyond the recent regulatory fixes and bailouts aimed at repairing an ailing financial system.

They are questioning the underlying assumptions of a market economy that they say has lost its moral bearings.

Last week, Pope Benedict XVI issued an encyclical, a papal pronouncement, that decries the divide between rich and poor.

He said that growing financial interdependence had not been matched by ethical interactions for the good of all and that the United Nations and financial institutions should be reformed so that a "true world political authority" can work for the common good while respecting local decision-making.

"The church does not have technical solutions to offer and does not claim to interfere in any way in the politics of states," the pope wrote. It "does, however have a mission of truth to accomplish. . . . Fidelity to man requires fidelity to the truth."

The archbishop of Canterbury, speaking Wednesday in Anaheim at a national convention for Episcopalians, criticized those who profit by manipulating markets and fashioning exotic financial instruments on a house of cards.

"In the last six to nine months, what we have seen in our world is not simply an economic crisis but a crisis of truthfulness," said the Most Rev. Rowan Williams. "We have suddenly discovered that we have been lying to ourselves."

Williams, the leader of the Anglican Communion, said that the world can't return to a "dysfunctional, disabling and destructive" financial system and that the demands of the market are never a satisfactory moral guideline. He called for factoring environmental costs into the equation.

"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment," he said.

Together, Roman Catholics and Anglicans make up about 58% of the world's estimated 2.1 billion Christians.

The declarations by these and other church leaders came as the world's major economic powers met in Italy to come up with a shared response to the global downturn and to climate change. Only marginal progress was achieved.

Given the initiatives of government and the influence of multinational corporations, one might wonder if religious bodies can have any impact. Will they be heard outside the cloister, or even by their own congregants, whose lifestyles for the most part are not unlike those of people who are not members? Is anyone really listening?

It would be easy to take a jaded view. Twenty years ago, the Episcopal House of Bishops -- one of two houses in the church's highest legislative body, General Convention -- issued a paper on "Economic Justice and the Christian Conscience." In it, the bishops urged a "fundamental reordering" of human values.

In 1986, Roman Catholic bishops in the United States issued a pastoral letter, "Economic Justice for All," that called for a moral examination of the economy and raised the ire of both the Reagan administration and prominent lay Catholic conservatives.

As for Pope Benedict's latest call, he noted that the idea of a world political authority working for the common good was first broached by Pope John XXIII, who died in 1963.

To be sure, religious groups of all kinds devote money and talent to serving the poor and working to alleviate poverty, racism and economic disparity.

They play a role in founding hospitals, schools, and colleges and often support groups pushing for higher wages for the working poor.

Some say that elected officials who have religious affiliations bring to office a moral grounding that can positively influence public policy.

Richard Parker, a professor of public policy at Harvard University, said that religious voices may have a role to play in shaping responses to the current financial crisis. Popular outrage over Wall Street swindlers and the loss of jobs, homes and retirement savings have again brought moral issues to the forefront of public debate.

"People today are desperately hungry for what I can only describe as moral leadership -- not moralistic leadership but moral leadership," said Parker, the son of an Episcopal priest, in an interview before he addressed a small group at the Anaheim convention.

"We're living in a period of gross, and one might even say grotesque, market failure," he said.

Speaking in a similar vein, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori joined Williams, the archbishop, at a forum on the Christian faith in during the global economic crisis on the first night of the convention, which runs through Friday.

"We are in the midst of a crash course in economic inter-connectedness," said Jefferts Schori, adding that the excesses unveiled by the economic crisis "have been biblical in scale."

"We have overlooked the greed that engendered this crisis, we have participated in it ourselves through investment policies. . . . We have ignored the abundance with which God has blessed us and been unwilling to share what we know and what we have," she said.

Williams told the session, attended by several hundred people, that the implicit lies leading to the economic crisis require a moral response.

He also said those untruths included a belief in unlimited growth on a planet that has limits.

Individual lifestyles and government policies must change to show respect for a finite material world and for the common good, Williams said.

"The task before us is not simply to restore financial stability," the archbishop said. "It certainly is not to get our international financial life back to normal. There is no normal anymore."

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-be...story?track=rss

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Williams told the session, attended by several hundred people, that the implicit lies leading to the economic crisis require a moral response.

He also said those untruths included a belief in unlimited growth on a planet that has limits.

I would certainly agree with the last statement - we need policies to encourage sustainable growth - not growth at all costs.

But I've never understood these calls for a "moral response" in economic matters. Morality is important. Compassion and concern for the fellow man are indeed vital to being a good human being. And churches, charitable organizations, government and individuals can and should have such compassion. Corporations also may choose to do so - to make philanthropic contributions, support their employees donations of time and money to good causes, etc. But it should end there. Putting any notion of obligation onto the competitive businesses of our free market system makes no sense and is counterproductive. We've demonstrated time and again throughout history that a competitive marketplace leads to overall higher standards of living and levels of employment than systems which artificially curb that with other policy objectives (aka "moral responses").

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Williams told the session, attended by several hundred people, that the implicit lies leading to the economic crisis require a moral response.

He also said those untruths included a belief in unlimited growth on a planet that has limits.

I would certainly agree with the last statement - we need policies to encourage sustainable growth - not growth at all costs.

But I've never understood these calls for a "moral response" in economic matters. Morality is important. Compassion and concern for the fellow man are indeed vital to being a good human being. And churches, charitable organizations, government and individuals can and should have such compassion. Corporations also may choose to do so - to make philanthropic contributions, support their employees donations of time and money to good causes, etc. But it should end there. Putting any notion of obligation onto the competitive businesses of our free market system makes no sense and is counterproductive. We've demonstrated time and again throughout history that a competitive marketplace leads to overall higher standards of living and levels of employment than systems which artificially curb that with other policy objectives (aka "moral responses").

Business ethics.

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Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave. Ethical values are beliefs concerning what is morally right and proper as opposed to what is simply correct or effective.

i.e. An individual may personally believe that drinking is immoral. However, drinking is not, in and of itself, unethical. Further, it is unethical to impose your personal moral values on another.

Ethical values transcend cultural, religious, or ethnic differences. Ethical values embrace a more universal worldview. The Josephson Institute of Ethics recommends six, core ethical values to abide by: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

http://www.scribblers-ink.com/professional_ethics.html

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Yes we can.

Hope! Change! :lol:

... has now morphed into "insurance exchange" and "rendition is an acceptable practice".

Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave. Ethical values are beliefs concerning what is morally right and proper as opposed to what is simply correct or effective.

i.e. An individual may personally believe that drinking is immoral. However, drinking is not, in and of itself, unethical. Further, it is unethical to impose your personal moral values on another.

Ethical values transcend cultural, religious, or ethnic differences. Ethical values embrace a more universal worldview. The Josephson Institute of Ethics recommends six, core ethical values to abide by: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

http://www.scribblers-ink.com/professional_ethics.html

Oh is that what the word means? Thanks, buddy!


Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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We live in an economy where everyone is trying to screw each other, can deal with that, I don't believe in screwing people and don't like getting screwed either.

What I can't deal with is our government screwing us, like having to pay taxes on interest when the government controlled inflation rate is greater than the interest I have earned. End up having less money at the end of the year and have to pay taxes on that as well. Another screwing is with SS, you cannot deduct FICA taxes and paying income taxes on that as well, but if you ever get SS benefits, will end up paying taxes on those benefits as well.

Filing married joint return can only deduct $4,000.00 if sending a kid to college, if you are paying $12,000 per year, you have to pay taxes on the that remaining $8,000.00. If say you can get an interest free twenty year loan on a home, you have to pay the same amount for property taxes as you would for your loan payments, that's like a 100% tax on your home.

If you buy anything or get any service, not only pay for that, but have to pay the taxes on those who are either selling you that product or providing that service, every which way you turn, we are getting screwed, by our government. Another major non-deductible expense is transportation to and from work or school that we have to do. Not only paying huge taxes on that expense, but have to pay income tax on top of that. Only listing the major tax expenses, but also a ton of minor ones that really add up in the end of the year if you keep records of your expenditures.

If anyone is immoral, it's our government.

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Yes we can.

Hope! Change! :lol:

... has now morphed into "insurance exchange" and "rendition is an acceptable practice".

Ethics is concerned with how a moral person should behave. Ethical values are beliefs concerning what is morally right and proper as opposed to what is simply correct or effective.

i.e. An individual may personally believe that drinking is immoral. However, drinking is not, in and of itself, unethical. Further, it is unethical to impose your personal moral values on another.

Ethical values transcend cultural, religious, or ethnic differences. Ethical values embrace a more universal worldview. The Josephson Institute of Ethics recommends six, core ethical values to abide by: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.

http://www.scribblers-ink.com/professional_ethics.html

Oh is that what the word means? Thanks, buddy!

More words request fulfilled.

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I wonder what threat to achieve compliance the church can come up with that might prove successful. The threat of eternal damnation doesn't cut it with the current batch of sins...


Refusing to use the spellchick!

I have put you on ignore. No really, I have, but you are still ruining my enjoyment of this site. .

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I wonder what threat to achieve compliance the church can come up with that might prove successful. The threat of eternal damnation doesn't cut it with the current batch of sins...

You don't need fear to arrive at moral truths about ethical behavior.

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