The modern world unlike the preceding one is plagued by conflicts emanating from societal and psychological problems infused by elements such as poverty, food shortages and illiteracy, political rivalry and dissensions, ethnic and ideological animosity, and economic acrimony, amongst others stemming from egotistical tendencies. These issues have only served to instill anguish and the desire for a superior world that will transcend the aforementioned issues. This hope is what sustains the human populace in a collapsing world.
According to Lubac, the tragic misunderstanding concerns the nature of man, which has shifted from the biblical perspective of God’s likeness and imagery and into metaphysical judgment that has challenged, ridiculed and dismissed the former premise as unrealistic. The latter movement has consequently created philosophies that have continually degraded the true mature of humanity in the physical and in the spiritual. Theological anthropology amplifies the first view and notes that man consists of the three elements that only find unity and fulfillment when joined with the creator.
As the world is filled with anguish caused by the problems experienced in micro and macro society levels, individuals are geared towards the achievement of a better humanity in materialistic terms as the majority of the issues are largely materialistic. This welfare enhancement is pursued devoid any spiritual progression resulting into a temporary form of hope that is easily challenged and lost once the material gain is spent. The individual plunges once more into a situation of despair.
The church changed its approach to political matters during Leo XIII leadership through the creation of the Rerum Novarum that actively condemned the capitalistic tendencies that had been infiltrated to the society through political influences and oppression. The document also condemned the socialism perspective that ruled through the institution of classes with economic power accorded to a single political player whose activities tended towards human exploitation. Papacy education is required for the institution of forceful reformations in church affairs.
Both males and females are fashioned in the likeness of God. Men as social organisms acquire this nature from the social spiritual aspect modeled in the Garden of Eden marked between man and God. This nature still persists to the present and governs the intrinsic need for humans to create meaningful relationships around them like with family, friends, lovers, and spouses amongst others. This make-up is weakened by the presence of sin and leads to distorted relationships that are hurtful.
The human conscience deeply seated within the heart acts as the point in which God communicates his good commandments as the Bible offers an imagery of an inscription of the commands in human hearts. A human being bears unlimited freedom to act, think and make decisions according to what they please and deem right. Yet in such decisions, the conscience acts as the true guide as men’s desires and decisions are prone to corrupt tendencies infused by sin and evil.
The society largely comprises of various individuals whose uniting factors stems from the socializing need evident in each individual. The society therefore requires peaceful coexistence amongst given individuals for continuity and the enhancement of group initiatives like community projects or personal ventures like school institutions that are useful to the whole community. Consequently, an individual needs the society for personal development as enforced by advices and criticism. Hobbes proposed the social contract theory that enforces a cohesive aspect in societal relations through the inclusion of norms and policies within which the community abides in.
Egotistic tendencies are the largest inhibitors of healthy socializing within the present communities. Societal welfare, which is more desirable than individual welfare since it leads to communal edification, is a product of both personal and communal efforts in the betterment of life. The morality attached to a selfless attitude stems from God’s command in the extension for love towards neighbors as it offers a higher sense of fulfillment and belonging in a given community, and an answer to the modern world’s societal problems stemming from individualism.
Proper autonomy on worldly concerns is only accomplished with the inclusion of the spiritual aspect since God’s nature supersedes human ideologies and therefore at his dispense at every instance. Inventions and human creations align to God’s creative talent evidenced by creation and as human are fashioned in his likeness they are bound to discover and create much. However, this autonomy has to be in alignment to God’s commands and directives and once they rebel against the stipulated religious laws and directions as science and philosophy are generally known to, then the autonomy has gone too far.
The Pope assets that true Christianity includes the aspect of fellowship between those that may be termed as sinners and believers, surpassing the ideological and religious differences that bring dissensions and into a unified movement that encompasses all manner of people as granted by God’s mercies and grace. This communal aspect offers a neutral ground in which the conflicting issues with regard to beliefs and practices are easily solved. However, individual to whom the truth has been revealed should not use the same as a ground for indulgences in pagan activities.
Spiritual detachment from God caused by sins presence in humanity has corrupted the true understanding on humanity such that individuals lack the purpose of living and ultimately the meaning of life. This is only restored in an individual’s life through the redemptive work of the savior as one life is exchanged for the other in the incarnation mystery and Christ aids one to discover one’s purpose and meaning in their existence.
Modern man is plagued by the creative aspect evidenced by the superior technology and the role of the intellect in today’s creations. This fear is founded on the view that humanity may create a product that will offer the inverse expectation leading to the destruction of mass life. Christ’s humanity was also challenged by fear and although free from any form of coercion due humanity’s liberal nature, he made the right choices with God’s directions. This also applies to all individual that have experienced the redemptive work of Christ, as he becomes their guide.
The first stage involves the Church’s teaching towards the inclusion of rights within the working group as a defensive measure against the exploitative tendencies of degrading economism movements like capitalism and socialism. Unlike the first stage the amplifies the human factor in production, the second dealt with the ethical framework required to uphold workers dignity and the proper working conditions after the challenges and issues had been identified in the preceding stage.
The Pope’s convictions on the role of work in humanity stems from the genesis account in which the first man is expressly ordered to be productive in his labor and by this subdue the earth. The underlying meaning in this story not only refers to manual work but also to any other form of human endeavors in the assertion of the governance and dominance aspect. Once this authoritative aspect is rightfully assumed by humans then the work under them is accorded direction and the relevance of success.
From an objective viewpoint, the Pope describes humanity’s dominance in work by the wise management of the natural resources endowed on earth towards the creation of utility. Production and manufacturing activities involve the application of the existing resources for multiplicity in a bid to support the increasing populace and hence the technology requirement. On the other hand, the subjective perspective is founded on the principles of free will that accord responsibility, preferences and discipline to humanity such that an individual knows that without work, it is next to impossible to meet the basic needs.
God is brought out as a worker in the Genesis account of creation; working for six days and resting on the seventh day. The fist man was charged with the same principle of work with the subduing principle accounting for the management of the existing resources while domination accorded all authority on man for him to act according to own discretion in the continuity of the creation story. Inventions act as evidences for man’s creative ability. According to Pope, subduing involves productive activities like tilling while domination deals with governance like rearing of cattle.
Objective work involves the connection between earth’s resources like land in creation of utility through the manufacturing element. For instance, objective tilling of land accords a harvest and consequently food supply for the populace, while iron mining offers the iron ore, the raw materials needed for the production of iron to be used in the building industry for man’s comfort. Subjective work as the name suggests acquires the sense of purpose from individual needs. For instance, a person may choose to refrain from cultivating a strip of land yet he knows that this will leads to own problems by the lack of food. The ultimate end of every work therefore is need fulfillment.
The correct value of work is realized only when humans understand their role in their creative capabilities in a dignified manner. Materialism and economism have undermined work’s value by attaching a trading aspect towards human labor and this has led to the institution of undignified labor that has reduced individuals into slaves as work is considered as a tasking objective. The formation of capitalistic government systems offers a good example of the effect that economism of labor has on work value.
A common factor among the three spheres is man. The individual sphere of value is attached to self-respect in which laborers are supposed to be accorded fair treatment, wages and work activities that sustains their dignity. The family sphere encompasses the view that work affords the necessary resources required to sustain one’s own family as well as setting precedence on the importance of education in the acquisition of good work. The societal sphere serves the communal creation of a working culture required for a healthy society in terms of need realization.
Labor and capital as production resources have been had a huge divergence as the former has been controlled by a majority of the populace that lacks the principal required in the establishment of work organizations while the latter is governed by a minority populace with the principal capability. Labor bearing the bulk of the production resources has precedence over capital and this has engaged a level of conflict between the workers and the employer. This is different from Karl Marx’s view that supported the institution of the employer over the employee for the creation of social classes.
The Church encourages the holding of private property as the past communal systems have revealed the exploitative tendency in communal property though a political element which has led to manipulative tendencies since people lack the resources and means to oppose the unfair rules and treatments. The conservative position expressed in the US unlike in the past liberal systems that accorded protection to capital owners and not to the labor component has accorded equal protection rights to both groups for the reduction of societal inequities.
When an individual works for himself, it means that he works with the valuable mentality that they play a significant role in the production process in terms of own development and their micro efforts for the good of the company. Bureaucracy undermines this factor by reducing the importance of the worker in terms of dignity, where the employees tend to be viewed as a production tool. This latter view is highly unconstructive and infuses several elements like strikes and conflicts in the work environment.
According to Pope, a direct employer is one with whom an individual or organization which acts as the primary boss to the worker whereas the indirect employer consists of organizations, policies and individuals who ensure that an employee is accorded proper treatment in the work environment. Labor unions and employment contracts are examples of indirect employees. The indirect employer governs the actions and decisions of the direct employer in ensuring that workers are accorded merited treatment towards their offered labor resource.
Labor unions are an essential component in the issue of labor protection against the exploitative nature of employer’s interests in a bid to realize lower production costs. These forms of institutions are very active in the manufacturing industries where the rate of worker mistreatment tends to be higher, although other industries bear the same unions. However, unions are prone to political manipulations if the union leaders form close relations with political leaders, as this tends to influence their judgment and actions towards the power group to the detriment of the worker.
Work is generally a laborious activity, an effect of sin and the curse in which God placed on the earth because of man’s revolt. God made it clear that man would always be striving in work until redemption is acquired through death. Through the demise and resurrection of Jesus, he bore and overcame the struggles of humanity that sin had instituted attributed to the fall. Consequently, Christ’s incarnation within human life helps the believer overcome the laborious part of work by making it manageable until final redemption occurs in natural death.