Religion / Economics And Clashing Faith
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Autor: anton 15 October 2010
Words: 682 | Pages: 3
The Clashing Worlds of Economics and Faith
Individual freedom is symbolized best in the institution of private property. Friedrich Hayek, a well respected social theorist, believes that individual freedom is a necessity to social organization. He rejects the belief that people created social institutions and therefore can alter them in socially beneficial ways because he believes that the cultural characteristics within the institutions are far too complex and historically rooted to be changed by central planning. The best economic policy protects property rights so that maximum freedom is retained and social organization can continue evolving.
There are clearly defined requirements for market success. The first is that property rights must be clearly defined. Second, exchange must be unrestrained. And last, people must seek their self-interest by trading wherever advantage can be found for themselves. The right of people to own property and freely exchange it is what links individual freedom and private property concepts together.
Of course, like anything else, there are also problems that come with property rights. Clearly, the application of property ownership can be controversial if it is not clearly and carefully spelled out otherwise. In cases where property rights are not clarified, sometimes both parties can lose out. Property rights cases are generally ambiguous, difficult to interpret, and even more difficult to enforce. As production factors shift to human capital, even more obscurity sets in where property rights are concerned. Human capital is often marketable based more on the speed of change than legal protection of designed property rights. For countries trying to move toward capitalism, property rights issues can be extremely difficult as everything is moving towards privatization, which is a slow process for the country and its people to endure. Determining property rights can also be difficult because they can be held as absolute rights. An absolute right gives people the title to the property, and states that they can use the property as
they wish to, keep what they are producing, sell the property, and even destroy the property if they wish to. Since almost every right has qualifications, there are seldom cases of absolute property rights. Ownership of property should stretch farther than individual autonomy to completing goals that will benefit the well-being of everyone.
The biblical concept of ownership shows God as the absolute owner. â€œThe earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and all those who live in itâ€ (Psalm 24:1) is an example from the book that shows an ongoing theme in the Bible. In the Old Testament, ownership extended about as far as the right to use and keep the output of property, but in the New Testament entered the right to sell property more freely. There are certainly some Christians who see private property as a violation of justice and the natural order of creation. These Christians generally tent to call on the writings of other Christians who supported common property. John Chrysotom argued that private property was not the Christian way to organize a society. What he failed to recognize was that even common property can become scarce, which would mean hostility and the property not being put to its best use.
Another Christian perspective on property rights stems from the realization that property rights and income are directly related. There can be new ways in which the poor can be helped, solely based on redefining ownerships. Using claims on property to achieve a social goal of redistribution can be achieved in helping employees gain some ownership in the company they are employed within.
In our culture, our freedom is worth a great deal more than just the right to own and exchange goods and ideas. We have been blessed with so many expressions of freedom through the Bill of Rights, none of which would be as meaningful to us without the implementation of property and exchange rights of the individual being protected.
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