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What is a Just Society?

A just society can become a reality only when it is based on the respect of the transcendent dignity of the human person.

The person represents the ultimate end of society, Hence, the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person. Respect for human dignity can in no way be separated from obedience to this principle. It is necessary to consider every neighbour without exception as another self, taking into account first of all his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity.

Every political, economic, social, scientific and cultural programme must be inspired by the awareness of the primacy of each human being over society. In no case, therefore, is the human person to be manipulated for ends that are foreign to his own development. Neither his life nor the development of his thought, nor his good, nor those who are part of his personal and social activities can be subjected to unjust restrictions in the exercise of their rights and freedom.

This is an extract from #132-133 from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (CSDC).


Elaine Phillips's picture

just society

So Gene,
Are you a Brother, or a lay person?

I grew up Catholic, and have been going to a friendly and loving Methodist Church for the last 8 years because it was one my husband was willing to go to and I wanted us to worship as a family.

I'm not sure of persons being the ultimate end of society... I've been working on learning and thinking more, and from where I sit now in my personal development, I think that we are all connected to the life and energy of the planet and that our whole oneness is actually the ultimate end. And I think that naturally respect for human dignity and every neighbor as another self fall into this way of thinking. As well, all animals and eco-systems are vital to the wholeness. What do you think of this?


Gene's picture

Hi, Elaine

Elaine, I can agree with you up to a point. I think that humans are caretakers of the planet and that all life is precious. We had a bad spill of oil in San Francisco a week or two ago. My sister and her friend took part in a group which saved many of the birds which were trapped in oil.

But when it comes a choice between non-humans and humans, I think the humans win. Persons are the Ultimate but not the only end of society, I believe.

Actually I think we have little difference in belief. You believe all is ONE which means there is spirituality. There is still a difference between you and me, but it comes down to a choice.

Anyway we both agree on the value of what Pulsewire is doing.

I am a Marianist Brother.


Gene's picture

Elaine, You are Correct

Elaine, you have reminded me that there is a deeper reality which men tend to ignore. Your priority is to your husband. It is a wonderful thing that you have found a place to worship with him. You have also found in the Methodist Church a loving community.

My tendency is to approach the world in an intellectual way. In the end, I believe you and I are quite similar.

Yesterday I went to the hospital to visit a friend. At the hospital was a blind woman with a seeing-eye dog. It was a large dog but looked rather friendly. I asked the woman about the dog. She told me the dog was gentle. I could feel that coming from the dog. There is something profound here.

As I thought about our dialogue, I decided to make another post in this Journal.

Gene's picture

PS for Elaine

Last August, I read about the Bioneers and was impressed. Here is my post on the Bioneers:

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