Interrelationship between Self and Community

Added on - 14 Nov 2019

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Interrelationship between Self and CommunitySelf and community are two distinct concepts that are inherently interrelated. Therelationship between these two concepts is metaphysical because individuals are the materialcause of a community. There is no community which can exist autonomously of individuals.Besides, a community exist in order to serve the individuals within it but not the vice verse. Therelationship between the individual and the community is fundamental and forms the basis ofsociological and philosophical discussions (William, 2017). The relationship between individualand community is mutually dependant. Besides, Catholic social thought (CST) is founded on theconviction that “I am what I am, because of who we are.” Catholic social teaching thushighlights principles that aid in demonstrating how these two concepts are intrinsically related.The knowledge of these principles equips one with skills that are necessary for creating a justsociety (William, 2017, p. 5). Moreover, principles such as the dignity of the human person andthe value of the common good will aid an individual in living quality professional and personallife. The understanding of the self and community is the basis of skills needed to offer remediesto challenges which result from shared responsibilities. The principles reflected by the Catholicsocial thought thus contribute to building a prosperous community due to emphasizing theimportance of common good over individual good. The objective of the article, therefore, is toillustrate the understanding of the principles of Catholic social thought about self andcommunity.Human Being as a Social AnimalMan is understood as a social animal by nature. He/she is thought to be becausesociability is in his/her natural instincts. Besides, all qualities that are proper to man can only bedeveloped with a society. Qualities such rationality, language, personality, culture, works, and
play can only be nurtured in a human society. Furthermore, man achieve all his potential onlywhen in a human society hence the intrinsic relationship between man and society (William,2017). Not only nature that compel man to be social but necessity too. All necessities whichmake life worthwhile can only be achieved through collaboration with others; hence, theinterdependence of the individual and the society.Human FlourishingHuman flourishing is founded oneudaimonistic understanding of happiness.Eudaimonistic happiness refers to the inner joy an individual derive from self-actualization andpersonal development. As a consequence, human flourishing focuses on living a meaningful lifewhich is direct by a defined purpose. Elements such as good health, purpose, contribution tocommunity development, and meaningful relationship constitute human flourishing(Michael,2006).Dignity of the Human PersonIn the social thought of the Catholic Church, human life is God-given and sacredtherefore human dignity is based on societal moral vision. Besides, the understanding that humanperson is created in God's image is a foundation to basic human dignity. Human dignity is thusinalienable to every individual despite, colour, race, ethnicity, religion, economic status or anyother form of categorization. However, CST holds that a person acquires his/her full dignity onlyin collaboration with others in a community(Michael, 2006, p. 109).Principle of Common GoodThe common good is conceptualized as the conditions that promote the survival of everysociety. These settings entail resources, political, economic, religious, material, and cultural
factors. CST teaches that for the community to prosper, individuals in it must sacrifice theirsome of their personal goals which negatively affect the community as a whole. This argument isinspired by the conviction that, for smooth co-existence individuals must have limited rights toensure the good of all within the community. CST, further encourage individual to contribute tothe achievement of the common good.(Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, 2001, p. 6).Universal Purpose of GoodsCST holds that God created global resources that are enough for every living humanperson. As such, the resources in a given country or a community ought to be adequate andenjoyed by individuals within that community. In addition, as co-creators with God individualshave right to private property to ensure maximum utilization of the available resources. Finally,each individual in a particular community has a right to the resources available to facilitatehis/her full realization(Thomas, 2015, p. 102).Principle of SubsidiarityCST designs this principle as an avenue to promote division and delegation of power within acommunity. The concept, therefore, discourages concentration of power in one position. The ideahence safeguards annihilation of the small power structures by the large power structures. It furtherencourages full participation of an individual in solving issues affecting them as a community.Besides, this principle promotes collaboration of institutions from the local, national, andinternational levels to offer remedies to the challenges facing the world(Thomas, 2015, p. 102).Global SolidarityThe principle calls for acknowledgment of all individuals as elements which constitutethe global family. Consequently, individual should not be discriminated on the basis of theirreligion, colour, race, gender, political, ideology or cultural background. The principle further
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