1. Felicific Forest
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    21 Nov '05 16:02
    JOHN PAUL II ENRICHED THE CONCEPT OF THE PERSON



    VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope visited the offices of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which are located in the "Casina Pio IV" in the Vatican Gardens. The two academies are headed, respectively, by Nicola Cabibbo and Mary Ann Glendon.



    In his address to them in English, the Holy Father expressed his satisfaction that the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences has chosen "the concept of the person in social sciences" as the subject of its plenary assembly this year. He recalled that "human beings are part of nature and, yet, as free subjects who have moral and spiritual values, they transcend nature. This anthropological reality is an integral part of Christian thought, and responds directly to the attempts to abolish the boundary between human sciences and natural sciences, often proposed in contemporary society.



    "Understood correctly," he continued, "this reality offers a profound answer to the questions posed today concerning the status of the human being. This is a theme which must continue to be part of the dialogue with science."



    "According to God's design, persons cannot be separated from the physical, psychological or spiritual dimensions of human nature. Even though cultures change over time, to suppress or ignore the nature that they claim to 'cultivate' can have serious consequences. Likewise, individuals will only find authentic fulfillment when they accept the genuine elements of nature that constitute them as persons."



    The Pope continued: "The concept of person continues to bring about a profound understanding of the unique character and social dimension of every human being. This is especially true in legal and social institutions, where the notion of 'person' is fundamental. Sometimes, however, even when this is recognized in international declarations and legal statutes, certain cultures, especially when not deeply touched by the Gospel, remain strongly influenced by group-centered ideologies or by an individualistic and secularist view of society. The social doctrine of the Catholic Church, which places the human person at the heart and source of social order, can offer much to the contemporary consideration of social themes."



    Going on to refer to the late John Paul II, Benedict XVI stressed how his predecessor "enriched and expanded the concept (of the person) in his Encyclicals and other writings. These texts represent a patrimony to be received, collected and assimilated with care, particularly by the pontifical academies."



    In closing his address, the Holy Father expressed his gratitude at having the opportunity "of this occasion to unveil this sculpture of Pope John Paul II, flanked by two memorial inscriptions. They remind us of the Servant of God's special interest in the work of your academies, especially the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, founded by him in 1994. They also point to his enlightened readiness to reach out in a dialogue of salvation to the world of science and culture, a desire which is entrusted in a particular way to the pontifical academies."

    AC/PERSON/ACAD:ACAD-SS VIS 051121 (510)
  2. Standard memberDavid C
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    21 Nov '05 16:11
    One deigns to wonder how we ever managed to survive as a species for the eons preceding the advent of christianity.
  3. London
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    21 Nov '05 16:271 edit
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    JOHN PAUL II ENRICHED THE CONCEPT OF THE PERSON



    VATICAN CITY, NOV 21, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope visited the offices of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which are located in the "Casina Pio IV" in the Vatican Gardens. The two academies are headed, respectively, by Nicola Cabibbo and Mary ...[text shortened]... ."

    AC/PERSON/ACAD:ACAD-SS VIS 051121 (510)
    One of the more interesting things I found about JPII's philosophy of personhood was his identification of personhood only achieving fulfilment when in communion ("the law of the gift" ) with other persons. This avoided the complete annihilation of the self that the communist ideology demanded on the one hand; but without descending into solipsism.
  4. Donationrwingett
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    21 Nov '05 16:32
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    This avoided the complete annihilation of the self that the communist ideology demanded on the one hand.
    Would you care to expand on this assertion?
  5. London
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    21 Nov '05 17:03
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Would you care to expand on this assertion?
    Maybe "annihilation" isn't the right term - "subjection" or "subjugation", perhaps?
  6. Donationrwingett
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    21 Nov '05 17:09
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Maybe "annihilation" isn't the right term - "subjection" or "subjugation", perhaps?
    In what manner does communist ideology demand the subjection or subjugation of the self?
  7. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    21 Nov '05 17:251 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    In what manner does communist ideology demand the subjection or subjugation of the self?
    Ask a Gulag survivor, if you can find any.

    Alternatively, read Rand's We the Living.
  8. Donationrwingett
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    21 Nov '05 17:46
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Ask a Gulag survivor, if you can find any.

    Alternatively, read Rand's We the Living.
    That does not answer my question. It merely reroutes it.
  9. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    21 Nov '05 17:542 edits
    Originally posted by rwingett
    That does not answer my question. It merely reroutes it.
    Is the manner relevant if there is not a single person who lived through communism and didn't feel subjugated?

    Could you look a Gulag survivor in the eye and tell him that communism was actually a good thing, that it didn't require personal subjugation, that it was only the meanies that happened to be in charge of administering the Soviet implementation of it that made it unbearable?

    Here's another alternative if you don't like my previous two. Instead of rerouting the question to somebody else, how about you go live in China for a few years and when you come back, tell us if you felt subjugated to the will of the communist government, and the manner in which you did.

    If you can't afford a ticket to China, Cuba should be cheaper to get to.
  10. Standard memberHalitose
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    21 Nov '05 17:58
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Ask a Gulag survivor, if you can find any.

    Alternatively, read Rand's We the Living.
    Or if you have stomach for +- 1000 pages of human rights violations: "The Black Book of Communism".
  11. Felicific Forest
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    21 Nov '05 18:56
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Or if you have stomach for +- 1000 pages of human rights violations: "The Black Book of Communism".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism
  12. Felicific Forest
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    21 Nov '05 19:14
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Or if you have stomach for +- 1000 pages of human rights violations: "The Black Book of Communism".
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html


    RERUM NOVARUM (Anno Domini 1891)

    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
    ON CAPITAL AND LABOR


    "19. The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth. Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity."


    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html
  13. Donationrwingett
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    21 Nov '05 19:45
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is the manner relevant if there is not a single person who lived through communism and didn't feel subjugated?

    Could you look a Gulag survivor in the eye and tell him that communism was actually a good thing, that it didn't require personal subjugation, that it was only the meanies that happened to be in charge of administering the Soviet impl ...[text shortened]... r in which you did.

    If you can't afford a ticket to China, Cuba should be cheaper to get to.
    These are all strawmen, Dr. Scribbles. A fact I'm sure you're well aware of. I am not in this thread to defend communism at all, especially not the Stalinist variety. I have no desire to live in the former Soviet Union, China, or Cuba.

    Lucifershammer made the statement that "communist ideology demands the subjection or subjugation of the self." I merely wanted to know what he meant by this statement. I assume he's talking about more than just physical oppression, but I can't be certain unless he answers the question.
  14. Donationrwingett
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    21 Nov '05 22:16
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html


    RERUM NOVARUM (Anno Domini 1891)

    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
    ON CAPITAL AND LABOR


    "19. The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and ...[text shortened]... tican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html
    Balance of the body politic?

    What balance would be maintained by the continued harmony and agreement between capital and labor? The complete subservience of labor to capital is the balance we have now. Is that what the church seeks to maintain?

    This idea that capital and labor are somehow equal partners in the equation is a complete fiction. In the 1950s and 60s, when the unions were at the height of their power, there was more parity between them. But now the scale has become so imbalanced that perpetual conflict is sure to be the outcome. In this system labor may need capital, but capital only needs a portion of the labor pool. Globalization has led to a wholesale race to the bottom, where we find out who is willing to work for the cheapest wages. While worker pensions are being gutted, CEOs bring home obscene compensation packages.

    How is the "concept of the person" advanced when capital increasingly treats labor as nothing more than mere commodities on the labor market, to be bought and cast away when they are no longer of use? How is the "concept of the person" advanced when man has become completely alienated from his labor, so that he is nothing more than a cog in the infernal wheel of the capitalist system? How does the "concept of the person" fare when the bulk of mankind has been reduced to complete moral, intellectual, and economic servitude to their gilded masters?

    One of the greatest and most obscene falsehoods ever foisted upon mankind in the lie that this is a "free" market system, and that labor relations are equal agreements between "free" agents. The worker is "free" to participate in his own servitude, or he is "free" to starve. Where there is only one choice, there can be no freedom. This fiction of a free market can be maintained because it is true that a man who knows how to work the system, or who is exceptionally lucky, may be fortunate enough to earn his freedom. But for someone not born into that circle, the odds against him are so great as to be negligible. Consequently, the bulk of humanity, the average man on the street, he will only know more drudgery and a lifetime of servitude.

    How can the "concept of the person" be advanced in such a system? How long before the guillotines are brought out of storage, Ivanhoe? And when they are, which side will the church be on?
  15. Felicific Forest
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    21 Nov '05 23:074 edits
    Rwingo: "How is the "concept of the person" advanced when capital increasingly treats labor as nothing more than mere commodities on the labor market, to be bought and cast away when they are no longer of use? How is the "concept of the person" advanced when man has become completely alienated from his labor, so that he is nothing more than a cog in the infernal wheel of the capitalist system? How does the "concept of the person" fare when the bulk of mankind has been reduced to complete moral, intellectual, and economic servitude to their gilded masters? "


    From the Encyclical "Rerum Novarum" by Pope Leo XIII, Anno Domini 1891.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html


    "The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers - that is truly shameful and inhuman. Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings. Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages axe fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this - that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one's profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine. To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. "Behold, the hire of the laborers . . . which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth."(6) Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen's earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred. Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?"

    "The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one wills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence."" But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? - the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need."

    "To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that bath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."(17)

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum_en.html
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