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Is Welfare in Keeping with the Norms of Social JusticeIn order to answer this question we must first begin with the starting point of all Catholic Social Teaching the dignity of the human person All social action and activities between individuals lesser organizations and the governing body must seek the common good of all society and of the individual person The common good is that objective moral standard which takes into account the whole of man and woman in their material and spiritual nature Thus by its very definition the common good upholds the dignity of the human person The norms of social justice require that the common good be served on all social levelsWhat does this have to do with welfare Well the question ultimately comes back to whether or not welfare serves the common good of all society and by doing so safeguards the dignity of the human person What follows is an attempt to prove that welfare at least my understanding of it is not in keeping with the norms of social justiceWelfare in this country today does not require the recipient to labor for the goods he receives Instead based on the amount of labor an individual does not put into the economy the government provides housing and other basic necessities for that same individual To labor is to make use of nature by responsible cultivation of it in order to meet our immediate needs Labor therefore serves the common good by helping the person to grow and develop thereby upholding human dignity Having ones basic needs met without labor then does not seem to be in keeping with norms of social justice because it denies the personal dimension of labor which is the opportunity to grow and develop in their personhood and their role of sovereignty over creation This personal dimension which is denied in welfare is an expression of the person being made in the image and likeness of
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