Social Darwinism Vs Catholic Social Doctrine

1365 Words6 Pages
Abby Davis
Ms. Martis
Church History 2AB
4 December 2015
Social Darwinism vs. Catholic Social Doctrine Economical ideas have originated throughout history and can have prominent roles in the establishment and preservation of a society. One of these philosophies is Social Darwinism, a concept that came about during the nineteenth century. Social Darwinism does not have one simple definition. Over the years it has acquired different significances to different groups of people. However one can break the theory of Social Darwinism into its main components and the ideas that stem from it. In general it generates a sense of inequality among people, going against Catholic social doctrine. Catholic social doctrine defines the necessities for a just
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Social Darwinists believe in natural selection or “survival of the fittest”. This is the idea that “superior people” will prosper while those who are less privileged will not earn more than they are given. The concept of superiority stems from Darwin’s theory of evolution, coining the term “Social Darwinism”. It pits people against each other, raising those who are deemed fit to higher standards and describing those who are unfit as less worthy of rights as workers and human beings in general. At one point the idea of natural selection could be seen as a desperate attempt to uphold the economy, as a way of survival, but its disregard for those less fortunate is what raises controversy. According to the concept of “survival of the fittest”, assisting those positioned below you would upset the balance and would work against upholding the moral standard (Klein 393-394). Although the idea derives from Darwin’s theory of evolution, many evolutionists are opposed to Social…show more content…
Catholic social doctrine states that “The economy must serve people, not the other way around” (“Seven Teachings”). Through the ideas of “survival of the fittest”, a free-enterprise system, and unregulated capitalism, Social Darwinists do not support that belief. They believe that the dignity of a person comes from the success they obtain in the workplace. However Catholics stress that dignity of a human person cannot be given or taken away, it is something all humans are inherently born with. Supporting Social Darwinism supports the separation of God’s people, who are called to unity and solidarity, and that separation will not aid the development of a just society, but rather weaken the moral standard of the world’s economy. Overall it contradicts the basic teachings of the Catholic Church and does not provide solutions to the mistreatment in the
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