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Religion and wealth and poverty

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Ryszard Jenvey 30th March 2002 Religion and wealth and poverty A) The need for world development The world can be divided by a line into two halves, north and south. North of the line contains the richer, developed countries, and to the south, the less developed poorer countries. Only 25% of the world's people live in the north but have 80% of the world's money. And in the south there are 75% of the worlds people with much less money. In the south only half have the chance of a formal education. Much of the south suffers from famine, overpopulation, drought and disease. The average life expectancy in the north is 70. In the south it is merely 50. Many babies, women and children die everyday from curable diseases simply because they cannot afford the medicine. With such problems, many southern countries have needed to borrow money from richer northern banks. This is fixed so that the northern banks make money from poorer countries that can never pay back the debts on the loan interest. Out of what the banks in the north spend only tiny amounts of money go to poverty aid in the south. ...read more.


The general Christian view is that it is wrong for some people to starve, while others have plenty, and we must act accordingly to prevent and stop this. C) The work of one Catholic agency working for world development The Catholic Fund For Overseas development (CAFOD) is an organisation that is doing a great deal to help with the various issues overseas such as poverty and human rights. Its aim is to eliminate poverty in the third world, and create a situation where everyone has a fair share. One aspect of CAFOD's work is in environmental and farming aid. They cover several types project, including help for construction of things such as dams, and emergency shelters, which greatly help. They also work to help the livelihood of people such as farmers to improve their crop with new agricultural techniques and methods. CAFOD does not simply send over engineers to make constructions or bags of food to feed the hungry, it always tries to maintain an attitude of, 'helping people to help themselves'. For example, they can educate people, who can help other members of their own community, thus allowing them to help themselves. One of the major causes of poverty is third world debt. ...read more.


For instance if a business man earned more money then he could also donate more, and also donate more frequently, whereas an alternative would be to give all he had to the poor, and then never be able to help again. Therefore in this situation he could do the most good by being rich. Others simply may disagree, on the grounds that they worked hard for what they have earned, and therefore they should deserve to keep there riches and stay 'rich', or they just think they should not need to 'waste' their money giving to charity. Another point of view would be that they would always be rich. Not in physical wealth, but in spiritual gifts, and therefore no one could take away their riches even if they wanted to. I personally feel that it does not matter whether you are rich or poor when you give to poverty, as long as you give. In such a case as the case of the businessman, to be rich would be best, or in another case to give all would be best. In the case of spiritual riches, you can give much but still be rich forever, so it would be right to give as much as you can. ...read more.

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