Every person decides what is okay and what is not okay. These choices are all based on moral obligation. Some people feel morally bound to do certain things and not morally bound to do others. 10 There is a point where everyone asks himself whether he should morally perform certain actions or not. Ought or ought not is the easiest way to understand what is individually meant by a moral obligation. Individually, people have a variety of ideas and thoughts of what their actions should be to any number of situations.
Moral obligation can come from a family value or some life altering experience that constituted a belief. Another great factor people can gather morale from is through a spiritual connection. People who covet a spiritual connection generally have stronger and more moral obligations than their counterparts. It is important for people who are strong moral believers to teach those who are not. Reducing poverty starts with an individual and builds to others. A great example of individual moral obligation is that of Bono from the famous band U2.
Bono as an individual has single handedly developed and networked a campaign that has reduced Africa’s poverty by over thirty percent. Because of Bono’s hard work and dedication, other people have stepped up to help and become aware of the world problem. 11 Society is directly responsible for many of the ways that people act and feel morally obligated to help others. Society as a whole has the power to initiate the way people go about doing things in their everyday lives. Society’s moral obligation, if any, is to be the universal example setter.
It is the right and responsibility of the people to follow these examples and laws set forth in writing and in spiritual values. Every society has its own way of connecting and morally helping a poverty stricken person or place. The US government for example, in June of 1999 passed an Act called: “The Debt Relief For Poverty Reduction Act. ” This allowed some spending on behalf of the US government to go towards relieving debt in small ways to make families and people all over the world feel respected through human dignity. 12
The world continues on a trend in which the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer. There is not yet a true and unique way to understand poverty and how it can truly be reduced without forcefully dispersing the wealth to everyone. Moral obligation says that people will generally give or they won’t, it’s a chance that people are willing to take. It is in the benefit to all to take poverty seriously and to reduce it, if not eliminate it from the planet. Every person has a divine right to learn and given the equal chance, prosper too.
Individuals are constantly faced with the question, “should I? ” This is a very good question to be asking too. The response to this question is based on a person’s moral obligation to society. Because people make up society, and society essentially influences people, standards need to be implemented and thought of so that our future generations to come can enjoy what the world has to offer, just as we have in our present time. Here are three specific goals that will help people become morally obligated to better assist in the need to overcome poverty.
First, teach at a younger age how to care. Just how not smoking is taught to young children today; it would be beneficial to all if every child grew up with the notion to care about someone else other than himself or his parents. Secondly, not all poverty is uncontrollable. There are many people who run themselves into poverty problems because of bad hobbits and personal choice. These are the people that are unworthy of helping. These are the people that need to find serious help so they can stop their addiction and move on to a normal lifestyle and begin to help others.
Lastly, awareness of poverty should be much more important than the fact and knowledge that it exists. If all children were given the chance to attend school, learn and grow, then everyone would be on a much leveler playing field when it came to being in poverty. It is very difficult to determine what is in society’s best interest when it comes to world poverty. Many suggestions can be made and people can learn about reasons why they should help better society. However, the only way everyone can live without poverty is if every individual’s moral obligations are in perspective and are willing to help in any way that he or she can.
Corporations also have the social responsibility that are inherent to the obligation of poverty. Everyone in the world should be contributing to the ethical dilemma that is prominent in poverty today. If individuals and corporations both took the time to rethink their gains, perhaps living off a little less would not be that difficult. In 1 John 3:17 (NIV) says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
” Those of us who are blessed with wealth beyond our need have a responsibility to share generously with the less fortunate. We should view our wealth as a gift from God, entrusted to us to carry out his work on earth.
Endnotes: 1 Gilder, George. Wealth and Poverty. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1993: 75-85. 2 http://www. mallenbaker. net/csr/CSRfiles/definition. html 3 Ellul, Jacques. Money and Power. Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1979: 9-32. 4 Berger, Peter. The Capitalist Spirit. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1990: 28-51. 5 Burkett, Larry. Whatever Happened to the American Dream.
Chicago: Moody Press, 1993: 127. 6 Kelly, Marjorie. The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy. San Francisco: Berrett-Koeler Publishers, Inc, 2001: 86-89. 7 http://iintegra. infotech. sk/downloads/82_CSR-Happiness. pdf 8 Gilder, 57-58. 9 Gilder, 59-71. 10 Prichard, 87. 11 Bono. Interview with Lead Singer of U2, Storytellers. VH1 television music and production, 2002: Selected parts. 12 United States. Committee on Banking and Financial Services. H. R. 1095-The Debt Relief For Poverty Reduction Act. Washington: GPO, 2000: 80.