Moral choices and Economic Realities

Our worlds are organized around social fictions based on partial truths.

The fact is that the economic resources a family has significantly influences the welfare of the members, including children, of that family.  It determines the neighbourhood we live in or do not live in, the school our children go to, whether our children hang out with our ‘equals”, the resources you or the school is able to spend on the education of your children, and how you are viewed by others. Children and individuals from poor families are also more likely to find themselves caught in socially “unacceptable”behaviours.

But we pretend that money has no influence on the moral choices an individual makes. This is a social fiction. The truth is closer to what one Imam Jaffer Sadiq said. He was asked whether we have free will or our fate is destined.  Imam Jaffer Sadiq basically said that both are valid-you are free to stand on one leg, but you will not be able to stand without any legs!

We must not forget this truth as we strive for a better world. Spirituality, religion and good family values are not enough to transform a society into a better one. To sustain the good we need to create an environment that facilitates the right choices. One critical component of that environment is a guarantee to every individual and family of a minimum standard of living consistent with human dignity.

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