In the column of the Catholic Times on the Social Gospel, a priest answers the question that a believer asks: " I also sympathize with the thinking on Justice and the practice of love. But isn't it difficult to look at society from this perspective? In a capitalist society, competition is inevitable. To win in competition isn't that fair?
■ Controversy over fairness
Everyone wants to work hard and succeed, as in the American and Korean dream. But the controversy in our society today is fairness. Do we have fairness in our social system with wrong practices and irregularities? Do we have an even field in which to dream? The inequality continues to increase. We continue to have dissent on university entrance exams, education, employment, medical care, income, and welfare, etc. The Corona 19 pandemic has just intensified the problems.
Does this controversy arise because society is unfair? Of course, competition and culling are definitely a phenomenon and process of a capitalist society. However, the beginning of the problem is that fairness in Korean society is evaluated by competition, competence, and rewards. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the new future will force us to intensify competition. The essence of the problem is the question of whether meritocracy is really fair. This is because the starting line and competitiveness itself are not fair: family, growth environment, stability, and economic power are different.
■ What is necessary for fairness
Getting rewards for your sweat and work, and applying fair standards to everyone, are the basic elements of fairness. The problem is that this becomes capability-based and does not reflect structural inequality, what was handed down from parents, and environmental factors. For example, the recent education gap caused by non-face-to-face classes for students has become a problem. Can we say that the results are fair when there are students who study with private tutors, private education, in ideal surroundings, and students who have to study in their small homes with poor conditions and difficult circumstances? Is that fair?
■ Community and love of neighbor based on fairness
Bill Gates, one of the world's richest people, was asked about his success and said, "I'm just lucky, and I'm responsible for reducing inequality." Competition is definitely inevitable. But with the competition, we need brotherly love, maturity, and humility. Humility is not the arrogance of ignoring social solidarity and community and ignoring those who are less fortunate. Humility turns away from the harsh success ethics that divide society and leads us to generous community life. (Michael Sandel, Tyranny of Merit (The illusion of fairness) Furthermore, it is the love of neighbors, the dignity of human nature, and the commandment of God.
The Catholic Church declares community and love of neighbor, the most important foundation for fairness, not capability. It also teaches that fairness should be realized through sharing, the universal purpose of goods, more considerate assistance and a choice for the weak, solidarity with others, the principle of the community-oriented common good, and the principle of human dignity: I am precious and others are precious. Here, brotherly love, the sincerity of faith help us to live this kind of life.
"The commandment of love in the gospel awakens Christians to the deepest meaning of political life...The goal for believers is to build community relationships between people. The Christian view of political society puts the value of a community, which is the epitome of social life and a form of daily life, at the top of its agenda." (Summary Social doctrine, paragraph 392).