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Property rights and human flourishing

"The lesson of economics is clear. If we want to promote human flourishing, we need social institutions that foster the division of labor, capital formation, and wise entrepreneurship. The common condition that is necessary for all of the above is the institution of private property. The more the right to property is embraced and defended, the more empowered are people to participate in fulfilling the cultural mandate God gave our first parents in the beginning." (Source:  Institute of Faith, Work and Economics)
That line of thinking is misguided because it has not taken on board the fact that the "right to property" can be argued to be a man made one. Therefore very much a second best. A more serious point is that no one has a right to property as such because God owns everything. Though property rights have their benefit, it is also arguable that in a fallen world, pushing people to embrace "property rights" could simply promote idolatry. We need a rounded view of what comprises human flourishing.

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2016

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