Bob Goudzwaard has suggested that our socioeconomic situation in the Western world is characterized by a number of paradoxes, which cannot be resolved by conventional means:
- The poverty paradox: Economic growth - yet increasing poverty
- The care paradox: More money to pay for care - yet erosion of care
- The time paradox: Wealth giving choice - yet less time and leisure
- The environment paradox: More economic, technological resources to take responsibility for environment - yet ever increasing environmental destruction
- The scarcity paradox: Economic fuelling technical growth - yet increasing feeling of scarcity
- The safety paradox: Economic growth means that growing fear leads to the increase of armaments - and the world becomes less safe
- The health paradox: More money available to pay for health - yet ever higher medical costs and also spread of so called welfare diseases
- The budgetary paradox: The higher the average income level in society, the deeper the budgetary deficits
These come from a talk he once gave (2005, WYSOCS). But in Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises [Baker Academic, 2007], he examines some of these in more depth and argues that these come from Western society holding an ideology or idolatry, especially the ideology of endless progress.
The reason they cannot be resolved by conventional means is that the faith-aspect that is ideology and idolatry are deeper. They determine and constrain and circumscribe the means we consider using. Take, for example, the problem of climate change: it is clear that we in the affluent world must change our lifestyles, yet this lifestyle itself is one of our idols and so we protect it and hold those who question it to be fatuous heretics not to be listened to or even given media space.
Number of visitors to these pages: . Written on the Amiga with Protext.
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2007.
Part of his xn pages, that open up various things from one of the Christian perspectives.
Comments, queries welcome.
Created: 5 August 2007
Last updated: 21 April 2014 rid ../, link to wdy:pistic.