Charity and Justice

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Pauline Hannah R. Kuizon 11178221November 29, 2012
PHILOMA DGE2 Tth 4:20-5:50
THE INSEPARABILITY OF ETHICS AND POLITICS: RETHINKING THE THIRD IN EMMANUEL LEVINAS
I. Charity and Justice
In the book, The Inseparability of Ethics and Politics: Rethinking the Third in Emmanuel Levinas by Madeleine Fagan, I was struck by the line “For Levinas, charity and justice cannot be separated,” on the first paragraph, page 18 on the book. Levinas believes that charity and justice goes along together. But what disturbs him is the thought that some structures might prioritize charity over justice. At first I was confused and couldn’t think of the relation between charity and justice. Charity, from the Webster Dictionary, is the voluntary giving of help, and justice is the quality of being fair and reasonable.

For Levinas, charity and justice are useful for the way in which he conceives of the relation between ethics and politics. Prioritizing of charity over justice is possible on some structures, and that he’s concern of. Sometimes, some people focuses only in charity, forgetting justice to not to complicate things, when in fact make it worse. It would affect some things, maybe not visible now, but in the future. Robinhood is one example of prioritizing charity over justice. He neglects justice to serve other people. If he considers justice, it would be somehow impossible for him to help other people because he doesn’t have money or enough resources to do such charity. As what they say, the end does not justify the means.

When people enter politics they have to be aware of their responsibilities. If they show irresponsible actions, many people will be affected. Being a responsible politician, one has to think of its effect for the whole nation, not just for their own selves or just specific group of people, and at the same time thinking if the action doesn’t have moral issues.

Actions have to be fair and reasonable. Not just fair and reasonable, but also...
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