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Christian Ethics Project

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Christian Ethics Project

1. What is the difference between self-interest and selfishness? Why is this distinction important when considering the competitive market economy as appropriate for a society?

Self-interest and selfishness are two terms that are talked about in Stapleford’s book BULLS, BEARS, AND GOLDEN CALVES. Frist we must define these two terms to help us understand the difference between them. Self-interest is when someone is trying to protect their interest, buy they also take into account how it may affect others. Now, selfishness is when one makes decisions based on self with no regard to others. Now that we have defined the two terms we can use this to consider the competitive market as it is appropriate for society. If someone is making decisions in a market economy based on self-interest, they are looking out for themselves, but they also are looking at how those decisions may affect the customer. These are the type of people you can trust and want to invest, time and money into. If someone is making decisions out of selfishness, they are really looking out for themselves only. It’s this kind of decision making we cannot trust, since they look out for themselves only they would have no problem with backing out, leaving customer.

2. Does your textbook present only positive economics and avoid any normative economics? If not, give some examples of normative issues covered in your textbook.

Positive economics is objective and fact based, and normative economics is subjective and value based. There is no way that our textbook can be just positive economics. It even states it in Roger Miller’s comment: “…the very choice of which topics to include in an introductory textbook involves normative economics. There is not a value-free, or objective, way to decide which topics to use in a textbook” Just by choose the certain subjects to but in our textbook make it unable to be just positive.

3. What did Adam Smith believe serves to curb self-interest in an economy?

“For Smith competition serves as a major curb on the excesses of self-interest. The market prices charged by a supplier of commodities and goods are constrained by his or her competition, and the wages paid to laborers are bid up by competition among buyers.” So to Smith because of competition it made it harder on a company to be self-interest and gouge their prices on a product. This also made it that for a company to charge more for their product that had to look to justify the higher price, by making the product better quality then their competition.

4. What does it mean to seek the kingdom of God in a democratic capitalist economy? How can it be done?

To seek the kingdom of God in a democratic capitalist economy is really finding your enlightened self-interest in Christ. What it really does for us is “sets us free from bondage to the gods of our sinful desires in this life.” As Christians we can live in a democratic capitalist economy, we can do this with, “… time in prayer, communion with God through the Holy Spirit, meditation on Scripture and participation in Christian community.”

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