Secular ethical-axiological concepts of helping people - Ethical foundations of social work

Secular ethical-axiological concepts of helping people

Secular ethical-axiological concepts of helping people had a huge impact on the ideology of public and private charity. Their appearance was largely promoted by the widespread dissemination of the ideas of humanism in Europe (the fourteenth century).

By making the subject of his human studies, the humanists created a new worldview, which was not of a religious but secular nature. The humanistic worldview has led to a change in the motivation of charity: if in Christianity it amounted to a reference to the will of God, the essence of which was seen in love, then they have to recognize man as the highest value.

In the Renaissance, humanism first came forward as an integral system of views and a broad current of social thought, triggering a genuine revolution in the culture and worldview of people of that time. The concepts of social equality of Thomas More and Tomaso Campanella, the concept of liberalism of Pico della Mirandola had a great influence on the development of humanism ideas, focusing on the equality of human rights, justice. Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) in the "Speech on the Dignity of Man" summed up the spiritual quest of the Italian Renaissance about human freedom, revealed the idea that a person is valuable when he is free when his rights are fulfilled.

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In the XVII-XIX centuries. in the European philosophy the idea of ​​"natural rights" was developed; a social device was evaluated from the point of view of its correspondence to human nature, attempts were made to find ways of combining the interests of the individual and society.


The most famous humanist who dealt with charity issues was the Spanish philosopher H. L. Vives. In 1526, he developed a plan for helping the needy, which was extremely relevant in connection with the end of the Peasants' War in Germany, taking place against the backdrop of the European movement of the Reformation. This plan included the registration of poor people, the collection of private donations to assist them, and the provision of work to those who were healthy. L.Vizy's ideas on rendering assistance to the needy had a great influence on the subsequent development of social legislation, an integral part of which became since the 16th century. laws on the poor, operating in England and its colonies in North America.

And. Kant (1724-1804) introduced the structure of man into a moral component, returning European philosophy to its origins. According to I. Kant, the moral imperative of human existence is that man is viewed not as a means of achieving the goal, but he is the goal of existence: "In nature, anything that we have power over can serve us as a means, and with him every rational being is an end in itself ... not as a means for one or the other will. "

In the theory of I. Kant, the doctrine of inalienable human rights acquired a coherent, justified system through the development of ideas about civil society, the rule of law, individual independence and freedom of every citizen on the basis of equality before the law. Kant's teaching, but in essence, is recognized by ideologists of liberalism by the theory of justice, containing the justification of the priority of justice over other ethical and political ideals. His key thesis - a society consisting of a multitude of individuals, each of which has its own goals, interests and notions of the good, is best equipped when it obeys principles that themselves do not presuppose any concrete conception of the good. The primary justification for these regulative principles is not that they maximize social welfare or somehow contribute to the good, but that they are consistent with the notion of law - a moral category that does not depend on the good and has priority over it. This is Kant's liberalism. In his teaching, there are two kinds of arguments in the ethical justification of justice.

First, arguments from the point of view of the actual moral content. Law precedes good in the sense that its demands have priority, and justice is the first social virtue that precedes all others. Secondly, arguments from the point of view of the method of substantiating moral requirements. The requirements of the law are derived independently of any practical principles; the principles of justice do not depend on any concrete understanding of the good and, because of their independent status, determine its limits. The concept of the good and the evil must not be defined to the moral law (in the basis of which it even should, as it seems to us, lie), but only (as it happens here) according to him and him. The two highlighted aspects of justifying the priority of justice are considered by Kant as interrelated.

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The world practice of charity abounds with examples of rendering disinterested help not only to the poor, but also to representatives of creative professions, to public organizations that lack financial and other means to solve certain problems. However, at all times there were skeptical assessments concerning the moral side of charity. In some cases, they certainly had real grounds for themselves, but in general, charity has always been able to save those who have lost all hope.

Ethical ideas of philanthropy were expressed by many Christian, West European, domestic philosophers and thinkers who maintained that the methods and forms of charity must be evaluated through the prism of morality. In this sense, they believed, the basis of charity is the desire to do good for one's own soul, for its improvement.

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