The Fundamental Values of Social Life.docx

C freedom 199 freedom is the highest sign in man of

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c. Freedom 199. Freedom is the highest sign in man of his being made in the divine image and, consequently, is a sign of the sublime dignity of every human person [435]. “Freedom is exercised in relationships between human beings. Every human person, created in the image of God, has the natural right to be recognized as a free and responsible being. All owe to each other this duty of respect. The right to the exercise of freedom , especially in moral and religious matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person”[436]. The meaning of freedom must not be restricted, considering it from a purely individualistic perspective and reducing it to the arbitrary and uncontrolled exercise of one's own personal autonomy: “Far from being achieved in total self-sufficiency and the absence of relationships, freedom only truly exists where reciprocal bonds, governed by truth and justice, link people to one another”[437]. The understanding of freedom becomes deeper and broader when it is defended, even at the social level, in all of its various dimensions. 200. The value of freedom, as an expression of the singularity of each human person, is respected when every member of society is permitted to fulfil his personal vocation; to seek the truth and profess his religious, cultural and political ideas; to express his opinions; to choose his state of life and, as far as possible, his line of work; to pursue initiatives of an economic, social or political nature. This must take place within a “strong juridical framework”[438], within the limits imposed by the common good and public order, and, in every case, in a manner characterized by responsibility. On the other hand, freedom must also be expressed as the capacity to refuse what is morally negative, in whatever guise it may be presented [439], as the capacity to distance oneself effectively from everything that could hinder personal, family or social growth. The fullness of freedom consists in the capacity to be in possession of oneself in view of the genuine good, within the context of the universal common good[440]. d. Justice 201. Justice is a value that accompanies the exercise of the corresponding cardinal moral virtue [441]. According to its most classic formulation, it “consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbour”[442]. From a subjective point of view, justice is translated into behaviour that is based on the will to recognize the other as a person , while, from an objective point of view, it
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constitutes the decisive criteria of morality in the intersubjective and social sphere [443]. The Church's social Magisterium constantly calls for the most classical forms of justice to be respected: commutative , distributive and legal justice [444]. Ever greater importance has been given to social justice [445], which represents a real development in general justice , the justice that regulates social relationships according to the criterion of observance of the law . Social justice , a requirement related to the social question which today is worldwide in scope, concerns the social, political and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their respective solutions[446].
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