Faith and economic relations
"Economics has got nothing to do with God. God sustains the whole world without the dollars, without the dinars, without the rupees. To even talk about it shows our ignorance of God." (Arun Gupta)
"Getting back to free trade and the fact that if we open our borders to all sorts of products, people, ideas, then we do have to have a relationship with those people. . . . [I]t’s a lot harder to kill somebody you know, than it is to kill somebody you don’t know. And I think that would make it a lot harder to have wars, if we had relationships with all these people." (Cher Stone)
"We have to remember one thing: free trade is predicated on economics. That’s the only reason why we do open our borders for free trade. It’s because it is economically advantageous to us. . . . I don’t care what we say, we can put it behind the Bible, we can put it behind this and that, but as far as this country is concerned economics is the only bottom line thing we’re talking about." (AJ John-Lewis)
As AJ suggests (above), classic accounts of capitalism assume that religion has nothing to do with economics. Everything has its price, and an item's price (its value) is simply what people are willing to pay for it.
Many people of faith argue that God's creations, and especially human beings, cannot be reduced to a price. That when people produce goods and exchange them, they need to respect and preserve the intrinsic worth and dignity that all humans are born with. So, for example, free trade is not necessarily a good thing if groups of people lose their jobs, their way of life, and hence their dignity because cheaper goods from elsewhere are taking away their traditional markets.
Read what what else our salon participants said about faith and economic relations.
Resources on Faith and economic relations