How Can You Join A Conversation If You Won’t Dialogue?

Business ethicist Chris MacDonald is opting to skip the Pope’s new encylcical despite its high profile attempts to discuss the ethics of how business is done.  The reason?

my main reason not to bother with the Pope’s new essay — with all due respect to my friends among the several hundred million Catholics in the world — is that he’s writing from a particularly isolated sub-branch of one moral tradition, and the Pope’s particular train of thought is one that doesn’t seem interested in engaging with the broader conversation over the appropriate role of business in the world. Want proof? Check out the footnotes at the end of “Caritas in Veritate”. 159 footnotes, and not a single one refers to any modern scholar in business ethics or any cognate discipline. Not even to any of the many fine Catholic scholars in that field. The only footnote that isn’t to either the Pope himself, or to some past Pope, is a trivial footnote to the ancient, Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Why would I, or anyone else not especially fascinated by Catholic teachings, bother to pay attention?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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