RELIGIOUS ATTIDTUDES TO THE RICH AND THE POOR IN BRITISH SOCIETY
Our society is a mixture of very rich and very poor people.
The rich have acquired or inherited wealth in the form of money, possessions and investments, They have more money than they need to provide the basic necessities of life such as food and a home. In addition, they are able to afford luxuries e.g. brand new cars and they have savings in the bank. Their lives are comfy and they have few financial worries.
However, anyone living in poverty struggles to afford food and the basic necessities for themselves and their family. Some will have a home, but it may be unsuitable for their purpose and they may be behind with their rental or mortgage payments. Others will be homeless, whether through difficult circumstances or because their own choices have led to that situation.
IS EQUALITY POSSIBLE?
Equality in respect of money and possessions is impossible to acheive because we are all unique and have different ideas which means some people may use the money on gambling and use it within 10 minutes, whilst some may spend it to get more money.
WHAT DOES EACH RELIGION TEACH?
The Bible teaches that all created things belong to God. People are given talents that should not be squandered. So it follows that talents can be used to earn money. But money, and in particular striving to acquire more than is needed, can take people's attention away from God and this is to be avoided.
"No-one can serve two masters...You cannot serve both God and Money"
Wealth is permitted in Judaism, but it can never take the place of God. Acquiring wealth may lead to sin, such as greed, selfishness and exploiting others, which must be guarded against.
HOW DO PEOPLE BECOME RICH?
Inheritance: when a friend or family member leaves you money or property in their well when they die
Excessive Salaries: also known as 'fat cat' salaries, large amounts of money are earned, plus possibly bonuses and share options
- Inherited - nobody can choose what family they are born into however
- Marry a rich spouse and share their wealth. If the spouse die, the survivor may inherit all
- Through gifts e.g. older members of family
- Winning the lottery
- Inventing e.g. James Dyson or writing songs
- Working extremely hard e.g. long hours or study for a high paid job e.g. lawyer
- Saving and investing wisely
WHY ARE SOME PEOPLE POOR?
- environmental reasons - poor infrastructure
- social reasons - gangs and culture
- addictions e.g. drugs/drink
- low wages
- cultural/religious reasons (monks)
- living beyond their means = debts
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME POVERTY?
- Education - This offers support and encouargement from…