Contradiction between having and being

1. At present we have a society based on having and owning; we need a society based around being and giving. (Mike Scott).

2. To "have" objects and goods does not in itself perfect the human subject, unless it contributes to the maturing and enrichment of that subject's "being," that is to say unless it contributes to the realization of the human vocation as such. Of course, the difference between "being" and "having," the danger inherent in a mere multiplication or replacement of things possessed compared to the value of "being," need not turn into a contradiction_.This then is the picture: there are some people-the few who possess much-who do not really succeed in "being" because, through a reversal of the hierarchy of values, they are hindered by the cult of "having"; and there are others-the many who have little or nothing-who do not succeed in realizing their basic human vocation because they are deprived of essential goods. The evil does not consist in "having" as such, but in possessing without regard for the quality and the ordered hierarchy of the goods one has. Quality and hierarchy arise from the subordination of goods and their availability to man's "being" and his true vocation. (Papal Encyclical, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 30 December 1987).

(J) Problems under consideration