Theoconomy: an ethical paradigm for discernible economic growth − a global ethical perspective
The global economy needs a new order and new growth stimuli. Advancing from the modern age characterized by the industrial revolution with the associated materialism and consumer sovereignty, the emerging postsecular age is confronted with severe anomalies that threaten the world order, the quest for social justice and continued economic prosperity. The averment in this thesis is that the persistent anomalies indicate that the prevailing economic models cannot effectively respond to these anomalies. The present-day anomalies cannot be resolved by the current economic plans, political programmes, legal regulations or social engineering. What is indeed required is a moral renewal of society and a change in the inner orientation of individual persons. The economic household should be organized differently. The superficial ethics of materialism, instant gratification and the philosophy of futility should be replaced by a new framework of flourishing. This thesis introduces a new ethics paradigm labelled theoconomy. It ought to constitute a fundamental part of any economic stimulus package or national development plan. Theoconomy offers an ethics framework or outline for continued prosperity, and essentially has two dimensions. The first is the deliberate advancement of agreeable ethical and moral sentiments for economic growth (Exchange ethics). By advancing agreeable ethical and moral sentiments, the global economy would be re-embedded in its correct social and ethical context. In so doing, the global economy would undergo a deepening process, that would change the economic behaviour and the preferences of individual persons, and ultimately society at large. This would result in discernible growth that could respond effectively to the present-day anomalies. This new ethics framework is founded on the ethics and moral sentiments of Adam Smith, the father of capitalism. For this reason, the ethics of Adam Smith are evaluated in terms of eight principles or standards by which ethical and moral views may be evaluated. The thesis concludes in the first instance, that the ethics of Adam Smith offers the minimum conditions, binding values and a universal ethics standard that would be acceptable to a new postsecular global society. Secondly, Adam Smith’s ethics as it underlies the reasonable, rational and sensible person, can indeed respond effectively to the new narrative and conditions of the postsecular paradigm that is emerging. Thirdly, the thesis offers a new outline of shared theocratic ethical principles and virtues that would transform the economic behaviour and preferences of individuals and ultimately the society at large. Finally, the thesis concludes that theoconomy would bring about a new economic order and serve as a growth stimulus in the postsecular age by advancing the principles of social justice, individual ingenuity and self-betterment.
- Theology 
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