A Humane Competition?



Competition and economic competition should be measured by its ability to preserve the dignity and intrinsic value of the human being, to realize true humanity, and to secure good and serviceable living conditions. Positive competition provides a satisfaction of fundamental needs, legitimizes self-love and self-realization, creates a good tension and positive emotions, and often provides a feeling of joy linked to mastery. Negative competition, and especially negative economic competition, contributes to a strong self-interested focus on material aspects of human reality and promotes a materialistic ranking, entailing the possibility of elitism and the use of human beings as means, and not at the same time as an end in themselves. The relationship between competition and fellowship, collaboration and a fair distribution, is ambiguous, but most likely represents a conflict due to the need for ranking and isolation. This assessment supports the thesis of this book: in competition positive human values such as self-love, self-realization, individuality, freedom, and fellowship often pose a threat to the realization of true humanity. In today’s society, however, competition is inevitable, and the focus must be on values and realities to some extent compatible with competition and at the same time capable of adjusting it: fellowship, collaboration, non-materialistic values, values free of charge, a constructive self-interest, and a legitimate human self-love including responsibility for one’s neighbor and for nature. Dignity, intrinsic value, equality, and fellowship are all at risk in a competitive context. For the sake of man, it must be defended and secured.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and SocietyOsloNorway

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