The ethics of debt: Rethinking autonomy, freedom and obligation – ABC News

Debt is a central way of talking about the personal and communal obligations we have to each other, given that no one is island unto themselves: we not only owe our existence to others, we depend on others just to survive, let alone thrive.

Debt as a way of framing moral relations extends beyond Christianity. Indeed, it is a nearly universal point reference in other religious and philosophical traditions. For example, debt undergirds the notion of pietas developed by Roman philosophers such as Virgil, Seneca and Cicero. Pietas denotes the reverential concern for that to which we owe the condition and possibility of our own development, whether it is our family, city, or patria. We did not create the language, customs, values, tools, inst…

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