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Our society is based on ethics. The rules of a modern man are the rules which are already followed by millions of people around the world.
Ethics is the science, which studies the morality as a form of social consciousness, as one of the most important aspects of human life. The morality in modern society is based on simple principles such as:
1) Everything is allowed, that doesn’t infringe the rights of other people.
2) The rights of all people are equal.
3) Be energetic, make progress on their own
Since the main slogan of modern society is “the maximum happiness for the maximum number of people”, the moral norms should not be an obstacle to the realization of desires of a person, but only as long as they do not cause harm to other people (Dixon, p. 211).
The moral values of modern society differ from the traditional. The modern society has its most important values, which in traditional societies were far from being in the first place:
– “Do not be lazy, be energetic, always strive for more”;
– “Strive for self-development, learn, become wiser; thus you help the progress of mankind”;
– “Do not interfere in the lives of others; respect the personalities of other people and private property”.
– “Strive for personal success, reach the wealth, live in prosperity; thus you help the prosperity and development of society”.
But not all people have wealthy lives; there is a big quantity of those who suffer from poverty. Poverty is the most widespread violation of human rights in the world; it is often violated by the trade and financial institutions seeking to increase their capital.
Poverty is the characteristic of the economic situation of the individual or social group in which they can not satisfy a range of minimum requirements necessary for life, preservation of working capacity, of procreation. Poverty is a relative concept and depends on the overall standard of living in the society (Grusky, pp. 1120-122).
Poverty is one of the most actual social problems of modern society.
The article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living worthy of himself and his family.” This position is confirmed and detailed in articles 14 and 25 of the Vienna Declaration of 1993. Most people believe that poverty is a condition in which the violations of the human rights are possible; only few people recognize that extreme poverty is in itself a flagrant and widespread violation of human rights.
There are three basic concepts and definitions of poverty in world practice: absolute, relative and subjective.
1. Absolute poverty is associated with the need for vital resources, which provide human biological survival. It is about the most basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing. The criteria for this kind of poverty don’t depend much on the time and place of residence rights. Thus, the criteria of absolute poverty are related to biological characteristics.
World Bank as the threshold of absolute poverty defines an existence on less than 1.25 U.S. dollar per day. According to the World Bank, currently the number of absolute poor in the world is more than 1.6 billion people.
2. Relative poverty is defined by comparison with the conventional, presumed to be “normal” in this society, standard of living. The average standard of living in developed Western countries is higher than in developing countries. So the things that would be considered poverty in the developed countries, for the poor countries are regarded as a luxury.
In the U.S., the relative poverty limit is 40% of median income, in most European countries – 50%, in Scandinavia – 60% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2009).
3. The subjective concept of poverty is based on estimates of the economic situation and standard of living, made by the interviewees. So, some people in developed countries may consider themselves poor, although their income is big enough.
Just now more than 1.6 billion people live on incomes, which the World Bank defines as the level of “absolute poverty”, and the number of “absolute poor” is increasing. For such notions as “life expectancy”, “maternal mortality”, “infant mortality” and “malnutrition”, hides the fact that the overwhelming number of women, children and men die due to the fact that they are too poor. According to the UNICEF report “The Situation of Children in the World” 1998, even in those years when there are no big droughts or starvations, still 12 million of children under five years old die, because their families are too poor to meet basic requirements of sanitation to have adequate food and minimal medical care. They, as well as senior members of their families, usually die from curable diseases caused by poverty, than on the full depletion of the body (Vásquez, 2001).