Sep 5, 2009

Morality Detrimental to Progress?

This night was poker night with my cousins (because there's a family occasion), and the topic of entering the pawnshop industry sparked up a fruitful discussion.

My cousin (late 30's) asked us what is the most feasible and profitable business for a three million peso capital. Remembering my law teacher Mr. Valdez (campaign manager of Chiz Escudero), I told him a pawnshop is considerable because it virtually has zero lost and cost is at its minimal.

Based from the economic trend for the past 5 years, more and more people are depending on these "uncomplicated loan firms" since the banks are starting to have a bad reputation and these money insurance firms cannot be more untrustworthy.

Basically, there's not much competition if we are to set up the business in cities in the provinces - that's what our uncle did when he launched these chain of rural banks in the north. No pawnshop chain yet for us - just one shop and if it clicks, then we'll take further steps.


The main problem was raised when morality was put into question. Is it "right" to lend people money with mortgage (jewelries) and interests? If you're not familiar with the transactions in a pawnshop, I believe that the jewelry you mortgaged won't be given back unless you pay the right amount by the end of a given deadline.

We are a traditional Catholic family and there are ethics to be followed with these kinds of ventures. The usual LaSalette priest guest we have was not around so there's no one to ask. (By the way, this priest consented eating meat on a Friday - Lenten Season)

Since a personal gain is at stake, I've been starting to question these set of "morality sources" that were taught in high school and how they are now reexamined and applied in college.

Maybe people have a narrow and limited understanding towards the moral principles that the church has set, that's why they give up on their faith altogether. I mean, it's not as if they just invent these morality principles without consulting the social sciences or doing (not only exegesis but also) actual research. Obedience (to laws) is a value that the Church and society prizes but there are values higher and more noble than that, like truth or life or humanity itself - the development / spiritual growth of the person. C'mon guys, let's not be ritualists here. Let's not follow rules for the sake of following them and eliminating from our consciousness the end goal/bigger picture.

So is morality detrimental to progress? In our case, no - in the sense that the progress I'm pertaining to is our growth in exploring new investment opportunities, like the pawnshop industry. Although yes, if we are to talk about the financial progress. But hey, that's like a minuscule portion of what it is to be human, in my definition.


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