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Sunday, September 02, 2012

OTP - September 2012 - Because it’s Labor Day after all

Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM | 8483 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   201. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4226404)
If there is no God, I don't see any reason why humans have any special dignity above other animals.


And?


Then all concept of morality falls apart. Might makes right, just like it does with animals.
   202. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4226407)
Ah, the voter ID argument, where liberals dishonestly claim that it's difficult to get an ID and that everyone in favor of voter ID laws is only interested in using such laws as a pretext to suppress minority voting.
   203. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4226408)
But your rights are only denied in response to you violating the rights of others. We don't say the criminal no longer has the right to liberty, he is being denied it as punishment for his crime. If his sentence is less than life, when it is over, he regains the right.

Nope. Many rights are still withheld from ex-cons after their release. Ironically, considering this thread, one of them is often the right to vote.
   204. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4226409)
But your rights are only denied in response to you violating the rights of others. We don't say the criminal no longer has the right to liberty, he is being denied it as punishment for his crime. If his sentence is less than life, when it is over, he regains the right.


I'm sorry, but to me this throws the whole idea of natural rights out the window. I have a right to deny your rights if you denied someone else's rights? Um, this is ridiculous.
   205. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4226411)
It is. Look, in a state of nature, do you have the right to free speech? Yes. To defend yourself? Of course. To worship, to assemble? Yeah. But to vote? The question doesn't even make sense. Voting is a derivative 'right'; it cannot exist without government.


"Where do you want to go eat?"

"I dunno. I wish we could vote to decide."

David, you have isolated away government into a thing away from "real" people. It isn't. Governments are part and parcel of the human experience. There have been plenty of societies organized every which way, with varying thoughts on rights, various economic systems, and so on. All of them have had governments. A government is a given for any society. A legitimate government governs with the consent of its people and has rules of governance. There is no "natural" in your natural rights talk. The right to vote is just as natural as the right to free speech or any other right.

Deomcracy is the least bad option we know of for a government. For democracy to work the right to vote is central. The fact you don't think so says much more about you (and libertarian philosophy) than it does the state of the world.
   206. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4226412)
Try the parable of the Talents, or the parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. The Bible is none too kind to those who disrespect others property.


Neither of those parables are about the disrespecting of personal property.
   207. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4226413)
There was more liberty in the old "Ataturk system" in Turkey than under today's democracy.


really?
Do you know this to be a fact, or is this something you just assume to be true since an Islamist Party won the PM's office?


   208. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4226414)
Nope. Many rights are still withheld from ex-cons after their release. Ironically, considering this thread, one of them is often the right to vote.

But not the "natural rights".
   209. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4226416)
Neither of those parables are about personal property at all.

They have deeper theological/philosophical meaning. What I'm citing is the attitude toward those who violate others' property rights.
   210. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4226417)
Try the parable of the Talents, or the parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. The Bible is none too kind to those who disrespect others property.
That's the best you can do?

1) There is absolutely nothing in the parable of the talents that has anything to do with the right to property. Three slaves are given huge amounts of money by their master. Two of them engage in trade to earn more with the money they have been given. The third buries his money. When the master returns, he is terribly angry with the third, and condemns him "to the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth." Clearly, the slave who is thrown "into the outer darkness" protected the money he was given just as much as the other slaves. There is nothing there, at all, about "disrespecting others' property". The parable is about how the kingdom of God should grow when the member of the community spread its messages and practices.

Matthew 25.14-30, "The Parable of the Talents"

2) Once again, I don't see anything about "disrespecting others property" in the parable of the vineyard. The owner hires people for the same amount, even though some work all day and some are only hired late in the day, then the people who worked all day complain that they should have received a greater reward, and the vineyard owner says no. Jesus concludes, "the last shall be first". This is obviously about how those who come to the kingdom of God will receive equal reward whether they come early or late. It has, again, nothing to do with "disrespecting others property."

Matthew 20.1-16, "The Parable of the Vineyard"

The key story in the Bible about private property, I think, is Acts 4.32-5.11. The ideal community of the first apostles is one not only in which all property is held in common, but in which this new economic system is enforced by the power of God.
   211. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4226419)
I'm sorry, but to me this throws the whole idea of natural rights out the window. I have a right to deny your rights if you denied someone else's rights? Um, this is ridiculous


Correct, that notion is something derived from social contract theory.
   212. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4226420)
You can have health care without government.

No you can't


Yes you can. If I cut myself, I can put a bandage on the cut. And voila - health care without government.

But I can't participate in an election for a government office without having government involved. I can hold my own election, or vote in my mother's basement, but unless government is involved my vote is meaningless.
   213. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4226421)
But your rights are only denied in response to you violating the rights of others.


Except in the case of abortion. A woman who is raped and subsequently becomes pregnant has no right to the autonomy of own body anymore.
   214. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4226422)
Then all concept of morality falls apart. Might makes right, just like it does with animals.


Seems like it's time for this link again.
   215. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4226423)
Deomcracy is the least bad option we know of for a government. For democracy to work the right to vote is central. The fact you don't think so says much more about you (and libertarian philosophy) than it does the state of the world.

It's the least bad option IF the majority respects others' basic rights. That's why we're a Republic, not a Democracy.

If you had a society where that weren't true, it wouldn't be.
   216. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4226425)
'Misirlou' seems to be playing DNC talking-points bingo all by himself. He's a "fair share" and an "amnesty" away from winning.
   217. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4226426)
I can hold my own election, or vote in my mother's basement, but unless government is involved my vote is meaningless.


And just about as meaningless as limiting the definition of health care to applying a bandage to a cut.
   218. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4226427)
Then all concept of morality falls apart. Might makes right, just like it does with animals.


Thousands of years of philisophical thought all rendered for naught. Except for the fact that ethics and morals can and do exist in the absence of a creator.

An example - Treat others as you wish to be treated.

A fine pillar for an ethical system that requires no God at all.
   219. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4226429)
Nope. Many rights are still withheld from ex-cons after their release. Ironically, considering this thread, one of them is often the right to vote.

But not the "natural rights".

Sure they are. Restrictions on where ex-cons can live and work are commonplace. Those are restrictions on liberty. And if liberty isn't a "natural" right, nothing is.
   220. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM (#4226432)
'Misirlou' seems to be playing DNC talking-points bingo all by himself. He's a "fair share" and an "amnesty" away from winning.

Sadly, I imagine you were playing with yourself when you made this post.
   221. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4226436)
If restriction of the franchise, or even monarchy is necessary to protect basic right, then they are superior to majority rule.


Has never happened in the history of the world, and likely never will.


It's probably not exactly what you're looking for in terms of an example, but in early 17th century England King James fought for religious freedoms that, if there had been majority rule, would have been immediately shut down. Now, he mostly relaxed the recusancy laws against Catholics because he was haggling with the Spanish for similar concessions on their part on the continent. And also (like any early modern monarch) James wasn't a paragon of our idea of individual freedom...but I think it's a bit simplistic to say that majority rule is always the best course for human freedoms (whatever that entails). It may be the most reliable one we know of, but it's not fool-proof.
   222. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4226438)
Other comments from the Bible about people who violate the rights of others.

Ephesians 6.5-9:
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free.

And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.
   223. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4226439)
I can hold my own election, or vote in my mother's basement, but unless government is involved my vote is meaningless.

And just about as meaningless as limiting the definition of health care to applying a bandage to a cut.


Odd. You seem to be inventing positions and pretending I took them. I never limited any definition of health care to that example.
   224. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4226440)
Except in the case of abortion. A woman who is raped and subsequently becomes pregnant has no right to the autonomy of own body anymore.

No. Another person's right trumps yours. The baby's right to life trumps the mother's right to liberty.

Just like the starving man is morally allowed to steal your food, if you have plenty. His right to life trumps your right to property.
   225. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4226442)
And just about as meaningless as limiting the definition of health care to applying a bandage to a cut.


And just to follow up, you can't have free speech without government. Oh, you can have a kind of free speech, just like you can have a kind of health care. Freedom of the press? You can print anything you like, but with no infrastructure, how do you distribute it? Airwaves? Without government, what's to stop someone setting up a more powerful transmitter at the same frequency as me a mile away?
   226. BDC Posted: September 04, 2012 at 03:59 PM (#4226443)
Might makes right, just like it does with animals

Except that in many a religious tradition, human might over animals is the basis of our rights as a species: "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Posthumanism critiques that religious notion, actually denying that might makes right: and also seeing that "might" as expressed in the animal world (in predation, for instance) is less a matter of moral scandal than sustainable behavior in an ecosystem.

As always, I just bring these things up to suggest how much more complicated ideas can be than we like to express them in brief Internet posts (mine included! :)
   227. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4226445)
It's the least bad option IF the majority respects others' basic rights. That's why we're a Republic, not a Democracy.

If you had a society where that weren't true, it wouldn't be.


This is wrong, because it is ignoring the other side. History has taught us that sometimes the majority does not respect the minorities rights. History has also taught us (even more clearly) in every other form of government the rights of people are much less respected.

The median Democracy treats peoples rights muich better than the high end of all the other forms of government. Name some governments that are not Democracies that have fine feelings for rights. You might find a couple, but the overwhelming number are much worse than even your low end Democracies.

As I said it is the least bad.

And yes we are too a Democracy. We are a representative democracy (Which has been called a Republic by madison and others in conflict with the classic definition of a Republic). I think you are looking for the distinction between direct democracy and representative democracy. The parsing of Republic versus Democracy is largely silly and definitional.
   228. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4226446)
Thousands of years of philisophical thought all rendered for naught. Except for the fact that ethics and morals can and do exist in the absence of a creator.

An example - Treat others as you wish to be treated.

A fine pillar for an ethical system that requires no God at all.


You can make up a system of morals. But someone else can make up another that says enslave/kill a minority and their morality is equally valid to yours.
   229. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4226448)
'Misirlou' seems to be playing DNC talking-points bingo all by himself. He's a "fair share" and an "amnesty" away from winning.


Interesting that you seem to recognize that tactic, very interesting...

.but I think it's a bit simplistic to say that majority rule is always the best course for human freedoms (whatever that entails). It may be the most reliable one we know of, but it's not fool-proof.


no one said it was fool-proof.

Has never happened in the history of the world, and likely never will.


since I was the one who said this, let me say, that taken literally, I'm probably wrong, there probably have been rare instances where an undemocratic government provided more "liberty" for the populace than a democratic one would have at the same time and place, but overall...

   230. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4226450)
Odd. You seem to be inventing positions and pretending I took them. I never limited any definition of health care to that example.


Then kindly explain to me how we got from primates climbing down from the trees to anti-biotics, MRI's and Laser surgery without a government system which began to allow for the accumulations of wealth and surplus, eventually leading to certain members of the tribe to be able to engage in such unproductive activities such as the study of math and science? What medical breakthroughs have come from the Amazon rain forest or the New Guinea highlands?
   231. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4226452)
Just like the starving man is morally allowed to steal your food, if you have plenty. His right to life trumps your right to property.


GF and DMN and Ray are going to drum you out...

Oh, that's right you never claimed to be a libertarian, sorry about that.

Here's the problem with our standard 2 dimensional, left/right political spectrum, no matter what order you do it in, you can't place Andy, Sam, Snapper, Ray, DMN and GoodFace on a straight line, or even a curved line
   232. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4226453)
You can make up a system of morals. But someone else can make up another that says enslave/kill a minority and their morality is equally valid to yours.


Well now you are moving the goal post. Before you said there could be no morality, and I showed there could be.

Now you want a "Valid" or preferred morality. Well I would argue that within the marketplace of ideas some moralities will tend to be more successful (not to get all Social Darwin on the bit) and thus more followed. But yeah there is not a preferred or automatically valid morality. So what, there are still morals and the one I listed is a pretty darn good one with or without a God.
   233. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4226454)
Another good one on personal property. Leviticus 25.10-55, on the Jubilee:
If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next-of-kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold. If the person has no one to redeem it, but then prospers and finds sufficient means to do so, the years since its sale shall be computed and the difference shall be refunded to the person to whom it was sold, and the property shall be returned. But if there are not sufficient means to recover it, what was sold shall remain with the purchaser until the year of jubilee; in the jubilee it shall be released, and the property shall be returned.
Honestly, I think that if I could be king of the world for one day, a debt jubilee would be very high on my list of things that could massively improve the state of people's lives.
   234. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4226456)
Then kindly explain to me how we got from primates climbing down from the trees to anti-biotics, MRI's and Laser surgery without a government system which began to allow for the accumulations of wealth and surplus, eventually leading to certain members of the tribe to be able to engage in such unproductive activities such as the study of math and science? What medical breakthroughs have come from the Amazon rain forest or the New Guinea highlands?


That X happened with government involvement does not mean that X would not have happened but for government involvement.
   235. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4226457)
Trying to build a government based on the bible would result in disaster.
Trying to build a religion based on the US Constitution would be a wreck.

Separation of Church and State, not just a good idea.
   236. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4226459)
since I was the one who said this, let me say, that taken literally, I'm probably wrong, there probably have been rare instances where an undemocratic government provided more "liberty" for the populace than a democratic one would have at the same time and place, but overall...

Yeah I think we're on the same page here. I was more playing devil's advocate than anything else. I just get a little defensive when history (a richly varied, seemingly non-nonsensical, and at times contradictory experience) is wielded in a debate on philosophical absolutes*.

*Again, not to suggest that's what was going on, I'm just over-sensitive to reading that into these discussions.
   237. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4226461)
Then kindly explain to me how we got from primates climbing down from the trees to anti-biotics, MRI's and Laser surgery without a government system which began to allow for the accumulations of wealth and surplus, eventually leading to certain members of the tribe to be able to engage in such unproductive activities such as the study of math and science? What medical breakthroughs have come from the Amazon rain forest or the New Guinea highlands?


The closest any group, I've ever read about, has come to Libertaria is the Hadza*
and while, from what I've read they seem to be a very admirable people in many ways, technologically speaking they have done very little of note except develop some remarkably effective low-tech hunting strategies.

*Unlike many indigenous/aboriginal peoples they don't even have a "big man" culture, no one is a leader, everyone respects everyone else's rights (including property), of course their culture is extremely low tech, one researcher described the Hadza life style as "being insanely committed to an extended camping trip"
   238. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4226463)
That X happened with government involvement does not mean that X would not have happened but for government involvement.


True, but I have a real, real hard time visualizing how. It's like saying we still could have gone to the moon without inventing a written language.
   239. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4226466)
That X happened with government involvement does not mean that X would not have happened but for government involvement.


So where in the world is your utopia hiding? Where is the beacon for which the US should be sailing? Is the US - as terrible and ever in constant threat of failing (according to the conservative libertarian gestalt) - the best the world has to offer? Are there any historical examples you can show us?
   240. JL Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4226468)
Sure they are. Restrictions on where ex-cons can live and work are commonplace. Those are restrictions on liberty. And if liberty isn't a "natural" right, nothing is.

Also, many ex-cons are prohibited from owning guns.
   241. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:21 PM (#4226470)
If our creator endowed us with that, and then inspired the Bible, he or she must have meant an extremely limited right. I'm surprised it shows up so highly on the list.
Va'etchanan, which you might know as Deuteronomy 5:16. Or perhaps you want Kedoshim, a/k/a Leviticus 19.

IOW, what's with all the quotes from the unauthorized sequel?
   242. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4226474)
Now you want a "Valid" or preferred morality. Well I would argue that within the marketplace of ideas some moralities will tend to be more successful (not to get all Social Darwin on the bit) and thus more followed. But yeah there is not a preferred or automatically valid morality. So what, there are still morals and the one I listed is a pretty darn good one with or without a God.


That X happened with government involvement does not mean that X would not have happened but for government involvement.


I just wanted to connect these two thoughts since they both connect to Calvinism for some reason in my head. Ray's I think because he's describing what I believe Dan Szymborski referred to as the Calvinist predestination of statists (or something along those lines). The idea that the way things happened in history are the only conceivable way they could have happened.

But that's really just a side-note that I found interesting. I was all prepared to bring Calvin into a response to Bitter Mouse's point, and then Ray drops some tangentially-related Calvin.

I think the problem snapper sees with the absence of God in morality is the manifestation of the same uncertainty inherent in Calvinism. Not to read too much into another person's post, or speak for anyone, but the message I get from snapper's posts is that without God you can't know your morality is the right one. As Bitter Mouse says, once you get into the market of ideas you can weigh one against the other and come up with your best guess as to the right one, but there's no final definitive answer. Educated guesses are all well and good when it comes to determining who saves more runs with the glove at SS, but when it comes to morality there's naturally an overwhelming desire to be sure you're doing it right. In a broadly similar way I think the libertarian approach is similarly motivated. It's awfully tempting to free yourself from the uncertainties of relativism and embrace a system of principles that always allows you in any situation to work out what the correct decision is. I think the reason Calvinism fascinates me so much is the mixture of certainty and anxiety. It kind of encapsulates the features and flaws of both sides. Absolute certainty that the saved are saved and the damned are damned, but overwhelming anxiety because you have no clue, and never will until the end, which side you fall on. I think the quintessential Calvinist response to this dilemma - to be constantly searching for affirmations that you are of the chosen - is how I approach morality. Relying on steadfast principles you can return to again and again is reassuring, but my anxiety and self-doubt is too strong to be beaten that way. It's a constant struggle of re-assessment and re-evaluation. Morality shouldn't be difficult just because it's hard to make the moral choice, it's difficult because it's hard to know what the moral choice is.
   243. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:29 PM (#4226475)
Honestly, I think that if I could be king of the world for one day, a debt jubilee would be very high on my list of things that could massively improve the state of people's lives.
Except that the Jews, who were smarter than liberals, realized how harmful the idea was to the poor -- basically, who's going to lend if they can't get it back? -- and came up with the pruzbul as a way to contract around the shmita.
   244. TomH Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4226476)
from previous page lenghty quote from Acts: "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal?"

please note that this passage, which is sometimes used to show a supposed Biblical endorsement of socialism, is anything but. The giving up of possessions among the group was purely voluntary, as Peter acknowledged here. The propoerty was owned by an individual, and he had a choice to give none/some/or all of it away. Ananias' problem was he was a big fat liar trying to show how much he put in the offering plate.
   245. zonk Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4226477)
IOW, what's with all the quotes from the unauthorized sequel?


It did better at the box office...
   246. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4226478)
What medical breakthroughs have come from the Amazon rain

Leeches. Lots and lots of leeches.

Trying to build a religion based on the US Constitution would be a wreck.

And yet, people seem intensely intent on doing so.
   247. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4226479)
Va'etchanan, which you might know as Deuteronomy 5:16. Or perhaps you want Kedoshim, a/k/a Leviticus 19.
"Don't steal" is not the same as a God-endowed right to property. Leviticus 25 does not look like an articulation of a world in which private property trumps the good of the collective, or perhaps better the structured society of God's holy people.

I failed to specify what I meant by "Bible" even though obviously it means very different things to different folks. Sorry.
   248. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4226480)
The closest any group, I've ever read about, has come to Libertaria is the Hadza*
and while, from what I've read they seem to be a very admirable people in many ways, technologically speaking they have done very little of note except develop some remarkably effective low-tech hunting strategies.
Libertarians generally look to the Icelandic Commonwealth as the best example of a libertarian society.
   249. TomH Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4226481)
242: I am not a Calvinist, but those I know would state they certainly know which side they are on; and this assurance is confirmed in the Scriptures. I don't know where the "constantly searching" you mention comes from, theologically.

Okay, I had my two inputs for the day/week/month; back into hiding.
   250. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4226483)
"Don't steal" is not the same as a God-endowed right to property.
I beg to differ. If there's no right to property, then there can be no theft. There's lots more in there about what shall happen to the thief and what restitution he owes -- again, if there's no right to property, then why would any restitution be owed? The "thief's" claim is as good as the "owner's."

You didn't actually offend me, but I do like every so often to remind people that just because politicians say "Judeo-Christian" a lot does not mean that the two have equivalent worldviews on all these issues.
   251. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4226484)
Educated guesses are all well and good when it comes to determining who saves more runs with the glove at SS, but when it comes to morality there's naturally an overwhelming desire to be sure you're doing it right.


Yes, but the universe is a complex and uncaring bit of business. Just because we want it to be simple and clear that we are right doesn't make it so.

In some ways I am the anti-Calvinist. I am positive I have no hold on ultimate truth. Take each day in stride, be the besty person you can. Life is not fair, but most of the time it works out. And then you die, because everyone dies.
   252. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4226487)
please note that this passage, which is sometimes used to show a supposed Biblical endorsement of socialism, is anything but. The giving up of possessions among the group was purely voluntary, as Peter acknowledged here. The propoerty was owned by an individual, and he had a choice to give none/some/or all of it away. Ananias' problem was he was a big fat liar trying to show how much he put in the offering plate.
This is a terribly legalistic reading of the passage.

The central point of the stories of Acts 4-5 is the imagination of an ideal community of the first apostles and the first believers. This community is characterized by the keeping of property in common, the universal provision of goods to all who need them, and God's enforcement of these rules.
   253. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4226490)
I think the problem snapper sees with the absence of God in morality is the manifestation of the same uncertainty inherent in Calvinism. Not to read too much into another person's post, or speak for anyone, but the message I get from snapper's posts is that without God you can't know your morality is the right one. As Bitter Mouse says, once you get into the market of ideas you can weigh one against the other and come up with your best guess as to the right one, but there's no final definitive answer. Educated guesses are all well and good when it comes to determining who saves more runs with the glove at SS, but when it comes to morality there's naturally an overwhelming desire to be sure you're doing it right. In a broadly similar way I think the libertarian approach is similarly motivated. It's awfully tempting to free yourself from the uncertainties of relativism and embrace a system of principles that always allows you in any situation to work out what the correct decision is. I think the reason Calvinism fascinates me so much is the mixture of certainty and anxiety. It kind of encapsulates the features and flaws of both sides. Absolute certainty that the saved are saved and the damned are damned, but overwhelming anxiety because you have no clue, and never will until the end, which side you fall on. I think the quintessential Calvinist response to this dilemma - to be constantly searching for affirmations that you are of the chosen - is how I approach morality. Relying on steadfast principles you can return to again and again is reassuring, but my anxiety and self-doubt is too strong to be beaten that way. It's a constant struggle of re-assessment and re-evaluation. Morality shouldn't be difficult just because it's hard to make the moral choice, it's difficult because it's hard to know what the moral choice is.

Greg(U)K, I always welcome your input, read away :-) You're always thoughtful.

I think you definitely want some certainty if you're going to create a whole society/gov't to enforce your choice of morality.

The problem with Calvinism, is that certainty is taken to the point that individual actions and morality and belief don't actually matter. The Calvinist religion can't do diddlysquat for you. You're damned or saved, nothing you can do about it.
   254. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4226491)
Odd. You seem to be inventing positions and pretending I took them.


Odd, you seem to make this complaint a lot, perhaps you are not communicating your positions as clearly as you think you are.
   255. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4226492)
Libertarians generally look to the Icelandic Commonwealth as the best example of a libertarian society.


The same Iceland that responded to the financial crisis of 2007-8 by telling the lenders and banks to #### right off? Interesting, that, huh?
   256. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4226495)
242: I am not a Calvinist, but those I know would state they certainly know which side they are on; and this assurance is confirmed in the Scriptures. I don't know where the "constantly searching" you mention comes from, theologically.

Yeah I should have clarified, in what was an awfully muddled and rambling paragraph. I wasn't so much referring to Calvinist theology as the actions taken by Calvinists (and also I'm talking about 16th and 17th century Calvinists...I don't really know much about Calvinism after that period). Oliver Cromwell for example (not Calvinist per se, but heavily influenced) spent most of his political life trying to read the signs of providence, and he was far from unique in this. It's been a while since I read Weber, but as I recall he singles out Calvinists above other Protestants as driving his "Work Ethic". I may be straying from Weber in saying that this is partially to do with the fact that financial success was seen as a sign that you were one of the chosen. I suppose what I'm saying is, Calvinist theology may theoretically leave no doubt that the saved know they're saved, but examination of how Calvinsits lived in the 17th century (and just knowing how the human mind works) that many of them lived their lives with doubts about their own salvation, and sought affirmations of their saved state throughout their lives.
   257. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:49 PM (#4226497)
Odd. You seem to be inventing positions and pretending I took them.



Odd, you seem to make this complaint a lot, perhaps you are not communicating your positions as clearly as you think you are.


Yeah, that bit was particularly disingenuous considering Ray's position wrt money and free speech.

When the conversation is thus:

"You can't have free speech with restrictions on campaign contributions."

"Sure you can. just go to a corner and start talking."

Ray is vehemently on the side of the former and ridicules the latter.
   258. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4226498)
The same Iceland that responded to the financial crisis of 2007-8 by telling the lenders and banks to #### right off?


No, the Historical Iceland from several hundred years ago.

They were self ruling for a couple hundred years, and managed to do without kings or barons or knights while the rest of European civilization was still feudal (literally). Well they had a sort of nobility, but while titles could be inherited, they could also be bought and sold (ok, titles could always be bought and sold- but in Europe the Kings had to approves/take his cut, but in Iceland there was no King so the transaction involved solely the seller and buyer...)

Odd little cultural experiment went on in isolation, for much of the time probably was much freer than any contemporaneous culture. Of course having an isolated and stunningly homogeneous culture likely dampened down many cultural friction points- people are much more tolerant of the rights of people who look and act like themselves.
   259. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4226499)
Yes, but the universe is a complex and uncaring bit of business. Just because we want it to be simple and clear that we are right doesn't make it so.

In some ways I am the anti-Calvinist. I am positive I have no hold on ultimate truth. Take each day in stride, be the besty person you can. Life is not fair, but most of the time it works out. And then you die, because everyone dies.

I'm realizing I need to present my ideas more clearly!
That post was largely intended to agree with you, and I couldn't agree more with what you're written here. I wasn't proposing a Calvinist theological approach, I was in fact proposing pretty much the approach you outline here. I was referring more to the self-doubt which is the natural outcome of Calvinist theology, which makes morality the daily work of being the best you can be.

I also agree that the world is a complicated place. An absolute view of the world is tempting, but ultimately unsatisfying.

EDIT: I see snapper got the same out of it as well. My apologies for wasting everyone's time! I certainly agree, Calvinism doesn't provide a very satisfactory answer for me. I just find the self-doubt that Calvinism naturally fosters in the human mind is a useful tool, and closely correlates to how I approach morality.
   260. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4226500)
The same Iceland that responded to the financial crisis of 2007-8 by telling the lenders and banks to #### right off? Interesting, that, huh?
Uh, well, no, not the same Iceland. I mean, it was located on the same physical island, but it was separated temporally by approximately eight centuries. It was the Icelandic Republic that did what you refer to. (But, to be sure, refusing a government bailout is very libertarian.)
   261. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:53 PM (#4226501)
This is a terribly legalistic reading of the passage.

The central point of the stories of Acts 4-5 is the imagination of an ideal community of the first apostles and the first believers. This community is characterized by the keeping of property in common, the universal provision of goods to all who need them, and God's enforcement of these rules.


And this fell apart almost immediately causing Paul to say "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat".

Voluntary communal living has always played a role in Christianity, i.e. monasticism, but it's always voluntary, and people can be kicked out. It's also has not been extended to a whole society.
   262. Lassus Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4226502)
Libertarians generally look to the Icelandic Commonwealth as the best example of a libertarian society.

How do the conservative and libertarian financial experts on the board feel about the Iceland-style bailouts? Or everyone else?


No, the Historical Iceland from several hundred years ago.

Doesn't anyone feel that applying acute, discrete physical actions from hundreds and hundreds of years ago to now is utterly worthless?


Coke to everyone who drinks it.
   263. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4226504)
No, the Historical Iceland from several hundred years ago.


BORING!
   264. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4226505)
I beg to differ. If there's no right to property, then there can be no theft. There's lots more in there about what shall happen to the thief and what restitution he owes -- again, if there's no right to property, then why would any restitution be owed? The "thief's" claim is as good as the "owner's."

Exactly.

That's why Pius XI wrote ”no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”.

And Leo XIII wrote in Rerum Novarum:

Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonwealth. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.
   265. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4226511)
Odd. You seem to be inventing positions and pretending I took them.

Odd, you seem to make this complaint a lot, perhaps you are not communicating your positions as clearly as you think you are.


Yeah, that bit was particularly disingenuous considering Ray's position wrt money and free speech.

When the conversation is thus:

"You can't have free speech with restrictions on campaign contributions."

"Sure you can. just go to a corner and start talking."

Ray is vehemently on the side of the former and ridicules the latter.


WTF are you talking about? I can't recall ever commenting on this free speech/campaign contributions issue. I suppose perhaps I commented one day and can't recall doing so, but if that happened I'd be very surprised. If I've ever commented "vehemently" on it I'd be shocked.

My position on that issue does align closer to Dan's than to that of the liberals, but I fail to see how this analogy argues against the notion that health care can exist independently of government unlike voting.
   266. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4226512)
I'm realizing I need to present my ideas more clearly!


I was not trying to disagree with you, but expound on my feelings - so we both could be better.

David, thanks for the reference - reading about the Icelandic Commonwealth was interesting (wikipedia your friend). I do wonder what the population was - I assume very low and as stated above very homogeneous. Is that the state the US should model itself after? I guess I was hoping for something nearer than 800 years ago, but it is a start.
   267. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4226513)
And this fell apart almost immediately causing Paul to say "If a man will not work, neither shall he eat".
That's interesting - so you read 2 Thessalonians 3 as a rejection of Acts 4-5, and thus see the vision of community in that passage as not enjoined upon Christians? How do you connect this with Paul's collection for the saints in Jerusalem, as in 1 Corinthians and elsewhere? This seems to be a collection for this same community.

There's a common argument among historical critics along the same lines. I think it's most associated in recent scholarship with Gerd Thiessen. The apocalyptic community of the Jerusalem disciples was expecting the parousia - this is why, in fact, Paul was collecting donations for them, since so many of them weren't working. As the second coming was delayed more and more, a new structure for the communities was necessary, and apocalyptic and utopian strands fade away in favor of what Thiessen calls "love patriarchalism." This eventually develops into the household codes of Ephesians, Colossians, and 1 Peter. By the end of the st century CE or so, the common structures of Mediterranean society, masters over slaves, men over women, parents over children, become imbued with theological value and enjoined upon Christians as their ethic as well.

2 Thessalonians and 1 Thessalonians are so deeply contradictory that I almost think it's good evidence that Paul really did write both of them. All the stuff about the delay of the parousia in 2 Thess reads like a guy who doesn't think anymore what he thought when he wrote 1 Thess.
   268. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4226514)
How do the conservative and libertarian financial experts on the board feel about the Iceland-style bailouts?

Iceland specifically didn't bail out the banks owners. They let the equity and bondholders get wiped out.

That's the right way to do a bailout.
   269. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4226515)
That's why Pius XI wrote ”no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist”.


The King of the world's last feudal monarchy doesn't like the idea of equality of men? Wow.
   270. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4226517)
That's interesting - so you read 2 Thessalonians 3 as a rejection of Acts 4-5, and thus see the vision of community in that passage as not enjoined upon Christians? How do you connect this with Paul's collection for the saints in Jerusalem, as in 1 Corinthians and elsewhere? This seems to be a collection for this same community.

Yes.

A collection is voluntary charity, it is not the sharing of goods in common.

That's always been the distinction in Christianity. Charity is an obligation on the giver, not a right of the receiver.
   271. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4226520)
but I fail to see how this analogy argues against the notion that health care can exist independently of government unlike voting.


As I said, a very, very narrow definition of health care. Just like a very, very narrow definition of free speech can exist without money. If you want to claim victory on the pedantic point that .1% of what we know to be health care can exist without government, knock yourself out.
   272. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4226521)
Clearly "thou shalt not steal" is an endorsement of private property. But is it such an exuberant endorsement that we can conclude that private property is one of the fundamental natural rights of man? I don't think so... the same commandments describe restrictions on free belief and free speech. They mandate politeness.
   273. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4226522)
Iceland specifically didn't bail out the banks owners. They let the equity and bondholders get wiped out.

That's the right way to do a bailout.


For a country whose economy is approximately half the size of North Dakota, maybe.
   274. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4226526)
Clearly "thou shalt not steal" is an endorsement of private property. But is it such an exuberant endorsement that we can conclude that private property is one of the fundamental natural rights of man? I don't think so... the same commandments describe restrictions on free belief and free speech. They mandate politeness.

Well, unlike gov't, a religion has the right (and the necessity) to mandate restrictions on free belief and speech. That's what it does. If you don't believe the teachings, you get out.

   275. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4226527)
Belief and speech be damned, they mandate that I can't even *covet* my neighbor's wife. That's thought police. Though, given the status of "wives" in Bible-land, I guess you could argue that that just means the Bible values the right to property higher than the right to covet another man's property.
   276. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4226528)
Doesn't anyone feel that applying acute, discrete physical actions from hundreds and hundreds of years ago to now is utterly worthless?


No.
Oh, I thought you meant "everyone" not anyone"

sure there are people who feel that you can not learn anything by looking to the past

there are also people who think you can learn things by looking to the past, but that you cannot apply specific solutions used in the past to specific problems today.



   277. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4226529)
For a country whose economy is approximately half the size of North Dakota, maybe.

No, for every country.

You bailout the banks to prevent a collapse of the financial system, not to keep the equity and long-term debt holders rich.

If you seek a bailout from the gov't, you are insolvent. That means equity should be wiped out, and the long-term debt exchange for equity.

That's the only way to get around the perverse incentives of too big to fail.
   278. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4226530)
How do the conservative and libertarian financial experts on the board feel about the Iceland-style bailouts?

Iceland specifically didn't bail out the banks owners. They let the equity and bondholders get wiped out.

That's the right way to do a bailout.
I agree almost** entirely with this. Iceland (the right kind of bailout) and Sweden (the right kind of fiscal and monetary policies) show that it was at least possible for countries to respond correctly to the financial worldwide crisis. If only the EU and Britain and the US could have followed their example.

**Iceland did protect a number of Icelandic creditors, though not at a 100% rate. They also seized the failed banks and blew them up themselves, while prosecuting the bank executives for financial crimes. The seizing of the banks is the key act here, and if Europe and the US had done this, it could have drastically sped the recovery.
   279. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4226531)
Belief and speech be damned, they mandate that I can't even *covet* my neighbor's wife. That's thought police.

Yeah, but the penalty is only 3 Hail Marys, so don't whine.
   280. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4226533)
but I fail to see how this analogy argues against the notion that health care can exist independently of government unlike voting.


I find the belief that healthcare cannot exist independently of government bizarre, sure it can, it can also be sub-optimal, but it can exist independent of government, in away that voting cannot.

There, I agreed (sort of) with Ray, time to take a break.

   281. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4226534)
That's always been the distinction in Christianity. Charity is an obligation on the giver, not a right of the receiver.
Not among the Christians in Acts 4-5. You can say that was rejected, but you can't say it didn't happen. (Well, I think it didn't happen, because I don't read Luke/Acts as a history in the modern style, but that's me.)

There have also been thousands of Christian communities that were not organized along the lines of personal economic / propertarian freedom that you describe. What you consider the normative form of Christianity is not equivalent to the whole history of all Christian lives and practices.
   282. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4226535)
The seizing of the banks is the key act here, and if Europe and the US had done this, it could have drastically sped the recovery.

Yes, but the gov't doesn't have to run them, just provide short-term liquidity. You "seize" them through bankruptcy, and award ownership to the senior debt holders. The new owners actions will be naturally constrained by the need to keep the Gov't funding.
   283. Bitter Mouse Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4226536)
Well, unlike gov't, a religion has the right (and the necessity) to mandate restrictions on free belief and speech. That's what it does. If you don't believe the teachings, you get out.


So Morality comes from God (or it has no meaning). Religion comes from God (I assume). Same God.

From one side we get rights (which includes free speech). From the other side we get a needed limit of those rights. But both sides are really the same side, which is from God?

I suspect I am conflating the Natural Rights (which I don't remember if you were part of) with your argument, but should the Religion the God formed be in accord with the Morality and Rights the God enables? How does granting free speech and restricting free speech make sense in that context?
   284. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:20 PM (#4226538)
Not among the Christians in Acts 4-5. You can say that was rejected, but you can't say it didn't happen. (Well, I think it didn't happen, because I don't read Luke/Acts as a history in the modern style, but that's me.)

Someone mentioned it already, those people entered that community voluntarily. This sort of voluntary "socialist" community has persisted right up to today in monasteries and religious orders.

There is no mention of it being a requirement to become a Christian. The model clearly wasn't adopted everywhere the Apostles set up Churches.



   285. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4226539)
They also seized the failed banks and blew them up themselves, while prosecuting the bank executives for financial crimes.
Notably, Iceland was, AFAIK, the only country to prosecute a politician -- the then-prime minister -- for his role in the banking crisis.
   286. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4226540)
I was not trying to disagree with you, but expound on my feelings - so we both could be better.

Ah so it's my reading, not my writing I need to work on.

The Icelandic stuff is pretty interesting, though I do wonder how accurately we can extrapolate from what appears to be fairly sparse source material. Our university actually had an Icelandic historian come and give a good lecture last year. I believe she was discussing the various concordats which essentially ended that period of Icelandic history. Ah, here's the name, Dr. Lara Magnusarrdottir. Now, if I could recall the details of research this would be a really engaging anecdote. On the whole I think she was arguing against the traditional villainous position the Church played in re-organizing Icelandic society.
   287. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4226541)
What #283 said. Exactly what I was getting at.
   288. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4226543)
Someone mentioned it already, those people entered that community voluntarily.
I think that readings Acts 5 as saying that Ananias and Sapphira would have done nothing wrong if they hadn't lied is crazy. The lying is what they do to protect themselves after committing their crime against the community. further, this is, at the time of Acts 4-5, the whole community of Jesus followers, not a peculiar subset of them. "All the believers", it says. This is for all Christians, and they are all supposed to do this.
   289. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:22 PM (#4226545)
Yeah, but the penalty is only 3 Hail Marys, so don't whine.


There's a multiplicative function at work here that you may not be aware of. Three times a gazillion is a lot.
   290. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4226548)
I assume very low and as stated above very homogeneous.


There was literally no immigration into Iceland following its initial settlement for several hundred years, essentially the original settler pool was about75% Norse, and 25% Celtic, and until very recently, that was it.

Genetic researchers LOVE Iceland, because everyone (save recent immigrants, such as from Vietnam of all places) on the island is genetically as close as a 1st cousin to everyone else, and yet you have some 300,000 reasonably healthy people.

Ordinarily inbreeding is bad (to over simplify), because when you marry your cousin the odds of finding a match for some defective, but recessive, gene increases- but in Iceland that does not seem to have been a problem.

   291. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4226549)
So Morality comes from God (or it has no meaning). Religion comes from God (I assume). Same God.

From one side we get rights (which includes free speech). From the other side we get a needed limit of those rights. But both sides are really the same side, which is from God?

I suspect I am conflating the Natural Rights (which I don't remember if you were part of) with your argument, but should the Religion the God formed be in accord with the Morality and Rights the God enables? How does granting free speech and restricting free speech make sense in that context?


You're confusing the role of gov't and religion in regards to natural rights.

God gives us natural rights that should not be infringed by gov't/society b/c they are necessary to human dignity and a well functioning world. He also gives us religion to tell us how to exercise those rights in order to achieve salvation.

A religion can't grant freedom of belief (for example) because then it becomes nothing. It's very purpose is to direct belief and actions in the direction of God's plan.
   292. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4226550)
Yeah, but the penalty is only 3 Hail Marys, so don't whine.

There's a multiplicative function at work here that you may not be aware of. Three times a gazillion is a lot.


is that from coveting the same neighbor's wife many times, or from coveting many neighbors' wives?
   293. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4226551)
A religion can't grant freedom of belief (for example) because then it becomes nothing. It's very purpose is to direct belief and actions in the direction of God's plan.


Snapper, you scare me sometimes...
   294. Greg K Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:29 PM (#4226554)
is that from coveting the same neighbor's wife many times, or from coveting many neighbors' wives?

To paraphrase Jeb Stuart:
I coveted that man's wife but once, and that has been continually.
   295. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4226556)
Snapper, you scare me sometimes...

I'm not saying they should seek civil sanctions against those who don't believe. I'm just saying belief is a requirement of membership.

Or, do you think my local synagogue should have me as a member, when all I do is talk non-stop about all salvation coming through Jesus Christ?
   296. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4226559)
I'm not saying they should seek civil sanctions against those who don't believe. I'm just saying belief is a requirement of membership.


That's fine. It's those who take the tenets of the Bible and try to project them onto government and force everyone regardless of belief to abide by them who are the problem. People need to realize that freedom of religion = freedom from religion as well.
   297. PreservedFish Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4226560)
You're confusing the role of gov't and religion in regards to natural rights.

God gives us natural rights that should not be infringed by gov't/society b/c they are necessary to human dignity and a well functioning world. He also gives us religion to tell us how to exercise those rights in order to achieve salvation.


So ... God gives all humans natural rights, and governments shouldn't infringe on them. But God also only wants us to take advantage of those natural rights in certain ways.

It sounds like you're just making things up. I think this is a reasonable way of looking at things, if you're a believer, but I kind of doubt that there's a lot of evidence for it in the Bible.
   298. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4226563)
is that from coveting the same neighbor's wife many times, or from coveting many neighbors' wives?


If you've got a blacklist I want to be on it.
   299. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4226564)
I think that readings Acts 5 as saying that Ananias and Sapphira would have done nothing wrong if they hadn't lied is crazy. The lying is what they do to protect themselves after committing their crime against the community. further, this is, at the time of Acts 4-5, the whole community of Jesus followers, not a peculiar subset of them. "All the believers", it says. This is for all Christians, and they are all supposed to do this.

In my Bible it says "And the multitude of believers...", not "All the believers"

But the critical point is that communal living was not extended beyond that place and time. There is no indication that one had to live that way to be a Christian.

The fact that the same Apostles who formed that community didn't replicate it as they spread the faith around the world, shows pretty clearly it wasn't mandatory.

Communal living can be a good thing in Christianity, but it isn't a necessary thing.
   300. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: September 04, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4226567)
So ... God gives all humans natural rights, and governments shouldn't infringe on them. But God also only wants us to take advantage of those natural rights in certain ways.


Yes. It's like how he planted dinosaur bones to separate the faithful from people who believe what they see. God's an ####### like that sometimes.
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Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

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