the end of capitalism?

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torn_aclu
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Postby torn_aclu » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:39 pm

GyGu wrote:
torn_aclu wrote:
Mike McCusker wrote:What a dim view of human nature you have Tom. I see self sacrifice and individuals making sacrifices for the communal good everyday.

The freaks.


It all depends on what the definition of a good person in. As a Christian I think I have to say that while people can do "good things," they can't do anything ultimately good apart from being given new life in Christ.


Wait. Do you say things just to provoke the non-believing masses here? Just curious. I mean, obviously it's cool to believe whatever you want, but it seems like you are just trying make us all cringe at this point.


I guess you are unaware of mainstream Christian thinking for the last 2,000 years, especially that all-important thing called sin.

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Postby SkeletonRock » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:08 pm

It's cool how you are really condescending while trying to share the gospel.

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torn_aclu
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Postby torn_aclu » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:14 am

SkeletonRock wrote:It's cool how you are really condescending while trying to share the gospel.


It's cool how you transition into the moral police out of the blue. You must have felt extremely odd typing that considering all the stuff you have written on here.

Do people really not know about the doctrine of sin and give me a "LOLZ" as a response? I thought that was the one thing people knew about Christians. I guess I was ignorant of ignorance.

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Postby GyGu » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:50 am

We all know what Christians think about "sin". Not my point. I was just wondering if you think you've exhausted those types of comments on this board, given the response you know you'll get? Or is that part of the fun? I don't know.

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Postby jac » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:17 am

Torn - as someone who has spent the last thirty years on a quest to see if it is possible to have sincere faith and remain intellectually honest (i.e. I am sympathetic to issues of faith), I've got to say your posts like the ones above are a real turn off and disservice to the members of this board and inhibit any sort of fruitful discussion. If youi'd like to start a thread to articulate your interpretation of the basic tenets christianity - do it.

As for the article - I thought it was a scream to read. I think a lot of the criticisms and observations were right on. However, as with so much it seemed really long on criticism and very short on actual alternatives.

It is due to the lack of alternatives that I acutally think the article is wrong - the end of capitalsim is not in sight at all. There are issues like overpopulation, competition for resources, power, greed and stupidity that do not go away regardless of politcal ideaology. Capitalism in some form is here to stay, because it is tied to our ideals of democracy and freedom. SOme pretty dramatic 'market corrections' may occur and the 'wealth may be redistrubted' but there is no going back, IMO.

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Mike McCusker
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Postby Mike McCusker » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:26 am

I think it is a big leap to associate Capitalism with democracy and/or freedom.

China is probably the most dynamic capitalist state today. Yet it has a single political party, strong control of the press, highest death penalty rate and doesn't tolerate dissent.

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Postby brothermatt » Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:46 am

Mike McCusker wrote:I think it is a big leap to associate Capitalism with democracy and/or freedom.


so do i, but these terms are used almost interchangeably by a significant percentage of people i talk to (not to mention those i see on the talking box). i'm not a michael moore fan (in fact, i think he's counterproductive most of the time), but i thought that one of the decent points he made in capitalism: a love story was about the successful, deliberate correlation of the terms capitalism and democracy.

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Postby jac » Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:00 am

First, let me be clear, I am not arguing that democracy, freedom, capitalism are good things, i.e. "aint' 'merica great!" (not saying they are bad either).

I do see a connection between freedom and capitalism and I think China would be a great example. Increased freedom and loosening restrictions have been necessary for the boom going on there. I certainly don't dispute that they remain totalitarian in many respects, but they are also struggling to keep a lid on things and that story is not over yet. In my opinion, they will find they can't have one without the other.

I will recant of my inclusion of democracy in my first statement as I think you are right - there is not a necessary connection there (that may just be a distinctly American phenomenon.)

I would put it this way - you need a certain (high?) degree of freedom for capitalism to work. On the flip side when you give businesses a high degree of freedom, they will tend towards capitalism.

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torn_aclu
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Postby torn_aclu » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:45 pm

GyGu wrote:We all know what Christians think about "sin". Not my point. I was just wondering if you think you've exhausted those types of comments on this board, given the response you know you'll get? Or is that part of the fun? I don't know.


It's not part of the fun. What I originally said was not condescending at all and was not a provocation. It was just my opinion and something that John Calvin recognized and the founding father picked up upon. It was a classic understanding of the Christian view of sin. Why is it my fault that people think I am trying to rub something in their face when I am just stating 2,000 years of Christian thinking? To me it shows the antithesis between our anthropologies. I really had no idea it would throw some of you in a tizzie.

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torn_aclu
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Postby torn_aclu » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:53 pm

jac wrote:Torn - as someone who has spent the last thirty years on a quest to see if it is possible to have sincere faith and remain intellectually honest (i.e. I am sympathetic to issues of faith), I've got to say your posts like the ones above are a real turn off and disservice to the members of this board and inhibit any sort of fruitful discussion. If youi'd like to start a thread to articulate your interpretation of the basic tenets christianity - do it.


I would not start a new thread articulating what I think the basic tenets of Christianity are because what I said was directly related to the separation of powers in the US Constitution and why the founding fathers thought they should put that in there.

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Postby mprovojr » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:03 am

torn_aclu wrote:It all depends on what the definition of a good person in. As a Christian I think I have to say that while people can do "good things," they can't do anything ultimately good apart from being given new life in Christ.


I think this is where you starting ruffling feathers, Torn. Your first statement, yes, WAS appropriate to the thread, but here, you took the conversation in a different direction, and painted things in black and white where they aren't (in my opinion).

When a non-christian is faithfully loving his wife, is that action evil to God? When a non-christian single mom works hard to provide for her children, are those efforts evil? When a non-christian is moved with compassion for victims of disasters and give generously to relieve suffering, does God get enraged?

The way we have distorted the doctrine of "total depravity" is dangerous and counter-productive to the life that God seems to offer through the gospel. Man CAN do good things. We see it all the time. What man canNOT do is redeem himself to God through his good actions. I think that's an important distinction, because when you tell someone the good they do requires quotation marks around it, implying it's not really good, you're putting them on the defensive about something that creates an unfair dichotomy. It's always good to be a faithful loving husband to your wife. It's always good not to beat your children in anger. It's always good relieve someone's suffering when it is in your power to do so. Those things are good in God's eyes. When you paint those things as evil, by implication, you create a view of the world that goes against the fabric of rational and inherent justice/morality that everyone has and makes God look inconsistent and diminishes the nature of salvation and redemption... and that's when LOLZ start rolling in and people roll their eyes at Christians, because we keep inadequately articulating what total depravity means... Yes, "our righteousness is as filthy rags" as Isaiah says, but that applies to me too, now, even as a Christian. Because the premise of the gospel is that Jesus' righteousness is the only thing that is effective for our redemption. That does NOT imply that the very nature of our actions are all evil. It simply means that we are stained and broken by sin, rebelling against God's authority to be the source of our lives, and need HIM to redeem us, because no amount of doing good things will change our disposition towards Him.

That's just my understanding of it. I grew up believing the "total depravity" thing, but it just never resonated. I saw my extended family members and friends being good to each other, so somehow calling those actions "sin" just didn't match logically.

I read this post from Donald Miller's blog awhile back and that helped form the answers to the questions/doubts that had been rattling around in my brain about this...

Now, everyone get back to talking about capitalism...
I'm surprised this place still exists.

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Postby Mike McCusker » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:20 pm

I could have written all that, but I then I thought Lolz summed it up what I felt about Tom's post.

I toyed with LMFAO, but thought it too disrespectful of his heartfelt beliefs.

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torn_aclu
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Postby torn_aclu » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:46 pm

I did say that the actions in and of themselves of people who are not believers are good. But I qualified it by saying that they aren't ultimately good. You are actually the one who is painting things in black and white by saying that an unbeliever who is faithful to his wife has committed a good act without qualification. That is profoundly simplistic. I am certain the Bible says the opposite, from Gensis 9 to Revelation. Anything that is not done by faith is sin, and you can't do something by faith without recognizing the trinitarian, covenantal God of Christian Scripture.

"Yes, "our righteousness is as filthy rags" as Isaiah says, but that applies to me too, now, even as a Christian." Where does the Bible say this when the Bible says we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ? The odd thing is that your turned that statement, "everyone's righteousness is as filthy rags" into "unbelievers can do unqualified good things." Confusing.

If we can be good without God, why do we need God? Experience obviously has a part to play in our understanding of Scripture, but you let your experience totally determine it ("I see people doing good things all the time, so it must be true!"). That is a dangerous road to travel.

You do realize that if Don Miller flies fast and loose with the Bible? Actually, he rarely references it from what I have seen.

I’ve always wondered why people who believe in total depravity say things to their kids like “good job” when they catch a baseball. Shouldn’t they say something like you caught the ball, but you still deserve to go to hell? When Don is willing to stop painting the world in black and white he will be on the road to recovery.

I’ve never really trusted people who believed we were totally depraved, for obvious reasons. How can their view of the world be trusted? They are totally depraved, after all. There is something called the noetic effects of sin, where the mind and its reasoning power has been polluted by sin. Revelation overcomes this. Revelation includes the doctrine of total depravity. The doctrine of total depravity was not discovered by a mind set apart from Christ, but a mind united to him.

A pastor friend told me recently, though, that the term total depravity doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person, or aren’t capable of doing good, but that you aren’t capable of redeeming yourself. You are totally depraved, he said, at being able to access God. This pastor friend does not know what total depravity is and I doubt has interacted with any serious treatment of it. What he gave was a definition of partial depravity, which is obviously not total depravity. Paul clearly said "No one is good, not even one." But using our experience we know this to mean, "we are good people" right?

That made more sense to me, to be honest. And besides, I’ve met plenty of people who don’t even know God who are good people. And I mean really, really good. I mean they love and care about people, they are moral, they are charitable, so the whole idea there is nothing good in them doesn’t seem to jive with reality. Unfortunately Don's experience drives his views. You don't even have to study Scripture clearly to see he is wrong. You just have to read it. But I'm sure Don has read Romans 3, he doesn't want to believe it because he can't overcome his experience.

Sometimes I wonder if God has an enemy and that enemy is trying to get us to not like people, because if we don’t like them, they won’t listen to anything we say. And sometimes I wonder if the idea of total depravity has been skewed to get us to not like people.

Ever thought about this? And do you think people can be good?
Sometimes I wonder if Don waters down what the Bible teaches because people can be turned off by its teachings and he doesn't want that. This is true, because my experience in this thread has proven it.

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Postby Jackson » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:07 pm

torn_aclu wrote:Sometimes I wonder if Don waters down what the Bible teaches because people can be turned off by its teachings and he doesn't want that. This is true, because my experience in this thread has proven it.


Just about anyone trying to spread Christianity would have to do the same because the Bible is fucking bonkers.

2 Kings 2:23-24 wrote:"Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths."


Deuteronomy 25:11-12 wrote:"If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity."

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Postby brothermatt » Mon Aug 02, 2010 4:54 am

this is the first time i've heard the "depravity" idea. it seems pretty nihilistic. wouldn't some of the motivation be to die sooner to get this world over with? if our actions are meaningless and we only matter if we are faithful, it seems like we're little more than god's poker chips.


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