Class Envy Is A Sin

Complain the rich aren’t paying enough? You’re living in sin.
Complain the rich get an unfair tax break? You’re living in sin.
Want to soak the rich? You’re living in sin.

Them’s the facts. For anyone who chooses to wear the mantle of Christian to claim otherwise is to show a deep lacking in the understanding of Christian doctrine. And no, Christian doctrine does not have anything to do with “rich worship”.

Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

Very clearly, envy is a sin. And, very clearly, this sin is a disgrace to our nation.

UPDATE: I asked for, and received, input from another and that person said “perhaps you should include reference to the Ten Commandments, and the prohibition on covetousness.” So here it is.

Exodus 20:17

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or his maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

This is the tenth of the Ten Commandments. And my reading of the Ten Commandments says to me this is the only Commandment that focuses directly on thought instead of actual action. To covet what another has is a thought-sin, as declared by Providence. Jesus did tie thought-sin to other action-sin Commandments, but that is a different discussion.

Covet (from dictionary.reference.com)

to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others: to covet another’s property.

To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another’s). See Synonyms at envy.

Envy (from dictionary.reference.com)

a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.

A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.

Backing up to the Eighth Commandment, Exodus 20:15 says “You shall not steal.” I see this as the action-sin tied to the “covet” thought-sin. If you do not covet it, you will not steal it. And you will not write laws that make stealing it legal.

(end update)

Mark 7:20-23

He [Jesus] went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’”

Very clearly, Jesus said envying what another has is sinful. As an aside, Jesus very clearly declared the liberals’ current dysphemism of TEA Party activists sinful.

Romans 1:28-32

Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Envy is a sign of a depraved mind. Class envy is a subset of envy. Those who are envious are deserving of death. But they delight in others who also are envious.

There are many more passages about envy. It is not good to envy what others have (and that is a severe understatement).

Matthew 25:14-30 (Jesus speaking)

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. [A talent was worth more than a thousand dollars (in 1985).] Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have in an abundance. Whoever does not have, even that what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

It is very clear those who have greater ability (industriousness, ingenuity) will be given more. And they will produce, and keep, more. Those who have lesser ability will be given less. And they will produce, and keep, less. Those who produce nothing out of what they have will have what they have taken from them.

This is Jesus speaking.

Those who want to “soak the rich”, those who complain about how “the rich aren’t paying their fair share”, those who want to redistribute the wealth from the wealthy to the poor are in direct contradiction to Providence. They are practicing class envy, which is a wholly-owned subset of envy. And envy is worthy of death, according to Providence.

Republicans, Conservatives, and, more strongly, Christian Conservatives are against the class envy system of taxation. Democrats and Liberals are heavily for the class envy system of taxation, and in direct confrontation with Providence. The Democrats and Liberals are also in direct confrontation with scientific and historical economic truths in their class envy.

President Obama has made a deal with SEIU such that those who buy the best health insurance and who are in unions do not pay the 40 percent tax (40 percent!) on their plans, but the rest have to pay the tax because their plans are too good. That is clearly a play on envy and punishing those who have better (except for those who are in unions (which support Democrats almost exclusively)). There is no other way to read that.

If you claim to be a Christian and you practice class envy, I strongly suggest you re-evaluate your position and your heart because you are in direct opposition to Providence’s commands.
_______________________________
Cross Posted on Truth Before Dishonor

162 Comments

  1. We are also taught that we should be generous, to help others where we can, and I strongly encourage charity. But there is a difference between encouraging charity and thinking that the government ought to be in the business of compelling charity or redistributing wealth or income.

  2. Of course, your entire rant rests on two completely unfounded assumptions:

    i, Any observation that society is economically biased is “envy” and

    ii, Anybody who earns more (such as, say, health insurance company CEOs) is more talented and virtuous and contributes more to society than those that earn less (such as, say, hospital nurses).

    By your “logic”, Bernie Madoff is a saint, and anyone criticising him is a sinner. Any observation that the wealthy have a disproportionate say in America’s so-called “democracy” must automatically be discounted, and whatever a corporation does to earn a profit (such as, say, dumping toxic waste in children’s playgrounds) is blessed by God.

    Of course, America’s economic distribution is rapidly approaching that of Argentina, so I hope that your sermons on the joys of bending over and taking it by the rich work out well for you.

    But since you’re so hot on the Bible, can you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 says?

  3. Pooter, again you make false claims. Nowhere did I say those who make more money are more virtuous. Nowhere did I say those who make more money contribute more to society. In those accusations, you lied, like you frequently do.

    You furthered your lies by claiming my logic permits fraudulent activity. Your claim is not supported in anything I said.

    I will also note I already quoted Providence in saying lewdness, such as your comment, is sinful.

  4. Uh-huh.

    To quote:

    It is very clear those who have greater ability (industriousness, ingenuity) will be given more. And they will produce, and keep, more. Those who have lesser ability will be given less. And they will produce, and keep, less. Those who produce nothing out of what they have will have what they have taken from them.

    This is Jesus speaking.

    Those who want to “soak the rich”, those who complain about how “the rich aren’t paying their fair share”, those who want to redistribute the wealth from the wealthy to the poor are in direct contradiction to Providence.

    Can you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 says, John?

  5. Show me where industriousness or ingenuity are synonymous to virtuousness or greater societal contribution. Oh, you can’t? Then that means you lied about what I said.

    Show me where “soak the rich” and complaints about the rich not paying enough and wealth-redistribution ties into someone’s fraudulent dealings. Oh, you can’t? That means you lied about what I inferred.

    And you ignored the sinfulness of your lewd comment.

  6. The parable of the rich man in Matthew illustrates the persons love of money. The rich man had placed his love of money above the Love of God. Specifically, he had replaced God with wealth and the accumulation of possessions. Jesus was trying to show that The Father is the Lord God and one must not put any other god before Him. Even money.

    Now who among us places the higher emphassis on money? The Conservative who believes that you own what you earn and should help others out of Christian charity? Or the liberal who envies and covets that which belongs to others and tries to steal it through government force?

    Pho, you are no Christian theologan. Again, the ability to cite something dosen’t mean you understand it.

  7. By the way, if you don’t agree with my previous post, ask a priest or minister. Or, you could just read the first 13 posts on Hatian Relief above. Not a liberal in the group. Seems all our local libs are too busy trying to figure out how to get OPM to talk about reaching into their own pockets to help others. The first 13 entries, all Consrvatives! Tell us about you compassion.

  8. Let me point out the Marxist “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”, which is being touted in many liberal circles today (and is the reasoning behind the “soak the rich” tax scheme), is in direct confrontation with Jesus and His parable of the talents I quoted above.

  9. I don’t see envy at all in those who oppose the neocon political philosophy pioneered by Reagan and promoted by Bush-43, leading to the problems/challenges, temporary I hope, that our nation faces.

    On the contrary, instead of being motivated by envy, the forces of change in our society are motivated by hope for better times, hard work, responsibility, and fair compensation.

    President Obama gave a sermon in a church in Vermont yesterday, honoring the legacy of MLK Jr, and building upon some of his ideas as they may apply to our current challenges. Here is one piece of it which may appeal to those of a politically Conservative bent:

    “Progress will only come if we’re willing to promote that ethic of hard work, a sense of responsibility, in our own lives. I’m not talking, by the way, just to the African American community. Sometimes when I say these things people assme, well, he’s just talking to black people about working hard. No, no, no, no. I’m talking to the American community. Because somewhere along the way, we, as a nation, began to lose touch with some of our core values. You know what I’m talking about. We became enraptured with the false prophets who prophesized an easy path to success, paved with credit cards and home equity loans and get-rich-quick schemes, and the most important thing was to be a celebrity; it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you get on TV. That’s everybody.

    We forgot what made the bus boycott a success; what made the civil rights movement a success; what made the United States of America a success — that, in this country, there’s no substitute for hard work, no substitute for a job well done, no substitute for being responsible stewards of God’s blessings.”

    You can read the rest of his speech here.

    Or, you can listen to it here.

  10. When conservatives start quoting the Bible and using it to make their points, and feeling good about themselves and how superior they are to everyone else… atrocities can’t be far behind.

    Might makes right when you wrap yourself in scripture. Nothing can stand before you, not even the tenets of your own faith. Your lusts and hatreds are all for God’s glory, of course.

  11. Pho, you are no Christian theologan.

    Exactly. He completely missed John H’s point, which was backed up with multiple quotes from Scripture. And then he lists Bernie Madoff, completely neglecting the fact that Madoff was a thief, and stealing is also condemned in the Bible.

    Indeed, I suspect the reason Pho chimed in the way he did is that John’s post cut right to the core of his political ideology, and he didn’t like it a bit!

  12. Eric cherry picks and obfuscates: “Pho, you are no Christian theologan.”

    Eric, you will notice that Phoenician also quotes from the Bible, in fact, from the book of Matthew. In addition, he asked John H. to read another section of the Bible, of Matthew, to which John H. has yet to respond.

    My point is, one can cherry pick from the Bible to obfuscate practically any issue, which is exactly what John H. is doing, and you are supporting.

    I regard the Bible as a fine guide full of worthwhile teachings, and I regard Jesus as a worthy role model regarding morals and ethics. However, the Bible should be viewed as the product of man’s writings, the Gospels included, so that some judgment is always required by the reader to apply the lessons to practicality. Call it situational ethics if you wish. In other words, no written words of man can be regarded as absolute or infallible.

    Did you read Obama’s Vermont Church speech of yesterday yet?

  13. Nothing Barack Obama has to say is worthy of time or attention. The man is a liar. His words are like a pile of dog shit, interesting only to other dogs.

  14. Wow. Between nangleator and Perry, where do I begin?

    I’ll respond to Perry first. Only a non-Christian would “cherry pick” from the bible to “obfuscate” anything. The reason Christians would not is because we do not believe it to be “a fine guide full of worthwhile teachings”. We believe it to be the Inspired Word of God. The quintessential taking of The Lords name in vain would be to use His words to obfuscate anything. That would be blasphemy. You may not believe the bible to be any more than the opinions and philosophies of old dead Jews if you like. I can respect that. And perhaps even as an agnostic or an athiest, you would appreciate the finer points of biblical morality as found in the bible. I can also respect that. But the object of the bible teachings is to show how unimportant mankind is is the scheme of the universe, yet how important each man is in the eyes of God Himself. To God, the death of one man is a tragety and the death of a million are a millon trageties. To a Christian, God created man and gave him free will. What we do with that will is a direct reflection on Him. That is why the shortest verse of the bible is: “Jesus wept”.

    Now, on to nangleator. Conservatives as well as liberals are completely free to use the bible to make a point. The bible, unlike yourself, is politically neutral. But using the bible to make a point resulting in “feeling good” about oneself or superior, is fostering Pride, another deadly sin and is in itself un-Christian. And in the future when you speak of atrocities, remember those of us who believe in and try and live by, the bible, are the least likely to commit atrocities. It is not the True Believers who slaughter tens of millions in the name of the State. The True Believer tries to rescue them even at his own peril. It is our Christian Ministries that provide food, medical care, housing etc. all over the world to the less fortunate out of OUR OWN POCKET. It is easy for Obama to give a hundred million dollars of other peoples money away. But yesterday I witnessed a family for whom I provided Thanksgiving dinner not two months ago, pledge $20 to Haiti relief. That $20 means a lot to these folks, yet they gave to help others, not really knowing if next month they will need that twenty for electric. That, nangleator, is Christian charity!

    “Your lusts and hatreds are all for God’s glory, of course”
    That is the single most hateful and offensive statement I have ever read on this blog. Someone finally beat out Pho as the most tasteless blogger. To infer that a Convervative or a Christian or both would use the Word of God to promote lust and hate (not to mention perform atrocities), reveals a lack of moral character and personal integrity which astounds me. The only reason I can see for you to infer such a thing would be that it is exactly what you would do. Your defamation and abuse of those with whom you disagree is pathetic and reveals a weak character.

  15. JohnC:“We believe it [the Bible] to be the Inspired Word of God. “

    I understand that, John, and respect it as well. I have been there too, but long ago changed my view of the Bible, written by man, therefore containing man’s egocentricities/flaws. Consequently, judgment is required, with which one can accept the Bible as an excellent guide to be used in the context in which one finds oneself. After all, the Bible has withstood the test of ages and remains a revered tome, one which cannot be passed off as irrelevant.

    In defense of Nangleator, I do not believe he meant his statement the way it was written, which taken literally was way off base. I suspect that he had in mind the Pat Robertson’s of the Christian world whose pronouncements and behaviors stand out as not representing the teachings of the greats of the Bible. Thus, he was addressing the Christians in name only whose behaviors make obvious their utter hypocrisy. For example, those Christians who call for wars of aggression against other nations, or who discriminate on the basis of race, creed, ethnic origin or sexual orientation, or …, instead of asking themselves what Christ would do. Nangleator should correct me if I am wrong.

  16. When conservatives start quoting the Bible and using it to make their points, and feeling good about themselves and how superior they are to everyone else… atrocities can’t be far behind.
    Might makes right when you wrap yourself in scripture. Nothing can stand before you, not even the tenets of your own faith. Your lusts and hatreds are all for God’s glory, of course.

    I think I hear cuckoo clocks going off in the background …

  17. Eric:“I think I hear cuckoo clocks going off in the background …”

    Then I guess I’m cuckoo! Nevermind, you don’t have to agree! :)

    I think Nangleator makes an excellent point here, one that leads too may Christians into the arrogant mode characteristic of absolutists, in which case extreme behavior is sure to follow, as history well demonstrates. An absolutist is one who insists that his religion is the only source of truth.

    When George Bush stated near the time he started his first term that he thought it was God’s will that he be President, alarm bell went off in my head, which proved to be an omen of things to come.

    A person’s claim to be acting according to God’s will does not provide license to justify all actions or pronouncements by said person, even the Pope, otherwise we are in for the potential of serious trouble ahead, as has happened many times throughout history.

  18. Eric cherry picks and obfuscates: “Pho, you are no Christian theologan.”

    Actually, that was JohnC’s statement, not mine. I merely agreed with it.

    Anyway, JohnH quoted extensively from the Bible, including passages from the Gospels, which Christians regard as the most central part, since they alone directly describe the life, deeds, and teachings of Jesus. Pho quoted nothing, merely mentioning a passage from Matthew. If Pho had an actual point, he should have quoted the relevant Scripture, then elaborated on what it meant. But JohnC is right, Pho is no theologian, indeed, I don’t think he’s a Christian at all. From what little I’ve seen of him on the subject, he seems to sneer at religion (I think I saw reference to a “Sky fairy” in one of his posts) so his opinion on the subject is irrelevant.

    Anyway, in no way did he refute JohnH’s central point, which is that envy is a sin, and that people who practice the politics of envy are engaging in immorality. If you look at the Parable of the Talents John quoted above, it clearly shows that Jesus (therefore God) approves of industriousness and investing to make money, hence the lesson is that God approves of capitalism. The two guys who made money on their investments were praised in the story, the one who did not was condemned.

  19. Heh, I surely failed in my superiority complex and cherry-picking when I wrote something that blu decided she was too good for. There, I declared myself worthy of the worst of the worst. ;) I failed in cherry-picking to make myself superior here as well.

    And JohnC. indirectly hit on why I use Providence instead of the more proper name. It isn’t to glorify me or to make me superior but to show greater respect for Providence and to avoid using His name in vain.

    I remember more than once I quoted a Bible verse that directly hit someone where their response was “Who are you to judge me?”, fully ignoring it was Providence’s Word and not mine that shown the light on them.

    Oh, and while I’m at this self-glorification thing, there are only three ways any knowledgeable person can view Jesus:
    1) He was a liar.
    2) He was insane.
    3) He is Providence.

    Since He Himself declared Himself to be Providence, there is no other option. “Good man”, “worthy teacher among many worthy teachers”, anything else is not possible, given His declarations.

  20. Eric:

    Phoenician’s quote was as follows, taken from the Book of Matthew: “It is very clear those who have greater ability (industriousness, ingenuity) will be given more. And they will produce, and keep, more. Those who have lesser ability will be given less. And they will produce, and keep, less. Those who produce nothing out of what they have will have what they have taken from them.”

    So you are not correct, Eric!

    Then he said: “Can you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 says, John?”

    To which there has been no response from John H., you Eric, or anyone else in this thread. Why no response, Eric?

    There has been no response, because this message is in contradiction to the passages that John H. quoted, and you know it, Eric, or at least you should.

    The point: It is relatively easy to cherry pick passages to make your political point. Again, the Bible is a useful guide, but obviously is not stating any kind of an absolute truth. You have to put the Bible’s guidance into the context of the issue of focus, no more than that, otherwise your thinking/logic is irrational, by definition!

  21. And here, Eric, is John H., who has just demonstrated what religious absolutism is all about: “Since He Himself [Christ] declared Himself to be Providence, there is no other option. “Good man”, “worthy teacher among many worthy teachers”, anything else is not possible, given His declarations.”

    John, I respect your religious beliefs, but you step outside of the boundary lines when you imply that your statement is the only acceptable truth. When people who think like you achieve positions of power, you represent an imminent danger, because god knows what decisions you might make and enforce, in the name of the truth you perceive applying to the rest of us. Do you see my point, John, Eric?

  22. I regard the Bible as a fine guide full of worthwhile teachings, and I regard Jesus as a worthy role model regarding morals and ethics.

    Do you accept Jesus as being the Son of God? That belief is what’s at the core of Christianity.

  23. one that leads too may Christians into the arrogant mode characteristic of absolutists

    Perry, you and everyone else living on this Earth is an absolutist. As proof, I give you a very simple test. Can you declare there are no absolutes? Think about the ramifications of that.

  24. Eric: I am agnostic, therefore accepting Jesus as the “Son of God” is problematic; so no, I am no longer a Christian in the sense that you are asking that question. If being a Christian can be construed as being an admirer of the man Jesus Christ, then I am one.

  25. I think Nangleator makes an excellent point here, one that leads too may Christians into the arrogant mode characteristic of absolutists, in which case extreme behavior is sure to follow, as history well demonstrates. An absolutist is one who insists that his religion is the only source of truth.

    I think it’s the opposite. It’s when relativism crept into society and the authority of God was rejected by prominent thinkers and politicians, that things really started to go wrong. Look at the 20th century as a prime example. Both the Nazis and the Communists rejected God, and they slaughtered tens of millions. Talk about your atrocities! They believed the State was the highest, and only, source of authority, and their leaders, like Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, set themselves up as supreme leaders, answerable to no one, and who could do whatever they liked, since there was no religious authority or principles to keep them in check.

  26. John H.“Can you declare there are no absolutes?”

    That’s an interesting question, and here is my answer:

    There are absolutes, John, within each individual, according to personal choices and decisions. However, one man’s absolutes are not necessarily another’s absolute.

    This is why I said earlier that I respect your declaration of your Christianity. That is your absolute! Who am I to attempt to deprive you of your absolute, or you to deprive me of mine?

  27. Then he said: “Can you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 says, John?”
    To which there has been no response from John H., you Eric, or anyone else in this thread. Why no response, Eric?

    There was no response because there was no quote to respond to. If Pho is too lazy to quote the passage in question, why should we answer him? John H did provide direct quotes from Scripture to make his point, Pho did not.

  28. Phoenician’s quote was as follows, taken from the Book of Matthew: “It is very clear those who have greater ability (industriousness, ingenuity) will be given more. And they will produce, and keep, more. Those who have lesser ability will be given less. And they will produce, and keep, less. Those who produce nothing out of what they have will have what they have taken from them.”

    No, that was a quote taken from the article I wrote.

    Then he said: “Can you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 says, John?”

    To which there has been no response from John H., you Eric, or anyone else in this thread.

    First off, Pooter was trying to redirect, move the goalposts as it were, without answering pointed questions. Secondly, JohnC. directly answered Pooter.

    There has been no response, because this message is in contradiction to the passages that John H. quoted

    There is absolutely no contradiction. The one pushes industriousness and skewers laziness; the other focuses on the desires and loves of a man and skewers the deification of possessions over Providence.

    John, I respect your religious beliefs, but you step outside of the boundary lines when you imply that your statement is the only acceptable truth.

    I did not imply, I stated. And you ignored the evidence in order to deny the evidence. With all the evidence surrounding Jesus’ words and claims, there is no honest way of considering Jesus outside the three I outlined. (and I wasn’t even close to the first person to outline those three options.)

  29. Perry, your statement about absolutes absolutely declared non-absolute absolutes. You declared, by your words there is absolutely no overarching absolute, thus defeating your own statement as you made it.

  30. The point: It is relatively easy to cherry pick passages to make your political point. Again, the Bible is a useful guide, but obviously is not stating any kind of an absolute truth.

    But of course it is. The belief that God exists is an absolute, the Ten Commandments are absolutes, so is the belief that Jesus is Divine. The Bible is not just a book of opinions, even though the relativists seem to see it that way.

  31. John H.:“First off, Pooter was trying to redirect, move the goalposts as it were, without answering pointed questions. Secondly, JohnC. directly answered Pooter.”

    Now, John, you’re getting petty and silly too!

    As I already mentioned, Phoenician was calling attention to a passage in the same Book of Matthew that is counter to your quote. That is not redirection, that is making a point, and a good one too, I might say.

    JohnC’s answer was a personal statement of his beliefs, which I said I respect. It was not a direct answer to Phoenician’s point. You either misunderstood, or you are making stuff up again!

    PS: Phoenician’s quote was a requote of your own quote, wasn’t it?

  32. John, I respect your religious beliefs, but you step outside of the boundary lines when you imply that your statement is the only acceptable truth. When people who think like you achieve positions of power, you represent an imminent danger, because god knows what decisions you might make and enforce, in the name of the truth you perceive applying to the rest of us. Do you see my point, John, Eric?

    No. What is the danger in presenting Biblical fact, namely, that Jesus is Divine? The only people who view this fact as a “threat” are the relativists who don’t like the idea that there is a Supreme Being who sets moral laws to live by, and who will hold men accountable for their actions. For the relativist, it’s anything goes and they want to make up their own rules. Like I said, such thinking, making man the sole moral authority, gave us such things as Nazism and Communism. That, not the belief in God created moral absolutes, is the real danger.

  33. As I previously stated Perry, I believe the bible, though written by men, to be the Inspired Word of God. I see it a a handbook on how to honor God and respect your fellow man. Actually, respecting your fellow man does honor God.

    You say nangleator might have been referring to the “Pat Robertson’s of the world”. No he wasn’t. He was referring to Conservatives and Christians. All of us Christians are the Pat Robertson’s because all of us fail to uphold the spirit of the bible and the Word of God. Robertson has said and done stupid, un-Christian things. So have I. All Christians have. This is the basic problem with being a Christian: we can never live up to our Ideal and when we fail to do so non-Christians point and say: “See, they don’t practice what they preach”. But this is also the basic virtue of being a Christian: when we fail we see just how much we need God and seek His Grace.

    If you were to ask my family, friends, neighbors and employees: “What kind of man is John C.”? They would probibly answer: “He’s a good guy. Always there to help. Very generous.” But at night, when I pray, it’s only God and myself. And He can see that I am just another Pat Robertson by a different name. There is not a day goes by when I don’t fall short of my potential and the Glory of God. Because of our imperfections, Jesus still weeps.

  34. Eric:“But of course it is.”

    We are beginning to go in circles now. Eric, how do you account for other religions and their absolute truth claims? Who decides?

    The answer: You decide for yourself, so you establish your own absolute truth. Fine. But there is nothing on earth that compels me to accept your absolute truth, or to be condemned if I refuse.

    Now before you make another knee jerk response, think about what I just said, in so many words repeating what I said a few minutes ago.

    Each of us is entitled to our own absolute truth! You should not tell me what mine ought to be.

    Now please think about that!

  35. John H.:“And I already pointed out how the one passage does not run counter to the second passage, in the same comment you quoted from.”

    Perhaps you have; if so, I missed it. However, I don’t agree with you on that point: Those two passages in Matthew are not consistent, in my view.

  36. OK Eric, now you are getting petty and silly. Look up the quote, for god’s sake!

    It’s not petty or silly to point out when someone is too lazy to provide a quote, yet demands an answer anyway. I don’t happen to have a Bible in front of me in any event, and I’m not going to track one down just to respond to someone who isn’t making a real point anyway, but who simply wants to sneer at religious people. In short, as any kind of moral philosopher, Pho is basically a joke, and not worth wasting time on.

  37. JohnC:

    Like I said before, I fully understand your statements about your Christianity. As you are implying, each Christian has his own interpretation of what it means to lead the life of a Christian. Again, I fully respect that. And I would add, coupling that with the discussion we are having, that your statements are your absolutes, which is exactly why I respect them. However, your statements do not apply to me, as I am pretty sure you will agree. So far, I don’t think Eric and John H. would agree!

  38. As you are implying, each Christian has his own interpretation of what it means to lead the life of a Christian.

    He is not implying that at all. He said there are absolutes and every Christian falls short of those absolutes. Those absolutes are not created by individual Christians but by Providence. And, yes, every Christian falls short of those same absolutes.

    And you’re still playing with your absolute declaration of relative absolutes and absolutely denying any overarching absolutes. You are still defeating your own argument.

  39. We are beginning to go in circles now. Eric, how do you account for other religions and their absolute truth claims? Who decides?

    I’ve yet to see a religion that can refute Christian claims, so that is my answer. Also, almost all the world’s major religions teach similar things in terms of moral behavior, so I see no contradiction there, either. A good Jew is similar to a good Christian or Buddhist in terms of how they behave.

  40. Each of us is entitled to our own absolute truth! You should not tell me what mine ought to be.
    Now please think about that!

    And what if your absolute truth is that Jews are evil, and should be rounded up and killed? After all, if all morals come down to differing opinions, then who’s to say the Nazis were wrong?

  41. John C, good post above. True Christianity involves humility, and the acceptance we are all flawed, and fall short of the example of moral perfection set by Jesus. I think Perry is at heart a good person, but I think he confuses religious faith with a certain arrogance (in terms of believing in absolutes) when indeed the opposite is true. It strikes me that true arrogance comes when you think Man is the only moral authority, and when that happens, like I said above, then all sorts of awfulness can ensue.

  42. Perry, I specifically said what Matthew 19 was. So that you may read it yourself:
    Matthew 19: 19-29
    19.Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    20.The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    21.Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast , and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
    22.But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful : for he had great possessions.
    23.Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    24.And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    25.When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed , saying , Who then can be saved ?
    26.But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
    27.Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold , we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
    28.And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    29.And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

    The lesson here is that we cannot forsake all these things listed in verse 29. So there is NO WAY to “inheret everlasting life”. Only through Christ can we see the Father. We as Christians could not give up our wives, fathers, mothers and still be good Christians. How, I ask, can you forsake your mother and father and yet still Honor your mother and father? Can’t be done. And remember in verse 21 Jesus said:”If you would be perfect”. Who among us (other than Pho) is perfect? God wants you to forsake THE MOST important things on earth to see His Face. But we cannot make that sacrifice so Jesus did for us.

  43. “There are absolutes, John, within each individual, according to personal choices and decisions. However, one man’s absolutes are not necessarily another’s absolute.”

    Are you absolutely sure that that is absolutely true?

    And nothing about second order statements or Godel’s or Tarski’s theorems please. LOL

  44. DNW:“Are you absolutely sure that that is absolutely true?”

    Hilarious, DNW, absolutely hilarious. Hope you enjoyed it too!

    I did not expect you to understand my viewpoint, without your no-it-all ridicule!

    I’m waiting patiently for you to finally say something worth discussing. Yes, it does happen occasionally.

    At least there was a dialog between three of us here. But I understand well, you consider yourself above all of us, with your garbled, pseudo intellectual, nearly meaningless pontifications, much of the time.

  45. JohnC:“So there is NO WAY to “inheret everlasting life”.”

    John, you assume that I want to inherit everlasting life!

    No, I don’t! I don’t happen to believe there is such a thing as everlasting life. That’s one of my personal absolutes, you see?

  46. Eric:“And what if your absolute truth is that Jews are evil, and should be rounded up and killed? After all, if all morals come down to differing opinions, then who’s to say the Nazis were wrong?”

    Well, I’m entitled to that one Eric, but I won’t have it. And by the way, our discussion said nothing about morals. For them, we depend on the wisdom of the ages, to the extent that we have exposed ourselves to them and finally agree or disagree. The Bible is one of the many sources that we can search out to assist us with our moral absolutes. The ultimate choice is ours, as individuals, and that is an irrefutable fact!

  47. Eric:“… and when that [arrogance] happens, like I said above, then all sorts of awfulness can ensue.”

    True, Eric. And as we’ve seen many times over through history, that arrogance is as likely in the self-proclaimed religious person as in anyone else, possibly even more likely, because of the control issues inherent in religions.

  48. “John, you assume that I want to inherit everlasting life!

    No, I don’t! I don’t happen to believe there is such a thing as everlasting life. That’s one of my personal absolutes, you see?”

    I did not assume that Perry. I was merely quoting Matthew 16:29 in the context of this thread. If one does not believe in the human soul or God, one would necessarily not believe in everlasting life. And even if one did he could not achieve salvation while in denile. The two are mutually exclusive.

  49. “And what if your absolute truth is that Jews are evil, and should be rounded up and killed? After all, if all morals come down to differing opinions, then who’s to say the Nazis were wrong?”

    A modern liberal wouldn’t really be logically able, and probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.

    They on average probably recognize no such standard. Instead, right and wrong acts are viewed as relative to some more or less arbitrary project-based standard, and are judged as right and wrong acts on the instrumental basis of their efficacy in producing certain arbitrarily desired effects.

    Thus, they would instead use the term “wrong” merely to socially mean that the slaughter of the Jews was inconsistent with some version of what they consider a desirable human regime; or on an emotional level, that it produced visibly traumatic effects in its victims, as well as in some observers.

    However, this relativism where nothing is absolutely good or bad or taboo, has a way of developing its own kind of absolutism out of the “communal project”.

    Thus, and also as regards your earlier remarks about wishing to be fair to Perry in classifying him as “liberal” rather than a leftist: After re-reading our exchange, I don’t see that there is an actual disagreement here.

    You are it appears not claiming that Perry is a classical or Jeffersonian or Lockean liberal; and I am not saying that Perry is conscious crypto-stalinist, or even one of the Parecon boys.

    And I think that Perry views himself as a secularized follower of what he imagines is a consensus moral view, abstract-able from the world’s “great” religions and “traditions”: as an enlightened welfare state advocate.

    But what I think he either does not see, or wishes to ignore, or to gloss over without addressing, is that his politics is ultimately a politics which in principle recognizes no limits to “social” claims on the individual, no boundary to its sway, and no point of satiety. In other words it constitutes a universal and implicitly totalitarian system of open-ended no exit political management and direction, extending everywhere and to everything.

    Under this welfare state system, humans with a given nature and rights who once voluntarily associated and instituted particular governments in order to effect specific and limited common purposes, become social resources and material for a “system” that is ultimately imagined as having, in effect, an emergent and evolutionary purpose of its own: that of fulfilling the arbitrary “political” project by means of which the relativists wish to “reconstitute” humanity to a more congenial form( according to their per definition arbitrary tastes), through the agency of politics.

    Thus, liberal welfare state (w)holism, becomes mutatis mutandis, totalitarianism.

  50. First, from JohnC: Seems all our local libs are too busy trying to figure out how to get OPM to talk about reaching into their own pockets to help others. The first 13 entries, all Consrvatives! Tell us about you compassion.

    You know nothing about whether we’ve donated anything or what is within our means to do, therefore you have no argument here. Your evidence is meaningless, yet you coax meaning out of it.

    Now, John H:

    First, it’s worth noting that the Second Commandment (First for you Christians) contains something of a thought-sin – “you shall have no other gods before Me.”

    Naturally I won’t challenge your Christian theology, since I’m not a Christian. But I did want to bring this up: it seems to me that capitalism is based upon a little bit of covetousness. Consumption is frequently driven by the desire to keep up with the consumption status of one’s neighbors, and capitalism exploits this. Furthermore, the desire to make money that drives entrepreneurship and economic development can smack of covetousness to some extent.

    The lesson here is not that capitalism is evil – rather, it is that envy and covetousness have their place. Let’s go back to the 10th Commandment (9th and 10th for Dana):

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or his maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    Note that it doesn’t say “you shall not covet generally” – just that you shouldn’t want those specific things that belong to your neighbor. It’s okay to desire a wife or servant or ox, just not his wife or servant or ox. This makes sense – the more general covetousness leads to ambition and personal improvement, while specific covetousness leads to resentment and other nasty things. That’s my reading of it, anyway.

  51. DNW: A modern liberal wouldn’t really be logically able, and probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.

    They on average probably recognize no such standard. Instead, right and wrong acts are viewed as relative to some more or less arbitrary project-based standard, and are judged as right and wrong acts on the instrumental basis of their efficacy in producing certain arbitrarily desired effects.

    Absolutely wrong. (See what I did there? :-P )

    Liberalism isn’t about denying the existence of morals altogether. Rather, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that others have morals that are as equally strong as, but different from, our own. The conservative response is generally to attempt to force others to subscribe to their moral standpoint, either by intimidation or by use of government’s coercive power. The liberal response is generally to either a) accept others’ moral differences or b) attempt to change them by gentle persuasion.

    I say “generally” because oftentimes another’s morals are so repugnant to us that we cannot, in good conscience, accept them. This generally occurs when our adversaries’ morals cause harm to be done to others. Nazism certainly falls under this category – so, too, do most forms of bigotry.

    So while you characterize liberalism as “we don’t believe in morals,” it would be more accurate to say “you can have your crazy morals, as long as you don’t hurt anyone with them.”

  52. True, Eric. And as we’ve seen many times over through history, that arrogance is as likely in the self-proclaimed religious person as in anyone else, possibly even more likely, because of the control issues inherent in religions.

    Perry, you missed my point. To me, the real arrogance is in believing that Man is the supreme moral authority. Like I said, once you believe that, then anything is possible, including the Holocaust. In contrast, it takes humility to submit to the higher authority of God.

  53. In rereading my quote, it does look like I painted all conservative Christians with that brush, but there was a conditional in there. I was referring to the habit some have of claiming to be Christian while actively opposing the words and spirit of Jesus’ teachings. (I won’t go into Old Testament stuff. There’s justification in there for anything a monster might want to do.) I’ve seen lots of good done in the name of the Christian god, and I know lots of good Christians.

    But hiding motives for personal gain as the will of god, selling a war or a repeal of human rights or a social injustice as our “duty to our Lord” strikes me as a great example of evil.

    I apologize to any good people who would be offended by my clumsy post. I just wanted to point out that when someone says they are a Christian, they don’t earn automatic respect. When someone claims Christian morals, I remember the Inquisition. When someone claims a moral superiority over me, on the basis of quoting the Bible, I remember this bit of holy scripture: “Blessed is he who takes thy little ones and dashes them against a rock.”

  54. Here we have Conservative “Christians” promoting the greed and unfair business practices in favor of the filthy rich, while insufficient funds to live for their employees, and people starve and can’t afford health care. Promoting the deaths of hundreds of thousands through unjust, illegal, wars of aggression. Some Christian.

    Martin Luther King was a Christian. A theologian, and a great spirit. What does he have to say? You all know today is MLK Jr’s birthday, a holiday, don’t ya?

    http://911blogger.com/node/22398

  55. ” “DNW:“Are you absolutely sure that that is absolutely true?”

    Hilarious, DNW, absolutely hilarious. Hope you enjoyed it too!”

    Being familiar with the liar’s paradox, and seeing how your claims formally paralleled it, I did get a good laugh out of your statement. Sorry you didn’t enjoy my pointing it out.

    “I did not expect you to understand my viewpoint, without your no it all ridicule!”

    I understand your viewpoint perfectly well, Perry.

    And I, it has become increasingly obvious, understand the philosophical premises, from which you have inherited your perspective, and the political and logical implications of those premises when taken as syllogistic premisses, better than you do.

    By the way I wasn’t exactly ridiculing you; but in your stressed condition you no doubt took it that way.

    “I’m waiting patiently for you to finally say something worth discussing. Yes, it does happen occasionally.”

    I’ve offered you numerous opportunities to discuss your claims methodically. However you seem to prefer floating around mouthing nonsensical and ultimately self-refuting and insupportable feel-good nonsense about Gandhi and Mohammad. All of which would be fine, as long as your moral witlessness is expressed in a polity and in a form wherein I am not expected to affirm or socially underwrite and express pocketbook solidarity with the costs of such moral stupidity. Trouble is, you want to translate that garbage into tax policy, and life claims.

    “At least there was a dialog between three of us here. But I understand well, you consider yourself above all of us, with your garbled, pseudo intellectual, nearly meaningless pontifications, much of the time.”

    Now here is where I can directly contradict you, and in so doing put your mind, or emotions, at ease.

    It may be true that as time has passed, I have come to increasingly see you as a sloppy, emotional, and insubstantial thinker, with a limited critical sense. In fact you, like the Phoenician, don’t even seem to realize when the articles you cite in order to buttress your claims, do instead provide additional fuel for the skeptic.

    However, while I might not always agree with them, my estimation of the abilities of say, “JohnC” or “Eric” or “Hube” or “Schallenberger” (sp?) and/or quite a number of others including the board authors, has steadily increased with time spent visiting here.

    They have over time revealed a broadness of thought, a familiarity with political, historical, and legal facts, and an ability to precisely argue their opinions in an impressively substantive way.

    They definitely present a standard of moral value, sincerity, and honor in argument that the bitterly terse ejections of declamatory bile, and necrotic deposits of limp-wristed if vulgar superciliousness left behind by characters like Phoenician or Nangleator don’t even pretend to approach.

    Hope this helps …

  56. Jeff wrote: “DNW: A modern liberal wouldn’t really be logically able, and probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.

    They on average probably recognize no such standard. Instead, right and wrong acts are viewed as relative to some more or less arbitrary project-based standard, and are judged as right and wrong acts on the instrumental basis of their efficacy in producing certain arbitrarily desired effects.

    Absolutely wrong. (See what I did there? :-P )

    Liberalism isn’t about denying the existence of morals altogether. Rather, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that others have morals that are as equally strong as, but different from, our own. The conservative response is generally to attempt to force others to subscribe to their moral standpoint, either by intimidation or by use of government’s coercive power. The liberal response is generally to either a) accept others’ moral differences or b) attempt to change them by gentle persuasion.

    I say “generally” because oftentimes another’s morals are so repugnant to us that we cannot, in good conscience, accept them. This generally occurs when our adversaries’ morals cause harm to be done to others. Nazism certainly falls under this category – so, too, do most forms of bigotry.

    So while you characterize liberalism as “we don’t believe in morals,” it would be more accurate to say “you can have your crazy morals, as long as you don’t hurt anyone with them.”

    Jeff,

    It’s not easy to digest material one considers uncongenial, or thinks is wrongheaded. But take the time to reread what I actually wrote.

    I did not say that liberals denied the existence of morals altogether. I was pointing out that the modern liberal’s idea of the nature and origin of morals, and moral sentiments, is different from the conservative’s or from (one may take as implied) the believer in the concept of natural law.

  57. Nangleator wrote:

    In rereading my quote, it does look like I painted all conservative Christians with that brush, but there was a conditional in there. I was referring to the habit some have of claiming to be Christian while actively opposing the words and spirit of Jesus’ teachings. (I won’t go into Old Testament stuff. There’s justification in there for anything a monster might want to do.) I’ve seen lots of good done in the name of the Christian god, and I know lots of good Christians.

    But hiding motives for personal gain as the will of god, selling a war or a repeal of human rights or a social injustice as our “duty to our Lord” strikes me as a great example of evil.

    I apologize to any good people who would be offended by my clumsy post. I just wanted to point out that when someone says they are a Christian, they don’t earn automatic respect. When someone claims Christian morals, I remember the Inquisition. When someone claims a moral superiority over me, on the basis of quoting the Bible, I remember this bit of holy scripture: “Blessed is he who takes thy little ones and dashes them against a rock.”

    What gives here? What happened to all the usual emotion, the rage, and the facetiousness? It’s like there are two different people using your ID

  58. “ooooh! DNW owns a thesaurus.”

    And a home library with shelves of philosophy and logic texts; the use of which, if I had acess to them now, would be appropriate given the theme of this posting.

    While, you have obviously have a television, and a coffee table laden with conspiracy videos, which you will cite no matter what subject the authors of this site moot.

    Have a nice afternoon, and watch the smokes …

  59. Perry wrote:

    “John, you assume that I want to inherit everlasting life!

    No, I don’t! “

    Thank God for that.

    And Blu, as a have-not, you can have the extra have I left in the previous response.

    Now you are a have-have.

    Regards,

    DNW

  60. Amazingly enough, with all that actual logic, AND science are trumped by your political pre-scripted FOX perspective. I have numerous books, of the same categories. However, science is the perspective I most respect. You ignore it. Hundreds of science based professionals have taken note, of the version of the government on the subject of 9-11-01, being impossible, if you believe in physics, that is. You all cover your eyes, ignoring that which is obvious to those with an intact objectivity.

  61. “You know nothing about whether we’ve donated anything or what is within our means to do, therefore you have no argument here. Your evidence is meaningless, yet you coax meaning out of it.”

    Jeff, I made no inference of knowing if anyone had the means or even desire to donate. I merely observed that the first 13 persons even talking about helping Haiti were conservatives. There was no “evidence, only observation.

  62. DNW: “What happened to all the usual emotion, the rage, and the facetiousness? It’s like there are two different people using your ID”

    I get worked up sometimes and post before I should. I’ll try to be more careful where I aim my sweeping generalizations.

  63. The parable of the rich man in Matthew illustrates the persons love of money.

    John, you are wrong here. You are factually incorrect.

    Assuming you are talking about Matthew 19:16-28, this is not a parable. You are wrong. You are wrong, John, wrong.

    16Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    17″Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

    18″Which ones?” the man inquired.

    Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19honor your father and mother,’[d] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[e]”

    20″All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

    21Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

    26Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    27Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

    28Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother[f] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

    You are also wrong in citing Matthew 25:14-30 in your original, precisely because this IS a parable. It is called “the PARABLE of teh Talents”, John. Go look it up.

    The Parable of the Talents
    14″Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents[a] of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

    19″After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

    21″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    22″The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

    23″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

    24″Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

    26″His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

    28″ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

    You characterised this as

    “It is very clear those who have greater ability (industriousness, ingenuity) will be given more. And they will produce, and keep, more. Those who have lesser ability will be given less. And they will produce, and keep, less. Those who produce nothing out of what they have will have what they have taken from them.

    This is Jesus speaking”

    You are incorrect in all but your last sentence. This IS NOT the point of the parable – you have the logic reversed. It is not literal; it is a parable. The first sentence reads “Again, it will be LIKE a man going on a journey”. The point of the parable is not that riches will be given to those with greater ability; it is that we have different abilities given to us, and are expected to make the most of what we have been given. Jesus is not talking about wealth per se; it is a PARABLE.

    Now who among us places the higher emphassis on money? The Conservative who believes that you own what you earn and should help others out of Christian charity? Or the liberal who envies and covets that which belongs to others and tries to steal it through government force?

    You mean the Conservative who whines and moans about taxes and is happy to see people suffering and dying as long as they don’t have a little more taxed from them, or the liberal who believes that it is the responsibility of all to support society and ease the suffering of their brothers?

    You try to justify your selfishness and lack of concern for others through religion. jesus’s comment on that was:

    “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    You might also want to pay attention to Matthew 21:12-13 before attempting to use religion to justify the politics of greed.]

    By the way, if you don’t agree with my previous post, ask a priest or minister. Or, you could just read the first 13 posts on Hatian Relief above. Not a liberal in the group

    Matthew 6:1-4

    Pho, you are no Christian theologan.

    I’m not even a Christian.

    However, a bunch of nuns spent a lot of time teaching me and others about the Bible, and it’s annoying to see hypocrites ignoring vast sections and twisting others to justify their greedy ideology. They are indeed moneylenders in the temple.

    I may not be a Christian, but I have respect for its better ideals. As we see on this thread, many of those who call themselves “Christians” do not.

    John, why don’t you tell us what Matthew 19:16-28 (which is NOT a parable) actually means – why it shouldn’t be read as Jesus clearly states it?

  64. But of course it is. The belief that God exists is an absolute, the Ten Commandments are absolutes, so is the belief that Jesus is Divine. The Bible is not just a book of opinions, even though the relativists seem to see it that way.

    By your logic, the belief that there is but one god, Allah (meaning Jesus was not divine), and Muhummad is His Prophet is also an absolute.

    By my logic, the claims of the Bible and the Quran are all unsupported opinions with no more validity than opinions about the Great Pumpkin or the Invisible Pink Unicorn. They may be beliefs about absolutes, but that doesn’t give them any more validity than beliefs in non-absolutes.

  65. First, from JohnC: Seems all our local libs are too busy trying to figure out how to get OPM to talk about reaching into their own pockets to help others. The first 13 entries, all Consrvatives! Tell us about you compassion.

    You know nothing about whether we’ve donated anything or what is within our means to do, therefore you have no argument here. Your evidence is meaningless, yet you coax meaning out of it.

    Jeff, go look up Matthew 6:1-4. Yup, the wingnuts here love to talk about reaching into their own pockets to help others…

  66. The lesson here is that we cannot forsake all these things listed in verse 29.

    John, verse 29 doesn’t say “and”. It says “or”. And it uses a modifier – “for my sake”.

    “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

    It’s not telling you to give them all up. It’s telling you to give them up if they get in the way of following God.

    Like when, for example, you attempt to twist your religion to justify an ideology that hurts others.

  67. John, you assume that I want to inherit everlasting life!
    No, I don’t!

    Perry, a serious question – why not? Isn’t that the ultimate gift God can give?

    Also, I think that (eternal life), not wealth per se, is the main point of the quote from Matthew that John listed above. What Jesus was asking the young man was: which is more important, your possessions, or eternal life? He promised the man he would have “treasure in heaven” if he gave up what he owned. Similarly, He talked about “the kingdom of God” with His disciples, another reference to the promise of eternal life. Without the promise of eternal life, then Christianity becomes merely a good set of ethics to live by. Not a bad thing per se, but still rather tepid stuff compared to the notion of seeing the Glory of God and spending eternity in His Heavenly presence. Honestly, Perry, who wouldn’t want that, including you?

  68. Liberalism isn’t about denying the existence of morals altogether. Rather, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that others have morals that are as equally strong as, but different from, our own. The conservative response is generally to attempt to force others to subscribe to their moral standpoint, either by intimidation or by use of government’s coercive power. The liberal response is generally to either a) accept others’ moral differences or b) attempt to change them by gentle persuasion.

    Interesting points, Jeff, still I must ask – what, in your definition above, can keep people from getting stuck in the mushy swamp of moral relativism, where the only “Sin” is to pass judgment on others? Absent the ability to form moral judgments, then we’re powerless to confront evil, wouldn’t you agree?

  69. Assuming you are talking about Matthew 19:16-28, this is not a parable. You are wrong. You are wrong, John, wrong.

    Semantics, Pho, word games. Technically, you are right, but in the bigger context, so what? You never did address the larger points about the sin of envy, which John buttressed with numerous quotes from Scripture and was primary theme of his original post.

  70. By my logic, the claims of the Bible and the Quran are all unsupported opinions with no more validity than opinions about the Great Pumpkin or the Invisible Pink Unicorn

    That’s about the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. If you can’t distinguish between something that is demonstrably true (Christianity) and is supported by historical record, and mere fantasy, then there’s not much I can say to help you. Of course, making simple minded and childish comparisons (flying spaghetti monster, sky fairy, etc.) seems to be the norm for atheists, because they just can’t grasp the deeper complexities and core truths presented by religion.

  71. Pho, you are correct and I was wrong. It is not a parable. I applied the wrong term to the story. My use of the word parable was unforgivable. However, the theology behind my explanation is right, Pho, right, right, right. As was yours from a different perspective. Unless you are back to that “I’m 100% correct and everyone else is wrong” crap again.

    I also do not believe that an unwilligness to have the government steal ones income equates with not desireing to help the poor. Do you really believe that I would be “happy to see people suffering and dying as long as they don’t have a little more taxed from” me? Are you nuts? It’s the government control we don’t like!

    You know Pho, as much as you and I disagree, there is no way I would force you to do anything. Can you say that to me? If you had Supreme Power wouldn’t you force me to do your bidding? After all, you hold me and mine in contempt and therefore we are not worthy of respect. If we are not worthy of that basic right, why would we be worthy of others. And let’s just say you don’t believe in God and therefore no Natural Law. Add that to contempt and no respect, next thing ya know I and mine are up against a wall.

  72. DNW: “The conservative response is generally to attempt to force others to subscribe to their moral standpoint, either by intimidation or by use of government’s coercive power. The liberal response is generally to either a) accept others’ moral differences or b) attempt to change them by gentle persuasion.”

    Man, DNW, you sure did nail that one! Good going!! I plan to quote you continuously on this one!!! I didn’t know you had it in you, although I actually think you made a careless mistake. This statement serves to show that you really are confused, and have no idea what you are talking about, instead, have only a vast vocabulary (or a Thesaurus), plus thoughts filled with unconnected dots, which are near useless in terms of communicating anything of substance, all of which appears from your typing fingers as just so much mush, like a mouth filled with marbles attempting to express a thought! Rest assured, though, I understand well that you have impressed yourself, probably for years!

    For this reason I will ignore and not respond to all the personal slurs, assumptions, extrapolations, and outright lies incorporated in your long-winded elitist and arrogant remarks. Who cares that you don’t have access to your library filled with the writings of political theorists and philosophers, whose writings appear to have you thoroughly confused and out of touch with the realities of life and living. You don’t even understand the evil ramifications of absolutism in the form of a religion based on beliefs gone wild, rather than on evidence.

    Let me challenge you to prove the existence of the god of Christian theology, without using arguments based on the deductive or inductive processes. Let us just deal with direct evidence! State your hypothesis, then demonstrate its truth with data and analysis.

  73. Eric: “If you can’t distinguish between something that is demonstrably true (Christianity) and is supported by historical record, and mere fantasy, then there’s not much I can say to help you.”

    But Eric, the alleged divinity of Christ is not demonstrably true. You can choose to believe in it. That you choose to believe the divinity story is fine for you, but your belief is by your own faith, not by concrete demonstration. How would you propose, today, to hypothesize the divinity of Christ, or for that matter the existence of your god, then design experiments, collect data, and present an analysis of said data to prove the existence of god? You cannot, which is the difference between observable phenomena and religion. To take the word of the disciples, the ministers, or the prophets regarding this matter requires an act of faith.

    My point: One cannot choose to prove or disprove the existence of god; it is only an act of faith that enables this decision to be made, which is fine for the believer and unbeliever alike!

    Phoenician and I are on the same page on this topic, and I like the way he expressed the same thing I am trying to express as well: “By my logic, the claims of the Bible and the Quran are all unsupported opinions with no more validity than opinions about the Great Pumpkin or the Invisible Pink Unicorn. They may be beliefs about absolutes, but that doesn’t give them any more validity than beliefs in non-absolutes.”

  74. Semantics, Pho, word games. Technically, you are right, but in the bigger context, so what?

    Because Eric, my little nitwit, a parable is not something to be taken literally. As John did when he tried to make it about wealth.

  75. If you can’t distinguish between something that is demonstrably true (Christianity) and is supported by historical record, and mere fantasy, then there’s not much I can say to help you

    Feel free to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God. Do you have his birth certificate? Is God available to speak to on the matter? Do you have the results of a genetic test?

    You believe in fantasies, Eric. Yours happen to involve a superman who walked on water and came back from the dead – which means you’re really in no position to sneer at people who believe that Muhammad leaped up to heaven, or that Athena sprung from the brow of Zeus, or that humans are thetans trapped on Earth by evil space beings.

    Your religious beliefs are just as silly as theirs – your religion is simply larger.

  76. However, the theology behind my explanation is right, Pho, right, right, right.

    Well, John, if you want to assert that your religious theology supports social injustice, the rich screwing over the poor, and the belief that humans are incapable of seeking more justice while on Earth, you go right ahead. You’re in the great tradition of those clerics who claimed a Divine Right of kings, after all.

  77. I also do not believe that an unwilligness to have the government steal ones income equates with not desireing to help the poor

    Alas for your “stealing one’s income” argument – Matthew 22:15-22, and Matthew 6:19-24.

    Wealth and taxes are worldly things. They are dealt with on a worldly basis, and you shouldn’t confuse them with the things of God – as your entire post does when you attempt to use religion to justify your political beliefs. Because you put so much emphasis on wealth, building up your resentment about taxes “stealing your money” and screeching at others about it, you turn away from God and worship Mammon instead.

    If I believed in the Devil, I’d believe he came up with the “Prosperity Theology” just to sucker in people like you. You will notice that you’re very hurt about my equation of your views on taxes with “not desiring to help the poor”, and yet, critically, when you talk about taxes it’s all about you, you you. The government is stealing your money, you earned it fair and square, why should you suffer from having slightly less?

    Do you hear that little bit of demonic laughter? If so, just keep concentrating on the great injustice done to you by a 35% rather than a 30% marginal tax rate, and I’m sure you’ll drown it out…

    Taxes are the price we pay to live in a decent and civilized society. If you consider taxes illegitimate per se, then check out the conditions in Somalia where there are none. And if you have complaints about the level of taxation, try to avoid invoking half-assed Christian theology to back you up – Jesus was not born wealthy, did not die wealthy, and did not try to preach to the wealthy. Be man enough to own up to your own resentments, and stop trying to use God to sanctify them.

  78. I’m glad Eric brought up the Flying Spaghetti Monster. One of the truly great gifts of that religion is that any criticism of it is like a boomerang that misses the target but hits the criticizer pretty damned hard. Endless entertainment.

    And Phoenician, if I believed in the devil, I’d assume he was at the controls in God Central, and had been for quite a while. It would certainly explain the state of the world, all the fracturing religions, the quite justifiable doubt in the existence of God, and quite a lot of what’s written in holy books.

  79. Jeff wrote:

    “Liberalism isn’t about denying the existence of morals altogether. Rather, it’s about coming to terms with the fact that others have morals that are as equally strong as, but different from, our own. The conservative response is generally to attempt to force others to subscribe to their moral standpoint, either by intimidation or by use of government’s coercive power. The liberal response is generally to either a) accept others’ moral differences or b) attempt to change them by gentle persuasion.

    I say “generally” because oftentimes another’s morals are so repugnant to us that we cannot, in good conscience, accept them. This generally occurs when our adversaries’ morals cause harm to be done to others. Nazism certainly falls under this category – so, too, do most forms of bigotry.

    So while you characterize liberalism as “we don’t believe in morals,” it would be more accurate to say “you can have your crazy morals, as long as you don’t hurt anyone with them.”

    Perry then crowed:

    “Man, DNW, you sure did nail that one! Good going!! I plan to quote you continuously on this one!!! I didn’t know you had it in you, although I actually think you made a careless mistake. This statement serves to show that you really are confused, and have no idea what you are talking about, instead, have only a vast vocabulary (or a Thesaurus), plus thoughts filled with unconnected dots, which are near useless in terms of communicating anything of substance, all of which appears from your typing fingers as just so much mush, like a mouth filled with marbles attempting to express a thought! Rest assured, though, I understand well that you have impressed yourself, probably for years!

    For this reason I will ignore and not respond to all the personal slurs, assumptions, extrapolations, and outright lies incorporated in your long-winded elitist and arrogant remarks. Who cares that you don’t have access to your library filled with the writings of political theorists and philosophers, whose writings appear to have you thoroughly confused and out of touch with the realities of life and living. You don’t even understand the evil ramifications of absolutism in the form of a religion based on beliefs gone wild, rather than on evidence. “

    emphasis added

    So Perry,

    You mistake Jeff’s polemical slant, for my opinion, and this then demonstrates to your hysterical satisfaction, that I am the one who is confused.

    Geez, Perry.

  80. Perry wrote to me:

    “Let me challenge you to prove the existence of the god of Christian theology, without using arguments based on the deductive or inductive processes.”

    What in the domain of knowledge statements or judgments is there other than supposedly “intuitive knowledge” or ostensive definition, apart from induction and deduction, Perry?

    Formal logic, is largely deductive. Science is nowadays considered to be primarily inductive. Empiricism is a combination of both applied strictly to “experience”.

    “Let us just deal with direct evidence! State your hypothesis, then demonstrate its truth with data and analysis.”

    That would seem to be the inductive method Perry. The marshalling of empirically derived and contingent facts and interpretive arguments in order to support a conditional proposition.

    But you have ruled that out of court.

    One question more, before we proceed: Why do you imagine that I wish to convince you or anyone else of the existence of God?

    Do you think I am out to save your “soul”?

    I am quite willing to provisionally grant for the sake of political and social argument and discussion that you have no soul and that your life has no transcendental (in the supernatural sense) meaning.

    [Released from moderation -- JH]

  81. DNW: In my view, Jeff is correct in his comments which you quoted, while I continue to think that you are both confused and arrogant with your clearly absolutist rhetoric! Sorry!

  82. There are unmoderated absolutes, Perry. Any attempt to deny the fact there are unmoderated absolutes would require the use of an unmoderated absolute. Therefore, since there are unmoderated absolutes, it would behoove all to determine what those absolutes would be.

    Those relativists (which would be you) who deny the existence of unmoderated absolutes defeat themselves with their flawed logic. And, quite honestly, you are in no position to attack someone based on your perceived arrogance of that person, being quite arrogant yourself.

  83. And to head off a “well, so are you!” grade-school retort, I have never said I am not arrogant. In fact, I have shown a history of arrogance in various areas. I fully admit it.

    Mike Warnke once reported:

    Someone asked me, “Aren’t you being narrow-minded?”
    I said, “Yes, I am. But I can afford to be. I’m right.”

  84. But Eric, the alleged divinity of Christ is not demonstrably true. You can choose to believe in it. That you choose to believe the divinity story is fine for you, but your belief is by your own faith, not by concrete demonstration. How would you propose, today, to hypothesize the divinity of Christ, or for that matter the existence of your god, then design experiments, collect data, and present an analysis of said data to prove the existence of god? You cannot, which is the difference between observable phenomena and religion. To take the word of the disciples, the ministers, or the prophets regarding this matter requires an act of faith.

    Actually, it requires an act of trust. Specifically, that the authors of the New Testament and the people described in it were telling the truth. The New Testament is, among other things, a work of history, describing accurately events that took place a long time ago. I mean, I can’t prove that William the Conquerer successfully invaded England in 1066, but historians say he did, and so it’s accepted as true. Same goes for Jesus.

    [Released from moderation -- JH]

  85. I observed:

    “You mistake Jeff’s polemical slant, for my opinion, and this then demonstrates to your hysterical satisfaction, that I am the one who is confused.”

    Perry wrote:

    “DNW: In my view, Jeff is correct in his comments which you quoted, while I continue to think that you are both confused and arrogant with your clearly absolutist rhetoric! Sorry!”

    So, I demonstrate that you are the one who was confused as to who was writing what(while Jeff’s opinion was there for all to see) and that you drew a false conclusion from your confusion, and that on that basis you made unsupportable accusations about my being confused.

    But as far as you are concerned, despite the collapse of your supposed evidence, it’s all the same to you. And you ask for evidence concerning the existence of God?

    You can’t even deal with the irrefutable evidence of your own error.

    And then, it’s “sorry”, but your conclusion is the same regardless of the collapse of your argument?

    Yeah, Perry, you’re one “sorry” son of a bitch alright.

  86. Feel free to demonstrate that Jesus is the Son of God. Do you have his birth certificate? Is God available to speak to on the matter? Do you have the results of a genetic test?
    You believe in fantasies, Eric.

    I don’t have birth certificates for Julius Caesar, Aristotle, or Henry VIII, either. So, I guess they were just fantasies, too?

  87. JohnC: You made your comment in an attempt to imply that liberals are somehow inherently less generous than conservatives. The implication was clear. You can’t deny its existence by noting that you didn’t say it expressly. And if you didn’t mean to imply that, and don’t really believe that, say it.

    DNW: I read what you wrote before responding to it, I re-read it, and I stand by my characterization of your views. Would you mind telling me where you believe I am wrong?

    Eric: Interesting points, Jeff, still I must ask – what, in your definition above, can keep people from getting stuck in the mushy swamp of moral relativism, where the only “Sin” is to pass judgment on others? Absent the ability to form moral judgments, then we’re powerless to confront evil, wouldn’t you agree?

    I think the difference is one of actions. Liberals are okay with separating the world into “right” and “wrong,” and the religious among us still believe in “sin” and whatnot. Indeed, public condemnation of those who we believe are sinful is still generally viewed as okay, as are debating and persuading others that our moral values are superior. Rather, liberals would rather not use intimidation and government coercion to enforce moral values – that is, respect for others’ freedom to be wrong trumps our desire to change their behavior.

    YMMV for other liberals, of course – a lot of us are on this dumb kick of using government power to limit smoking and trans-fat consumption. But usually liberals believe in government intervention at the point where someone is being directly harmed. If someone’s doing something I don’t approve of but that doesn’t really hurt anyone, why should government get involved?

  88. Hey, Eric, we don’t have the long-form Birth Certificate of BHO, either. And we have a reported history of HI giving short-form Birth Certificates to those born outside HI, as well. Just sayin.

  89. Semantics, Pho, word games. Technically, you are right, but in the bigger context, so what?
    Because Eric, my little nitwit, a parable is not something to be taken literally. As John did when he tried to make it about wealth.

    You misunderstand the purpose of parables, which was to use a story to make a larger point. John got that, you apparently did not.

  90. Hey, Jeff. Did you know there is documented evidence showing Liberals are indeed less charitable with their money and time than are Conservatives? Did you know the disparity is amplified when examining the evidence of Liberal vs Christian Conservative? Just thought you’d like to know.

  91. John H.:“Those relativists (which would be you) who deny the existence of unmoderated absolutes defeat themselves with their flawed logic.”

    First of all, John, I am not a “relativist”. You misunderstand my position, which is, that everyone is an absolutist within oneself. However, one man’s absolutism, i.e., absolute truths, does not necessarily apply to another, except by consent of the other person. In other words, there is no universal absolute truth. This means, for example, that you cannot invoke your personal absolute truth about the deity of Christ upon any other person, unless they consent. What the Bible claims is irrelevant, unless one consents to accept the claim.

    Someone might say that it is an absolute truth that everyone must die. No, just because everyone has died so far, there remains a finite probability that someone may never die. Or you could even contend, scientifically, that one’s DNA can persist after “death”. Some day that DNA could be used to generate a clone.

    Someone might claim that what I have just said about absolute truths being within oneself is in itself the statement of an absolute truth. No, it is only my statement of my absolute truth, still subject to your consent to accept that claim.

    Secondly, I suspect that your term “unmoderated absolute” translates to what I called universal absolute truth. Whatever, I need an example of an unmoderated absolute, since I have never heard of the term.

    As far as your Mark Warnke (Who is he?) report, sorry, it’s just silly, because no one is right, except within oneself, as I have been saying repeatedly. He (You) cannot tell me what is right, only what HE thinks (YOU think) is right. Get it?

  92. Rather, liberals would rather not use intimidation and government coercion to enforce moral values – that is, respect for others’ freedom to be wrong trumps our desire to change their behavior.

    Martha Coakley: Catholics should not work in ER because they are anti-abortion.
    Liberals: The conscience clause should not be allowed.
    Chai Feldblum, the Georgetown University law professor nominated by President Obama to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has written that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”
    FCC diversity czar: Freedom of speech? Not so much.

    FCC tries to regulate web, Courts say no, so FCC decides they’ll make web a public utility and regulate it that way.
    ObamaCare to force everyone buy something, otherwise big fine or jail.

    Republican gives a political speech in a church, liberals scream bloody murder. Democrat gives a political speech in a church, liberals silent.

  93. DNW:“Yeah, Perry, you’re one “sorry” son of a bitch alright.”

    This demonstrates well your arrogance, DNW, but then it’s been quite obvious to me for months! Carry on!

  94. First of all, John, I am not a “relativist”. You misunderstand my position, which is, that everyone is an absolutist within oneself. However, one man’s absolutism, i.e., absolute truths, does not necessarily apply to another, except by consent of the other person. In other words, there is no universal absolute truth.

    (emphasis mine)
    You contradicted yourself. You made a universal absolute statement in order to deny there are universal absolutes, which is self-defeating. And it makes you a relativist.

    Someone might claim that what I have just said about absolute truths being within oneself is in itself the statement of an absolute truth. No, it is only my statement of my absolute truth, still subject to your consent to accept that claim.

    And your relativism continues apace as you try to deny your absolute statement while maintaining your relativism. Your entire argument fails the logic test. Your entire argument has shown you to be a relativist. And you used absolutes to try to prove there are no absolutes.

  95. Perry:

    DNW:“Yeah, Perry, you’re one “sorry” son of a bitch alright.”

    This demonstrates well your arrogance, DNW, but then it’s been quite obvious to me for months! Carry on!

    Perry, I already told you about your well-known arrogance. I would suggest that you (pot) should quit lambasting DNW (kettle) for his arrogance.

  96. John H. is at it again: “And we have a reported history of HI giving short-form Birth Certificates to those born outside HI, as well.”

    Please produce the report, John.

  97. John H. is at it again: “And we have a reported history of HI giving short-form Birth Certificates to those born outside HI, as well.”

    Please produce the report, John.

    Perry, context. You do know about context, don’t you?

  98. John:

    Yes, I do know about context; but this is not such a case. I’ve never heard of your allegation about HI, so I want to see documentation.

    And on arrogance, you’ve never seen me make a statement about anybody like his. That man is even more arrogant than you, John.

  99. Perry, DNW is definitely not more arrogant than me. He is much more constrained than I am. And that’s a plus for him. An over-exuberant arrogance is a failing. And so is (my) laziness in not working to correct that failing.

    And on arrogance, you’ve never seen me make a statement about anybody like his.

    You are right to a degree. I’ve never seen you give documented evidence like DNW in your incessant arrogant attacks on others here. But that is your failing, and not his.

    I’ve never heard of your allegation about HI, so I want to see documentation.

    It is very apparent you have never seen or heard a great deal of material that has been seen or heard by 99.95 percent of US population. I have repeatedly skewered you on this. And when people gave you documentation, you were very noticeable in your absence.

    Do try harder, Perry. This is too easy.

  100. In other words, Perry, you refuse to admit your arrogance everyone on our side has seen abundantly clear. In that regard, which of us has the greater level of integrity? Oh, I guess that would be me. And I guess I get to pop a couple more vest buttons for that.

    And, yeah, strike one, strike two, strike three, you’re out!

  101. Doesn’t it say in the Bible, that pride comes before a fall?

    Here we have JH justifying greed, with Christianity supporting his view. Yeah, sure…that’s what Jesus taught.

    So, when the fat cats come along with their Mercedes Benzs’ and we admire, wish we had a pretty car like that, then we are sinners. Oh, that makes sense….NOT. Go back to Hell where you seem to have come from, JH.

  102. No, blu, I never justified greed. But you showed your own greed and envy and covetousness. You want what others have earned but you don’t want to earn it. And, blu, you might want to reread Romans 1:28-32 regarding your own heart, based on your most recent post here.

  103. Yeah, well, R’s having more money does not surprise me. Their lives are more about obtaining money. It is likely they would have more to spare. I think most of us would like to be charitable.

    And since you are using the Bible to justify whatever, doesn’t the Bible say that for a poor man to whose riches are minimal, but gives most of it, gives more than one who has a plentiful amount of riches, and gives a tiny amount, but more than the poor man, Your assumption, it’s absurd of you to make that, Rs are more generous.

    As usual, you are full of crap!

  104. Incidentally, I don’t covet. I’m happy for my friends that have achieved it. Especially ones that don’t eat the Republican BS. I feel quite happy. I wish I could afford health insurance though. I guess I’m “evil” for that, huh? I could make more money if I could get more medical care. F.Y.

  105. Blu, you don’t know me. And that’s your fault. I’m an open book. I’m exceedingly wealthy, having earned less than 10k and depended on family and neighbors for food last year. And my lack of charity (delivering 3 full thanksgiving dinners for the same thanksgiving day in the late 80s when my wife and I made less than 15k and we had a daughter to feed) has definitely been reported. And my anecdote is but one datum in all the data, which shows Conservatives put a higher percentage of their income and a higher percentage of their time into charity than Liberals. The overall data shows that, without a doubt.

    Incidentally, you do covet. You demand the rich pay more out of what they earned and everyone else benefit from what someone else earned. You demand legalized theft of what the rich has earned. That is covetousness. And you exemplify it.

  106. Yeah, you all common Rs are very generous to the fat cats, giving them tax breaks. Cheering on the Bush policies that hurt people. More people in poverty through Republican administrations. F.Y.

  107. John H: A conservative commenter at Volokh deals with some of the issues with the Brooks study that shows conservatives as being more generous than liberals here. Two points: a) Brooks uses suspect data for his analysis – it models liberals as wealthier on the whole than conservatives when most other reliable surveys conducted report the opposite; and b) Brooks ignores moderates, who tend to be demographically more distinct from liberals and conservatives than the latter two are from one another.

    While the difference between self-identified liberals and conservatives in terms of charitability is actually rather small, another post from the same author claims that income redistributionists tend to be stingier than non-distributionists, and that moderates are generally as redistributionist as liberals, so there’s the kernel of truth there.

    Anyway, in response to my moral coercion point you listed a few anecdata that don’t really hold up to scrutiny. The first two (Coakley and the conscience clause) are issues of professional ethics. One would hardly expect a hog farm to accommodate an Orthodox Jewish laborer – if the demands of the job do not mesh with one’s morals, that person is free to not take that job.

    The third is a reference to Chai Feldblum, who is exercising his right to criticize those with morals he finds objectionable while, AFAIK, not using the government’s coercive power to push those morals on others. It’s an example that actually bolsters my point about liberals believing in absolute moral values that we just don’t want to enforce on others.

    Your link is broken on the fourth example, but the Obama FCC has generally been pretty non-interventionist in terms of content, at least in comparison to the FCC under Bush II. I and most young liberals I know share a distaste for the FCC, though, so I’m not really one to defend them.

    Net neutrality and ObamaCare aren’t issues of moral imposition but of regulation. Liberals tend to favor regulation, conservatives tend to oppose it, but this has little to do with requiring others to live by specific morals.

    And the last example – I don’t know what you’re referring to, but it sounds like a political ploy to me.

  108. Not sure what “F.Y.” means, other than I believe it is a lewd term in an attempt to avoid the lewd term. And your usage of “fat cats” shows your envy and covetousness. And your denial of the fact that several Conservatives here are middle-class and I, for one, am unfortunately now lower-class in your envious and covetous attacks on the wealthy is also noted.

    Should the rich pay for my health insurance? Should the wealthy buy my groceries? Should the wealthy pay my utilities? Should the wealthy pay my car insurance? Should the wealthy put gas in my car? Hey, if you want to put your money where your mouth is, send me your money of your own free will. Don’t demand others send me money. Because I am not demanding others give me any money of any sort. Since 1993, I have not received any government-mandated charity (and then, only because my then-wife demanded freebies as she refused to work a job she hated and I was very angry with her for that).

  109. Gee, John, I guess, the right thing to do, is to let those that control the job situation in America, let it die, those huge corporations that get tax breaks, that send jobs overseas, leaving our citizens jobless, and broke, are the honorable ones, huh.. If those that have been left homeless, are the wicked ones. After all, they covet a job. (???)

    I don’t covet those fat cats. I’d rather not be a shameless self-serving corporatist. I prefer my own self respect.

    As far as the F.Y. goes, I could have meant it to mean “for you” but you are right, it is a profane remark, aimed at you, to compliment your profane perspectives.

  110. There are unmoderated absolutes, Perry

    Indeed. For example, “There is but One God, Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet”.

    Now, if you believe this example to not be true, then you are admitting that these “unmoderated absolutes” are merely word-games with no necessary relation to reality. Which sort of makes the debate pointless, after all.

  111. John Hitchcock quotes Perry quoting and replying to me and then rejoins:

    DNW:’Yeah, Perry, you’re one “sorry” son of a bitch alright.

    “This demonstrates well your arrogance, DNW, but then it’s been quite obvious to me for months! Carry on!”

    Perry, I already told you about your well-known arrogance. I would suggest that you (pot) should quit lambasting DNW (kettle) for his arrogance.”

    Generous gesture on your part, John, to suggest that Perry should remove the beam from his own eye before …

    However, in point of fact, and as you probably guessed, I am not in the least annoyed or offended or even interested in Perry’s charges of “arrogance”. It’s just so much left-wing static. And, I think that most people here will agree that while I may not have a great deal of respect for Perry’s intelligence or critical powers, I have when directly addressing him, pretty consistently addressed him temperately, and with some moderation, even as he became increasingly shrill when he was directly addressing me.

    What does irritate me however, is this little man’s smarmy dishonorableness, wherein he: 1, gleefully charged me with writing certain material I did not write; 2, crowed that he was going to remind me of it regularly in the future; and 3, stated that my having had written those passages demonstrated that my ideological position was inconsistent and incoherent; only to have to be informed that it was not I who wrote the passage he was squawking about.

    So what happens when Perry is informed that he has been an hysterical fool making demonstrably false accusations?

    Does he apologize and take responsibility for making the false claims?

    No. This autistic nutjob simpers that it doesn’t matter if he was telling the truth or not, that his charges stand despite the failure of his manufactured evidence.

    Small wonder there are civil and social wars …

  112. One plus one equals three. If you deny this absolute fact, you deny there are any absolute facts. So says the Kiwi Kommentator.

    No, John. I realise it’s difficult, but try to follow along with the rest of the class.

    “One plus one equals three” is an absolute statement. It is also not true. This is because absolute statements are just word games, tokens in conversation, rather than necessary reflections of reality. For example, the statement “There is a God”, just like your statement “one plus one equals three”, has no evidence to support it, and need not considered to be true.

    Thank you for demonstrating the basis for agnosticism and undermining theism.

  113. Incidentally, you do covet. You demand the rich pay more out of what they earned and everyone else benefit from what someone else earned. You demand legalized theft of what the rich has earned. That is covetousness. And you exemplify it.

    Nope.

    i, Taxation is not “legalised theft”. By definition, there is no such thing as “legalised theft”. You can stretch that definition if you like, but then you run up against the problem of “render unto Caesar that which is Caesers” – Jesus certainly supported taxation at the same time that he condemned theft.

    To have theft, first you must be able to opwn something. You cannot assert ownership to tokens of exchange (money) unless you first have a social and legal system backing up those artificial ownership rights. Therefore, you must support such a mechanism (i.e. a government in the modern world) before the idea of “stealing your money” even makes sense.

    ii, “Covetousness” is desiring the goods of others for onesself. There is no indication that this is so for blu.

    iii, Money must be raised via taxation to run the government. Given this, the principle of causing the least pain in doing so is appropriate (although Republicans seem to operate by the opposite principle – cause the most amount of pain in doing so). Therefore it is, in fact, better to take from the rich than from the poor not as a matter of social justice but as a simple utilitarian calculation.

    If $500,000 must be raised, it causes less pain to take $500,000 from a rich person earning $5,000,000 a year than to take $5,000 from each of 100 middle class people earning $50,000 a year. Firstly only one person suffers instead of a hundred, and secondly that rich person suffers considerably less in losing 10% of his income than does a middle class person.

    So, we come to three conclusions

    i, Taxation is necessary in the modern world for ownership of money to mean anything.
    ii, Progressive taxation is better than a flat tax purely on utilitarian grounds.
    iii, Stating these simple facts is not “covetousness” but simply facing up to reality.

    “Render unto Caeser that which is Caesers”, John. What exactly is it that you worship – God or Mammon?

    Because your arguments here seem to make it clear that you are confusing the two.

  114. The versions of Christianity by modern day Conservative creeps me out. Aint much humanity there. Mindless, compassionless dogma!

    It seems generosity on the Conservatives’ part is more about putting feathers in their hats than anything else.

  115. DNW, Perry has repeatedly squawked for source material, claiming people “made that stuff up” if they didn’t provide it. And when people provided the source material? Perry has never, ever, under any circumstances, ever acknowledged that source material proving he was willfully and arrogantly blind and deaf to facts that have been readily available to him. I mean he didn’t even try to debate that source material. He acted as if it didn’t even exist as he went on to demand even more source material elsewhere. Source material everyone knows he would, yet again, ignore in his arrogance. He is a known commodity. And it never ceases to amaze me that people on our side continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Some people are far more charitable than I could ever be, obviously.

    (And there is a little tweek for those idiot leftists who like to take things out of context.)

  116. Jeff wrote:

    “DNW: I read what you wrote before responding to it, I re-read it, and I stand by my characterization of your views. Would you mind telling me where you believe I am wrong?”

    Not at all, Jeff.

    Eric, originally posited a hypothetical and then asked:

    ” And what if your absolute truth is that Jews are evil, and should be rounded up and killed? After all, if all morals come down to differing opinions, then who’s to say the Nazis were wrong?”

    In response to Eric’s observation regarding the differing social outcomes or at least moral dictates implied by absolute versus relative concepts of “wrong” and presumably “right”, and his question of who would say what regarding those outcomes, I said the following:

    ” A modern liberal wouldn’t really be logically able, and probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.”

    Thus, in response to Eric’s question of who’s to say the Nazi’s were wrong, I observed that a modern liberal could not with logical (meaning philosophical here) consistency say that what the Nazi’s did was wrong in an absolute sense.

    This is because obviously, whether the modern liberal is the typical materialist atheist, or some kind of quasi-supernaturalist, the consistent theme of modern liberalism, when it comes to moral doctrines is that they (moral principles) are held to be essentially – insofar as a modern liberal believes in the concept of essential natures – and definitionally in flux, and conditioned by transient and temporary social and material circumstances.

    Again, I said they, meaning modern liberals,

    ” …probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.” … and, ” … They on average probably recognize no such standard. Instead, right and wrong acts are viewed as relative to some more or less arbitrary project-based standard, and are judged as right and wrong acts on the instrumental basis of their efficacy in producing certain arbitrarily desired effects …”

    Thus, what I did was to describe the kind of utilitarian and situational ethical and moral principles, and the kind of moral theory, that modern liberals “probably” and “on average” subscribe to as valid or obtaining, and which would then condition whether they [the modern liberals] judged or pronounced something wrong or right in an absolute or transcendental sense.

    I then, in comments that are not germane to this exchange, went on to describe how in my view the idea of a conceptually unlimited political and social shaping project (modern liberalism), bears within itself the presuppositions of totalitarianism. And I linked to a page taken from the European Law Journal to illustrate the point.

    You then wrote, apparently in response to my comments about the term “wrong”.:

    “Absolutely wrong. (See what I did there? :-P )

    Liberalism isn’t about denying the existence of morals altogether.”

    However, as you can now better see, I nowhere asserted that liberalism is about denying the existence of morals altogether.

    What you did was to categorically deny what I did not categorically, or even modally, assert.

    For when I said “probably”, I was referring not to the modern liberal embrace of some non-existence of morals as a conceptual category, but rather to the fact that “on average”, modern liberals subscribed to a conceptually different version of the terms “wrong”, and by implication, “right”, based on their relativistic interpretive principles.

    You then went on to say, using quotation marks,

    “So while you characterize liberalism as “we don’t believe in morals,” …”

    Whereas, I neither used the phrase you placed within the quotas, nor did I even imply any such thing.

    Thus to recap:

    “A modern liberal wouldn’t really be logically able, and probably would not wish, to claim that the Nazi’s were wrong in some transcendental or absolute sense.

    They on average probably recognize no such standard. Instead, right and wrong acts are viewed as relative to some more or less arbitrary project-based standard, and are judged as right and wrong acts on the instrumental basis of their efficacy in producing certain arbitrarily desired effects.

    Thus, they would instead use the term “wrong” merely to socially mean that the slaughter of the Jews was inconsistent with some version of what they consider a desirable human regime; or on an emotional level, that it produced visibly traumatic effects in its victims, as well as in some observers.

    However, this relativism where nothing is absolutely good or bad or taboo, has a way of developing its own kind of absolutism out of the “communal project”….”

    See? Hope this helps …

  117. Pooter, your conclusions are all flawed. All three of them. And your addendum is an out-of-context quote which is, itself, taken out of context.

    i)Taxation is necessary in the modern world for ownership of money to mean anything.

    No, money can be a means of barter without any tax involved at all. In fact, it is currently a means of barter without any tax at all.

    ii)Progressive taxation is better than a flat tax purely on utilitarian grounds.

    No, that’s your view, despite statistical evidence showing otherwise.

    iii)Stating these simple facts is not “covetousness” but simply facing up to reality.

    I already showed your claims of fact to be wrong. I also already showed that a desire for the rich to be forced to give money to the poor to, in fact, be covetousness. You are not facing reality.

    “Render unto Caeser that which is Caesers”

    Matthew 22:15-22

    Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap Him in His words. They sent their disciples to Him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

    But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought Him a denarius, and He asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.

    Then He said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

    That is where the out-of-context, incomplete quote comes from. And that is the context for the complete quote. From the notes in my study Bible:

    22:15-17 The Pharisees were ardent nationalists, opposed to Roman rule, while the hated Herodians, as their name indicates, supported the Roman rule of the Herods. Now, however, the Pharisees enlisted the help of the Herodians to trap Jesus in His words. After trying to put Him off guard with flattery, they sprang their question: “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (v. 17) If He said “No,” the Herodians would report Him to the roman governor and He would be executed for treason. If He said “Yes,” the Pharisees would denounce Him to the people as disloyal to His nation.

    22:19 denarius The common Roman coin of that day (see note on 20:2). On one side was the portrait of Emperor Tiberius and on the other the inscription in Latin: “Tiberius Caesar Augustus, son of the divine Augustus.” The coin was issued by Caesar and was used for paying taxes to him.

    22:21 to God what is God’s In distinguishing clearly between Caesar and God, Jesus also potested against the false and idolatrous claims made on the coins (see previous note).

    Pooter is intentionally using the same trap the Pharisees used. Pooter is also likely unintentionally using the same secondary trap. Pooter is also falsely claiming Conservatives are against paying any taxes. Overall, Pooter just lied through his teeth in every accusation, overt or covert, he made in this comment of his I just deconstructed.

  118. John Hitchcock commented:

    ” DNW, Perry has repeatedly squawked for source material, claiming people “made that stuff up” if they didn’t provide it. And when people provided the source material? Perry has never, ever, under any circumstances, ever acknowledged that source material proving he was willfully and arrogantly blind and deaf to facts that have been readily available to him. I mean he didn’t even try to debate that source material. He acted as if it didn’t even exist as he went on to demand even more source material elsewhere. Source material everyone knows he would, yet again, ignore in his arrogance. He is a known commodity. And it never ceases to amaze me that people on our side continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Some people are far more charitable than I could ever be, obviously.

    (And there is a little tweek for those idiot leftists who like to take things out of context.)”

    Insofar as I actually know better than to attribute to, or expect a sense of honor from Perry, I should take some responsibility for enabling his dishonorable behavior by “feeding the troll”

    Perry has in the past admitted that he is primarily concerned with “salesmanship”. When his argument is shown to be bankrupt, even according to the standards of demonstration he demands, he merely moves on to another topic, and redeploys his tactics.

    It’s a consistent theme and strategy with relativists shrug and move on. They don’t believe in the same concept of “truth” you believe in, and do not hold themselves to the same standards. So, if they can demand from you what they dispense with themselves, and exhaust you as you respond with a good faith they laugh at, they have done what they consider to be a good day’s work.

  119. Missing punctuation added …
    “It’s a consistent theme and strategy with relativists: shrug, and move on.”

  120. Pooter,

    Yes, Penis-breath?

    No, money can be a means of barter without any tax involved at all. In fact, it is currently a means of barter without any tax at all.

    Nope. In the modern world, money is either fiat currency or electronic notations. Feel free to explain what happens if there’s no issuing authority, or no way to prevent banks from just taking your money with a flick of the button.

    22:21 to God what is God’s In distinguishing clearly between Caesar and God, Jesus also potested against the false and idolatrous claims made on the coins (see previous note).

    Indeed. Which part of the world “also” do you not understand?

    I was talking about the modern world. If you want to issue your own currency opr use gold for purchases, go ahead and try.

    No, that’s your view, despite statistical evidence showing otherwise.

    Nope. I presented the argument. Feel free to actually address it. And I’d love to see your so-called “statistical evidence” – I’m going to guess it has nothing to do with flat vs progressive taxation at all.

    I already showed your claims of fact to be wrong.

    No, you have not.

    I also already showed that a desire for the rich to be forced to give money to the poor to, in fact, be covetousness.

    Nope. You are just repeating your unsupported assertion.

    Pooter is intentionally using the same trap the Pharisees used.

    Penis-breath is, in fact, a modern day Pharisee. See Matthew 23, which talks about those who use religion to justify injusticend trumpet their self-righteousness in public.

    Pooter is also falsely claiming Conservatives are against paying any taxes.

    Alas for Penis-breath, his argument IS against paying any taxes. When he claims that taxation is “legalised theft”, he is not leaving any room for “legitimate” taxation. Either it is all theft, or none of it is theft.

    Overall, Pooter just lied through his teeth in every accusation, overt or covert, he made in this comment of his I just deconstructed.

    Overall, Penis-breath demonstrates yet again that he cannot distinguish a proper argument from a string of his unsupported assertions.

  121. John Hitchcock wrote:

    “Pooter, your conclusions are all flawed. All three of them. And your addendum is an out-of-context quote which is, itself, taken out of context.

    i)Taxation is necessary in the modern world for ownership of money to mean anything.

    No, money can be a means of barter without any tax involved at all. In fact, it is currently a means of barter without any tax at all.

    ii)Progressive taxation is better than a flat tax purely on utilitarian grounds.

    No, that’s your view, despite statistical evidence showing otherwise.

    iii)Stating these simple facts is not “covetousness” but simply facing up to reality.

    I already showed your claims of fact to be wrong. I also already showed that a desire for the rich to be forced to give money to the poor to, in fact, be covetousness. You are not facing reality.

    “Render unto Caeser that which is Caesers …”

    You certainly nailed his head to the wall with his misrepresentation of the meaning of the “Whose image and superscription is this?” incident.

    I was going to address the utilitarian premise per se, and show that there is, by the admission of Bentham himself originally , and Mill later, no philosophically self-consistent objective justification for the utilitarian principle itself.

    And we don’t even need to get into the problematical notions of “good” held by utilitarians, nor the moral hazard problem for utilitarian and for other forms of redistributionism.

    But you have shown the duplicity inherent in his post from the get go. So there’s no need to more toss more bricks on the head of the troll from NZ.

    Ultimately the utilitarian argument comes down in significant measure to a matter of unhappy, neurotic, and soft men, parading around as hard-headed materialists, as they simultaneously try to step around the foundational civic moral principles of voluntary association and reciprocity, and get you to haul their water for them.

  122. his argument IS against paying any taxes. When he claims that taxation is “legalised theft”, he is not leaving any room for “legitimate” taxation.

    You lied about what I said. I never said taxation is legalized theft. In fact, I said if someone earns an entire dollar in a year, that dollar should be taxed. I said redistributing from the wealthy to the poor is legalized theft.

    Of course, Pooter, never let facts get in the way of your marxist agenda and your lies.

  123. To be fair, Eric, Pooter (PIATOR blended with SCOOTER) was doing his best to counter my dysphemism of his acronym. But all he could come up with was lewdness. You can’t fault his depraved mind for being unable to come up with anything other than depravity.

  124. Actually, it requires an act of trust. Specifically, that the authors of the New Testament and the people described in it were telling the truth.
    Given that the different accounts of Jesus’s nativity can’t be reconciled with each other and historical fact, one or both were obviously lying. Biblical Christianity loses.

    Sorry Pho, that link proves no such thing. Try again.

  125. Pho’s logic falls apart:

    “One plus one equals three” is an absolute statement. It is also not true. This is because absolute statements are just word games, tokens in conversation, rather than necessary reflections of reality. For example, the statement “There is a God”, just like your statement “one plus one equals three”, has no evidence to support it, and need not considered to be true.

    1 + 1 = 3 can be proven false. Not so the existence of God. Apples and oranges …

  126. For example, the statement “There is a God”, just like your statement “one plus one equals three”, has no evidence to support it

    PS There’s plenty of evidence to support it. There’s the existence of the Gospels and the entire New Testament, which atheists and secularists are unable to explain away. There’s the history of the early Christian church and of course the documented Roman persecution of same. More to the point, atheists and secularists cannot explain how an obscure Jewish carpenter managed to transform the world and change 2,000 years of history. Indeed, it is the atheists and secularists who are faced with the next to impossible task of asserting that the Gospels, the New Testament, and the 2,000 year history of Christianity are based on either a lie or a mass delusion. If the Gospels are made up, then the authors must have been by far the greatest fiction writers in history, and if Christianity is based on a delusion, then the tens of thousands of Christian martyrs who braved ugly deaths at the hands of the Romans must have been the biggest pack of idiots ever to walk the Earth. Since neither is likely, the logical conclusion is that Christianity is based in truth, and its various opponents are simply living in denial of reality.

  127. Going back to this:

    You lied about what I said. I never said taxation is legalized theft. In fact, I said if someone earns an entire dollar in a year, that dollar should be taxed. I said redistributing from the wealthy to the poor is legalized theft.

    Let’s see if Perry has any integrity. Because when I said if someone earns an entire dollar in a year, that dollar should be taxed, Perry questioned me about my sub-10k I earned last year, and how did I survive. I don’t know if it’s in this thread or no, but I am interested in whether Perry will back me up, deny I said it, or ignore it completely.

    And, Perry, there’s your challenge.

  128. BTW, John, I noticed Pho never did address your central point, namely, the sin of envy, and the politics based on same. In my observation, leftists don’t really care about helping the poor, they just want to tear down the successful. That is the core of Leftist/Marxist ideology. What they can’t comprehend is that Americans don’t resent the successful, and thus the Politics of Envy has little success here. The Left is based on envy, resentment, and anger. You can see it in Pho’s posts. There is no sign of genuine goodwill or Christian charity in any of them, only sneers and contempt for anyone he disagrees with.

  129. ii, Progressive taxation is better than a flat tax purely on utilitarian grounds.

    Utilitarianism is for moral idiots. By that standard, Pontius Pilate was right, better to sacrifice one innocent man than to risk a riot that might have killed many. It totally ignores any objective standard of justice, and thus is rightly rejected by people interested in true moral values.

  130. You lied about what I said. I never said taxation is legalized theft. In fact, I said if someone earns an entire dollar in a year, that dollar should be taxed. I said redistributing from the wealthy

    Sooooorry, but that doesn’t work. If taxation is not legalised theft in itself, then the uses to which that taxation is put cannot make it so. Try again.

    PS There’s plenty of evidence to support it.

    By your standards, there’s also plenty of evidence to support Islam. Christians are unable to explain the existence of the Quran, nor the way Islam rose quicker than Christianity to a world religion, or the fact that it is currently growing faster than Christianity.

    So why ain’t you a Muslim, Eric?

    BTW, John, I noticed Pho never did address your central point, namely, the sin of envy,

    Uh-huh.

    Idiot.

  131. 1 + 1 = 3 can be proven false. Not so the existence of God

    Eric, you can’t prove false the existence of Allah, the Invisible Pink nicorn, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster either. I’m more than happy to place your particular version of “God” into the same category as them.

  132. I did a homemade card for a friend when they had a baby, and the front of the card said…1+1=3. That is the only case of 1+1=3, but why is it that those like John Hitchcock’s policies, like Republicans in general, always end up in MINUSES, since war is their favorite things, a good investment, I hear, if you are looking to invest, and have no conscience, at all. And other Republicans make money on it, and Dems too, but Dick Cheney achieved way more wealth than one could ever dream of. He even went through some procedures to limit his name referred to though within Halliburtons’ records. That’s just for example! And The Carlyle Group (Bush family baby$, you know). Well, that’s getting off track, R’s in office, usually equal minuses, most often.

  133. I have just read every post on this thread and must say it is amazing. The Conservative and/or Christian contributors, (John Hitchcock, Eric, DNW) argued their points with respect and humanity. John Hitchcock even with humility. The leftists were brazen, rude, hateful and profane. Even when they made valid points, it seemed not to suffice without invective.

    It bothers me deeply that there is a segment of our society who translates politics into vengeful hatred. A segment that views others as inferior, worthy only of contempt. A segment
    that projects its own envy and covetiveness into a philosophy wholly directed to the total destruction of those with whom they disgree.

    It’s quite telling that the Conservative/Christians argue their point with an attitude of respect and light, just as the opposition seems to argue from the darkest hole in the human spirit.

  134. More childish thinking from Pho
    Eric, you can’t prove false the existence of Allah, the Invisible Pink nicorn, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster either. I’m more than happy to place your particular version of “God” into the same category as them.

    I gave you plenty of evidence for the truth of Christianity, none of which you addressed. Sorry, but citing the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t count.

    Again, I ask: “More to the point, atheists and secularists cannot explain how an obscure Jewish carpenter managed to transform the world and change 2,000 years of history.

    Pho’s response: crickets chirping.

  135. Utilitarianism is for moral idiots.
    How would you know?

    I explained why. Go back and read my post again, since obviously it flew right over your head.

  136. I have just read every post on this thread and must say it is amazing. The Conservative and/or Christian contributors, (John Hitchcock, Eric, DNW) argued their points with respect and humanity. John Hitchcock even with humility. The leftists were brazen, rude, hateful and profane. Even when they made valid points, it seemed not to suffice without invective.

    In fairness, I must point out that Perry has remained polite and respectful the whole time, and so has Jeff. Nang got off to a bit of a bad start, but manfully apologized shortly after.

    But then, like I’ve said before, they are liberals, and I can respect them even though we disagree. The lone leftist here, however, fits your description to a tee. He sneers at religion, and his boorish behavior is proof of the lack of values that comes with such a stance.

  137. JohnC. said:

    I have just read every post on this thread and must say it is amazing. The Conservative and/or Christian contributors, (John Hitchcock, Eric, DNW) argued their points with respect and humanity. John Hitchcock even with humility. The leftists were brazen, rude, hateful and profane. Even when they made valid points, it seemed not to suffice without invective.
    It bothers me deeply that there is a segment of our society who translates politics into vengeful hatred.

    It bothers me deeply that you all are willing to accept hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent human beings, without a bat of your eyelash. No conscience. No reason for the illegal immoral invasion. No problem with you. Lying and lying and cheating is the norm of Republican/Conservative M.O. Yeah, I have a problem with sociopathological behavior.

  138. I gave you plenty of evidence for the truth of Christianity, none of which you addressed. Sorry, but citing the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t count.

    Again, I ask: “More to the point, atheists and secularists cannot explain how an obscure Jewish carpenter managed to transform the world and change 2,000 years of history. ”

    No, Eric, you have not. You have pointed at historical phenomena, and assumed they provided religious proof. I pointed at other historical phenomena which, applying the same sort of “logic”, “proved” the truth of Islam. That you missed it shows the limitations of your intellect.

    Christians cannot explain how an obscure Arab merchant managed to transform the world and change 6000 years of history faster than Jesus. Deal with that.

  139. Hey, who has seen the movie, ZXeitgeist? It’ll put some things into perspective. Then, go ahead and challenge them to yourself. See if you can disprove them. Let’s see if I get this right. I’ll try later if I didn’t get it.

    http://Zeitgeistthemovie.com

  140. Christians cannot explain how an obscure Arab merchant managed to transform the world and change 6000 years of history faster than Jesus. Deal with that.

    Sorry, Pho, but none of that disproves Christianity in the least. Islam has been stagnant for centuries, it has contibuted little to world culture, and where it exists today, life is backward, primitive, and corrupt. In contrast, the Christian world is vibrant, and at the head of world civilization. It’s obvious to even a child which is the superior religion. But go ahead and compare Jesus Christ to the spaghetti monster. I’m sure that will appeal to intellects over the age of five. Well, maybe not …

  141. So, Eric, you didn’t watch the movie of above link, did you? Your brain might not be able to stand the ride…?

  142. Eric errs again: “Sorry, Pho, but none of that disproves Christianity in the least.”

    Phoenician did not make that claim. He was pointing to your attempt to claim the superiority of Christianity, which you continued to do any, in ignorance. Here, now reread his statement: “You [Eric] have pointed at historical phenomena, and assumed they provided religious proof. I pointed at other historical phenomena which, applying the same sort of “logic”, “proved” the truth of Islam.” Note that he put “proved” in quotation marks.

    And then, you truly exhibit your ignorance with an arrogant statement like this: “Islam has been stagnant for centuries, it has contibuted little to world culture, and where it exists today, life is backward, primitive, and corrupt.”

    By this statement, you are attempting to measure “success” by American standards, not recognizing that other cultures have different standards. I suppose you would make the same statement about Chinese cultural values, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Egyptian, Syrian, Israeli, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, South African, Alaskan, Swedish, …, get the idea?

    Interestingly, if you restrict your search to Western countries, and ask the question in which countries are the citizens the happiest, the US, according to a Forbes survey, doesn’t even end up in the top ten. The top ten are made up of what you would call socialist countries, to wit: Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway, and Belgium.

  143. And then, you truly exhibit your ignorance with an arrogant statement like this: “Islam has been stagnant for centuries, it has contibuted little to world culture, and where it exists today, life is backward, primitive, and corrupt.”

    Perry, it’s not arrogant if it’s true.

  144. By this statement, you are attempting to measure “success” by American standards, not recognizing that other cultures have different standards. I suppose you would make the same statement about Chinese cultural values, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Egyptian, Syrian, Israeli, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, South African, Alaskan, Swedish, …, get the idea?

    No, Perry, now you’re falling into the trap of relativism. Some things are just objectively better than others; democracy and the concept of individual liberty, for example, are better than their opposites. And specifically, when it comes to the Islamic world, you rarely see either. Nor has it produced any great literature, art, or music. Cultural relativism just ignores cultural reality, it’s like staging an athletic contest where everyone finishes equal, so no one gets their feelings hurt.

    Interestingly, if you restrict your search to Western countries, and ask the question in which countries are the citizens the happiest, the US, according to a Forbes survey, doesn’t even end up in the top ten. The top ten are made up of what you would call socialist countries, to wit: Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway, and Belgium.

    Except now you’re arguing politics and economics, not religion. Even putting aside the obvious subjectivity of measuring “Happiness”, you’ll note that all ten countries you listed are part of Western Civilization, and thus our 2,000 year old Christian heritage.

  145. Phoenician did not make that claim. He was pointing to your attempt to claim the superiority of Christianity, which you continued to do any, in ignorance. Here, now reread his statement: “You [Eric] have pointed at historical phenomena, and assumed they provided religious proof. I pointed at other historical phenomena which, applying the same sort of “logic”, “proved” the truth of Islam.” Note that he put “proved” in quotation marks.

    Except his “Point” was stupid. No Christian denies the reality of Islam, or that Mohammed actually existed. But atheists like Pho are pretty much forced to deny that Christ existed. The only alternative is to accept His existence as real, in which case they are left to wrestle with the implications of what made Him so extraordinary. But they’d rather just reject the whole thing instead, making infantile comparisons to spaghetti monsters and pink unicorns. This displays a real lack of depth of thinking and understanding.

  146. I suppose you would make the same statement about Chinese cultural values, Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Egyptian, Syrian, Israeli, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, South African, Alaskan, Swedish, …, get the idea?

    North Korea has equality of outcome (except for the ruling class) where everyone is equally impoverished (except for the ruling class) but South Korea, with its inequality of outcome, is better off in everything. The North Korean ruling class actually kidnaps people from South Korea and Japan the North Koreans believe would benefit North Korea.

    The Chinese people actually built a replica Statue of Liberty as they protested in favor of Democracy and against Communism. The Chinese ruling class had tanks run them down. How is Communist China modernizing and providing better wealth for its people? By installing a form of free-market capitalism within its Communist government.

    Israel turned large tracts of desert into agriculture. When segments of that agricultural land were handed over to Palestinians, the land reverted to desert. The Israeli people are financially better off than their neighbors. And they are freer, with a democratic form of government. And, lest you forget, Israel has a large segment of Arab Israelis. And those Arab Israelis have the same voting rights and ability to affect government as Jewish Israelis.

    Everywhere equality of outcome is practiced, the people are equally impoverished and the statist ruling class is well-to-do. When equality of opportunity is practiced, there is a wide range of outcomes. And the vast majority of the poor in the US is far richer than the “everybodies” in places like North Korea.

    I used to talk frequently with a Filipino woman. She said most Filipinos cannot afford to buy an American-made car. Those without a college education could expect to make $250 a month, while those with a college education could expect to make $450 a month.

    The US system the liberals claim is so unfair because the outcomes are not equal has created a “poor” class that is wealthier than most of the world’s “middle” class. And the ability to move from one class to another is much greater in the US than most of the rest of the world. There is no reason someone born in an impoverished US family cannot, with industriousness and ingenuity, become part of the wealthy class. But for most of the people of the world, such is not the case.

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