Occupy Wall Street: What do you think?

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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby fred smith » 10 Dec 2011, 06:26

You have completely avoided responding to any of my substantive points.


Incoherence is often the result of intoxication. Intoxication leads to incoherence. Incapacity to incorporate intoxicated individuals´incoherent arguments into other than innocuous statements is increasingly indicated. I couldn´t agree more. Clearly, there has been a great deal of some kind of substance. Pity that the adjective ending got dropped on the way home from the bar. I think that I will need some sustenance including perhaps substances to sustain my will (damn, there we go with Nietzsche again! Cannot that dreaded man leave us alone to enjoy our conversation?!) to engage in conversation on the subject to which we are subjecting ourselves.

Isn´t it interesting (at least I find it so) that occasionally one while walking home in the dark will avoid obstacles or objects that do not exist in the perception (mistakenly of course) that they do exist. It is like the lesson of the cat on the hot stove. The cat, after all, does not learn to avoid a hot stove but the STOVE so there is a question of what was learned in reality but we don´t wish to discuss that here. We are here to discuss hypotheticals such as the substantive point that you raised, which I would respond to if it were there and it were not so dark (can someone turn on the light?) and substances had not been substantively ingested. So regarding the Nature (oh how to define that irony of ironies) of the Occupy Wall Street crowd, what inferences can we er infer? I think (Nietzsche would have a field day with that simple subject verb construct) that the crowd is intellectually incoherent perhaps because of ingested intoxicants because it cannot even figure out WHERE to protest. This leads to the charge (snicker snicker) that the protesters are being ineffectual because their actions are not being taken in the place where they would be (for lack of better word) be effectual. Morally of course it would not matter to some as the feeling and the fervor would be of greater substance (oh dear, was I being funny without intending to be?) than the actual outcome! Again, I am speaking hypothetically because due to lack of input we cannot really know what intended outcome is desired or by whom. But then according to most philosophers, the absence of outcome would have a bearing on the morality of the system in question. Christ! (get it?! get it?!) What do I mean? I mean that it would take an awful lot to cross (hoho) these protesters despite their inability to nail (hee hee) the cause of their frustrations. If only the body would get the spirit to achieve its aims. So, if the protesters were to have aims and objectives (other than hypothetically) we could discuss the outcome to determine whether those aims had been achieved (and more important whether they SHOULD have been attained). Of course, the disagreement about whether the aims have or have not been achieved and more important whether they should and by whom could lead to a number of different evaluations or rather valuations as to the subject hence I remain undecided as to the preferability of any of the courses of action or possible action by any of the hypothetized aims of the predicated protesters. Of course, you would be free (assuming that anyone can truly be free and not subject to predetermined actions) to say that this is NONE (haha) of my business. Right? but then of course imposing a value judgment on you when I don´t really know what you think is perhaps not fair or just... Shall we fight harder to ensure that at the very minimum that that THAT does not take place? I think so... Oh dear... so difficult... now out with the light. Darkness must return not that there is anything WRONG with that. I am not saying one is better than the other... but you know what I mean er yes but in the context of the valuation not the discussion because it is only hypothetical you understand...
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 10 Dec 2011, 14:49

fred: Do you think this moral incoherence exists in all non-Christian societies, or only in post-Christian societies? Is Christ specifically necessary for moral coherence? Why or why not?

Incidentally, have you read Theodore Dalrymple?
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby fred smith » 10 Dec 2011, 20:25

fred: Do you think this moral incoherence exists in all non-Christian societies, or only in post-Christian societies? Is Christ specifically necessary for moral coherence? Why or why not?


The level of reading comprehension on this site might lead many to truly believe in the decline of Western civilization beginning with our very poor educational systems.

1. Nietzsche spoke about taking Christ or belief in God out of CHRISTIAN societies. He said it would lead to moral incoherence and passive nihilism.

2. Look at the moral incoherence and intellectually ineffectual Occupy Wall Street Movement, I chose to quote Nietzsche on this subject as the relevance seemed appropriate.

3. I would characterize the Occupy Wall Street as being of the very mainstream leftist type protest movements. I would not call it a movement of the Right. We saw that in the Tea Party movement which by contrast had two very clearly articulated aims.

4. Given that it is the left that is bereft (rhymes, doesn´t it?) of traditional morality and Christianity, I saw an even closer tie to the moral and intellectual incoherence of the movement and Nietzsche´s views.

5. Asking me whether I believe that this is true of all post-Christian societies is relevant. Yes, I believe that it is the case and we need only look at the desperate thrashing about of Europe to understand what an advance case of the terminal disease that we have finally caught may end up looking like. Multiculturalism run amok to the point where even the most politically correct of European leaders now bewails it. The desperate attempt to get individuals and society to once again take some sort of personal responsibility for themselves and their communities is another case in point. To me, the Occupy Wall Street movement is so against the times that it is laughable but then it does not get that because it is morally and intellectually incoherent.

6. Asking me whether I believe that Nietzsche´s views on non-Christian societies is relevant is tangential and I would argue irrelevant as it is totally missing the point. More about that later.

7. Asking me whether belief in Christ is necessary in other or all societies is also tangential, but I would argue that we can extrapolate Nietzsche´s belief in God postulate to also look certainly at closely related religions like Judaism and Islam. In the case of Judaism, I would argue a wholehearted yes. In the case of Islam, we really cannot be sure given that society has not really left behind Islam or attempts to do so have not been complete. Turkey is the closest example. We could look at attempts to do so in Iran, the Gulf states and certainly Egypt and Tunisia. The decision is still out but it never seems to get to the point where society becomes pluaralistic and democratic.

Hegel examined the failure of Napoleon to introduce constitutional government to Spain. Spain was historically not ready he said. I would argue that constitutional government in the Middle East may still take some time.

8. Final summation (and people please read and not skim): Christ and the belief in God is relevant as discussed by Nietzsche and quoted by myself in this discussion to CHRISTIAN societies. The reason why we are discussing only CHRISTIAN societies is that the CHRISTIAN societies are the ones who as Hegel has mentioned regarding Spain developed their present structures and societies based on CHRISTIAN values. Removing belief in Christ as we have progressed scientifically was believed by many to be part and parce of the PROGRESS that society was making. Increasingly belief was in man and science and thus our societies moved to remove religion specifically CHRIST to focus on man and his ability to carve out his own destiny. Nietzsche argued that this would lead to moral incoherence and passive nihilism that would lead to chaos and not the paradise on earth predicated by its proponents. We certainly saw that in Hitler´s Germany, Stalin´s Russia and in the welfare state and NOW in the Occupy Wall Street movement which at the very minimum can be said to be characterized by moral and intellectual incoherence or even stupidity if you really take their STATED objectives at face value when you can get them to articulate a purpose at all. Therefore, I Fred Smith, believe that Nietzsche´s characterization was and is relevant. I do not have to be an advocate of Nietzschean philosophy to see this grain of truth. Given that I would hardly call the protesters supermen of any kind, I would not be engaging in an inconsistency because I don´t believe that there is any capability among any of the individuals in this protest movement to through the force of their own will create their own morality and live by their own will to power. I think that they are too stupid, lazy, and unfocused to have any such competency therefore I suggest that they are too stupid and lazy to develop their own moral structure and that they would be very much improved by a belief in God and I mean one with a codified set of values and morals not some New Age religion that teaches them more of what they learned in school, that they do not have to work or study hard and that they are special and therefore above rules and requirements and responsibilities.
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 10 Dec 2011, 23:32

fred: You're conflating a whole lot of ideas. Multiculturalism has nothing to do with Christianity or lack of Christianity. Europe's demise began at the Somme when the Age of Reason finally gunned itself down. It's one thing to turn the guns on the savages when they resist being civilised, but when the civilised turn their guns on themselves and each other, all moral high ground is lost. As misguided as it is to apportion blame to science, it's also hard to have faith in science as a way forward when it is the means of such unprecedented destruction (though, of course, medicine and technological advancements were also improving and extending people's lives at a far greater clip). That's where the West's demise really began. Otherwise, if you want to really get to the source of the decline of Christianity in the West, you have to go back several centuries before any of the sources you're ascribing to this issue when multiculturalism and the welfare state would have been inconceivable. You need to look at the Reformation. Once people like Jan Hus or Martin Luther came on the scene, all bets were off. How was the Thirty Years' War in anyway sensible or morally coherent? Christianity was doomed at that point and the only reason the West didn't fall into a great existential malaise then was that the West essentially replaced God with science, which worked for a while, but would eventually bring itself undone for other reasons. Nietzsche's point is moot because European society in the late nineteenth century was only a caricature of a Christian society and had been for centuries. Protestant Europe wasn't composed of Christian nations. It was composed of commercial enterprises. Any religion was just window dressing.

Anyway, the supposedly most Christian societies today are far more backward than post-Christian societies. They're also much worse places to live. Take your pick of metric from literacy rates to violent crime rates to infant mortality rates, but places such as the Philippines, Latin America and those parts of Africa that are Christian are complete disasters. Yes, the average Swede probably doesn't have any great raison d'etre, but does the average Brazilian? I'd rather walk down the street or live in Stockholm than Sao Paulo. Where's the moral coherence in people going to church and then completely ignoring the scriptures? What is the great metaphysical or ethical project of the barrios and their inhabitants, and what would my chances be of walking through one for fifteen minutes without falling foul of someone engaging in non-Christian behaviour, despite the fact that any of those people would supposedly report high levels of personal religiosity? Likewise, you seem to be trying to paint a picture of yesteryear as some sort of golden age of morality, despite the fact that these so-called Christian societies oppressed pretty well everybody they could, both inside and out.

The problem with prescribing Christianity is this. If a society is to be ever vigilant against "moral decay" then it must, by definition be rigidly intolerant and totalitarian (even if it's only the petty totalitarianism of clucking housewives). Otherwise, it ends up becoming completely meaningless and resembles a glorified Rotary Club or Sunday cake baking competition in a rural parish, which is pretty well where denominations such as the Church of England or Presbyterianism are these days. Surely this is a logical inevitability of loving thy neighbour.
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby fred smith » 11 Dec 2011, 00:48

fred: You're conflating a whole lot of ideas. Multiculturalism has nothing to do with Christianity or lack of Christianity.


I am conflating nothing. I am talking about CHRISTIAN societies who no longer believe in CHRIST and what this may mean. I point to multiculturalism as an EXAMPLE of this and how it has not led to the desired stated aims or expectations of said movement.

Europe's demise began at the Somme when the Age of Reason finally gunned itself down.


I think that your inability to understand my points has to do less with my stated comments and more to do with your insistence of fitting everything that I say into your prism on what is wrong with the West. You are not really reading and absorbing what I am saying. You are merely jumping on points to point back to buttress your own preconceived views on the West.

It's one thing to turn the guns on the savages when they resist being civilised, but when the civilised turn their guns on themselves and each other, all moral high ground is lost.


Ah, but if you are referring to World War I, you would be discussing a highly rationalized scientific society that had moved beyond its belief in religion to a belief in man as the measure of all things. Not sure how this disagrees with my quoting of Nietzsche to discuss the incoherence of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

As misguided as it is to apportion blame to science, it's also hard to have faith in science as a way forward when it is the means of such unprecedented destruction (though, of course, medicine and technological advancements were also improving and extending people's lives at a far greater clip). That's where the West's demise really began.


I am not sure what you mean here but I sense that I disagree. WE do not need to give up science but we have to realize (haha) that science is based on its own predicated belief structures and this FAITH underlies all principles of scientific thought. The irony of this being lost on those who claim to understand science and who use it to beat religion amuses me to no end.

Otherwise, if you want to really get to the source of the decline of Christianity in the West, you have to go back several centuries before any of the sources you're ascribing to this issue when multiculturalism and the welfare state would have been inconceivable.


Why?

You need to look at the Reformation. Once people like Jan Hus or Martin Luther came on the scene, all bets were off.


You have your own agenda here that goes far beyond my pointing to the moral and intellectual incoherence of the Occupy Wall Street Movement and how Nietzsche´s comments could be of relevance.

How was the Thirty Years' War in anyway sensible or morally coherent? Christianity was doomed at that point and the only reason the West didn't fall into a great existential malaise then was that the West essentially replaced God with science, which worked for a while, but would eventually bring itself undone for other reasons.


Obviously, you have a very strong vested interest in maintaining your point of view. More power to you. Not something that I posited and I have no interest in defending what you perceive to be my stance on the same.

Nietzsche's point is moot because European society in the late nineteenth century was only a caricature of a Christian society and had been for centuries.


Or at least one century but only among the bien-piensants.

Protestant Europe wasn't composed of Christian nations. It was composed of commercial enterprises. Any religion was just window dressing.


I disagree emphatically.

Anyway, the supposedly most Christian societies today are far more backward than post-Christian societies.


Relevance?

They're also much worse places to live.


Relevance?

Take your pick of metric from literacy rates to violent crime rates to infant mortality rates, but places such as the Philippines, Latin America and those parts of Africa that are Christian are complete disasters.


Are you talking about disasters in that they are Christian or that they are built on aboriginal or indigenous societies that have not fully absorbed the Western ethic?

Yes, the average Swede probably doesn't have any great raison d'etre, but does the average Brazilian?


Irrelevant. You are confusing a development model with a moral one. I get that you want to do so but this is not the point of Nietzsche´s comment regarding value structure and moral and intellectual incoherence. You are saying religion is a component in development. That is not what we were discussing. We were talking about a value structure based on a religion in this case Christianity and how removing the key variable would not lead to an enlightened maintenance of the structure but an increasingly morally relative quicksand on which nothing could stand.

I'd rather walk down the street or live in Stockholm than Sao Paulo
.

Again, relevance? How does devlopment equate with moral and intellectual coherence?

Where's the moral coherence in people going to church and then completely ignoring the scriptures?


There is none but you are now discussing individuals as opposed to societies the latter of which enforce compliance either through criminal or legal codes or perhaps earlier even religious ones.

What is the great metaphysical or ethical project of the barrios and their inhabitants, and what would my chances be of walking through one for fifteen minutes without falling foul of someone engaging in non-Christian behaviour, despite the fact that any of those people would supposedly report high levels of personal religiosity? Likewise, you seem to be trying to paint a picture of yesteryear as some sort of golden age of morality, despite the fact that these so-called Christian societies oppressed pretty well everybody they could, both inside and out.


I will take this a ramble that you obviously enjoy so carry on promenading arguing against the forces that do not exist, against the posters who never suggested the argument against which you are fighting Don Quixote.

The problem with prescribing Christianity is this. If a society is to be ever vigilant against "moral decay" then it must, by definition be rigidly intolerant and totalitarian (even if it's only the petty totalitarianism of clucking housewives). Otherwise, it ends up becoming completely meaningless and resembles a glorified Rotary Club or Sunday cake baking competition in a rural parish, which is pretty well where denominations such as the Church of England or Presbyterianism are these days. Surely this is a logical inevitability of loving thy neighbour.


Wow. This is where we have arrived after a discussion of the Occupy Wall Street movement and moral incoherence? You are clearly very coherent about the argument that you want to have. The true pity is that no one is having that argument but like all roads leading back to Rome, it is the reality that you have built and by God (haha) you are going to get there whether the argument is of relevance! Go girlfriend! Tell it like it is!

One final comment. The adherents of a religion don´t need to always follow that religion. They can and will sin BUT there is an objective standard in the form of a religion that can judge them for their infractions. The issue that I perceive in the Occupy Wall Street movement and why incidentally I cited Nietzsche is because I am not sure that the OWS movement or the modern left has anything but moral relativity and moral incoherence to fall back upon. THAT is and always has been my point. Please do not try to keep, as you say conflating, my views to buttress your own predilections for beating up on the West in all other areas. Christianity and other religions set up systems. They don not bring heaven to earth and people do not stop sinning and living in harmony. Get it?

Our chief difference is that you are saying Christianity is flawed because the adherents of Christianity sin. True, individuals sin. I am not disputing that.

My point is that in the Occupy Wall Street and modern leftist movements, no one can really say what is right and wrong and what needs to be done.

Christianity and any other religion may be flawed by they are NOT by their very nature morally incoherent. Get it?
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 11 Dec 2011, 09:10

You are insisting this be seen through your particular prism.

My point is that Christianity is inherently flawed, and the Protestant Reformation brought this out (and of course, there were previous episodes that got put down). On the one hand, you want to talk about a set of morals that Christianity has. Yet at the same time, a Christian is supposed to love his neighbour, to be tolerant of him. Once the northern Europeans broke off from the Catholic Church, all bets were off, simply because if a person or group of people didn't like the existing version of Christianity, they could either start their own version, or move to somewhere else and start their own. Christianity became a relativistic belief system at that point. This problem was always going to come out of the New Testament though because the old, jealous God was out and a new, tolerant God was in. Everything else since has flowed from that and as I keep saying, this issue predates OWS, multiculturalism, the modern welfare state, 19th century socialism or any of the other agenda you keep banging on about. This is the fundamental difference I see between Christianity and Islam, incidentally. Christianity was always going to dilute itself down to irrelevance in trying to move with the times and allowing people a certain degree of free will. Islam, on the other hand, will eventually become irrelevantly mired in the past.

As to the OWS having no clear agenda, that's nonsense. What they don't have is a clear set of policies that they could implement if they were suddenly elected tomorrow as a political party. Of course, they may or may not ever get off the ground in actually finely honing what it is they are trying to say and become a political force (either within the existing Democratic Party or another party, perhaps a new one), but that's irrelevant. That you are denying that there are certain themes in their movement is just silly. The average person in the movement that you see on TV is not particularly articulate, but he's not morally incoherent. He knows that he wants redistributive economics and he has a sense of social justice, regardless of how that may turn out in practice. As others have said, he's not nihilistic, he's idealistic. Likewise, to say that there have been unintended consequences of socialism is also silly. Did Martin Luther think, when he nailed that piece of paper to that door that Christianity would essentially end up like a cafeteria where you can take or leave whatever you want? Did the early Christians think that tolerance would one day lead to ordained gay or female priests?

The problem with your whole argument is that a society can never truly become post-Christian. You want to forever have your cake and eat it too. Any "post-Christian" society's successes are forever to be the consequence of having been inherited from Christianity, and any of its flaws are to be the consequence of having abandoned Christianity. By what standards could a post-Christian society actually be deemed successfully morally coherent?
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby cfimages » 11 Dec 2011, 11:43

Seeing as tax has been mentioned a lot, here's an interesting article "Just What Do The Rich Have That's Taxable?" on NPR.

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143508437 ... able?sc=tw

I hadn't realized that tax limits were so low in the US. For all the talk you hear of high taxes and so forth, the top rate is only 35% for incomes over $380K. High-income earners have no right at all to complain they pay too much when the rate is so low.
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby fred smith » 11 Dec 2011, 20:29

You are insisting this be seen through your particular prism.


Or perhaps I know the extent of the comment that I wish to make in the context that I want that comment to be taken in and am not looking to achieve a comprehensive philosophical view or Weltanschauung of the issue?

My point is that Christianity is inherently flawed,


Disagree but I am not Christian.

and the Protestant Reformation brought this out (and of course, there were previous episodes that got put down).


or shifted the responsibility to the individual in a much stronger way than had ever been the case.

O
n the one hand, you want to talk about a set of morals that Christianity has. Yet at the same time, a Christian is supposed to love his neighbour, to be tolerant of him.


Again, you wish to focus on the infractions of individuals. Yes, people are going to continue sinning. The issue is whether society has the basis to judge. Get it? I doubt it but I will repeat myself yet again.

Once the northern Europeans broke off from the Catholic Church, all bets were off, simply because if a person or group of people didn't like the existing version of Christianity, they could either start their own version, or move to somewhere else and start their own.


Ah.... I think that I see where you are finally trying to get althrough arguing it badly. You are suggesting that there are denominations of Christianity and thus Christianity is not a unifed whole. True, but that has always been true of Christianity since its inception. Point?

Christianity became a relativistic belief system at that point. This problem was always going to come out of the New Testament though because the old, jealous God was out and a new, tolerant God was in.


Try telling that to the Protestant denominations with their very puritan (get it puritan?) views.

Everything else since has flowed from that and as I keep saying, this issue predates OWS, multiculturalism, the modern welfare state, 19th century socialism or any of the other agenda you keep banging on about.


I see your point but I don´t see that the issue was being able to judge. The issue was that people were to ready to judge and if anything this led to violence because everyone believed that his or her moral yardstick was the one to measure things with.

This is the fundamental difference I see between Christianity and Islam, incidentally. Christianity was always going to dilute itself down to irrelevance in trying to move with the times and allowing people a certain degree of free will. Islam, on the other hand, will eventually become irrelevantly mired in the past.


There is even less one Islam and that has always been the case. Islam is more akin to Judaism in this regard. Where is the Pope or spiritual leader of Islam who speaks for all Muslims and where is its equivalent of St. Peter´s?

As to the OWS having no clear agenda, that's nonsense.


Great. What´s its agenda then? I keep asking but no one answers. Apparently their policy platform was immaculately conceived and we are expected to have faith despite seeing nothing of the sort. It is precisely because we cannot see it that like the Trinity it must exist?

What they don't have is a clear set of policies that they could implement if they were suddenly elected tomorrow as a political party.


Gold prize of understatement of the forum.

Of course, they may or may not ever get off the ground in actually finely honing what it is they are trying to say


So, we still don´t really know what it is they are trying to say so what are they trying to say or what do they need to do to hone what they are trying to say so that people like me can understand their fervent aims?

and become a political force (either within the existing Democratic Party or another party, perhaps a new one),


You mean sorta kinda like the Tea Party. We don´t have any trouble understanding its two clearly articulated aims but the OWS movement...

but that's irrelevant.


Yes, that is a good adjective. Unfortunately, I doubt that you see how it is applicable to this case.

That you are denying that there are certain themes in their movement is just silly.


So... there are themes... what are they? and prove that the average protester had them in the beginning and show that this is not something that was PROJECTED onto them by some union or celebrity or political figure. Now, they may have watched enough news to be able to know what it is that they are supposed to be articulating but I doubt very much that they possessed this in the beginning. It was your usual G20, APEC, NATO, presidential visit protest gathering of FREE spirits who just want to smoke joints and rail against Da Man!

The average person in the movement that you see on TV is not particularly articulate, but he's not morally incoherent.


But aren´t they supposed to be the smart ones so how is it that they are not articulate? I guess that we have to go back to the failed educational system that is leading to the decline of the West. Here, you may have agreement from me. Not morally incoherent???? If no one knows why they are there, how is that not morally incoherent?

He knows that he wants redistributive economics


You KNOW that this is what is motivating most protesters? I certainly do not see how you can know that but feel free to show me the poll or the proof indicating that this is one of the primary reasons why they are there. Also, redistributive economics... yeah, that is really morally coherent. I want more while doing less. Is that a moral position?

and he has a sense of social justice,


social justice is just the latest rebranding of communism, socialism, third worldism, NGO do gooderism, etc. How is this different from the redistributive economics that you mentioned earlier? It isn´t.

regardless of how that may turn out in practice.


For the LOVE OF GOD!!!!! regardless of how that may turn out in practice????? Can you listen to yourself? How in the name of all that is holy is the outcome not relevant to the morality of the cause? Let´s revisit what it means to be morally incoherent again! As long as I mean something good even though I have no idea what the hell that good might be then my action is good? Really? I will give you a second chance. Is this what you want to say????

As others have said, he's not nihilistic, he's idealistic.


Idealistic would indicate the presence of ideals. How can you be idealistic and not nihilistic when you have no idea how that action may turn out in practice nor even have the expectation of knowing how that action may lead to any outcome?

Likewise, to say that there have been unintended consequences of socialism is also silly.


Lost me here.

Did Martin Luther think, when he nailed that piece of paper to that door that Christianity would essentially end up like a cafeteria where you can take or leave whatever you want? Did the early Christians think that tolerance would one day lead to ordained gay or female priests?


Religions can and do change. Ever read Karen Armstrong´s history of God? I recommend it highly. Covers Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We no longer have an issue with ordained gay or female priests, or ministers. We no longer accept slavery. We no longer accept a number of things that were accepted 2,000 years ago. WE have evolved. That is not the same as ditching the entire code as the belief in the core remains and that is the belief in God, faith in Christ or God. Do YOU have an issue with gay or female priests? If so, why? and show me the history of not accepting women and gays into ordainment was always the norm. Armstrong will have some points for me but not for you me thinks.

The problem with your whole argument is that a society can never truly become post-Christian.


Not if I do not want to take this as an all comprehensive view. I want and have stated from the very beginning to focus on the area where Western society tries to take belief in God or Christ out of its value structure and still tries to maintain the Christian elements of that system. Given that I have stated this all along how can you suggest that I was saying that society would move to being POST Christian? when I have stated from the very beginning the Christian sensibilities and values would remain. Only Christ would be taken out?

You want to forever have your cake and eat it too.


Do I? I think that I have stated my position very clearly and you have very clearly indicated that you are going to force any views, comments into a prism that buttresses your prejudices about Western society and the decline of its civiliziation.

Any "post-Christian" society's successes are forever to be the consequence of having been inherited from Christianity, and any of its flaws are to be the consequence of having abandoned Christianity.


Either you were out very late last night or you cannot read. I was talking about taking belief in Christ out of the system WHILE TRYING TO MAINTAIN the Christian moral code. Nietzsche said it would lead to moral incoherence and passive nihilism.

By what standards could a post-Christian society actually be deemed successfully morally coherent?


JESUS H CHRIST! (haha) Now you have it! THAT is the issue. Taking Christ out of the system would lead to moral incoherence! Finally you have cottoned on to the argument that I have been trying to make while quoting Nietzche! Hallelujah!
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby fred smith » 11 Dec 2011, 20:48

Seeing as tax has been mentioned a lot, here's an interesting article "Just What Do The Rich Have That's Taxable?" on NPR.

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/10/143508437 ... able?sc=tw

I hadn't realized that tax limits were so low in the US. For all the talk you hear of high taxes and so forth, the top rate is only 35% for incomes over $380K. High-income earners have no right at all to complain they pay too much when the rate is so low


The issue for many of us is less the amount of tax (though that is important) and more a matter of who effectively the money is spent. After 50 years of dire predictions about the poor, health care, crime, education, all of which required more and more government involvement, government employment, government programs, all of which have not led to any appreciable benefits or improvements and in many cases many situations have become much worse, the issue is whether government can effectively use tax revenues to deal with real problems. The complement to this is the money that goes to foundations to fund NGOs and other programs that mirror government ones but achieve little to nothing if benchmarks measuring progress are used. So. The real question is why government needs more money when it has acted like a crack-addicted whore with the money that it has received over the past 50 years all while whining that ¨Baby. This is the last fix I swear and then things will be better.¨ We have heard it all before and we are showing that whore the door. Of course, she has a number of friends with the same problem and we have fallen for those to. The taxpayer and voter also need to get out of this dysfunctional relationship and return responsibility to individuals and not to government entities and NGOs. Death by routine is how these bureaucracies have been termed.
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Re: Occupy Wall Street: What do you think? POLL

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 12 Dec 2011, 08:28

fred: Liberalism, socialism, whatever you want to call it has a clearly defined set of principles. Some overlap with Christianity (but so do various other belief systems), some do not. Liberalism is not about trying to be Christian without Christ. That's massively overstating the role of Christianity in modern leftist politics. Leftist politics has evolved, just as you claim Christianity has.

Secondly, just because the average OWS participant is not an intellectual scholar of liberalism, socialism, whatever you want to call it, so what? The average Christian knows very little about the Bible and is not a scholar of Christianity. In both cases, the average person has a vague notion of what the belief system advocates. This is probably true for any belief system. Yet you want to claim that this represents moral incoherence in one group, but not the other.

Also, there's a difference in kind between the questions "is murder okay?" and "how much tax is the right amount?" That's a large part of why the OWS movement are having trouble working out policies. They want the 1% to pay more tax. This is not in dispute, despite what you may claim about no one knowing what they want. Every time any one of them has been shown in the media, he or she has said that. The problem lies in working out the particulars of an answer that is considerably more complex than a simple yes or no answer. Likewise, the OWS protestors are annoyed at the fact that many of those on Wall Street were able to make their profits private whilst making their losses public, and a whole lot of sub-points to that. That the average person doesn't quite know how to address this issue has less to do with a morally incoherent position and more to do with the fact that the regulatory codes in the U.S. have thousands and thousands of pages and the average protestor does not have highly specialised knowledge in the required fields. Again, so what? This can be claimed about most belief systems we have as humans.

It is you who has an axe to grind here by ignoring these kinds of points that have already been mentioned by plenty of other posters already. I don't even agree with them a lot of the time, but to claim that OWS doesn't even know what it's about is ridiculous.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man

One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell
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