Christian socialism

Two hot topics for the price of one

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Christian socialism

Post #1

Post by Athetotheist »

Conservative Christians often wax ominous about "the evils of socialism" and insist that socialism and Christianity are mutually incompatible.

Considering the embarrassing materialism of the "prosperity gospel" and the widening gap between the rich and the poor, might conservative Christians be ready to view Christian socialism in a more positive light?

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Purple Knight
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Re: Christian socialism

Post #21

Post by Purple Knight »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:13 pmI'm reminded of "too big to fail", where risk is removed by the notion that a bailout is the "only answer".
Exactly. Industries form guilds, and/or band together use collective power to lobby for benefits that protect the in-group from risk of failure.

This can't fail to happen in a competitive system because it turns out that working together and protecting one another outcompetes rugged individualism.

Then, you have all the drawbacks of socialism because the people selling crappy overpriced products such as airplane tickets are protected from failure.

If a libertarian presents a moral argument - capitalism is moral, because only voluntary association is moral, force is immoral - then I lose. I question how they can justify capitalistic government since it is inevitable that such a government will provide socialist benefits to the rich in a competitive system because government employees exist within a competitive system, have the power to dole out those benefits, and may indeed be forced to play ball to compete, which everyone must... but ultimately morality is morality and that wins. By definition, I can't morally justify an immoral act just because it benefits everyone.

But if it's about benefits to society, if the government should serve that, then there is simply no way to justify why socialism is wrong in a system where we already have every drawback of socialism. People will often say, we must have the free market to avoid cheaters pillaging the system of free benefits. I roll my eyes and often don't point out that no genuine cheater is left out in the cold because actual cheaters stop at nothing to obtain the benefits and will pop out another kid every year to stay on welfare if that's what they have to do. People who are actually needy and won't do those things are left out in the cold. In only providing the benefits to a few, we serve the cheaters and deny service to the honest.

Any system can stop cheating if it wants to. We know what cheating looks like. We could easily say, here are the things you can't do if you want the benefits.

Back on-topic, I think Christianity would do decently as a system of preventing cheating. It would unfortunately leave people out in the cold who object to Christianity on moral grounds, but I do think many churches do a better job of feeding the poor without endorsing systematic mooching than the government does. It speaks to how a thread of morality running through the process can improve it, even if it's not perfect. That's not to say there aren't examples of private charity being corrupt, however.

What I would really like to see is this sort of in-group protection for every group. Christians protect Christians, Buddhists protect Buddhists, atheists protect atheists. Regardless of whether or not it'll happen, I would like to see this play out on a level playing field to see who does best.

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