Christian socialism

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Athetotheist
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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?

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Christian-Socialism

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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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Diogenes
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Re: Christian socialism

Post #22

Post by Diogenes »

Aetixintro wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 3:27 am [Replying to Athetotheist in post #1]

Tip: Look to Germany: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian ... in_Bavaria, The Christian Social Union in Bavaria.

And https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDU/CSU, CDU/CSU, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU).

Other than that, to properly reject the socialism of Nazi-Germany, I think it's fair to say that Christianity and Socialism are incompatible.
Is it possible you are confusing authoritarianism with socialism?
A standard definition of socialism is "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole." As a practical matter in the mixed economies of today, socialism means little more than the rich sharing with the poor.
In what way is this contrary to the teachings of Jesus?

"Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." (Luke 6:27)
Plutarch openly scorned Greek religious beliefs in resurrections "many such improbabilities do your fabulous writers relate, deifying creatures naturally mortal."

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #23

Post by Diogenes »

Purple Knight wrote: Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:45 pm Nobody wants capitalism, especially not capitalists. Capitalists want capitalism for everyone else, and socialism for themselves.
Tho' fascism does not necessarily embrace a particular form of economics, in the examples we have of fascism in the 30s and 40s what we saw was that big business developed an increasingly close partnership with the Italian Fascist and German fascist governments. Business leaders supported the government's political and military goals. In exchange, the government pursued economic policies that maximized the profits of its business allies. [see Arthur Schweitzer (1964). "Big Business in the Third Reich." Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 288.]

This is exactly what is going on today in the United States with big business controlling Congress and the Presidency with the huge donations that help 'their' Congressmen get elected and stay in power.
Plutarch openly scorned Greek religious beliefs in resurrections "many such improbabilities do your fabulous writers relate, deifying creatures naturally mortal."

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William
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Re: Christian socialism

Post #24

Post by William »

I see things outside the black an white labels which - lets all be honest - have been placed into our minds without our initial consent.

We just adopt the things of the past and understand them to be problems rather than solutions.

And get about arguing over which of the problem-causing Social Structures is the lessor evil.

Apples do not fall far from the tree.

Sometimes I find myself pulled between admitting humans need the extraterrestrial help of some god-specie to force us to see the way forward, and acknowledging the potential humans have for sorting their own stuff out.

It gives me an uncomfortable feeling...

Feelings aside, the best I can do is shut up and be nice - smile at the dying and wonder if there is a next phase and whether better opportunity to create Social Structures which succeed will be available.

What, with all the bickering on the dying side of death, I naturally place my hope elsewhere...

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #25

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 12:59 pmSometimes I find myself pulled between admitting humans need the extraterrestrial help of some god-specie to force us to see the way forward, and acknowledging the potential humans have for sorting their own stuff out.
Individuals have that capacity. People as a group do not, because groups develop dynamics that make the unsustainable strategy the only viable one.

You know how there are some places where all drivers on the road are aggressiveholes, and you have to be an aggressivehole just to get from A to B? It's like that. Once this sort of dynamic develops, everyone sees its terrible results, everyone wants to change it, but nobody can.
William wrote: Wed Dec 22, 2021 12:59 pmAnd get about arguing over which of the problem-causing Social Structures is the lessor evil.
Here's the way I see it on social structures and whether or not they're justified.

We meet in the jungle, and nothing is off-limits. There are no rights, there are no laws. Either of us can kill the other if he can. Law of the Jungle.

But that's no good, so we develop rules - a basic social structure to help us both live now that there are two of us.

But if I say, I can do whatever I want to you, and start imposing restrictions on you anyway, those aren't real rules, that's just me still being in the jungle and trying to hurt you while I help myself. So be it. If I can't get out of the jungle, you don't have to either. Fair rules were never developed, so you don't have to abide by them.

Social structures must benefit, or at worst, be neutral to, each party. If you make somebody worse off than they'd be with the Law of the Jungle, you have no right to impose that rule on him and he's free to act on the Law of the Jungle.

It's the same if I notice that I have a pile of gold and you have a pile of silver, so I say, no stealing, but silver, you see, it's not really property, so that doesn't count. If I start constructing a bunch of rights that favour myself and don't provide you with a real benefit, rules that benefit both parties were never developed and the party who loses has no obligation to respect them.

The worst form of this is a law that takes resources from one party and protects the other while he hurts the first one.

I utterly reject the notion of legalised harming within some ridiculous bounds because, in some nebulous way, people are supposed to be better off. If I'm out to hurt you, you should be able to punch me. That at least deters me from trying to hurt you, and lo and behold, Nature does produce harmony sometimes, with nothing more than the threat of a physical fight if some accord can't be reached. This is how the Law of the Jungle solves problems, and if societal structures can't do better then we should use it.

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William
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Re: Christian socialism

Post #26

Post by William »

Search "law of the jungle"
the principle that those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful.


This 'law of the jungle" rationalization reminds me of the series called The I Land.

Image

Have you watched this at all?

It gives an interesting view on human phycology re thinking in terms of 'law of the jungle' - perhaps the answer is in finding ways in which to rise above such mentality.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #27

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 3:06 pmHave you watched this at all?
I'll give it a watch.
William wrote: Thu Dec 23, 2021 3:06 pmperhaps the answer is in finding ways in which to rise above such mentality.
I don't think it's a given that we should rise above it, unless we can do it together, and make the world better not just for a few, but for everyone.

Under the law of the jungle, even the weakest person can make a fight of something and at least deter someone from attacking him.

When we start making rules that rob him of that right, and just take from him, saying well those are the rules lol sorry it worked out that way, we've not risen above the law of the jungle whether we say we have or not.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #28

Post by William »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #27]
I don't think it's a given that we should rise above it, unless we can do it together, and make the world better not just for a few, but for everyone.
I think that it is potentially possible but highly unlikely...The law of the jungle is - after all - the rule of nature.

It is enough that we each as individuals can rise above it...with in mind that it is unlikely that in doing so some miraculous ripple effect will take place and everyone does it together.

I do not think that this reality experience is designed specifically for such an event - even that the potential is there. I do not pin any hopes on it becoming a real event - a mass human change of heart and mind coming up with a plan on how to actually turn things around? Unlikely.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #29

Post by Purple Knight »

William wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 1:42 pmIt is enough that we each as individuals can rise above it...with in mind that it is unlikely that in doing so some miraculous ripple effect will take place and everyone does it together.
We can rise above it, but we don't have to. There's no law that says we have to, and that's how I want it.

If Jimbo hits me or scams someone, I may hit him. I have the choice not to and maybe then I'm choosing my spiritual advancement or something deep like that. Good for me. But if I choose to hit him back hard enough, I make him hesitant to start fights, and then I'm choosing the guy he hits next.

I think this world is probably all there is, so I want to make it the best I can. That includes punishing people who hurt others so they're more hesitant to do so in the future. I refuse to advocate making this world a Hell of pacifists being preyed upon like animals on the chance there's some way this helps souls move up.

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