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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Re: Christian socialism

Post #2

Post by Aetixintro »

[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.

In a sense, Socialism seems to imply corruption to a large extent. Just look at Venezuela. It's crazy there with their socialism and all.

Though, there is the social aspect of Christianity to help your fellow human being and I'm sympathic to this angle. See Effective Altruism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_altruism.
I'm cool! :) - Stronger Religion every day! Also by "mathematical Religion", the eternal forms, God closing the door on corrupt humanity, possibly!

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #3

Post by Athetotheist »

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.

In a sense, Socialism seems to imply corruption to a large extent. Just look at Venezuela. It's crazy there with their socialism and all.

Though, there is the social aspect of Christianity to help your fellow human being and I'm sympathic to this angle. See Effective Altruism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effective_altruism.
As the term "Nazi" indicates, that was supposed to be national socialism, which is an oxymoron. It's nationalism which is incompatible with socialism. And the socialism of Denmark is a far better example than the pseudo-socialism of Venezuela.

And while "effective altruism" sounds good, it unfortunately has its limits. For example, despite evidence and reasoning there are still people who refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated against a dangerous virus.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #4

Post by Daedalus X »

Athetotheist wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:50 am And the socialism of Denmark is a far better example than the pseudo-socialism of Venezuela.
The problem with the word "socialism" is that we all have something different in mind when we use it. I for one would not think of Denmark as a socialist nation, but rather a capitalist nation with mandatory insurance schemes for things like medicine, retirement, unemployment etc.
To me socialism has to do with ownership of the means of production, where the people own an equal share of the means of production, but nobody can sell that ownership to someone else. (can you even say that you own it if you can't sell it or give it away?)
And capitalism is the opposite of socialism, where the means of production is owned by individual people and it can be bought or sold for any consideration acceptable to the seller and buyer.
I would also say that since christianity recognizes property rights, then christianity would be a capitalist system. Christianity does demand charity, and charity is only possible if one can give something that one owns to someone who does not own, and that would only be possible if the people have a right to property which would include the means of production as well.
The biggest problem with "christian socialism" (in my opinion) is that a person can be charitable with something that he or she does not own, but rather is owned by someone else. For example, if I am unemployed and own nothing but I vote for a politician who is going to raise taxes on the rich to pay for welfare programs for the poor, then I am effectively sending men with guns to steal money from one class of people for the benefit of another class of people. And that is just not how christian charity should work.
So "christian socialism" is problematic at best and a contradiction in terms at worst.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #5

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Daedalus X in post #4]
I would also say that since christianity recognizes property rights, then christianity would be a capitalist system.
"And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." (Acts 4:32)

You leave out a couple of key elements. Capitalism is private ownership of production for private profit; socialism is public ownership of production for public profit. The problem with capitalism is that it doesn't reward work; it rewards ownership. People rightfully own what their labor creates. When people work and their work generates wealth, that wealth rightfully belongs to them; when someone who merely owns the workplace takes their wealth and gives back to them only a sliver in the form of "wages", that workplace owner is taking wealth from those who rightfully own it since it was their labor which generated it.

As for taxing the rich, here again the rich should have to pay for what they get. For example: if the rich are going to pay no taxes while stashing their fortunes in offshore havens, the taxpayer-supported US military shouldn't be sent in to save the day when a local revolution threatens their bankrolls. Wouldn't you agree?

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William
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Re: Christian socialism

Post #6

Post by William »

It is a complex problem.

Perhaps the key issue is that Christianity is underscored by the belief in the 'hope of Heaven' and in that, Earthly things are not regarded as terribly important - even to the insistence that all the Earth is controlled by Satanic agenda.

This means that Christians 'tolerate' having to exist in this grey area and abide by the Earthly Authorities but not to the extent that they have to engage with things such as 'saving the planet' and what have you. Those types of things are inconsequential in the grander scheme of things - those 'hidden things' which are happening in the world, and on occasion leak out - such as the recent spillage of tons of secret information about individuals and organizations of the extremely rich and powerful who avoid paying taxes - vast amounts of money which would clearly help relieve the burdens of the poor and assist in maintaining solid infrastructure and generally help solve the woes of the World fairly quickly.

If there are 2.22 billion Christians in said world who have their eyes squarely focused on the rewards of Heaven, therein is a vast portion of said World which will continue to remain silent about said tax avoidance, and voice no protest at all...thus the 'Satanic Rich' get away with their secretive manipulations, even when those manipulations become public.

How is it that Christian silence enables the [so-called] 'satanic rich' to continue the ruination of the World? Cruel irony?

Perhaps part of the explanation is rooted in the belief that love of the Earth is akin to paganism, and thus avoided?

And with the offer of a 'new' Earth as part of the deal, therein not a peep of protest from those with their eyes on that prize.

Yet here we are, with that actual potential to create for ourselves and each other, a 'new Earth' from the 'old' one, by fair distribution of the contribution of the riches this Earth has to offer, which are 'held in trust' by the rich...such a potential Win/Win... and 2.22 billion Christian voices could help make that a reality, if only they were not occupied in worship and prayer to a distant God and His promises of better life elsewhere?

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #7

Post by Athetotheist »

William wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 2:05 pm It is a complex problem.

Perhaps the key issue is that Christianity is underscored by the belief in the 'hope of Heaven' and in that, Earthly things are not regarded as terribly important - even to the insistence that all the Earth is controlled by Satanic agenda.

This means that Christians 'tolerate' having to exist in this grey area and abide by the Earthly Authorities but not to the extent that they have to engage with things such as 'saving the planet' and what have you. Those types of things are inconsequential in the grander scheme of things - those 'hidden things' which are happening in the world, and on occasion leak out - such as the recent spillage of tons of secret information about individuals and organizations of the extremely rich and powerful who avoid paying taxes - vast amounts of money which would clearly help relieve the burdens of the poor and assist in maintaining solid infrastructure and generally help solve the woes of the World fairly quickly.

If there are 2.22 billion Christians in said world who have their eyes squarely focused on the rewards of Heaven, therein is a vast portion of said World which will continue to remain silent about said tax avoidance, and voice no protest at all...thus the 'Satanic Rich' get away with their secretive manipulations, even when those manipulations become public.

How is it that Christian silence enables the [so-called] 'satanic rich' to continue the ruination of the World? Cruel irony?

Perhaps part of the explanation is rooted in the belief that love of the Earth is akin to paganism, and thus avoided?

And with the offer of a 'new' Earth as part of the deal, therein not a peep of protest from those with their eyes on that prize.

Yet here we are, with that actual potential to create for ourselves and each other, a 'new Earth' from the 'old' one, by fair distribution of the contribution of the riches this Earth has to offer, which are 'held in trust' by the rich...such a potential Win/Win... and 2.22 billion Christian voices could help make that a reality, if only they were not occupied in worship and prayer to a distant God and His promises of better life elsewhere?
The thing about doing it ourselves is that according to traditional Christian theology we shouldn't be able to do it ourselves, so they interpret that win/win as a win/lose ["win" for the earth, "lose" for their faith].

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #8

Post by Purple Knight »

Athetotheist wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:50 amAs the term "Nazi" indicates, that was supposed to be national socialism, which is an oxymoron. It's nationalism which is incompatible with socialism.
You could have in-group socialism, even if you call it something else, thinking (probably rightly) that this wouldn't exactly count as socialism. Regardless of what you call it, you could have that dynamic only within a certain group. In fact, it would probably work better. It would just invalidate the point of using that system.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #9

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Purple Knight in post #8]
Regardless of what you call it, you could have that dynamic only within a certain group.
But that group could be widespread, as in an entire profession. And other professions operating the same way could meld into a society.

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Re: Christian socialism

Post #10

Post by William »

[Replying to Athetotheist in post #7]
The thing about doing it ourselves is that according to traditional Christian theology we shouldn't be able to do it ourselves, so they interpret that win/win as a win/lose ["win" for the earth, "lose" for their faith].

Yes.

Sometime in the course of the evolution of Christianity, the focus was placed upon Jesus returning to do it for us. My previous post explains that in more detail.

Whether that was historical Jesus' emphasis, or that is exactly what he messaged that we should be doing for ourselves, is a matter of contention among Christians.

The overall point being, is that we can - as humans - do it for ourselves, at least potentially...but are at a distinct disadvantage we 2.22 billion Christians generally thinking Jesus will return and do it for them [as believers] while removing the non-believers from the planet or removing the believers from the planet and leaving the non-believers to their [terrible] fate, whichever version of events each Christian believes re that.

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