And yes, I think you’re trolling, because you’re using a rather narrow definition of trolling. Some trolls set out a very carefully constructed argument, intended specifically to incite the largest reaction.
At the risk of upsetting several people here who is God and why do you think he/she/it exists? The church is an instrument of the state put here to control the masses to behave how they want us to.
I am not trying here to understand your definition of God here, but while several options are available whether you are a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Jew, a Catholic a Christian or a Jain: There’s a universal solder who will fight for any cause and he thinks he’ll bring an end to war that way.
Apologies to Buffy Sainte Marie for the end of that last paragraph but the point being it’s us living today who must decide how we treat each other and to what extent we help each other out or force others to fend for themselves.
I’ve already said in this thread that I’m not advocating anybody gets a free ride but we have a moral duty to care for each other.
I’m not convinced @gerv is being a troll here because I believe these are honestly stated views though I hope most of us disagree with them. Clearly @neuro your views are closer to mine than his though I’m not sure yet if we chime totally.
I was first reluctant to write it because I think I might be biased in @gerv 's favor…cause TBH, I think without his reply this quite interesting if unexpected thread would be belly-up in the water, right from the start.
IMHO believing that there is the one God and he/she has a plan with us is not in a different order of madness than having children or even simply getting up in the morning. I’m not a religious person, but I don’t think that religious people are generally less rational than agnostics (to which i count myself), atheists or people who believe in the string theory. I imagine that believing in a loving God it’s not totally dissimilar to a general feeling of confidence.
Also to gerv’s credit, he did not write something like “let’s cut off redistributive taxing now, it will be great because God will sort it out”…to me it seems that it’s just the way he hopes our societies to be able to function one day.
IMHO believing that there is the one God and he/she has a plan with us is not in a different order of madness than having children or even simply getting up in the morning.
To be more specific, IMHO this quote from the first episode of true detective sais it all from a purely rational standpoint. So I’m just happy that i have something different than pure rationality to live with .
To be clear I am not and never have been in any way religious, I do not accept the concept of any God much less subscribe to any one faith. As an atheist I believe this gives me a bigger need to get this life right as “it’s the only one we have”.
That said most people have some sort of faith and if @gerv 's faith helps him then I have no problem with that. I’m just pointing out that, for me at least, an appeal to a ‘higher power’ does nothing to forward his argument.
I continue to support him in expressing his views, and you are correct without him this thread would have been dull, because I believe they are honest. It is through argument that we explore the possibilities and while I hope you find mine more convincing anybody here finding themselves more aligned with those of @gerv is free to do so. This is the point of democracy.
One vision of the perfect society is that it should be run by a wise, benign, loving dictator. Problem is how do we decide who this is? Democracy is not perfect but is the best solution we have found so far.
I don’t want to assume anything, so I ask, were you wanting a discussion or was that more of a rhetorical question?
It is interesting that the Bible describes religion in general as a prostitute riding a political beast. The two have always been together. What you said reflects Karl Marx in saying ‘religion is the opium of the people.’
At the point of writing this was intended as rhetorical but if you want to discuss this further I am happy to. Perhaps this should be a different thread however as this one is more about the politics of what role, if any, should the state have in supporting the less well off and when taxation is legitimate.
God: Does He/She/It exist
It does seem that digressions are my specialty!
Totally heard that in a Ewan McGregor / Obi-Wan Kenobi voice
I do understand the point you are making, so I am not asking for clarification. I’m just hoping that you don’t think that all these people have no regard for their neighbor. It’s obvious that is the case with many, unfortunately.
People are free to seek out the society of those they find it most congenial to live among. The Bible says we should love one another. If you throw in your lot with people who don’t believe that, well, you made your choice. Why should someone else pay the cost of your desire to associate with people who don’t care about you?
If you are an abbatoirist (?) who lives among vegans, move or get a new profession. There’s no law of the universe that says you get to keep the same job your whole life. Ask the buggy whip manufacturers in the age of the car.
This argument is predicated upon the assumption that everyone has the power and the means to do what you suggest. If I bind you to a chair and gag you, and then tell you that you are free to get up from the chair any time you please, are you actually free to do so?
Your analogy is silly. No-one is that bound to living in or associating with a particular community. If you live in a town, or city, there are multiple communities you could be part of. Even in a rural area there will be several. And anyway, if people are banding together to share e.g. healthcare costs, they don’t have to live next door. See e.g. https://samaritanministries.org/ .
Zimbabwe. Mauritania. Myanmar. North Korea.
At least tell us which utopian planet you are living on, so that we can have a chance to join you.
Well yes, I’m not proposing this for those countries, am I? The implicit context of our discussion is a democracy where the people get to choose their own laws. In that context, I am proposing that we choose to have society be large and government be small, because that is better for people’s wellbeing.
“Your political proposals couldn’t be implemented if we lived in a dictatorship” is hardly a convincing point against them. Lots of good things can’t be done in a dictatorship.
So you want to disenfranchise those who receive assistance from the public purse because you don’t think it’s right that everyone (where possible) should contribute to it, and you want to retain your utopian caring sharing New Testament anti-tithe free-hugs community only for those places where it would be “easy” to implement? Or do you not feel those under an oppressor’s boot deserve freedom too?
Yeah, it’s easier to just roll over and ignore those lesser off than the rest of us. Just like you’re implying should be done in your taxless society. Even in the most generous scenario, there will always be people who don’t think the same way you do.
And speaking of dictatorships, have you even seen what’s happening in the United Kingdom and the United States lately?
Now you’re trolling.
Guys, it seems to me that this discussion here is on a bad trajectory.
You are arguing about something that is important to both of you.
From what you both wrote so far it’s safe to assume that you are capable of talking in an opinionated, but respectful way.
I’m not a moderator, but since i started the thread, I take the liberty to ask you - maybe it’s totally unnessesary - to calm down a bit in here.
There is nothing wrong with being passionate about your views, mine are probably very close to those of @neruo but since there is nobody is being offensive or trying to shut down discussion here, I am happy for it to continue.