ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

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ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN

We debate origins of the Universe, life, Earth, humans, religion, atheism, using common sense, evolution, cosmology, geology, archaeology, and other sciences, to repel biblical creationism and other religious beliefs.

Location: Oxford University, England
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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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Comment by Plinius on September 18, 2013 at 11:43pm

I seem to remember a lot of protestants - also in old Dutch books - who themselves made the link between capitalism and religion. They often said things like: "I'm succesfull in business because I'm a good xtian, and my succes in business proves that I'm a good xtian, or god wouldn't have blessed me." 

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 18, 2013 at 9:10pm

Yes, I grew up in Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico.

It's a nightmare.  My sisters are religious fanatics and so is my mom.  

At least now they respect me and don't bother trying to convert me.

There is all kinds of superstition.

Very sad.

Comment by Nick Sutherland on September 18, 2013 at 8:58pm

Is there anyone from the Caribbean in this group who has any insights on religion in the islands?

Comment by Joseph P on September 18, 2013 at 6:06pm

Well, Jesus could be a vindictive ass at times, too.  The money changers got on his bad side, daring to mix religion and commerce ... hey, wait a minute ...

You can support almost any position, with the Bible, if you pick and choose enough.  Neo-cons, for example, ignore all of the parables, except for the parable of the talents, because that's the only one that in any way supports capitalism.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 18, 2013 at 5:54pm

Joseph, you could very well be correct that the idea is bullshit. However, does modern RCC or Protestant religions look and sound anything like the claims of god and jesus representing love, peace, tolerance and compassion? 

Parts of Christianity engenders ideas of “rational” theology with the evolution of capitalism. Believers claim to know god and god’s wlll. They believe they have free will and purpose and meaning as defined by god to go out to the entire world and convert others to their religions. Notions of entitlement allow them to slaughter and plunder, just as god ordered ancient believers to do in the Old Testament, and to abandon a family in order to fulfill god’s purposes in the New Testament. 

Just look around us today at those who support not only slavery, but also support  domination over those who they exploit and manipulate. Notice how Christianity spreads in places that have suffering people or people who feel left out or unable to gain dominance over others.

Focusing on the association between medieval thought with ideas of entitlements given by god, enable them to move closer to god through capitalism. Thinking in terms of production and commerce, dominance in economic, political, and social progress is due to its embrace of Christianity.

Christianity focuses on entitlements and notions of domination that gives a tactical advantage in developing commerce. The Protestant work ethic and the conventional story that religion allows these strategies, empowers them to action.

 

Comment by Joseph P on September 18, 2013 at 4:42pm

Drew Carpenter

This idea of captialism stemming from Christianity is also new to me. I've never thought about it in that way.

Mostly because it's bullshit.  The New Testament is more socialist than I would want a government to be ... and I'm a solid leftist, by American standards.  That's just a con that the neo-cons have slapped together, in a rather successful attempt to get the hyper-religious poor to vote against their own best interests.

I don't think that any of the socio-economc models work very well in their purest forms. Captialism has some obvious advantages, like rewarding hard work, talent, and vision. Socialism is, I think, more altruistic. A hybrid model likely stands the most chance of success.

Right there with you.  We've just got so far to go to the left, before we reach any kind of reasonable balance, I'm pushing hard for socialism, as a counterbalance.

Comment by Homer Edward Price on September 18, 2013 at 2:12pm

Joan Denoo writes a fine, evidence-based essay, and I have a quibble about only one point.   The current American system is not run in the interests of males, but in the interests of people of either gender who have the credentials or wealth to join the professional class or the elite.  Non-college educated males have lost ground in terms of employment and income for the last 40 years.   Their labor unions have been decimated, and due to their income insecurity, their position in the family has become tenuous as well.   I have had the great privilege of an advanced education.  The men who do not have that--or a genius for computers--are struggling.

Comment by Christopher Lowe on September 18, 2013 at 2:08pm

As long as the Republicans act like a baby whose candy has been snatched out of its hand we'll never know if government policy would work. Obstructionism is hurting both parties and all the people.

Comment by Dorian Moises Mattar on September 18, 2013 at 1:51pm
Everyone, great conversation and input!
Comment by Joan Denoo on September 18, 2013 at 1:04pm

I talked with women in 32 nations and the people who provide them social services looking for differences and similarities to USA style of governance. I asked seven questions regarding family structure, education, health care, child care, elder care, income security, and family violence. 

The Scandinavian countries stood out as providing safety nets for women and their children. It has one of the highest standards of living in the world. To do this, there is a socialistic shield with life-long education, cradle to grave health care, child care often linked with elder care, income security and a low incidence rate of family violence.

After these basic needs are met, capitalism takes over and they have robust  enterprise. In 2006 industry contributed about 28% of the annual national income and agriculture about 1%. Sweden's   chief exports are machinery, motor vehicles, paper goods, pulp and wood, iron and steel products, and chemicals.

According to Wikipedia, currently, "Sweden has a two-step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 20–25% when a salary exceeds roughly 320,000 SEK per year. Payroll taxes amount to 32%. In addition, a national VAT of 25% is added to many things bought by private citizens, with the exception of food (12% VAT), transportation, and books (6% VAT). Certain items are subject to additional taxes, e.g. electricity, petrol/diesel and alcoholic beverages."

Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income or consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. 

USA Gini, 47.7 high deviation, 39th 2009. United States Census Bureau. September 12, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 


Sweden Gini, 24.4, low deviation, Eurostat Data Explorer. Retrieved 13 August 2013.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

To me, the question is what is good for males and wealth building vs what is good for females, children, elderly, and disabled?

 

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