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 Drew Carpenter on September 21, 2013 at 1:35pm

The left (dems) has created an entrenched welfare system that rewards recipients for adding to the welfare rolls (having more babies) rather than working to move them back into the mainstream, working class. Giving cell phones to the poor, which Obama did, is taking the welfare system too far. Giving people money to pay for mortgages, which he did, is extreme. It was supposed to be a move to help restart the housing market, and I did not object to the first year program which was a $7500.00 interest free loan paid back over 15 years for new home owners. The next year the amount was up to $8000.00 dollars and never has to be paid back. That is extremist. The money, as always, comes from the middle class, who can no longer afford it. Distribution of wealth in this country is disgraceful and we need to change that. But this is not the way. I will grant you that if the Repubs would quit blocking minimum wage increases, along with job and education programs, then we might eventually accomplish that redistribution. When Clinton was in office he was moving toward what he called workfare, and the system was changing. The dems position on this, or their way of accomplishing a redistribution of wealth, is driving too many voters to the Republican party.

Comment by Christopher Lowe on September 21, 2013 at 4:01am

Drew: "...both parties are failing the middle class by governing through extremist ideologies."

Really? Where are the extremists on the Left (Dems)? Seems to me the Right (GOP) are falling all over themselves to out extreme each other, while the Dems stand squarely in the center. Name 1 extremist policy the Dems own?

Comment by Chad Kreutzer on September 19, 2013 at 7:52am

There may be some like that, Drew, but I think you underestimate belief: especially casual belief. 

Comment by Drew Carpenter on September 19, 2013 at 12:47am

I'm sure there are a lot of moneyed people who actually believe, but I think that for many others it's just an expedience that they feel is necessary to succeed in the the business world.

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.

 

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