Politics, Economics, and Religion


Politics, Economics, and Religion

Religion has so many connections to political and economic beliefs, there needs to be a place to identify linkages, problems, goals, options, action plans and evaluation criteria.  

Members: 100
Latest Activity: 7 hours ago

What is the purpose of life?

An eternal question, what is the purpose of life?, occupied philosophers’ thoughts throughout history. Stone pictographs reveal even primitive peoples reflected on this query. Each one has the capacity to define his or her personal thinking about politics, economics and religion.

Discussion Forum

Greta Christina: Why Being Liberal Really Is Better Than Being Conservative

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat on Saturday. 10 Replies

Worth a read! Greta Christina explains philosopher Rebecca Goldstein's observation on a fundamental difference between "liberal" and "conservative" core values, and why things aren't as simple as "agreeing to disagree" between two "equally valid"…Continue

Tags: purity, democracy, loyalty, authority, avoidance of harm

You Can't Educate People Into Believing in Evolution

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Loren Miller Dec 1. 4 Replies

"Hill found that religious belief was the strongest determinant of people's views on evolution—much more so than education, socioeconomic status, age, political views, or region of the country. More importantly, "Creationists are substantially more…Continue

Tags: confront, evolution, creationism, beliefs

Karen Armstrong is dangerous

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Sheeva Nov 25. 17 Replies

"Karen Armstrong is dangerous. She’s dangerous because her blanket of tedious verbiage hides the truth that she wants us to completely ignore the dangers of religious dogma.  It appears that for her, there is no harmful dogma that can be pinned on…Continue

Tags: oppression, nihilism, politics, religious dogma, Karen Armstrong

Comment Wall


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Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on June 16, 2012 at 3:54pm
Comment by Lillie on June 16, 2012 at 12:28pm

Thank you, Joan, I would like to think I am an optimist but I am of an age with not much longer to live.  I am afraid there will not be many changes for the better during my lifetime.  My only hope is for the Republicans to lose control for the time being.  Maybe you can see the positive changes through.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 15, 2012 at 12:49pm

Lillie, I think the masses listen to and believe the lies told to keep working people in line and force surrender of small businesses into mega-businesses. We are not a nation of the people any more and will not be until the masses wake up. What will that take? Well, it depends on whether one is a pessimist or an optimist. 

A pessimist things there is no hope. 

An optimist says "I will try until my death to secure the kind of nation that we once dreamed it was!" 

The sad news, USA never did live up to its vision, with slavery, attempted destruction of Native American culture, exploitation of women's paid labor, manipulation of market for the benefit of the few, and education that would not allow discussion, serious discussion of alternative political systems, and a religious community that preached the success gospel to the strong and the passive gospel to the weak and vulnerable. 

Therefore, a complex situation with many opportunities to make changes.

Comment by Lillie on June 15, 2012 at 10:05am

Obstructionism, of course, but why don't the masses see this?

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 14, 2012 at 6:14pm

There is a reason our economy tanked and it started with the dismantling of labor protections, eliminating and weakening regulation of banks and financial institutions, and the opening up to a global market with laissez faire capitalist principles.

Where ever developing countries attempted to get into the world economy, and where they borrowed money to make it happen, the countries ended up with their resources drained and their economy collapsed. Have you read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine". When I read it the year it was published, I though she was overstating the case and I started watching. She was correct in all her assessments. 

Then I started reading people's writings that took the risk of going outside the capitalist frame to see what they had to say. What I learned was a surprise, a disappointment, and a realization that those McCarthy hearings of the 1950s or whenever, and the fears that have been put into the minds of U.S. voters by using propaganda, prevents our nation from looking at all the options. 

I am definitely not a communist, nor am I a socialist, and I am not a capitalist, at least the way it has evolved. 

We need to think about what Joseph Stiglitz, Steeve Keen, Michael Hudson, Stephanie Kelton, William Black, and others are saying. They may not be on the track we want for our nation, but at least we need to give them time to explain their points of view. 

If you find error in what they say, I would like to know it. I have been misled before and I am sure I will be again. 

As to Obama, the people he appointed were not the kind of people who would bring about economic and political change. You know my complaint about 

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, 

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Timothy Geithner, 

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency chief John Duggan, 

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, 

as well as 

Alan Greenspan

Franklin Delano Raines

Jim Johnson

Rahm Emanuel

Lawrence Summers

Robert Rubin

All these men were heavily involved in Goldman Sachs, the banking institution frauds, and shady deals that have not been thoroughly investigated, none of them have been charged with a crime, and they all committed fraud, in my opinion. 

Abama could not have done what needed to be done even if he wanted to. His advisors were all out to use him to get what they wanted. They succeeded. They broke the unions, the regulation of banking, and manipulated the markets to their benefit and to the loss of pension funds, savings, education funds and home mortgages. Small business did no thrive under these men's leadership. 

Obama may be a good community developer, he may be good at getting conflicting sides to function well together. He certainly is no match for the GOP plan to obstruct all that he tried. They were just the other half of a pair of scissors that cut to the heart of our nation's political and economic systems. 

Thanks, Ruth, for your calling this to my attention. You certainly are correct ... but there is a larger background story to be acknowledged. 

Comment by Steph S. on June 14, 2012 at 5:15pm

Ruth that picture describes the problem we have in politics -- one of the problems anyway, there's just so many things wrong.

Comment by booklover on June 14, 2012 at 4:41pm

EXACTLY Ruth.  And isn't that sad.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 14, 2012 at 4:11pm

Comment by Daniel W on June 11, 2012 at 5:15pm

Joan, I don't know if it has been worth it or not - no one can know what is the effect in the long run, of making decisions earlier on.  I do know a lot of people my age who are moving in with their children, or vice versa, have lost their job or downsized considerably, or are otherwise in trouble, losing their health insurance, losing their homes.  My street has had empty houses for long stretches of time. 


Still, spending one's youth working 80 hour weeks takes a toll.  I'm not a happy go lucky guy.  Sometimes I have a gallows sense of humor.  That work ethic is partly a residual from family stories, and tales like the hare and the tortoise, the grasshopper and the ants, the little red hen....  wisdom from the ancients :-)


Actually, thinking about it, that "indentured servitude" (grad student, lab tech, post doc, internship, residency) aspect was more like 20 years, and quite a lot I ultimately threw away (long story), but it did get me out of a place where I should not have been, and into a place where life has been much better.


The debt aspect is a big deal tho.  So many people advised me to invest my savings rather than pay off the house.  I'm still glad I paid off the house instead.


On "why is labor undervalued" gobalization must be part of the answer.  Americans and Europeans are competing against people who live in squalor and earn dollars a day, often in virtual or actual slavery.  An interesting perspective hereCorporations such as Wal-Mart, Google, UPS, Microsoft, Nike, AT&T and Intel, among others, followed by European multinationals, through business organisations such as the Shangai Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. – China Business Council, are doing all they can to stop [labor rights] legislation and maintain exploitative and extreme poverty conditions, the rejection of basic human rights, unhealthy
conditions, the absence of legal contracts and the lack of labour safety conditions for millions of Chinese workers"  How does a worker who expects decent wages, job security, medical benefits, vacation, compete against that?  One thing for certain - any American worker who shops at Walmart, especially if they use credit card, is shooting themselves in the foot.  Better to make things last longer, make at home, fix, not replace, what's broken, buy less, and do more.  Then check labels for "Made in America" before buying.

Comment by Tammy S on June 11, 2012 at 1:09pm

SHORT STORY: Pick something of value, make bets on the future value of "something", add contract & you have a derivative.
Banks make massive profits on derivatives, and when the bubble bursts chances are the tax payer will end up with the bill.
This visualizes the total coverage for derivatives (notional). Similar to insurance company's total coverage for all cars.

Derivatives - The Unregulated Global Casino for Banks


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