Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Does Accepting Jesus As Your Personal Savior Save You? Yeah? Who Told You That In The First Place?

Meme Post: Accepting Jesus as your personal savior doesn´t save you. Realizing you need to change by becoming self-aware and compassionate does. Almost. See, yet this phrasing doesn´t quite make the necessary connection. Jesus does matter. I love the Buddha and Buddhism, after starting an interfaith path thanks to scholar Huston Smith´s description of the Chinese Tao and Unitarian Universalism´s validating respectful spiritual paths. Yet, all of that became subject to my educational values, and their origin. Buddha teaches a "doctrine of the non-existence of self." Progressives of all kinds treat Jesus as subordinate to "the science" and let the fundamentalists scare them away from things like spiritual healing. Jesus´ teaching to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and to "take the plank out of your own eye..." are powerful parts of the reasons why I could realize that the Buddha wasn´t "perfect" in his amazing enlightenment, and why my love of psychology and its discoveries as part of a well-rounded education all led me to appreciate activism against profiteering businesspeople´s creation everywhere of unsustainable lifestyles that violate human rights. Psychosomatic medicine is part of the educational system, and validates not just "the science", but the importance of well-rounded education, and actually the full scope of liberal arts and sciences, that needs to be elevated to interrelate knowledge. Multidisciplinary Philosophy with empiricism is the thing that does that. Jesus needs to be reclaimed from fundamentalists, who are actually funded by profiteering businesspeople in the first place. The way to reclaim Jesus fully is to recognize that things like the UN human rights and US Civil Rights are not just random developments by nice guys. FD Roosevelt was influenced by the Social Gospel of W Gladden et al, and Jefferson recognized Jesus as the "greatest moral teacher of all time." At least, in his Deist Christianity. I gained important clarity working with Buddhism before engaging with Christianity in the modern context and in search of spiritual integrity. Reclaiming Jesus, and God through Jesus, and how that grounds modern structured UN human rights pluralism is not optional, because Jesus and all masters and all people are unique and not subject to mere equivalencies. There is a real problem of unsustainability and human rights violations, despite the UN´s being founded. And the source is in the very juggernaut that produced FDR. The US-led profiteering corporate businesspeople´s model has unleashed itself, and people need touches of clarity and courage to make the necessary shifts to sustainable and just lifestyles. Food co-op stores are one of my favorite simple examples, along with credit union local community co-op banks. Our ultimate courage in resisting the impulses to buy the most advertised Big Biz brand for a local or Fair Trade type version is part of a spiritual process and practice that gets centered by Jesus, and restores us to the power of God. That´s how subtle things have gotten, and why "free will" is part of that subtle distinction. The profiteers are using their college educations in many cases, and that is what has been used to fabricate unsustainable ideologies. Bringing God back from the symbolic and mythic into the reality of spiritual-religious practice, experience and phenomena like spiritual healing for progressives and sustainable justice activist lifestyles to avoid the origin of Social Europe´s leap to its advanced pro-eco-social market democracies. WW II, to be clear. Or, the equivalent of WW III being what we´re trying to avoid.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Are Eastern Religions Universal or just Academic? An Indian Guy´s Question

Rowdy-Rohan greenpeaceRdale1844coop • 16 hours ago Do you see anything universal in Asian philsophies and faiths or is it simply academic. Can you apply satyagraha, nirvana, dharma to every day life of Americans or modern western history and how these aspects would have changed history? have you read E Michael Jones books or heard his videos on the Holocaust and if you have what is your take on him • Reply • Share › − Avatar greenpeaceRdale1844coop Rowdy-Rohan • 12 minutes ago First of all, you use the terms "universal" and "academic" with certain associations, some limiting. For clarity´s sake, I am responding based on my recognition that the modern culture conceptual discussion is based on University-based philosophical scholarship with empiricism. "Science", which is actually scientific natural philosophy, has become a highly visible and somewhat distorted subset of that. The US drew on diverse European resources to develop the atomic bombs in WWII, used them against Japan in the magnitude of the conflict, and established a primary example of how "science"-related technology can be said to have developed the world´s most destructive kind of weapon. And it has spread. Throughout Asia, to speak geographically. Because of its power. But, underlying that is the University-based system of education, which is in fact philosophial scholarship with empiricism. Moreover, not only scientific natural philosophy is involved, but popular terms like "democracy" and "free markets" with their ideological misrepresentations and their empirical, philosophical realities. University-based education with empiricism, however, underlies the truths of all of that. And its own normally disguised truth as having origins in Christian monastic spiritual practice, developed from ancient Greek philosophy as spiritual practice. It is illuminating, moreover, to be clear about the monk Thomas Aquinas´ role as identifying "infinity" as an abstraction and unempirical, and not of the real world. That, along with his philosophical formulation from motion of God as First Cause. In the context of Jesus´ role, teachings with spiritual practice, and his legacy. That is the key knowledge-based framework that I was operating in back in high school when I read scholar Huston Smith´s World Religions book, and appreciated his description of the Chinese Tao at first. I also appreciated Unitarian Universalist interfaith´s support of spiritual paths. Thus, your question relates to phenomena operating at multiple levels. First of all, whatever strengths Asian philosophies and spiritual-religious traditions have, it was European merchants, soldiers, and politicians using Christianity´s University-based fruits in Jesus´ legacy that colonized the world. And opened up Japan, that recognized the power of University-based education. The timing and events around WWII are all important to grasping the different levels that are in operation across cultures in affecting people´s minds. Like European colonialism reflected human bio-psycho-social tendencies, it has gone with ideological materialism that permit objectifying situations. FD Roosevelt´s Christian Social Gospel vision and legacy proposing the UN and human rights then established a highly moral secular materialist form of international quasi-governance, or at least, standards of conduct. That supplements, and extends, the framework of University-based philosophical scholarship, as forms of communication and interaction. You say, "academic," in a way that subordinates University-based practices, as if it is less than real world effectiveness. Thus, Buddhism has universal insights, but is centered around its own limiting factors. Buddhism certainly spread naturally in history, and has some important popularity in the West already. Yet, it is secularized Christian structures that form the mainline structures for knowledge development, communication, and interaction standards. I find Buddhism essential to my orienting to spiritual practice with depth of integrity for personal growth as an interfaith Christian . The Four Noble Truths, for example, and the goal of nirvana. That gave me powerful insights as I researched Christian history itself, and learned about Christian monasticism and Anthony of the Desert´s own demonstration of what became called "divinization/theosis." Gandhi´s demonstration of satyagraha at least involved Gandhi´s applying the orientation of the likes of the dissident high integrity Christian Thoreau et al. Yet, Thoreau was somehow co-existing with the abolition anti-slavery movement and Quaker-Friend Christianity´s remarkable developments, led in being co-founded by George Fox in the 1600s. Thus, in taking Gandhi´s interfaith Christian Hinduism and satyagraha, we can understand its relationship more or less directly with a full range of phenomena in Christian culture in the first place. The abolition anti-slavery movement initiated modern social movements and Civil Society, and that is what I have been mentioning to you represented by Right Livelihood Award winners of all kinds, including India´s Colin Goncalves, LAFTI, Swami Agnivesh, and the prominent Vandana Shiva. She may have won a RLA also. Ela Bhatt who founded SEWA also comes to mind. So, yes, I do see the Asian philosophies as having universal qualities. However, it is Jesus´ legacy in University-based philosophical scholarship with empiricism and societal innovations that have established the standardizing frameworks that can operate non-violently. Gandhi´s example illuminates various qualities, including the relevance of spiritual practice hard to see in Western culture. The Quaker-Friends were involved in the founding of Greenpeace, and John Muir in founding the Sierra Club,, but secular materialism has significant influence in their image and conduct. I´ve found it necessary to define spiritual-religious phenomena, since materialistic tendencies have simply been trapped by compartmentalizing and reductionism. Defining Multidisciplinary Philosophy with empiricism, too. Buddha and Gandhi both have served as important guides for me to consider in identifying those two key conceptual innovations that I ´ve had to make. They are related to some published insights, but are otherwise significant and unique. Pantanjali´s Yoga, Morihei Ueshiba´s aikido, too, have been helpful. Lao Tzu and Taoism, also, in fact. Tai chi and qi gong as part of that. "Science" has identified brain wave and brainscan data to identify meditative and prayerful states, yet it is the Eastern / Asian traditions that provide powerful human systemic examples. How they would have changed history? Study the history of comparative religious studies, and observe that a foundation has been established for what is in fact necessary for a saving history and the future. UN reports demonstrate a catastrophic combination of human rights abuses and unsustainable industrial socioeconomic process underway. Asian practices and philosophies have powerful elements, but not an interactive framework. Secularized Christianity has provided the interactional framework, and needs infusions of the spiritual-religious insights of Asian/Eastern spiritual-religious practices and their insightful elements. Thus, I have been learning about how Catholic missionaries studied things like Confucius, which was recognized by the atheist scholar Christian Wolff in the 1700s already in Germany. Great Britain´s Wm Jones established the Asia Society around 1790 as a major step in cultural studies. Franz Boff was an important early scholar, among others. Thoreau, in some relation to Emerson, was also studying Hinduism. Emerson developed the idea of Oversoul as an alternative idea about God. I don´t know that I´ve heard of EM Jones. The Holocaust is part of Nazi Germany´s rise, at the same time as Japan´s imperial militarism and Stalinist Soviet Communism, along with US industrial corporate profiteering businesspeople which caused the Stock Market Crash of 1929. So, I relate all this around University-based educational culture, ie philosophical scholarship with empiricism, and how Jesus´ legacy in spiritual practice and phenomena relates to the rise of modern social movements in the sequence of Luther´s inspiring the Reformation and George Fox´s leading the co-founding of the Quaker Friends in Great Britain. The American Revolution with Jefferson et al´s ending absolute monarchy with constitutional democracy and Civil Rights coincides with the rise of the modern abolition anti-slavery movement. The co-operative pro-social business movement, also, was founded by workingpeople in the UK in the 1840s. The efforts in comparative cultural and religious studies led to the 1893 Chicago World Parliament of Religions, organized by Bonney and Barrows. The US Social Gospel initiated as pro-labor by Washington Gladden in 1877 is also key there, creating a thread to FD Roosevelt. All of that is where Gandhi´s satyagraha ultimately fits in. "Dharma" represents the need for practice, and the cause-effect nature of moral law, and illuminates all manner of these events now interrelated through the study of human psychology, sociology, and international relations. The Holocaust primarily involved the transition in Germany from monarchy to secular democracy, based around their intense secularized University enriched culture, with minimal international colonialism. Now, that phenomena "vented" sociohistorically, Greenpeace represents one Civil Society group that has been taken up intensively throughout Germany. Germans have some appreciation for Eastern religions, and so it is through that lens that further insights need to develop. Comparative Religious Studies is a multidisciplinary subject that allows for the comprehensive grasping of the issues involved. That is simply necessary in the face of ideological materialism´s three rather treacherous forms: scientific, secular, and economic. If you are obsessing about the Holocaust, I can share that I certainly benefited in studying Hitler´s psychology and the anthropological meaning of the Nuremberg Rallies. That is no less related to Aztec human sacrifices and cannibalism. If European brutality intrigues you, the history of European wars, including Luther´s inspired Reformation, are full of bloodshed. The Battle of Lepanto in the 1570s was part of the chronology of Muslim-European Christian conflict, with the 1683 Siege of Vienna the last in Europe. WWI is also not to be neglected, as it resulted in the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. All that technical knowledge needs to satisfy a person´s capacity for military realism. It is at the same time, however, that psychological insight becomes necessary, along with that of social movements. Satyagraha, nirvana, and dharma are important correlates to psychology, anthropology, and sociology perhaps most of all, with political science and economics actually reflecting those primary subjects. Again, the Right Livelihood Award now serves an important role in identifying further key actors in social movements in the UN human rights world community that is in Jesus´, and then FD Roosevelt´s legacy negotiated with the world as it led to decolonization and reorientation to the potential of University-based society. I refer to spiritual modernization as the process needed in secularized Christianity, with Eastern and indigenous traditions offering powerful resources in the study of phenomena and developing knowledge about practices through experience.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Profit-based Western Religion Began with the Crusades? Tell that to Chimpanzees and the National Association of Manufacturers

Profit based Western religion began with the Crusades, organized by the Popes, as armies looted and took over trading routes to the East. These concepts came to the Americas. - An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, 3 Comments Mark Rego Monteiro Yeah, that´s pretty much wrong. By the "Crusades," the meme seems to mean "profit-based Christianity," to get one semantic issue closer to empirical reality. If "religion" involving conquest is the sociological and historical subject, it already begs the question. Islam began by conquering with the sword as it expanded out West to Africa and even into Europe. It also expanded East through India out to Indonesia and part of China, I believe, more or less, for starters. "Christianity," meaning actually Western European Roman church Christianity, meanwhile, had developed into a complex societal structure with a centralized political monarch in the Holy Roman Empire, among other components. "Profit-based Christianity", itself is a modern kind of category, so that trying to project that very category back so far into the past is questionable. The category is economic activity and its relation to different kinds of players in historical context. Charlemagne united politically Christian Europe around 800 AD, for one thing, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. Charles Martel, no less, had effectively defended against the Islamic invasion around 732 AD. Historical issues are interesting, but are more related to the preludes to the pivotal shift in Western culture as Christians developed monastic schools into Universities that Christianized philosophy with empiricism, pivotally with Thomas Aquinas at the U of Paris in the 1250s. The results of modern philosophy with empiricism underlie the historical development of modern science, shareholder business economics, and constitutional democracy, for starters. It seems to have preliminary beginnings in the Medici-era of Italian bankers related to the Silk Road trade. That was a foundation for Portugal then Spain, with Portugal able to seek the source of slave and gold markets in Africa first after 1400. As Luther´s inspired Reformation freed various areas, no less, Great Britain´s own qualities were able to leapfrog and build on Portugal´s accomplishment by taking over India in the British East India Co´s capacities. That gives far more historical context. The modern "profit-based religion" reflects those channels, but also requires identifying the merchant, soldier, and political identity in all social groups and societies that human beings are responsible for in the first place. It´s not the Christian religion that´s on trial. It´s spiritual practice adequate to tame the human meta-animal that has been given the fruits of Jesus´ legacy in University-based education that needs to be ascertained. Reply 15h John H Clemson Mark Rego Monteiro Love the part about monasteries. We are taught how they saved the knowledge of the ages before, but don't look at how they would have morphed it to fit their ideas. Fortunately there were other "storage units" that saved knowledge from the Library of Alexandria, for example. ------ The idea at the top is from the first 4 minutes of an audio book sample: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, so it was aimed after the European powers that colonized, I am curious about the rest of the book. Reply 14hEdited Mark Rego Monteiro John H Clemson With regards to monasteries, there are a number of complex issues to be discussed. However, the assertion that they "morphed the knowledge of the ages to fit their ideas," your view is simply resorting to the assumption that "knowledge of the ages" is, or was, as you or somebody might speculate, pre-Christian in its highest form. However, the Roman imperial Gen Sulla destroyed Plato´s and Aristotle´s schools in the 140s BC/E, and the Library at Alexandria was actually severely damaged at first by Julius Caesar, I recall. Cassiodorus in the 500s AD played a major role in developing ancient classics for monastic study. Plutarch´s Christian humanism involved Italian monasteries, I recall. It was in fact specifically Christians who turned monastic schools into modern Universities, and the pivotal role of the monk Thomas Aquinas in laying the groundwork for modern philosophy with empiricism. The Greeks didn´t do experiments for similar reasons they didn´t go far with democracy. They didn´t want to do manual labor. The question of sustaining knowledge in "storage units" has its own complexities, that includes the even less coherent experience of the Muslims. Their scholars weren´t supported by the Islamic religious clerics, for one thing. "Anti-Christian" ideology is itself an ideological position. I´ve found that to value indigenous people, for their good and bad sides, I´ve had to give special attention to the meaning of "Christianity." While identifying Jesus´ special role and loving integrity standard with spiritual teachings is crucial, so is the importance of high integrity spiritual Christians and the way they resurge through history. What that reflects is not "Christianity´s" waywardness, but human bio-psychosocial tendencies to indulge in things like power, privilege, and pleasure, and in different areas like merchant, soldier, and politician roles. Or church institutions. By the same token, Indigenous scholars trying to trash and scapegoat Christianity are showing their own indulgence in the abuse of the privilege of knowledge. Instead of recognizing indigenous people´s own expression of human diversity, even before having access to the benefits of the fruits of Jesus´ legacy in scholarship. In context, then, there is also the violence and enslavement among all tribes and civilization attempts. for example China´s Hongwu Emperor´s purges, India´s pre-Buddhist King Ashoka´s shock at violent conquest, Islamic violent conquest, Africa´s conflicts and enslavement as in O Equiano´s case, and American indigenous cannibalism around M Nóbrega´s case, raid and capture in Native Am Attakullakulla´s case, and Sacagawea, no less. I can appreciate how resentment can motivate such forays into scholarships that involve scapegoating. They are valuable attempts for learning scholarship. There are reasons, however, for understanding the philosophical criteria for truth and the difference with ideology. Biology grounds us in what is a kind of "original sin" of sorts, as our close cousin Eastern African chimpanzees also commit the massacres of neighboring groups at their own level. That is not typical of normal animals, but appears linked to their, and then our, newly evolved levels of cognitive intelligence. In a way, we are kinds of meta-animals. In North America, and now the whole world, Indigenous people, like African Americans, are among the conquered people of the colonial past who are developing a new modern identity in globalized civilization with FD Roosevelt´s vision and legacy UN and human rights, and sustainability. I like to keep clear that Jesus´ legacy of loving integrity for Moses and God created the context of University-based "fruits" meaning powerful cultural tools disconnected from the monastic, or even more clearly and officially religious, spiritual discipline of their origins. That´s where the context of the resurgence of integrity in Jesus´ standard in the form of George Fox et al´s Quaker Friends is so important, and their protesting slavery. The UN, its human rights declaration, conventions, and openness to Civil Society is an important step forward that has helped empower many movements. The establishment of the PFIP, Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples after 2000 is also worth noting.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

What Is The Standing of Economics, Religion, and the Biology of Greed in Western European Christian Conquests, Anyway?

Original Post by JHC: We don't have to go back that far in history. Although it is more painful to look at our recent transgressions than those of centuries ago! Remember when the US used religion as an excuse to take land from Native-Americans and kill thousands through relocation and in Indian Schools. The Doctrine of Discovery! "Dakota filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild’s compelling documentary is premised on Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, a book based on two decades of research by Shawnee, Lenape scholar Steven T. Newcomb. The film tells the story of how little known Vatican documents of the fifteenth century resulted in a tragic global momentum of domination and dehumanization. This led to law systems in the United States and Canada and elsewhere in the world, that are still being used against Original Nations and Peoples to this day. The film concludes with traditional teachings developed over thousands of years that provide a much needed alternative for humans and the ecological systems of Mother Earth at this time." Mark Rego Monteiro The framing of this issue is not the most progressive, but a progressive approach captive to scapegoating religion and ignoring the role of economic profiteers. The Vatican? The Reformation was sparked in 1520 as part of how University-based education has created the context not just of "freedom", but one that has itself been abused. "Freedom" needs "responsibility," and the problem of authority has long shifted from religion to profiteering businesspeople. In fact, Columbus wasn´t primarily motivated by Christianity. He was no monk. He was an adventurer representing merchant desires, soldiers, and politicians. The Reformation then served to unleash the merchants et al of Holland and the UK, among others, but with the UK´s interesting pivotal roles in spawning spiritual-religious innovators whose success suggests the role of individuals in community in resurgent integrity. Trying to scapegoat religion could probably misdirect attention away from the need for lifestyle, consumer, and economic activism in food co-op stores, credit unions, and Civil Society like the PIRGs, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace, along with spiritual practice to empower insight and reform in Christianity itself not least of all. Reply 3h John H Clemson I understand your point. Certainly economics was the major factor, but killing proples who were considered inferior made it all easier. Greed is the reason , but its negative connotations could be soothed with religious justification. It is not so much happening that way today, but the patters have been engraved in our western culture. Reply 2h Mark Rego Monteiro John H Clemson I want to acknowledge your ability to at least identify psychosocial factors like economics and weigh that with your concern about religion. I thought through a few things below. I tried to summarize it in the next three paragraphs, but left the rest in case you´re interested. I suppose my point can be more pointedly made by indicating that by "religious justification", you´re actually pointing out how merchants et al operate. Merchants were in charge in charge, not monks, and those merchants established authority in key ways in relation to religious authorities. Monks were not dictating the primary objectives of the expedition leaders. Merchants and soldiers were using the skills being advanced by monastic schools turned into Universities, and increasingly secularized after Descartes´ mind-body split and Grotius´ natural law. And in doing so, merchants et al were Western European humans first, not Christians. That´s where the meaning of my own major as "human behavioral biology" becomes important to emphasize. Actual "western patterns" reflect more general human patterns, except for the difference that European merchants et al took the advantage of post-monastic University-based learning into the larger world where might made right. Islam serves one angle of contrast, no less, since their religion didn´t stand for scholarship and it already mostly disappeared after the Mongol Siege of Baghdad in 1258. However, all cultures can have examples cited for contexts and the role of violence: China´s Hongwu Emperor, India´s King Ashoka´s conversion, Gandhi´s renaming the Untouchable caste, Africa´s Olaudah Equiano´s chief-father´s slaves, Jesuit M Nóbrega´s ordained colleague was cannibalized by South American natives, Sacagawea´s own capture and sale as wife. Trying to blame western European humans using Christianity itself presumes the standard of human rights fairness that has only become possible as a response to the power that was used by merchants et al in the first place. It is that conquest that made a demonstration of what is actually University-based educational power in things like sci-tech and organization. It is the "special sauce" of that educational power that is based on monastic Christian spiritual practice. I think this makes much of my argument, but I tried to give a summary up to here. The rest follows if you´re interested. Calling Europeans by their nominal religion, Christianity, is to confuse the human and social power relations involved. Attempting to condemn "religion", is to mistake human behavior. My own major in college at a University was biological anthropology, aka human behavioral biology. Mark Rego Monteiro The framing of this issue is not the most progressive, but a progressive approach captive to scapegoating religion and ignoring the role of economic profiteers. The Vatican? The Reformation was sparked in 1520 as part of how University-based education has created the context not just of "freedom", but one that has itself been abused. "Freedom" needs "responsibility," and the problem of authority has long shifted from religion to profiteering businesspeople. In fact, Columbus wasn´t primarily motivated by Christianity. He was no monk. He was an adventurer representing merchant desires, soldiers, and politicians. The Reformation then served to unleash the merchants et al of Holland and the UK, among others, but with the UK´s interesting pivotal roles in spawning spiritual-religious innovators whose success suggests the role of individuals in community in resurgent integrity. Trying to scapegoat religion could probably misdirect attention away from the need for lifestyle, consumer, and economic activism in food co-op stores, credit unions, and Civil Society like the PIRGs, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace, along with spiritual practice to empower insight and reform in Christianity itself not least of all. Reply 3h John H Clemson I understand your point. Certainly economics was the major factor, but killing proples who were considered inferior made it all easier. Greed is the reason , but its negative connotations could be soothed with religious justification. It is not so much happening that way today, but the patters have been engraved in our western culture. Reply 2h Mark Rego Monteiro John H Clemson I want to acknowledge your ability to at least identify psychosocial factors like economics and weigh that with your concern about religion. I thought through a few things below. I tried to summarize it in the next three paragraphs, but left the rest in case you´re interested. I suppose my point can be more pointedly made by indicating that by "religious justification", you´re actually pointing out how merchants et al operate. Merchants were in charge in charge, not monks, and those merchants established authority in key ways in relation to religious authorities. Monks were not dictating the primary objectives of the expedition leaders. Merchants and soldiers were using the skills being advanced by monastic schools turned into Universities, and increasingly secularized after Descartes´ mind-body split and Grotius´ natural law. And in doing so, merchants et al were Western European humans first, not Christians. That´s where the meaning of my own major as "human behavioral biology" becomes important to emphasize. Actual "western patterns" reflect more general human patterns, except for the difference that European merchants et al took the advantage of post-monastic University-based learning into the larger world where might made right. Islam serves one angle of contrast, no less, since their religion didn´t stand for scholarship and it already mostly disappeared after the Mongol Siege of Baghdad in 1258. However, all cultures can have examples cited for contexts and the role of violence: China´s Hongwu Emperor, India´s King Ashoka´s conversion, Gandhi´s renaming the Untouchable caste, Africa´s Olaudah Equiano´s chief-father´s slaves, Jesuit M Nóbrega´s ordained colleague was cannibalized by South American natives, Sacagawea´s own capture and sale as wife. Trying to blame western European humans using Christianity itself presumes the standard of human rights fairness that has only become possible as a response to the power that was used by merchants et al in the first place. It is that conquest that made a demonstration of what is actually University-based educational power in things like sci-tech and organization. It is the "special sauce" of that educational power that is based on monastic Christian spiritual practice. I think this makes much of my argument, but I tried to give a summary up to here. The rest follows if you´re interested. Calling Europeans by their nominal religion, Christianity, is to confuse the human and social power relations involved. Attempting to condemn "religion", is to mistake human behavior. My own major in college at a University was biological anthropology, aka human behavioral biology. Biology gets at the issue that terms like "Economics, religion, etc" are themselves abstractions, and really normally used with the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, aka reification. I remember around sophomore year college having thoughts about motivation, and finding one psychologists ideas or the other on the topic that struck me as incredibly important. The very purpose of spiritual-religious practice on my interfaith spiritual path intensified as I took a Kung Fu class and visited my first Buddhist temple. Jesus, it turns out, very much insisted on spiritual practice. No less, Universities emerged from the monastic system, which itself wasn´t originally initiated by "mastermind planning." Anthony of the Desert was a pioneering ascetic at 18 years old in 270 AD whose story is one of proto-psychotherapy in a fully spiritual theist mode. In Jesus´ legacy. Although a thing of its time, of course. Anthony wrestled with the demon of loneliness, not the feeling and emotional awareness, per se. And so, Anthony´s psychosocial practice and account became a pioneering work, even before Augustine of Hippo´s Confessions around the 400s AD. The details of Christian spiritual-religious history are actually key to grasping both the role of spiritual practice, as also in Buddhism, yoga, tai chi, Sufi whirling, shamanism, and so on. And that becomes key when you say, "the patterns ...engraved in western culture", but still mean to scapegoat religion. What I might shift to is to acknowledge the challenge of unraveling the complexity of the psychosocial and cultural components, and identifying the source of evil in human bio-psychosocial tendencies, or what I think is more than animal, but a cognitive social animal, a meta-animal. The US can be singled out for its leading role in the US-led profiteering model that corporate businesspeople use. Another angle involves interpreting any "blame" and reasoning in terms of empirical/objective categories and related cause-effects. Thus, it is also important to grasp the violence and enslavement of the full range of other cultures, from China to India to Islam to African tribes to Native American tribes. Blaming religion, ignoring the primary role of merchants, soldiers, and politicians, and the subordinate role of the Christian church is to confuse the solution. Blaming religion tends to reflect the premise that "secularist scientism" is the solution, because, for one, spirituality itself hasn´t even been adequately recognized for the powerful significance it has. Actual "western patterns" reflect more general human patterns, except for the difference that European merchants et al took the advantage of post-monastic University-based learning into the larger world where might made right. Islam serves one angle of contrast, no less, since their religion didn´t stand for scholarship and it already mostly disappeared after the Mongol Siege of Baghdad in 1258. However, all cultures can have examples cited for contexts and the role of violence: China´s Hongwu Emperor, India´s King Ashoka´s conversion, Gandhi´s renaming the Untouchable caste, Africa´s Olaudah Equiano´s chief-father´s slaves, Jesuit M Nóbrega´s ordained colleague was cannibalized by South American natives, Sacagawea´s own capture and sale as wife. Modern egalitarianism reflects a corresponding corrective "special sauce" in Jesus´ legacy that goes with the immense power unleashed by post-monastic University education. B de las Casas was a monastic trained figure who began to oppose slavery in Latin America. George Fox followed the Puritan movement in Great Britain to found the Quaker Friends who sparked University activity that led to the pioneering abolition social movement campaign.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Atheists Weaseling Around Semantics, It Is Historicist and Anthropological, But On To Empirical Theism

This shows an atheist trying to weasel semantics, assert that everyone is an atheist, and accuse Craig of playing semantics. Craig goes to the dictionary, while the ideological atheist tries to weasel his ideological talking point, as Craig calls it. Here, Craig is operating in the existing University-based framework, secularized Christian in fact. In the ideologue´s case, it´s pulling on a kind of anthropological multi-cultural historicism and trying to blend it with modern secular social relativism. Craig´s position goes further in that the Existence of God is being argued in the philosophy of metaphysics/religion, establishing that all historical and anthropological beliefs do have an empirical foundation, as in the First Cause, and extending Craig´s argument to transpersonal and transcendental views related to anthropology and psychology.

Right Wing Evangelicals Actually Reject Jesus, While Progressives Err Drinking Big Biz Cyanide As They Grab the Lifeline of Love

From John Pavolvitz´s blog · People have said that the MAGA Evangelical Church has hijacked Jesus but I don't believe that's true. They have hijacked the word Christian. Jesus is of no use to them. A Funeral for My Christianity johnpavlovitz.com A Funeral for My Christianity A friend told me that I seemed angry lately and at first it really pissed me off. I instantly mounted a spirited, vigorous defense laying out the reasons she had assessed me incorrectly but soon found myself trailing off, resigned to a harsh, unwelcome truth: She was right, or at least she was in th... 3 Comments Susan Knight Jesus is used as a weapon in their world. Reply 2hEdited Fredericka Richter DeBerry Excellent post, John. Exactly how I feel. TY. Reply 1h Mark Rego Monteiro Laura-Magnolia Robinson Morris 9 hrs · A favorite teacher who knows what JESUS REALLY TAUGHT! Take this to heart! 🙏💜 John Pavlovitz · People have said that the MAGA Evangelical Church has hijacked Jesus but I don't believe that's true. They have hijacked the word Christian. Jesus is of no use to them. A Funeral for My Christianity johnpavlovitz.com A Funeral for My Christianity A friend told me that I seemed angry lately and at first it really pissed me off. I instantly mounted a spirited, vigorous defense laying out the reasons she had assessed me incorrectly but soon found myself trailing off, resigned to a harsh, unwelcome truth: She was right, or at least she was in th... 10 Comments Susan Knight Jesus is used as a weapon in their world. Reply 8hEdited Dana Schindler Susan Knight as is the Bible. Reply 1m Fredericka Richter DeBerry Excellent post, John. Exactly how I feel. TY. Reply 7h Mark Rego Monteiro It´s a personal share of a blog piece, and nice in that way. It helps me proceed to reflect that Jesus is used merely as the object of a personal Savior, maybe let into one´s heart, as a club membership qualifier. Then it´s all Paul with hate-colored glasses, if that. So, JP´s list of the evangelical lack of the Gospel is a good one. But I´ve been addressing Progressive Christian culture a bit, and just am fresh off an exchange around a very softy video, with a UCC pastor asking, "What does God mean to you?" I came up with the phrase, after my exchange with a conservative, "erring on the side of Love." It´s erring in the sense that progressives are riding in materialist assumptions in various ways, but of course, far from being as antagonistic and toxic as the right wing evangelicals. Thus, it´s important to grasp what is wrong with the evangelicals. However, I didn´t go from atheist humanism to interfaith seeking to an interfaith UU Quaker Christian by even mostly figuring out how wrong the evangelicals are. I just kept my "eyes on the prize" of my own spiritual growth. Maybe the "erring while grabbing the lifeline of Love" captures more of the nuances of progressives. What did I do, in retrospect, or rather, what have I been doing? I reached a point, around Obama´s first campaign, where I was ready to join the Green Party. I didn´t, but was clear about the meaning of political parties, in contrast to not for profit public interest group political activism for legislation and consumer and economic activism in informed purchasing and social entrepreneurship. That is, I worked a summer stint with the PIRGs out of college, who also taught me about Ralph Nader, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace. I later learned about more, like Oxfam, food co-op stores, and credit unions. All of that was sort of activist "technical insight" that I gained, and not yet integrated fully with my spiritual-religious knowledge. My spiritual progress had already advanced by then by my recognizing that God´s love through Jesus meant learning, and I had learned my spirituality in interfaith seeking. My next step was to consciously understand that my interest in University-based modern education and social movements also was originally Christian spiritual practice, and still was potentially. In fact, secularism had made it psychosocially and culturally "transferable." Unlike airplane tickets, which are made not to be, instead being "non-transferable" among individuals. That´s how Gandhi made a fascinating journey from secular Hindu law student to theosophically inspired interfaith Christian Hindu etc. Mohammed Yunus was a Muslim with a western economics degree when he helped poor women and founded the pro-poor, pro-women Grameen Bank that spread throughout Bangladesh on a bumpy ride, inspired others, and spread elsewhere like the US itself. It´s up to 19 branches here. Wangari Maathai´s Greenbelt Movement in Africa is another, and Vandana Shiva´s work in India yet another, and the efforts go on. Jesus doesn´t need to be seen for the spectacular figure that he is for the greatest of his fruits to be spreading. However, given the way people are intimidated by Big Biz profiteering businesspeople, I think it will require appreciating how Buddha and Gandhian Hinduism, yoga, tai chi, etc lead us back to Jesus in a passionate spiritual sense for Moses et al and God. US Civil Rights and UN human rights are in Jesus´ legacy, and once we connect those dots, we can get over our feeling intimidated here in the mixed bag, smokescreen razzle-dazzle, and broken dreams of the US of A. I found a food co-op store in New York City, went on Sierra Club hikes, and appreciated Patagonia´s amazing eco-social business model, along with finding Greenpeace´s Greener Electronics and Detox My Fashion campaigns. I studied jiu-jitsu and capoeira, yoga, and found Christian Science and took unbaptized communion in Episcopal and Catholic services. All of us can do stuff like that. G Scott Heron sang "The revolution will not be televised." Well, that depends. Reply 6hEdited Steve Koschella Mark Rego Monteiro Jesus was hijacked as a political tool at around 350AD under Constantine. He has been forcibly inbred with "Christendom" ever since. Reply 2h Mark Rego Monteiro Steve Koschella So, you´re actually intending to say, in empirical terms, that Constantine, the Roman military guy oriented towards Christianity starting with his lowborn mom Helena, is who has been "forcibly inbred...." etc. It´s all Constantine´s fault. That´s definitely an important gearshift moment. However, knowledge of the truth doesn´t operate by blaming and fingerpointing. People and culture are much more complicated, and that´s why looking up psychology, sociology, and anthropology isn´t "soft social science." It´s profound and cuts like a "sword" to grasp a lot of things. So, actually, no. Constantine did ratchet Christianity into a new level of authority requiring real world adjustments, but he´s hardly been "forcibly inbred". Bio Anthro helps since Pan trog. chimps have the unnatural mammalian capacity and tendency to massacre neighboring groups when they can. Moreover, humankind universally has conflict problems, and at the level of civilization, commits violence and enslavement. That comes with some certain level of power and authority. While I do want to acknowledge your effort to recognize some history, there´s more to it. Jesus didn´t teach that he was just strolling around with a great self-help book to make people feel better while they work away in their cubicles, but he did see that things would grow in amazing ways. He said things I recognize as "go and learn..." Matt 9, and "These things I do, you too shall do, and greater." John 14:12. That doesn´t mean that it would be a free ride on a magic carpet. I knocked on doors out of college, where I had plunged my intellectual abilities into nothing less than a bronco ride from pre-med to sociology to biological anthropology. Additional historical markers help clarify the point. By 385 AD, Priscillian became the first heretic executed, and it was at the then emperor´s order. It was no less over the objections of the then pope, and spiritual leaders St. Jerome, and St. Martin of Tours. By 476 AD, the Western emperor had been overthrown and left as the King of Italy Odoacer, with the Roman church on its own. They didn´t go on a bloody binge, for one thing. In fact, some very crucial things began happening in the church now leveraged up in rank as an institution with a wide network, including the all important monasteries. That means areas for spiritual practice specialists. Cassiodorus in the 500s injected his classical learning into the monastic system. Benedict of Nursia did his amazing thing with a fine start of a reformed monastic rule. Missionaries were converting the invading tribes not with swords, but with their famous style that sometimes resulted in the famous martyrdom. Pagan kings like Clovis weren´t always so Christ-like. Neither did Clovis learn to threaten his people with monarchical "subtle" insinuation to get baptized from Constantine. So, things are already far more complex, and involve some amazing Christian demonstrations of their monastic skill as missionaries. Getting clear about the "upward gearshifts" has to begin with looking at what Christians did with ancient Greek philosophy, neoplatonic to start with. That gave Christians the start to intellectual firepower. That´s where the focus needs to be on how new "upward gearshifts" in Christian potential come in. Charlemagne reunited a big chunk of Europe from a new tribal angle oriented toward the Roman church. He beat the Saxons and forced their conversion. Well, hash that one out, but at that point, the law of the jungle in tribe fight tribe, was in play, and Charlemagne´s Christianity dealt with its Saxon conflict like it had with the Lombards. Yay, the pope crowned him the Holy Roman Emperor. How´s your history? Yet, Charlemagne spurred learning by summoning Alcuin of York and other monks. A few hundred years later and the Iberian Reconquest was on track, and Thomas Aquinas was the student of Albert Magnus at the spanking new level of learning the U of Paris. Thomas Aquinas Christianized Aristotle´s First Cause, and other things, as a pivotal development called the Great Synthesis. That percolated and marinated for a little more time, Jan Hus was burned at the stake, while Luther took his learning as a monk and nailed 95 Theses. The church wasn´t abusing its power in indulgences because of Constantine, but because of the human tendency to indulge in the abuse of power, privilege, and pleasure. Luther inspired a breakaway from that power and privilege. Descartes came along by 1640, and is identified for the mind-body split that naturalized philosophical thinking, that Pascal criticized, that worried John Locke. That´s identifies a few key points and issues that boil down to the human bio-psychosocial tendencies to indulge in the abuse of power, privilege, and pleasure. Jesus taught "seek first the Kingdom of Heaven" and "clean the cup on the inside", which Anthony of the Desert addressed in a great way with his ascetic founding of Christian monasticism. After Luther, the Protestants didn´t even keep that monastic system. George Fox, however, led the co-founding of the Quaker Friends with amazing results that need to be made more prominent in progressive culture. He stopped bowing to aristocrats, valued individuals, women, and protested injustice. The other Quaker-Friends followed suit, and in a hundred years, they initiated and inspired the anti-slavery abolition movement in a pioneering interdenominational campaign. I fast forward and connect all the dots in Gandhi, the interfaith Christian Hindu. The problem is centrally how Christian educational and scientific success has given nominal Christian merchants, soldiers, and politicians amplified and intense power. That´s where European colonization came from, and Gandhi´s context under the British Empire. Gandhi valued Jesus´ integrity to the utmost, using his orientation by theosophy to go interfaith. The interfaith and spiritual Gandhi shows how about people can respiritualize their experience for integrity in the standard of loving and just integrity that Jesus really represents. If you identify Constantine, it´s not at all his fault. Switch your focus to Anthony of the Desert to credit him for developing the monastic movement that focused on spiritual practice and led to modern University education. George Fox, whose Quakers include Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony. W Gladden´s Social Gospel influenced FD Roosevelt and his vision of UN human rights. Robert Owen was inspired no less by a Christian doctor to inspire the Rochdale pioneer co-op business model. Getting clear about all that involves valuing psychology, anthropology, sociology, along with history. Process Theologian JB Cobb has a good standpoint. Historian James Hannam´s Genesis of Science is excellent. Like the Buddha says, something like Paul I recall, it´s important to apply ourselves to our spiritual work. And that´s is consistent with Jesus´ vision expressed in his teachings, "go and learn" etc. (and also this: Steve Koschella "Constantine has been forcibly inbred..."? Try, human beings are universally violent and enslave, like their chimpanzee Pan trog. cousins who slaughter neighbors, which means they, we, have bio-psychosocial tendencies to indulge in the abuse of power, privilege, and pleasure. Violence and enslavement already are visible on the smaller scales of tribal societies like Africa´s and the America´s, and at the larger scales we know so well in China, India, Islam, the Aztecs, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and so on. So, Constantine didn´t make Christianity evil. The issue of Church doctrinal orthodoxy is about two things: political/institutional authority and the truth. Expressing the truth in religion without political authority issues requires a good modern educational system. By developing a monastic system already by 320, then Universities by 1150, Christians showed an incredible capacity to work with Jesus´ legacy standard of loving integrity for Moses et al and God. Islam´s scholarship, its Golden Age, collapsed because of things like overcentralization and infighting. Constantine, meanwhile, leveraged Christianity up with access to authority. His promoting orthodox doctrine was unfortunate, but not supported in the same way by the church. When the first heretic was executed in 385, it was the Roman emperor who gave the order, not the pope, St. Jerome, or St. Martin of Tours. By 476, the Western Roman emperor had been deposed, leaving the local King of Italy, and political breakdown in the West. The church was on its own in a big way. By 600 AD, Pope Gregory sent Augustine of Canterbury to Britain talking about allowing pagan practices wherever possible. If Jan Hus was executed around 1400, then the educated monk Luther by 1520 used his education to list 95 Theses like against the problem of Rome charging indulgences. Luther inspired the Reformation as local political monarchs supported him. University-based education is a key common denominator. Hugo Grotius and John Locke used their education to write about religious tolerance, as the British also showed some interesting innovative spirit among the Puritans, with Quakers, Methodists, and more. The famous Age of Navigation and colonization was mostly gold and glory by the universal roles of humans as merchants, soldiers, and politicians who as nominal Christians used the intelligence that monastic-based Universities were developing as the fruit of Jesus´ legacy. That´s how Christianity ended absolute monarchy with US constitutional democracy and Civil Rights. University-based natural law became secular education as part of that. However, that wasn´t all just democracy, education, and hugs and kisses. Colonization by European Protestant merchants used education to create joint stock companies and to create theories of profiteering that took Adam Smith´s "free market" and cut out his editorial ethics. When Quaker Friends led the protesting against slavery, their dissident high integrity Christianity had to oppose the economic profiteering businesspeople who wanted slavery. Minister Washington Gladden in 1877 then initiated the Social Gospel by supporting labor organizing. Gladden and Rauschenbusch led influences on FD Roosevelt who did projects in Boston´ s needy low income neighborhoods in the 1890s under his Episcopalian principal. Eleanor got involved with pro-poor settlement house projects following Jane Addam´s Hull House, that she got inspired by from a British project. Anglican Sam Barnett´s Toynbee Hall.) (Steve Koschella First of all, Constantine died in 337 AD. "Jesus hijacked as a political tools... and forcibly inbred..."? "Forcibly inbred" is actually a metaphor that you´re using that has serious limitations. What has been special about Christianity, in it all? Are you clear that key "breakouts" have happened throughout history? The term "breakout" works with your metaphor, although it´s more like Jesus has been misused by hypocritical, low integrity, and worse nominal Christians in the roles of merchants, soldiers, and politicians. It is, however, spiritual practice that corresponds to high integrity figures. Emperors were not the church, however, in key ways, so you´re actually just wrong. Priscillian was the first heretic executed in 385, and it was by the then emperor´s order, and protested by the church, St. Jerome, and St. Martin of Tours. Moreover, with Julian in 360, he became a pagan and started trying to work against Christianity. It wasn´t just playschool. Political realities need to be acknowledged. Constantine was still doing quite a bit of paganism himself, and his sympathy gave Christianity legitimacy, since it had been subjected to Roman imperial persecution. So, then, while Emperors as Christians certainly used "Jesus" in mostly nominal Christianity in their monarchical-military role, what happened? Western emperors were all deposed by 476 AD in a fascinating development that left the Roman church in a novel position. The Roman church, meanwhile, was sending missionaries on their own to convert invading tribes, no less. Some became martyrs. Some popes did crazy things like Pope Steven VII putting a corpse on trial in 897. Then the Inquisitions began, but really, were mild and orderly, and so start getting thinned out as far as ruthless "massacres" go. The category isn´t "Christianity", but humans in authority as nominal Christians. Authentic Christians were practicing spirituality and developed monastic schools into Universities. Jesus´ 2 Commandments, fulfilling Moses´ were loving, and his teachings indicated spiritual practice. Thanks to Jesus´ legacy in modern monastic-derived University-based modern education, we can make important distinctions. Human beings are actually universally violent and enslave, like their chimpanzee Pan trog. cousins who slaughter neighbors, which means they, we, have bio-psychosocial tendencies to indulge in the abuse of power, privilege, and pleasure. Violence and enslavement already are visible on the smaller scales of tribal societies like Africa´s and the America´s, and at the larger scales we know so well in China, India, Islam, the Aztecs, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and so on. Chinese history has a phenomena called "literary inquisitions" based on authority figures being displeased with how writers talked about them. Entire families were executed at various points, and thousands upon thousands of deaths by execution. The Hongwu Emperor was a good example of such things. Human beings are meta-animals with bio-psychosocial tendencies. Everywhere. That is why anthropology can identify shamanism as having been important everywhere, spiritual practice everywhere, and why Jesus in Judeo-Christianity is worth calling "supershamanic." So, Constantine didn´t make Christianity evil. The issue of Church doctrinal orthodoxy is about two things: political/institutional authority and the truth. Expressing the truth in religion without political authority issues requires a good modern educational system. By developing a monastic system already by 320, then Universities by 1150, Christians showed an incredible capacity to work with Jesus´ legacy standard of loving integrity for Moses et al and God. Islam´s scholarship, its Golden Age, collapsed because of things like overcentralization and infighting. Christianity had to establish itself to move onward and upward. And Charlemagne united the tribes in Europe. By 1150, those Universities were giving Europeans new cultural development that led to the Age of Navigation and colonization, with God trailing Gold and Glory. Merchants, soldiers, and politicians led the colonization efforts. The educated monk Luther wrote up 95 Theses and stood up to Roman and new Imperial authority, and inspired a crucial split. That split led to various developments in Universities and otherwise. Constitutional democracy with Civil Rights. Merchants, then are the ones who led the Industrial Revolution. FD Roosevelt et al´s UN human rights. Merchants have funded right wing theology, and drove anti-communist militarist ideology, along with the soldiers and politicians. Ever read Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins? Then, try K Kruse´s One Nation Under God. Rev Fifield was a pro-rich preacher, but he didn´t get so important on his own. He met the executives of US Big Biz at the National Manufacturers Assoc. Ralph Nader is a big hero to help clarify the source of modern evil. Along with the Quaker-Friends who sparked and led much of the anti-slavery movement. The Social Gospel initiated in 1877 by minister Washington Gladden was pro-labor, and soon pro-Afro-Am. Constantine isn´t the problem Christianity faces. Getting clear about all that involves valuing psychology, anthropology, sociology, along with history. Process Theologian JB Cobb has a good standpoint. Historian James Hannam´s Genesis of Science is excellent. Like the Buddha says, something like Paul I recall, it´s important to apply ourselves to our spiritual work. And that´s is consistent with Jesus´ vision expressed in his teachings, "go and learn" etc.)

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Free Market Capitalism Bears No Fault in a Fallen Creation? Gag Me With a Spoon, Or The Other Guy, Rather....

From comments on the youtube video: David Bentley Hart: Myths of Christian History Sean Kennedy Sean Kennedy 1 year ago (edited) 06:50 "The petty, burgeoise consumerism, which gives us...Youtube." Youtube, the very communication platform upon which Mr. Hart currently relies to discuss his own popular ideas and book offerings (i.e. books which, via mass purchase and consumption, contribute to his livelihood.) Meaning: The situation is not as neatly divisible as Marx (or Hart) would have one believe. In short: The CONTENT (petty and otherwise) of our economic system is provided by the characters of the individuals who participate in said system. Ultimately, the content is little fault of the system itself. Contrary to what Mr. Hart appears to believe, in nowise is it inherent to free market capitalism, specifically, that individual ends must be vacant of the Good, or of God. Indeed, to the contrary, such freedom in a fallen creation, a creation thus pervaded by resource scarcity, allows the fullest possible range for the individual to pursue what he/she identifies (correctly or not) as that which is Good / God. The althernative, as far as I can see it, is to impose a system of behavior designed by a central human authority, aimed at directing the masses toward the Good/God. But (1) Good luck designing such a widely applicable, yet simultaneously materially successful system; (2a) Good luck designing such a system that avoids ultimate reliance upon coercion; or stated another way: (2b) Good luck defining the Good/God in a way acceptable to all participants, so that each would gladly and voluntaritly participate, or agree that the means to be employed are those best suited to achieve the end(s) chosen. I dare say that the outer bounds of Mr. Hart's knowledge of economic science, and its necessary implications for possible and actual social arrangements, are on full display here, and are regrettably narrow indeed. Too bad he's convinced otherwise, and too bad he's enamored of the demonstrably errant ideas of Marx et al. Economic cause and effect may appear simple and straightforward, but in fact lends itself to no easily won understanding, even by intellects as gifted as Hart's (and Marx). Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 year ago Interesting topic. However, you overestimate the difficulty of economic cause and effect. The problem is presumption, intimidation, and distortion. David Ellerman summed it up in refining his work on co-op firms, referring to key issues like social power relations and transaction costs. Herman Daly et al formulated Ecological Economics quite well. However, asserting the problems of inequality and unsustainability is key, along with Jesus´ legacy, and then talking up existing solutions, like labels e.g. organics and Fair Trade, food co-ops and credit unions to educate consumers, break indoctrination, and spur social enterprise. Grameen Bank is illuminating, as is Gr. Shakti and Solar.United.Neighbors. in the US. European Social Market Economics is a good rule of thumb. Sean Kennedy Sean Kennedy 1 year ago (edited) ​ @Green Peacemst What's telling, however, is that neither you, nor they, possess an intimate knowledge of economic theory and its historical development. Thus, you have no idea what economics entails in its essentials. Thus, you conflate two fundamentally different scientific endeavors, psychology and economics. Unless and until one studies in relative detail the historical development of economic theory, one is bound in ignorance and the phrase "one doesn't know what he doesn't know" is apt. For instance, Aristotle posited that goods of equal value exchange against one another---that an economic exchange is fundamentally one dealing with equalities. This idea, it so happens, is incorrect. Yet it stood as truth for a millenium. Only with the Spanish scholastics of the 16th century was the fact demonstrated that exchange occurs when each actor values that which is acquired more highly than that which is renounced, else no trade happens. Nevertheless, unfortunately, the profound economic insights of the scholastic thinkers failed to prevent all manner of subsequent fallacies from once again taking root in economic theorizing. To wit, Adam Smith and David Ricardo's fatally flawed cost-of-production theory of value swept British economics and was adopted by Marx, all three of whose influence clearly still manifests far and wide today. These examples are merely a SLIVER of the intellectual particularities which one NECESSARILY need be familiar with to truly comprehend economics qua economics. Again, the thinkers you take your ideas from HAVE NO CLUE of this history, and thus also NO CLUE what correct economics entails. Indeed, if Aristotle, Smith, Ricardo, and Marx could be so wildly incorrect---and incorrect regarding such an utterly fundamental phenomenon as value---surely the presumption a non-expert ought to adopt with respect to economics is that of profound ignorance and intellectual humility. I'm persuaded by NONE of this talk of "intimidation," "fair trade," and "social power relations." Whatever it is, it's NOT economics. And to whatever extent these conceptions may happen to countenance accurate economic theory (a possibility which I SERIOUSLY doubt), this is mere accident---none of these "thinkers" would be able to explicate the necessary connections and their significance. Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 year ago @Sean Kennedy Oh, you misread your orthodox tea leaves, and project your own presumptions. Allow me to prepare my reply..... Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 year ago (edited) @Sean Kennedy Well, that was pompous and obnoxious. Which is par for the course in the orthodox economics quagmire of posturing sycophants. You sound nice and gummed up. Did you actually offer any substance, at least of one kind or another? Ah, we´ll get to that. As for “non-experts,” you happen to be talking to a guy with a masters and ample and diverse experience, which overeducated, overspecialized, and narrowly experienced pundits don´t. So. Oops for you. My qualifications are actually adequately expert. And yeah, I referred to Ellerman and Daly, who both worked with J Stiglitz and Stern at the WB. Oops for you. Me, oh, I started in Bio Anthro, and value multidisciplines and empiricism, and thanks to Intl Rel see through fallacious economic scholastic ideologizing. “Empiricism” relates to the scientific method, and economics has tried to avoid that in all its ideal theorizing, making all your creampuff “don´t know” psychology your own Jungian shadow projection. With my Bio Anthro basis, social psych observing of human interaction is fundamental. As for Aristotle, like his science, he made assumptions, not bad as you cite it. He can “posit” equal values all he wanted, the question is who and how “values” are determined. Artisans and small operators don´t wield unfair advantages normally, and can be generally thought of as giving honest accountings, which Dave Korten ascribed to Smith´s assumptions. Jolly good for him. And Smith filled his work with editorial comments warning about unequal participants. Oh my. Could that reflect “social power relations” expressed coyly in unempirical scholarship? And that´s 18th C. You cited “16th C. Spanish scholastics. Gee. Never heard of ´em. Am I lost? Sorry, already found. You ascribe an insight to them of “agent hyper valuation.” Good thing you reject psychology. Not. And there it is. And you acknowledge “fatal flaws” in “cost of production” value theories, where your attempt at reasoning and presentation resorts to “unknowability” based on defense of the inexpressible orthodoxy and ad hom against the unorthodox. Yeah, here in the real world, say, of Social Movement Sociology and Ecosocial Solidarity Economics, we note that Denmark´s socioeconomic history offers a reliable standard. They never suffered the destabilizing “encirclements” that enriched British aristocrats and was followed coincidentally by industrialization through exploitation. Labor´s salaries and hours weren´t actually by any equal valuation terms. Funny how that´s hardly on orthodox radar. And how much that corresponds to social power relations and intimidation. To wit, it´s not that you´re not persuaded. You´re deeply indoctrinated, peddlar wearing “non-expert”-colored glasses. As for Fair Trade, it cuts to the bone of your fantasy world serving an oligarchical US-led corporate profiteering model and WTO system. Ah, but Keynes just talked about interest rates, and the GDP promises unlimited growth, and Gandhi´s type of example shows how Fair Trade ecosocial business values cuts through distracting exploitative justifications. Reality check for ya, Pompous the Double-talking, Double-Book Clown. One book for the public, and the real one. Occupy Wall St. may have fizzled, but they were like martyrs. Now, why don´t you shake yourself up and read Daly´s fave JS Mill, and Mark Lutz´s background for Ellerman in John Ruskin. Jaroslav Vanek on Labor-managed econ might be jargon-friendly for ya. Daly and J Farley have a whole textbook to slice your mush-brain fat off. Any questions, junior league? Sean Kennedy Sean Kennedy 1 year ago @Green Peacemst Nothing you've just said contradicts my point. Again, without a fairly intimate knowledge of the intellectual development of economic theory, one is incapable of identifying that which, properly, belongs in the category of the economic. This includes yourself and the likes of Stiglitz. Degrees, honors, experience, and headships have nothing to do with this. To wit, your being enamored of empiricism as THE scientific method, when in fact economics is, properly, a deductive science. And, predictably, you leveling the charge of sycophantism, as every Marxian does in reply to criticism of his errors. Marx was wrong. And so are you. Voluntary exchange of property (including one's labor) is a positive sum endeavor, simple as that. To the extent exploitation DOES exist in the economy, this is due to exogenous factors which have nothing directly to do with the logic and practice of laissez-faire. To cry "unequal social power" or some such when describing the labor contract in a PURELY capitalist economy, can only be accomplished with a straight face by one tangled in Marxian fallacies, which is possible only when one is ignorant of economic theory and its historical development. Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 year ago (edited) ​ @Sean Kennedy By psychologically denying that reality matters, of course you can ignore contradictions and their significance. Nothing would contradict your point if you were learning from me, and not sycophantically rationalizing all in your obtuse apparently shared economic orthodoxy. Stiglitz has shown signs of empirical sanity in his advocacy of public stakeholder shares in Russia´s post-communist conversion, and a Green Natl Product. Meanwhile, you just swirl like a theory-feathered vulture. Ah, degrees are irrelevant. Well, “irrelevancy” is a quality that can be established empirically and described with verbal efficacy. Your orthodoxy is virtually irrrelevant except as a characteristic of intransigent orthodoxy and the prevailing behaviors. Your deranged disdain of empiricism has a long presence in your “miserable science,” even as it is at odds with the fields aspirations as a “science,” again, not atypically. As for labels, did I mention any Marxian dogma? No, and you project your own malnourished epistemology. Ah, but your dogma? “Voluntary exchange of property (including one's labor) is a positive sum endeavor,” except that as a social science, and upon mandatory empirical examination, “voluntary” is a psychosocial and cultural contextualized variable, not immune to context except in unreal orthodoxy embedded in an unjust reality and committed to defending that injustice. "Turning a blind eye" is another term we "Real Lifers and Reality Checkers" use for your sorry kind. And on you go with “exogenous factors” and “laissez-faire.” Indeed, corporate executives like your kind of smokescreening. How sad for you then that 1972 UN Stockholm already drew on Pigou´s “externalities,” that pesky reality. In brainlessly barking orthodox theoretical purity, you would redeem yourself if you learned from my talk of strategies as “externality adjustment market mechanisms,” but you don´t. And that is why one project in the field is called (Post-) Autistic Economics. As if I am not part of an advancing collection of movements. As for your “Marxian” blinders, I used the term “social” economics, among others, and referred to JS Mills, and Lutz´s work. He doesn´t cover Social Europe, if I´m not mistaken, but German Frankfurt School ideas and ordoliberalism also confound you, as do the rest of Social Europe, and social business models. As you keep airbrushing that mustache and pie in your face, the real world is closing in. Nicholas Stern´s Climate Change report may have made little dent, but Germany´s citizens have led a charge in renewable energy co-ops. In fact, that´s where your corporate-friendly market fantasy could give you an escape hatch back to reality. Robert Owens and the Quaker-interdenominational abolitionists inspired the Rochdale Co-op´ists by the 1840s. That´s how all that works, dear dogmatist. Your denialist rationalizing allows you to pretend you´re not running, but you better study some of that “trivial” empirical stuff about sustainability. The NIH´s Fauci deduced and predicted an epidemic in 2017, from his years of inductive data. He´s like me, not you. And the UNDP? You can´t quite sustain through your hazy psychological defense mechanisms that they include eco-sustainability measures now with their UN HDI. And accounting for the World Bank´s involvement with UN SDGs just doesn´t compute. Nice mustache and pie in your wishful historical escapist face. Sean Kennedy Sean Kennedy 1 year ago @Green Peacemst "intransigent orthodoxy" Yes, truth is intransigent. Were you familiar with it, you would see the fantastic nature of your cooperative communism. But aren't cooperatives voluntary associations? Oops. Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 year ago @Sean Kennedy The truth isn´t demonstrated in conceit and vanity, but is enlightening and revealed in empirical integrity, not escapist verbal posturing. It is revealed in justifications, for which empirical references intransigently push interpretations towards clarifying evaluations. You fastidiously demonstrate avoidance of any such responsible scholarship. The late Elinor Ostrom, who shared the Rijksbank Nobel, wasn´t a formal economist, and had joined Daly´s Institute for Ecological Economics, was an exceptional recipient, having done field work. The intransigent orthodoxy that you identify rides on corporate profiteering coattails, meanwhile. As for co-operative social business and market models, not your ideologically boxed "communism," tsk tsk, indeed, voluntary. A term which you can value in your cage, unable to see its historical origins in response to exploitation, and continuing significance, having been recognized amply by the World Bank, among other international institutions. Ah, but that is all fuzzy in your bubble of a purview. Highlighted reply Colin Purssey Colin Purssey 11 hours ago @Green Peacemst Wow ! You two antagonistic economics polemicists have left my head in a spin .Fascinating argument but the esoteric jargon and recondite subject matter that you both express , leaves the uninitiated , like myself , utterly confused . Thus from that vantage, I dunno who won the points ..... . Green Peacemst Green Peacemst 1 second ago @Colin Purssey "utterly confused"? You go so far as to equate me with the other guy, and more like, "utterly" ignored any and all references I made to quite empirical issues. It´s a basic insight that "neutral" folks like yourself are basically free riding on an unjust system. Time to face some facts. I had fun re-reading my stuff to note what you totally ignored. The question does ultimately fall back on who you are as a vocal audience member in this case. You apparently are not clear about the significance of 1972 UN Stockholm UNCHE environmental conference, and its meaning beyond all that it has lead to around Climate Change alone. If you´re literate enough, check out the 2005 World Bank-UNEP-NGO Ecosystem Assessment, or any more recent version of the NGO WWF et al´s "Living" Planet Report. They´re too soft in that title. It´s the Dying Planet Report. A little edgy for ya? You and your nephews and future geneaology are facing the rather unsettling implications, well, catastrophic really, of current industrial trends that are viciously and profiteeringly unsustainable. I also refer to things like Denmark´s social economy, and Germany´s, both of which innovated modern green power co-ops. I also mentioned Fair Trade and Solidarity Economics. Not quite familiar with those terms? Go take a look at the FLO´s site and their success stories, all of which is contextualized by how the commodities markets controlled by US-led profiteering mega-corporation businesspeople loved driving prices for coffee and bananas to the ground, with no regard for the small farmers. Fair Trade organizes small farmers into co-op enterprise, and obligates buyers to pay living prices and community premiums. Examples in the US´ s neck of the woods include organic and Fair Trade certified foods and things, Food co-op stores, credit unions (mostly conservative in nature), and now green power co-ops. The first successful project was Interfaith Power and Light, followed by the 2007 enterprise of two 12 year olds and a mom who founded SUN solar co-op, that has spread to 15 states so far with a low income project. Otherwise, I recommend looking up the winners of the Right Livelihood Award, like Brazil´s MST, and South Korea´s XYZ, and Japan´s Seikatsu Club, or visiting the US NCBA for co-op biz and the international org ICA for co-op biz. That should get your foot in the door, and start the detoxification process, or really, de-indoctrination.