Gay Marriage/Capitalism

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cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Here's a weird theory I just thought of.

I'm watching a federal government debate about gay marriage. You're probably all aware that the federal government of Canada is considering (quite strongly, it seems) legalizing it. The prime minister said something along the lines of, Legalizing gay marriage doesn't infiltrate freedom of religion.

Of course, I thought of you guys and our debates about the American government back in the fall. You guys (I won't name names) seem to oppose legalization of gay marriage because that would mean our government was advocating sin. Our/Your laws should be based upon morals, and homosexuality is immoral, so they might as well legalize first-degree murder. You guys have a good point!

So, I was thinking, the reason communism doesn't work is because nobody's motivated to do their jobs, since they're going to be paid anyway. What drives capitalism, is people see each other, and want to be doing better jobs, so they work hard in order to get better pay. That is, what drives capitalism is envy. Envy is a sin. So do capitalist countries advocate sin, by merit of their being capitalist?
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
I should point out, by the way, that I'm not trying to defend gay marriage here!! I'm just asking a question!
 

Average Joey

Puritan Board Junior
Maybe envy for a lot of people but also for many it is taking advantage of a God given blessing to get a very good paying job.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
If your question is about capitalism, I would disagree with the premise that capitalism is driven by envy. That kind of capitalism is a perversion of true or Biblical capitalism. I define true or Biblical capitalism this way: "an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own" (WLC # 141).
 

Abd_Yesua_alMasih

Puritan Board Junior
I would also point to a more fatal error in Communism which is the assumption that all men are good (at least initially). A government based upon such an idea will soon find it's policies wanting. Maybe that is why China has lasted longer than the others. Mao Zedong, while holding the communist line of humanities goodness, also believed in more of strong totalitarian government with a dictator. It kept the stupidity of the mass' in check and overall got rid of that problem.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
True. And communism (sometimes defined as socialism in a hurry) is the system that is really based on envy. Forced redistribution of others' goods for supposed benefits decreed by an elite.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
The definition I cited comes straight from the Westminster Assembly's exposition of the Eighth Commandment. In other words, by promoting one's own estate and those of others through commerce or investment or whatever, one is upholding the Eighth Commandment which is contrary to envy. Envy and greed are sins prohibited by the Eighth Commandment. Thus, if my definition is appropriate, as I believe, capitalism properly understood is based on respect for private property and the promotion of our own wealth and that of others through lawful endeavors. And that is not greed or envy, but simply work and due reward for the same for the well-being of ourselves and others.
 

Abd_Yesua_alMasih

Puritan Board Junior
I would say one major point about capitalism is that it works because it allows humanities totally depraved nature to work outside of the constraints of a utopian society (in theory Communism). I am not sure if that was the best wording or not. In short capitalism allows for both 'evil' and 'good' men - both greedy and humble - while communism tries to make everyone 'good' and work together.
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
... capitalism properly understood is based on respect for private property and the promotion of our own wealth and that of others through lawful endeavors. And that is not greed or envy, but simply work and due reward for the same for the well-being of ourselves and others.

Ah, I understand what you mean: capitalism represents a justice, in that people get what they earn. You're right; especially compared to communism, capitalism is a more just system. But I didn't mean the rewards, I meant the motivation to get those rewards. You're saying capitalism is where people get what they earn. I'm saying capitalism is where people earn what they want.

People are, of course, naturally greedy. I think that advertising companies take advantage of that, to make people desire things. Do you know what I mean? I think companies try to bring out material lust in us by distracting us. And capitalism, by giving us the choice to earn those things, encourages us to work for them.

For example, I see a Walmart commercial, where a toaster oven is advertised. Although I already have a toaster oven, this commercial convinces me to want this one. So I work a few extra hours this week in order to buy it. Now I have two. So, the commercial worked, and I helped the economy by buying something. But why did I earn the money for it? Because of greed. Ok, I did the work to earn the toaster oven, so buying it was fair. But my motivation to do the work was wrong. Do you see what I mean?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Yes, I do see what you mean. The field of advertisement today is a field that is governed by regulations but not by ethics (generally speaking). Marketers do indeed appeal to the flesh (ex: Sprite: "obey your thirst"). This is a sinful application of capitalism. It need not be this way. I'm pretty much a free market advocate, but I do believe that government can and should intervene when broadcast commercials, for example, violate God's law or contribute to public immorality. A problem in this area of government's regulation of the economy, however, is that the Tenth Commandment, which prohibits covetousness, deals primarily with an attitude of the heart. The magistrate may do what is necessary to uphold the Ten Commandments, I would argue, but covetousness is tough to legislate against. As I have said in other threads, Reformation in the state must first begin in the Church.
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
The field of advertisement today is a field that is governed by regulations but not by ethics (generally speaking). Marketers do indeed appeal to the flesh (ex: Sprite: "obey your thirst"). This is a sinful application of capitalism. It need not be this way. . . government can and should intervene . . . covetousness, deals primarily with an attitude of the heart. The magistrate may do what is necessary to uphold the Ten Commandments, I would argue, but covetousness is tough to legislate against.

There you go, we're agreeing again. I see what you mean about how hard it is to legislate against greed. To go back to my example, Walmart could argue that they're advertising to people who happen to be looking for a toaster oven, and that they can't control my response. I guess it's the line between advocating one's goods and really trying to make people greedy that is hard to establish.
 

Abd_Yesua_alMasih

Puritan Board Junior
I know certainly in New Zealand and other countries I have been in (except probably China) advertising is ruled by sex. Everything has to have a sex appeal and that is how people hook you in. It certainly is not ethical. Governments should keep society in order and if ads lead to corruption and disruption within society then they should be censored. Who ever said someone can go on behind closed doors and not come out into the open was wrong. And also the person that said 'turn off the tv' is also wrong as ads can come at any time - even on the side of the road and there is no escaping them. When people, no matter what their beliefs, are forced to look at half naked ladies dancing around toaster ovens, pizza, breakfast cereals... etc... there is something wrong with the system.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by Cottonball
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
The field of advertisement today is a field that is governed by regulations but not by ethics (generally speaking). Marketers do indeed appeal to the flesh (ex: Sprite: "obey your thirst"). This is a sinful application of capitalism. It need not be this way. . . government can and should intervene . . . covetousness, deals primarily with an attitude of the heart. The magistrate may do what is necessary to uphold the Ten Commandments, I would argue, but covetousness is tough to legislate against.

There you go, we're agreeing again. I see what you mean about how hard it is to legislate against greed. To go back to my example, Walmart could argue that they're advertising to people who happen to be looking for a toaster oven, and that they can't control my response. I guess it's the line between advocating one's goods and really trying to make people greedy that is hard to establish.

:up:
 

cupotea

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Abd_Yesua_alMasih
I know certainly in New Zealand and other countries I have been in (except probably China) advertising is ruled by sex. Everything has to have a sex appeal and that is how people hook you in. It certainly is not ethical. Governments should keep society in order and if ads lead to corruption and disruption within society then they should be censored.

:amen: I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that our? governments are legalizing gay marriage.
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
Originally posted by Cottonball
Here's a weird theory I just thought of.

I'm watching a federal government debate about gay marriage. You're probably all aware that the federal government of Canada is considering (quite strongly, it seems) legalizing it. The prime minister said something along the lines of, Legalizing gay marriage doesn't infiltrate freedom of religion.

God ordained that marriage is between a man and a woman. Any other relationship or union is an abomination and fornication. Upholding the sanctity of marriage means upholding the divine design. For militant homosexuals, this is not just about marriage, but rather special status traditionally afforded to married couples. Whether, they get civil unions or marriage it entails privileges like company-paid insurance for one's spouse.

Originally posted by Cottonball
So, I was thinking, the reason communism doesn't work is because nobody's motivated to do their jobs, since they're going to be paid anyway. What drives capitalism, is people see each other, and want to be doing better jobs, so they work hard in order to get better pay. That is, what drives capitalism is envy. Envy is a sin. So do capitalist countries advocate sin, by merit of their being capitalist?

Capitalism is a Marxist term, but it captures the vitality of capital and capital formation to a prosperous economy. God ordained private property under the auspices of stewardship and implicit within the simple command thou shall not steal. The market economy requires a civil and legal framework to uphold property rights, enforce contracts, and prosecute or thrawt acts of force and fraud. You're committing the logical fallacy of Petitio Principii that is to say you're begging the question. The truth your conclusion is assumed by your premises.

[Edited on 3-19-2005 by Puritanhead]
 

Anton Bruckner

Puritan Board Professor
This modern notion of Capitalism finds itself proceeding directly out of Adam Smith's work, the wealth of nations from the Enlightenment period. Locke also did some writings on the subject as well as others. Under this model, the ethics of doing business is solely determined by concensus of those that possess power, and not by Biblical principles. The fact that in some cases Biblical principles are adhered to, is accidental and not intentional.

There were many and are many cases of gross abuses such as forced labor of African slaves, the Supreme Court ruling that a runaway slave was 3/4ths a man, while duplicitiously not enslaving Europeans etc. Even to the dispossession of native peoples and the breaking of contracts with these people etc. The list can go on. But the thrust of the argument is, that capitalism as we got it from the englightenment thinkers was based on greed, and not ethics, a rationalized greed at that, that was covered over with sweet sounding phrases of noble granduer. A greed where other peoples were mere tools to create wealth by the powerful and not full persons who had a right to likewise practice life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

When you have a stock market pushed by greed that suffered a catastrophic collapse in 1928, so much that socialist principles had to be brought in to prop it up, i.e social security, food rationing etc, Capitalism as preached by Free Market Academics and Anticommunist politicians is on its death bed.

That being said, I think Dueteronomy and Leviticus provides the best principles on how one should go about acquiring wealth, in that the Holiness of God is always at the forefront. I wouldn't even call this Capitalism, I would call it Holy Livng, since Jesus gave the story of the foolish businessman that decided on building bigger barns and died versus how Abraham and Jacob who were all wealthy and industrious but were in full Covenant with God and practiced Holy Living.

In addition, a balance must by constructed by any and every government to monitor the economic acticity of the population. Why?

1. Mankind is prone to greed, and since greed brings in exploitation, government must be able and should, since it is commanded by God to protect the poor and the powerless. This is why as scary as it sounds that regulation is most relevant, as well as some social programs.
 
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