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Believing in religion [today] and being an advocate of a stateless society...

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Esuric replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 4:34 PM

Conza88:
The point I'm making, and that you're missing - is that just because atheism has increased(?) in no way does it mean that the source is marxist.

Of course not. I'm saying that religion as the "opiate of the masses" is an extremely effective and influential concept, along with conflict theory, class interests, exploitation, alienation, materialism, the superstructure and others (all of which dominate the American intellectual scene).

Conza88:
That's right, but it addresses the principle - far more important, since your question was basically a red herring.

So your far more "important" point is that Marx cannot be responsible for today's anti-religious sentiments because atheism predates Marx?

Conza88:

Furthermore; it's the classical liberals we have to thank... not the marxists.

"The object of the classical liberals was to bring about individual liberty in all of its interrelated aspects. In the economy, taxes were to be drastically reduced, controls and regulations eliminated, and human energy, enterprise, and markets set free to create and produce in exchanges that would benefit everyone and the mass of consumers. Entrepreneurs were to be free at last to compete, to develop, to create. The shackles of control were to be lifted from land, labor, and capital alike. Personal freedom and civil liberty were to be guaranteed against the depredations and tyranny of the king or his minions. Religion, the source of bloody wars for centuries when sects were battling for control of the State, was to be set free from State imposition or interference, so that all religions — or nonreligions — could coexist in peace. Peace, too, was the foreign policy credo of the new classical liberals; the age-old regime of imperial and State aggrandizement for power and pelf was to be replaced by a foreign policy of peace and free trade with all nations. And since war was seen as engendered by standing armies and navies, by military power always seeking expansion, these military establishments were to be replaced by voluntary local militia, by citizen-civilians who would only wish to fight in defense of their own particular homes and neighborhoods.

Thus, the well-known theme of "separation of Church and State" was but one of many interrelated motifs that could be summed up as "separation of the economy from the State," "separation of speech and press from the State," "separation of land from the State," "separation of war and military affairs from the State," indeed, the separation of the State from virtually everything."

A few problems with this analysis: (1) The United States is the most religious western industrialized nation; (2) Anglo-American classical liberalism deduced their natural law philosophy from the belief in some kind of universal creator, and the vast vast majority of them were theists (some were deists); (3) The desire to separate the church from the state is an attack on theocracy more than anything else. It really has nothing to do with theism or atheism. I have no problem with the desire to separate the church from the state; I don't support either of them in their current form (a common theistic/classical liberal position).

Conza88:
Not ridiculous at all. Individuals with power, attempt to increase it - in all areas of life, they are parasites and want a bigger piece of the pie. What is a natural scenario - the growth of government everywhere, you attribute all to Marx? HAHAH...!! Get a grip.

Non sequitur. I'm not talking about the growth of government; I'm talking about the wide-spread dominance of Marxian philosophy and political economy amongst intellectual circles which permeates amongst the rest of society. Marx gave them a philosophical, sociological and "scientific" economic doctrine as a means towards their desired ends. The fact that Marxian thought dominates economic, sociological and political theory makes him what? Obscure?

Who are the three most influential economists in your opinion?

Conza88:
There are other sources... and as correctly pointed out by Neilso - marxism is a religion in of itself, so your point is erroneous.

It's not a religion, but it resembles religion in some ways (as do most philosophical doctrines). Either way, this wouldn't make my point erroneous; religions can destroy religions, and frequently do (Buddhism replaced Shintoism in Japan). There's no need for knee-jerk reactions; I'm not saying that you're a Marxist because you're an atheist. I'm saying that ideas matter; they permeate amongst the lay people who are effected by them without even knowing it.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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Jesse:
I'm not convinced. The Israelites demanded a king, and God (through Samuel) warned them about the evil that would follow. Israel had no state prior to this. More interestingly, God recognized this demand for a State as a rejection of him. (Is this not reason enough to demonstrate that anarchism is the Christian position?)

Way before I was introduced to Austrian economics or even ever heard of anarcho-capitalism, libertarianism, anarchy, etc....  Anyways... I always found that passage in the Bible to be an outstanding attempt of describing what naturally had to be a historical event in which humankind gave up their free-thinking and allowed another man to rule over them and think for them.  I totally agreed with it.  I still do.  The Israelities at that time rejected God as being where their guidance would come from.  At that point on they demanded that a son of man and not a son of god be how their life is guided.  It was no longer wandering as a sheep herder type of life in which realizations about life and universe naturally come about as a free-thinker in a Thoreau Walden Pond mannerism, but they demanded another man tell them what to do and institute humankind in a self-created prison.  Kinda reminds me of Shawshank Redemption.

Glad to see somebody else has read that same instance in the Bible.  Even if that passage is pure poetry and not historical in nature, I think it drives the point home.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Malthus replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 5:52 PM

Nielsio:

A cogent video featuring a deeply flawed man.

Nonetheless, there's still hope:

http://mises.org/Community/blogs/brainpolice/archive/2008/06/19/walter-block-wrong-on-religion.aspx

 

Bert:

I'm sure the beliefs of the Church of Satan are widely libertarian in nature.

I think the same of Gary North's writings.

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CrazyCoot replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:23 PM

Andius:

CrazyCoot:

I've heard some convincing arguments to be made for the notion that the Render unto Caesar passage was a lot more radical in terms of anti-statism than most folks think . 

Truth be told, the expression "Render unto Caesar what belong's to Caesars and to God what belongs to God" was hardly an anti-statist expression (That's the modernist reader inserting values that did not exist in that time period). The expression is declaring, to put it in our terms, "Because this coin has the face of the Caesar, lets get rid of this coin and be rid of it's image amongst us!" An answer that cleverly satisfied Judaic separatist notions, yet at the same time, did not incur the wrath of Rome either, and in effect, leaving his questioners who challenged him with the question looking like idiots.

There was no such thing as Separation of Church and State in that era, or to put it in their terms (I hate anachronisms), no Separation of a religious system and a domain of a lord.

CrazyCoot:
 I don't know; part of me believes that religious institutions can provide alternative institutions to the state and they can give people some moral fiber while resisting the state.  

Some people do that.

CrazyCoot:
 But another part does acknowledge that their record of supporting the state, equating opposition to the regime with opposition to God, living off taxpayers' dollars, and for the most part preaching the notion (as Hitchens put it) of a deity who has a lot in common with Kim Jong-Il. 

Many do so so, your point? Pfftt, that comparison that Hitchens pulls off be nothing more than a Strawman of God, typical of Fundamentalist Atheists like Hitchens.

CrazyCoot:
 The part of the New Testament that strikes me as the most pro-anarchist is the one where the Devil promises Jesus reign over all the kingdoms of the Earth.  Perhaps he was lying and did not have the power to give away the crowns.  But what if he were telling Jesus the truth?

There is nothing pro-anarchist regarding Jesus' rejection of lordship of the world, that's you reading your own modernistic values and understanding in a text where no such values existed in it's time period. Satan was not lying when he offered every kingdom on Earth, but what Satan did was the equivalent of offering a dime to a person that already owned billions and billions of dollars (It in effect, portrays Satan as a fool.). It's a Shame and Riposte challenge, one that Satan lost miserably in the narrative. There is nothing anarchist about it (Jesus, as King, is going to retake the world either way by establishing his kingdom on Earth, making Satan's offer all the more silly).

 

Well then it's implied that Satan does have control over the Earthly kingdoms? 

Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

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Jesse replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:39 PM

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

God is the creator of the universe; it is his private property. He can do whatever he wants with it. This includes instituting, and enforcing laws for those who live on his property. This is not Kim Jong-Il-style totalitarianism. It is the exercise of property rights.

I Samuel 8

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C replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:46 PM

Well for one I am a Christian and an anarcho-captialist.  I guess I am the rare breed you all talk about.  But as libertarians aren't we all a rare breed?  Anyway, I spent a number of years as a conservative, or Christian conservative is guess you could say, but was converted to libertarianism by studying economics and political thoery.  So yes, I would certainly say Christains can be pursuaded to libertarianism by making either the moral (voluntary) case or the utilitarian economic case. 

I personally get really ticked at all the so-called Christains that claim we need massive socialism to "help the poor" or something like that.  As if they are tyring to alude that Christ would approve of it.  I wanna say, "O really? Christ would've approve of swat teams kicking down peoples doors and sticking assult rifles in the face of people who refuse to give to charity?!?!?"  True charity comes from the heart, not from the point of a gun.  I find it sad that most Christians don't get that basic concept.

As far as why would I read the king james version of the bible?  As a Christian I believe the bible is the word of God.  It doesn't matter so much to me how it came into existance, I believe God has inspired it. 

  At least he wasn't a Keynesian!

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Giant_Joe replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:47 PM

Chris, check out my sig. ;)

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Nielsio replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 7:50 PM

Jesse:

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

God is the creator of the universe; it is his private property. He can do whatever he wants with it. This includes instituting, and enforcing laws for those who live on his property. This is not Kim Jong-Il-style totalitarianism. It is the exercise of property rights.

So you hold the belief that when parents create their children and feed them, they are their property for the rest of their life?

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Jesse replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 8:01 PM

Nielsio:

Jesse:

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

God is the creator of the universe; it is his private property. He can do whatever he wants with it. This includes instituting, and enforcing laws for those who live on his property. This is not Kim Jong-Il-style totalitarianism. It is the exercise of property rights.

So you hold the belief that when parents create their children and feed them, they are their property for the rest of their life?

Nope. This isn't what the bible teaches. We are bound by God's laws; God is bound by no laws.

I Samuel 8

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Nielsio replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 8:57 PM

Jesse:

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

God is the creator of the universe; it is his private property. He can do whatever he wants with it. This includes instituting, and enforcing laws for those who live on his property. This is not Kim Jong-Il-style totalitarianism. It is the exercise of property rights.

So if God wants to kill everybody, that's cool?

 

Bonus-question: if God told you to kill peaceful people, would you do it?

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Nielsio:
Jesse:

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

God is the creator of the universe; it is his private property. He can do whatever he wants with it. This includes instituting, and enforcing laws for those who live on his property. This is not Kim Jong-Il-style totalitarianism. It is the exercise of property rights.

So if God wants to kill everybody, that's cool?Bonus-question: if God told you to kill peaceful people, would you do it?

Use your atheist reasoning skills.Stick out tongue  He's a libertarian.  I thereby assume he knows of the NAP.  What do you think?

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Jesse replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 9:20 PM

Nielsio:
So if God wants to kill everybody, that's cool?

Sure. We're his property.

Nielsio:
if God told you to kill peaceful people, would you do it?

Yes. But he doesn't. So I won't. Moreover, he specifically commanded against doing this.

I Samuel 8

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Orthogonal replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:03 PM

Jesse:

Nielsio:
So if God wants to kill everybody, that's cool?

Sure. We're his property.

Nielsio:
if God told you to kill peaceful people, would you do it?

Yes. But he doesn't. So I won't. Moreover, he specifically commanded against doing this.

Have you ever read the old testament? There are numerous examples of the wanton slaughter of innocent people.

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Jesse replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:05 PM

Orthogonal:

Jesse:

Nielsio:
So if God wants to kill everybody, that's cool?

Sure. We're his property.

Nielsio:
if God told you to kill peaceful people, would you do it?

Yes. But he doesn't. So I won't. Moreover, he specifically commanded against doing this.

Have you ever read the old testament? There are numerous examples of the wanton slaughter of innocent people.

We're not living in the old testament.

I Samuel 8

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:11 PM

Esuric:

Conza88:
The point I'm making, and that you're missing - is that just because atheism has increased(?) in no way does it mean that the source is marxist.

Of course not. I'm saying that religion as the "opiate of the masses" is an extremely effective and influential concept, along with conflict theory, class interests, exploitation, alienation, materialism, the superstructure and others (all of which dominate the American intellectual scene).

Alright good. The reason "opiate of the masses" is effective(?), is because there is a kernel of truth to it.

"Consent is also actively encouraged and engineered by the rulers; and this is another major reason for the persistence of civil obedience. Various devices are used by rulers to induce such consent. One method is by providing the masses with circuses, with entertaining diversions:

Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.[34]

Another method of inducing consent is purely ideological: duping the masses into believing that the tyrannical ruler is wise, just, and benevolent. Thus, La Boétie points out, the Roman emperors assumed the ancient title of Tribune of the People because the concept had gained favor among the public as representing a guardian of their liberties. Hence, the assumption of despotism under the cloak of the old liberal form.

In modern times, La Boétie adds, rulers present a more sophisticated version of such propaganda, for "they never undertake an unjust policy, even one of some importance, without prefacing it with some pretty speech concerning public welfare and common good."[35] Reinforcing ideological propaganda is deliberate mystification: "The kings of the Assyrians and … the Medes showed themselves in public as seldom as possible in order to set up a doubt in the minds of the rabble as to whether they were not in some way more than man."

Back in the day, it was divine right.

"(all of which dominate the American intellectual scene)." - Alright, great I'm not American though and it hardly permeates throughout society where I live. There is statism, but there is rejection of marxism.

Esuric:

Conza88:
Not ridiculous at all. Individuals with power, attempt to increase it - in all areas of life, they are parasites and want a bigger piece of the pie. What is a natural scenario - the growth of government everywhere, you attribute all to Marx? HAHAH...!! Get a grip.

Non sequitur. I'm not talking about the growth of government; I'm talking about the wide-spread dominance of Marxian philosophy and political economy amongst intellectual circles which permeates amongst the rest of society. Marx gave them a philosophical, sociological and "scientific" economic doctrine as a means towards their desired ends.

No, it follows. Yeah, he provided the cloak of ideology for the state. Just as Keynes did. There are different ideologies used at different times to achieve the same end.

Esuric:
Who are the three most influential economists in your opinion?

Adam Smith, Keynes, Alfred Marshall.

Esuric:

Conza88:
There are other sources... and as correctly pointed out by Neilso - marxism is a religion in of itself, so your point is erroneous.

It's not a religion, but it resembles religion in some ways (as do most philosophical doctrines). Either way, this wouldn't make my point erroneous; religions can destroy religions, and frequently do (Buddhism replaced Shintoism in Japan). There's no need for knee-jerk reactions; I'm not saying that you're a Marxist because you're an atheist. I'm saying that ideas matter; they permeate amongst the lay people who are effected by them without even knowing it.

And why is it not a religion?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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The close substition goods explanation is a good one.  Because I believe in neither I would not have thought of it myself.

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Orthogonal replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:16 PM

Jesse:

 

We're not living in the old testament.

Nice side step. The commandment "Do not kill" was given to Moses during Old Testament times. Why is it enforced now, but not so much then.

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Jesse replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:20 PM

Orthogonal:
Nice side step. The commandment "Do not kill" was given to Moses during Old Testament times. Why is it enforced now, but not so much then.

Because it was a moral commandment. All moral commandments still apply. God's direction to kill certain people were not moral commands.

I Samuel 8

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Esuric replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:25 PM

CrazyCoot:
Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

In fact, it's not valid in anyway whatever. It's a ridiculous non sequitur uttered by someone who either (a) has never heard the theistic arguments for God, or (b) chooses to ignore them for his own self-serving reasons. Once upon a time you could actually debate the existence of God (cosmological arguments, problem of evil, ect) in a rational way. Today, you have demagogues repeating ridiculous one liners and attacking straw men. Here's a real debate.

You determine where you spend eternity. You are responsible for your own actions, as you control yourself. You live in the real world armed with only reason.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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wilderness replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 10:37 PM

Esuric:
Here's a real debate.

I can't do two things at once with that debate.  That is a real debate.  A lot of intellectual strength put forth there.  The terminology and thus the knowledge was extremely sharp.

I'll have to bookmark that just to hear to people talk with such intellectual vigor for the heck of it.

Thanks.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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People need to read more Soren Kierkegaard.

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Bert replied on Wed, Apr 14 2010 11:41 PM

CrazyCoot:

Andius:

CrazyCoot:

I've heard some convincing arguments to be made for the notion that the Render unto Caesar passage was a lot more radical in terms of anti-statism than most folks think . 

Truth be told, the expression "Render unto Caesar what belong's to Caesars and to God what belongs to God" was hardly an anti-statist expression (That's the modernist reader inserting values that did not exist in that time period). The expression is declaring, to put it in our terms, "Because this coin has the face of the Caesar, lets get rid of this coin and be rid of it's image amongst us!" An answer that cleverly satisfied Judaic separatist notions, yet at the same time, did not incur the wrath of Rome either, and in effect, leaving his questioners who challenged him with the question looking like idiots.

There was no such thing as Separation of Church and State in that era, or to put it in their terms (I hate anachronisms), no Separation of a religious system and a domain of a lord.

CrazyCoot:
 I don't know; part of me believes that religious institutions can provide alternative institutions to the state and they can give people some moral fiber while resisting the state.  

Some people do that.

CrazyCoot:
 But another part does acknowledge that their record of supporting the state, equating opposition to the regime with opposition to God, living off taxpayers' dollars, and for the most part preaching the notion (as Hitchens put it) of a deity who has a lot in common with Kim Jong-Il. 

Many do so so, your point? Pfftt, that comparison that Hitchens pulls off be nothing more than a Strawman of God, typical of Fundamentalist Atheists like Hitchens.

CrazyCoot:
 The part of the New Testament that strikes me as the most pro-anarchist is the one where the Devil promises Jesus reign over all the kingdoms of the Earth.  Perhaps he was lying and did not have the power to give away the crowns.  But what if he were telling Jesus the truth?

There is nothing pro-anarchist regarding Jesus' rejection of lordship of the world, that's you reading your own modernistic values and understanding in a text where no such values existed in it's time period. Satan was not lying when he offered every kingdom on Earth, but what Satan did was the equivalent of offering a dime to a person that already owned billions and billions of dollars (It in effect, portrays Satan as a fool.). It's a Shame and Riposte challenge, one that Satan lost miserably in the narrative. There is nothing anarchist about it (Jesus, as King, is going to retake the world either way by establishing his kingdom on Earth, making Satan's offer all the more silly).

 

Well then it's implied that Satan does have control over the Earthly kingdoms? 

Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator.  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity.

I came across an interesting piece of left-hand path material that went over God, Satan, and nature.  The context depicted God not just in a Biblical way, but in more of a universal, spiritual unity type of way.  It went along the lines of: if you are one with God, and God is one with the universe, and/or the creator of the universe, then obviously Satan must be God's pawn of God created nature and Satan is part of nature, but this is not true.  The workings of Satan are outside of God's hands because he does not control Satan (or possibly God is not really the creator).  It eventually went down to your mind not being one with nature, and what's in your mind cannot be controlled by a godly entity.  If you were one with God, and God is the sole creator and owner of the universe and nature, than surely so is Satan, but as we know Satan's actions are of his own free will.  (God and Satan were not just being depicted in a Biblical way, but metaphorical).

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Andius replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 12:21 AM

Jesse:

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

And it be my very good honor that you heard me out. :)

Jesse:
 I'm not convinced. The Israelites demanded a king, and God (through Samuel) warned them about the evil that would follow. Israel had no state prior to this. More interestingly, God recognized this demand for a State as a rejection of him. (Is this not reason enough to demonstrate that anarchism is the Christian position?) 

True that Israel had no "State" prior to the installation of a human monarch  (I have to confess to you, I tread lightly inserting the term State in a place and era where the concept did not exist, let alone describe accurately what Ancient Near Eastern Realms were like, but States is not the correct description. I am contextual nutcase, and anachronisms is something I highly loath.).

Nonetheless, I don't deny the use of this verse for as a legitimate basis for Christians who follow anarchist leanings. But neither does it support the absence of lordship of some sort (wether it be from God, or your very own employer). I have a particular understanding of anarcho-capitalism, where I recognize that even if States disappear, rulership and heirarchies amongst men will still remain.

Jesse:
 Agreed. God is the only final authority that a Christian needs.  

Excellent, such is the correct posture of a true and devoted Christian. Smile

Jesse:
 Maybe I was a little bit strong in saying that it is a central message, but I will maintain that it is a major one. Read chapter 9 of the Westminster confession. I understand that "free will" as we commonly understand it isn't taught in scripture. I agree with chapter 3 of the Westminster confession; nobody is free from the decrees of God. In discussing "free will" in chapter 9, the freedom attributed to humans is only with respect to nature (i.e., our actions are not determined by the things in nature).  

Ah! A follower of the Westminster Confession! This is definitely a Confession I highly admire and respect. I read through it, and I for one have no problem with it, and it definitely is consistent with Scripture. After all, I for consider that just because Scripture makes no talk about it regarding Freedom, it neither denies it, and one can deduce it from the use of our God given reason.

Jesse:
 I would argue that in view of this sort of freedom, political freedom should follow, and anarchism should follow from that. (I refer to the Westminster confession somewhat authoritatively, because I think it is the most accurate summary of scripture ever written.)  

I have no problem with you having the Confession as one of your creeds (It it be consistent with Scripture, it be a legit creed Yes ). Mmhhh, so from this freedom, political freedom must be achieved, and after that, anarchical societies? Mmhhh, okay, I see your point here. Smile , and I will cede to it. I just have this one reserve though:

Despite my leanings of Anarcho-capitalism, I must never forget  that we, as Christians, already belong to a realm called the Kingdom of Heaven, and with an effective ruler in it of course. In the ultimate sense, the Kingdom of Heaven is not anarchist in it's social compisition. But it be a Kingdom that you, like me, willingly served under our own our own free accord, we were never coerced to become part of the Assembly of God, and he has never done no such thing (And I for one, would kill for a world where one joins a nation under your free will, to actually have true social contracts for every nation/dominion on Earth. The ancient world was actually like that. In most kingdoms, individuals actually had the choice of freely choose which king and peoples to serve, an ideal that only exists nowadays in private companies and firms).

Jesse:
 But shouldn't a Christian, having the advantage of God's word, know better? I would like to think so. Such is not necessarily the case, though.  

Well, when you got verses that say that the authorities (arkos) are the agents of God in administrating justice (Rom. 13:6-7 or 1 Peter 2:13 ), and making it an absolute for all times, you will naturally get Christians that declare that it be lawfull to have the existence of the State. Many Christians are not awares that those verses were written in letters during the time period when Nero was still a sane and relatively decent emperor, and should not be surprised that Paul is extorting to them to respect their authority and to pay their taxes. But all that changed the moment he went berserk, and the armies of Rome began hunting down Christians. The verse, along with a great deal of issues that were particular for newly converts in Rome, had to be dealt with, and the tax one, is definitely one (It's really no different from someone telling you, pay your taxes to a government that is not doing too bad at all for the sake of staying out of trouble). But absolutize those verses, especially in the wake of verses like Acts 5:29, declaring that we ought to obey God instead of men (And Acts was writtern AFTER Nero went berserk).

Besides, the word for authorities, (arkos), applies to any kind of authority, not just the ones from coercitive governments as described specifically in Romans 13. Besides, I don't find it problematic if the governors and emperor at that time period were in accord with God's will during that period of time (reference to the verses where God declares that the authorities, he instituted himself).

Jesse:
 It seems like it's more than a coincidence that an angel with a flaming sword was introduced to the world immediately after sin was. Why weren't there angles with swords before the fall? Answer: force wasn't necessary to adjudicate disputes. As far was we can tell, there were no disputes. After the fall, force becomes necessary. This is a devastating punishment. This force has traditionally taken the form of a State, but I (as an anarchist) would argue that it does not have to. 

You definitely are right on the matter that the matter of the absence of violent enforcement was not necessary before Eve and Adam took a bite of the forbidden fruit. It be no different in the case when I was a little kid, in my household, there were no rules and enforcement that declared that I was not allowed to play soccer in the house, but the Dont Break Anything was in effect. The moment I played soccer, and broke one of the tables, you bet that the institution of a new rule and force became necessary (the force, me getting whipped with my Dad's belt on my bare buttocks, ooooyy, it hurt! But I learned my lesson that day). However, why would State be the only form that this form of punishment has had in manifestations. Violent regulation for the sake of safeguarding order, peace, property, loved ones, happens all the time in private dominons as well. Haven't you ever seen the of the "Trespassers will be shot" signs that many landowners have in their lands?

 

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Andius replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 12:52 AM

G8R HED:
 Were Adam and Eve NOT given the choice whom to serve - God or themselves? 

Naturally! The structure of blessings that God is delivering in the narratives in Genesis 1 and 2 fits the structure of a contract of the type found not only in the other contracts that he did with Noah, Abraham, Israel, David, the Church, etc. You have the benefits/blessings: (You are lord of the land, eat any fruit you wish save for one) and the conditions/commands (Be fruitful, Maintain and work the garden, stay off the Fruit of Knowledge). Although the words "This is my covenant with you" are absent, it doesn't need to be mentioned, because by virtue of it's word structure and the "Here's the deal" tone of God when he spoke to Adam, the context will dictate that it be a covenant, and one that by it's nature, is voluntary. Adam and Eve were perfectly free to refuse the deal, but that will also mean that God is not obliged to grant them His benefits (a choice they did the moment they listened to the Serpent, failing in their end of the bargain, winning their exile and an arduous existence that would soon be followed by death). And in the mind of the ancient Hebrew, this is the worst thing that can happen, a separation from God.

G8R HED:
 Were the Christian groups and the inherent accountability which you claim existed voluntary or involuntary? 

They were voluntary of course! And this reinforced by the missionary model found throughout the entire New Testament, where Peter, Paul, Timothy, etc. won converts not by the sword, but by appeal to facts and argument. The Narrative in Acts 2 is one of those examples (You will notice that at the end of that chapter, the crowd in Jerusalem, after hearing the speech of Peter, converted to Christianity).

 

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Chris replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 1:07 AM

I feel like I've posted on this same topic like five times on this site already but I will do so again.  I'm a Christian anarchist.  I'm officially a confirmed Catholic and attend church weekly.  Having said that, I don't condone the beliefs of the church but rather derive my beliefs from my own reading and interpretation of the Bible.  I really don't understand how anybody can read the New Testament and claim that Jesus Christ's teachings condoned the existence of a State.  Look at the Ten Commandments, "thou shalt not steal" -- OK, so how is a State formed when you're not supposed to steal?  As others have brought up I believe, when Jesus said to "render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" and also when the Israelites wanted a king and God essentially warned them they would regret it.  Satan has domain over the world and tempt's Jesus with it although the Lord resisted.  "Love thy neighbor as you love thyself" is also not compatible with "stick a gun in your neighbor's face and demand tax money".  The teachings of Jesus are love, forgiveness, charity, kindness, and peace.  The State is the symbol of violence, murder, evil, oppression, etc.  They are polar opposites.  God must be pretty libertarian to give people free will as well!

My church unfortunately says statist things during mass when the congregation prays for things (when they say something like this I remain silent).  They have advocated war, the redistribution of wealth/resources, etc.  Some really Marxist nonsense.  One night I approached one of the priests outside and I asked him who writes the prayers, and then asked him something to the effect of "If the government has to steal everything it has, and Jesus was against stealing, how can Christians pray for the government do something?"  He just kinda laughed and said he hoped the church wasn't doing anything anti-Christian. I think I caught him by surprise and I left it at that.

To the people who believe that Christianity goes hand in hand with statism, I think you should drop the interpretation of Christianity you get from hearing the Pope or whomever speak and read the New Testament and then form your own opinion.  I think you are grossly misinformed.

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Andius replied on Thu, Apr 15 2010 1:30 AM

CrazyCoot:
 Well then it's implied that Satan does have control over the Earthly kingdoms? 

I could care less if he did or not. Either way, Satan's challenge here is transformed as irrelevant to Jesus, because in the long run, it is the Father (God) who calls the shots on the Earth on who reigns and who doesn't, which was the whole point of the challenge that was going on there, to demonstrate that Satan's offers = are worth squat. (it's equivalent of when confronted with the Challenge of the Riddle of Sphinx, instead of answering the riddle, you blow the Sphinx herself sky high with a RPG Launcher you brought along, making the Challenge irrelevant to you ;) ).

CrazyCoot:
  Hitchen's point is valid; the God as we know it is a totalitarian dictator. 

It fails as a valid point for the following difference: Totalitarian Dictators obtain subordinates by force and intimidation. God on the other hand, has never done such a thing. To enter under God's patronage is your own free choice, and you will never get that kind of deal with oppressive totalitarian dictators (And you can leave this patronage whenever you wish to! You can't get anymore free than that).

CrazyCoot:
  That idea doesn't sit well with some people; call it a strawman or whatever.  But what else do you call an omnipotent force that determines where you spend eternity. 

I call it, an omnipotent force that respects your free will decision on where do you wish to spend your eternity. Your leaning upon an emotional argument, especially one that assumes that God owes you something.

It's really not too different in regards a company that is the one that ultimately decides wether to hire an individual or not to work for a company. Companies (and ultimately the forces of the free market of demand) determine the destinies of many individuals all the time, and we are talking about individuals that willingly work for them, and have decided to submit themselves to those forces to insure their individual well-being. The individual chooses wether to work and escape poverty and debt, or to be a sloth and accumulate debt, and starve himself for making such a stupid for picking a slothfull lifestyle. The company is under no obligation to insure the well being of individuals that do not wish to work for that company. Is not the company free to hire those they see fit and voluntary seek it? why should God be the exception? 

Why should God be obliged insure the well being of individuals in their eternity, when those very same individuals freely choose to back off from Him, reinforced with their acts that essentially tell God "This is my life! Mind your own damn business!". This be all part of the package of free will Crazycoot. You do not want to work for a company? Fine, then neither is the company obliged to pay you or grant benefits, and insure that you won't starve to death. You do not want enter God's patronage? That's fine, then neither is he obliged to insure you benefits after you've kicked the bucket, it's that pure and simple.

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Jesse replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 4:17 AM
Chris:
To the people who believe that Christianity goes hand in hand with statism, I think you should drop the interpretation of Christianity you get from hearing the Pope or whomever speak and read the New Testament and then form your own opinion.  I think you are grossly misinformed.
You sound like a protestant :)

I Samuel 8

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Mike replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 8:05 AM

I am a non- believer – but am really bothered by the people who feel it to be their life’s work to destroy religion.

 

 

Look at Europe for the parallel in the rise of socialism and the decline of Christianity.

 

America is the most religious western country and also (as of today) the most individualist/free market. Coincidence? I think not

 

 

I would take the religious over the statist any day.  So all you haters, please direct your energy in the right direction, against the most evil creation of all,  the state, PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!

Be responsible, ease suffering; spay or neuter your pets.

We must get them to understand that government solutions are the problem!

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William replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 1:28 PM

Esuric:
There are many "Christians" today who support theft (taxation), murder (war), and who bear false witnesses against their neighbors.

The word "Christian" has no real meaning unless put in context.  The Bible is worthless to talk about unless put in very specific context, this also holds true for God, gods, etc.  This thread and the countless others only confirms this.  Just starting a thread and talking about the nature of a deity or the content of a very ancient book in relation to modern political theory is nothing short of daft.

"I am not an ego along with other egos, but the sole ego: I am unique. Hence my wants too are unique, and my deeds; in short, everything about me is unique" Max Stirner
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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 1:34 PM

I think it's interesting to use Christopher Hitchens to demonstrate how stupid religion is in a thread like this when Hitchens is a huge statist.

Better to be wrong about religion being legitimate and for the NAP than an atheist statist.

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Merlin replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 1:48 PM
Mtn Dew:
Better to be wrong about religion being legitimate and for the NAP than an atheist statist.
Hey, what the hell, of course! Even a rather staunch atheist as myself would not think a second over that. Much better to be fundamentalist something and anti-state than atheist statists. But could one try to have both? Is it so impossible? Unthinkable even? Religion is of course a matter of personal interest, and the thread, at leats from my point of view, is purely a personal discussion, but I think the possibility of being atheist and anarchist cannot be equated with zero.
The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Merlin replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 1:48 PM
.
The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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Mtn Dew replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 2:27 PM

Of course not, but I do think it's interesting that the most well known atheists are also huge statists.

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Merlin replied on Fri, Apr 16 2010 2:43 PM
Mtn Dew:

Of course not, but I do think it's interesting that the most well known atheists are also huge statists.

As I argued earlier, that is probably because some people transfer their psychological need of a "father figure" from God to the State. Basically, there still is in the west this market competition between church and state, at least in the minds of people.
The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
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