Open main menu

Wikiquote β

User talk:Peter1c

This is Peter1c's talk page, where you can send messages and comments to Peter1c.


Basic incomeEdit

Hi Peter! I just noticed that a while ago you created a page for basic income quotes -- nice work!

I've been drafting a page like that but I guess by starting out too ambitious I ended up letting that work stale as other stuff took priority. I thought I'd let you know about it, in case you want to integrate some of that info into the live page :)

Cheers, Waldir (talk) 09:30, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Waldir, I have added all sourced quotes to the Basic income page, and all unsourced quotes to the talk page. At your earliest convenience, please provide sources for the unsourced quotes and move them to the article. ~ Peter1c (talk) 16:40, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, that was really great work. I will look into digging up proper sources for the remaining items. Cheers! --Waldir (talk) 09:59, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Brief noteEdit

I am only briefly in, before I have to attend to other very extensive matters in coming days. I wish to note that have much appreciated and welcomed many of your additions, but been appalled at some of your revisions and reductions of links, such as I have noted in some of your recent edits. Wiki-links provide means of access to other pages which are very important to any wiki, and I am almost always inclined to oppose the reduction of these from the pages as reducing the opportunities of people to link directly to other ranges of ideas and quotes. There are other matters of approval or disapproval I might attend to in coming days, but I am not likely to have time to discuss matters within the next day or so. I have to attend to a few other things now, and will likely soon be off of the internet for at least some hours. So it goes Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 00:10, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Dear Kalki, I am sorry to have upset you by removing links. I think that we may disagree about the criteria that decide whether a link is relevant, and it might be valuable to discuss the principles we use. The principle I use is this:

A link is relevant if the reader might reasonably be supposed to be prompted by the quotation to seek information from the linked article.

So, for example, linking to [[Being]] for an ordinary use of the word "be" would be irrelevant, and therefore reasonable to delete.

Consider this example:

* The more one [[suffers]], the more, I [[believe]], has one a [[sense]] for the [[Comedy|comic]].
** [[Kierkegaard]]

I argue that the link to [[belief]] here is no more relevant than linking to [[Being]] for every use of the word "is."

Specific cases will fall somewhere on a spectrum of relevance, which will inevitably be subjective, but, frankly, one gets the impression that the purpose of some of these links is more to publicize certain pet projects than to provide relevant resources for the reader.

I am confident that we can work out our disagreement on this matter. Remember that you persuaded me from a fan of chronological ordering to a fan of alphabetical ordering (thank you). I am open to being persuaded/refuted in this case as well. Best regards, ~ Peter1c (talk) 02:16, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Please stop removing CLEARLY relevant imagesEdit

I just restored the image File:LuMaxArt Human Family with World Religions.png to illustrate a quote on the Cat Stevens page, and might restore the image on other pages from which you have been removing it, if I have time enough to do so. You might perhaps think I created that image merely because I made a PNG version of a pre-existing JPG of it which was at the WIkimedia Commons, but whether this be the case or not, I have for some time been rather angered and tempering my anger at the asinine commentary that has gone on among a FEW people about CONTROLLING the options of others in presenting ideas, information and images on this wiki, because I have recognized that I have been far too busy with far too many things to get into extensive debates on such matter with people I perceive to be acting not only irrationally but immorally. I will probably address the issue further in a few days, but do not have time now, as I just checked in here very briefly, and must be leaving again within the next 20 minutes at the latest. ~ Kalki·· 12:21, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Dear Kalki: Thank you for your message. I will stop removing the images while we wait for your input, but we have a consensus on the Village Pump to remove these sorts of images, which are (1) not from a notable source and (2) not NPOV. I understand that you are busy, but this is an issue that the community needs to resolve. Your fellow editors are also awaiting your response to the issue of Linking everyday terms. You have been a supporter of Open discussion in the past. Why not on these latest issues? ~ Peter1c (talk) 12:40, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

I did have time to revert a bit more of your recent deletions of clearly relevant images, and noticed that it was NOT the png version of the image but the jpg version you had been removing, among others, and simply wish to note that mistake on my part, in my earlier comments. I just had an edit conflict here, as I began to post a further response, but I don’t have time to respond further at this time. I will try to address this and other issues within the next few days, but remain EXTREMELY busy, and MUST be leaving NOW. ~ Kalki·· 12:43, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Anna SuiEdit

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the feedback, think I followed the template for the actual quotations, the reference tags were for the introductory sentence only in case anyone needed to verify. Happy to remove. MargaritaPoppa (talk) 05:40, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Hi MargaritaPoppa. Thanks for your message. As long as the info is sourced on the linked wikipedia page, there's no need to reference the source on the wikiquote page.

It also looks the the {{cite}} template doesn't work very well, since it is putting a period at the beginning of your citations for no apparent reason. I've never used it, so I can't offer suggestions how to coax it to do what you want.

Best regards, Peter1c (talk) 12:17, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks Peter,
Will try and look at using just the text instead of the cite template, see what you mean by the . Thanks again! MargaritaPoppa (talk) 13:20, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

"Michael Scott Gallegos" reviewEdit

If you have a few minutes to look at Michael Scott Gallegos and feel that it falls within the requirements of the Wikiquote community to be retained, I would appreciate a vote to keep the article. I understand that if you do not believe that the article is worthy of retaining, you will not be able to vote in its favor. Please note that the "Quotes about Gallegos" section was added after the nomination for deletion, so as to provide evidence of 3rd party recognition of his work. Anything resembling promotion of his site will be removed if the article is retained. Sorry for the late notice, but the vote closes: 18:00, 15 December 2016. Thank you for your consideration of this matter, and for all of the good works that you continually contribute to the Wkiquote project. ELApro (talk) 04:02, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Hi ELApro. Thanks for your message. Your best bet would be to create a Wikipedia article to establish notability. I think all the Wikiquote editors will abide by Wikipedia's decision. ~ Peter1c (talk) 11:45, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your wise and highly valued advice. An article on ThoughtAudio has been posted at Wikipedia. ELApro (talk) 13:35, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Taking the red pillEdit

Watching this random YouTube video somehow reminded me of you (the skepticism of the modern day "rat race" part). I found your section on Therapy hilarious (and all too true). I don't know what you're going through, and I'm no doctor. But yeah, psychiatrists are drug pushers. In my country, more than 1 in 4 women are on antidepressants. I don't mind that too much because 1) it's not my business; 2) life is hard (especially during economic downturns); 3) here (this past decade) the suicide rate has decreased/stabilized while antidepressant use has increased. So, listen to your doctor. That said, I doubt that antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs can help people solve their philosophical questions or existential crisis (if they be "solvable" at all) – at least in the way that conversation can. CBT would be more appropriate for this purpose (as you probably know), but I suspect you'd have to find a really good psychologist (because you have a very questioning mind and are so well-read). Although I admittedly can't keep up with you, if you just want to chat about how having a corporate job and making money may actually not be evil, let me know. (Don't feel obliged to respond, especially if you don't have the time – school is more important!) Cheers ~ DanielTom (talk) 04:03, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

DanielTom, thank you for your very thoughtful message. I enjoyed the video, thank you. I had to move back to the city for ministry training, and my husband and I are definitely not as happy here as we were in the country, but the university is really challenging me and teaching me to look at religion, culture and life in many new and interesting ways.
I am always happy to debate whether working for a corporate job is evil. Unfortunately my friends who work in corporate jobs are reluctant to debate whether their livelihood is evil (imagine that) and my friends who work in ministry are all too ready to concede the point, so my rants seldom inspire debates as good as the ones you and I have.
A system which passes privilege along with genetic material is racist. Working for a system that accepts the present distribtuion of property without question (as all business jobs do) makes me a racist. Reading W. E. B. Dubois, MLK and Malcolm X has confirmed and reinforced these sentiments in me. As X says, you can't be a capitalist without being a racist. Here's how Thomas Shapiro puts it:
  • American families are in the process of passing along a $9 trillion legacy from one generation to the next. ... Hand in hand with this money, I submit, what is really being handed down from generation to generation is the profound legacy of reproducing racial inequality. The legacy is difficult to discern because the language of family heritage hides it from our political consciousness.
The institution of inheritance creates a race of rich and a race of poor. These races often correspond to skin color, but even where they don't, making decisions based on property is still racist. Commercial enterprises serve the rich race and ignore the poor race.
By working for an institution that accepts private property ideology (and therefore, if you buy my argument, racism), as an unquestioned premise, corporate employees become racists.
Of course when circumstances compel me to work, I work. But I no longer remain silent about the corruption of the system I work for. Eventually, articles like this and this and this are going to catch up with me, and I won't be able to get jobs in the corporate world so easily.
I would be all too happy if you could persuade me working for the system isn't evil. I still have to work about 10 hours a week to support my ministry studies, and it takes a big toll on my conscience. ~ Peter1c (talk) 10:50, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
I would be interested in discussing religion and politics with you some time Peter1c, you strike me as one of the best read people on wikiquote where most everyone's better read than average, even if it's just news papers, magazines and scripts. I've had a hard time figuring you out despite just from your edits, I won't be doing much else until the about sections have been discussed in more detail at the village pump, so I have the free time for casual conversation and philosophical debate on a talk pagee. I don't have I myself have to be careful not to soapbox as I've done accidentally on talk pages discussing rationalwiki on Uncyclopedia. I don't know what the extent of your scientific knowledge and interest is, but I've found the wikipedia science reference desk very useful for learning new terminology, and have found today in science to be a a good break from literature, religion and pop culture. CensoredScribe (talk) 21:33, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Thanks Peter1c. Did you know that moving home is one of the most stressful events in life? On top of that, you're working and studying at the same time. That's never easy.

"A system which passes privilege along with genetic material is racist. Working for a system that accepts the present distribution of property without question (as all business jobs do) makes me a racist."

I believe that comes with being alive and doing anything. Right now, you are studying in a "system which passes privilege along with genetic material" (think of the many people who didn't get into your Divinity School through no fault of their own – e.g. those born with a lower IQ).

Don't you see that even if you "distribute" all property equally, pretty soon we'd end up with inequality again because we are all different? Of course you could demand equality of outcome (which has been tried with disastrous consequences) – I know Go players from Former Soviet Union countries who won tournaments and had to share the 1st prize with the other players. Some then moved to the United States :-).

"As X says, you can't be a capitalist without being a racist."

Why, because of inequality? The problem is that socialist countries (and African countries, if you care to look) are very unequal too. So Winston Churchill's dictum that "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries." is only half true.

I think we should want people to develop and use their ("racist", inherited) talents to the fullest, even if that produces inequality – as it does in the United States, the wealthiest country on Earth. This is not to say that we can't have a social safety net – as you know, pretty much all countries have a mixed economy, i.e. a mix of capitalism and socialism.

The question I think you should be asking is not "which model of society would make me the least racist", but "which model of society leads to the greatest happiness or human flourishing" of blacks, whites and everyone else. Where are people better off? That's what matters at the end of the day.

"The institution of inheritance creates a race of rich and a race of poor."

I don't think "creates" is the right word – "perpetuates", perhaps? (But see "70% of Rich Families Lose Their Wealth by the Second Generation" and this video.)

"Commercial enterprises serve the rich race and ignore the poor race."

This is evidently false, and flies in the face of history. See the graph on the right and this database. [It was when the structure and functioning of economies changed from "subsistence economy" to "market economy" (the "market revolution", allied with the industrial revolution) that there first was a systematic growth of population and production, with the latter exceeding the former (for the first time in history), as the graph indicates. The unleashing of market forces has benefited the poor the most; of course the rich have always done well, throughout the centuries, in all types of societies.] Look at how in just a couple of decades India and China have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. (Also, most businesses are SMEs.)

"Commercial enterprises" are an effective way for human beings to serve one another. In your job, you are probably providing services and solutions to various customers. That's the part you keep discounting, and what you miss when you use expressions like serving "the market", rather than serving "people".

In this article you are confounding a job with personal values. The manager you quote as saying "We're here to make money" is just being pragmatic. You write, "it is precisely this unprincipled, amoral desire to get rich that rules our economy." But presumably you could do the job and decline the salary. Your contribution to technology development would already be a good. Or accept the money and donate it to charity. As for your manager, Adam Smith's words ring true:

  • Every individual ... neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it ... he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. ... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good. (WN IV.ii.9)

Which I believe also answers your question "how can we benefit humanity if we work for managers and organizations who have no goal other than getting rich?" Incidentally, have you read the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the company you work for? ("Getting rich" probably isn't one of them.) More to your point: good management can salvage a company with poor financial performance, but seldom one with persistent negative earnings. If you think about it, a company exists to create, not destroy, value (for all stakeholders – ultimately, society at large – not just shareholders).

You write, "The principle that governs the behavior of human beings in Silicon Valley can be simply stated. Acts that increase the market value of the corporation are virtuous acts. Acts that lower the share price are abominations." The stock market appraises corporate and management performance, so naturally managers are concerned with it. (Not to mention it's a key source of capital for companies in the United States – in other countries, they are more dependent on bank loans.)

It is true that nearly all philosophers and moralists of antiquity considered money an evil. But their understanding of it was very limited (they knew less about economics than about medicine – and their knowledge of medicine basically consisted of recommending bloodletting for any ailment). Even after the Renaissance, equating money with wealth was a very common (and understandable, because money can serve as an instrument of trade and as a measure of value) misconception. Only with Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776, annus mirabilis) was economics as a scientific discipline founded, and sources of wealth (labor, savings and trade) identified and investigated. Of course it has been asserted by various (so-called) prophets and philosophers that wealth itself is an evil. Nietzsche declared Christianity the religion of the poor – and indeed, it's probably no coincidence that the world's major religions were all founded at times when poverty was nearly universal and inescapable. This is no longer the case, and I personally look forward to the day when poverty is finally eradicated, because to me (as a human being first, and economist second) poverty is the evil. I agree with Bertrand Russell that "In a just world, there would be no possibility of 'charity'."

"Of course when circumstances compel me to work, I work. But I no longer remain silent about the corruption of the system I work for."

That's good (x2). To quote Bertrand Russell again (this time from The Conquest of Happiness, with a slight modification): "One should as a rule [work] in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation [...] but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways." Curiously, when Russell was about 30 he claimed to have "no doubt that by doing economics and the theory of politics" he could "add more to human happiness" than by doing philosophy (from a letter published in his Autobiography, the first volume of which is superb) – so, the opposite of you? Another curious thing is that many of us already have it better than what the early utopian socialists dreamed of – only 8 hours of work per day and two days off each week. And working hours will continue to decline.

What you write here, "Your prospective profession doesn't want free and critical intellects. It wants uncritical, unquestioning minds that do what they are told without asking uncomfortable questions.", reminds me of George Carlin's "The American Dream", where he talks of "Obedient workers—people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept. ..."

"Eventually, articles like this and this and this are going to catch up with me, and I won't be able to get jobs in the corporate world so easily."

You have a very impressive resume (Caltech? Stanford University? Man!), so I doubt that. And if a company doesn't hire you because of your philosophical questions and opinions, you probably wouldn't want to work for them anyway (I call this way of thinking "teenage wisdom"). By the way, I didn't know you had a PhD in electrical engineering! That's so awesome. One of my favorite shows is Watch Mr. Wizard (and Mr. Wizard's World, which has a YouTube channel). I have great respect for anyone who studies how the physical world actually works. Take care, DanielTom (talk) 00:29, 7 February 2017 (UTC) last edit: 13:57, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi DanielTom. Thank you for your very articulate and thoughtful message. I particularly appreciate your efforts to cheer me up. It was really generous of you to take the time to read my articles and thoughtfully consider my arguments.

I think one issue where we fundamentally disagree is on the issue of self-justification or self-exculpation. If I have accused myself of some sin, my first reaction will be to come to my own defense. Like a good defense lawyer, I will find reasons to question whether the guilt is really mine, whether there are mitigating circumstances, whether the sin is counterbalanced by other virtues, and, finally, whether the sin is really a sin at all. This works out very conveniently for me. Since I am now both judge and defense in my own case, a verdict of "not guilty" is very likely.

The worst sin of all, says Luther, is to deny that I am a sinner. This is why I must resist the urge to come to my own defense when I find some sin in myself. My bias, if I have any bias, should be toward the prosecution. If I am judging my own case it is impossible to be impartial. If I am to avoid rendering a "not guilty" verdict unjustly, I must cultivate a predisposition to think of myself as guilty rather than innocent.

The same reasoning, I think, applies when I accuse myself of complicity in the crimes of a society, state or system. It would be very convenient for me if I could find a way to minimize or ignore the crimes in which I am complicit, so the awareness of them doesn't disrupt my comfort, complacency and self-esteem.

I won't go into detail on the prosecution's rebuttal of your defense. I think you can do this better than I can. (It's always a useful exercise to exchange roles in a debate and take the opposing side.) But I will point out a few things.

GDP measures the value of production in terms of the market. Things internal to the market are internal to GDP. Things external to the market are external to GDP. The GDP metric leaves entirely unaddressed the question of whether the market is correct arbiter of value, whether it internalizes the correct things and externalizes the correct things. For example, GDP doesn't include the effects of climate change, the death toll of war, the effect of pollution, etc. GDP does, however, include what Freud calls "instinctual gratification" through commodity items.

Most people desire the wrong things most of the time. Great thinkers have said this since Plato. Economics suffers from the same vice as democracy, assuming that what ordinary people think is good must be accepted as good without criticism. This is what one of my teachers calls "bourgeois relativism."

The saints teach us that we are sinners. We desire all the wrong things. And a metric like GDP that assumes fulfilling desires is good without distinguishing right and wrong desires is fundamentally wrongheaded.

Of course market economies also have higher levels of metrics such as the Human Development Index, which self-consciously exclude wrong desires and emphasize objective human needs. But even supposing that the economic system does fulfill rightly ordered desires as well as wrongly ordered desires, does this exculpate it for its vices? When an individual shopkeeper turns away a hungry child with no money, he will say, to exculpate himself, that the economic system as a whole will raise the standard of living. But does this make the individual act of turning away the customer less sinful?

Regarding the claim that 70% of families lose their wealth by the second generation, the sources you provided are not peer-reviewed. Is there a peer-reviewed source to substantiate this? Today most wealth is professionally managed, so even if the claim is substantiated in the past, will it hold in the future? Many of the intergenerational losses came about as a result of stock market crashes. If the new system of neoliberal capitalism uses state power to ensure the stock market never crashes, does this alter the statistic? It seems like the new capitalism will maintain disparities of wealth for as many generations as it survives. The loss of inherited wealth will correspond to the collapse of the system, as in 1929.

As to Caltech and Stanford, I am not proud of this part of my education. I am ashamed to say I come from a family of mammon worshippers, and I was manipulated, in subtle and not so subtle ways, to take an interest in a lucrative profession. My parents gave me an electronics kit when I was ten. They never gave me a Bible or taught me how to read it. I hope someday I can forgive them for making me into the disgusting human being I am. ~ Peter1c (talk) 15:31, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

A science kit gets you closer to the mind of God than reading the Bible at the age of ten. You seem to be dealing with unresolved emotional (not just intellectual) issues. And I can't help you with those – I'm just some guy on the Internet. What can I say? Tell you to call your parents (if they are still alive)? Why do you feel "ashamed" for things that were completely outside of your control? And what good does calling yourself "disgusting" achieve? To me, that's just religious self-abuse, not enlightened behavior. ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:26, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi DanielTom. Sorry about this. I didn't mean to come across as demanding online therapy, but I can see how it came across that way. I understand what you mean about not feeling ashamed for things not under our control, but to a large extent who we are is determined by things not under our control. So to me it seems more complicated. I find the idea of original sin helpful, because it allows me to understand the extent to which who I am is determined by the past. I also like Luther's idea of putting to death the old Adam and resurrecting the new man each day of our lives.

  • These two parts, to be sunk under the water and drawn out again, signify the power and operation of Baptism, which is nothing else than putting to death the old Adam, and after that the resurrection of the new man, both of which must take place in us all our lives, so that a truly Christian life is nothing else than a daily baptism, once begun and ever to be continued.

I am still processing all the new ideas I am learning now, and you are not the first to observe that my first attempts to use or express them are lacking in tact and diplomacy. So, again, I apologize for that. And, again, thank you for taking the time to write to me. ~ Peter1c (talk) 15:55, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

That's fine, no need to apologize.
"I think one issue where we fundamentally disagree is on the issue of self-justification or self-exculpation."
No, I pretty much agree with Richard Feynman's maxim, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool".
"If I have accused myself of some sin, my first reaction will be to come to my own defense."
"Like a good defense lawyer, I will find reasons to question whether the guilt is really mine, whether there are mitigating circumstances, whether the sin is counterbalanced by other virtues, and, finally, whether the sin is really a sin at all."
That's exactly what you should do.
"This works out very conveniently for me. Since I am now both judge and defense in my own case, a verdict of "not guilty" is very likely."
What's the alternative? Who do you want the judge to be? This is not a rhetorical question. I'm genuinely interested. Do you want to delegate your own ethical examinations to some other mammal? Isn't that where religious totalitarianism comes in? [You respond to this below, but I'm writing down my thoughts as they came to my mind when I first read your post.]
"The worst sin of all, says Luther, is to deny that I am a sinner."
Tell that to Jesus.
"This is why I must resist the urge to come to my own defense when I find some sin in myself. My bias, if I have any bias, should be toward the prosecution. If I am judging my own case it is impossible to be impartial."
Yes, I see you have a hard time being impartial. (Sorry to be snarky.)
"If I am to avoid rendering a "not guilty" verdict unjustly, I must cultivate a predisposition to think of myself as guilty rather than innocent."
That's very dangerous. (Does that extend to other people? I mean, should we start burning witches at the stake again?)
"The same reasoning, I think, applies when I accuse myself of complicity in the crimes of a society, state or system. It would be very convenient for me if I could find a way to minimize or ignore the crimes in which I am complicit, so the awareness of them doesn't disrupt my comfort, complacency and self-esteem."
I understand where you're coming from (I'm a vegetarian). But you first need to establish that having a job (participating in "the market") really is a crime. And I don't believe it is. As far as I know, getting a job and contributing to society is a positive good. You haven't convinced me that it is not. [Suggesting that I hold this view because I don't want to "disrupt my comfort, complacency and self-esteem" is textbook ad hominem.] (I happen to share Peter Singer's view that we should donate 10% of our income to effective charities like Against Malaria Foundation, but most of us can only do that if we work.)
"The GDP metric leaves entirely unaddressed the question of whether the market is correct arbiter of value, whether it internalizes the correct things and externalizes the correct things."
We've discussed this before. GDP can be very useful but, like all other indicators, has its limitations. What, did you expect it to solve all of philosophy's problems? You're just setting up a straw man!
"For example, GDP doesn't include the effects of climate change, the death toll of war, the effect of pollution, etc."
See green GDP.
"GDP does, however, include what Freud calls "instinctual gratification" through commodity items."
Yeah. It includes services too.
"Most people desire the wrong things most of the time."
That may be, especially the higher up you go in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (John Stuart Mill distinguished between higher and lower pleasures. But this falls more in the purview of philosophy than economics.)
"Economics suffers from the same vice as democracy, assuming that what ordinary people think is good must be accepted as good without criticism. This is what one of my teachers calls "bourgeois relativism.""
As philosophers, you and your teacher should always try to be as precise as possible in the language you use. Here, in your mischaracterization of economics as a discipline, you used the word "good" with two very different meanings. You (wrongly) claim that economics "assum[es] that what ordinary [as opposed to you, the enlightened?] people think is good [meaning, satisfies their necessities] must be accepted as good [this time meaning, morally good]". Of course, it doesn't do that. When it comes to democracy, what you call a vice I consider a virtue. My question to you again is, what alternative do you propose? Seriously. I am familiar with Plato's Ship of State metaphor, but his alternative (elitism) is much worse than democracy (aegrescitque medendo). You can see this in Europe today. I should add that, in a democracy, people may vote against their own economic interest in the name of other values (think Brexit). Ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν τηλοῦ κεν ἀποπλάγξειεν ἀοιδῆς—I don't want to turn this into a political debate.
"When an individual shopkeeper turns away a hungry child with no money, he will say, to exculpate himself, that the economic system as a whole will raise the standard of living. But does this make the individual act of turning away the customer less sinful?"
See fallacy of composition. (And this, if you like to watch Milton Friedman videos.) My answer to your question is "no". I think it would be morally wrong not to help a hungry child. (I don't like to use the word "sinful" because I don't pretend to speak for God.) But if you're concerned with poverty, you need to deal with what I told you above, that "in just a couple of decades India and China have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty" precisely by embracing "the market". Cognitive dissonance much? Even South Korea's "economic miracle"—with its state-directed protectionist and export-oriented industrialization policies—was market-based.
Regarding the claim that 70% of families lose their wealth by the second generation, the sources you provided are not peer-reviewed. Is there a peer-reviewed source to substantiate this?
None that I know of. This article (and many others like it) cites "a number of surveys of wealthy families" which "have consistently found that only about 5% of wealthy families' assets were inherited. The vast majority – approximately 70% – was created in the current generation via business ownership. ... The numbers also show that roughly one in three businesses pass to the next generation. Just about 10% of family businesses pass to the grandchildren's generation.", and provides some possible explanations for this. (Different spending habits comes to mind.) I see no obvious reason to distrust these figures, but no, they are not "peer-reviewed". Sorry, I don't know enough to answer your question about "professionally managed" wealth—I can't see the future.
"I understand what you mean about not feeling ashamed for things not under our control, but to a large extent who we are is determined by things not under our control. So to me it seems more complicated."
Exactly right. (I just don't see why it's "more complicated".)
"I find the idea of original sin helpful, because it allows me to understand the extent to which who I am is determined by the past."
The "original sin" is not something that happened in the "past", unless you believe in the story of Adam and Eve and the Fall, which I don't think you do. But somehow I feel this is connected to what you said before: "I must cultivate a predisposition to think of myself as guilty rather than innocent." What I think you (and I, and everyone else) must cultivate is a predisposition to think rationally. Especially when it comes to religion, which is often nothing more than manipulation and mind control. (I could say, like the Sybil, "Now, Peter, thou needest thy mental defenses, now thy critical and skeptical faculties!") The so-called saints you speak of believed that we are all guilty, just by virtue of being born.* This is very convenient, if you wish to manipulate people. That's why you calling yourself "disgusting" raised a red flag for me. (*Here is how George Carlin put it: "If you live on this planet, you're guilty, period, fuck you, end of report, next case. Next fucking case! Your birth certificate is proof of guilt!")
There was no Adam and Eve, but assuming the story is true, we are left to wonder: did Cain have children with his mother Eve? Back then, men (who invented these stories) didn't have much regard for women (cf. Exodus 20:17), so I suppose it's possible that Adam and Eve had other children and the females simply weren't listed. In any case, incest would be inescapable.
  • There is a grave objection, which troubled Saint Augustine, and that is as to the transmission of original sin. It is the soul that sins, and if the soul is not transmitted, but created afresh, how can it inherit the sin of Adam? This is not discussed.
    • Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), p. 458
There is a sense in which I am guilty of "original sin", in that I too would (if given the chance) make the same choice as Adam and Eve did and eat from the tree of knowledge. Recall, however, that they were driven out of Eden lest (so the story goes) they eat from an altogether different tree:
  • And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever...
    • Genesis 3:22 (KJV)
"I am still processing all the new ideas I am learning now"
Of course. Urgh, sorry for flooding your talk page again. (Do feel free to collapse my responses with something like this template.) Okay, take care. ~ DanielTom (talk) 03:47, 26 February 2017 (UTC) P.S. I forgot to ask you a question: I'd like to know your thoughts on Matthew 16:28 and 24:34, ideally after you read pp. 51–63 of this book, when you have the time. Aren't they enough to disprove Christianity? Cheers ~ DanielTom (talk) 03:52, 26 February 2017 (UTC) last edit: 15:49, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

A GiftEdit

I wanted to share this with you, I thought you would appreciate it.

ἰσχύς μου ἡ δικαιοσύνη

-IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 05:28, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Hi IOHANNVSVERVS. Thank you for the gift. Should I translate it as "my strength is righteousness" or "righteousness is my strength"? Are you learning Greek composition? ~ Peter1c (talk) 10:56, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

Reverted edits on the page for GodEdit

DanielTom reverted several edits of mine citing no particularly good reason, the only explanation being the abbreviation rvv. I was wondering if you'd be willing to review these attempted additions to see if they are an improvement to the page and relavent to the theme. CensoredScribe (talk) 17:22, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

Hi CensoredScribe. Thank you for your message. I am sorry to see that you have unresolved conflicts with the community here. I can relate to this, having some difficulties of my own with the university community here. As they say, free advice is worth what you pay for it, but I will offer some anyway. First, one piece of advice I found helpful is that conflicts arise much less often when you create new organizations than when you try to influence existing ones. In Wikiquote, I guess the application of this principle would be to create new theme pages rather than editing existing ones. This gives you more leeway to exercise creativity, both in choosing themes and in choosing quotes. Second, I have two reading recommendations, which have been very helpful to me in improving conflict resolution and negotiation skills: (1) Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury and (2) Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone and Brian Patton. I was impressed by some of your recent contributions, and I look forward to your future ones. Best regards, Peter

I will definitely have to check those books out as that's an interpersonal communications skill I'm interested in developing, right now I'm still working on Paul Ekman's books on identifying micro expressions. I've actually become much less inclined to edit theme pages after reading a passage by Dr. William Marston in The Emotions of Normal People where he states that the vast majority of emotional terms have no psychological evidence supporting their existence and are designed as linguistic structures, saying there's really only three central emotions based off observations on decerebrated monkeys; love, fear and rage.

Also, thank you for taking the time to respond despite my having forgotten my manners in haste and omitting the keyword please. I'm glad you've liked some of my edits recently, I would still like to go through the rest of daily science quotes for persons and science themes, along with some more quotes from prominent psychologists for mental states; however after that I think I'll leave, I'm mostly out of TV shows and movies I'm familiar with to create about sections for, and what constitutes a good about section for a video game remains a challenge to me, interviews with video game creators are much rarer than TV and film, particularly 16 bit games, and unlike for films which Ninguable was nice enough to show me an example of, what constitutes a note worthy video game review isn't something I can seem to find on Wikiquote. Who exactly are the Siskel and Ebert of gaming, Electronic Gaming Monthly or X-Play? No one is game reviews is really a household name that gets mentioned on multiple television networks. CensoredScribe (talk) 14:34, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Masters Of WarEdit

"Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul"

This song reminded me of you. Keep the faith! ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:44, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Excellent. Thank you, DanielTom.
I'm glad you like it. Here's another song which you might enjoy (related to some of your writings). This is the last one, I promise! Cheers ~ DanielTom (talk) 19:56, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't mind failing in this world,
    I'll stay down here with the raggedy crew,
    'Cause getting up there means stepping on you,
    so I don't mind failing in this world.
This is great. Thank you, DanielTom.
The verse "getting up there means stepping on you" only makes sense to people who think the economy is a zero-sum game. It perfectly sums up the common economic fallacy that you can only benefit or "get up" at the expense of others, when actually people wouldn't engage in voluntary exchanges of goods and services (including labor) if both parties didn't benefit. (The same people who believe that all "surplus value" should go to wages because it is the workers, not the exploitative "capitalists"/managers, who add that value, in the same breath argue that when a company fails poor capital management is to blame, not the workers.) And of course, keeping yourself down doesn't necessarily help the raggedy crew. ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:14, 8 March 2018 (UTC)
You seem to like quotes that cast the "bourgeoisie" in a negative light; I wonder what you make of Keynes's rhetorical question: "How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeois and the intelligentsia who, with whatever faults, are the quality in life and surely carry the seeds of all human advancement?" ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:22, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

DanielTom, thank you for your message. I am always happy to debate with you and I welcome another provocation.

The reason why Marx calls economic reasoning of the form you describe "bourgeois economics" is that it does not question (as the bourgeois must never question) the premise that the ownership of resources is what the legitimate authority in power claims it is. Both parties who make an exchange must perceive a benefit from the exchange, or they would not make the exchange. But does this show that one is not tyrannizing the other? Only if one assumes that the legitimate authority in power is not tyrannical, that the claims of ownership of resources are not tyrannical claims. But how does one justify this assumption?

The division of labor imposes on the economist the axiom that the ownership of resources is what the legitimate authority in power claims it is; if a thinker doesn't make this assumption, she exceeds the bounds of the discipline of economics and becomes an anthropologist or a sociologist. But why does a mind have to limit itself in this way? The axiom is a product of the division of labor, not a product of reason or observation. The insistence on maintaining the axiom is a form of déformation professionnelle.

Look at an economic transaction without the ideological assumption that the existing ownership position of the parties to exchange is what the the legitimate authority in power claims it is, and you will interpret it very differently. Suppose one party to the exchange exercises a claim to own all the land and means of production, and the other has no ownership claims and must sell her labor to survive. Both benefit from the exchange within the bourgeois framework where ownership claims are unquestioned. But look at the transaction from a nonideological point of view and you will see one party to the exchange exercising tyranny over the other. It is really the system of legitimate authority tyrannizing over both, but one is the beneficiary of this tyranny while the other is its victim. It is therefore not so far amiss to say that the owner who exercises an unjust claim on all the land and means of production is himself a tyrant.

A thinker with a conscience can never accept without question that the ownership of resources is what the legitimate authority in power claims it is. To acquiesce in this is to place submission to power above conscience. If we leave our roles as bourgeoisie, and call into question the moral legitimacy of the system of legitimate authority, and the claims of ownership it enforces, we will find that these claims rely on the claim that the system of legitimate authority is morally rational as well as procedurally rational, a claim which Max Weber refutes.

If we leave the boundaries of the discipline of bourgeois economics, and examine the claim that the ownership of resources is what the legitimate authority in power claims it is, what will we find? The claim is premised on the assumption that the legitimate authority in power makes decisions justly. Furthermore, if the legitimate authority in power relies in its decisions on past titles handed down over time, the claim that the ownership of resources is what the legitimate authority in power claims it is must also depend on the assumption that the legitimate authority in power has been making decisions justly throughout its entire history. Is this assumption plausible?

My study of economic history shows that claims to property come about very often by nonvoluntary transactions: land-grabs, slavery, intimidation with violence, fraud, etc. My study of economic history shows that those who own property on average receive a positive rate of return on their property. This means that property rights today include the effects of a history of land grabs, slavery, etc., increased by compound interest.

The argument that voluntary exchanges are mutually beneficial and therefore not morally exploitative seems to involve a slippage from empirical observations to moral claims. The bourgeois economist takes the distribution of property as an empirical fact. He evades the distinction between a "fact" imposed by a particular system of legitimate domination and a fact of nature. But even leaving this aside, a fact does not by itself imply a moral conclusion.

We must also not forget the limitation that economists do acknowledge: there are externalities not represented by the market, trespasses that the system of legitimate domination does not recognize as trespasses, and which therefore impose involuntary costs on third parties not involved in the transaction.

It is implausible to morally judge an isolated transaction without morally judging the system that puts the parties to the transaction into the positions they are in. So we need a critique of systems of legitimate domination--not as they are represented in economics textbooks, but as they are in reality. Weber does a nice job of this in his two volume Economy and Society. He concludes that the only plausible response for the "ethical virtuoso" who aspires to be a moral human being is to flee from the system into a monastic life. (See more on this here.)

The system of rationality enforced by systems of legitimate domination does not coincide with ethical rationality. The claims made by systems of legitimate domination are therefore not moral claims. A moral analysis of an isolated transaction must take this into account. Once we take the immorality of systems of legitimate domination into account, the conclusions will be very different from the rosy picture of blissful voluntary transactions painted by the apologists of capital.

In a world where claims of ownership are just and moral, voluntary transactions might be just and moral. But such a world has never existed anywhere but in the minds of bourgeois economists, and never will.

So, back to the song, it requires a kind of callousness to accept what those in power say about who owns what, rather than looking to our own conscience to decide. This is the callousness exhibited by those who seek to rise in the immoral world rather than set ourselves apart from the world. I am taking a class on the Apocalypse of John, where John of Patmos teaches us to come out from the world, so that we don't share in the sins of the world (Rev 18:4). I think John of Patmos would like the song. And I think he is right. I'll stay down here with the raggedy crew, because getting up there means accepting the moral legitimacy of claims to ownership enforced by a system of procedural rationality that does not coincide with moral rationality. ~ Peter1c (talk) 03:05, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Hello Peter1c. Thank you for the explanation. Let me just make a few brief points: 1) It is not clear what you mean by "the legitimate authority in power". Are you referring to democratically-elected politicians who pass property laws? I readily concede that no property law can ultimately be justified the way you want it to be, as far as I know, except through utilitarian arguments. (I believe this applies to all laws.) What Churchill said about democracy, that it is "the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time", may well be true of private property. 2) "Tyranny" is nearly certain in systems not based on voluntary exchange. 3) There are many possible definitions of economics. Take Lionel Robbins's: "Economics is a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses." It is not necessarily as limited as you think. 4) I suppose you would call it "illegitimate domination". 5) The desire in human beings to shut themselves off from the world and enter into a "monastic life" manifests itself in very diverse cultures and is worth studying. One of my favorite Portuguese poets from the 17th century (Francisco de Sá de Meneses) became a monk after his wife died. (The way I see it, the Church was then the only possible, even if improbable, "salvation"; it was the cryonics of that time.) The "hero" of the Chinese novel I've been reading (Bao-yu) also becomes a monk at the end of the story, for a similar reason, when he finally "awakes" (literally and figuratively) and sees through the tragic transience and insubstantiality of human life. In the beginning of the novel, foreshadowing what is to come, we meet another character (Shi-yin) who, after losing his daughter and his property, eventually decides to leave the world (and his family, including his aging wife) behind and sets off with a lame Taoist monk. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." This is very wicked, I think. In any case, the command to abstain from evil is naturally present in all religions and ethical systems, so it is to be expected that people who believe the present market-based system is evil for (allegedly) inescapably requiring one to "step on" other people (even though it has raised more people out of poverty than any other system in history) should not want to participate in it. (Cf. Laozi's principle of non-interference.) I wish you good luck in your studies. Are you interested in becoming a college professor? ~ DanielTom (talk) 11:29, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

Hi DanielTom. Thanks for your brief points. "Legitimate authority" is the term Weber uses to refer to the authority that the bourgeoisie recognizes as the legitimate authority for deciding who owns what. The claim that the legitimate authority is democratically elected is, in the United States at least, dubious at best. (Princeton political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page have shown there is no correlation between legislative decisions and the rational preferences of ordinary citizens. We get a choice between two parties owned by global capital, and our decisions are based on information provided to us by media owned by global capital.) Claims about poverty and wealth rely on a definition of poverty and wealth. Where do bourgeois economists get these definitions? From the market value of goods. The claim that the bourgeois economy produces the greatest amount of wealth is a tautology. Define wealth based on market exchange, and behold, the system of unimpeded market exchange produces the greatest possible wealth. Where are externalities in this account? Where are colonialism, slavery, two world wars, climate change, pollution, resource depletion, global ecological collapse, extinction of species, the migrant crisis, the culture of narcissism and greed, etc. in this metric of wealth that is now so unprecedentedly large? Somehow I think the desert dwellers whose homes have become uninhabitable due to climate change and whom the West refuses to accept as refugees would be skeptical of the claim that the present system of legitimate domination has produced unprecedented wealth. What do we subtract from the global GDP to account for extinction of species? The fact that bourgeois economics has no conceivable way to answer this question shows that its definition of wealth does not represent anything like what a morally-informed conception of wealth might be.

The reason why Luke's Jesus demands we hate our father and mother and sister and brother, and recognize those who do the will of God as our true father and mother and sister and brother is that our fathers and mothers taught us the bourgeois (or nomenklatura, or any other assimilationist worldview) values of unquestioning submission to legitimate authority. They taught us to accept the market value of things as their true value. They taught us to put no value on the things that constitute true wealth: virtue, wisdom, piety, kindness, nobility, awareness--things which the market is incapable of recognizing the value of, because they can't be bought and sold. No, I don't intend to become a professor. I am confirmed more than ever in my decision to become a monk.

You misled me by sending me a link to the song, when you weren't going to sing along, DanielTom. I suggest you may want to reflect more on why you find the words of our good Lord in Lk 14:26 wicked. Filial piety is idolatrous. It persuades us to persevere in the corrupt tradition taught to us by our forefathers, rather than repenting, turning around, changing our minds, becoming something new and different, leaving the old world behind and seeking the kingdom. Repent. The kingdom is there waiting for you. I'm not sure if there's anything I could say to persuade you to read Economy and Society and Dialectic of Enlightenment, but if you are serious about confronting your intellectual opponents, I think these would be among the best. Thanks again and best regards ~ Peter1c (talk) 14:14, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

The World Bank defines "extreme poverty" as living on less than US$1.90 per person per day. ("The World Bank projected that for the first time in history less than 10 percent of the world's population was living in extreme poverty—down from 37 percent in 1990 and 44 percent in 1981.") I didn't intentionally mislead you because I actually like the song, and do "sing along", even if not uncritically. Thank you for the book suggestions. (I remember reading some excerpts from The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber, on how religion influences economics, for sociology class in college, and unexpectedly finding them interesting.) I'm afraid I can't be convinced that hating people is somehow good, even if "our good Lord" says it. Of course we can't know for sure that Jesus himself said those things; to me they read more like a later proselytizing invention, to reassure new converts. It's like Jesus saying "Take up your cross and follow me" to people who at the time couldn't possibly have understood what he meant. Those words are probably addressed to the readers of the gospel, who already know what's going to happen... Okay, thanks for your patience with me. God bless. ~ DanielTom (talk) 15:56, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

DanielTom, you can translate μισεῖν as "disregard" or "disesteem" if you prefer. I think the intent is not that hatred should be the final emotion we have toward our families, but that we must dissociate ourselves from their influence, which is competing with the λόγος for our loyalty and attention. After we have purified ourselves and separated ourselves from their influence, we are in a position to lovingly approach our families again, not in the attitude of humble submission as before, but now as apostles of the λόγος. Regarding exegetical strategy, I think when we encounter a "hard teaching" (σκληρός λόγος, Jn 6:60), we are called to think about it, not dismiss it. If we hate the hard teaching for demanding hatred, then our exegetical strategy falls into the same error of hatred for which we reject the teaching. It is a performative contradiction to hate a passage demanding hatred because we hate hatred.

What happens if we approach the teaching of Lk 14:26 lovingly and try to understand what it might mean? Repentance, conversion, salvation, redemption, all call for a break with what came before. And what came before is certainly in large part determined by our families. Even someone who is raised Christian will be called throughout a lifetime to repent and purify her or his obedience to Christ. Each such act of repentance will produce a profound aversion to our former self and its ways, and therefore also in many cases to the family that taught us these flawed ways of being in the world. After a period of purification, we can go back to our families and try to persuade them to repent also. "See how our family has been pursuing pleasure rather than virtue, wealth rather than wisdom, honor and reputation rather than kindness and warmth, assimilation rather than perfection, let us change our ways, ..." The new relationship with our families will now have a conflict that was not there before. This is inevitable. The transition from a relationship of assent to one of disagreement and conflict is a difficult one. Perhaps Jesus does not really exaggerate so much when he tells us we must be prepared for hatred. I don't see any evidence that the hatred is enduring or permanent. It reflects the transition, not the final state.

Kierkegaard ridicules the conformists of his day for their desire to get along with everyone without conflict, confusing acquiescence to the neighbor with love of the neighbor. When the neighbor is harming herself or himself, morally or physically, one who loves the neighbor is called to give instruction, not acquiescence (this, incidentally, is one problem with the market -- we fulfill each other's demands rather than telling one another when our demands are harming us, morally or physically).

  • If you want to be well off and yet easily manage to become something, then forget God, never let yourself really become aware, never let it become really clear to you that it is he who has created you from nothing; proceed on the presupposition that a human being does not have time to waste on keeping in mind the one to whom he infinitely and unconditionally owes everything. ... Forget it and be noisy along with the crowd, laugh or cry, be busy from morning until night, be loved and respected and esteemed as a friend, as a public official, as a king, as a pallbearer. Above all be an earnest person by having forgotten the one and only earnestness, to relate yourself to God, to become nothing.
    • Works of Love , p. 103

Thanks again for rousing up an interesting discussion. It's always a pleasure to chat/debate with you DanielTom. ~ Peter1c (talk) 16:59, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

  • προσεκύνησαν τῷ θηρίῳ λέγοντες Τίς ὅμοιος τῷ θηρίῳ, καὶ τίς δύναται πολεμῆσαι μετ’ αὐτοῦ;
  • They worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? And who can fight against it?"
  • Rev 13:4

The beast is invincible, so we must accept it. When it offers us money to be its apologists, we must accept it. Who can fight against it? It is better to be on the winning side. So reasons the bourgeois. The tyrants now provide $2 a day to the poor while they build bigger and bigger mansions for themselves. This is a huge improvement over a few decades ago! The form of tyranny of this beast is so much more humane and comfortable than the competing beast's form of tyranny! We get to choose between two candidates selected beforehand by the tyrants, while the competing form of tyranny allows no choice at all! See how good we have it! Such is the reasoning offered by the apologists of tyranny. They teach us to worship the beast. They teach us to disregard the injustice, tyranny and inhumanity of the beast, all in exchange for a paycheck.

At least principled libertarians like Roderick Long and Kevin Carson point out the discrepancies between the ideology of the free market and the status quo. The bourgeois economists, the paid apologists of capital, can't even do that. They call today's system a free market, conveniently ignoring the fact that today's ownership claims derive from land grabs, slavery, colonialism, crony capitalism, etc., as well as free trade. The sincere libertarians never cease to complain about this. But the bourgeois economist, whose job is to make the status quo seem rosy and humane and just, goes on citing statistics about how things are better. Never mind injustice. Look away from that. Look at the fact that, despite the injustice, certain metrics are improving.

Injustice does not cease to be injustice when statistics can be cited to show that it is better than some competing form of injustice. Tyranny does not cease to be tyranny when statistics can be cited to show that it is better than yesterday's form of tyranny. These rosy statistics are a distraction, a red herring, that take our eyes off injustice and tyranny.

In the United States, the owner class controls the government. Democracy is a show used to persuade the working class they have a say, while in fact we have none. Critics from Karl Marx to Lucy Parsons told us this a long time ago. Now Gilens and Page have proved it. I have no doubt that some of the people from the owner class got their wealth by honest work. But the fact that the owner class controls the state, with no popular sovereignty, makes them a tyrant class, no matter how they got their wealth or how they use it.

The fact that bourgeois economists are willing to apologize for tyranny and injustice, rather than calling it out for what it is, arises from the cowardice John of Patmos calls out so admirably in Rev 13:4. The bourgeois instinctively acquiesces to any power stronger than herself. Who can fight against it? If we go along with the tyrant and pretend the tyrant is humane and just, we will get a nice paycheck. We can live comfortably. Who wants the trouble that comes with bearing witness to injustice? Who wants the inconvenience that comes with calling out tyrants as tyrants?

The prophets don't just lament the transience of human life. They protest against tyranny and injustice. Protests against tyranny and injustice may in the end be no more efficacious than laments about the transience of human life. But they at least prevent us from deceiving ourselves, and from being deceived. Life is indeed, in some sense, easier if we pretend the legitimate authority is just, or that it is humane, or that it is democratically elected. But these lies lead us to have a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of our activity in the world. We will see our work for the beast as "creating value," rather than as aiding and abetting the beast in its efforts to enslave the human race and convert nature into profits in a rampage of destruction. We will see our obedience to the beast as dutiful service rather than as spineless, cowardly acquiescence.

Of course the Biblical witness includes Romans 13:1-7 as well as 2 Cor 6:14. We have to moderate our opposition to the beast to keep from getting immediately slaughtered. We need time to bear witness to the truth before we die. The degree of truth telling we can get away with varies from time to time and place to place. When Paul is writing to the Romans, he advises a greater degree of obedience and compliance than when he is writing to the Corinthians. But even the duty of obedience preached in Rom 13:1-7 has its limits.

  • The order of authority derives from God, as the Apostle says [in Romans 13:1-7]. For this reason, the duty of obedience is, for the Christian, a consequence of this derivation of authority from God, and ceases when that ceases. But, as we have already said, authority may fail to derive from God for two reasons: either because of the way in which authority has been obtained, or in consequence of the use which is made of it. There are two ways in which the first may occur. Either because of a defect in the person, if he is unworthy; or because of some defect in the way itself by which power was acquired, if, for example, through violence, or simony or some other illegal method.

I don't think any honest soul in the U.S. can deny that the means by which today's Congress acquires and keeps its power is defective. Unlimited campaign contributions make the Congress into a massive system of bribery, which then turns into a massive system of extortion as Congress hands out money and custom tailored legislation to the patrons who bribe them. According to Aquinas, then, Paul's exhortation to obey in Rom 13:1-7 no longer applies. We are called not to be yoked to this system, and, at the very least to bear witness to the beast for what it really is. The Roman Empire claimed to be a savior bringing civilization, peace and order to the lands that it invaded. And the U. S. claims to bring democracy to the lands that it invades. But John of Patmos doesn't buy the lie. He describes the beast for what it really is. The peace is based on massive violence. The civilization is based on uncivilized warfare tactics, uncivilized treatment of the working class, uncivilized conditions for orphans and widows. The order is an order in which arbitrary hereditary privilege is sanctified and perpetuated in an orderly manner, while the working class is exploited and deprived of its rights in a scientific, systematic and orderly manner.

DanielTom, I understand the temptation to put on rose-colored glasses. But self-deception is epistemically irresponsible. We have a responsibility to ourselves to tell the truth to ourselves and others. I understand the temptation to limit oneself to a single discipline in order to make an enduring contribution within it. But I don't see how the economist is going to understand the true nature of the economy without understanding the true nature of the political order in which ownership claims are adjudicated. If the ownership of resources before an exchange is determined by a tyrannical authority, it is profoundly misleading to call that exchange free. ~ Peter1c (talk) 16:18, 10 March 2018 (UTC)

Would you deem either the Hero or Bedazzled quotes on language acceptable to include, or any film quotes on theme pages for that matter?Edit

Both of these quotes more or less say the same thing regarding cultural imperialism; I don't know what film quotes, if any you've added to theme lemma however I would appreciate your input. Perhaps you know of a more academically respected quote from the historic first emperor of China on eliminating languages, or from another individual, it's not exactly polite conversation, but important to mention never the less for explaining the often violently incompatible world views of major historical figures. CensoredScribe (talk) 03:51, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Would you be willing to petition on wikipedia for the removal of the X rated image of an underage child on the bestiality page?Edit

The two pages for bestiality and pedophilia should follow the same rules and be devoid of X rated images of children, seeing as it makes those pages illegal to look at in several countries, diminishing the ability of Wikipedia to educate people from them on those topics. Would you be willing to petition for the removal of said image and others on wikipedia? I unfortunately cannot, or rather should not, do this myself having been banned some years ago.
Also, I noticed you have a nice aniconic geometric design on your user page, which is quite lovely, you have decorated it quite well, and your user page along with Kalki's is what inspired me to decorate mine, including lifting the Malcolm X quote you once had at the top. I was wondering, what with you studying divinity and being rather well read, if you knew what the Islamic position on the Nehushtan of Moses was, as well as if there's mention of the story of Abraham in the Idol Shop or of Golems. I believe in Lives of the Necromancers, it talks of an Islamic legend of a city of moving statues made by Rocail, one of the children of Adam and was wondering whose legend that is. Should you choose to assist in these matters, than thank you. CensoredScribe (talk) 07:55, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm having a hard time sourcing a Plutarch quote and was wondering if you happen to know where it comes from?Edit

On page 192 of Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches, 1963-2009, Howard Zinn quotes Plutarch saying "The poor go to war to fight and die for the delights, riches, and superfluities of others." I don't particularly care to read through the works of Plutarch hoping to find the origin of this quote at this point in my life and was hoping you might know where it is from or be interested in reading through his works to find it.

Also is it just me or do most authors who use quotes not actually care about providing full citations for them? CensoredScribe (talk) 06:13, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

Hi CensoredScribe. It's good to hear from you. According to Reinhold Niebuhr, the passage is from the Life of Tiberius Gracchus, one of Plutarch's Parallel Lives. But I don't find the passage in the Dryden translation. The passage is also cited in this form here.
I find the passage in James Keir Hardie's From Serfdom to Socialism, but note that it is outside the quotation marks! Maybe the citations pick it up from this work, and falsely attribute to Plutarch what is actually Hardie's paraphrase?
I like the quote. I hope this helps. ~ Peter1c (talk) 15:58, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
That was indeed very helpful, thank you very much for the research and resources! I am interested in reading the rest of these books at some point in the future, I particularly liked the subsequent paragraph in From Serfdom to Socialism on the allegiances of the rich "optimates" being with the invading armies, as I would have thought treason back than would carry the death penalty as it technically still does in America, despite no one being currently under a federal death sentence for anything but murder, and that having questionable allegiance to the state would have been much more harshly dealt with than it is today, given human rights were much less extensive and the idea of the prosecution bearing the burden of proof an alien concept. It reminds me a bit of sports gambling, which can motivate professional athletes to throw matches to get a higher payout, or provide critical information to create an advantage, which is why there's a zero tolerance policy for athletes betting on sports, even events they aren't involved with due to fear of accruing gambling debts. Even though that same argument can just be used for poverty in general, which is perhaps the reason they get paid ludicrous amounts of money to play sports, sending the contradictory message poor people are not to be trusted, while history apparently shows that "optimates" are also not to be trusted. Perhaps the X-Files was right, trust no one; though that is perhaps the most anti social message of all based off how very thriving Fox Mulder's social life is. CensoredScribe (talk) 22:54, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Jerome quoteEdit

"Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, then by his predecessor."

Implicit in Jerome's thinking (if I'm not mistaken) is the idea that society's wealth is fixed, and that if someone has a larger share of wealth than others, he must necessarily have "stolen" from them. But this premise is false. We now possess much greater material wealth and "opulence" than people in Jerome's time ever did. The fact that wealth has increased means that it isn't necessarily "stolen", but can be created (through acquisition of knowledge and innovation). It's important to note that Jerome isn't talking about wealth distribution—in this quotation, anyway. His objection is not so much against "opulence" itself as it is against the means of achieving it in the first place. If a person inherits wealth he gets off scot-free, only his father doesn't because to become rich he must have been a thief! If Jerome were saying that better-off people have a moral responsibility to donate or use their excessive wealth in more intelligent and effective ways than in frivolous and wasteful opulence, it would be easier to agree with him. ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:16, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Hi DanielTom. It's good to hear from you. I think you are right that Jerome is thinking in terms of a moral responsibility to use wealth to care for our neighbors. I think the Church Fathers were skeptical that a system of rational-legal authority could measure economic contributions accurately enough to ascertain whether a person, corporation, activity, etc. was creating wealth. Wealth created by an economic system is stolen from the human beings who are adversely affected by externalities not measured by the system. Wealth created by an economic system is stolen from the human beings who are unjustly deprived of a share of the system and are therefore excluded from the benefits. In this view, wealth that comes into our possession is not ours to do what we please. All the world's wealth belongs to God. We are stewards charged with caring for whatever wealth comes into our possession in a way that shows our love of God and our neighbors. Any wealth that comes into our possession beyond what we need to care for our own families must be used for the benefit of others, to remedy the externalities of the system and help those excluded by the system. The rational-legal authority steals as a matter of course from those affected by externalities and those excluded from a fair share of resource ownership because of present and historical injustices. If we don't distribute our share of the proceeds from the system of authority, we become beneficiaries of this systematic theft. ~ Peter1c (talk) 11:07, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Chronological vs. alphabeticalEdit

I wish someone would work on a system to give chronological as well as alphabetical listings. Much context is lost in the alphabetical arrangement, though we need that too. All we need is a tag for dates, and a tag for names. JMK (talk) 21:02, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Hi JMK. Thank you for your message. I am very sympathetic to the case for chronological organization of theme pages. The best thing would be if we could have a software solution that would allow the end user to choose to sort by either name or date, but we are far from that. It is awkward to have different organizations for different themes, and the chronological theme pages have been very idiosyncratically organized, with some alphabetized within each time period, and others strictly chronological. It is much harder to figure out where a new quote goes in a page that is organized in a nonstandard way, so I have been on numerous occasions discouraged from adding new quotes to chronologically organized theme pages. Kalki also expressed a strong preference for a policy of alphabetic ordering, I think, for the last reason I mentioned. ~ Peter1c (talk) 21:21, 5 March 2018 (UTC)

Remove boldface from most "Last words"Edit

Hello. Can you please weigh in and give your opinion at Wikiquote:Village pump#Boldface in all "last words"? There, I'm proposing to remove boldface from most quotes in Last words, Fictional last words, and their subpages. Details and reasons are given in the discussion itself. Thanks in advance. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 17:50, 18 March 2018 (UTC)

Return to the user page of "Peter1c".