From: Arlo Bensinger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed Sep 28 2005 - 01:04:46 BST
I have been.. if you have a specific issue then ask a specific issue.
How am I suppossed to respond specifically if you don't ask
specifically? I told you I don't agree with with general comments about
wealthy and poor and thought it would be more useful to stick with the
actions that bother you (e.g. driving both those in need) or the lack of
actions (e.g.. laziness).
Again, I'm not making "general comments about wealthy and poor". I made
a specific claim that those who taut christian morality, and pursue
material acquisition above helping others, are acting hypocritically.
That is not a general statement about "wealthy" people in general, or
even the idea of wealth. I've said in nearly every post to you that it
was this specific hypocrisy that I was decrying.
When Platt had suggested the JC morals should underlie legislation in
this country (and he tells me I misunderstood this, which I accept), I
responded with a further claim of hypocrisy in those who demand certain
aspects of the code be legislated (those that give them power over
others) while others be ignored (those that force them to do something),
while still resting their claim on the authority of the JC moral code.
How can I get more specific than that?
Do you feel one can be wealthy and christian with no hypocritical
I already told you no I don't find them mutually exlusive categories.
Explain what I think it is stupid to judge somebody by how much is in
their bank account, what they are driving, etc. I have been clear about
this position i thought.
Who the hell is judging anybody by what's in their bank account?! This
is getting frustrating for me, Erin, and I apologize if that starts to
show through. So let me just say it plainly, I don't friggin' care how
much money is in anyone's bank account. Wealth does not make a person
Good. I've said that how many times? Nor do I judge anyone by what car
they drive. I told you specifically why I chose those two examples. If
you don't see the value in the rhetorical choices I've made, fine,
whatever. But don't do this aggravating distortion and imply I'm judging
anybody by what they drive. And even in those specific examples, what I
emphasized was how many wealthy are content to ignore the poor, and yet
tell everyone they are christian. Does this mean there are not Good
among the wealthy, or hypocrits among the poor, no.
Ai yi yi... if there is one message I think I've always said on this
list is that wealth is not an indicator of a person's value. Rich or
poor. Good is what Good does. The pervailing dialogue in this country,
however, has appropriated the economic measure, however, and there are
many people out there that see "poor" as equating to "no value", and
"wealth" as being synonomous with "a person of high value". This helps,
I think, people rationalize ignoring the needs of the poor, because they
are of no value to begin with, why help them?
Arlo it is not soley to oneself but as Ant just ended his last post with
this...."and that it’s much better just to take the Buddha’s (MOQ
orientated) advice to “see for yourself”. I don't think there is
conflict with trying to improve myself and trying to help the community
improve and there is nothing wrong with seeing/thinking/doing for yourself.
There is a word that I do believe is sorely lacking from our dialogue,
and that is "selffull". There is nothing wrong with seeking to improve
yourself, enlighten yourself, learn, garnish rewards, contribute to
whatever field you find interest in, etc. I've never said that no one
should consider their own needs at all. But, selffull is not selfish,
and I do distiguish between people who care only about themselves and
people that care about themselves and others. At the other end, of
course is "selfless", and many do say this is the desired goal of
spirituality. Maybe. But at this point I'd settle for a shift from
selfish to selfful in this country. Ask me for the difference, and I
can't tell you exactly.
Well let's put this way if it was a choice of EVERYBODY being a little
richer or a little poorer I would pick richer which is why i brought up
the issue of "glamourizing poverty".
You can't make everyone a little richer, inflation would kick in and
although people would possess more money, the capital value of their
holdings would re-balance at just where they were at before. But as a
hypothetical, sure, I agree. Who's talking about wanting to make
What I'd like to do is stop the focus on money as a measure of one's
value, or as the prime focus of one's life. I think if we did that, a
lot of these problems would abate. But, I don't see that happening any
time soon. Money is Our God, Consumerism Our Religion. And that's not
going to change anytime soon.
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