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How is the Church going to cope with the transition to a post-capitalist society?

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polskieserce    22
polskieserce
19 minutes ago, Anomaly said:

There is never going to a Utopian existence, government, economy, system, etc. when there are large groups of people.  By fact if it's very existence, the larger the population, the greater the variation of opinion, perception, desire, need, want, ability, success, failure, effort, attitude, conditions, circumstances, etc.   

There are goals, principles, ideals, that are discussed, debated, championed, rejected, and / or tolerated that may allow a society to survive and possibly thrive.  That does require honesty, humility, and most of the virtues recognized by almost all optimistic religions and philosophical thought. 

If that were actually true, humanity would still consist of small groups of hunter-gatherers.  I said it many times before and I will say it again: plenty of things that were once seen as outlandish fantasies are now realities.  The idea of a super-weapon that can vaporize entire cities would have been unthinkable in 1000 AD.  If you traveled back in time and told cave people that humans would eventually build cities, produce food using agriculture, etc that would have also been an unthinkable fantasy.  The changes just keep coming faster and faster.  There will be plenty of disruption throughout the world and who is to say that the present economic model will be immune to that disruption?

I've noticed that most common people will not entertain ideas about what the future holds.  It's an "If I can't see it with my own eyes, it's nonsense" kind of mentality.  That type of shortsightedness prevents most people from anticipating things to come.  When a large chunk of the population went from agriculture to industry, there was incredible disruption in the lives of those people.

The reason utopia is so elusive is that every person's vision of it is wildly different.  For that reason, you will never have utopia because each person wants something different.  However, in order to ensure humanity's long term survival, the government needs to put individual desires aside.  With how things are going now, we will drive off a cliff if we don't start conserving resources and using them in a sustainable matter.  Millions of Americans will struggle to get any kind of employment at all with all of the advances in automation that will be rolled out in the future.  The simple reality is that the physical health and well being is far more important than a rich guy's desire to buy a lamborghini  or a 6k square foot house.  Some degree of authoritarianism is required in order force people to do the right thing.

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might

Utopia doesn't have to be an eschatalogical realization. Utopia can be a practical philosophy that considers the unconsidered. For example, say society has a problem with youth unemployment, at-risk young people, etc. The "realist" has standard responses: more schooling, tough on crime, etc. A utopian response would try to find alternatives that don't require a massive restructuring, but can be achieved here and now, if only people were willing to be less realistic, less organized, less ordered.

Communism and Christianity are both facing the same problem: how to bridge the gap between Idea and Reality, how to make real what is impossible. Incidentally, some would argue that the only way to achieve the impossible is to make a very small stand. For example, the only way to completelty change how we look at healthcare is to put forward something like Obamacare. Once even the possibility is introduced, made real, then the impossibility is brought closer.

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Peace    777
Peace
3 hours ago, Era Might said:

Utopia doesn't have to be an eschatalogical realization. Utopia can be a practical philosophy that considers the unconsidered. For example, say society has a problem with youth unemployment, at-risk young people, etc. The "realist" has standard responses: more schooling, tough on crime, etc. A utopian response would try to find alternatives that don't require a massive restructuring, but can be achieved here and now, if only people were willing to be less realistic, less organized, less ordered.

Communism and Christianity are both facing the same problem: how to bridge the gap between Idea and Reality, how to make real what is impossible. Incidentally, some would argue that the only way to achieve the impossible is to make a very small stand. For example, the only way to completelty change how we look at healthcare is to put forward something like Obamacare. Once even the possibility is introduced, made real, then the impossibility is brought closer.

Please. This is just a bunch of wanna-be intellectual mumbo-jumbo to attempt to demonstrate how smart you are.

Utopia for you is a world where you can sin and will not have to answer to God.

Spade.

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might

One small Utopia in Los Angeles. A Jesuit priest had a crazy utopian idea, "jobs not jails," so he built Homeboy Industries, not a job placement center, but a community of kinship where gang members could change their lives. Everyday, people who used to kill eachother now work together, laugh together, cry together. That's something you can't do in jail.

maxresdefault.jpg

Has Homeboy Industries eliminated all the structural roots of gangs? No, and never will. It's just a Utopia. The essence of Utopia isn't size or scope or success, the essence of Utopia is to insist on the possibility of a better way. Not "better" the way iPhone 6 is supposed to be "better" than iPhone 5, but better in the sense of creating a truer Whole. That, I think, is the real issue in the original topic of this thread. Man has perfected everything, but has he healed anything, made it more whole? That's the story of modernity, man's disintegration and disconnectedness. He's like a bodybuilder with huge biceps and small testicles; for all his technical strength, is he becoming more of a man? We usually assume evolution is a process of perfection, but I think we may find that our intelligence and success will be an evolutionary liability, that it doesn't help us be Man as we know it, and nature will move on from Man as it moves on from any other creature that takes a wrong evolutionary turn.

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polskieserce    22
polskieserce
5 hours ago, Era Might said:

Utopia doesn't have to be an eschatalogical realization. Utopia can be a practical philosophy that considers the unconsidered. For example, say society has a problem with youth unemployment, at-risk young people, etc. The "realist" has standard responses: more schooling, tough on crime, etc. A utopian response would try to find alternatives that don't require a massive restructuring, but can be achieved here and now, if only people were willing to be less realistic, less organized, less ordered.

Communism and Christianity are both facing the same problem: how to bridge the gap between Idea and Reality, how to make real what is impossible. Incidentally, some would argue that the only way to achieve the impossible is to make a very small stand. For example, the only way to completelty change how we look at healthcare is to put forward something like Obamacare. Once even the possibility is introduced, made real, then the impossibility is brought closer.

Ok, lets use the environment as an example.  Right now, humans are destroying the natural environment and using resources much faster than they can be replenished.  Several things would have to be done in order to put humans on a sustainable path:

  1. Rampant materialism would have to come to an end
  2. People need to start living in large high rise apartment building in order to conserve energy
  3. Those high-rise buildings need to be clustered together in cities so that travel is less energy intensive
  4. Energy would have to come from cleaner sources, which are often not as robust as fossil fuels
  5. Corporate entities would be far more regulated to make sure they comply with those standards
  6. Abandoned rural areas with little strategic utility to humans would be returned to nature

Obviously, these goals would require a very high level of government intervention.  The main benefit of achieving these goals is that the human race would not run out of resources and go extinct.  It would certainly be utopian in my book but a conservative (especially an American one) would probably say that my vision for society is a living hell.

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
57 minutes ago, polskieserce said:

Ok, lets use the environment as an example.  Right now, humans are destroying the natural environment and using resources much faster than they can be replenished.  Several things would have to be done in order to put humans on a sustainable path:

  1. Rampant materialism would have to come to an end
  2. People need to start living in large high rise apartment building in order to conserve energy
  3. Those high-rise buildings need to be clustered together in cities so that travel is less energy intensive
  4. Energy would have to come from cleaner sources, which are often not as robust as fossil fuels
  5. Corporate entities would be far more regulated to make sure they comply with those standards
  6. Abandoned rural areas with little strategic utility to humans would be returned to nature

Obviously, these goals would require a very high level of government intervention.  The main benefit of achieving these goals is that the human race would not run out of resources and go extinct.  It would certainly be utopian in my book but a conservative (especially an American one) would probably say that my vision for society is a living hell.

I would start from a different premise. Rather than reform how we use resources (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing), I would question the very idea of resources, which takes nature as an industrial opportunity that needs to be managed. Which, of course, will require managers. And once you have managers, humans themselves become resources,  "human resources." That is the essence of slavery, putting human energy to use because you can. To break slavery, it's not enough to create civil or human rights. These are merely Law, and Law always renews the brokenness it manages. That is why St. Paul excoriated the Corinthian Christians for taking eachother to court, as though they were still under the slavery of Law, and not something entirely new, a New Man.

That's the general idea I would start from, but it has the same problem that I mentioned before: how to bridge the gap between Old Man and New Man. I'm not the best person to theorize on how to change our economic structures, because I don't have any use for most of them, so my proposals would be destructive rather than constructive. Your idea of massive high rise buildings scares me. I hate skyrises. To me, they're symbols of status and remove people from the real world down below. They also become their own problems, as we see in modern public housing projects, which became like massive prisons for the urban poor. So, maybe they make sense as a practical solution to specific conditions, but, I don't know that's a world I want to live in, a world of high rise living.

Common people all over the world find ways to live. In Venezuela, for example, the poor have basically commandeered huge unfinished skyrises to live in. In America, there are actually people who have went into the tunnels and created communities. Humans are very smart and capable, but like I said in my previous post, at the end of the day, our society is ruled by and for the economically powerful. They will tolerate autonomous action until it interferes with their plans. The chief concern is making sure not to inconvenience the powerful, make sure they have nice resorts in third world countries and cheap consumer goods, make sure they don't lose place to China or Russia, make sure people can live in suburban communes and not feel personally inconvenienced as most of the world lives in desperate squalor.

Billy Joel said it: we didn't start the fire, it's always been burning since the world's been turning. I think that anything you propose is a threat to someone. If you propose to build on the system, you are declaring war on anyone who opposes the system. If you propose a different system, you are declaring war on the system. There is always the option of just taking life easy, not worrying too much, and just carve out a niche for your brief candle. There's something to be said for that, but, when you see life through a larger historical and philosophical and international perspective, it complicates life. A little learning is a dangerous thing. We talk about education and progress, but do we really want people to start asking questions about our society? That won't be good for the rich and powerful, that's for sure.

My general sense of things is smaller and simpler are always better. That would be my approach to most problems.

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little2add    474
little2add
11 hours ago, Era Might said:

the same critique can be made of Christianity. Religions are, by necessity, dumb ideas.

or 

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".

Karl Marx  Era Might

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
40 minutes ago, little2add said:

or 

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".

Karl Marx  Era Might

Religion has to be foolish and irrational. You can't believe in the rational and practical. What would be the point? Epicureanism and Stoicism are fine philosophies, but will get no one to Heaven. That's the point, those philosophies make earth the end, while Christianity makes it the beginning. Christianity awaits a day when the lion will lie down with the lamb, and a little child shall lead them. That Idea is no less foolish than a future Communist society. Christianity does not deny its foolishness in the world, it only insists on its truthfulness. America is no more Christian than the USSR was Communist. It just likes to believe it is, because that's what religious people are trained to do, believe. Dostoyevsky wrote a parable about Jesus appearing on earth, facing a Grand Inquisitor, and being told to leave and never come back. Religious people wouldn't know what to do if they couldn't believe anymore, and Christ appearing would ruin it for everyone, ruin the nice religion we've got going for us. The Jews faced the same situation: if the pharisees and priests recognized the Messiah, there would be no need for pharisees and priests. They'd be cut out. What did Jesus say? The day is coming when neither in Samaria or Jerusalem will the true worshippers worship, but only in spirit and truth. He condemed religion, like the prophets before him. So they killed him, too.

Edited by Era Might

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Benedictus    364
Benedictus

 It hasn't even coped  or come to terms with Capitalism yet :smile2: Don't expect anything ground breaking to be said, unless it's off the cuff on a plane flight and then denied the next day :cyclops:.

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little2add    474
little2add
9 hours ago, Era Might said:

America is no more Christian than the USSR was Communist

faith, brother    faith

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polskieserce    22
polskieserce
On 4/8/2017 at 8:02 PM, Era Might said:

I would start from a different premise. Rather than reform how we use resources (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing), I would question the very idea of resources, which takes nature as an industrial opportunity that needs to be managed. Which, of course, will require managers. And once you have managers, humans themselves become resources,  "human resources." That is the essence of slavery, putting human energy to use because you can. To break slavery, it's not enough to create civil or human rights. These are merely Law, and Law always renews the brokenness it manages. That is why St. Paul excoriated the Corinthian Christians for taking eachother to court, as though they were still under the slavery of Law, and not something entirely new, a New Man.

That's the general idea I would start from, but it has the same problem that I mentioned before: how to bridge the gap between Old Man and New Man. I'm not the best person to theorize on how to change our economic structures, because I don't have any use for most of them, so my proposals would be destructive rather than constructive. Your idea of massive high rise buildings scares me. I hate skyrises. To me, they're symbols of status and remove people from the real world down below. They also become their own problems, as we see in modern public housing projects, which became like massive prisons for the urban poor. So, maybe they make sense as a practical solution to specific conditions, but, I don't know that's a world I want to live in, a world of high rise living.

Common people all over the world find ways to live. In Venezuela, for example, the poor have basically commandeered huge unfinished skyrises to live in. In America, there are actually people who have went into the tunnels and created communities. Humans are very smart and capable, but like I said in my previous post, at the end of the day, our society is ruled by and for the economically powerful. They will tolerate autonomous action until it interferes with their plans. The chief concern is making sure not to inconvenience the powerful, make sure they have nice resorts in third world countries and cheap consumer goods, make sure they don't lose place to China or Russia, make sure people can live in suburban communes and not feel personally inconvenienced as most of the world lives in desperate squalor.

Billy Joel said it: we didn't start the fire, it's always been burning since the world's been turning. I think that anything you propose is a threat to someone. If you propose to build on the system, you are declaring war on anyone who opposes the system. If you propose a different system, you are declaring war on the system. There is always the option of just taking life easy, not worrying too much, and just carve out a niche for your brief candle. There's something to be said for that, but, when you see life through a larger historical and philosophical and international perspective, it complicates life. A little learning is a dangerous thing. We talk about education and progress, but do we really want people to start asking questions about our society? That won't be good for the rich and powerful, that's for sure.

My general sense of things is smaller and simpler are always better. That would be my approach to most problems.

You need a more concrete proposal than this.  What specific political policy changes would you make to help solve the issue of environmental destruction?  The "can't we all play nice and get along?" approach simply doesn't work.  If environmental destruction isn't addressed politically, then there will always be some capitalists out there willing to exploit the situation until the masses rise up and say enough is enough.

Also, you make the foolish assumption of thinking that you can radically change society without challenging the elite class.  This is another fantasy that has no connection to reality.  The current power structure has to be destroyed if we are to make significant progress in the areas of environmentalism, wealth inequality, true democracy, etc

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
On 4/12/2017 at 9:17 AM, polskieserce said:

You need a more concrete proposal than this.  What specific political policy changes would you make to help solve the issue of environmental destruction?  The "can't we all play nice and get along?" approach simply doesn't work.  If environmental destruction isn't addressed politically, then there will always be some capitalists out there willing to exploit the situation until the masses rise up and say enough is enough.

Also, you make the foolish assumption of thinking that you can radically change society without challenging the elite class.  This is another fantasy that has no connection to reality.  The current power structure has to be destroyed if we are to make significant progress in the areas of environmentalism, wealth inequality, true democracy, etc

I have no idea what policies could help stop environmental destruction. There are lots of people with ideas. I hope our democracy can get at the best ones, that our courts don't railroad the environment to protect big business, and that legislators put forward good legislation. I'm not a policy wonk. I'm more interested in human nature.

Also, the Bolsheviks tried to destroy the elite class. They replaced the bourgeoisie with Bolsheviks. Peasants still suffered. Workers still suffered. I think the institutionalized balance of powers in America is good. I just want our democracy to work for all citizens, not some. Challenging the elite class means making the system more just. I dont want to "make progress." I don't much like the American ideology of progress. I want simple things for all men: bread, work, honest public institutions, and true political freedom (not the dumbed-down freedom of Apple vs. Samsung or Fox News vs. CNN).

If Communism taught us anything, it's that ideological fanaticism will not save us, and will probably destroy us. Of course, Communism was only one large-scale version of ideological fanaticism. America has plenty of its own: McCarthyism, Trumpism, Progressivism, etc.

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little2add    474
little2add
On 4/13/2017 at 6:33 PM, Era Might said:

help stop environmental destruction.

do you not see all the good environmental protection changes in the US over the last 30/40 years.  

you make it sound like nothing is or has been done.   nobody should be speaking with an unpleasant disposition about big  oil or pipelines and that kind of thing when they drive a car, get major surgery/ medicines  or use electricity   in order to live.   

 

 

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
1 hour ago, little2add said:

do you not see all the good environmental protection changes in the US over the last 30/40 years.  

you make it sound like nothing is or has been done.   nobody should be speaking with an unpleasant disposition about big  oil or pipelines and that kind of thing when they drive a car, get major surgery/ medicines  or use electricity   in order to live.   

Sounds like a good start. Doesn't mean there aren't still problems. Anyway, I was only responding to the previous post about the environment. I don't particularly like cars or surgery/medicines and would just as soon avoid them. My main concern isn't this or that technology or medicine, but the kind of human they create. Cars turn us into perpetual paasengers, and entitled ones at that. Speed of travel, and style of travel, isn't merely a convenience; they are also about status. In the 19th century, it was disgraceful for a wealthy person to handle money. In our society, it's more or less disgraceful to be without your own transportation, and transportation with status. Biking has become a thing among yuppies, but it's a matter of lifestyle recreation, unlike, say, the bikeriders of the ghetto.

I'm more interested in the people we become in our material conditions, than I am in realizing some ideal conditions. There are people who are more vested in our technologies, and have some good ideas how to make them more good and just, through public policy. I didn't create the world I live in and don't imagine I do or can transcend it. Sometimes I like to stuff my face with fries, even while I find fast food a disgusting cultural institution. I'm comfortable living with the contradictions, as long as I am free to point the contradictions out and, if I choose, not reconcile them, not tell them it's okay, not maintain a patriotic pleasantness.

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little2add    474
little2add
13 hours ago, Era Might said:

ironment. I don't particularly like cars or surgery/medicines and would just as soon avoid them

Them things are a blessing!   Your attitude is funny/ a little  hypocritical 

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
2 hours ago, little2add said:

Them things are a blessing!   Your attitude is funny/ a little  hypocritical 

I don't see technology as a good in itself. Every technology is a substitute for man's own abilities. Technology can be useful, but I don't consider it a "blessing." Every technology, even language, changes our relationship to the world. Our existence is mediated through our technologies. We have to be critical of them, especially technologies that we consider indispensable, like the automobile. 

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Nihil Obstat    9,205
Nihil Obstat

Some philosophers of science have argued that technology is any material whatsoever which is used by humans.

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
1 hour ago, Nihil Obstat said:

Some philosophers of science have argued that technology is any material whatsoever which is used by humans.

Jacques Ellul wrote a book about technique, which in his argument technology is only a part of. He saw technique as the entire process of organization, efficiency, standardization. He saw modernity as unique not because of technology, which all civilizations have had, but because ours is a technical civilization. We reduce everything to technique. That's the drive of capitalism, to always innovate, consolidate, optimize efficiency, etc. We are dominated by the clock. Even our pastimes are defined by technique: statistics, schedules, strategy, etc.

I'm not sure I would agree that technology is any material. Water, for example. A water bottle would be a technology.

It seems that there has to be something unnatural for there to be a technology. The alphabet, for example, is a technology for recording sound. There is no correlation between the shapes and sounds, it's just a system we've devised. 

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Nihil Obstat    9,205
Nihil Obstat

You might be interested in reading Hans-Jorg Rheinberger's "Toward a History of Epistemic Things". Very interesting book.

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