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Tuesday, June 17 - 10:54amSanction this postReply
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In his 84-page "Apostolic Exhortation," Pope Francis takes another swipe at free-market capitalism: "[S]ome people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts [false!], expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power [but we should trust those wielding political power!] and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system." [But we should accept his sacralized exhortations on economic truth!]

 

The reference to "trickle-down" theories is a frequent smear of capitalism -- repeated unthinkingly by the Pope as by other leftists -- but it has absolutely nothing to do with a free-market. As Economist George Reisman observes "There is nothing trickle-down about it. There is only the fact that capital accumulation and economic progress depend on saving and innovation and that these in turn depend on the freedom to make high profits and accumulate great wealth. The only alternative to improvement for all, through economic progress, achieved in this way, is the futile attempt of some men to gain at the expense of others by means of looting and plundering. This, the loot-and-plunder theory, is the alternative advocated by the critics of the misnamed trickle-down theory. ["The General Benefit from Reducing Taxes on the 'Rich'". Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics. p. 308. ISBN 978-0915463732.)

 

Moreover, as economist Thomas Sowell observes, the flow of money under capitalism is the opposite of what is alleged by the "trickle-down" caricature. Money invested in a new enterprise must first be paid out to the factors of production -- to employees, suppliers and contractors -- and only later if the investor is able to turn a profit, does he receive any compensation for having risked his capital. In other words, the money goes to the employees first and only later if the business is successful does any money "trickle-down" to the employer in the form of residual income. [Sowell, Thomas (Sep 20, 2012). "Trickle Down" Theory and "Tax Cuts for the Rich". Hoover Institution Press, p. 10]

 

Not content with denouncing the only system that has enabled people to live well and prosper, the pontiff has now set his sights on childless couples, whom he assails for selfishly pursuing their own happiness in a culture of well-being. "This culture of well-being from 10 years ago convinced us:  It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free … it might be better — more comfortable — to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or is this not? . . . It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His church fruitful."

 

Got that? A culture of well-being is not worth having, because your goal should not be to live a good life and enjoy yourself but to have lots of children whom you can barely support, in order to be "fruitful."  It is worth noting that the pontiff does throw a few crumbs of happiness toward those who follow his admonition, for he says that a marriage without children can only end in a lonely, bitter old age (which is also not true).  

 

So how many children did Jesus have? How many children does the Pope have? How many children do all of the Catholic priests, bishops and cardinals have?  Perhaps a better question to ask is: How many children did these childless priests molest (a cardinal sin under Catholic doctrine) without ever being excommunicated?  In demanding that couples have children, because they'll be less lonely in old age, has the pope ever examined the implications of his own doctrine of priestly celibacy for those who try desperately to adhere to it? Evidently not, yet while occupying the glass house of Catholicism, he has the temerity to throw stones at the selfishness of the secular world. 

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 6/17, 11:04am)



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Tuesday, June 17 - 11:37amSanction this postReply
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Excellent post, Bill!

 

I'm picturing a fruitless pontiff sitting on huge wealth, riding around in the pope-mobile all tarted up with gold and jewels, controlling massive real estate holdings, producing nothing, and arguing for what has been aptly named "trickle up poverty," where the poor stay poor, and everyone else starts sliding down to join them - while urging his followers to become joyless breeders of more followers.  Yeah, that makes lots of sense....  if you hate life and human happiness and believe man's natural state is misery and servitude.

 

No way anyone can anyone look at history and not see what free enterprise has done, and what happens where freedom doesn't exist.  Where there is no economic freedom people starve.   Where there is economic freedom even the poor have flat screen TVs and smart phones.  Duh.  Catholicism can only be explained as a vast con game played to take people's money AND their happiness.



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Tuesday, June 17 - 12:14pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Steve!  I love your picture of "a fruitless pontiff sitting on huge wealth, riding around in the pope-mobile all tarted up with gold and jewels, controlling massive real estate holdings, producing nothing, and arguing for what has been aptly named "trickle up poverty," where the poor stay poor, and everyone else starts sliding down to join them - while urging his followers to become joyless breeders of more followers."

 

Good stuff!  And it's not just a caricature either.  These mystic manipulators don't produce a damn thing except dangerously false metaphysical and moral doctrines which have kept people chained to life-long reproductive poverty!

 

Bill 



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Tuesday, June 17 - 5:16pmSanction this postReply
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Bill,

 

Thanks.

 

You're right, it's not a caricature.  The faith-based mystical epistemology, coupled with the self-proclaimed "papal infallibility," coupled with the demand to obey or suffer the agonies of burning 'alive' for eternity, completely thwarts man's natural capacity to reason, chose, and adjust future behavior based upon the results.  It short circuits historical evolution so that this idiocy wrapped in ritual, delivered with incense and chanted latin becomes perpetual.

 

All of the rest of mankind's endeavors and understandings evolve over the generations - usually getting better.  But not this lead weight of authoritarian religion - and it's like the dog in the manger with morality. It uses the morality like a club to get people to sacrifice but it has no other use for it, and keeps a con-man's monopoly over it and the people go on as if this is the only place one can get morality, and this is what morality is.



Post 4

Tuesday, June 17 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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Ahaa!!!  The real reason the Catholic Church exists!

 

http://youtu.be/VABSoHYQr6k

 

Rotfl!



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Friday, June 20 - 9:49pmSanction this postReply
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SW alledged: "...I'm picturing a fruitless pontiff sitting on huge wealth, riding around in the pope-mobile all tarted up with gold and jewels, controlling massive real estate holdings, producing nothing, and arguing for what has been aptly named "trickle up poverty," 

 

1.  Why do you care?  You might as well denounce the Dalai Lama or Oprah-Chopra Meditation Channel. (See here:  https://chopracentermeditation.com/home)

 

2. We long ago exploded the fallacy of redistribution - "Eat the rich" - which you claim as an imperative.  If the accumulated wealth of the Roman Catholic Church were distributed among "the poor" (however defined), they would still be poor a year later.  The Church knows that. 

 

2.a. The Pope does not "own" and certainly does not control the wealth of the Church. The Pope is a participant in something much larger (infinitely and eternally) than himself.  

 

3. Contrary to your claim that the Pope produces nothing, in the first place, he has clerical functions, the same sort of job as any temp at Microsoft: he serves the greater good.  

 

3.a,  Moreover, as fiduciary management is not his job, we must look to those who do own and nurture assets: the Dominicans, the Jesuits, Franciscans, Benedictines...  In point of fact, the Benedictine Order is the oldest continuous corporation in the world. Popes come and go, but the Benedictines remain...

 

4. I believe that Pope Leo XIII was pro-market.  But Pope Julius II was pro-art.  Hard to say which is more fundamentally salient in human affairs....

 


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Saturday, June 21 - 12:59amSanction this postReply
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Get a grip, Marotta. It's like your head is exploding!

 

I'll address your strange comments by number.

 

1. I made a comment on a thread. Why do you care what I post?

 

2. Regarding redistribution, that was your word.  It doesn't really apply here - the money they have wasn't taken as taxes or to be given away.

 

I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the Churches position, not advocating or extolling the practice of redistribution.  I'm not the one who says it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

2a. You said, "The Pope is a participant in something much larger (infinitely and eternally) than himself."  How mystical of you! I prefer my view of the Pope as the head of a vast con game.  

 

3. You say the Pope "serves the greater good." That only makes sense if you buy into mysticism, faith, collectivism, sacrifice, and misery that the church represents and promotes - today and through it's long and ugly history.  I don't buy into those, so I say that he isn't producing value.

 

3a. As to your comments on who manages the funds... Who cares?

 

4. Any Objectivist who stands back and looks at the big picture for even a short moment can see how wrong it is to buy into a sense of great importance and significance over whatever this or that pope says - unless it is for the purpose of exposing the fraud, the hate, and the hypocrisy. It grants this silly man, in his silly clothes, an importance that the philosophy he pushes doesn't deserve. If people judged the ideas of this or that pope on their logical merit, and without any influence arising from the pomp and ceremony of all that eccleastical posturing, they would have no followers.

 

If there were a Grand World Council of Paranormal Wizards and they met every so many years to elect a new Grand Poobah, and he wore satin robes, and made pronouncements to the world, should we treat him and his statements as worthy of respect? Should we pour over his Wizard Encyclicals looking for little pearls of wisdom, or tiny fragments of agreement with our principles? 
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As to being pro-market, I'd suggest that it was more a matter of being anti-socialism and anti-communism, and not because Pope Leo was a supporter of liberty, but that he was opposed to the Marxists and their atheism. No doubt he saw them as his chief ideological competitors.
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I don't understand why you'd respond to this thread the way you did.  Bill points out some of this current pope's anti-capitalism, anti-happiness, anti-selfishness statements... and you attack me!  Are you a Catholic?  



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Saturday, June 21 - 1:03pmSanction this postReply
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MM:  We long ago exploded the fallacy of redistribution - "Eat the rich" - which you claim as an imperative.  If the accumulated wealth of the Roman Catholic Church were distributed among "the poor" (however defined), they would still be poor a year later.  The Church knows that.

 

SW: "I was pointing out the hypocrisy of the Churches position, not advocating or extolling the practice of redistribution.  I'm not the one who says it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven."

 

Allow me to apologize for our talking past each other.  I meant that you think that by its own standards, the ethics of altruism, the Church should redistribute its accumulated wealth. Failing that, you say, is hypocricy.  I only point out that the Church has other ways to minister to the poor; and they have done so for 2000 years.  They do distribute charitable giving, voluntarily donated. 

 

The radical cases of Mother Theresa, like that of Savonarola ("bonfires of the vanities"), and such, are easy targets.  The more mundane work is fairly acceptable as simple volunteerism and social benevolence.  

 

The idea that the riches and fineries adorning the Pope should be given the poor is unworkable; and as I said, the Church knows that.  It is better to teach a man to fish. 

 

I just finished a project with the Texas Department of Public Safety and part of that included work with volunteer agencies. The State is a big fan of faith-based communities including the Catholics, Baptists, Buddhists, Salvation Army, and Scientologists because when a tornado or wildfire takes out a town, those are the people who show up with the right stuff at the right time in an organized fashion. The Baptist Men will make a million sandwiches (I kid you not) and then deliver them to the Goodwill or Salvation Army for distribution to the site.

 

You don't get that from libertarians or objectivists, though we do as individuals sometimes pitch in to help our neighbors.  We just don't organize well.  If you want mass-anything, get collectivists.

 

That particular job came to me through the St. Vincent de Paul charities which runs an employment agency here called "Peak Performers."  My experience as a technical writer and my degrees in criminology made me a good fit, but they found me through the State employment site "Work in Texas" dot gov. So, yes, I know which side my bread is buttered on.  Last year, I did a project for Dell.  As Howard Roark said, anyone who wants my work is my kind of person.

 

Fifty years ago, Ayn Rand had sound reasons for taking on the Catholic Church, and cogently destroying their arguments on birth control.  Today, as I said, no special merit exists in singling out one group of mystics over another.  You might as well excoriate Wiccans and Quakers.



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Saturday, June 21 - 4:05pmSanction this postReply
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MM:  I only point out that the Church has other ways to minister to the poor; and they have done so for 2000 years. They do distribute charitable giving, voluntarily donated.

One problem is that their core philosophy is such that they really don't want the poor to cease to be poor - they love the poor for being poor.   

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It is better to teach a man to fish.

Not to be picky, but that saying isn't from the bible or the church. It was either coined by Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919) in her novel, Mrs. Dymond (1885) (see Wikonary.org) or it is an old Chinese proverb.  And the church isn't about teaching people to improve their positions, it is about telling others to sacrifice what they have to give to those who have less.  (I suspect that one of the reasons they hate the Communists isn't just Communism's atheist position, but that Marx was about 'from those according to their ability to those according to their need."  Kind of stealing the Christian gig.)

 

"If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man how to fish, you can get rid of him on weekends."

 

Ferengi Proverb: If you sell a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you've lost a paying customer.

 

"Give a man a fish, you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and he will sit in the boat and drink beer all day.”

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My problem with most charity and altruism and our current society is the downward looking perspective. It shouldn't be "teach" it should be an expectation that people find a way to learn. Effective teachers always are known by their high expectations. But our culture looks at those who contribute the least and shape the focus and structures towards that lower common denominator - instead of looking at the heros, the efficatious, the doers and telling anyone who has the sense to listen, "Be like that, do like that."  It is a difference in psychology that makes a world of a difference in teaching.  Raised expectations trigger positive growth from those who experience it - its the way we're made.  Most charity, and most of today's 'teaching' is an unintended reinforcement and reward of being less.
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But back to the church. If you look at their earlier history, they weren't so much ministering to the poor as ruling them, terrifying them, even putting them on the rack. They were the witch doctor who partnered in power with feudal tyrants while the peasants lived in fear. And later the Vatican played a part in helping the Nazi war criminals escape with an underground railroad of sorts - that's not apropos of anything particular in this thread, but that the Nazi regime was more Catholic than the church would like to admit and the Church was more in sympathy with the slaughter of the Jews back then than they'd like anyone to know. Had Germany won the war, I suspect that we would have seen a new partnering in power, with the church being the witch doctor for the facist Attilas.

 

My point here is that all the shiny benevolence that is seen glowing from Rome, is recent PR resting upon a long tradition of scrubbing history. When the Catholic church has had the political power, its rule has never been benevolent. And in many country where the majority of the population are devote Catholics, we see countries where an elite rule and the rest live lives that remind one of peasants. No matter what good chartiable endeavors the church is engaged in locally or otherwise, there is a rotten and festering epistemology and ethics that is at the core of institution. And, it does as all good con men do, it never ceases to paint itself as good and hide its evil doings.  It is the facade that makes its existence possible.  Look at it as a large Trojan Horse, painted attractively but hiding danger within for those who bring it inside their moral gates.

 

It is my belief that the church rides on the backs of the good intentions and good hearts of the average follower and it will take advantage of any power that current politics or social popularity might allow.

 

I'm not opposed to voluntary charitable giving. But, I think that when it is administered by dedicated altruists whose psychology is tainted by sacrifice as a goal it will be far less effective, and we've certainly seen that. People who take an honest joy in helping others, and who aren't motivated to wallow in misfortune, but instead want to find effective ways to help those who can be helped will adopt practices that work - a secular approach - no matter whose auspices it occurs under.

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Today, as I said, no special merit exists in singling out one group of mystics over another. You might as well excoriate Wiccans and Quakers.

 

Look at it like epistemological whack-a-mole. When one pops us - i.e, becomes visible in current events, we who value reason should admister a good solid blow (intellectually of course, no advocacy of force implied here).  And it isn't just about mysticism.  There are degrees of evil and I'd say the epistemology and ethics shown to be at the core of the Catholic church warrant a greater bashing than the Wiccans or Quakers.

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And, I still find it peculiar that you are riding to the defense of the Catholic church... and with such feeble arguments as an implied 'why not go after Wiccans or Quakers?', as if the existence of other mystics means the Catholics get a free ride, or they administer to the poor, or collectivists are better at organizing!  (Actually, the business of collectivists being better at organizing is only true when it isn't about producing objective values - the Nazis organized well, Obama and others were 'good' community organiziers, but those aren't the same as the organizing that Steve Jobs or Bill Gates achieved.)



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Sunday, June 22 - 10:41amSanction this postReply
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Thanx Steve :)

they love the poor for being poor

that sums up pretty much of Christianity - especially with the Ferengi twist ;)

by dedicated altruists whose psychology is tainted by sacrifice as a goal it will be far less effective

fully agreed: if after 2.000 years of Christianity they are still arguing 'it could be worse' instead of trumpeting success in the world then I'd have to assume their business plan has failed (at least the superficial one - the core see above)

the Nazis organized well, Obama and others were 'good' community organiziers

sheeshhhh - good thing I don't need organizers - stick with the individual and you can send those fools back home ... only large masses of sheeple need a shepherd - the rest can think and do for themselves



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Sunday, June 22 - 5:32pmSanction this postReply
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I'm going to have to issue you a permit as to when you can use sheeple! Lol



Post 11

Monday, June 23 - 1:32amSanction this postReply
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bad capitalist! you should start charging me per use ;) but only if I get a volume discount :D

Post 12

Monday, June 23 - 3:36amSanction this postReply
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Hahaha



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