cassowary wrote: ↑
Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:43 am
Religious people turn to God to give them hope for a better future, either in this world or the next. Non-religious people turn to government to provide them with a better future in this world.
Sertorio wrote: ↑
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:54 am
If one must be an optimist to expect the government - any government - to solve any problems of ours, one must be completely crazy to turn to God for such assistance...
I disagree with those comparisons.
1) First, one does not turn to God in the hope that He provides a better future / a better world, not in this world nor in the next. One does not turn to God so that he provides something that we humans can help ourselves with
Or at least one should not. "Help yourself, Heavens will help you
", as we say in French. If one asks from God something that one has already the power to do, it's at best a silly behaviour, at worst idolatry: one does not address God, but an imaginary friend-in-Heaven that would be there to provide in our place...
More fundamentally, for everything that human hands, hearts and smarts can provide, we shouldn't ask for God's help because He has already given it
. Or what are those hands, hearts and minds we are provided with?
One turns rightfully to God if it's to ask something that we can receive only from Him
, instead of from our own efforts. And that is the power to defeat what Jesus with the prophets of Israel called "sin", which means everything in ourselves which turns to and yearns for death
, in the form of egoism, anger, pride, etc.
That power, we can receive only from God. He is ready to provide to all, regardless of who we are and what we believe, for He loves us. And even within the most atheistic person, God dwells and invites.
However, we will receive that power fully only if we consciously
yearn and accept it. That yearn, that request and acceptance of God's love and liberation from sin that He proposes, is called prayer.
2) Second, the question of government's role is completely different and perpendicular to question of God.
When we enjoy a good that was paid by the community, we enjoy a good that we ourselves have provided... for we are the community
, the government is none other that our representative, it is "us".
Taking advantage of a good that the community has paid, is taking advantage of a good that I have paid. For I am a member of the community.
The question of what it is better to pay as a community, and what it is better to pay as an individual, is not a question of dependency and reliance on an external agent... for neither community nor government are external agents (at least in democratic countries): they are me, because they are "we", and I am a part of that "we".
That question is basically a practical and pragmatic one. What works best?
I don't want to discuss it at length, but I will just underline one obvious point: that only mixed systems should be considered for debate
For the extremes, we already know:
- On the one hand, Stalinism, with all its inefficiency, oppression and mass murders
- On the other hand, a caricature or extreme version of High Middle Ages Europe, with private wars, private justice, private roads and poverty at the expense of a few
mixed system... What
should be community-funded and what should be individually-funded... That is, and will continue to be discussed and experimented for a long