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Bible Study
See other Bible Study Articles

Title: The Economics of God
Source: KJV Bible
URL Source: [None]
Published: Jun 16, 2017
Author: God, collected and commented on by Vicom
Post Date: 2017-06-16 08:23:53 by Vicomte13
Keywords: None
Views: 656
Comments: 45

Nearly everythigng in Scriptrue has an economic component, and God has used economic realities to shape the world since the beginning.

Indeed, at irs origin "economics" is a composite word, consisting of the Greek "oikos", meaning "house", and "nomes", meaning "law". So, economics is "the law of the household", Of course the aggregate of a hundred million households makes for some mighty numbers, but the same fundamental needs drive each household, and each person, and each animal, and this is by design.

When God made the world, as described in Genesis, he first created the physical structures of its existence. The first biologically living things (as we define it) were created on the third "day", when the plants and trees were made. Plants anchor on soil, whence they get the elements that form their structure, they live on water and light. God provided the light directly, and the water sprang up from the ground. On the fourth day God created the sun as the source of natural light for the world, that the plants would use as their energy source.

On the fifth and sixth days God created the animals, whose economics are more complicated, for while the still require a habitat of solid ground or sea in which to live, and they still require water, they cannot eat light to make food, like the trees. They have to eat the products of plants, or the products of animals (originally just milk, later, meat).

And to collect those things, animals generally cannot fix themselves to the ground, like plants. They have to move around.

Air is a special case, because it is the spirit that God breathes into the nostrils of animals, not plants, to make them breathers (a word we translate as "living souls"). In Scripture animals die but plants fade and wither, and the life is given by breath and taken back by the withdrawal of breath, by God. The blood carries the breath to the body, and so the blood is the life.

The basic natural economy of creation is straightforward. Light and water feed the plants, the animals eat the plants, and man also eats the plants and, through his dominion, may eat the milk of animals as well. The land was fertile and self watering, there was light and abundance. There was the destruction of plant cells through digestion, and plants competed for space and light (which is why Adam and Eve had the task of tending the Garden, but there was no Biblical death, as the breathers were not being killed and eaten. There was superabundance of food, so the economics were the economics of the lack of scarcity and, therefore, leisure. There was no need for clothing, and no energy spent in such activity. Man was made to live an economy of leisure in nudity, with a focus on esthetics: tending the Garden.

That's a summary of the Economics of Eden. I'll tie it to Genesis text when I come back and have a Bible in hand.

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#1. To: All (#0)

A typo correction: "nomos" is law, not "nomes".

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   8:54:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

I'll tie it to Genesis text when I come back and have a Bible in hand.

Please don't. I'm tired of being bombarded with stupid mythology from stupid people.

rlk  posted on  2017-06-16   10:32:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: rlk (#2)

Then be an intelligent person and don't click open the thread.

Otherwise you will get tired.

See how simple it is to keep up your energy? Don't like the subject, don't look. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   10:52:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Thank you much. I am certainly interested.

Anthem  posted on  2017-06-16   11:11:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: All (#0) (Edited)

What I wrote before (on an i-Phone) is here re-posted with grammatical, orthographic and punctuation errors corrected. I have also edited a few words for clarity. As it all begins "In the beginning...", it is important that the beginning be clean and clear.

Nearly everything in Scripture has an economic component, and God has used economic realities to shape the world since the beginning.

Indeed, at its origin "economics" is a composite word, consisting of the Greek "oikos", meaning "house", and "nomos", meaning "law" or "rule". So, economics is "the rule of the household". Of course the aggregate of a hundred million households makes for some mighty numbers, but the same fundamental needs drive each household, and each person, and each animal, and this is by design.

When God made the world, as described in Genesis, he first created the physical structures of its existence. The first biologically living things (as we define "living") were created on the third "day", when the plants and trees were made. Plants anchor on soil, and they live on water, light and air. God provided the light directly, and the water sprang up from the ground. On the fourth day God created the sun as the source of natural light for the world, that the plants would use as their energy source to convert air and water into living tissue.

On the fifth and sixth days God created the animals, whose economics are more complicated, for while they still require a habitat of solid ground or sea in which to live, and they still require water, they cannot eat light to make food, like the trees. They have to eat the products of plants, or the products of animals (originally just milk, later, meat).

And to collect those things, animals generally cannot fix themselves to the ground, like plants. They have to move around.

Air is a special case, because it is the spirit that God breathes into the nostrils of animals, not plants, to make them breathers (a word we translate as "living souls"). In Scripture animals die, but plants fade and wither, and the life is given to animals by breath and taken back by the withdrawal of breath, by God. The blood carries the breath to the body, and so the blood is the life.

The basic natural economy of creation is straightforward. Light and water feed the plants, the animals eat the plants. Man also eats the plants and, through his dominion, may eat the milk of animals as well. The land was fertile and self watering, there was light and warmth from the sun, and everything grew in abundance. There was the destruction of plant cells through digestion, and plants competed for space and light (which is why Adam and Eve had the task of tending the Garden), but there was no Biblical death (God's withdrawal of breath from a breather), as the breathers were not being killed and eaten. There was superabundance of food, so the economics were the economics of the lack of scarcity and, therefore, leisure. There was no need for clothing, and no energy spent in making clothes. Man was made to live an economy of leisure in nudity, with a focus on aesthetics: tending the Garden.

That's a summary of the Economics of Eden. I'll tie it to Genesis text when I come back tonight with a Bible in hand.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   11:18:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Anthem (#4) (Edited)

I am looking forward to it.

If Stone and I are to make peace - which I hope we do because peace is a good thing, and Christians shouldn't be hating on each other - it will have to come through this.

I'm going to have to go through a LOT of Scripture, because that's the only authority that Protestants will ever accept. Instead of screaming across the gap of different realities, I prefer to simply take The Book in hand, and read it. This way the Protestant is hearing the only source he will accept as authoritative...and since it says what I believe anyway, why not make it easy on myself and just use what I know my interlocutor will treat as authoritative. I am not personally a "Scripture Alone" (or necessarily a "Scripture at ALL" kind of guy, but given that the Scripture says what I think, there's no reason for me to RESIST using it, especially when my interlocutors believe that it is the Only Inspired Word of God or something similar.

Now, because certain words are fundamental to meaning, once the overall sense is presented, we will have to delve into specific Hebrew (later Greek) words and their components, to make sure that we are very precisely using the words as they were originally meant, and that we are not building up important doctrines on translation.

But rather than starting granularly and trying to build up from the atoms - and getting lost in the weeds of endless bickering on the way (my past experience), I will start with the 100,000 foot view, and then go down and focus on details.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   11:25:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

ndeed, at irs origin "economics" is a composite word, consisting of the Greek "oikos", meaning "house", and "nomes", meaning "law". So, economics is "the law of the household",

What verse in genesis are you referring to? Or what in the Bible are you specifically referring to?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   18:54:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

The first biologically living things (as we define it) were created on the third "day", when the plants and trees were made. Plants anchor on soil, whence they get the elements that form their structure, they live on water and light. God provided the light directly, and the water sprang up from the ground. On the fourth day God created the sun as the source of natural light for the world, that the plants would use as their energy source.

Ok i'm with you here.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   18:56:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Vicomte13 (#5)

animals, whose economics are more complicated,

Not to nit pick. But i've never heard of the concept of animals having economics.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   18:57:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Vicomte13 (#5)

Air is a special case, because it is the spirit that God breathes into the nostrils of animals, not plants, to make them breathers (a word we translate as "living souls"). In Scripture animals die, but plants fade and wither, and the life is given to animals by breath and taken back by the withdrawal of breath, by God. The blood carries the breath to the body, and so the blood is the life.

Not really disagreeing with you here. Just one question. I can't seem to remember if or where there is something from the scriptures that talks about god breathing life into animals as you put it. Or as I paraphrased it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   18:59:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

There was no need for clothing,

I have to take issue with that. Go made clothing for Adam. Clothing is necessary. It is one thing that separates us from animals.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:01:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

Man was made to live an economy of leisure in nudity, with a focus on esthetics: tending the Garden.

Ok I see the last comment I made did not take into account life before the fall. So I withdraw the previous question.

But I do have one comment. The way you use the word economy and define it is not sounding right. Let me think on it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:04:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Vicomte13 (#6)

I'm going to have to go through a LOT of Scripture, because that's the only authority that Protestants will ever accept.

That is a good thing.

It is what Jesus used and told us to use and trust in.

What would you use outside of scripture to make your case about scripture?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:06:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Vicomte13 (#6)

interlocutor

a person who takes part in a dialogue or conversation.

You can teach me some new words.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:07:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Vicomte13 (#6)

I am not personally a "Scripture Alone" (or necessarily a "Scripture at ALL" kind of guy, but given that the Scripture says what I think, there's no reason for me to RESIST using it, especially when my interlocutors believe that it is the Only Inspired Word of God or something similar.

Ok Vic. I don't get you.

How can you not be a scripture guy and claim to have authority from God for what you say?

You hint that there is some other inspired from God from a source outside the Bible. Do you care to share? Here or a separate thread. Your choice.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:09:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Vicomte13, Antham (#6)

Now, because certain words are fundamental to meaning, once the overall sense is presented, we will have to delve into specific Hebrew (later Greek) words and their components, to make sure that we are very precisely using the words as they were originally meant, and that we are not building up important doctrines on translation.

Didn't god in the Bible promise to preserve his word and make it available to all tongues?

If God promised to do that then why do people of today need to "re interpret" what God already said he would provide for us?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:13:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: Vicomte13 (#6)

But rather than starting granularly and trying to build up from the atoms - and getting lost in the weeds of endless bickering on the way (my past experience), I will start with the 100,000 foot view, and then go down and focus on details.

That is reasonable.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-16   19:14:06 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: A K A Stone (#7)

What verse in genesis are you referring to? Or what in the Bible are you specifically referring to?

In the line you quoted, the breaking down of the word "economics", I was merely giving the etymology of the word: "Oikos+nomia" - House-rule - the "rule of the house" or "the ordering of the house" - that is what economics is, at root.

Ultimately, several thousand years later, God's economics get pretty sophisticated as he lays out a general structure for Israel, including poverty relief. But poverty is the result of scarcity, and in the world of the Garden of Eden, where God originally placed Adam and Eve, there was no scarcity at all, of anything needful. They needed nothing. They didn't need clothes - no effort there. They didn't need to grow crops - they simply stretched forth their hand and ate whatever they wanted, without fear, and without harm. They did not have to store away for winter, or plan. Their activity consisted of walking with God and talking (in the breezy part of the day), being with one another, ruling the animals, and keeping God's garden - an aesthetic mission, not something required for life like farming is.

But as to the word economics itself, it doesn't occur in the Bible at all. The bible is full of economics, but the word and concept of "economics" as the ordering of things based on needs and wants, supply and demand, is a science of the late 1700s, 1800s and onward, not a concept expressed by ancient man. Economics is THERE, of course, but not described by that word.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:21:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: A K A Stone (#9)

Economics being the science of needs and need fulfillment, of supply, demand and substitution.

Every living thing has economics, though only humans have a word for that.

What bees do: protect the queen, cool or heat the hive, bring back pollen and make honey, royal jelly, propolis for comb and housing - this is all economic activity - the law of the hive so that it can eat and survive, though the bees themselves don't know it.

The squirrel storing nuts for the winter is engaging in natural economic activity, again, without knowing it.

We humans, with dominion over it all, can look at it and describe the activity and its purpose in scientific terms. "Economics" is one such term.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:24:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: A K A Stone (#10)

Not really disagreeing with you here. Just one question. I can't seem to remember if or where there is something from the scriptures that talks about god breathing life into animals as you put it. Or as I paraphrased it.

I wanted to present the 100,000 foot view first, and then provide the Scripture for the various parts.

In the past, when I've focused on the parts first, the forest gets lost for the trees, so this time I charted out the forest first, and now will get down into the trees tonight.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:26:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: A K A Stone (#11)

There was no need for clothing,

I have to take issue with that. Go made clothing for Adam. Clothing is necessary. It is one thing that separates us from animals.

Only AFTER the Fall. The need for clothing, because of shame, occurred BECAUSE the man and the woman ate the forbidden fruit.

They were not originally made to need clothing, or to miss it - they did not originally feel shame, and so were naked and without shame.

At this point in the narrative, I am describing the economic status of Eden. It was in Eden where there was no scarcity, and no need for work. Tending the garden - their job - was an esthetic exercise. They could eat any of the plants - there was nothing to fear, nothing poisonous. The animals were under their command and not afraid of them, but also not aggressive to them, obedient. Eve was not surprised at the speech of the serpent.

With the Fall, all of that was lost, and a consequence of the Fall, and being driven out of Eden, was now the need to work in order to eat, now the cursing of the land, to produce thistles and inedible things, forcing Adam to work and sweat. And with the Fall, shame came, and man and woman realized they were naked and needed clothes. They made their first clothes, which God replaced with animal skins - but that was only after the Fall. Just the need for cloithing itself imposes a staggering burden of labor on mankind. As does the need to eat. Before industrialization, well over 90% of all human activity was devoted to agriculture, for food and fiber to make clothes. The other major activity required was to make housing against the brutality of the elements.

There was no need to work in Eden - we were not actually MADE to work. The fact we have to in order to survive, to "live by the sweat of our brow", is a PUNISHMENT imposed on us, as a consequence of the Fall. We were DESIGNED to live naked and eat freely of the plants, and to tend a garden for aesthetic purposes, not out of the necessity to eat.

Because I am telling the story sequentially, as the Bible does, I had not in the main narrative gotten to the point of the Fall yet. I was describing the original conditions of man, as God made us and intended for us to be. The esthetic element of it, and peaceful dominion over the animals without bloodshed, are hallmarks of it. So was the fundamental equality of man and woman. That Eve would be subject to Adam was another one of the punishments of the Fall, not the original condition.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:34:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: A K A Stone (#13)

What would you use outside of scripture to make your case about scripture?

Science.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:34:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: A K A Stone (#15)

You hint that there is some other inspired from God from a source outside the Bible. Do you care to share? Here or a separate thread. Your choice.

Mostly science. My only personal revelations have been miracles of my own survival in ridiculous circumstances or with fatal injuries, where God simply reached in and said "No, not yet" and set me back up again intact. That is how I KNOW that God exists as a sentient, intelligent, conscious being - a HE rather than an IT.

Before all of that, through the careful scientific study of nature, through physics and chemistry and biology and astronomy, mathematics and zoology and genetics and the application of logic, I discovered the God of Genesis, the God of Nature who created and who held things up with his mighty hand. Natural Law and Divine Law are the same thing. I realized that when I spoke of the immutable, invincible, omnipotent, omnipresent and apparently eternal laws of Nature, I was speaking of something that was God, albeit not a conscious God.

So, I was a monotheistic pagan pantheist, very much like the ancient Lucretius (circa 76 BC), but with a strong foundation in modern science to PROVE my God, before God reached out of the air, grabbed me by the face and spoke. It was the direct revelation that changed God from an IT, of which I was certain through scientific examination and the application of my God- given reason, to a HE, because of revelation.

I didn't read the Bible until long after I knew God through science and revelation. Because I didn't go in seeking faith, but with the certitude of the EXISTENCE of God, what I was looking for was to see if the God of the Bible had anything to do with the REAL God that I knew directly and had reached through reason.

I discovered them to be the same. It was through the Scriptures that I discovered the emotional character and the economics of God - I was always content to contemplate the universe with a tranquil mind as my form of worship, and still am. That God did more than set it all up and rule it through the physics is what is revealed in Scripture, and what his opinions are about everything important is there. Really, the Scriptures are the way that man can read about God's answers to those things that trouble MAN. In them, he doesn't reveal much of anything about his deal with, say, the birds, whom he also gave life to, but who did not fall the way man did (as far as we know).

Who knows what God's deal is with the birds of the air? He didn't tell us, either by present word or in Scripture. So we don't know. And that's ok. We have not been revealed everything. But the Scripture DOES reveal a great deal. And because, when the Hebrew is read carefully, punctiliously, down in the pictographs and without forcing meanings onto the words, it gives a clear, clean and accurate portrait of the development of the cosmos as science reveals it, it is the most powerful testimony to the inspiration of Scripture by God, for there is no way at all that the ancient bedouins of Israel could have possibly simply INTUITED that which was all unseen until the 19th and 20th Centuries. The fact that Scripture is so stunningly accurate in its scientific minutia, albeit written in very ancient bedouin language, is proof that it was inspired by God. The people who wrote those texts could not have possibly known any of those things, and could not have accurately guessed so many hidden things.

It's an amazing piece of work, Genesis 1 - a true miracle - once it is seen in all of its scientific glory.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-16   20:48:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: All (#21) (Edited)

I promised I would give the Scriptural quotations to follow along with the narrative of the Economics of God.

Because Scripture can so easily be taken out of context, I've decided to go sequentially through the Bible, beginning to end, as the later parts were written later than the earlier parts, so that we can see the economic doctrine of God unveil itself progressively through successive books of the Bible.

The rlk's of the world completely reject religion as having any reality, so this is of no use to his closed mind. But even those who style themselves atheists should find it useful to know what these Judaeo-Christian Scriptures, that the majority of the society in which he lives holds as holy, say, if only to know what to expect.

I've thought about how to present the points. I already said I will be going in order, starting with Genesis 1:1, but I could present the texts a few ways. I could just give the reference numbers, so that people can take the numbers and go look at whatever Bible they have to see

That would be easiest for me and require the least typing, but it would not be the most effective pedagogy. People are inclined to be skeptical of anything at first, and imposing a big homework assignment before persuading them is a waste of time. (I see this technique used on the boards all the time. Somebody won't summarize an argument, but will instead insist that somebody needs to read a book. Often this is done in a heated tone. The obvious response is that if the guy insisting I read a book cannot clearly summarize what I will find in the book, then he himself doesn't really understand what he's talking about, so why should I waste my own precious time going and doing the homework to help him prove his point to me? I won't, and it's foolish to think that anybody would.)

Everything in the Scriptures is somewhat interrelated (if only insofar as it all relates back to God), but completely retyping the Bible doesn't make sense either.

So what I've settled on is that I will generally cite to the sections of Scripture that we're talking about, but I will specifically cite the language that forms the basis for the economics of God.

I am using the King James Version (KIV) language, because the audience is mostly Protestant, and nobody will reject it as a good text, while some will only accept it as the source text. There is little need to go below the English to the underlying Hebrew, and I will seek to avoid that as much as possible. There are a hundred-thousand ancillary issues that pop up in Scripture that we COULD discuss, but I am going to try to stay disciplined and just focus on the divine economics.

So, then, the first text we are looking at is Genesis 1. Economics is essentially the matter of fulfilling the needs of living things, but it doesn't get interesting for us until we get to mankind.

Still, when one considers animals in the state of nature, there is a natural economy at work - they must eat, reproduce, protect their young, resist disease, and either make or find shelter, migrate, or rely on their natural adaptations against the climate. The lot of wild animals is not different from the lot of wild humans. Humans merely have the brain power to be able to far more broadly modify their environment than animals do. This is biblical: man is made in God's image, and is given dominion over the animals.

So then we can pick up our direct quotiations with the making of mankind at Genesis 1:26-27:

"And God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

A few things to note. This was translated into English in 1611, before modern biological science, even before the whaling industry was anything more than coastal. The English language in the age of biological science has become very precise, and we learn it with those precisions. In 1611, there was no biological science to speak of, and modern naming conventions had not yet been devised.

So, when we read "the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the air", we must understand that what this translation is meant to say is "the animals in the sea and the animals that fly". "Fish" in modern English would exclude sea mammals, dolphins, whales and other sea invertebrates, but the Bible doesn't exclude them. The Hebrew word translated as "fishes" isn't really perfectly translated as "swimmers" - the "swimmers in the waters". Likewise, in modern English, the word "fowl" means the order Aves - feathered birds. Bats and flying squirrels are not "fowls" in modern English, Nor are flying insects. In the English of 1611, though, a bat was a form of fowl. And in the actual Hebrew, the word translated as "fowls" is really "flyers". The Hebrew, literally translated is "swimmers in the waters and flyers in the skies". The English "fishes of the sea and fowls of the air" is very poetic, as we would expect English from the time of Shakespeare to be, but it must not be read as human dominion extending to only certain types of sea animals and flying animals. That would be a modern anachronism, and it would be reading metaphoric language too literally. The Hebrew is much broader - man has dominion over all of the air and sea animals, not just fish and birds.

That shouldn't be controversial, and to make the point I did need to go to the Hebrew, which I just said above I'd avoid doing. I thought that the point was important enough to depart from my general rule.

The nature of the dominion is not yet spelled out.

Moving forward, God gives the very first commandments to the newly created mankind, in Genesis 1:28:

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

The word translated into English as "earth" is the Hebrew word "land".

Reproduction establishes the first economic act, as the young must be provided for and protected and nutured, and human offspring are not immediately capable, the way that newly hatched crocodiles are (for example).

Then finally God gives the first economic directions to man and the land animals, instructing them as to what they may eat.

Genesis 1:29-30:

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so"

So, there you have the initial diet of man and land animals (God doesn't say in the Scripture what he gave the sea animals to eat): fruits and plants. Milk is not mentioned here, but then, it's never mentioned later either, and God created animals with teats so it is assumed.

Genesis 1 has given the basic economy: plant eating animals and men whose task is to reproduce and fill the land. These are the "Initial Conditions", from which things then devolve.

In Genesis 2, God will give man more specific instructions.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-18   12:23:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: Vicomte13 (#24)

Perhaps someday you an turn this thread into a book. If you have the time to go through everything you ,mentioned.

I'll keep reading.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-06-18   12:37:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: A K A Stone, Anthem (#25) (Edited)

Continuing with the Scriptural citations regarding the original economics of man, we move to Genesis 2.

Genesis 2 begins with a reference to something God did which would later become the basis for the Sabbath Law of Israel, and open the debate with Seventh Day Adventists as to whether or not Christians are required to abstain from work on Saturday, and with other Christians as to whether Sunday is the new Sabbath, on which Christians should refrain from work.

None of this is answered by Genesis 2 (or anywhere else in the Bible for that matter, though people will strain to make such text as there is support their viewpoint). What Genesis 2 says is that God finished creation on the seventh day and then rested. Whether or not that means WE should is an open and interesting question - one we will explore later when we get into God's economics of rest in the Mosaic Law.

To begin - Genesis 2:1-3:

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made."

We will later see, in the law of Moses, that God commands the Israelites to not work at all on the Sabbath. He is particularly punctilious about it, laying out the law in detail to forbid any work at all, and to make it clear that the burden of work cannot be transferred to others: slaves could not be made to work on the Sabbath, neither could animals. And women could not light a fire or cook on the Sabbath, so even in the home the patriarchal structure of women serving men was cut off by God on the Sabbath - the women were forbidden from cooking or serving the men - ALL work, direct or indirect, was prohibited, on pain of death.

Now, the Law does not go so far as to spell out what happens if a slave is FORCED to work on the Sabbath - is the slave killed or the master. Reasoning from analogy in other cases in the Torah, where the owner or the person issuing the order or in power is held accountable, the probable answer to that question (by analogy to other situations in the Mosaic Law where the master is held liable for the acts of his property, or where the slave is not held fully accountable because she is not free to make decisions) is that if an owner forces a slave to work on the Sabbath, the owner is put to death.

So what is the PURPOSE of the Sabbath? When God took his rest on the 7th day, that was the purpose: a rest. Indeed the WORD "Sabbath" in Hebrew means "rest" or "pause".

With the Israelites, God was serious about it, making the breaking of it a death penalty offense.

But WHY? The economic effect of the Sabbath on the ancient Israelites and practicing Jews to this day is that 14.28571% of the year is idle in Jewish lands and businesses. One out of every seven days is a day of enforced absolute rest from work. One cannot sit quietly and do the books, one cannot "tidy up the office" - one is strictly, categorically and absolutely barred from doing ANYTHING that has ANYTHING TO DO WITH earning money, or manufacture, or profit-bearing activities. One cannot sell meals, for example - or even prepare them. Even housework, to tidy up, is prohibited.

So, within the Jewish Law, God made a hard, fast and completely absolute - on pain of DEATH - rule that everybody MUST have a FULL day off from work every week, when one is prohibited from even doing the books. NOTHING can be done regarding work, labor. Economic activity may be undertaken 85.7% of the year, but for 14.3% of the year absolutely no economic activity of any kind can be done. That is to say, God's law for Israel imposed a mandatory 52 day vacation period for every employee (including slaves), with a mandatory death penalty on any employer or slave owner who either worked himself during that mandatory vacation period, or who required an employee or a slave to work during it.

What is more, God gave absolutely no flexibility to any employer, even for "necessity". Saving animals from drowning, or giving them water and food, yes, but only this. No work, at all, even by subterfuge. And no "flexible time off" that could override that absolute fixed and rigid requirement that nobody (except priests doing the sacrifices) can do ANYTHING economic on the Sabbath.

It's an extraordinary rule - and one that runs very contrary to our view of the necessity of work. God's law for Israel denied that business need - or even have the right to voluntarily - work year round. 52 days per year of hard stop, with no exceptions, on pain of death, on a regular every-seventh- day schedule.

WHY?

We're getting way ahead of ourselves, but let's follow the theme to the end, Jesus said why: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath".

God Himself rested on the Seventh Day. Note: he did not pause to worship. And at no point did God tell the Israelites that the purpose of the Sabbath rest was to worship. He always said that it was a rest, a pause, not just for people, but even for their animals.

What is more, in ancient Israel God imposed an agricultural sabbath every seven years - the land had to lie fallow every seventh year, and there was a double sabbath, two years with no harvest, in the 50th Jubilee year.

So, that's not just one day of every seven off, it's one YEAR of every seven off in addition to that, plus an extra year every 50th year.

Under God's law for Israel, all businesses had to give their employees 52 days off every year. Additionally all agricultural businesses (which was at least 80% of the economy) took a full year off of cultivation every seventh year.

Furthermore, every male had to present himself before the Temple for three mandatory feasts every year: Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Booths). The farther parts of Israel are several days distance from Israel. Capernaum in Galilee, for example, is 79 miles from Jerusalem. At a pace on foot of 26 miles per day, it took three days to get to Jerusalem, three days to get back, plus the feast itself. That's at least seven days, but note: no travel can be done on the Sabbath. So the mandatory pilgrimages to Jerusalem meant that employers in the outer provinces of Israel had to give at least 7 days off three times per year, an additional 21 days.

Without counting the full seventh year farming sabbatical (which was not completely without work), every Israelite had at least 55 mandatory no-work days off every year, and most had at least 83 days off every year - almost 23% of the time.

When one averages in the agricultural sabbaths every seventh and fiftieth years, along with the three annual pilgrimages and the regular sabbaths, the mandatory "time off" in ancient Israel works out to an average of 132 days per year, over 1/3rd of the time.

Compare that to the present day, where Americans generally used to have Saturday and Sunday off each week (104 days per year), 6 major holidays (New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas) (that may or may not fall on a weekend), plus the traditional 2-week vacation, for an average total of 116 days off. God's work plan for Israel averaged more than two weeks longer of mandatory time off per year for the lowest-class of people, than the American middle class get time off now.

Now, of course, the objection can be raised that we are not "under the Law (of Moses)", and that is true. But the whole point of studying God's economics is to notice that God is more intelligent than any of us, and God designed the work schedule of ancient Israel with a mind towards making this one state he ruled a perpetual success, a beacon to the world of how to be.

So, while it is true that we don't HAVE to follow God's economics - that we CAN force people to work harder and longer and get fewer days off (and we DO that) - we should recognize that our approach, which we consider to be necessary, is in fact economically inferior overall to God's plan: God did not set up Israel for failure.

Most important of all - because nobody has the power to simply change our system - is to recognize very clearly that all of these days off, including the mandatory weekly rest (which was NOT a period where God commanded people to go worship - he never made any such command for the Sabbath in either testament - the Sabbath was for REST, it was NOT time to "go to Church" or synagogue. The synagogue is not a commandment of God but a custom of men) - all of these days off were mandated by God in HIS wisdom. So if you think that the American work schedule, pressing people harder and harder, for fewer and fewer days off, is "right", that more and more work is better, your logic is not that of God, you're wrong and you should rethink.

God imposed work on mankind as a punishment, not as a grace. We will see this soon enough when we get to the Fall in Genesis. Work is not a blessing - the fact we have to do it in order to live, to earn our living "by the sweat of our brow" - is a punishment imposed by God. It is not a GOOD thing, and it was not INTENDED BY GOD to be a good thing. It was intended to devour our time and make us groan and sweat and feel the loss of liberty in our bones.

And we do.

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" is a fine bit of positive thinking, but it is not Biblical. It is fine to take pride in one's work, and if one is fortunate enough to find work one enjoys, it is well. But man's designed PURPOSE was not to work, it was to reproduce, raise children, and tend to the aesthetics of a garden planted by God.

Work was a sentence of punishment imposed on man as the result of the Fall. We were thrown out of the economy of plenty into a world of scarcity, and forced to work or die. God made the work harder too, by cursing the ground that Adam had to work (he removed this curse after the Flood).

My point is that the relentless Germanic "work ethic" that finds great virtue in work and then presses to expand working time to fill more and more hours and remove leisure time from mankind, rolling back the American middle class norm, is not, in fact, godly. It is dressed up as virtue, but it is in FACT oppression of man by man.

When GOD set up an economy, he structured it to give 132 days off per year, on average, to working men and women. We already fall well short of that, in the middle class, and we drive the hours of the working class down even further, just for them to get by. We view vacation as a luxury, a privilege, for which one trades off earnings.

But God's view of it when he set up a state is that you defy him if you work or make your employees work more than about 233 days per year, and that if you open your business to make money 7 days a week or yourself work seven days a week, you are not "industrious", you are a criminal who is to be put to death.

It's quite a contrast in view. God's economics mean more mandatory time off for most people, not as a privilege but as a need.

I have gotten ahead of myself again. Consider this the 100,000 foot view for when we get back to the Sabbath and the mandatory rests in the Torah.

For now, we need to continue on in the language of Genesis 2

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-19   10:45:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: Vicomte13 AKA Stone (#26)

This is mainly a placeholder so I don't lose the thread. I haven't read it all week, so I have some catching up to do.

I'll mention that I believe the Bible is a collection of stories that elucidate the events and beliefs of the people who wrote them. A book of wisdom spanning at least 2000 years, with many stories engendered by much older orally transmitted stories.

Genesis reflects an exceptional intelligence, a book of the philosophy of its day. Amazing that it included two observations on how God created man -- from the clay, and from the mists -- that are not at all at odds with the observations of Lamarck and Darwin*.

*Darwin did not coin, "survival of the fittest". That came later and has been used as a weapon against Christianity -- a weapon that is hoist on its own petard, but that's a discussion for another time.

I mention this not for argument sake, nor to invalidate arguments based on Biblical exegesis. I find that science vs religion arguments are facetious and generally involve ignorance of one or both. I believe that what God wrote is creation and the study of both science and past knowledge is the study of God's work and man's understanding of it at that point in time.

I am looking forward to catching up. Right now I gotta get some chores done.

Anthem  posted on  2017-06-23   19:27:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: Vicomte13 (#26)

I find the time allocated for work interesting. It brings to mind the many times Askel5 commented on the differences between those above and those below the butter/ olive oil line.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Anthem  posted on  2017-06-26   1:19:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#29. To: Vicomte13 (#26)

Bill Flax has an essay on his site that concludes:

"Finally, the myopia of some Corporate managers shines through in a typical discussion of contemporary educational needs by many prominent in American business. The approach is unapologetically self-serving while rationalizing that perspective by an, admittedly undeniable, recitation of the job seeking advantages for a student given specialized training in areas in contemporary demand in the Corporate world. This has the ring of pragmatism, but ignores a broader reality that includes the aspirations of those less materially oriented. It addresses the niche of the expounder, yet ignores the needs & aspirations of those who "dance to a different tune"; those for whom Jefferson allowed when he modified the Lockean view of natural rights, from "Life, Liberty & Property," to "Life, Liberty & the pursuit of Happiness"--to include both the material & spiritual, artistic & philosophical aspirations of each of us."
From: How You Define A Problem May Define You

Anthem  posted on  2017-06-26   2:03:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#30. To: Anthem (#29)

I am looking forward to pressing on. This weekend I sketched out the passages from Genesis 2 that I will cite in the next presentation.

I am striving to keep my own view of what Scripture is, and what it "really says" (down at the level of deep translation) completely out of this.

Instead, I am aiming to show, to Protestants in particular - the majority of Americans and of political conservatives in America - exactly and exhaustively what God Himself said about economics in the plain English of the King James Version of the Bible.

I make no effort to argue from other sources. Nor do I make any effort to coordinate this view with other views, such as an evolutionary or Darwinistic view. It isn't that I don't know the other positions, but they are not at all helpful when communicating with this particular audience. Conservative Protestant Christians are Scripture Alone believers, so anything outside of Scripture is extraneous for the purposes of saying "what God said", while anything within the two covers of the KJV Bible is Supreme Authority.

Rather than shuck and jive and try to blend my own beliefs, or Catholic beliefs, or economic or scientific or political or any other beliefs, I choose here to exclusively use the language in the KJV Bible, and nothing else.

Further, you will note as this goes on that almost all of the quotes that I use from the KJV are words that the KJV text were spoken directly by God. So, if someone were to not like some element of the message, the words they are taking on are not simply any old words in the Scripture, but words in the Scripture that proceeded forth directly out of the mouth of God as audible direct quotes of God himself. Virtually the entirety of the economics of God was spoken directly by YHWH himself, not by a prophet or a king. The prophets, for the most part, criticize the Israelites for NOT keeping the Law of God, including the economic law, but they don't offer NEW law. God's Law of Economics was spoken directly out of God's mouth, and the text says so.

I choose this approach because there is literally nowhere for the target audience to hide (just as there was nowhere for the ancient Hebrews to hide). (The ancient Hebrews DID hide anyway, behind their "traditions", and behind simple arrogations of power to themselves, but the Prophets, and then Jesus, called them to account for it on God's behalf.)

The beauty of my approach is its simplicity. I do not argue for anything, I merely present what God Himself said. The entirety of the Law of Economics is spoken DIRECTLY by God in the text, and he repeats most of it at least three times, leaving not a scintilla of doubt about what he meant. (With regards to the Rest from work ("Sabbath" means "rest" in Hebrew), God repeats his law dozens of times. It's not subtle, and he's so specific that there is really no "interpretation" to be done: one follows it, or one breaks it.) The text I choose to use is the one insisted upon by the most conservative of English- speaking Christians. There are many other translations, but conservatives all agree that that KJV is a good translation, and there are many, many of the most conservative who reject any OTHER translation. So by using KJV-Only, I am using the exact text that is the only one acceptable to the most conservative people...and at the same time closing off every escape hatch for them: "This is YOUR God speaking in YOUR text, repeatedly, and very explicitly saying what the Law is."

There is a purpose to my method, and that is to completely close off every avenue of conservative Christian attack. I quote the KJV Only, nothing else. I quote YHWH's own words directly and extensively, and I do so in the order presented in the text, closing off the possibility that I am cherry picking, and indeed making it such that whoever presumes to attack the text is directly attacking God and doing the cherry picking himself.

What is here is intended to be exhaustive, authoritative, indisputable and utterly unanswerable. It is meant to force the conservative Protestant reader to bend the knee and say "My Lord and my God" to God, and to open his eyes to exactly what God said about economics.

It is intended to make the Christian reader feel very uncomfortable about any belief he has that departs from what God said, because God really is SO VERY CLEAR, and repeats himself so very many times, that there is no doubt about what the text says and means.

It is intended to cause the Christian reader to become afraid of his own views that depart from what he reads, to really see how his belief system, shaped by his culture and education, departs from God's Law.

And that discomfort is intended to cause the sincere Christian to change his mind, to repent and turn back to God - the REAL God - and what He actually SAID.

Finally, by laying it all out end to end, it is intended to be a resource to which the devout Christian can turn back again and again to see, in context, what God said, to be reminded of what it is, and to be able to wield it as an evangelical weapon against all others - including other Christians - who unwittingly follow the world instead of God.

That's why I'm doing it this particular way. It takes time because, effectively, I have to be rereading the entire Bible again as I do it, and then typing out substantial portions of the text.

I hope to get Genesis 2 done today or tomorrow.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-06-26   9:15:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#31. To: Anthem (#29)

It took awhile to get back to this, but let's pick it back up with Genesis 2.

In Genesis 1, God made mankind and gave him the plants to eat. In Genesis 2, the text focuses on the making of a particular man who is the common ancestral grandfather of all living people.

I don't intend here to open up the question as to whether or not there were other people created on the 6th Day, and Adam was just one special one who was made and put into the garden of Eden. That question, and so many others, are interesting for discussion, but they teach us nothing about our subject: the Economics of God. We're not going to get dragged off by red herrings - and when it comes to religion, they school!

The key thing to note about the economy that Adam was placed into is the casual availability of food from every tree, and the complete absence of any poisonous plants.

The Garden of Eden was not simply a forest primeval. Look at the description in Genesis 2:8-9 (KJV text): "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."

What God then says to Adam makes it clear that, in the garden, EVERY SINGLE TREE bore edible fruit, and that the edible fruit in the garden was all that Adam required in order to survive.

Genesis 2:16: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat."

He goes on to forbid the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but this was for reasons of knowledge, morality and obedience, not because it, too, was not good food - in Genesis 3:6 Eve observed that the tree was good for food. It wasn't forbidden because of poison.

Now, this economic fact is salient: Adam (and soon, Eve) in the Garden had no scarcity, and no need for botanical knowledge. In the wild, 5% of plants in the tropics are edible to humans. That number increases slightly to 10% as one moves towards the poles, but clearly the garden was in a tropical environment for, as the text tells us at Genesis 2:25: "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

So, the climate had to be a place where people could live naked 24/7/365. That means the tropics.

Assuming that the climate of the garden was tropical, and realizing what the natural tropical forests are like (95% of the plants are poisonous or inedible), one sees very clearly that the garden of Eden was NOT some forest primeval, but a specially planted place.

And one sees that the humans placed into it had no need whatever to do any meaningful economic activity. Every plant had edible fruit. There was no need for clothing, the making of which has historically been the second greatest source of traditional employment, after farming. Simply generating food and clothing has been the primary activity of most of humanity throughout most of history, with making and maintaining lodging against the elements being the third.

All of Adam's biological needs were easily provided for by the garden, so he had no need to "work". He merely needed to stretch forth his hand to ANY tree and eat the fruit, and this was sufficient.

We should note that the fruits available in the Garden, while they may have included fruits we eat today, had a property to them that today's fruits do not have.

One of the vitamins necessary for human survival is Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is the product of bacteria that are exclusively found in animal products. It cannot be obtained from ANY plant, other than PERHAPS certain seaweeds (there is no indication whatever that the Garden of Eden was anywhere near the sea; it was, in fact, the headwaters of four rivers, and thus was in a relative highland.

Now, there were animals in Eden. Indeed, one of the tasks to which God put Adam before he made Eve for him was to name the animals that he made and brought before Adam to see what Adam would call them. Of note, Genesis 2:20 clearly indicates the distinction between cattle and other wild animals (note that "cattle" in the English of the KJV and the Hebrew does not simply mean cows - the archaic word in English for them is "kine" - it means domesticable farm animals: cows (kine), sheep, goats. What those animals have in common is that they are milk producers. Milk DOES have Vitamin B-12 in it, so when God says that man is to exercise "dominion" over the animals, that certainly authorizes men to herd them for their milk, though God never specifically gives milk as a food for man.

Still, God specifically gives man meat to eat after the Flood (see Genesis 9:3), but Adam and Eve's children, Abel and Cain, were herding animals, and Abel's offering of "fat" of his flock (see Genesis 4:4). This is one place where breaking through the wall of KJV English to the underlying Hebrew is informative, for in the Hebrew the word translated here as "fat" is the same word that is later translated as "milk" when God speaks of a "land flowing with milk and honey". Further, the gender of the animals is specific in the Abel passage. In the Hebrew, it says that Abel brought 'some of the milk (or "fat") of the first-born ewes of his flock. So, in the Hebrew there is the parallel of Cain and Abel each offering their food - grain of the field and milk from the flock.

In any case, in the Scripture God never specifically authorizes man to eat milk at all. He apparently accepts milk from Abel, and certainly he establishes a law about not boiling the meat of a lamb in its mother's milk, but there is never a permissive statement in the Scriptures that man may eat milk.

So, DID Adam milk sheep in Eden, like his son Abel would do a few years later outside of Eden, and thereby obtain his Vitamin B-12? It is not possible at all to say from the text. If he didn't drink milk (we know he didn't eat meat, because meat was not given to be eaten until after the Flood, and Adam did not sin by breaking God's commandment until he ate the forbidden fruit), then the fruit of Eden contained sufficient Vitamin B-12 to provide Adam what he needed. This is not true of any fruit on earth today. Today, there are "fruitarians" who seek to eat a "fruit only" diet. If they do not supplement with B-12, they eventually get sick and die.

So here we have a scientific point that demonstrates something about the different economics of Eden. There was not only no scarcity of food, and no danger of poisoning, there was apparently no need to herd animals to get a vital nutrient: everything could be gotten right from the fruit, which grew from all the trees in abundance.

Bottom line: as made, man did not have to do any work whatever in order to survive. We were not "made to work". The first task given by God to Adam was to name animals and rule them. Adam was put into the garden with a task: "And the LORDGod took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." (Genesis 2:15)

So, Adam's task was namer - an intellectual task, and as gardener - a physical task. But there is no indication that God gave Adam any instructions as to HOW to dress or keep it. God let Adam creatively name the animals, and made the results the names of the animals. And God gave Adam a garden to dress, but apparently let Adam decide what he wanted to do and how.

There was work involved in this - in the sense that it required physical effort. It was both as "help meet" (Genesis 2:20) and as a companion that God fashioned Eve for him, once the animals proved to be inadequate to the task.

That is about all that we are given about the original conditions of Adam and Eve, from one short chapter of Genesis.

There are many speculative things that we could talk about, and we could make a list of things that the Scripture says and doesn't say, but virtually the entirety of that discussion would be oriented around "iffy" questions, and philosophical issues or theological hobbyhorses, even science and biology.

I am not here to hash out the Bible or resolve evolution, merely to say what the Scriptures say about economics. And up to this point this is what we have:

Our ancestral grandfather and grandmother, having been created, were living in a place of abundant fruit, without poisonous plants, danger, or any need for clothing. Their economy was unrestricted by any vital need. They had all the air, drink and food they needed, and they had human companionship, from each other. There was no identifiable danger, and God was close by them, though not directing them. There were no "rules" other than what to eat (which is pretty simple to follow - who is tempted to eat grass and bark when there is unlimited delicious fruit), and the one forbidden fruit to avoid.

If we consider our lives in our world, these conditions cannot be recreated. The world has changed. There are places where we could live naked: the tropics, though this would be quite hard on light-skinned people. We would not, however, be comfortable there due to the storms that ravage the tropics, and the insects that pervade them. We would require housing.

In the tropics, 95% of the greenery is inedible or poisonous. A good amount of the animal life, particularly reptiles and insects, are poisonous. Since the Flood, the animals have the "dread fear" of humans in them (per Genesis 9:2), so they will not cooperate. There is also disease to contend with...and the fact that there isn't a scrap of land that isn't already claimed by somebody or some entity.

Things are much harder for us humans today - all of the burdens we bear are BECAUSE we lost paradise, but the ROOT loss that came with the loss of Paradise was the necessity of growing plants for food and the necessity for clothing and the necessity for shelter. There is, additionally, the loss of the ease of equality between male and female, of the nature "help meet" side-by-side reality of Eden. All of this arises from the Fall: the need to WORK to EAT, CLOTHE the self, HOUSE the self, and the endless problems of interpersonal relationships for reproduction: these things impose a STAGGERING burden on mankind. That is what was lost.

Now consider what social welfare addresses: food, shelter, clothing - these basics. And consider how much human effort has been devoted to just those apparently simple things.

When God expels our ancestors from Eden, he is expelling them into the economy of our real world, where starvation and exposure are permanent menaces that require a constant strain to thwart. Indeed, that is the very NATURE of the punishment.

As we shall see.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-07   13:11:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#32. To: Vicomte13 (#31)

Your speculations, e.g. on the fruit, are based on a literal exegesis. My take is more allegorical. Not that I'm going to get hung up on that. "Lay on, Macduff, And damn'd be him that first cries, “Hold, enough!"

Anthem  posted on  2017-07-08   23:20:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#33. To: Anthem (#27)

that are not at all at odds with the observations of Lamarck and Darwin*.

The Bible is not compatible with Darwins fantasies.

Darwin said there was death and struggle then evolution. Or some such bullshit.

The Bible says no death before sin.

You can't believe them both without lying to yourself.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-08   23:46:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#34. To: A K A Stone (#33)

Or everybody sinned.

Anthem  posted on  2017-07-08   23:52:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#35. To: Vicomte13 (#31)

but clearly the garden was in a tropical environment for, as the text tells us at Genesis 2:25: "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

So, the climate had to be a place where people could live naked 24/7/365. That means the tropics.

Minor point. It doesn't mean the tropics. The world changed after the fall and after the flood. So that is an assumption.

Not trying to nitpick but going through what you say carefully and pointing out anything I might disagree with. You are free to sway me with more dialog.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-08   23:59:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#36. To: Anthem (#32)

Your speculations, e.g. on the fruit, are based on a literal exegesis.

I said that's what I'm doing: taking the Bible absolutely literally, in the King James Version form, and reading the economics of God directly out of it.

In another time and place I might discuss things allegorically, as a Jesuit might, but that isn't my purpose here. To do that would be moving towards the center.

Here, I am going to the extreme, hard, fundamentalist right, using the KJV Alone, and extensively quoting, in order, exactly what God said. I have tried very hard not to put any particular opinions here, anything that departs from the literal text read literally.

I departed from my rule in one instance only, regarding Abel's offering of sheep milk (vice fat), but we haven't actually gotten to the Cain and Abel story yet, and when I get there I will not make that point there. That it was the fat of a slain animal is very important to some theologies, and here I am focusing on God's economics ALONE, and not getting into any of salvation theory. It is important, for these purposes, to do this through a literal, literalist, fundamentalist read of the Bible, in order, using the King James Only text. By doing just exactly that, and adding nothing, and quoting God and the text for every single principle, and not leaving out any principle, I make it impossible for anybody - not matter how determined - to get to the right of me using the Bible. All they can do is resort to extra-Biblical theology or their own words: I'm quoting the KJV.

There is method in my madness.

I'm a Catholic. Do I use the KJV for my own personal study? No. it's a pretty good translation, though, and it does have the virtue of being translated (mostly) from one single Byzantine-type Greek Orthodox text (the "Textus Receptus"). So while the translators had scope to decide what words to use in translation, they did NOT have the ability to shift around between different manuscripts to put together a recension most agreeable to their theology.

It is as I have said many, many times: there are literally ENDLESS discussions that can be had about every facet of religion.

What I am doing here is something very specific, and I have chosen the ground carefully. I am engaging in literalist, extensive, Scripture Alone, using the KJV exclusively, and relying on extensive quotations. I am doing it in order of the text, not leaving out a single line that has to do with economics. It is tiring to put together, but by doing it just exactly this way, I make it literally impossible to attack from the Right.

Why?

I am using the only version of the Bible that the farthest on the Right will accept. I am going IN ORDER - not jumping around to make an argument - so I am following the story just exactly as God laid it out and revealed it - in order. I am quoting the text directly to establish every single point. Nothing is coming out of my mind. It is all coming off the page. I am quoting every single line that deals directly or indirectly with economic matters (food, clothing, housing, the raising of a family, land, work, etc.). By quoting everything, in context, I am letting God's words speak for themselves, and I cannot be accused of "picking and choosing" - but I myself can counterattack anybody who attacks me by saying - truthfully - that HE is picking and choosing, and adding to the text.

My purpose is good: to lay out what God SAID about economics. But my method is pretty malevolent: I KNOW the way that God's economics will be attacked. Been through it before many times. So I am purposely laying this out, brick by brick, in a way that the most Fundamentalist Protestant CANNOT attack without going apostate from his own religion. That's really the POINT of the exercise: to take God's economics out of the Scripture literally, verbatim, word-for-word, in order, without leaving anything out, without skipping to- and-fro, without picking and choosing - laying it all end to end. And rubbing everybody's nose in it.

The whole purpose of this exercise is to hammer down in iron WHAT GOD SAID about economics, and to take away all of the shucking and jiving, all of the wiggle room, all of the cultural preference and deceit that substitutes for argument.

And I'm doing it in PRECISELY the way, the ONLY way, that the hardest of the hard right say they will accept: literal Sola Scriptura, in extenso, directly out of the KJV.

It's impossible to argue with anything I've written so far when it comes to the literal text. I've quoted ALL of it as revealed thus far. Most of it comes right out of God's mouth.

I've pointed out things that are NOT said - such as "it's ok to drink milk", and pointed out that milk is never specifically authorized, or forbidden either - God ASSUMES that humans will be drinking milk, mother's milk at the very least.

If I ever want to be able to say "God said..." and state an economic principle, i MUST go through this exercise, because God said some things about economics that are really iuncomfortable for people on the Left AND the Right, so when you say "God said...." the first thing they will do is attack you and say that God did NOT say that.

So therefore I have to go through the drill of writing down, in order, from the KJV, every single thing that God said on the subject. I did that exercise for myself in the past, which is why I argue as a I do. I don't START with some political a priori and then seek to justify it with Scripture. That's what everybody ELSE on the planet does. Me, I start with Scripture, read literally and carefully, and then I have adjusted all of my economic beliefs to fit Scripture.

Because what God said does not fit the political or economic agenda of the Right OR the Left, BOTH attack it. The Left doesn't CARE what God said because they don't believe in him. The RIGHT, on the other hand, says they do. Which is why THIS exercise is designed to prevent anybody getting further to the Right of me in handling this Scripture. I am willing to go the Hebrew, if somebody requires it, or the Greek, but the hardest of the hard right are generally KJV-Onlyists, so I've gone THERE, and used THAT text.

Once the exercise is through, we can, if you like, go back and discuss things from an allegorical or non-literal sense. First, though, it is crucial to be absolutely and fastidiously literal, because that is the only approach that the hardest Right will accept.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-09   10:01:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#37. To: A K A Stone (#35)

Minor point. It doesn't mean the tropics. The world changed after the fall and after the flood. So that is an assumption.

Ok. It meant a place where the climate was such that people could live without clothes. In todays world, that is only possible in the tropics (if one must live outside naked and one is not inside of climate-controlled buildings, of course)

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-09   10:04:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#38. To: Vicomte13 (#37)

Fair enough.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-07-09   10:06:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#39. To: A K A Stone, Anthem (#38)

A preview of Genesis 3.

In this chapter, disaster hits, and mankind moves, through the imposition by God, from an economics of unlimited abundance (food free for the taking without effort, no need for clothing, no need to work, easy childbirth (no need for medical care), abruptly to a world of scarcity - where he can no longer simply pluck fruit from all of the trees, but has to grow it from the ground and eat leaves and seeds and less palatable things, has to grind seeds for bread (which requires cooking it) - a world in which every plant doesn't produce fruit good for eating, but rather, where the ground sends forth thistles and thorns - things not good for eating, that crowd out the good plants. Indeed, a world where God didn't just push man out of the garden of ease into crop farming, but where he specifically cursed the soil to make it even HARDER to farm than it naturally would be (a curse he removed with the Flood). Of course in the extended sense, the need to plant and grow crops - at great cost in terms of sweat and toil - would, as numbers increased, give rise to the scarcity of farmland, laws of possession, and bloodshed over land possession. Further, the need for clothing was imposed - by the shame that came with the opening of the eyes after eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Moreover, the simple equality of help-meets was lost, God said that Eve's urge would be towards her husband, and that he would be her master - the root of the emotional strife in the battle of the sexes for eons immemorial: equal will but unequal strength in a world of scarcity. Immense pain - and though death is not mentioned by name, the high rate of death in natural childbirth was likewise imposed. Moreover, most grandly of all, the imposition of death on Adam and Eve and their heirs means the steady, inevitable loss of all human capital. One can prepare fields and till them and tend them and fertilize them and, properly treated, they will bear fruit essentially forever. One can build a stone house that will last for thousands of years. There are many things upon which one can make the investment of time and effort once, and with only maintenance going forward, have the benefit going forward. Nothing requires more intensive resources for longer than the bringing up, training and education of a human being - years and years of dependency, years of education. But human beings are not made like houses or fields or other tangible things. We are more like cars: we age, we decay, we die. All of that effort at education is ultimately lost, with all of our talents, to death.

In the early generations, before the Flood, men still had the benefit of overlapping generations that lived for hundreds of years. There was no real need for writing, for example, in a world where Adam lived over 900 years. There were 9 generations alive at the same time - NOah through Lamech, father of Noah. The only antediluvians that could not know Adam personally and directly were Noah himself, and Noah's three sons. (Whether or not their wives could, we don't know.) Adam's life overlapped the entire span of the generations before Noah, so (assuming that the other descenants of Noah and the antediluvians lived similarly long lives) everything since the Garden of Eden was still on earth in LIVING memory up until Noah, and Adam's son Seth was still alive when Noah was 3 years old.

After the Flood, Noah died when Abraham - 10 generations later - was 57 years old. Shem, Noah's son who was on the ark with him, outlived Abraham, and was still alive for most of Isaac's life, and was still alive until Jacob (Israel) was 15 years old.

So Abraham had (or could have had) the benefit of directly speaking with at least 2 (and possibly all eight) of the people who were on the ark, and Abraham's grandson, Israel, had the ability, at least, to speak directly with at least one person who was on the Ark (Shem), and perhaps up to seven others (depending on how long they lived after the flood).

So when later in the story we read about Abraham, Issac and Jacob/Israel, and God's covenant with them, the beginning of God's specific covenant with that family, we have to realize that although Abraham and Noah are removed by 20 generations, that Abraham could have spoken with Noah, his 8 times great-grandfather, who himself could have spoken face-to-face with Enosh, Adam's grandson (whose life mostly overlapped Adam's), as well as every other generation of Adam's descendents after Enosh (Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Methuselah and his own father Lamech) except for Enoch (who was "taken" by God).

So, the distance in LIVING memory back from Abraham was 17 generations. He could have spoken with Noah, who could have spoken with Enosh, grandson of Noah. And the distance in living memory in Noah's lifetime was all the way back to Adam and creation, for Noah, could have spoken to Enosh, his 6-times great grandfather, and Enosh could have spoken with Adam himself during an overlanp of nearly 700 years.

Some of us can speak with our great-grandparents, and rarely out great- grandparents, but the shortness of life means that to know before that, somebody has to write something down. When there are ten overlapping generations in which everybody remembers centuries and they can all cross- reference each other in conversation, the need for writing is greatly reduced.

For reference' sake, if we today in 2017 were Abram, we could talk to our great grandfather Noah, who was born (relative to us) in the year 1125. So, we could get a personal and direct account of "what really happened" from a man born in the Middle Ages, and not just from him, but from most of the intervening generations. And he himself would be able to tell us what his father had told him directly, going back all the way to Adam, which in our time reference would be going back to the year AD 1, when Christ was born.

Perhaps the most staggering economic effect of the Fall of all is this fact that it takes so long for us to learn, but we die so quickly and cannot carry the knowledge forward. Instead, we have to scribble it down in books, which takes time, which have to be preserved, and then which have to be read - at a substantial commitment in time (which is economically expensive) every generation. Otherwise the knowledge is lost.

Besides the obvious economic impositions of the Fall regarding food, clothing and the medical needs of childbearing, an equally insidious effect is the relentless loss of knowledge and memory of history imposed by death, and the expensive process of preserving knowledge and then re-educating each short, new generation in everything of importance learned in the past.

Education costs are the single largest government expense in America (when all levels of government are taken into account) - larger than medicine or the military or Social Security. The need for education is one of the subtler but very real effects of the advent of death and shorter and shorter lives after the Fall.

So, that's the overview. When I have the time to sit down with Genesis 3 I will be able to lay out the Scriptural text that conveys the impositions as they occurred.

The data about the length of the patriarchal lives comes from Genesis 4, 5 and 11. Because their names and the specificity of their life-lengths is only tangential to the economic discussion (the fact of their deaths and their long lives is what is really relevant), I will refrain from going through genealogies (unless you want me to).

Next time I write, it will be to give the Scriptural development of economic scarcity as imposed after The Fall, in Genesis 3.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-07-11   11:06:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#40. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

This is kinda of a side point but will "Gods economic's" only work if we are all true believers? Isn't this the problem we have here in the USA and Europe is finding out now?

Justified  posted on  2017-07-11   11:23:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  



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