Sanitizing Jesus For Capitalism

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mischief
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Post by mischief » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:44 am

Kitsune wrote:I don't think I completely agree with that idea Mischief.

For some it's very conforting to worship together. They feel whole in a way that they don't when they pray alone.

-Anonymous
True, Kitsune - not everyone's as antisocial as me! I guess I need to clarify to myself what I mean by 'organised religion'... I just have an instinctive revulsion to 'organising' something which for me is spontaneous and deeply personal..

Just to drag myself towards the topic a little - I wonder if anyone's written a paper on the role of the Protestant work ethic in the development of consumerism?
"We shape the Gods as much as they shape us" - Mary Renault

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Post by Ragnar » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:56 am

mischief wrote:
Just to drag myself towards the topic a little - I wonder if anyone's written a paper on the role of the Protestant work ethic in the development of consumerism?
Phew. Aye plenty. But can not think of a name off the top of my head. POSSIBLY the Scottish philosophers, such as John Stewart Mill and his Father James Mill. Or the Irish ones. They seemed very preoccupied with such.

See also writers/thinkers on economics. Particularly from the 1800s.

A good book is "Anecdotes of the great accountants, volume 3 (shortened 20,000 page (per volume) edition)". :roll: :-D

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Post by Willow » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:15 am

The Protestant Ethic and the spirit of capitalism. There are indierect references to consumerism int here. Max Weber, seminal work for anyone in the social sicences.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Post by daibanjo » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:48 pm

Just to drag myself towards the topic a little - I wonder if anyone's written a paper on the role of the Protestant work ethic in the development of consumerism?[/quote]

if you fancy it, how a post giving your thoughts on it. It's an interesting subject and who needs academics. :-D
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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Post by Willow » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:56 am

I need Academics! I am out of a job otherwise..what else will I do with a phD....

But I agree, there are many good things that can come from other non-academic viewpoints.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Post by mischief » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:49 pm

Hmm, no danger of anything approaching an academic view from this monkey, Dai. LOL. I just remember reading somewhere once that in hunter-gatherer times, we only spent on average 9 hours a week actually ahunting and agathering (sounds not unlike some traveller sites I've known..). It wasn't until some silly sod (sic) decided to 'cultivate' the Earth (as if Goddess wasn't doing a good enough job already) that suddenly some of us were able to accumulate surpluses big enough to be regarded as 'capital' - which to me is a surplus of a product such that it acquires a utility for its owner which transcends its functional value as simply a useful store of product; ie lots of wheat becomes more than simply lots to eat.

As soon as product surplus buys power, there's a vested interest in accumulating bigger and bigger surpluses; which in turn provides the motivation to find ways of diverting other people's productivity into your own coffers. And hence, IMO, leading to slavery, wars, manipulative belief systems, usury, hierarchy, consumerism, pollution, and, ultimately, lousy TV....

I mean, if I was a nascent capitalist lookin for a good way of brainwashing people into working for me for little or no reward, without complaint - let me see... OK, I'd invent a god, who only spoke through me, and a heaven which was practically impossible to get into if you were rich (you, not me, obviously), and um, let me see, o yeah, invent an antigod who found evil work for idle hands. And, obviously, a system of everlasting torment for those who didn't agree with me. Then I'd stick 'em for a tenth of everything they earned, and buy as much land and as many assets as I could with the proceeds. Then I'd set up an inner circle of like-minded people to pass my franchise on to. I reckon after a coupla thousand years or so, my organisation would be pretty rich, if not the richest ever in the history of mankind.

Well, I did warn you it wasn't going to be particularly academic - eat your surplus out, Adam Smith! :protest: :-)
"We shape the Gods as much as they shape us" - Mary Renault

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Post by Kitsune » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:28 pm

But, do they have senates, Crazy!

If not, then I cannot possibly imagine what they have to laugh at... Perhaps our senates? :lol: :lol:
Trying to create a world, even in words, is good occupational therapy for lunatics who think they're God, and an excellent argument for Polytheism. -S.M. Stirling

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:56 pm

They MUST be laughing at not only our senates, but us!
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Post by daibanjo » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:39 pm

Sorry Willow, no offence. It just seems to me that academics, in the broad sense of the species, not necessarily yourself, study other academic writings and form and write opinions only to impress others who have letters after their name. While the uneducated, like myself, don't study anything. Just read, discuss and debate and have experiences to make sense of the universe on a more personal level. Anyway I would never want to see you out of work.
nicely put Mischief. What do you think of the notion that the protestant work ethic stemmed from John Calvin's idea of predestination.
god knows if you are going to heaven or hell. He knows everything, past present and future, so there's no escaping your fate. So we ask "How do I know if I'm saved or not?" and the cheerful answer is "If you have to think about it then your not." So it's get to work and work like a dog and you are too tired to question.
It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end.

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Post by Ragnar » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:35 pm

daibanjo wrote: John Calvin's idea of predestination.
That's a WONDERFUL one to get the "wee frees" with.

"Why do you go to church, and only read the bible every Sunday, and have no pictures in your house?"

"Because "god" sais we must".

"Oh but did he not also invent predestination?"

"hmmm, yes".

"Then why bloody bother?

PARTY!!! Cus it don't make the SLIGHTEST bit of difference to the end result!" :partyman: :wav: :occasion7: :laughing6:

"Any one complains just say "god" made you do it".

SOME people never consider the logic behind the philosophy.
Last edited by Ragnar on Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mischief » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:50 am

Ragnar wrote:SOME people never consider the logic behing the philosophy
Perhaps the underlying logic holds together better than we think, whatever the surface message of the philosophy pretends to show - I did a course in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) not long ago, and was shocked at how easy it is to manipulate someone's belief process. The techniques centre around power words and phrasings which don't necessarily hold together as a coherent argument, and indeed are not meant to; they are instead used as a kind of 'delivery matrix' to implant hidden meanings in the hearer's subconscious.

Even as I write that, it sounds like the worst kind of paranoid nonsense, but I was *really* shocked at how effective seemingly tiny adjustments in vocabulary, body language and tonal inflection were in getting people to agree with you, not just politely, but enthusiastically, almost fanatically.

Circular reasoning works well for theology - not only does it serve to recruit adherents with a less-than-rigorous intellectual approach, entranced by how shiny and warm the web is, it also ties up the ones who don't believe, who have fun spending their time picking the reasoning to bits. Come riiight on in folks, there's something for everyone!! And tell the hairy guy at the back to stop laughin and eat his bloody bananas somewhere else...
"We shape the Gods as much as they shape us" - Mary Renault

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Post by Ragnar » Sat Feb 09, 2008 1:55 am

mischief wrote: And tell the hairy guy at the back to stop laughin and eat his bloody bananas somewhere else...
:-? But I LIKE bananas.
The techniques centre around power words and phrasings which don't necessarily hold together as a coherent argument, and indeed are not meant to;
Hence education was only encouraged by the christians in so far the workers knew how to work, and find out if today was Sunday. Any more than that and they were/are considered dangerous intellectual threats to the authority of the priest/church.

First they called them witches and burned them, now they call us Pagans and slander us.
I was *really* shocked at how effective seemingly tiny adjustments in vocabulary, body language and tonal inflection were in getting people to agree with you, not just politely, but enthusiastically, almost fanatically.
For evidence of it's effectiveness, and reality, look no further than Hitler, who, although it was not called that those days, had training in it.

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Post by mischief » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:15 am

Ragnar wrote:
Hence education was only encouraged by the christians in so far the workers knew how to work, and find out if today was Sunday. Any more than that and they were/are considered dangerous intellectual threats to the authority of the priest/church.
Yep, bang on. To the point where The King James Bible was regarded by many as being sinful because it was the first authorised translation into English, and hence accessible to everyone who could read, not just the Latin speakers (which were pretty much just the clergy)

It's just occurred to me for the first time - how revealing is it that whereas men were allowed what little education there was to be had, women have traditonally been denied any education whatsoever; and that's right across the board, Christians, Muslims and Hindus alike. Do you think that's because women were/are regarded as the greater ultimate threat?
"We shape the Gods as much as they shape us" - Mary Renault

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:44 pm

It's just occurred to me for the first time - how revealing is it that whereas men were allowed what little education there was to be had, women have traditonally been denied any education whatsoever; and that's right across the board, Christians, Muslims and Hindus alike. Do you think that's because women were/are regarded as the greater ultimate threat?
Women are indeed a greater threat. The patriarchal monotheistic god's very existence is threatened by the power of Female.

First, sex is "bad." This is because this takes us to a primal and physical union with the divine, wdhich is a bad thing when you have monopolized the divine in order to control the people. When we make love, we are temporarily imitating the gods, the act of creation (even if conception is not the purpose or the result of the act), and sexual energy is VERY powerful. It can jumpstart the Kundalini, and ultimately empowers us as being who are capable of communing with the divine and leading our own spiritual evolution.

Female is the Void from which life springs. (Each person has male/female within them, but I am using general terms.) Female is the beginning. Female is the soil from which all life springs. Female is powerful. Female is Creation, and therefore embodies the creative potential of what monotheists call God (in different terms, of course). (Also, I am not downplaying Male; without Male, the seeds which germinate in the soil would rot, or just not come to fruition.)

Because women embody this so fully, in our minds, our mythology, in our bodies, they are a link to the personal realization of the divine, which we established earlier is a threat to those who seek to control the population through monopolization of the divine. So, they are ostracized, condemned, damned, as are any men who realize the potentional of what people call female energy. Instead, there is a war, where the dominant male energy pushes down all other energies, used negatively instead of positively where this forceful energy would be a natural half of creation. It's like spreading salt in the soil.

That is my understanding.
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The purpose of a relationship is not to have another who might complete you, but to have another with whom you might share your completeness. -CWG

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Post by mischief » Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:38 pm

I can't remember ever hearing that expressed quite so clearly, that has brought a great deal into focus for me. Thank you.
without Male, the seeds which germinate in the soil would rot, or just not come to fruition
Not necessarily true - I understand current thinking in evolution theory is that the evidence tends to suggest Life only 'does' male as an effective way of mixing genes to stay one step ahead of parasites, which I find darkly amusing (thoroughly recommend Matt Ridley, 'The Red Queen' for a very readable and highly coherent discussion of this). There are plenty of examples of virgin birth in Nature, and plenty more of hermaphrodism.
... as are any men who realize the potential of what people call female energy.
guess that's my card marked then :-( No prizes for guessing why I hide up a mountain and avoid society like the plague. The big news item in the papers in the UK right now is the Archbishop of Canturbury no less, who says the UK should introduce Sharia law. I mean, where the f*** do they find these cretins?

Feelin a bit sorry for meself today. I loathe this bloody country, I just wanna go home. Back on Wednesday, I can't wait. Tho I was cheered a little by my first sight of the New Moon. Heaven knows what She makes of it all
"We shape the Gods as much as they shape us" - Mary Renault

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