Friday, November 20, 2015

A Common and Problematic Attitude Towards Big Business (And Someone Else's Brilliant Response To It)

It's no secret that Americans are pretty distrustful of big business. And who can blame us? Every day we hear horror stories of what big, heartless corporations do. And this is despite the fact that things are 100x better than they were 100 years ago!

Of course, as I have written previously, we need people to follow their self-interest in producing goods and making money in order to have a functioning society. The reason we even have blogs is because some people realized they could make a profit by investing large amounts of money to build a factory that produces computers. When done properly, everyone benefits. Just as businesses use consumers to their advantage, so consumers and society at large uses businesses to their advantage. It's a symbiotic relationship of everyone pursuing their own self-interest and everyone ending up the better because of it. That's why capitalism works.

But capitalism also only works for society when its excesses are curtailed, and I'll be darned if we don't still have problems in the US with how big business does things. And in response to a Cracked article on the way banks mistreat their customers, a fellow with the internet name mickeyten brilliantly summed up the attitude that way too many Americans have. This attitude makes it that much harder to solve the problem because it wrongly attacks consumers and wrongly justifies businesses who do wrong.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When Bible Literalists Aren't So Literal - Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the Devil

What is this blog post about? And what do I mean by "Bible literalist"?

For our purposes, there isn't a hard and fast definition. Some people take things in the Bible more literally than others. There isn’t necessarily a specific, concrete point where someone gets to the point of being a literalist. You just kind of know it when you see it.

As for me, I do think I probably am more on the literal side of the spectrum. However, I do think that things like genre, use of Old Testament language and imagery, and historical context can, in various contexts, make the right interpretation one that differs from what one reads at face value. So in practice, I leave a lot more room for idiom, figures of speech, metaphor, and complexities than do some other students of scripture within evangelicalism. Whether you think that is a good thing or not will probably depend on whether or not you agree with me, lol.

The thing is, almost no one takes everything absolutely literally. Even Bible skeptics and atheists, who tend to take the Bible more woodenly and simplistically than anyone else (including fundamentalists), don't take everything literally. There is always some point where pretty much everyone steps back and admits that something is a metaphor or imagery. Of course, this has nothing to do with the accuracy of scripture; throughout our lives, in all sorts of contexts, we recognize metaphor, idiom, imagery etc. The idea that suddenly the Bible cannot do that and still be completely true in everything it teaches is counter to human experience. But the point is, no one takes everything literally.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Is Worrying A Sin?

Is worrying a sin? A number of books and articles, ironically meant to help put our minds at ease, say that it is. Why is it a sin to worry? Because the Bible says not to and so it is a sin to do so, darn it!

Or is that so?