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Apathy June 25, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Truth.
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The greatest casualty of prolonged peace is the knowledge that evil exists in the world.

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What is Money? June 21, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Truth.
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It used to be a long time ago that people bought things through direct trade. I give you some eggs and milk and you give me some wheat. One person used the direct results of his own efforts to produce to purchase the results of another’s efforts to produce. Effort used on something that was not needed or desired was wasted effort. Effort put forth by one with greater skill or resources could command more in a trade.

This kind of bartering system could not scale, though, so money came in to fill a need. With money, you can store the results of your effort in a non-perishable form and use it to purchase the results of another’s efforts at a time of your choosing.

Money, simply put, is the intermediate medium we use to purchase the results of another person’s effort. We choose to purchase that which we value. This is the natural order of economics, at it’s base–we purchase something we value with our effort.

If we try to introduce something artificial, we mess up the natural order and chaos will ultimately be the end result. It is wrong to take the results of one’s person effort and give it to someone who has not earned it. An individual who values charity may choose to give to someone who has not earned it, but may I suggest that charity like this can, and should, be considered a loan of sorts. The person giving the charity is not giving so that the person receiving can live a lazy life, never putting forth any worthy effort to earn anything they receive–they give because they want to give someone who is down on their luck the means to survive, and maybe a little more, so they have a chance to turn it all around. If the recipient of charity can, they should earn that charity by using the charity to accomlish this worthwhile goal of turning their situation around. In this scheme, the natural order is preserved. One person has purchased something they value, the results of another persons effort–the effort to turn things around and make a better life for themselves and for those they are responsible for.

An individual, though, who takes charity without ever repaying it in this fashion (when they are capable of doing so) should be ashamed of themselves. Society should be ashamed of such individuals. Such actions amount to nothing more than theft and deception. It is a horrible abuse of the trust and effort of others. Whenever we find, as a society, that we are supporting individuals like this, we must quickly and surely put a stop to it.

Now, it must be recognized that there are some individuals in our societies who simply cannot earn what they need on their own. These individual’s capacities range from those who cannot earn anything on their own up to those who can just barely provide for their needs, but none of their wants. Any society that has any honor at all will find a way to provide for these individuals, despite their lack of capacity to produce. They will never live like the rich and famous, but each and every one of us will answer to God for withholding from such as these.

However, it is not the government’s role, even in these situations, to be the ones to take from one to give to another. Charity MUST always be voluntary–anything else works against nature and will only cause tragedy in the end. Any society that cannot be prevailed upon to voluntarily contribute to help individuals in real need will deserve the judgements that will be heaped on them in the end. But it is also wrong to steal from the rich (or the middle class) and give to the poor. Look around the world at situations in places where this natural law has been violated–where people who are capable of producing are given that which they did not earn, that which was taken from others and where they do not feel any need to pay it back through their own effort to improve their situations. 

Unwanted births and child abuse increase. Spousal abuse increases.  Murders, and other violent crime increases. Theft increases. Living conditions decrease. Contention increases. Poverty perpetuates through generations and spreads. It’s not because these individuals and communities are inherently bad, but what we have done to them is unnatural–it’s no wonder it leads to such unhealthy results.

Star Wars and The Paths to Tyrany June 7, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Truth.
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I’m a fan of the Star Wars movies–the first movie I ever saw in an indoor theater was the first Star Wars movie (apparently it was important for the movie going public that their movie going experience be separated from me by distance and mostly sound proof barriers).

Skip forward many years.

Although I found episode III (Revenge of the Sith) to be so disturbing that I haven’t been able to watch it a second time, I did gain a very important insight into life from this motion picture. I found it very interesting that in the end, Chancellor Palpatine had set himself up to win no matter which side won in the conflict. If the republic won the war with the rebels (in this one, the rebels were the bad guys–which is an interesting lesson about the nature of labels, but I digress), then the Chancellor had full control of the senate. If the Trade Federation and the other rebels had won, then the Chancellor was also their leader (in one case, the Chancellors identity was secret, but his aims were clear; whereas in the other his identity was known while his aims were hidden). Either way, though, it was everyone else who lost.

I think that in this whole debate (yes, perhaps this is a euphamism, but I’d like to think positively) of Liberalism vs. Conservatism, we must recognize that the same potential exists. Both Liberalism and Conservatism offer a path to tyrany–and there are those on both sides who crave power and who try to pursue this goal.

Those people who crave power will try to use our identity against us and trick us into supporting them–we must reject this!!

We must accept that both political philosophies offer paths to tyranny—and we must protect against those paths on our own side just as ardently as we campaign against those on the other side. Otherwise, eventually, this rubber band tug of war over the support of the citizens of this country will snap in one direction so strongly that we’ll find our freedom is lost, along with our ability to get it back any time soon. And it’s impossible to say which side it will snap on.