Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Papal Economics

 

Over at City Journal, Guy Sorman has something to say about the pope’s demagogic attack (although he’s too polite to describe it as such) on the free market:

In his December apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis had harsh words for “the new invisible tyranny of the market.” This familiar denunciation of capitalism brings to mind a famous text by the French economist Frédéric Bastiat, published in 1848. Addressing the socialists of his day, who were already attacking the market economy, Bastiat replied that it is easier to identify and criticize what one can see (poverty or inequality) than it is to discern what one cannot see: the relentless economic growth that the market engenders.

With all due respect to the pope, he has fallen into a rhetorical trap. In the name of the poor, to whom his life as a priest has been devoted, he denounces the visible and ignores the invisible…

That’s too kind. The pope did not fall into “rhetorical trap”. Francis is a smart man and he knew exactly what he was doing. And no, that says nothing good about him.

Then Sorman throws in some history:

One of Francis’s predecessors, John Paul II, also pronounced on political economy. When Poland was freed from the Soviet empire in 1990, John Paul tried to prevent his country from slipping into capitalism, which he then abhorred as much as does Pope Francis. John Paul II believed sincerely in a Third Way, neither socialist nor capitalist, which would lead Poles from poverty to prosperity and social justice. Lech Wałesa, who had moved from union leadership to the presidency of the Polish republic, was singing the same tune. Post-Communist Poland soon sank deeper into poverty. John Paul II, honestly concerned, then took some lessons in economics. He chose as one of his mentors Michel Camdessus, then managing director of the International Monetary Fund and a fervent Catholic. Camdessus helped convince him that the market economy was only a mechanism, which, however imperfect, was the most effective means ever discovered for reducing mass poverty. Poland, still Catholic and converted to capitalism, is now the only European country to have escaped the crisis of 2008. Average income there has doubled over 20 years.

Camdessus was right: we should judge the market economy by its results, not by its values. Thus, Pope Francis is mistaken when he claims, in Evangelii Gaudium, that “the market is held up as divine.” I know no one who considers the market “divine”—certainly neither economists nor entrepreneurs. Similarly, when Pope Francis recommends “returning the economy to the service of human beings,” we can only agree, while observing that the market never functions except in the service of human beings. What human beings do with the products of growth, as well as how they distribute them, is an entirely different matter, and the Church has a legitimate interest in employing moral suasion in this area.

Meanwhile, as the economic crisis deepens in his native Argentina, the pope has an excellent opportunity to see where the sort of economic policies and attitudes that he advocates tend to lead. It will be interesting to hear what, if anything, he has to say about it. 

There are 43 comments.

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  1. raycon and lindacon Inactive

    Our economic views also reflect our theological views. If one believes that God is an overseer, who demands our adherence to Biblical doctrines, then God also requires that we enter the economy with the intent to declare our desire to see His will prevail, and that it is our role to make it so. No matter how strong we desire that the poor prosper, we cannot make is so even though we believe that it is God’s will.

    If, on the other hand, we see God as intimately bringing about His purposes both in the lives of individuals and society as well, then we are free to live our lives without considering the poor in our economic viewpoint. God allows us to operate freely in our own economic interests, and to reap our rewards accordingly. He also, as a separate matter, desires that we see to the needs of the poor, as we prosper from that free economic activity, and will use us, individually, to bring about His will for their care.

    And poor isn’t just an economic state. It is also poverty of the soul. It is this which cannot even be touched by socialism.

    • #1
    • January 26, 2014, at 10:28 AM PST
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  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It is unremarkable that bishops from Europe and South America believe that government should take a forward role in the market.

    It is also unremarkable that many capitalists place more faith in the unplanned interactions of a free market than in God’s constant intercessions to address material poverty. When our dependence upon God is forgotten amid financial strategies, then the market can become a religious focus — a reason for being.

    What the Church does and will always reject is any treatment of human beings as faceless objects of use rather than personal objects of love. One can be a capitalist and a Christian, but that requires thinking beyond the numbers.

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means.

    • #2
    • January 26, 2014, at 11:08 AM PST
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  3. Plato's Retweet Inactive

    Pope Francis : economics :: Keith Olbermann : politics

     

    • #3
    • January 26, 2014, at 11:22 AM PST
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  4. Black Prince Inactive
    Aaron Miller: 

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means.

    I disagree. The ends must always justify the means and vice-versa. Precisely how the means and ends are justified is open for debate.

    • #4
    • January 26, 2014, at 11:55 AM PST
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  5. Richard Fulmer Member
    Black Prince
    Aaron Miller: 

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means.

    I disagree. The ends must always justify the means and vice-versa. Precisely how the means and ends are justified is open for debate.

    The ends are dictated by the means.

    • #5
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:09 AM PST
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  6. Black Prince Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    Black Prince
    Aaron Miller: 

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means.

    I disagree. The ends must always justify the means and vice-versa. Precisely how the means and ends are justified is open for debate.

    The ends are dictated by the means.

    That is ultimately true and hindsight is 20/20…the challenge for us is that it is not always possible to know with certainty which means will result in a particular end. It’s a messy, messy business. =)

    • #6
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:14 AM PST
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  7. Richard Fulmer Member

    In his book Inventing Freedom, Daniel Hannan provides one of the best explanations of the morality of the free market that I have read:

    Like every economic model [capitalism] is a matrix within which individual actors can behave morally or immorally. But it does have one exceptional virtue: no one has yet come up with a system that rewards decent behavior to the same extent…. In an open market based on property rights and free contract, you become wealthy by offering an honest service to others…. Under the various forms of corporatism tried elsewhere, someone else – generally a state official – gets to allocate the goodies, guaranteeing favoritism and corruption.  [p 142]

    • #7
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:23 AM PST
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  8. Foxfier Inactive
    Black Prince

    So, I guess the question is whether Pope Francis’ statements are private opinions or solemn teachings.

    No, that isn’t the question. It’s quite obvious that the Pope was not speaking ex cathedra

    If you read the entire thing– which I provided because the simple explanation of “papal infallibility wasn’t expressly invoked, so it doesn’t apply” just results in people asking for more information– you’d understand that it’s sort of like listening to a presidental interview and arguing if it’s a law. (No matter what Obama thinks, that’s not how laws are made.)

    • #8
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:40 AM PST
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  9. Black Prince Inactive
    Foxfier
    Black Prince

    So, I guess the question is whether Pope Francis’ statements are private opinions or solemn teachings.

    No, that isn’t the question. It’s quite obvious that the Pope was not speaking ex cathedra

    I have to agree with you on this point.

    • #9
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:44 AM PST
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  10. Profile Photo Member
    It is true that the materialistic society, the so-called culture that has evolved under the tender mercies of capitalism, has produced what seems to be the ultimate limit of this worldliness. And nowhere, except perhaps in the analogous society of pagan Rome, has there ever been such a flowering of cheap and petty and disgusting lusts and vanities as in the world of capitalism, where there is no evil that is not fostered and encouraged for the sake of making money. We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest.Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain

    No Catholic should be too comfortable with capitalism. Though it works well in fulfilling materialistic desires, it is also prone to set up obstacles for conversion of the heart.

    • #10
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:50 AM PST
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  11. Foxfier Inactive
    T-Fiks: Capitalism is to the economy what free will is to the soul.

    I quite agree– and that works very well, because the applied rules are what make or break capitalism. Crony capitalism, for example, would be a bad rule-set.

    If God has given us the free will to choose sin or obedience in the infinite range of choices me make in our lives, why do you propose that it is God’s will that that choice be taken away in the marketplace? If God, with all his power and omniscience, recognizes that it would devalue the humanity that He created if He took away our freedom, why does Pope Francis think that the state can enhance our humanity by managing our economic choices?

    The obvious response would be: so you think murder should not be against the law? Or theft? But if theft is not against the law, how can you have a market? Only allow those able to defend themselves against all attackers to have property?

    Perhaps a better route would be to build on the morality of private property— which obviously exists, since theft is immoral?

    • #11
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:51 AM PST
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  12. Foxfier Inactive
    T-Fiks

     If God, with all his power and omniscience, recognizes that it would devalue the humanity that He created if He took away our freedom, why does Pope Francis think that the state can enhance our humanity by managing our economic choices?

    From the longer quotes of his I’ve read, he’s just also worried about other individuals taking away your economic choices– the problem is a social system that ignores humans as people with moral value, instead of just material.

     (Yeah, communism/socialism are much worse– they’re also explicitly taught against, while capitalism is only taught against in so far as it treats people as objects.)

    • #12
    • January 27, 2014, at 1:57 AM PST
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  13. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Richard Fulmer
    Black Prince
    Aaron Miller: 

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means.

    I disagree. The ends must always justify the means and vice-versa. Precisely how the means and ends are justified is open for debate.

    The ends are dictated by the means. · 41 minutes ago

    I’ve always thought that the ends justifies the means cliche misstates the question. An alternative is to ask if the end justifies any means? Buckley used to say that, while in general it is wrong to push an old lady, it is permissable to push her away from an oncoming bus. There are certainly means that are intrinsically evil, murder, for example. But the term murder demands a definition. I’ve found this to be the best: “Murder is the taking of an innocent human life on one’s own authority. The key to this definition is the phrase “innocent human life.” In short, you cannot kill an innocent person in order to discourage some abhorent behavior.

    The end does not so much justify the means, as establishes the limits on the means to be used. Still, intrinsic wrongs are always impermissible.

    • #13
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:01 AM PST
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  14. raycon and lindacon Inactive
    Foxfier
    Black Prince

    So, I guess the question is whether Pope Francis’ statements are private opinions or solemn teachings.

    No, that isn’tthe question. It’s quite obvious that the Pope was not speaking ex cathedra

    If you read the entire thing– which I provided because the simple explanation of “papal infallibility wasn’t expressly invoked, so it doesn’t apply” just results in people asking for more information– you’d understand that it’s sort of like listening to a presidental interview and arguing if it’s a law. (No matter what Obama thinks, that’s not how laws are made.) · 7 minutes ago

    The bully pulpit of the papacy makes the level of influence such that every publicly spoken or written word carries the weight of the church. The nuance of infallibility is lost on the public in general, especially non-Catholics.

     Rather than bring clarity to the church, Pope Francis is sowing confusion among both the people and their governments.

    • #14
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:02 AM PST
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  15. Black Prince Inactive
    raycon and lindacon

    The bully pulpit of the papacy makes the level of influence such that every publicly spoken or written word carries the weight of the church. 

    You have expressed my sentiments precisely.

    raycon and lindacon

    The nuance of infallibility is lost on the public in general, especially non-Catholics.

    Yes, it was lost on me, which is why I must concede my original point to Foxfier. Of course, as a non-Catholic, I don’t believe that even ex cathedra statements are infallible.

    raycon and lindacon

     Rather than bring clarity to the church, Pope Francis is sowing confusion among both the people and their governments.

    Exactly. The same thing applies to statements made by presidents—there are real-world consequences.

    • #15
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:10 AM PST
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  16. Foxfier Inactive
    raycon and lindacon

    The bully pulpit of the papacy makes the level of influence such that every publicly spoken or written word carries the weight of the church. The nuance of infallibility is lost on the public in general, especially non-Catholics.

    I didn’t say I like what he’s saying, I asked that someone remarking on a specific doctrine understand it first.

    I think the Pope is doing a bang-up job of handing ammunition to all the worst sorts, especially those who are the sort to only give a crud what he says when it’s useful. (See the way B16’s letter about capital punishment not being morally similar to abortion got ignored, while his personal opposition got touted.) 

    I’ve got non-theological faith that Francis is at least somewhat aware of how his words will be abused, and believes there’s a greater benefit to be gained– although I haven’t studied South American Catholicism, I get the impression that he’s striking at the root of some of the obvious dysfunctions I’ve observed in illegal populations in the US. 

    • #16
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:23 AM PST
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  17. Black Prince Inactive
    Mike Rapkoch

    An alternative is to ask if the end justifies any means?

    Yes, that is the question.

    Mike Rapkoch

    In short, you cannot kill an innocent person in order to discourage some abhorent behavior.

    The thought of killing an innocent person for any reason makes me sick to my stomach, but I wonder (and I’m operating in devil’s advocate mode here) if there are some situations where such killing is “justified” (writing that last word was difficult). For example, would this statement apply to civilian bombing in a war situation? Nagasaki and Hiroshima? Perhaps the difference lies in the phrase “on one’s authority” (by “one’s” I assume you mean an “individual’s”). I am reminded of a book (I think it was by Robert Heinlein) in which one of the characters asks (and I paraphrase the question very badly), “Can something that is wrong for an individual to do be right for a group to do and vice-versa?” Thoughts?

    • #17
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:29 AM PST
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  18. Foxfier Inactive
    Black Prince
    Mike Rapkoch

    In short, you cannot kill an innocent person in order to discourage some abhorent behavior.

    The thought of killing an innocent person for any reasonmakes me sick to my stomach, but I wonder (and I’m operating in devil’s advocate mode here) if there are some situations where such killing is “justified” (writing that last word was difficult).

    Need to clarify the original statement, perhaps?

    You cannot deliberately kill a person you know (believe?) is innocent in order to discourage an abhorrent behavior.

    The presumption that what is true will be known– or even knowable!– messes me up a lot in these sort of questions. “In theory, practice and theory are the same; in practice, they aren’t.”

    The nuclear bombings of Japan are a good example– before the bombs were dropped, great trouble was gone to so that innocents had a chance to leave. The Japanese frustrated those efforts because they would’ve killed anybody caught leaving, but the effort was made, and I know of no good reason to think it was not offered honestly. (they dropped leaflets over a long list of possible target cities)

    • #18
    • January 27, 2014, at 2:46 AM PST
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  19. Black Prince Inactive
    Foxfier

    You cannot deliberately kill a person you know (believe?) is innocent in order to discourage an abhorrent behavior.

    The nuclear bombings of Japan area good example– before the bombs were dropped, great trouble was gone toso that innocents hada chance toleave. The Japanese frustrated those efforts becausethey would’ve killedanybody caughtleaving, butthe effortwas made, and I know of nogoodreason to think it wasnot offeredhonestly. (they dropped leaflets overalonglist ofpossible target cities).

    Thanks for your thought-provoking restatement. I’m still operating in devil’s advocate mode here…Is the inadvertent killing of innocents “justified” (perhaps “acceptable” is a better word) as long as we give fair warning and do our very best to avoid causalities? But then it would not be unreasonable for the military planners to assume that least one innocent (e.g. a mentally ill homeless person) would have been killed by the bombings even under the best of circumstances. I think about all the people who do not evacuate their homes (for whatever reason) in the face of an impending natural disaster. Also, the destructive power of atomic weapons may not have been understood or believed by the Japanese at that time despite the warnings.

    • #19
    • January 27, 2014, at 3:06 AM PST
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  20. Foxfier Inactive

    I actually really enjoy theory type devil’s advocate stuff….

    How can something be “justified” if it’s inadvertent? (Getting to “our very best to avoid causalties” later)

    Wouldn’t, rather, the person be justified in believing they’d done their best to avoid the harm of innocents?

    Part of the problem is not removing the humanity–and thus responsibility– of others.

    This gets incredibly complicated and prudential because it depends on what can be reasonably expected– for example, in the US randomly stopping a random ambulance that has sirens going off is not reasonable, because that means someone is in crisis and the ambulance is headed to aid. At a border crossing in Israel, you’re a moron if you let a random ambulance just breeze through, because they’ve been used as attack vector before.

    ****

    It seems that a result can’t be justified, just the actions leading up to that result.

    ****

    “Very best to avoid casualties”– really depends; I’m assuming innocent casualties, but if it’s taken to mean only directly caused casualties, the answer is die. Ignores the responsibility to one’s own.

    • #20
    • January 27, 2014, at 3:34 AM PST
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  21. Foxfier Inactive
    Black Prince Also, the destructive power of atomic weapons may not have been understood or believed by the Japanese at that time despite the warnings. 

    As I understand it, the difference between the atomic bomb and the fire bombing that was already standard was basically a higher chance of a specific location being destroyed when an area was targeted. (Picture a circle on a city map; normal bombs are one twentieth– or one hundreth– the size, a nuke is the full size.)

    It doesn’t matter if your house was leveled because a fire bomb landed on it, or because you were inside of X area of ground zero; you’re still dead.

    With that ground, the nuclear bomb is no different than a conventional one morally– those vary in size of effect, too. What applies to a nuke would apply to any weapon that can kill more than one specific target, and the problem becomes trying to remove bad targets from the battlefield. (And evil SOBs trying to bring in bad targets as human shields. Yes, I just called WWII Japan evil, which should be redundant to anybody with knowledge of history.)

    • #21
    • January 27, 2014, at 3:40 AM PST
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  22. Mike Rapkoch Moderator

    I suppose the word deliberately is appropriate. I believe the concept to be included in the concept “on one’s own authority,” but maybe not. As for the concept of belief in justifying killing (as opposed to murder in the strict sense), at minimum the qualification falls under the question of intentionality. This would be a matter for the practical intellect. But there is an obligation to use all reasonable means to find out. Belief, by itself and undefined, quickly becomes excuse making if the obligation to determine innocence is ignored. When there is doubt, the principle of double effect requires that we take the morally safer course.

    Ambiguities certainly arise. The atom bomb on Japan is a good example. It was exceedingly difficult to figure out who was a combatant, and who was not. Ultimately, if, after careful inquiry, the question cannot be settled, then sufficient care must be taken to avoid the deliberate killing of innocent people, although the death of some would be a foreseen, unintended, permitted consequence.

    Put another way, under Just War Theory, it is wrongful to deliberately kill innocent people in order to defeat the regime. You cannot kill the innocent as a tactic.

    • #22
    • January 27, 2014, at 4:15 AM PST
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  23. Foxfier Inactive

    A more one-on-one example of “reasonable” that comes to mind is a cousin that sleepwalks– he’s something like six six, athletic in build, very fit and walks in his sleep.

    That last point my folks found out when he was visiting the ancestral valley, stayed with them and ended up standing at their bed side at two AM….

    Thankfully, dad woke up first and recognized him (in by-the-alarm-clock light) so he didn’t get shot as a home invader.

    Mike Rapkoch:

    Belief, by itself and undefined, quickly becomes excuse making if the obligation to determine innocence is ignored.

    Again, it seems like you’re mixing theory with practical application– it’s not a reasonable belief if you didn’t do any sort of basic research. Say, for a silly example, concluding that a crowd at a building on Sunday morning means an attack is forming rather than that they are Christians at Church.

     In the case of my cousin, looking at him and knowing that there was someone of somewhat similar format legitimately in the area.

    Just War Theory came out of exactly the sort of figuring. We know this stuff exists, just_not_sure_where_it_applies.

    • #23
    • January 27, 2014, at 4:38 AM PST
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  24. Black Prince Inactive
    Foxfier: 

    I actually really enjoy theory type devil’s advocate stuff….

    I do too…I learn a lot from this kind of discussion.

    Foxfier: 

    How cansomethingbe “justified” ifit’s inadvertent?

    It cannot.

    Foxfier:

    It seems thata result can’t be justified, just the actions leading up to that result.

    In a real-world situation I think that this is the probably best that we can do. However, the question of how actions should be justified remains. Should justification be based on the performer’s intentions or on something else? If we accept the assertion that results can’t be justified, then it seems (to me) that intentions are about about the only thing left. To be honest, I’m slightly uncomfortable with this as we all know where the road that is paved with good intentions leads. =)

    Foxfier: 

    This gets incredibly complicated and prudential because it depends on what can be reasonably expected.

    I’ll second that! There are no easy answers. Hummm…should reasonable expectation the standard or should it be beyond a reasonable doubt? On second thought, don’t answer that…my head hurts =) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a good night!

    • #24
    • January 27, 2014, at 4:41 AM PST
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  25. Mike Rapkoch Moderator

    I’m not quite sure the relevance of your cousin and your dad. That an accident might happen does not change the question. If your dad had awakened and thought your cousin an intruder he might well have killed him. But he would not have deliberately or intentionally done so. However, the law provides for these things, a matter of prudential judgment, by way of inquest to determine IF dad’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances. Granted, the cousin is dead, but the question of reasonableness remains.

    I agree that there would be a considerable obligation to find out what the Church crowd was all about before opening fire. 

    Actually, it seems to me, that the obligation to inquireis an abundantly practical thing. I’m thinking it prevents a great many unfortunate accidents. And a great many injustices.

    I now prefer inquiry to research, as the latter may impose too great a burden in many circumstances. Inquire may also be too much, but I have to go lie down. Or take a drink.

    • #25
    • January 27, 2014, at 5:06 AM PST
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  26. Foxfier Inactive
    Mike Rapkoch: I’m not quite sure the relevance of your cousin and your dad. 

    Because, divorced from practical applications, shooting a big scary guy standing over your bed in the middle of the night would depend entirely on who they were objectively, rather than who you thought they were.

    If my mom had woken up first, the huge stranger standing over the bed would’ve probably been DEAD.

    Exactly the same person, exactly the same situation, except for the question of who woke up first and if they recognized a strange shadow standing by the bed. In one case, the guy is shot, in the other, he’s gently led back to bed and it just becomes a family story.

    *******

    Black Prince

    I’ll second that! There are no easy answers. Hummm…should reasonable expectation the standard or should it be beyond a reasonable doubt? On second thought, don’t answer that…my head hurts =) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a good night!

    Good night!

    And, if you’re back again… it depends on what you mean by reasonable expectation and reasonable doubt; in some cases, they’re the same!

    • #26
    • January 27, 2014, at 5:17 AM PST
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  27. Foxfier Inactive
    Vald the Misspeller

    Here’s an examination of the dropping of warning leaflets during the American bombing campaign against Japan. 

    That’s a lot of words to say “we warned the Japanese, but didn’t give specifics until we knew what would actually happen.”

    • #27
    • January 27, 2014, at 7:48 AM PST
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  28. Vald the Misspeller Inactive
    Mike Rapkoch:

    Put another way, under Just War Theory, it is wrongful to deliberately kill innocent people in order to defeat the regime. You cannot kill the innocent as a tactic. · 3 hours ago

    By the time WWII was grinding to a conclusion, I suspect the Allies were less disposed to the theory of Augustine and more to that of Al Davis — i.e., not so much Just War Theory, as ” Just Win, Baby.” Certainly that had been the approach of their opponents all along.

    Here’s an examination of the dropping of warning leaflets during the American bombing campaign against Japan.

    • #28
    • January 27, 2014, at 9:27 AM PST
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  29. Bob Wainwright Member
    Aaron Miller: It is unremarkable that bishops from Europe and South America believe that government should take a forward role in the market.

    It is also unremarkable that many capitalists place more faith in the unplanned interactions of a free market than in God’s constant intercessions to address material poverty. When our dependence upon God is forgotten amid financial strategies, then the market can become a religious focus — a reason for being.

    What the Church does and will always reject is any treatment of human beings as faceless objects of use rather than personal objects of love. One can be a capitalist and a Christian, but that requires thinking beyond the numbers.

    In Christian ethics, the end does not justify the means. · 22 hours ago

    This sounds like a false alternative, as if there’s some kind of “tension” between Christianity and capitalism and that we have to find a middle ground. Is there a “tension” between Christianity and free speech, because some speech is hateful or evil? Christians who might denounce such speech usually don’t attack the concept of free speech itself. I don’t understand why free markets aren’t viewed similarly. 

    • #29
    • January 27, 2014, at 9:57 AM PST
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  30. George Savage Contributor

    Pope Francis would profit from a close reading of economist Hernando de Soto’s 2003 book “The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else”

    Why do some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail? In strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de Soto finds that it actually has everything to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system. In the West we’ve forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth.

    • #30
    • January 27, 2014, at 10:19 AM PST
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