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Is it a sin to be rich?

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libertygrl
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Posted 06/01/12 - 4:31 PM:
Subject: Is it a sin to be rich?
Any thoughts?
Samvega
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Posted 06/01/12 - 6:03 PM:

The existence of the rich presupposes the existence of the poor. This means that some people must struggle and suffer in order to meet their most basic needs, while others have their needs met and still have extra wealth to enjoy.

The word "sin" is etymologically related to the words for "guilt" and "debt" - and in many ancient languages, there is one word for all of these concepts. Often the poor are made to stand in relation to the rich such that they are in debt to them; the relationship of debt is one where the debtor is made to feel inadequate, guilty, "sinful".

Thus I would say it is often quite literally "sinful" to be poor.

I regard existence of social relations which result in disparity - whereby some are able to live in comfort and others must struggle - as an evil.
thedoc
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Posted 06/01/12 - 9:01 PM:

Nov 18, 2006 11:39:38 PM cite
The problems with the question are 2 assumptions. First that the rich are hoarding wealth and thereby depriving others of it's use. Second that for some to become rich, others must become poor.

When a succesful person accumulates wealth, that money does not go out of circulation. Money deposited in a bank, invested in the stock market, or used to buy good's and property, is going back into circulation, and money changing hands is good for the economy. Money in a bank is not stacks of bills with someones name on it, but is loaned out to homeowners, and businesses. Money in stocks is a loan to a company to expand or improve. Money spent on property or goods, goes to builders, suppliers, stores & manufacturers, and a lot of wages for employes. Wealthy people are therefore contributing to the health of the economy.

Successfull people do not gain wealth on the work of the poor. The poor do not always have good jobs, or any job, and have little to spend on consumer goods, and contribute little to the economy. It is the working and upper class, who have good jobs and money to spend, that support the rich. The very rich are a sign of a healthy economy that can support them. The reality is that everyone gets where they are in life by choice. Either choices they make (good or bad) or by not choosing and just letting things happen. Everyone must make choices, to move to a better place, to get a better job, or just to get a job. Those who stay in one place and do nothing are the victums of their own choices. Those in poverty should be helped, but not with a handout (not as a permanent solution), but with opportunity.
by thedoc
Thinker13
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Posted 06/02/12 - 10:28 AM:

Samvega wrote:
The existence of the rich presupposes the existence of the poor. This means that some people must struggle and suffer in order to meet their most basic needs, while others have their needs met and still have extra wealth to enjoy.


I agree. In a Utopia, there would be no "rich" or "poor" people.

Samvega wrote:

The word "sin" is etymologically related to the words for "guilt" and "debt" - and in many ancient languages, there is one word for all of these concepts. Often the poor are made to stand in relation to the rich such that they are in debt to them; the relationship of debt is one where the debtor is made to feel inadequate, guilty, "sinful".


Being poor, or in debt, might invoke similar feelings. Some people are rich, still in debt, some others are poor but out of debt or guilt. What about those who are poor but not in debt and don't feel guilty. Debt, guilt and wealth are pretty much Karmic.


Samvega wrote:

Thus I would say it is often quite literally "sinful" to be poor.

I regard existence of social relations which result in disparity - whereby some are able to live in comfort and others must struggle - as an evil.


This however, doesn't suggest that either "rich" or "poor" people are sinful or guilty of anything. OTOH, I do regard those people highly who have worked hard against all odds and made wealth for themselves by using proper means. I agree, however, that any means cannot be called righteous unless you look them in whole, in relation to other societal aspects. Social relations or conditions in which one prospers at expense of other are indeed sinful.

There could well be a society where no one is poor and everyone is wealthy and "how wealthy" cannot be calculated because there's nothing left to compare with. Win-win could be an equation, where everyone gets richer.
thedoc
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Posted 06/02/12 - 2:55 PM:

Thinker13 wrote:

There could well be a society where no one is poor and everyone is wealthy and "how wealthy" cannot be calculated because there's nothing left to compare with. Win-win could be an equation, where everyone gets richer.



This requires a specific definition of 'Rich'.
Thinker13
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Posted 06/03/12 - 2:23 PM:

thedoc wrote:



This requires a specific definition of 'Rich'.



'Rich' in this context might mean people who have more means to live easily than current "poor/middle class" people do. To take an example: If in India 25 rupees(Roughly 0.5 dollars)/day is the limit for BPL(Below Poverty Line income);- by which they define "poor" people, then, all of the persons in our visionary society would earn at least 2500 rupees per day.

*I meant in the society of our visions.

Edited by Thinker13 on 06/04/12 - 10:11 AM
henry quirk
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Posted 06/04/12 - 8:47 AM:

'Sin' is in the eye of the beholder.

'Rich' (and 'poor'): also in the eye of the beholder.

Meaningless distinctions (categories), I think.
thedoc
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Posted 06/04/12 - 7:04 PM:

'Rich' would be haveing several times more that you need to survive, by several orders of mgnatude. So you have money or wealth to waste on unnecessary nonsense.
SUNLIGHT
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Posted 06/05/12 - 1:51 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
Any thoughts?



It is not a sin to be rich BUT the way some people use their riches is a sin rolling eyes
Thinker13
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Posted 06/05/12 - 1:56 PM:

thedoc wrote:
'Rich' would be haveing several times more that you need to survive, by several orders of mgnatude. So you have money or wealth to waste on unnecessary nonsense.


I don't agree. Unnecessary 'nonsense' is way too relative/subjective a term. Our civilization today is way beyond using 'strictly' survival-oriented-tools.

For example, for many, internet might be a nonsense tool, no matter rich or poor, depending upon the way it's used--for some others, however, it might seem like a great tool to explore the world and broaden the mind and alleviate the boredom.

Point is--there is no absolutely nonsense tool/wealth.

Edited by Thinker13 on 06/06/12 - 4:42 PM
thedoc
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Posted 06/05/12 - 3:21 PM:

Agreed the actual threshold of rich may be lower but setting it high insures that we are talking about rich for sure.
praxis
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Posted 06/06/12 - 3:29 PM:

It might be difficult to justify buying a half million dollar car, for instance, while millions of children starve to death each year around the world. But people are not entirely rational creatures and it's not a sin to be human.
praxis
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Posted 06/06/12 - 3:29 PM:

It might be difficult to justify buying a half million dollar car, for instance, while millions of children starve to death each year around the world. But people are not entirely rational creatures and it's not a sin to be human.
henry quirk
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Posted 06/06/12 - 4:10 PM:

Again, rich, poor: meaningless distinctions (categories).

Consider: the rich man hobbled by his wealth, by his pursuit of it, his daily work to maintain and keep it...exactly how much does he 'pay' for that wealth (with the precious finites of attention, intention, and his very flesh)? Hell: just having to wear a suit and tie daily is a kind of hell.

Then: consider the man with virtually nothing (except essentials) who lives comfortably, who goes and does as he likes, who -- with the preserved anonymity of 'poverty' -- is arguably 'freer' (richer) than the rich man.

'Rich' and 'poor' are subjective terms: meaningful only in the context of one's 'self'...absolutely meaningless in any objective sense.

Consider: many, most, of the 'occupants', as they rail against the rich and proclaim themselves part of the disenfranchised 99%, are more wealthy (rich) than any resident of the third world. Not a one looks at his or her circumstance -- in the context of what he or she needs and wants -- and concludes 'hey, I'm doing okay!'...no: each and every one is driven to envy of the rich by way of comparison and contrast (which is all about apples and oranges...I am not Trump and he is not 'me'...I no more want his life than he wants mine).
praxis
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Posted 06/06/12 - 4:41 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
Consider: many, most, of the 'occupants', as they rail against the rich and proclaim themselves part of the disenfranchised 99%, are more wealthy (rich) than any resident of the third world. Not a one looks at his or her circumstance -- in the context of what he or she needs and wants -- and concludes 'hey, I'm doing okay!'...no: each and every one is driven to envy of the rich by way of comparison and contrast (which is all about apples and oranges...I am not Trump and he is not 'me'...I no more want his life than he wants mine).

Not sure if you understand that the same dynamic is at play in third world countries. It's just much more severe in places. How severe does the gap need to get before it's cool to envy those who's children don't starve to death?
Thinker13
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Posted 06/06/12 - 4:43 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
Again, rich, poor: meaningless distinctions (categories).

Consider: the rich man hobbled by his wealth, by his pursuit of it, his daily work to maintain and keep it...exactly how much does he 'pay' for that wealth (with the precious finites of attention, intention, and his very flesh)? Hell: just having to wear a suit and tie daily is a kind of hell.

Then: consider the man with virtually nothing (except essentials) who lives comfortably, who goes and does as he likes, who -- with the preserved anonymity of 'poverty' -- is arguably 'freer' (richer) than the rich man.

'Rich' and 'poor' are subjective terms: meaningful only in the context of one's 'self'...absolutely meaningless in any objective sense.

Consider: many, most, of the 'occupants', as they rail against the rich and proclaim themselves part of the disenfranchised 99%, are more wealthy (rich) than any resident of the third world. Not a one looks at his or her circumstance -- in the context of what he or she needs and wants -- and concludes 'hey, I'm doing okay!'...no: each and every one is driven to envy of the rich by way of comparison and contrast (which is all about apples and oranges...I am not Trump and he is not 'me'...I no more want his life than he wants mine).


Beautiful post.

Long time no see?
henry quirk
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Posted 06/06/12 - 5:06 PM:

"How severe does the gap need to get before it's cool to envy those who's children don't starve to death?"

Not about 'cool'...all about what YOU want and need and NOT about what the other guy or gal has.

If I'm alive and healthy and mobile, why the hell should I care if *Trump is rich?

If I'm alive and sick and immobile, how that hell is that Trump's fault?

The 'occupancy' argues that Trump steals and deprives the rest of wealth. I argue that, first, the 'occupants' should assess their priorities, and, second, get off their asses and go make their own wealth (or, storm Trump's castle, hang him, and take his...frankly: I don't too much give a shit what any of the 99% does).

*shrug*

My point (which is getting lost): richness/poorness is relative, has no objective meaning, and is a lousy reason for doing anything.

#

"Long time no see?"

Life and living: keeps me busy.









*I use Trump only 'cause he IS rich and is known to most, if not all, forum participants and lurkers, not because I give a rat's ass about him one way or the other.
thedoc
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Posted 06/06/12 - 6:25 PM:

Back to the specific definition of 'rich', whether monitary or otherwise. Certainly a man with little or no money can be 'rich' in some sense. Myself, I am 'rich' for the care of my grandchildren if not for my bank account.

If being 'rich' controls your life, at the expense of your life, then it is a 'sin'
praxis
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Posted 06/06/12 - 6:43 PM:

henry quirk wrote:
If I'm alive and healthy and mobile, why the hell should I care if *Trump is rich?

Because you may not be tomorrow, having been Trump'ed by the guy holding all the cards.

henry quirk wrote:
If I'm alive and sick and immobile, how that hell is that Trump's fault?

He may or may not consider it a fault, if at fault, but even if he is at fault it will be the 99% who bail him out, because he holds all the cards.

henry quirk wrote:
My point (which is getting lost): richness/poorness is relative, has no objective meaning, and is a lousy reason for doing anything.

Can't argue with that, some people just like being pawns.
thedoc
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Posted 06/06/12 - 6:51 PM:

I am watching the version of "A Christmas Carol" with George C. Scott (My favorite) and it was the scene where Scrouge's Father came to get him from the boarding school. The idea is that the father bore him a grudge because the mother dies in his childbirth. It occures to me that if the father could not forgive and love the child, then the father was incapable of loving anyone and the grudge was not for the loss of the love of the mother, but the mother was an instrument for the father to produce offspring as a social obligation and nothing more. Any display of affection would have been only to satisfy social conventions.
henry quirk
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Posted 06/07/12 - 8:45 AM:

"If being 'rich' controls your life, at the expense of your life, then it is a 'sin'"

Applicable to anything (food, sex, cars, television, clothes, depression, etc.

##

"Because you may not be tomorrow, having been Trump'ed by the guy holding all the cards."

Goes both ways: if the other guy draws the short straw, he's the one trumped.

#

"...it will be the 99% who bail him out, because he holds all the cards."

Only if the 99% (as individuals) choose to. Nothing in the world forces folks to buy Apple products, and, if you don't pay taxes then you ain't part of any bail out.

#

"...some people just like being pawns"

Most people. It's the price gladly paid to foster and hold on to the illusion of living in a stable, safe, world.
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Posted 06/09/12 - 5:26 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
Any thoughts?

could you explain pluto in the 12th house for me please smiling face
Thinker13
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Posted 06/10/12 - 1:34 PM:

SUNLIGHT wrote:

could you explain pluto in the 12th house for me please smiling face


Sure.The context here is Astrology. A while ago, in a thread, I pointed out to libertygrl that my study suggests that she must be having a strong 12th house in her horoscope or at least there should be many planets in it. She said that she remembers that a friend who did her horoscope a few years ago told her that she has Pluto in the twelfth house of her horoscope.

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are very slow moving planets in transit from view-point of earth, moreover, they are very far when compared to planets like Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn; therefore Vedic Astrology doesn't take them into account while doing calculations, but western system of Astrology does.

libertygrl's signatures are quite dynamic and they pretty much reflect the most recent encounters.
libertygrl
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Posted 06/21/12 - 1:36 PM:

Lots of good points all around. thumb up My own feeling on this topic is that rich people have no obligation to take care of poor people. Generosity toward the poor is a gift that should be borne of empathy.

Generosity and empathy are things that I greatly value, but short of keeping people from theft or physical harm, I don't think anyone needs to be forced to demonstrate generosity or empathy. I think certain things lose their value when someone is forced to do them. Imagine if someone told you "I love you" because they were forced to do so against their will. Wouldn't mean as much. That's how I feel about generosity.

So I say, no, it's not a sin to be rich. It's a virtue to be kind and generous, though.
libertygrl
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#25 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 06/21/12 - 1:38 PM:

praxis wrote:
But people are not entirely rational creatures and it's not a sin to be human.

christians believe it is hmm
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