Sunday Verse 7: Christmas Rambles

the-food-for-thought-award

While the world has turned its thoughts to Christmas, other matters intrude: In the US, many are preoccupied by the much-hyped “fiscal cliff” and the planned increase in taxes as well as the aftermath of the the horrific shooting at the elementary school — the one in which no one had a weapon to defend themselves with. The US government’s plans to exact more taxes, and to reduce Constitutional freedoms, are much discussed. I have obligations, voluntarily undertaken, remaining from the “Food for Thought Award” — and they include this seventh in a series on Sunday verses that have inspired my thought. In this instance, Luke 2 comes to mind, as it is both an account of the birth of of Jesus, and it begins with an announcement of government taxation: […]

Sunday Verse 6: Two Worlds

the-food-for-thought-award

One rather famous verse in the synoptic Gospels (such as in Matthew 21) includes this line: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” The same chapter contains many other recognizable phrases, and it has long intrigued me how many different Biblical expressions have made it to English conversational or literary use. For example, in this chapter are found the expression “Many are called, but few are chosen” and “Show me the money!” (often translated as “show me the tribute money” or “show the the tribute coin”). […]

Is Altruism Batty?

This creature is perhaps an unlikely representative of altruism:

The nightmarish vampire bat might not seem like a team player, given that it’s a parasite and all, but in fact it demonstrates some pretty advanced social intelligence. It’s in the best interest of a small animal like the bat to maintain a healthy and […]

Sunday Verse 5: Mammon and Rewards

the-food-for-thought-award

I’ve been enjoying recent re-visits to Ayn Rand’s work, and my own Lady Anne has just re-read the full text of Atlas Shrugged and is plowing through Rand’s non-fiction work now. This makes for enjoyable discussions (but I confess a bias toward always considering discussions with my Lady to be enjoyable). Along the way (and spurred by Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness available here as a .PDF file), some lively and surprisingly vehement discussions about definitions of “selfishness” and “self-interest” and “altruism” have taken place, and I have another post on that topic coming soon. But for my purposes at the moment, in this discussion of thought-provoking Bible verses pursuant to the Food for Thought award based on Citizen Tom’s rather flattering nomination, I’m going to look at Biblical treatments of wealth, and a slightly different take on altruism. […]

Critical Marx

communism

In the discussion on Ayn Rand’s works, the Lady Rowyn sagely suggests:

There are a lot of authors worth reading whether or not you agree with their conclusions. And whether or not people make fun of them.

Indeed. I’ve read much of Karl Marx, and am amazed that he has any followers at all. Especially […]

Denoting Bertrand Russell, “Red Emma” Goldman, Thomas Jefferson

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(This wound up being something of a scattered ramble on different philosophers in history.) I mentioned recently Ayn Rand’s definition of selfishness, as “concerned with one’s own interests.” It’s straightforward enough. In the ensuing discussion, I described this as less opaque than some of the definitions of Bertrand Russell. (I had miswritten his first name […]

Altruism and Religion

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Citizen Tom has a series of posts discussing altruism (as seen by Ayn Rand) and Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. I’m in the odd position of largely agreeing with him, ​and ​with Ayn Rand — despite his objecting to Rand’s writings. He describes well the dangers of enforced “altruism”: […]