10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

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thrombomodulin
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by thrombomodulin » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:46 pm

Paidion wrote: Rather he believed that God had shown him that he must kill Hitler.
My understanding was the same until this evening when I took some time to try to better inform myself of the assassination plot by reading a few internet articles. Apparently he had no direct involvement in the plot to assassinate Hitler. Some even say there is no evidence that he never reversed his pacifist views, and that he probably never supported the idea of assassination. I wrote the previous post before encountering this information - Homer will have to clarify if he was trying to make the point I thought he was, or if I've completely misunderstood it due to my ignorance of the Bonhofer story.

Yes, it is true that secession was not the issue in the plot to assassinate Hitler, but how we might identify whether it was Hitler or someone else who truly authorized by God to "bear the sword" in these circumstances within German territory is very nearly the same question as the point I have been making through secession - so I don't think this difference has any significant impact on the topic at hand.

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Paidion
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by Paidion » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:31 pm

Throm, the fact is that Bonhoeffer WAS involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler. I suggest you read the articles about his life in

CHRISTIAN HISTORY MAGAZINE

On page 15, you can read the following:
On July 20, 1944, the "officers' plot" to assassinate Hitler failed. In the dragnet that ensued, the Gestapo's investigators closed in on the main conspirators, including Bonhoeffer.
That is why he was put to death—as one of the conspirators.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 81.

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Homer
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by Homer » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:38 pm

Hi Pete,

If we follow Paul's reasoning in Romans 13 it seems that the rulers must be submitted to if they are carrying out God's purpose, which makes it difficult to either secede or overthrow them while being in God's will. And seceding involves taking land that in some sense belongs to the state. The people who wish to be free of the ruler should emigrate to another land, if they find one more to their liking.

Perhaps I am making more of Paul's commands than is warranted.

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dizerner
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by dizerner » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:56 am

Homer wrote:Hi Pete,

If we follow Paul's reasoning in Romans 13 it seems that the rulers must be submitted to if they are carrying out God's purpose, which makes it difficult to either secede or overthrow them while being in God's will. And seceding involves taking land that in some sense belongs to the state. The people who wish to be free of the ruler should emigrate to another land, if they find one more to their liking.

Perhaps I am making more of Paul's commands than is warranted.
Reading through Kings, God did seem to incite a rebellion at times for his purposes—could the Revolutionary War fit?
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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thrombomodulin
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by thrombomodulin » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi Homer,

Thanks again for your reply.
Homer wrote:And seceding involves taking land that in some sense belongs to the state.
This is not an assumption that I share. How far do you see the ownership of a ruler as extending and why? One could assert the apparently identical argument that a persons body also belongs in some sense to the State, and thus a ruler could be justified in using his prerogatives under Romans 13 to prohibit any man from departing to another ruler that he finds more to his liking. Is the parallel valid, if not what is wrong with the argument that wouldn't also apply to the land?
Homer wrote:If we follow Paul's reasoning in Romans 13 it seems that the rulers must be submitted to if they are carrying out God's purpose, which makes it difficult to either secede or overthrow them while being in God's will.
I think the practical problem is in identifying which, if any, particular ruler has the divine right to rule over any particular person or region (e.g. the war for independence in North America in the 1770's). One can always look to the status quo for a basis for establishing the boundaries, however, I don't see a reason to believe those borders are sacrosanct, because they were established in an arbitrary way and because they had been different in the past. But for now I'm more interested in asking about the qualification "if they are carrying out God's purpose". Romans 13 authorizes nothing beyond criminal justice, but the vast majority of modern State's taxation and expenditure involve activities that are not related to this - would it be an error to conclude that no modern State is within the limits of God's purposes?

Thanks
Pete

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Homer
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by Homer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:01 am

Hi Pete,

Very interesting subject.

You wrote:
Homer wrote:
And seceding involves taking land that in some sense belongs to the state.
Pete:
This is not an assumption that I share. How far do you see the ownership of a ruler as extending and why? One could assert the apparently identical argument that a persons body also belongs in some sense to the State, and thus a ruler could be justified in using his prerogatives under Romans 13 to prohibit any man from departing to another ruler that he finds more to his liking. Is the parallel valid, if not what is wrong with the argument that wouldn't also apply to the land?
Regarding the person's body the State has asserted some right. There is the long history of the draft for military service and jury duty for example. But first what do you believe is valid regarding law? I see the following possible categories:

1. Total anarchy; there are no laws that are valid.

2. Natural law, in the classic sense. We know certain things that are naturally understood to be right (or wrong).

3. Divine positive law. These would be regarding things that are right or wrong because God has declared them to be so.

4. Positive laws enacted by earthly rulers, the state has determined their validity.
Pete:
I think the practical problem is in identifying which, if any, particular ruler has the divine right to rule over any particular person or region (e.g. the war for independence in North America in the 1770's). One can always look to the status quo for a basis for establishing the boundaries, however, I don't see a reason to believe those borders are sacrosanct, because they were established in an arbitrary way and because they had been different in the past. But for now I'm more interested in asking about the qualification "if they are carrying out God's purpose". Romans 13 authorizes nothing beyond criminal justice, but the vast majority of modern State's taxation and expenditure involve activities that are not related to this - would it be an error to conclude that no modern State is within the limits of God's purposes?
I do not think that in Romans 13 that Paul intended to limit government to no more than criminal matters. Consider Romans 13:6-7:

6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Certainly Paul knew that the Romans used taxes and custom fees for more than criminal matters and he recognized the right of government to assess them. Would not the paying of taxes to build roads, for example, fall under the command to love our neighbor? Roads certainly benefit everyone.

Regarding property such as land we only own it to the extent that government allows us to. There is not only the issue of eminent domain but also we must adhere to restrictions such as building codes. If I build a structurally defective house I do not love the person I sell it to. Surely that is in God's will for government to regulate.

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thrombomodulin
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by thrombomodulin » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:50 pm

Hi Homer,

Yes, it is a very interesting topic, thanks for taking the time to discuss.
Homer wrote:Regarding the person's body the State has asserted some right. There is the long history of the draft for military service and jury duty for example. But first what do you believe is valid regarding law? I see the following possible categories ...
Indeed the State has historically asserted such rights, but the topic at hand only about what rights, if any, God has actually granted to the State. To answer your question: I accept #2 and #3 as valid, but reject #1 and #4. I reject #4 because I do not see an authority being granted by God for the State to create law.
Homer wrote:I do not think that in Romans 13 that Paul intended to limit government to no more than criminal matters. Consider Romans 13:6-7:... Certainly Paul knew that the Romans used taxes and custom fees for more than criminal matters and he recognized the right of government to assess them.
Verse 7 is qualified by "what is due to them". Which leads to the question what indeed is due to a ruler? One could assume on one hand that it is whatever the ruler decrees, or on the other that it is the amount God authorized him to be allowed to take. I hold the later opinion. I understand verse 6 to be a reference to the actions of verse 4 - so only taxes taken for the purpose of criminal justice is authorized. Is there an error in interpreting the verses this way?
Homer wrote:Would not the paying of taxes to build roads, for example, fall under the command to love our neighbor? Roads certainly benefit everyone.
Indeed roads benefit many people. The same is true of planes, trains, hospitals, drugs, farms, restaurants, power plants, computers, motorcycles, etc,. But the fact is that to have some resources dedicated to the production of any one thing necessitates that there is an opportunity cost, because those same resources could not have been used in some other way to meet a different human need. Since the financing of government is on a compulsory basis, it lacks a profit and loss test that confirms it is taking less valuable resources and turning them into more valuable resources. Hence it is in the weakest position of all to make the cost-benefit decisions about how resources are allocated to best meet human needs. Besides this, compulsory financing through taxation cannot be an expression of love since one has no choice about whether to pay for it or not. But if one pays more in taxes than the State is requiring, then it could be an expression of love of such things.
Homer wrote:Regarding property such as land we only own it to the extent that government allows us to. There is ... the issue of eminent domain
Indeed rulers assert such a right, but I do not believe rulers are acting within the authority God has given them to seize control of land belonging to other men in this way.
Homer wrote:If I build a structurally defective house I do not love the person I sell it to. Surely that is in God's will for government to regulate.
I disagree. It would indeed be wrong to sell a structurally defective house under the false claim that it is a structurally sound house. Such an action is fraudulent because you as a seller have not attained the consent of the buyer for the product that is actually being delivered in exchange for his money, so it already covered under item #2 and no further laws of type #4 are required. The seller of a defective house, who accurately represents the condition of the building he is selling, is not guilty of anywrong doing and he should not be prohibited from creating such a product and selling it. Subjective value theory establishes that prohibitions on such activities only harm the potential buyer - such restrictions cannot help him to be better off.

Best Regards,
Pete

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Biblegate
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by Biblegate » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:02 am

Here's an excellent Biblical analysis of the proper role of government.
Image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avmJCNB ... TrKYPkW26o

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Homer
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by Homer » Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:14 am

Hi Pete,

Do you base your ideas about God's will for human government on the Law of Moses? For me, I believe the entire Law of Moses has been done away with, replaced by laws of conduct in the New Covenant, or "Law of Christ". Are you coming from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective? There are two schools of thought regarding what is permitted in the NT. On the most basic level, if it is not specifically permitted it is wrong. The other is that if it is not forbidden, it is allowed (it could be forbidden by implication; cocaine, for example).

You wrote:
But the fact is that to have some resources dedicated to the production of any one thing necessitates that there is an opportunity cost, because those same resources could not have been used in some other way to meet a different human need. Since the financing of government is on a compulsory basis, it lacks a profit and loss test that confirms it is taking less valuable resources and turning them into more valuable resources. Hence it is in the weakest position of all to make the cost-benefit decisions about how resources are allocated to best meet human needs.
But this test does not apply to criminal matters of justice where there is no profit or loss.
Besides this, compulsory financing through taxation cannot be an expression of love since one has no choice about whether to pay for it or not.
But it could be an act of love if a person voted for a bond measure, and the taxes that would be an obligation, if that bond measure was for a community hospital where no private entity would provide for the common good. And what of the things that we indirectly vote for through those representatives we elect who we expect to represent our common best interest?

The Old Testament laws were given to Israel. They never applied to the gentiles who were never accused of not keeping them. If we do not reference the LOM for what is permissible regarding government, is there anything directly stated other than Romans 13 in the NT?

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thrombomodulin
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Re: 10/25 Afternoon show - Re: voting

Post by thrombomodulin » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:37 am

Homer wrote:Do you base your ideas about God's will for human government on the Law of Moses? For me, I believe the entire Law of Moses has been done away with, replaced by laws of conduct in the New Covenant, or "Law of Christ". Are you coming from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective?
I also hold the opinion that the entire law of Moses has been done away with. I have not read any books written by authors coming from a Christian Reconstructionist perspective, so I am mostly unfamiliar with their perspective. From what I know about this view, it seeks to have modern governments apply the law of Moses. Since the law of Moses has been abolished, I do not agree with their view.
Homer wrote:There are two schools of thought regarding what is permitted in the NT. On the most basic level, if it is not specifically permitted it is wrong. The other is that if it is not forbidden, it is allowed (it could be forbidden by implication; cocaine, for example).
On the most basic level my view is that "if it is not forbidden it is allowed".
Homer wrote: But [the profit and loss] test does not apply to criminal matters of justice where there is no profit or loss.
That is true if the assumption is made that compulsory financing is necessary to administer criminal justice. In another thread I posted a link to a presentation made by Robert P. Murphy where he described the possibility of administering criminal justice without the State - and hence without compulsory financing. In such a system, criminal matters are enforced and judged by private firms which are funded by the voluntary payment of customers who value the security recieved more than alternative ways that they might spend their money. Therefore, it is possible that a profit and loss test can be applied to matters of criminal justice.
Homer wrote:But it could be an act of love if a person voted for a bond measure, and the taxes that would be an obligation ...
First, it is not obvious to me that the premise that there is no private entity that would provide for the common good is valid. I understand this to be affirming that if a privately operated hospital existed, then it would fail the profit and loss test. If this is so, then is it not against the common good to build it? For by affirming the hospital could only operate at a loss, it is the same thing as affirming that people of the community value other uses of their money more highly than the services a local hospital might provide.

Second, a bond measure strikes me as not loving because it compels the participation of those who do not wish to fund the hospital. Nonetheless, if some members of the community desired to establish a hospital, then how would it be inferior in any way to simply solicit donations from those that wished to contribute towards it?
Homer wrote:And what of the things that we indirectly vote for through those representatives we elect who we expect to represent our common best interest?
What particular things do you have in mind?
Homer wrote:If we do not reference the LOM for what is permissible regarding government, is there anything directly stated other than Romans 13 in the NT?
Yes, the NT is very much lacking in informing us of what is permissible regarding government. The NT certainly describes ethical standards for believers to follow, and I am inclined to doubt that a separate and different standard exists that applies only to rulers. If indeed there are two different ethical standards (one for rulers, one for those ruled) then it leaves much uncertainty regarding what behavior God expects. A person like Bonhoffer may have seen himself as acting in the mode of a ruler and possessing the divine authority to administer criminal justice in taking Hitler's life, or he may have regarded himself in the other category and seen such an act as impermissible (obliged to follow Romans 12). For reasons I've expressed earlier in the thread I think the classification of an individual into the category of a ruler is difficult or impossible to establish with certainty. Such a classification may in fact only be evident in an ex-post manner, and that leads to uncertainty regarding ethical behavior. One, if he felt lead to do so, could switch away from following the ethical of one who is ruled in hopes of attaining that ex-post justification (e.g. secession problem); or consider that a voter may justify many things that he would consider invalid for him to do by himself (e.g. you would consider it to be unethical to be the agent who directly goes to your neighbors house and take his money, against his wishes, to fund developing a hospital).

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