Could you further explain the following passage from your book Business Secrets from the Bible?
“One would have expected the political left to excuse what it calls the “greed” of capitalism and to recognize it as nothing other than Darwinian law applied to the life of modern man. Yet, this is not possible; something as truly spiritual as commerce simply cannot coexist with socialism. The atheist himself recognizes that, to be true to his credo, he must reject the free market because of its godliness.”
Why can’t socialism exist with commerce when socialism also helps those that are less fortunate?
Why would you assume an atheist would reject a free market because of its spirituality when his basis for understanding spirituality is different from yours and he may himself benefit from capitalism if it allows him to benefit himself?
I am trying to test my previous ways of thinking and understand ideas and thought processes that I have never considered before.
We are delighted that you are reading Business Secrets from the Bible so carefully and actually thinking through each point.
We disagree with you that socialism helps those who are less fortunate. Its proponents gain control by promising to do so, but the reality has never matched the promise. As Winston Churchill said in the House of Commons on October 22, 1945,
‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.’
The only ones who do not share in the miseries of socialism are those in power. Somehow, they manage to live quite well, even opulently, as those who foolishly bought into their promises suffer, some of them even starving to death. We encourage everyone to learn history from fair and honest sources. Sadly, the information taught in schools and universities today is often neither. Unfortunately, you needn’t restrict yourself to history. Search out information about what is happening in Venezuela and other socialist paradises today.
Now, to get to your main point. We must acknowledge that when we write words such as, “the atheist,” we do not mean to say “each and every atheist.” Individuals do not fall 100% into categories. The atheist philosophy rejects the idea that humans are uniquely touched by the finger of God. We insist that this spiritual distinctiveness is precisely what allows humans to make individual decisions on thousands of large and small subjects. No lion decides to be a vegetarian and no kangaroo chooses to carry her babies on her back rather than in a pouch. People, however, can live not only with great variation but even with inconsistency. By “the atheist” we mean a philosophical idea rather than a specific person.
Also, you refer to spirituality whereas we tend to talk of Judeo-Christian Biblical thought. Sometimes spirituality is a word used as a synonym for “new age” thinking. We are talking of the set of Bible-based values that created the wealth and freedom of western civilization.
In 1000 AD the world’s population was about 200 million. Life was short, and dangerous for almost everyone. Disease and poverty were rampant. Even kings lived far worse than a lower-income individual in a large western city today. Yet, in less than a millennium, global population has grown to over five billion people the overwhelming majority of whom live in a state of health and comfort their ancestors could only dream of. According to David Landes an economic historian who is not in any way a religious man or Bible believer, this astounding progress is largely due to Judeo-Christian Biblical thinking
We see how a secular society grants full license to concupiscent behavior because it recognizes it as barnyard behavior and views us as no more than sophisticated animals. Regarding money however, its spiritual nature–no animal understands money–causes discomfort to the secularist. It’s no coincidence that atheistic societies have never succeeded in building effective economies. Nobody can succeed at something he deep down considers to be morally reprehensible.
In our writings, CDs, appearances and DVDs, we make the point that money is spiritual. We cannot condense thousands of words into a short few sentences here. But, when a society doesn’t acknowledge that money is spiritual then it is left to treat making it as immoral and selfish. It needs to reject the free market and capitalism. This, unfortunately, plays out in history over and over again.
Keep reading and asking questions,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin