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Author Topic: Is Anarcho-Capitalism Incompatible With Christianity?  (Read 41661 times)
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2011, 05:35:43 PM »

Polygamy however is was outlawed later in the old testament, though David and Solomon did violate this. David's violation however may not have really been a violation as he had to marry Bathsheeba (pun.)

I agree entirely with Script about questioning the truth of Romans 13, it is a dangerous path to go on. There cannot be any lies in the Bible, even if it were for the purpose of insuring that the Roman government wouldn't persecute the church.

Romans 13 has been the passage that I have struggled with non-stop. I know beyond a doubt that the state is immoral, and in a sense, anti-Biblical. Yet Romans 13 it would seam is saying that God condones the state, which I cannot reconcile with the belief that the state is immoral.
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2011, 09:13:02 PM »

no this is my first account on these kind of sites
I am actual a new convert to An-Cap but that should be covered in the other area
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2011, 09:47:44 PM »

Hi I am new to the site. I consider myself an anarcho-capitalist and a Christian. A great resource for anarchist Christians is Jacques Ellul. He wrote a book called Anarchy and Christianity. I don't know if anyone mentions it already. Other great people such as Tolstoi or Ghandi have very similar ideas as well.

I myself take anything Paul said with a grain of salt. I think he was really off base with a lot of things. I do not necessarily think that the Bible was "divinely inspired”. It is a compilation of books written by people about God. Even if it was originally written by God a lot of the original meaning was most likely lost in translation. In addition, some of the books were written in very different times. In reading the Bible from cover to cover, you get the overall concept that the New Testament “fixes” the misunderstandings in the Old Testament. That being said not a lot changes on the subject of taxes or anarchism.

Ellul interprets "render unto Caeser that which is Caeser's" as everything bearing Caeser's mark should be given back to him when he asks for it. It is not about taxes at all, but ownership. It is a very carefully worded verse in the New Testament. Jesus never says that taxes are right or wrong.

One thing that should be noted is that the Bible cannot be taken one verse at a time. It is important to cross reference to other times when Jesus is talking about money. He also says that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. So do these ideas mean that you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven because you are a capitalist who makes money hand over fist and buys unnecessary luxuries with it? No. You can simply give your money away as Christ instructs his disciples to do.
As a college student I have talked with Christians who are wondering what they should do after college and how they should handle their jobs that will inherently allow them to make a lot of money. They seemed distressed reading the parable of the camel passing through the eye of the needle. They never thought about making the money that would support a life of luxury but not accepting that life. Capitalism can, in my opinion, aid in charity.

Capitalism and the stereotype of the rich guys with top-hats and mustaches need to be torn apart. I think that it is very important to keep ideas separate from one another and not get them contaminated by biases from current situations or past implementations. It seems to be the case even with people in higher education.

In my readings, both the New Testament and the Old Testament seem to agree with anarchist ideas; maybe even the Old Testament more so than the New Testament. As some other people were saying, Judges is a great book to read to get an idea of the ideas of government at the time. There is the awesome repeating verse that says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). At the beginning of Judges there is the Parable of the Trees. In it the trees look for a ruler for themselves, but no tree wants to rule. They end up with a bramble who threatens to burn the “Cedars of Lebanon” (Judges 9:15). This is of course a metaphor to the Israelites wanting a king to rule over themselves. Abimelech, the bramble, becomes king and ends up getting killed in war. Maybe this story is an illusion to pacifist-anarchism as well? That being said it is impossible for a Christian anarchist to not be a pacifist as well. The Sermon on the Mount is a great reference for this.

Anyways, I thought that I would try to contribute to the conversation. I am somewhat new to anarchism and simply want to learn from people who know what they are talking about. I am probably off on a lot of things or repeated stuff other people already said.
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2011, 10:10:17 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Tim! It's interesting to see so many Christian anarchists here. I think there may be more Christian anarchists here than atheist anarchists. On a side note, if there is anybody who self-identifies as Christian-anarchist and would like to submit content to the front page you are encouraged to do so. I cannot guarantee I will publish it, but if I consider it high quality I most definitely will. If I do not publish it, try not to be offended. About 75% of submitted articles do not get published, however, many authors that I have published have had other articles rejected. So, one rejection does not mean I will always reject. Try again.
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 03:03:33 PM »

I'm not a Christian, just someone who acknowledges that God exists. Religion and politics are, IMHO, opiates of the masses. Anyways, here's something maybe relevant to the conversation:

"Render Unto Caesar: A Most Misunderstood New Testament Passage"

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/barr-j1.1.1.html
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2011, 06:42:19 AM »

I'm not a Christian, just someone who acknowledges that God exists. Religion and politics are, IMHO, opiates of the masses. Anyways, here's something maybe relevant to the conversation:

"Render Unto Caesar: A Most Misunderstood New Testament Passage"

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/barr-j1.1.1.html

Yeah, that is a great article.  I linked to it in my OP.  Also, in regards to the discussion on Romans 13 here are a couple links I've been looking at that take a look at it from the anarchist perspective: http://romans13.embassyofheaven.com/understanding.htm  and http://vftonline.org/VFTfiles/thesis/Anarcho-Theocracy.htm.  This last link has an incredible amount of research and information on it.  I'm still sorting through it all. 
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2011, 05:09:06 PM »

In my forty-seven year journey of life I've come to the conclusion that God exists. He communes with me by evidence of his fingerprints on the natural world around me and beyond in the stars. I don't "believe" God exists. I know he exists. I adhere to no man made religion which seeks to impose it's control on my behavior (no matter how well intended). With regard to the state, I do all I can to stay off their radar and live my life as simply as possible with the realization that this life is short and temporal. My philosophy reflects my simple mindedness. It works for me.  Smiley
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Seth King
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 06:30:48 PM »

In my forty-seven year journey of life I've come to the conclusion that God exists. He communes with me by evidence of his fingerprints on the natural world around me and beyond in the stars. I don't "believe" God exists. I know he exists. I adhere to no man made religion which seeks to impose it's control on my behavior (no matter how well intended). With regard to the state, I do all I can to stay off their radar and live my life as simply as possible with the realization that this life is short and temporal. My philosophy reflects my simple mindedness. It works for me.  Smiley

Well said.
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2011, 05:02:32 PM »

Last night I got to thinking about the "state" and how it relates to us as individuals. I've pointed out that I know God exists. I've concluded that since I own myself, no man can rule me unless I decide to be ruled. The state, no matter how small and how well intentioned it may be, violates self ownership by it's mere existence. The state is contrary to the Natural Law of self ownership. It's a given then that AnCap is not only compatible with Christianity, it is necessary in order to stay in accord with the Creator. I can't see any way that Natural Law allows for the existence of the state. (caveat: the threat is that religion may morph into a theocracy)

The only aspect of anarchism that is bothersome to me is it's name. Although we understand it means "without ruler", the rest of the world views it at the extreme with violence and chaos. As most people are easily influenced because of their lack of understanding (ignorance) of anarchism, they thus take a negative view of it. I've told some of my friends that I'm a "ContraStatist" which simply conveys that I'm against statism. It may not be the best term for substitution of "anarchism" but it doesn't usually cause a wide eyed distaste when spoken and I can go on and explain my thoughts without them being prejudiced.
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2011, 04:45:42 PM »

 
The only aspect of anarchism that is bothersome to me is it's name. Although we understand it means "without ruler", the rest of the world views it at the extreme with violence and chaos. As most people are easily influenced because of their lack of understanding (ignorance) of anarchism, they thus take a negative view of it. I've told some of my friends that I'm a "ContraStatist" which simply conveys that I'm against statism. It may not be the best term for substitution of "anarchism" but it doesn't usually cause a wide eyed distaste when spoken and I can go on and explain my thoughts without them being prejudiced.

The term "Voluntaryist" can also work as a good initial substitute, and it's already fairly well known among An-Caps.
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2011, 10:34:51 PM »

Quote
The term "Voluntaryist" can also work as a good initial substitute
Excellent. Another idea is to not label yourself at the initial stages.
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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2011, 02:13:13 PM »

I'm thinking I'll just start using Dubhánist.  Grin
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« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2012, 08:56:37 PM »

Is seems fairly clear to me that any religious institution is just like a government in that it wants people to submit to its will. Further more Jesus himself said that "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven." Jesus also told the rich man to sell all of his possession and give them to the poor, and to be selfless etc...

In other words to my mind Jesus was a clear cut Socialist/Communist, and the ethics of Christianity are clearly in line with Statism and Socialism not Anarchy and Capitalism.

The extent to which someone is a capitalist is the extent to which they are ignoring their Christianity. To be both is to be inconsistent and to be committing a double think fallacy. People certainly do it, all the time.

I'm not the most articulate individual but I hope what I said here makes sense.
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« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2012, 09:50:24 PM »

Is seems fairly clear to me that any religious institution is just like a government in that it wants people to submit to its will. Further more Jesus himself said that "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to get into heaven." Jesus also told the rich man to sell all of his possession and give them to the poor, and to be selfless etc...

In other words to my mind Jesus was a clear cut Socialist/Communist, and the ethics of Christianity are clearly in line with Statism and Socialism not Anarchy and Capitalism.

The extent to which someone is a capitalist is the extent to which they are ignoring their Christianity. To be both is to be inconsistent and to be committing a double think fallacy. People certainly do it, all the time.

I'm not the most articulate individual but I hope what I said here makes sense.

It makes sense, although your quote can be interpreted many different ways. You see it as evidence of Jesus being a socialist. I don't. I see it as him saying that the only way rich people get rich is through corruption. It's sort of the way I see things today. In order to be rich today you have to play the game right, which involved corruption. How many of those rich people today would give up all of their riches in order to fight the state? Not many.
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« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2012, 10:28:22 PM »


[/quote]

It makes sense, although your quote can be interpreted many different ways. You see it as evidence of Jesus being a socialist. I don't. I see it as him saying that the only way rich people get rich is through corruption. It's sort of the way I see things today. In order to be rich today you have to play the game right, which involved corruption. How many of those rich people today would give up all of their riches in order to fight the state? Not many.
[/quote]

I base the idea that Jesus is a socialist and Christianity compatible with statism and socialism on many more passages than the one I used above. Talking about all the reason would take a long time, as I used to think about religion a lot more years ago. To me the compatiblity of christainity with anarcho capitalism is only academic as I am not a christian and do not need to recouncil these two belief systems.

Ultimately though Christian ethics are about trying to be perfectly selfless. Jesus was supposed to have been the epitome of the selfless man, as his "sacrifice" was to give men the chance to be forgiven.

I think it is also clear that Capitalism is based upon men being selfish in nature. As the actions of people in a capitalist system are done inorder to improve their lot in life. Selfishness and Selflessness are opposites.

That is why I view Christianity and Capitalism to be incompatible.

At the same time the old testament is in arguably a statist piece of literature as the theme is do as God says or he kills you. If you say that Jesus made it to where Christians no longer need to follow the old testament I point you to Mathew 5:17 "Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them".

That seems clear enough to me.

If you are interested me giving a more in depth look at passages that make me believe Jesus was a socialist let me know and I will. The reason I do not right now is that it will take some time as I have not looked at a bible in a number of years.
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