Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wonky moral compass

Priest: Thou shalt not steal (unless it's from big business)

A UK priest has defended his comments that it is acceptable to steal from large companies. Tim Jones, parish priest of St Lawrence and St Hilda, told his congregation in York, northern England: "My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift."

Posted by devo @ 08:06 AM (1778 views)
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54 thoughts on “Wonky moral compass

  • cue hissy fit from little miss professor

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  • I would say to anyone read what he actually said before you comment. I would say he’s a realist.
    The real question behind the story is – why should the common man deal with moral absolutes while those further up the food chain get to be more flexible?
    Is, for example, paying someone an unliveable wage or price for their goods stealing from them?

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  • devo, the house of God.

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  • Shippy, true, but that would be transferring one’s employer’s thieving onto the shops. In a country with a meddling government better to practice Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience.

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  • Of course, having read it, he’s referring to people who don’t pay tax, so my above comment doesn’t apply.

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  • The powers at be have been stealing off the rest of us for centuries, even took the land, carved it up into bite size pieces & sell it back to us at extortionate rates, which once paid for will help fund payment for the old peoples home they like to put us in..
    Dirty rotten scoundrel’s…Viva la Revolution

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  • ‘Thou shalt not steal (unless you’re big business)’ could be a headline every day.

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  • Has government helping the poor (meddling) removed the urge for others to be generous. Eliminating caring from society. Hardship brings out the best? Unintended consequences.

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  • rumble, the idea of the welfare state was to act on behalf of society for the most needy. The reason why it is there is because people weren’t being generous.
    But that ignores the property/resources issue – the welfare state as it currently is is not needed as people should have a citizen’s wage – their share of the country’s natural resources that are their birthright.

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  • cat and canary says:

    The fact that everyone feels they have to steal from others to survive, or make ends meet, or just keep up with the Jone’s, is the real problem. Moving to London made me accutely aware of this.

    There’s something rotten at the heart of society if everyone’s stealing of everyone else. So I disagree with the priest, and wonder if he is aware of “give to those who despitefully use you”???

    The only solution, IMO, is to break the cycle of animosity, and that in turn requires givers (whether individuals or companies) to outnumber takers.

    i.e. giving is not “false humility” or foolish …there is a very good motive for giving…. not just to feel good, not just to help someone, but also to change mindsets of those you give to and thus break the cycle of animosity.

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  • Shippy, interesting. A ruse by any other name is still a ruse? Citizen’s wage is pretty much benefits renamed. I think I have two issues with that. First, giving cash enables choice including the purchase of, for example, drugs (no generalising all, just example), and I wouldn’t have a problem with that choice if it were earned money, but as my tax money I am only prepared to pay for basics, food, shelter. Second, having a stake in something, even a country, requires some contribution, otherwise it’s parasitism. Then the OCD in me raises a third issue, disliking the untidy little handing of the wage to the wealthy, who are also elligible as citizens, who then probably just hand it back, rather than everyone simply starting on the alternative level playing field of no citizen’s wage, which leads us back to benefits or generosity.

    On the first issue: people weren’t being generous, or people were deemed insufficiently generous, in which case could the admirable goal simply have been a little unnecessarily ambitious of some pompous git who thought he could save the world?

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  • C&C nicely said, however someone once told me that ‘ Givers have to know when to stop giving, as Takers do not know when to stop taking’ but maybe oneday we shall all live in harmony..

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  • CnC (played Command and Conquer?),
    “The fact that everyone feels they have to steal from others to survive, or make ends meet, or just keep up with the Jone’s, is the real problem. Moving to London made me accutely aware of this.”

    I’m not sure Londoners steal for those reasons, as much as they think they have some sort of community entitlement, or Robin Hood obligation to redistribute everything and anything. Among various other parts, I’ve had a mud guard taken from my bike. I admit I have no idea of the black market rate for a mud guard, but I can’t imagine it helped with the above, considering benefits and that bicycle mud guards aren’t the hippest thing to brag about.

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  • IMO this is the problem with christian morals. It all depends on the ultimate judgment at the pearly gates. What he is effectively saying is that it is ok for us to be bad because the people further up the food chain are bad. Which makes a nonsense of morals. What he should be saying is that leaving judgment to god is a waste of time and people need to start putting a noose around the necks of <<>>>

    I don’t like apologist morals. I find them pathetic.

    “The channel we’ve been tuned to is all frigid, blank and clear
    Told what to eat and drink and buy and whom to hate and fear
    POisoned by the fairy-tale, A capitalistic dream
    Go to sleep, You’re free and brave, and on the winning team”

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  • Rumble, a citizen’s wage isn’t benefits, but as I said a reflection of each citizen’s ownership of their own country. What they do with it is their choice. Would living off the land and providing for oneself be parasitic? Only if someone else had a ‘claim’ to that land. Should individuals be able to claim parts of the earth? Should someone have to buy land to be able to feed their family? That’s the question. But the systems we have now are unlikely to be changed. Land value tax (replacing other taxes) would provide the citizen’s income and of course increases in land value aren’t earned by individuals, so you wouldn’t be losing out. Of course rich people would get it as well, but then they would be paying out most of the LVT as they own the land.

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  • The ‘need’ to steal comes from the top in any society, both by example and by inequality. Perhaps stealing could be seen as reclaiming what was stolen as birth. Moral absolutes are fine for those who can feed themselves and their children.

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  • cat and canary says:

    Hi Happy Mondays!!,

    yeah, see your point. There’s a difference between a thief who doesn’t know better and a thieving user/manipulator!!

    Personally, I love talking to manipulators!!! Especially the ones who cold call..!! Cos the point about manipulators is that they are already aware that their actions disadvantage their target. Hence, I really do enjoy just bluntly exposing their scheme out in the open, and then let them try to justify them to me! Much better than not acknowledging that you are aware of their manipulations!

    RBS bankers are another thing! They take taxpayers money. Then take more! Then try to justify to us why they should be paid a bonus! Pushing back against this is the only solution.

    ===

    Inbreda

    This priest isn’t really very aware of his own religious teachings, which was supposed to be about self-sacrifice in the face of injustice and so on. Which is one reason why i’m agnostic, I have a hard time reconciling unconditional self-sacrifice at any levels, so I choose to sit on the fence, even though my family are religious scholars/nuts! But I still advocate spreading justice wherever possible, out of social practicality.

    ===

    rumble,

    haha, loved command and conquer!! what a game! wasn’t rumble one of the transformers?! 🙂

    Sorry about your mud guard! Thieving monkeys! You prob right about londoner’s “redistribution rights” but I guess it boils down to similar mechanisms of self-preservation out of mistrust for others.

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  • It is not the governments job to ensure theft is always one sided. It’s the class system stupid!

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  • Is it not, even. Must keep social order.

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  • Inevitably we degenerate into a critique of what is wrong with the welfare state which usually goes along the lines of “why should ( an astronomically small percentage of) my hard eared money go to a chav to buy crack”, which isn’t really worth answering. However, it is obvious that most of my fellow citizens (with the notable exception of Mr. Shipbuilder) find it fairly unobjectionable that those at the top take many multiples more that they neither “earn”, “need” or “deserve” to spend on houses they don’t live in, food they don’t eat, expensive education their children are not bright enough to benefit from and spend the rest on anything they like. Such persons never even consider the corrosive effect of such a massive gap in society, let alone possible connection with creation of said loathsome chav.
    There is no justice, only law.

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  • Inevitably we degenerate into a critique of what is wrong with the welfare state which usually goes along the lines of “why should ( an astronomically small percentage of) my hard eared money go to a chav to buy crack”, which isn’t really worth answering. However, it is obvious that most of my fellow citizens (with the notable exception of Mr. Shipbuilder) find it fairly unobjectionable that those at the top take many multiples more that they neither “earn”, “need” or “deserve” to spend on houses they don’t live in, food they don’t eat, expensive education their children are not bright enough to benefit from and spend the rest on anything they like. Such persons never even consider the corrosive effect of such a massive gap in society, let alone possible connection with creation of said loathsome chav.
    There is no justice, only law.

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  • I think there are a few of us here who object to the power of large companies collectively to impoverish a section of society – a growing section. Of course there are plenty of others who come out with the old saws about private sector efficiency, low taxes and all the other tried and failed nonsense that are part of the slanted economic infrastructure. Still, an appropriate discussion for the season. Happy Christmas.

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  • Shippy, you’ve given me food for thought. I was almost sold, but was interrupted by a friend reporting (or confessing) her behaviour that would have the priest shaking his head. Or would it? I think I’m done with thinking for today, but may revisit after beer. Assuming they’ll let me ride my high horse into the bar!

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  • “It is not the governments job to ensure theft is always one sided.” Sometimes you manage paint a picture far bigger than the sentence.

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  • Shippy, I’m sold. Nice. I’ve written a number of long responses, and this is all I have to show for it!

    Wikipedia…
    “The Welfare State of the United Kingdom was prefigured in the William Beveridge Report in 1942, which identified five “Giant Evils” in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease.

    Clement Attlee’s 1945 Labour government pledged to eradicate these Evils. The government undertook measures in policy to provide for the people of the United Kingdom “from the cradle to the grave.”

    This policy resulted in massive expenditure and a great widening of what was considered to be the state’s responsibility.

    Those five evils were identified mid-world war – ridiculous, what do they expect in that chaos – justifies the “necessity” of the welfare state.

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  • three out of five ain’t bad, I suppose

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  • sorry, agreed, lalaland, although the mechanism for want is a bit buckled.

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  • 3?

    progress has been made with regards to squalor, want and disease.

    progress in overcoming ignorance has been marginal at best

    idleness has increased

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  • feel free to contradict me… i’ll go easy on you

    thread starter becomes thread killer… what’s the odds on that, eh?

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  • Erm, I agree. Ok, I’ll disagree over the ignorance. Exams easier, people goofing off in front of reality shows whereas previously goofing off would have involved reality. People have been subjected to more political lies. I’m struggling, and I dare not mention the world wide ***.

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  • 31. rumble said… ‘I’ll disagree over the ignorance… exams easier”

    exams easier? – undoubtedly, but this has little if anything to do with measuring the ignorance of the dispossessed.

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  • rumble said… I dare not mention the world wide web

    Ah yes… the internet.

    THE power for good or evil.

    But what will it be?

    I say it will be a power for good.

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  • Why are little baby cherubs usually armed with bows and arrows?

    Surely, AK-47s would be more appropriate for the coming decade?

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  • Uh, because the cherubs stand for peace, love and happiness. They’re not being recruited for civil unrest.

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  • 35. rumble said… Uh, because the cherubs stand for peace, love and happiness. They’re not being recruited for civil unrest

    ah, of course, the bow and arrow: the hystorical symbol of peace!

    sorry, i said i’d go easy on you: my bad

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  • the arrows are symbols of love. Don’t ask me, I didn’t conjure these fellas. Tradition. Like Darlings little budget briefcase.

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  • 37. rumble said … the arrows are symbols of love, like Darling’s little budget briefcase

    Well, if it works for you, who am I to argue?

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  • No, it does nothing for me. For chocolatiers I guess.

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  • OK… let’s move on…

    Do you think that WW3 is now inevitable?

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  • Hmm… if the power elite want slaves, then they’d be better off not wiping them out.

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  • i expected israel to strike iran before the nuke capability is achieved, but with the US surge in afghanistan, that seems to be prep for a strike on iran, maybe to reduce claims of it being a religious strike.

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  • with globalisation, the people at the top are forming a little boys club, each with resources dependent on another’s resources, more like departments within a company rather than competing companies, i think they’ll suppress little troublemakers like mahmoud, and keep peace with each other.

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  • 42. rumble said… i expected israel to strike iran before the nuke capability is achieved

    Once sides are taken, existing nuclear capability of the protagonist nation states is irrelevant.

    NB: I’m not convinced that our ‘leaders’ realise that; incredible as it may seem!

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  • 43. rumble said… with globalisation, the people at the top are forming a little boys club

    would this be the ‘new world order’ that the conspiraloons used to talk about?

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  • I guess a merging of countries would start taking place, away from the EU, they’d still keep their names and flags, but it’s superficial, same laws, open travel, the president of each country reporting to the same bloke. But i’m knackered, so maybe talking tripe, and am certainly going to bed.

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  • i guess there would be the public characters, and there’d be people off stage with money and influence who have some sway over the public characters. the natural setup as always.

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  • 46. rumble said… I guess a merging of countries would start taking place, away from the EU, they’d still keep their names and flags, but it’s superficial, same laws, open travel, the president of each country reporting to the same bloke.

    Sounds good… as long as the right ‘bloke’ was in charge.

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  • politicians use the ‘new world order’ differently to the theorists. politicians mean structure of society, theorists mean a secret order of people running the show.

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  • AK47’s, WW3…. feeling restless?

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  • This person is an optimist. Been arguing religion with my dear deluded sister for decades. Futile.

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  • AK47’s, WW3…. feeling restless?

    yes

    very

    as a pacifist by nature, that should worry people

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  • I’m atheist gnostic!

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