My brain always likes to think about the “big picture” (although I am also consistently paradoxically impulsive). I will never (or I do my best not to) accept a premise without philosophically understanding it as much as possible. It is why I currently, at the time of this writing, do not have a job nor do I have a car. It is because I never take what I hear for granted, and I must figure it out on my own to the greatest depths that I can achieve. The reason that I do not have a job is because when I was finally old enough for my parents to tell me to get one, I did not understand what was going on so I weaseled my way out of it as I have always done throughout my life. I am not ashamed of this. If you can get what you want with less effort, you’d be an idiot not to do so. It is also why I never wash dishes (I am probably going to buy a lot of styrofoam when I move out on my own), and yes, I still live with my parents. I’ll explain all of this later.
But because I did not understand what money was, or why people had jobs, or why money bought you things that you needed, or why some people owned businesses while other people didn’t, I avoided getting a job and working for someone else. There is a mysterious phenomena within human nature (in fact, I think it’s a law) that says that everyone knows how to live everyone else’s lives better than that person knows themselves. It’s unavoidable, and it’s something that we have to deal with as a race. Obviously, people were doing these things that I wasn’t doing, and my nature takes over where I must have as thorough explanations as possible before I make any decision. My nature is discussed many times over, and I think this is important because it is how I’m going to do everything that I do in my life. Diversity is often celebrated, but it has caused me nothing but the utmost frustration. People that cannot do math piss me off. I mean the most basic algebra. I’m aware that professional mathematicians say the same thing about me, and this “hypocrisy” is another message that I need to get into desperately from a philosophical level (because there is no philosophy (everyone has a philosophy) that works if you don’t understand how philosophy works). You don’t get to choose whether or not you have a philosophy, because everyone chooses a philosophy every waking moment of their lives. Their actions are guided by wills, and their wills are guided by beliefs, i.e. philosophies, so to say that philosophy isn’t that important is to suggest that you don’t really know what philosophy is. Thankfully, I enjoy everything philosophy and I immerse myself in it because that is who I am, and I shall go further into this if at all possible either in this piece or in other pieces of mine.
Let me just first state one of my most basic philosophical beliefs. It is a hard pill to swallow, but I also think that is the only thing that allows for peace to grow, despite its admittedly grave outcomes. I will begin with some of my history, as well as things that I think about and notice to this very day that still cause me great distress, as their resolution does not seem to be fair (my mind is a constant process of absorbing and learning, and I always do this so I’m always synthesizing everything that I hear into something that I want to be concise, as that is my nature to do so). My history begins with everyone telling me that I was intelligent. My earliest memories include being told constantly (as a toddler or maybe older) that I was always told that I was a cute baby by people in supermarkets while I was being pushed along in strollers. Also involved in this is always being told that I was smart. I loved reading when I was really little, and I could read and do math better than most people my age althroughout my elementary school years. This is where the first conflict arises.
Sadly, my history was also marred with religion, so many different things collided to shape my ideas, and the battle was almost never pretty. In addition to my realization that I was typically the smartest kid my age wherever I went, and in addition to constantly hearing from adults about how smart I was, I was also a free will baptist. I do not recall any particular sermons, but I do remember hearing about avoiding pride; giving all of your thanks to God; always believing in Christ, even during tough times; realizing that “It’s not MAN that does things, but GOD” (all of this stuff was typically screamed during some capacity); don’t trust in yourself, but put your faith in God; man is flawed, but God is perfect, therefore don’t rely on yourself, but put your faith into HIM; always be diligent and avoid sin in your life; always observe yourself to make sure you aren’t falling too far from God’s reach; always pray for everything that you need; don’t worry about worldly pleasures when there are divinely pleasures when you die (but worry about making sure you receive those “divinely pleasures”); always put others before yourself; having fun isn’t important, it’s living for GOD that is important; try to live your life by God’s word (the Bible) and the Ten Commandments. I could go on and on and on, and I’m certain that I’m forgetting many things that relate to this, although I’ll probably drop them in as I go along. The point is that these are some of the religious ideas that I had in my head. Now, at the risk of shunning people that believe these things out of fear, and at the risk (the certainty, honestly) that people are going to say that I was simply misinterpreting these messages (I’m going to argue that I was doing exactly what I had to do because of my nature as well as the nature of these messages), I’m going to break apart these conflicts one by one and explain what was going on at least in my case, and I would imagine would be true in the cases of many other people in the world that have the misfortune of believing these things.
Let’s try to analyze these things in order (if you aren’t willing to analyze your beliefs, you can’t expect anyone to understand what you are saying): avoiding pride.
This one has caused me arguably more harm than any other. The fear of going to Hell for my actions caused me to constantly scrutinize every action that I took. I had to constantly analyze every religious message that I heard, to make sure that I was listening to it properly (I think this is an inevitable consequence; first of all, you’re told to “examine yourself” before the eyes of God, to make sure that you are worthy of receiving His kingdom, and the only reason you would need to examine yourself is because you are afraid of not living up to the standard. Therefore, the fear of not living up to the standard causes you to constantly analyze where you are in regards to this standard, and when you combine this with constantly being told that you are a sinner in the eyes of God, you always fall short of this standard, so you live in constant fear that you are not going to live up to the standard because you are told that you can’t because you’re a sinner. However, you are told that if you can just get rid of your sin that you will be up to this standard. But you slip, and then you feel bad for not living up to the standard again. In other words, you never finish the cycle of trying to live up to the standard. You always fail, and then you start over again. You tell yourself that God requires perfection to get into Heaven, and you realize that you are a sinner, so it feels hopeless. “Maybe I can just be a little less sinful”, you tell yourself, but then you read that if you sin one time that you can’t get into Heaven. So you try to eliminate all sin in your life, but then you sin again. And again. And again. And you can’t stop sinning. So you keep trying and trying and trying, but you can never stop sinning. Even if you tell yourself you can, you start to ask “Is THIS a sin? Is THIS a sin?”, and thus, your examination never finishes. It isn’t that you aren’t doing it correctly: it’s that this is by design. These are the inevitable consequences of these ideas). The scrutiny process that I just described is the blueprint for all of the religious ideas that I am going to discuss, and in fact a lot of religious ideas run by this exact model, so I wouldn’t be surprised if sadly people read this and can relate. I will redirect you to other things I’ve written about religion for (hopefully) a more positive message about religion.
So this described analysis was the process by which I feared being prideful: the constant examination of oneself. Why was it pride that I feared? First of all, because the Bible talked about it ad nauseum (in sermons that I heard as well as Sunday school). Also, I was smarter than everyone around me, and people get a little defensive when they don’t understand what to do. Therefore, by expressing my natural intelligence, I was always accused of being prideful (especially by my father), so these accusations, plus analyzing myself and hearing to put “God before yourself” (that to me meant putting whatever God was before my intelligence, and my ideas of God are a whole nother story that is difficult to analyze) and avoiding pride meant that I lived in a constant state of fear. People that say that I shouldn’t analyze things are not as smart as I am, and they will never understand this unless they can understand and analyze the entire situation, but that would go against their message, so they preach lies to me about analyzing things because they themselves are fools. This is the hardest thing that I have to accept in my life for many reasons, and I’ll have to get into further detail of this throughout my lifetime.
In addition to this fear of being prideful phenomenon, let me analyze myself in other ways in a little bit further detail. As you may know, I have explained how I feel about analysis, intelligence, and other things in other pieces, but it bears constant restating because of what I’ve gone through. One reason that my intelligence has been attacked by family members and just ideas that have floated around me from others in general is that they simply didn’t know how to handle it. They didn’t understand what it was. And so they tried to throw out a piece of advice that they thought would help me like “not getting too big-headed”, but if they said this in response to me saying something intelligent, what they were really saying was for me to not say something intelligent. You may think that this wasn’t the case, but the only reason they said these things to me was because I was expressing my natural intelligence, so in essence, they were really telling me not to express my natural intelligence. You may say that they were talking to me about not being prideful, but being intelligent is not equivalent to being prideful, as many fools are prideful. All I was doing was expressing my natural intelligence, and it made them feel like I was being prideful because they weren’t smart enough to undesrtand what was truly going on, despite their good intentions. This will be disputed, but it will be in vain.
The fact that my nature has rarely been accepted by others has caused me problems as well. No one is exempt of this fact, but if other people are able to discuss their problems with this freely, I should be able to as well. My learning nature, thankfully, was pretty well nurtured early on in my life. I asked questions, as kids always do, and thankfully, my parents almost always answered. I can’t thank them enough for that. However, as I got older, ideas about being “nerdy” started entering the lexicon that I heard, and I began to wonder what it all philosophically meant because it is my nature to do so. People that tell other people not to think so much are fools, and their ideas should be avoided at all costs. The reason for this is simple: why would you listen to someone that is telling smart people to stop being smart? Where is the intelligence in telling intelligent people to stop being intelligent? And why is intelligence valuable? It is self-evident: intelligence is knowing that a stove is hot and not touching it. And why is that valuable? Because not listening to that causes all sorts of problems. It really is pointless to explain why intelligence is valuable, but I must do so regardless for people that consciously make efforts to eliminate it from people “for their own good.” There isn’t an intelligent reason to get rid of intelligence as that would be a contradiction, and intelligence is valuable because not listening to it causes problems that could have been prevented or at least that could have been better taken care of. That is the nature of intelligence, so when people condemn intelligence, all they are condemning is problem-prevention and handling of situations better than alternative methods. Therefore, condemning intelligence is idiocy in and of itself. I will try to explain this a little bit more to people that still believe these things that I have previously mentioned.
Why am I so obsessed with intelligence? Because other people were obsessed with my nature. I wouldn’t have been obsessed with it had I been left alone to be what I was born to be, but because I wasn’t, I have now become “obsessed.” Ignorant statements like “You shouldn’t hold a grudge” etc. simply illustrate and exacerbate the problem that I am currently discussing, and it is in fact because of those ignorant statements that I write the piece that I do right now. Intelligence is a requirement to explain why intelligence is a bad thing, but that would make your argument against intelligence contradictory in nature, and therefore invalid. You have to be intelligent to realize this, and this is valuable because otherwise, you aren’t even making an argument. The fact that I have to lay this out for people is incredibly discouraging, but I know that I must because otherwise, these horrible ideas are going to be out there and I don’t want smart people to go through the Hell that I’ve gone through throughout my entire life.
Some people walk around intelligent and some people don’t. I don’t know why this is the case, but it is and accepting this makes everyone’s lives easier, even though fools don’t like to be told that they are fools and this causes conflict. At some point, you have to tell a fool that you aren’t going to listen to their advice even if it gets under their skin.
Now, hopefully you understand why intelligence is a good thing and not prideful (I hope that I’ve analyzed that enough, and if I haven’t, then you understand why I value analyzing things so much and you understand why telling me not to do so is an invalid statement as far as what your intentions are). I could go on and on about religious fear and why it is believed, as well as the various ways that it manifests itself as well as the reasons that it manifests itself in the way that it does, but I will do that later as I believe that you (hopefully) understand the point that I am trying to make for this piece.
Now that I’ve dissected pride, let me move onto my next piece.
The next section is “always giving all of your thanks to God.” This one is intimately related with pride. I always heard (and so do many other people) the message that because man is sinful, we must shun what we do and do what God does. Analyzing this is impossible for me, as the things that this message constitutes men as doing and what it constitutes God as doing are almost impossible to distinguish, as it is a vague idea used for an undefined, albeit destructive agenda that avoids almost all philosophical logic that has to follow this premise if we are going to actually understand what it truly means instead of doing it because of what we believe it means instead of what it actually means. I know this answer is not satisfactory to readers, but to analyze why this is the case would be impossible for me, so you have to accept this on “blind faith” if you choose to accept it, or if you wish to be skeptical of this message, that is fine with me as well as I believe it is justified, as I have not lived up to my nature and my standard in this regard. However, I can live with that in this case as doing so would be time-consuming beyond the time that I am currently willing to spend on this subject, and I can live with that for some reason where in other cases, I cannot. Whims and desires are a subject for another day (an entire life subject, honestly).
So admitting that that answer is not satisfactory, let me still yet move onto the next piece of the puzzle: always believing in Christ, even during tough times. Once again, this will be almost impossible to do because I have to define what Christ means to these people, as it represents sometimes some hard to define concept when it is used in this context. Sometimes it is used out of anger and fear when someone genuinely wants to grieve about something negative that has happened to them. Sometimes it represents the unknown, and is the only message that people have to give. It is too hard to explain what “Christ” means in this regard in all of the different ways that it is used, so I kind of have to (sadly) leave this one hanging as it is often not defined by the people that say it. “Forgiveness of your sins” is often said, which I personally believe, but the logic that follows this often isn’t logical. For instance, the contradiction between accepting forgiveness of your sins but teaching to still worry about them. Because of all of the different phenomena that identify by “forgiveness of your sins”, I can’t fully analyze this statement as it means different things to different groups, therefore I can’t analyze all of the different groups as, once again, that would take time that I am not willing to do at this point in time. Hopefully, you understand what I mean (although I will say that this phrase has a correct meaning, but I will talk about this in other pieces, granting you that my answer will not be satisfactory to some readers, and I am ok with that). This is ultimately a free will problem, but I am currently unable to analyze this situation as effectively as I want to, and my nature and my standard will not allow me to comment further on this subject, as well as I want this piece to be dedicated to other particular endeavors.
The next piece of the puzzle (hopefully I can analyze this one further, but at the rate this is going, I doubt it): “It’s not MAN that does things, but GOD.” What does this phrase mean? (Once again, you won’t understand why this is important unless you understand the earlier portion of this piece, and in fact, that was the point of the earlier part of this piece, so if you get all of this, you will understand it and great!) Typically, this was used in a fearful and angry capacity by people that were afraid of things that they didn’t understand and thus emotionally wanted to avoid. Why they resorted to this is the nature of the disastrous side of religion (and it’s almost always related to the fear of Hell), and thus it would take up novels to really discuss why this happened, so I’ll have to leave that to another time if I do in fact decide to discuss the phenomenon (I almost don’t want to because it is so daunting). Sadly, it is almost impossible to analyze what this one means as well for the same reason as the earlier ones: because it means different things to different people. So I can’t give a lot of examples, but typically it was used in a fearful and angry fashion (and thus not philosophically sound (you understand why philosophy is important as I’ve explained it to you)), and thus, is not existentially valuable.
The next step is “don’t trust yourself, but put your faith in God.” This idea is the next step from the previous one that I mentioned, so because the previous step is hard to define, this one is impossible to define until I explain the first one, which I am currently not willing to do so. If you could convince people that it isn’t man that does things, but rather God (and what all of that means), the next logical step is to not trust yourself, so you get the point. I’ll analyze these things when I can and hope that you understand why I do not want to at this point in time, as the process will be too difficult for me right now given all that I want to do and spend my time on. I promise you I will try to analyze this in the future, granting you that you probably shouldn’t believe what I say right now as I haven’t lived up to my scrupulous standard. I will attempt to when I have more time.
“Man is flawed, but God is perfect, therefore don’t rely on yourself, but put your faith into HIM.” First of all, what does it mean that man is flawed? If you can explain it in a sufficient way, what does that ultimately mean for us? I do not think that because we are flawed we have to try to live by God’s perfect standard, as I have previously discussed is impossible. Therefore, if perfection is required to enter the Kingdom of God, either we can’t get there or something else has to get us there, and that was what Christ was for. I’ll try to explain what Christ really means at a later time, but if you would like to hear some thoughts about it that I believe, read some work from John Calvin (I know this makes some people angry, but I’m willing to live with that). Secondly, what does “not relying on yourself” mean? If you are told to “put your faith in God”, is it not you that does it (if you believe that you are the one that does)? In other words, if you believe that you have free will, how can you say that you should put your faith in God but also not listen to yourself? You’d have to define what parts of you to listen to and which not, as well as explaining why one thing was Godly and another one isn’t, and really it ultimately proves impossible unless you make things up and scare people into believing them, which is the case (I’ll have to elaborate on this in another piece).
The next step: “always be diligent and avoid sin in your life.” Typically, this means living by the Ten Commandments and avoiding other things that the Bible says to avoid while doing the things that it tells you to do. But we are sinners, and thus can’t live by the Bible perfectly, and if living by the Bible perfectly is required for us to go to Heaven, something else had to get us there, and that is what Christ is for. I don’t wish to analyze this further, although I recognize its importance, and I understand skepticism will arise, and that is ok. I will analyze this further in a later piece.
“Always observe yourself and make sure that you aren’t falling too far from God’s reach.” First of all, to suggest that we could somehow fall out of God’s reach by our own hands seems awfully prideful of us. If God made everything that there is, it seems kind of crazy to think that we could do something that would put us outside of His “reach.” Although I admit that I think they’re talking about Hell here, and sin is what causes people to go to Hell, I do not think that we as the creation would be able to somehow gain God’s favor on our own accord separate from His action as He is perfect in every way and is capable of almost everything (except for lying or not existing or other paradoxes that are contradictory to His nature). I apologize that my analyses are so short: it would just simply take up too much time at this point in time and I would rather introduce these concepts first and elaborate on them at my own leisure, granting that I am not currently doing what I want to do but still yet realizing that my nature is valuable.
“Always pray for everything that you need.” This goes back into explaining which “human” actions are bad and why and which “Heavenly” actions are good and why, which is almost impossible to sufficiently do. But the idea of this is that basically, certain human actions are bad and you shouldn’t do them and instead, you should go to God for the things that you need instead. In practice, this often means avoiding medicine for “faith healing” and other things of the sort (it sounds insane, and it is, but it definitely happens. Fear causes people to do all sorts of things).
“Don’t worry about worldly pleasures when there are divinely pleasures when you die (but worry about making sure you receive those ‘divinely pleasures’).” This one was right up there with pride on my “fearfully obeying” scale. First of all, when God created the world, the Bible says He said it was “good” and He was “pleased.” So the Earth and Earthly creations themselves are not sinful. They were rather tainted with sin, but it is the sin that is sinful, not the Earth (if your definition of Earth is not the sin itself. It’s an important semantic issue). Food is Earthly, but it provides us with life, and God said that life was good. So not everything “Earthly” is bad. Obviously. Hopefully, you understood this without me shortly explaining it, although there are all sorts of religious rationalizations that attempt to prove otherwise. One question I have is that conceding that Heaven is infinitely better than Earth, that still doesn’t mean that Earth isn’t good and I say that because if Earth was bad and Heaven is the only good (as the idea that I’m discussing that people say), why would God have put us here on this Earth (which they say has no good) instead of sending us all to Heaven? I don’t think that God put us all in Heaven until we sinned and then He put us here on Earth (although that’s kind of what happened), meaning that we were here on something physical (at least I’m assuming so) the entire time. It is possible that we existed on something besides the Earth until the Fall of Man, and then the Earth showed up, but I don’t think that was the case. I think we were on the physical Earth the entire time, although being banished from the Garden of Eden and it being protected by a flaming sword makes me wonder if this is the case or not. Regardless, my point is that I think that Heaven is different than the Garden of Eden, even though both were perfect, and I think that the Garden of Eden was on the Earth somewhere, even though I do not know that for certain. And therefore, I do not think we can condemn the ground that we walk on itself to be evil, and thus I do not think that we can condemn the solid of the Earth as “evil”, and therefore I do not think we should condemn it and only think about Heaven, even though Heaven is infinitely better than Earth. In other words, I think that Earth has some good value as well, and we should enjoy it as it makes us happy and happy is important if Heaven is described as a “perfect eternal paradise”, as all of those words have to give you some sort of joy if you believe in them (as Earth-condemners often proclaim that they do). Worrying in order to receive “Heavenly pleasures” and ignoring good things on the Earth is contradictory in my opinion as well. As I have said, I think that the Earth has value, and I think that God put us here for a reason, therefore I do not think that we should condemn Earthly pleasures, even though Earth can’t compare to Heaven (at least in some ways). But why are pleasures in Heaven “good” while pleasures on Earth are “bad” if they are all pleasures? I think this is a semantics issue with Biblical language, as there are verses about avoiding pleasures of the flesh, etc. etc. But I think this is solved rather simply, and with logic: eating tasty food provides a fleshly pleasure. So does sticking your penis into a wet vagina. I think that most religious people would not condemn the former (although some do, and most almost always say that you must pray before a meal, which is a subject for another time), but almost all would condemn the latter. Why is that? I think there is a very obvious, clear definition. The first does not cause any problems. Even though obesity can be a problem (and one could say that that is why we shouldn’t be gluttonous), the later can pose much more problems such as STDs, broken relationships, unwanted pregnancies, and all sorts of problems that are easy to define. Therefore, I think that these real, practical reasons are why God would say things about lust, etc. I think there are practical reasons for this “avoiding of fleshly pleasures”, although we still can’t abide by this advice perfectly (which is the only logical consequence of sin: if we could easily avoid it, it wouldn’t have any power over us and none of us would ever go to Hell and Christ would have been completely unnecessary if we could all choose perfect goodness of our own free will). Also, why should we avoid one pleasure at the expense of another? Isn’t pleasure a good thing? This is more of a problem of why people condemn the Earth as bad and what they condemn, and there’s too much analysis involved for me to do it here, so I apologize and hope you understand all that it is that I am trying to say.
“Always put others before yourself.” This proposes many logical problems as well (please see earlier paragraphs of this piece if you have forgotten why this is important). Think about this logically: let’s take gift giving. If it is better to give than to receive, then at some point, someone has to receive. Religious ideas must be approached logically, and I haven’t fully discussed why this is the case, but it goes back to why intelligence is important and why some people accept intelligence while others don’t (the latter going to be a huge part of my life’s work). Religious people always seem to condemn doing things for yourself, and instead you should either do things for “God” (which they do not define very well; it’s scarily indicative of the mysticism that Ayn Rand talks about (I wish more people actually understood her ideas)) or others. But if I do something for someone else, doesn’t he at some point have to “selfishly” accept it to his own benefit? Otherwise, the “giving” is useless. You may think this is obvious to state, but when it comes to people accepting things for themselves, religious people seem to completely forget this idea and sadly, this idea leaks into economic ideas and no one can find any truth everywhere. It’s a disastrous chain reaction that effects almost all disciplines in life. I’ll analyze this idea in much greater detail throughout my life, as this could take up pages and pages and pages that I’m not willing to write at this point in time.
The next step: “having fun isn’t important: it’s living for GOD that’s important.” I’ll refute this with one simple sentence (although its length will not be satisfactory to most): if fun isn’t important, and living for God comes at the expense of fun, then what is so great about an eternal paradise known as Heaven? It’s related to happiness, and that would take up a lot of sheets of paper but hopefully you understand my point (if you don’t, I apologize but explaining it would take up much more time than I am currently willing to do. I’m not dodging these questions, and I welcome skepticism. It would simply take up too much time currently to sufficiently explain these things. This is simply the introduction, and you see how long this is. Imagine how long my analyses are going to be. Oi).
“Try to live your life by the Bible and the Ten Commandments.” First of all, the Bible says that Christ fulfilled the law of the Ten Commandments, and the New Testament is full of examples where Christ tells people to relax, that he is the “Savior” (i.e., saving) and that we don’t have to worry about living by God’s standard (and thus, we don’t have to worry about not living up to that standard anymore, i.e. Hell). I apologize that I haven’t analyzed this more. I’ll direct you to my friend Devin Stevens, who although has not fully begun his work in this area (religion is a big part of Devin’s written work), he will have things that I think will greatly surpass my ability and desire to explain these things in more detail. “Cody, you care about elaboration and depth but you keep dodging.” No, I care about elaboration and depth, and that is why I am not writing a quick answer to you to read that will not satisfy me. I want to give people the best answers that I can, and that takes time. This is simply an introduction.
So what does all of this have to do with the title of this piece? It should be obvious. This is the history of my thought processes. It was these ideas that defined my worldviews and my opinions. The fear that is religion caused me to believe all of these ideas that I have discussed above, and they sadly affect other people in the same ways. It was these ideas, these purposely fear-inducing ideas that created my “anti-business mentality.” I will now try to analyze this in particular a bit further, and you must keep in mind all of these previous thought processes as they are directly related to the anti-business mentality.
Where should I begin? I know this question is harder for you to answer than for me to, as I’m sure that I know where I should begin more so than you know where I should begin, but maybe not. But I think one condemnation of money is the idea about the “world” being sinful and “Heaven” being perfect. Another might be some particular verses about money; about taking direct Bible verses and interpreting them literally, or missing a point, or other things that are incredibly difficult to prove but are still yet disastrous (such as “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into Heaven”), etc. etc. I do not wish to get completely into Biblical interpretations, and my friend actually teaches me a lot about this, so I will defer you to him and let you wait anxiously as he constructs his works about this topic. However, Biblical misinterpretations are a big cause of the anti-business mentality.
I honestly think that almost all reasons for the anti-business mentality are related to Biblical misinterpretations, or misinterpretations of other “moral ideals.” Greed, selfishness, theft, and all of these other ideas and concepts float around, but I don’t think people accurately define what they mean. Economics and political history should be where we begin when talking about these concepts, but people instead run with feelings as facts, and that is why I value philosophy and elaboration as much as I do: it is the best way to find out what the truth is of any given subject. You’ve heard all of the cliches about the rich being greedy and stealing from the poor, and all of these other things that are meant to tug on the heartstrings. You’ve also heard how things were so bad until the government decided to save everybody. Economics is one topic that I greatly wish to delve into philosophically, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface in this regard, so I accept criticisms and skepticism. However, the fact that people still ignore truths from well-established people leads me to believe that teaching economics is ultimately hopeless, even though there are many people that understand it. There are people that get it, even though there are a lot of people that don’t.
If you want to understand why these ideas of greed, selfishness, theft and the anti-business mentality are not factually sound in better detail, I would advice you to check out some of these minds on this blog, as they have put in years and years of their lives into these subjects. I am simply a student at the moment. I do not wish to fully explain economics, as other people have done that much more effectively than I ever could, but I will merely put my two cents in for what it’s worth (two cents).
The best way that I have found to explain economics is the following scenario: imagine that you are a caveman. You have to hunt to survive, and you bring your food back to the cave. It takes a lot of effort and time. Most of your day is spent trying to catch animals to eat, or looking for berries to eat, hoping they aren’t poisonous. Trying to kill a running deer with your bare hands is almost impossible. Therefore, you try to throw a rock at it. This is the very first most important step about economics: one that is forgotten by many people, because they don’t follow out ideals to their fullest logical capacity, nor do people care to explain the elaboration of this idea as I will attempt to do. It is obvious that if I throw a rock at a deer, I have a better chance of killing it and eating it for my own nourishment than I would without the rock. Without the rock, I have to understand the sciences behind running, my speed, the speed of the animal, learning the terrain, and I’m probably not going to catch the deer on foot (you can try if you wish: I would imagine almost everyone would fail because of evolution). Therefore, if I ever want to catch that deer, I have to do something else. I see a nice rock, and piece together the mass of the rock and the acceleration of the rock creating the force of the rock that will have enough inertia to break the mass known as the skull of the deer, which will use the sciences of biology to kill the animal. I do all of this in a split second: this rock is heavy enough to probably kill that deer if I hit it in the head (or at least slow it down if I hit it in the side). What has happened here? Obviously, I have a better chance of getting the deer, but I have a better chance of getting the deer by using a tool. You must understand this before moving on: the tool gave me a better chance of getting my needs met. Even if two, or ten people ran after this deer, they still wouldn’t have as good of a chance of getting this deer as one man would with a rock because of the speed involved. The fastest man of that group probably can’t run as fast as a rock of a small but yet massive enough size to kill a deer could be thrown.
The biggest lesson here is even though there is less labor involved by throwing the rock instead of running after the deer, my chances of killing the deer are actually greater, despite the decrease in labor. This must be accepted before we continue: even though there was less labor involved, the benefit was actually greater. Definitionally speaking, we have introduced capital into our lives. You must understand this logic of the tool increasing net wealth while decreasing the amount of labor involved before we continue.
If you understand why intelligence is important, you must understand why we must carry it out to the maximum amount of logic that it will allow. If you don’t understand why intelligence is important, than you should read my earlier paragraphs. If you do understand why it is important, then you understand why it must be followed out to its maximum capacity, and the only way that this occurs is through logic: if, then statements. This is the only process by which we can quickly analyze given outcomes that give us benefit, so in other words, because of what I said earlier about intelligence, it has value, and logic is the only method of effectively producing intelligence on a wide scale to increase benefit the most. There are no other alternatives to fixing problems on a wide scale besides intelligence and logic. Nothing will be as accurate at fixing problems as intelligence, and nothing will accurately fix problems as quickly as logic. I do not know of any other methods that will take away these claims from intelligence and logic.
Therefore, it is crucial that if we use intelligence (for reasons that I stated earlier), we must also use logic as well (this is ironically a logical statement). This is important for what I’m about to get into.
If we understand why intelligence is important, and we intelligently understand what tools are used for, and we therefore understand intelligently why logic is important if intelligence is important (a logical statement), then we must accept intelligent statements to their fullest logical capacity. Without understanding this and accepting it, the best of intentions are futile. This is important because people will often say “exceptions to the rule” regarding certain statements, but they do not back them up intelligently for whatever reason. They will just say “We already all know this” without giving sufficient proof, and thus, their arguments truly have no meaning. Therefore, arguments that do not follow the intelligence-logic lineation should be ignored. This means that if we understand that intelligence is important, and we understand that tools are important, and we understand the importance of logic, we must support capitalism.
The reason that I went in depth as much as I did about my religious past history is that the things that I once believed are still used to justify attacks on capitalism. Very few people actually know what it is, but emotions get stirred up and people do all sorts of things that don’t stand up to intelligence nor logic. Therefore, it is crucial that we stress these ideals, and therefore I thought that it was important to explain my own personal histories with certain ideas and why I thought they were incorrect so that I could follow the logic that other arguments that branch off from these same arguments are also incorrect as well.
If you want to understand what I mean about how these are related, go back and read what all of the different ideas were that I introduced about religion and just apply them to money. They all fit, meaning that they are all used by some people (usually a lot of people) when it comes to ideas about money. The disastrous ideas that I introduced leak their way down into economic affairs, and because their original ideas were intellectually unsound, and because intelligence is valuable, and because I explained the value of intelligence, and therefore the importance of logic, we must understand that their logical conclusions from their ideas must be discarded, and we must do this on the basis of understanding the importance of intelligence and logic. I understand that claims of “value judgments” will come into play here, and matters of “this is just my opinion”, but if we understand why intelligence, tools and logic are important, we must understand why capitalism is so beneficial to keep from believing lies that we hear, much akin to the ideas that I discussed earlier (about pride, etc. etc.). I realized that I’ve emotionally lost a lot of readers here, but I hope that you will stick with me regardless.
Hopefully, you have understood the basis of why capitalism is important, because intelligence is important, tools are important, and logic is important, therefore capitalism is important as well, as it is the logical extension of the intelligent action of using tools, the value of which I previously discussed and the logic of which does not disappear simply because there are more people involved than in the scenario that I discussed. There are many reasons for this, and I will direct you to my blog for people that have more experience in this area than I do, but I think I understand at least a little bit of what they are saying (and certainly more of it than most people understand).
People reject capitalism because of emotional keywords that don’t stand up to intelligence and logic. That’s the bottom line and putting it simply, but people don’t like that answer because it ruffles up their emotions, so I’ll try to explain this a little bit more, although not as effectively as the people on this blog do. Basically, though, if you understand why intelligence, tools and logic are important, then you understand why capitalism is important. This isn’t a value judgment, but it rather uses intelligence and logic to explain why capitalism is important. Capitalism is the logical extension of tool-using. It carries it out to a degree that nothing else can, and if you understand tool use and the importance of logical extension, you have to understand why capitalism is important. I’ll let other people discuss capitalism to you by linking you to this blog, and now I’ll focus more so on my personal histories about businesses and money.
You have seen the basis of some of my beliefs, as the examples that I gave were things that I personally believed. I was a child and I had no other information coming in (although I absorbed everything that I heard), and I just believed these ideas because I had heard nothing else. I didn’t understand anything that I had heard, but I just believed them anyway. I can explain how these ideas started falling apart in my own mind later. But basically, to define some of my past beliefs involving the anti-business mentality, I believed that all rich people were greedy, that CEOs didn’t deserve the amount of money that they had, and in fact that people with $100,000 or more didn’t deserve their money (actually, the number could have been $80,000 or something. Basically, it could have been any amount that was more than my parents made, and that isn’t a coincidence). It was a condemnation of people wearing a lot of gold and jewelry, or having big houses or swimming pools, or people that I thought got paid too much for easy jobs (like being on T.V. or being an athlete instead of working in a plant), or basically anything that involved making money period. I thought that making money itself was sinful, and that was because of a combination of the ideas that I discussed earlier. Fear was the driving factor of my ideas, as is the driving factor for almost all religious ideas.
Basically, you get the idea. I was anti-wealth in all of its various forms, and all of the examples that I mentioned were involved within me. Sorry if my “analysis” isn’t long enough, but it feels concise enough to me.
So how did I get out of it?
Well, the first step, I believe, was becoming a Christian. I know this answer doesn’t satisfy people, but basically I was sitting on my bed, enrolled in community college, and I was having a nervous breakdown about what to do with my life. I knew that I needed to make money because people had always told me that I needed to (which contradicted what I had thought about money before, which I have discussed), and I reached a crisis. There was a contradiction, and I was stuck. Luckily, at this point in time, God saved me and I realized that the world wasn’t as evil as I had once thought. Realizing that things that I had once condemned as evil weren’t really evil, I began to wonder what the world was really about, and so I started looking. I got interested in what jobs actually meant, and what money actually meant, what CEOs, corporations, and all of this stuff actually meant, and that’s when I discovered the science known as economics. From then on out, I became passionate about economics and have studied it ever since (it’s been a couple of years now) so that I could understand what was going on in the world now that I knew that the world wasn’t as bad as I had once believed.
The next step in my work will be the step that is always there, and that is how we know the difference between truth and lies (including why some people are smart and others aren’t), but these are life topics for other pieces down the road that I can delve into further.
Hopefully, this was enough of an introduction to explain these ideas to you and why I believed what I previously believed. It’s kind of vague, but the process is difficult, and this is merely an introduction. I don’t know all about this that I want to know, but it feels like a sufficient analysis although it is also vague, but I hope you understand what I said in this piece and I hope that its analysis satisfies your requirements of what an analysis could be, even though I know that it could be better. It is good enough for publishing to me.
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