9/30/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Douglas A. Lefelhocz ~
I found your article "No True Christians!" article interesting. The comments section had a lot of interesting debate going on there. I'm not a Christian or a believer in any sense. I once considered myself a Spinoza-ist of sorts, but I recently learned that he used a phrase, "per causum" which indicates all of his ideas as *openly* a pretext. Many of the things the collection of books of Christians says, I find foolish. Other things I find obscure and capable of many, many different interpretations to the point that making sense of what the authors intended becomes impossible. This all said, I wonder... what if instead of quasi-rationally trying to figure out the value of an idea like "give to all who asketh of thee" via a thought experiment, which even ancient philosophers did and ended up with many, many mistaken conclusions, we took our reason further and viewed Jesus's idea as a hypothesis... that is "giving material things to all who ask leads us to a better life."
The predictions of such a hypothesis I do not think quite so easy to deduce as both the non-believers and believers in the comment section seem to believe..
That some people would take advantage of us, and thus qualify as "moochers" or anything like that involves labeling and people-rating... silently saying that people really ought not to act in such a way or more shortly we musterbate on them. Also, it is not so easy to know what "getting taken advantage of" of means with respect to one's personal property. Do you "get taken advantage of" if you give one thing away to just one person who asks, two, three... when exactly would you get taken advantage? When exactly does anyone get taken advantage of in any situation?
We can ask the question "will giving to all who ask lead us to a better life?"
If we have the hypothesis "giving to all who asks leads us to the better life" what sorts of consequences will *actually* follow? How would we actually feel if we ran such a psycho-social experiment? What would we actually think? How much differently would we feel than our expectations would lead us to believe if we actually ran such an experiment? What conditions do we run such an experiment under? Do we tell some people about such an experiment, or only run such an experiment if we haven't told them about doing such an experiment? How do we get a good handle on our feelings and thoughts while running such an experiment? How do we make running such an experiment sufficiently precise?
Even True Christians, which from your comment section I can see that there do exist some out there, haven't really given us much, if any, information of the effects of acting in accordance with such a hypothesis. Has anyone practiced giving any material possessions to anyone who asks for years and written a journal on such even? I've found some things online, but there doesn't seem to me to exist much publicly available information on the effects of doing such. Maybe I've missed it.