Religious Wealth

Sandycane
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Religious Wealth

I just read this article on MNBC about the horded treasures recently discovered in India:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43629294/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

Considering this news, and the hording of wealth by the Catholics and the Protestants, it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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Sandycane wrote:it is clear

Sandycane wrote:

it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

The hell you say...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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 Well, that would buy a

 Well, that would buy a good deal of general infrastructure such as damns for irrigation and good road for the farmers to get the goods to a market in some city. Who know but if there is more food coming in from the countryside, then perhaps poor people will be able to afford it as well. Heck but perhaps a few schools and a hospital or two could happen along the way.

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Sandycane
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Hording of wealth by the

Hording of wealth by the wealthy while millions suffer in poverty is nothing new, but for a religious organization whose beliefs proclaim the existence of an afterlife, and the superiority of this afterlife, I find it almost comical that they hoard riches in *this* life.

What good could 20 Billion dollars have done for the people of India over the past 300 years? Instead, it was hidden away in a moldy old basement.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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Sandycane wrote:Considering

Sandycane wrote:
Considering this news, and the hording of wealth by the Catholics and the Protestants, it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

Churches often give to the poor, but more than that... I'm not aware of anyone getting rich from tithing. Sure, money is taken in all the time that goes to building "megachurches", and funding political interests relevant to a given religion (and chasing buddhist templegoers out of town around where I live) but I've yet to see anyone getting higher social stature and affluence from donations/tithing. Do religious leaders, particularly catholic priests, act somewhat greedy about tithes? Hells yes. I read and hear anecdotes and hearsay all the time about the RCC trying to squeeze that extra inch out of it's members. And certainly, the money does go to (often highly egregious) nonsecular pay to professions within the church, and this money certainly does not go to labor that makes a significant, measurable economic input to society. Regarding the RCC, it also grants a good bit of legal immunity regarding various crimes, particularly crimes involving child molestation.

But create upper-(middle-)class members of society, it does not.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Sandycane

Kapkao wrote:

Sandycane wrote:
Considering this news, and the hording of wealth by the Catholics and the Protestants, it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

Churches often give to the poor, but more than that... I'm not aware of anyone getting rich from tithing. Sure, money is taken in all the time that goes to building "megachurches", and funding political interests relevant to a given religion (and chasing buddhist templegoers out of town around where I live) but I've yet to see anyone getting higher social stature and affluence from donations/tithing. Do religious leaders, particularly catholic priests, act somewhat greedy about tithes? Hells yes. I read and hear anecdotes and hearsay all the time about the RCC trying to squeeze that extra inch out of it's members. And certainly, the money does go to (often highly egregious) nonsecular pay to professions within the church, and this money certainly does not go to labor that makes a significant, measurable economic input to society. Regarding the RCC, it also grants a good bit of legal immunity regarding various crimes, particularly crimes involving child molestation.

But create upper-(middle-)class members of society, it does not.

Apples and oranges, but in mainstream Shi'i Islam, you give 20% of your "available" income to the Ayatollah whose legal tradition you "emulate". Outside of a few exceptions, if you don't follow an Ayatollah, almost all the rituals you do are invalid; if you don't pay him, the money you would've given him is considered "stolen" money and anything bought with it is considered of invalid possession. This has created millionaires out of the more popular Ayatollahs, such as Sistani. They then use part of this money to pay students for attending their religious schools (you are paid to be a religious student), and the ones that offer more money are often more popular. After all is said in done, you have your graduate students representing you (and perhaps even spreading word that you are the best Ayatollah to follow) all around the world, collecting the aforementioned 20% from your followers at an even faster pace.


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wingless_sephiroth

wingless_sephiroth wrote:

Apples and oranges, but in mainstream Shi'i Islam, you give 20% of your "available" income to the Ayatollah whose legal tradition you "emulate". Outside of a few exceptions, if you don't follow an Ayatollah, almost all the rituals you do are invalid; if you don't pay him, the money you would've given him is considered "stolen" money and anything bought with it is considered of invalid possession. This has created millionaires out of the more popular Ayatollahs, such as Sistani. They then use part of this money to pay students for attending their religious schools (you are paid to be a religious student), and the ones that offer more money are often more popular. After all is said in done, you have your graduate students representing you (and perhaps even spreading word that you are the best Ayatollah to follow) all around the world, collecting the aforementioned 20% from your followers at an even faster pace.

I'm in the wrong damn business. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu

Ktulu wrote:

wingless_sephiroth wrote:

Apples and oranges, but in mainstream Shi'i Islam, you give 20% of your "available" income to the Ayatollah whose legal tradition you "emulate". Outside of a few exceptions, if you don't follow an Ayatollah, almost all the rituals you do are invalid; if you don't pay him, the money you would've given him is considered "stolen" money and anything bought with it is considered of invalid possession. This has created millionaires out of the more popular Ayatollahs, such as Sistani. They then use part of this money to pay students for attending their religious schools (you are paid to be a religious student), and the ones that offer more money are often more popular. After all is said in done, you have your graduate students representing you (and perhaps even spreading word that you are the best Ayatollah to follow) all around the world, collecting the aforementioned 20% from your followers at an even faster pace.

I'm in the wrong damn business. 

 

Seriously, I should do something about my ethics - like ditch them while preaching on cable TV.  But alas, I just can't bring myself to steal from people like that.

 

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Kapkao
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wingless_sephiroth

wingless_sephiroth wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

Sandycane wrote:
Considering this news, and the hording of wealth by the Catholics and the Protestants, it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

Churches often give to the poor, but more than that... I'm not aware of anyone getting rich from tithing. Sure, money is taken in all the time that goes to building "megachurches", and funding political interests relevant to a given religion (and chasing buddhist templegoers out of town around where I live) but I've yet to see anyone getting higher social stature and affluence from donations/tithing. Do religious leaders, particularly catholic priests, act somewhat greedy about tithes? Hells yes. I read and hear anecdotes and hearsay all the time about the RCC trying to squeeze that extra inch out of it's members. And certainly, the money does go to (often highly egregious) nonsecular pay to professions within the church, and this money certainly does not go to labor that makes a significant, measurable economic input to society. Regarding the RCC, it also grants a good bit of legal immunity regarding various crimes, particularly crimes involving child molestation.

But create upper-(middle-)class members of society, it does not.

Apples and oranges, but in mainstream Shi'i Islam, you give 20% of your "available" income to the Ayatollah whose legal tradition you "emulate". Outside of a few exceptions, if you don't follow an Ayatollah, almost all the rituals you do are invalid; if you don't pay him, the money you would've given him is considered "stolen" money and anything bought with it is considered of invalid possession. This has created millionaires out of the more popular Ayatollahs, such as Sistani. They then use part of this money to pay students for attending their religious schools (you are paid to be a religious student), and the ones that offer more money are often more popular. After all is said in done, you have your graduate students representing you (and perhaps even spreading word that you are the best Ayatollah to follow) all around the world, collecting the aforementioned 20% from your followers at an even faster pace.

Too bad Shiites only comprise a small minority of of muslims...

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Sandycane
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wingless_sephiroth

wingless_sephiroth wrote:

Apples and oranges, but in mainstream Shi'i Islam, you give 20% of your "available" income to the Ayatollah whose legal tradition you "emulate". Outside of a few exceptions, if you don't follow an Ayatollah, almost all the rituals you do are invalid; if you don't pay him, the money you would've given him is considered "stolen" money and anything bought with it is considered of invalid possession. This has created millionaires out of the more popular Ayatollahs, such as Sistani. They then use part of this money to pay students for attending their religious schools (you are paid to be a religious student), and the ones that offer more money are often more popular. After all is said in done, you have your graduate students representing you (and perhaps even spreading word that you are the best Ayatollah to follow) all around the world, collecting the aforementioned 20% from your followers at an even faster pace.

Hmm.

In essence, this is no different than what the Carnegie-Mellon or Rockefeller foundations do in the US.

'Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.' A. Einstein


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Sandycane wrote:I just read

Sandycane wrote:

I just read this article on MNBC about the horded treasures recently discovered in India:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43629294/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

Considering this news, and the hording of wealth by the Catholics and the Protestants, it is clear to me that the religious leaders believe that this mortal existence is far more important than they lead their followers to believe. They certainly don't practice what they preach when it comes to practicing humility, giving to the poor, and living a life free of material attachments. They are all a bunch of hypocrites and liars.

Well said. Too bad all of those ignorant masses that are digging deep into their pockets to pay for their reverend's mortgage can not see what is so plainly in front of them. Guess P.T. Barnum was indeed right after all. There is a sucker born, every minute.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno