I know this may seem like a bit of an odd question but I’ve been wondering about it for the past few days and for some reason I can’t escape the feeling that it (atheism) would be a rather ‘conservative’ point of view (that is, at least in title), and yet I’m constantly being called a liberal because of my social and political leanings. I'm just wondering what your views are on this.
PS: I’ll be gone for a few days but I will catch up with this thread when I return.
“I reject the concept of the rich exploiting the poor simply via profit motive. If a company or any group or any individual violates another's individual rights, it should be dealt with by law.”
I take it that blood diamonds aren’t a product of simple profit motives? I mean let us all remember that approximately two-thirds of the world’s diamonds do come from Africa. And yes, they are illegal but it seems that the laws aren’t exactly curbing the flow of them all that much. The same linear analysis could also apply for the illegal narcotics trade too.
Besides poverty is a multifaceted issue to begin with. David Shipler wrote a book on The Working Poor, where he sketches our many of the reasons why poverty exists.
“A run-down apartment can exacerbate a child’s asthma, which leads to a call for an ambulance, which generates a medical bill that cannot be paid, which ruins a credit record, which hikes the interest rate on an auto loan, which forces the purchase of an unreliable used car, which jeopardizes a mother’s punctuality at work, which limits her promotions and earning capacity, which confines her to poor housing” (The Working Poor; Invisible in America, 2004).
Now take that excerpt from the book and look for instance at companies that offer “payday loans”. Sure, perhaps you and I wouldn’t need to take advantage of a service like this but when your poor and life is a desperate struggle a service like this could easily be considered a godsend. And sure, you might say that the family doesn’t need to live in a run-down apartment but it’s not easy making a living or providing even a modicum of shelter and security if you live in a box. And you can’t say that the guy offering the loan isn’t exactly preying on the poor, after all why are these places only found in the poorer neighborhoods?
I think Michael that you’re taking a very isolationist view on the whole issue; wealthy people do exploit the poor in countless ways. Ways which helps support the current lifestyle we all have come to enjoy here in the US. And believe me; it’s even worse still in other countries.
I lived for a few years in Australia where there aren’t laws governing monopolies, where services like internet, water, electricity and telephones are hideously overpriced in many areas even if you live a mere few km outside of a major metropolitan area. Where rent for even the cheapest of apartments are averaging $300 a week. And in many cases these companies flagrantly admit they have a monopoly and they’re thankful they don’t live in “the states” (which, by the way, they feel is a backward country).
Sure, maybe making a profit doesn’t necessarily entail the exploitation of people, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
I mean let’s face it; your rejection of a concept doesn’t make it so. Enough people on here seem to disagree with you but since you also clearly seem to come from opulence I wouldn’t expect you to step away from your lofty surroundings and actually learn the truth, because like knowledge, ignorance can also be a form of power.