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David Bokovoy

Social Justice in the Bible

470 posts in this topic

It makes no difference where it comes from. It still needs to be defined, and distinguished form plain

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1. There is no such thing, in a very salient sense, as "conservative ideology."

Yes there is.

2. Contemporary conservatism, as a system contains any number of gospel truths, imperfectly articulated and understood, perhaps, but truths nonetheless, as does the Constitution, which you have just all but defined as "foolish.'

No, I haven't.

The problem here is not what you think, Nehor, its where your ideas will invariably lead when put into practice.

And I would state that neither you or Chomsky or Beck can state that definitively. You haven't seen the future. The hubris of this position is amazing.

That has nothing whatsoever to do with the contemporary environmental movement. That's the old...very old conservation movement, of which I consider myself a life long member.

And many (all?) in the environmental are for conservation.

As do I, and hence, by definition, a perfected, refined, expanded form of free market economic relations between the righteous, in which the economic problems caused by wickedness will no longer be a hindrance.

I would contend Zion needs no free market. In fact I doubt it needs a market at all.

Our scriptures warn, Nehor, of those who cry "peace" in the last days when there is no peace. Moral clarity and realism are virtues, Nehor, and the Lord has never denied his people either, as to their relations with other nations and peoples.

I don't cry peace. I view both sides of the political spectrum to be at war and expect the war to get worse. I see both sides as controlled to a large extent by the devil who stirs up hatred one man against another and leads them to battle against each other. I would rather fight for the gospel then the philosophies of men.

None of our present wars, irregarless of what one might think of their propriety or management, can remotely be constured as "offensive," in my view.

In the Book of Mormon, the book written for 'our day' the end of the nation came when the Nephites decided to eliminate the problem at it's source which is what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. We moved in, toppled the government, and are working to make sure our enemies there can never threaten us again.

Well, that's just the same old war between "the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness" that has been going on since the Great Council, and will continue until the end. That war is inherent in the human condition and its spiritual dynamics. Don't stay up late waiting for it to end until...the End.

And I would argue that the political arena is not a clear-cut part of that war where one side is the good guys and one is the bad guys.

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Nehor becomes a Born Again Christian?

Interesting shift.

Har Har.

I actually got this from Alma and Paul. Last I checked they are still in our canon.

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It makes no difference where it comes from. It still needs to be defined, and distinguished form plain

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Nicholas Carr:

In theory, Wikipedia is a beautiful thing
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FTA "Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution."

YUP!! Socialism and theft.

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FTA "Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution."

YUP!! Socialism and theft.

Your arguments equating socialism with theft are problematic, but your cherry picking of only one form of social justice is even more so.

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Nicholas Carr:

It's good enough for internet discussion boards.

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FTA "Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution."

YUP!! Socialism and theft.

As mentioned, the Bible calls for a cyclical overhaul of the economy via the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25-26). In the year of Jubilee, there was a complete release of all debts, a Sabbath rest for land and people, and redistribution of lands lost by the poor due to debt. This system was designed to eradicate long term poverty and establish social justice. Was eradicating the debt owed to a lender "theft"?

What about the eradication of poverty via income and property redistribution under the United Order? Was that "theft"?

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Your arguments equating socialism with theft are problematic, . . .

This you haven't shown. Some people think that they can empower the Government to do something that they, individually clearly have no right to do, that is confiscate other peoples property. It may be legal, but it is still theft and therefore unjust.

. . . but your cherry picking of only one form of social justice is even more so.

You cited the article defining "social justice". I just quoted from it. :P

AND, according to that article, it wasn't "one form of social justice", it IS "social justice".

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David,

It is apparent that we are back to "socialism" take III.

Wasn't the first two times bad enough?

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As mentioned, the Bible calls for a cyclical overhaul of the economy via the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25-26). In the year of Jubilee, there was a complete release of all debts, a Sabbath rest for land and people, and redistribution of lands lost by the poor due to debt. This system was designed to eradicate long term poverty and establish social justice.

AGAIN!!! Why the insistence on the use of THAT word?

Was eradicating the debt owed to a lender "theft"?

Well, since the lender KNEW in advance exactly the terms of the agreement, (which included knowledge of the effects of the year of the Jubilee), it wouldn't be considered theft. After all, it would have been part of the contract.

Why do you conveniently fail to acknowledge this aspect?

What about the eradication of poverty via income and property redistribution under the United Order? Was that "theft"?

Well, since it was VOLUNTARILY given, why would you even consider it anywhere near equivalent to theft?

Again, do your argument and the rest of us a favor and DUMP the "social".

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Democracy = theft. Got it.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.

What is taxation and how does it differ from theft? If there is any significant difference, it is only that taxation is legal and theft is not. But the ones doing the taking in the first case make the law that allows them to take. But wait, those of the second class make a law, too: they say that when they want to take your stuff, it's okeh, and if you resist, they will do you harm.

Those who tax also threaten to do you harm if you do not "willingly" hand over your stuff.

So, again, what is the difference? I find none.

Lehi

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Beat me by a hairlash!

I was further back, but the answer is the same. A majority, whether of one or of millions, cannot make it moral to take form one person what he has legitimately created and give it to another person. All those in fancy hats, carrying shiny badges who use (or threaten) the use of lethal force to take your stuff are merely legal thieves, no matter who it was who sent them.

Lehi

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AGAIN!!! Why the insistence on the use of THAT word?

The term comes from a very important book on the subject, and as repeatedly demonstrated is an appropriate definition of the type of justice emphasized throughout the Bible.

Well, since the lender KNEW in advance exactly the terms of the agreement, (which included knowledge of the effects of the year of the Jubilee), it wouldn't be considered theft. After all, it would have been part of the contract.

Why do you conveniently fail to acknowledge this aspect?

It's still a complete eradication of debt, and a redistribution of lands lost due to poverty.

Well, since it was VOLUNTARILY given, why would you even consider it anywhere near equivalent to theft?

Again, this is a silly, superficial distinction. Everything is voluntary except for those things that are involuntary. Much like God, a state can provide incentives and/or punishments to encourage certain behaviors, but obedience to the system, even in the most socialistic of states, is voluntary based upon the terms and conditions outlined within the system. Whether the government is man-made or a theocracy, you're always free to disobey and accept the consequences. Redistribution of wealth is not equivalent to a beating heart, i.e. involuntary action.

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David,

It is apparent that we are back to "socialism" take III.

Wasn't the first two times bad enough?

Only for your argument. :P

But this thread deals with the biblical view of social justice, and the way it appears manifest in the Book of Mormon. It's only a few confused, albeit well-meaning souls that are unable to deal with any of these issues without returning to a rant on the evils of socialism. Despite their best efforts to change course, this is not a thread that deals with American politics.

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The term comes from a very important book on the subject, and as repeatedly demonstrated is an appropriate definition of the type of justice emphasized throughout the Bible.

You aren't listening. That phrase "social justice" is modern code language for socialism. If you don't mind the affects that fact has upon your argument, then I guess I don't know why I should care.

It's still a complete eradication of debt, and a redistribution of lands lost due to poverty.

Yes, BUT the fact that the contract (with that included) was VOLUNTARILY entered into by the lending party means that "social justice", as currently understood, had NOTHING to do with it.

Again, this is a silly, superficial distinction.

WHAT?

Something being voluntary is "superficially distinct" from it being theft?

I'm sorry, but I don't think you actually meant to say that.

So, when a thief puts a gun to your wife's head and politely asks for your wallet. It is strictly "voluntary" that you give it to him? If THAT is the case, you are abusing language to promote an agenda.

Edited to add,

I guess we must also throw out the concept of rape, because even though it wasn't wanted, it was still voluntary, right?

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Only for your argument. :P

Don't you wish.

But this thread deals with the biblical view of social justice, and the way it appears manifest in the Book of Mormon.

Which is antithetical to modern day "social justice". (You know, the devils false imitation of the law of consecration.)

It's only a few confused, albeit well-meaning souls that are unable to deal with any of these issues without returning to a rant on the evils of socialism.

Well, I did warn you about insisting on the use of "social justice".

Despite their best efforts to change course, this is not a thread that deals with American politics.

Then do yourself and the topic a favor and dump "social".

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This you haven't shown. Some people think that they can empower the Government to do something that they, individually clearly have no right to do, that is confiscate other peoples property. It may be legal, but it is still theft and therefore unjust.

You have a simple remedy if you don't like it - vote for people who represent your view. There is no theft in a representative republic - not in the way you're saying. This remedy, by the way, didn't exist for the ancient Israelites. Were they victims of theft?

You cited the article defining "social justice". I just quoted from it. :P

AND, according to that article, it wasn't "one form of social justice", it IS "social justice".

Anyone can hit ctrl F. Reading is harder.

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What is taxation and how does it differ from theft? If there is any significant difference, it is only that taxation is legal and theft is not. But the ones doing the taking in the first case make the law that allows them to take. But wait, those of the second class make a law, too: they say that when they want to take your stuff, it's okeh, and if you resist, they will do you harm.

Those who tax also threaten to do you harm if you do not "willingly" hand over your stuff.

So, again, what is the difference? I find none.

Lehi

Where you have the right to vote, there is no theft.

By your line of reasoning, do you agree that war = murder and incarceration = kidnapping? Or is your b&w thinking only applied toward taxes?

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Only for your argument. :P

But this thread deals with the biblical view of social justice, and the way it appears manifest in the Book of Mormon.

Except that "social justice" is neither biblical nor found in the Book of Mormon; only "justice" is. Your attempt at legitimizing it by tagging it to the Bible will not work.

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You aren't listening. That phrase "social justice" is modern code language for socialism. If you don't mind the affects that fact has upon your argument, then I guess I don't know why I should care.

It's really not. In its modern usage, social justice denotes the concept of human rights and is often centered upon economic egalitarianism through a redistribution of wealth and/or property. As demonstrated, this modern definition of social justice perfectly captures the biblical concept of "justice."

Yes, BUT the fact that the contract (with that included) was VOLUNTARILY entered into by the lending party means that "social justice", as currently understood, had NOTHING to do with it
.

Since the contract created economic egalitarianism through a redistribution of property and an eradication of debt it has everything to do with social justice in its modern sense.

WHAT?

Something being voluntary is "superficially distinct" from it being theft?

I'm sorry, but I don't think you actually meant to say that.

So, when a thief puts a gun to your wife's head and politely asks for your wallet. It is strictly "voluntary" that you give it to him? If THAT is the case, you are abusing language to promote an agenda.

You're reverting to the misnomer that socialism eradicates choice and agency. As I have illustrated, this argument is based upon the false assumption that agency is freedom of choice. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. The scriptural term "agency" refers to acting as an agent, i.e. steward over one's decisions. As such, no human government can destroy agency. Even if a gun is placed to one's head, a human being has a choice to make. This point is taught clearly by Lehi in the Book of Mormon,

"There is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon... wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other" (2 Nephi 2:14-16).

Man acts in accordance with the way he has been enticed, by God, Satan, blessing, punishment, gun, government, etc.

I guess we must also throw out the concept of rape, because even though it wasn't wanted, it was still voluntary, right?

You're missing the point. A person can be shot, hit by a drunk driver, raped, or have their wealth stolen in an involuntary manner this is not the same thing as a government that redistributes wealth when a person is free to not contribute, go to jail, leave the system, etc.

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Except that "social justice" is neither biblical nor found in the Book of Mormon; only "justice" is. Your attempt at legitimizing it by tagging it to the Bible will not work.

Allow me to illustrate the implications of your logic that the term social justice is not found in the Bible or Book of Mormon.

Justice is not found in the Old Testament, only ????.

What you're failing to realize, however, is that in the same way we must use contemporary English words to try and convey what was originally meant by the biblical authors when discussing their writings in English, it's appropriate to use the term social justice to describe the biblical concept of justice pertaining to human rights centered upon economic egalitarianism through a redistribution of wealth and/or property. For that is what social justice in our world means!

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As mentioned, the Bible calls for a cyclical overhaul of the economy via the Year of Jubilee (Lev. 25-26). In the year of Jubilee, there was a complete release of all debts, a Sabbath rest for land and people, and redistribution of lands lost by the poor due to debt. This system was designed to eradicate long term poverty and establish social justice. Was eradicating the debt owed to a lender "theft"?

What about the eradication of poverty via income and property redistribution under the United Order? Was that "theft"?

If the laws under which we live require periodic debt forgiveness (including release of real property debt pledges), we who are creditors can so order our lives that our lending behavior makes sense and economic realities prevail: shorter and shorter loans with less and less principal lent as the jubilee approaches. A 69th year loan that must be forgiven the following year makes no sense from anyone's perspective. A debtor who borrows knowing he'll never have to pay it back is far more immoral than the lender who parts with capital only sufficient to preserve life, knowing it'll never be paid back.

Besides, your use of the UEPs/United Order is a poor example. The donor received, in exchange for his deed of gift, a piece of paper back from the Bishop representing his beneficial interest, which was equal to what he donated, less a portion "for the poor." Should somebody leave the UEP/United Order, he took that beneficial interest back in fee. Thus, his donation for the benefit of the poor remained with the Bishop for their benefit. He himself maintains what was necessary for the support of himself and his family.

We've discussed this in the past, and I know you don't see it that way, but the UEP/United Order in practice was not what you think it was.

And neither was the Jubilee (even when they practiced it, which they hardly ever did).

USU "Brigham City Coop Descendant" 78

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If the laws under which we live require periodic debt forgiveness (including release of real property debt pledges), we who are creditors can so order our lives that our lending behavior makes sense and economic realities prevail: shorter and shorter loans with less and less principal lent as the jubilee approaches. A 69th year loan that must be forgiven the following year makes no sense from anyone's perspective. A debtor who borrows knowing he'll never have to pay it back is far more immoral than the lender who parts with capital only sufficient to preserve life, knowing it'll never be paid back.

Honestly, you make a comment like this and then have the brass to tell me that despite the fact that I hold an MA and PhD in Hebrew Bible from one of the world's most prestigious programs in the field that I do not understand the biblical Jubilee.

I'll cite Nibley who cites Deuteronomy 15:9:

"But one may not refuse a loan because the Lord's release is near, in which whatever you lent will not have to be paid back: 'Beware that there be a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The Seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother [the calm, appraising stare], and thou givest him nought and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be a sin unto thee" (Deuteornomy 15:9). This is an example of the meanness of spirt that offends God more than anything else." in Approaching Zion, 218.

Your notion that one could refuse to give a loan if the Jubilee was near is defined as possessing a "wicked heart" and a violation of God's command.

Besides, your use of the UEPs/United Order is a poor example. The donor received, in exchange for his deed of gift, a piece of paper back from the Bishop representing his beneficial interest, which was equal to what he donated, less a portion "for the poor." Should somebody leave the UEP/United Order, he took that beneficial interest back in fee. Thus, his donation for the benefit of the poor remained with the Bishop for their benefit. He himself maintains what was necessary for the support of himself and his family.

That's correct only for the period of Consecration affected by the Bates' lawsuit, i.e. 1833. The Law was based upon the revealed system in which "the grantor bound himself and his heirs to release forever all rights to and interests in certain scheduled property." Lyndon W. Cook, Joseph Smith and the Law of Consecration, 16. I've seen copies of the consecration deeds myself in the Church History museum. Here is a copy of the Levi Jackman deed featured on pages 28-29 of the book Building the City of God:

"Be it known that I, Levi Jackman of the church of Christ... do of my own free will and accord having first paid my just debts, grant and hereby give unto Edward Partridge of Jackson county, and state of Missouri, bishop of said church the following described property, viz sundry articles of furniture valued thrity seven dollars, also two beds, bedding and feathers valued forty four dollars fifty cents, also three acres and other tools valued eleven dollars and twenty five cents.

"For the purpose of purchaing lands and building up the New Jerusalem, even Zion, and for reliving the wants of the poor and needy. For which I the said Levi Jackman do covenant and bind myself and my heirs forever, to release all my right to the above described property, unto him, the said Edward Partridge."

We've discussed this in the past, and I know you don't see it that way, but the UEP/United Order in practice was not what you think it was.

And neither was the Jubilee (even when they practiced it, which they hardly ever did).

And yet in all of these threads, for a couple of years now, we have had nothing but page after page of assertions such as this coupled with endless writings on modern political rhetoric. Yet no one has been able to counter any of these views via scriptural and/or historical analysis. Honestly, look at yours, Vance's, BC's, Droopy's, Will's, et al.'s contributions and try and uncover a single example of scriptural evidence and/or analysis offered in support of your opposition.

Do you ever stop and wonder why this is the case?

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