Capitalism vs. Socialism

To sum both ideologies up in the simplest of terms; capitalism is a political and economic method where industries and businesses are privately owned and depending on the market’s requirements, things are often made to demand so that companies can run a profitable and organised business to offer trade and employment opportunities; whereas socialism is a social and political method in which private ownership is replaced by co-operative community ownership. They believe that everyone lives to co-operate and contribute towards the communal good, so all should seek reward for their work. Socialists say that their social organisation promotes equality and job protection as the workers work for requirement, not for profit. Karl Marx made the following quote famous in 1875:

“Jeder nach seinen Fähigkeiten, jedem nach seinen Bedürfnissen”

Which in English translates to:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”

Many argue that capitalism isn’t good as the rich get richer, and once big conglomerates secure an area of the market they dominate and put smaller companies in danger, and workers are exploited. Others argue that communism and socialism is the root of all evil and you just have to look at the aftermath of the October revolution in Russia; or the Great Leap Forward in China that let to droughts and famines and many millions lost their lives; or were ritually slaughtered; died from poor treatment during forced labour; or executed for rebelling against the government as they starved to death. There are stories of mass suicides and acts of cannibalism in both Russia and China as the government watched on.

But does this mean that socialism is a bad ideology, or has it been a tool for cruel dictatorships?

“Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

According to Forbes, Jeff Bezos in August 2020 exceeded a $200,000,000,000 fortune, and Elon Musk is slightly in his shadow with a mere $153,000,000,000 fortune, but because of capitalism they legally, yet unethically, pay their employees minimum wage that’s set out as a government employment rule. The rich get richer, the elite get more powerful and the rest of us try and get by, not even knowing that indirectly we might be working for one of these moguls. I understand that both are talented entrepreneurs, and Elon Musk has his scientific mind, and that they both worked hard to achieve and become extremely wealthy and successful, but because of capitalism, they can bully other companies, push them out of the way with lawsuits, and cover all of the bases like Apple have tried to do by turning the brand into a fashion accessory, and with clever marketing and slick designs they’ve become the biggest phone maker in the world and in August they exceeded a $2 trillion net worth. Do you think the people who work in the warehouses or drive the vehicles are going to be paid favourably because the company they’re employed by is so profitable?

So is capitalism a better alternative to socialism, or does it promote greed and inequality?

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” – Winston Churchill

God: The illogical conclusion

Prejudice seems to be the main result for most religions, and it’s especially apparent in the Abrahamic faiths. They are often, but not always, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, judgemental, and bigoted, and if someone doesn’t adhere to the rules in their chosen sacred book, they seem to think that they are perfectly within their right to go on the offensive in God’s name. Abrahamic religions are especially disrespectful to women, and no more so in Islam where women are seen as servants and trophies, especially in Middle Eastern countries. Muslim men won’t think twice about raising their hands to their wives in public if they feel they are being disrespectful, and to strike an alleged loved one is an especially vile act of cowardice.

“For more than three thousand years men have quarreled concerning the formulas of their faith. The earth has been drenched with blood shed in this cause. . . .” – Felix Adler

When there are online Christian evangelicals like Ken Ham, Greg Locke and Ray Comfort who suggest to their followers that it’s perfectly acceptable to hate on behalf of God, and when you’ve got mean old bastards like Pat Robertson, who’s a televangelist, spreading loathsome religious propaganda to the masses, also on behalf of God, where exactly is the love of Christ represented in their behaviour?

“Religion is the brainchild of fear, and fear is the parent of cruelty. The greatest evils inflicted on humankind are perpetrated not by pleasure-seekers, self-seeking opportunists, or those who are merely amoral, but by fervent devotees of religion.” – Emmanuel Kofi Mensah

Not only are many representatives of Abrahamic religions hateful, but they promote fallacies for their own agendas. Be it filling the pews, lining their pockets financially, filling theme parks, or gaining notoriety. Ken Ham, for example lies in almost every tweet he makes. He’s trying to convince his followers that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, and anyone who disagrees, or promotes secularism, liberalism, and same-sex rights is controlled by Satan. His brainwashed followers then visit his theme park and museum, buy merchandise and add zeros to his bank balance, and I’m quite confident that none of it is given to people that really need it, like Jesus would want. He’s one of many charlatans, like Kenneth Copeland who lead extravagant, jet-set lifestyles, who live in luxury whilst people are living in squalor and desperation, not knowing how they can feed their families.

“I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, and the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough – I call it the one immortal blemish on the human race.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I should feel sorry for people that are taken in by their nonsense, but I struggle to feel pity for people who are gullible enough to go through life happy with their wilful ignorance, and lazy, intellectual cowardice. Scientists spend centuries sharing discoveries and theories, living by trial and error, stumbling and occasionally making a breakthrough, just for some fundamentalist to think they know better and simply state that ‘God did it‘ with no evidence or credibility.

“Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter.” – Thomas Paine

Any grown adult who can quite happily accept fairytales and speculation, and disregard the scientific method clearly has an underdeveloped mind. It’s natural for humans to be curious, and I’m sure most of you have touched something that say ‘hot do not touch‘ just to see if it really is hot. I know I have and it’s a natural thing to discover for yourself.

“If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.” – Robert Ingersoll

I simply cannot just accept common opinions, and I think independently and form conclusions based on reason, logic and evidence. It’s not natural for a grown adult to blindly believe something and not question it, and just accept that’s the way it is, because a collection of books ‘The Bible‘, or the ‘Qur’an‘ say so. I cannot accept that a book written by men can be the word of God. If he can create the Universe and all that’s within it, why couldn’t he create a book himself? Why did he have to tell ‘Musa’ (Moses) what the ‘Ten Commandments‘ (Ethical Decalogue) should be? It all seems a little too convenient for me to take seriously.

“Religion is the brainchild of fear, and fear is the parent of cruelty. The greatest evils inflicted on humankind are perpetrated not by pleasure-seekers, self-seeking opportunists, or those who are merely amoral, but by fervent devotees of religion.” – Emmanuel Kofi Mensah

I fail to understand how theists cannot recognise that religions are manmade and not Godmade. Man has always feared and worshipped that what he doesn’t understand ie: fire. So what better way to strike fear into the heart of man than put the threat of eternal damnation, and an ‘obey me or elseGod.

“If a man really believes that God once upheld slavery; that he commanded soldiers to kill women and babes; that he believed in polygamy; that he persecuted for opinion’s sake; that he will punish forever, and that he hates an unbeliever, the effect in my judgment will be bad. It always has been bad. This belief built the dungeons of the Inquisition. This belief made the Puritan murder the Quaker.” – Robert Ingersoll

When theists claim that they have a personal relationship with their God, that the Bible is the word of God, and the miracles, and acts God is responsible for, are fact, then I cannot help but think that they have a screw loose. If someone finds solace and comfort from their faith, then that’s fine, but believing that God is responsible for everything, and God is the first cause, is ludicrous. If the Bible is God’s word, and his wording is perfection, then there should be no inconsistencies, contradictions or illogical statements. The book of Genesis, which we all know is the first book of the Bible, is littered with errors, contradictions and repeated statements, so it’s not a great start, but at least it shows the reader what’s in store for them.

“Let us read the Bible without the ill-fitting colored spectacles of theology, just as we read other books, using our judgment and reason. . . .” – Luther Burbank

Another thing that I fail to understand is prayer, and if God is all-knowing (omniscient), and has unlimited power (omnipotent), is everywhere at once (omnipresence), what’s the point in prayer? A man can pray for peace, and another man can walk into that place of worship and execute mercilessly. If God is omnipresent, then why doesn’t he make the assailant miss, or make the gun jam, or strike them down? He doesn’t because he cannot, and he cannot as he doesn’t exist except in the mind of his flock!

Philosophical morality

In archaic Greece, philosophy was a big deal, and the more intellectual you were, the more successful you became. Socrates is claimed by many historians to be the founder of western philosophy. He believed that philosophy was all about achieving results that were beneficial to a society, and he studied ethics based on human reason.

Socrates

‘A system of morality which is based on relative emotional values is a mere illusion, a thoroughly vulgar conception which has nothing sound in it and nothing true.’ – Socrates

The Greek word ‘êthos‘, meaning character and moral nature, is where the word ‘ethics’ originated from. Ethics is to understand and think critically about moral values and how they are to be applied to a situation. Meta-ethics is about questioning the true meaning of ethics understanding how to tell what is good, and what is bad, and philosophers deem this as a necessary component to evaluate moral decision making. To start one must understand the definition of what ‘good‘, ‘bad‘, ‘right‘ and ‘wrong‘ mean? And how actions can have implications that can dramatically affect an outcome, as in every action has a reaction.

Ethical naturalism is essentially objective ethics, meaning that we can understand the difference between something that’s empirical and something like ‘pleasure‘, ‘wanting‘, ‘needing‘ or ‘desiring‘ which are non-ethical, which displays cognitive reasoning. This takes away personal opinion and involves the application of ‘fact‘, ‘truth‘ and ‘realism‘.

Axiology is derived from Greek meaning ‘value‘, ‘worth‘ and is a necessary part of the study of ethics and aesthetics, and understanding value and why it’s valuable. This generally falls into two categories.

• instrumental value

• intrinsic value

Instrumental value isn’t the value of the subject, it’s the subject that gives value. Faith to a Christian, harmony of humanity to a Humanist, a book to an intellectual, or sex to a hedonist.

Intrinsic value is the value of right, or good, or necessary, and many philosophers believe it’s at the basis of ethical, and moral judgement.

consequentialism, whether an action is morally right or wrong has exclusively to do with whether its consequences are intrinsically better than those of any other action one can perform under the circumstances.’ –Stanford

The main way the Greeks studied was through observation, and to approach situations through a rational mind, and question what had previously been answered by religious doctrine. This is basically the way that Humanism approaches life.

‘Humanists are people who shape their own lives in the here and now, because we believe it’s the only life we have. We make sense of the world through logic, reason, and evidence, and always seek to treat those around us with warmth, understanding, and respect.’

The Greeks believed that you must be able to supply justification before morality can be applied.

How can you prove that murder is bad?

Murder is bad because not only are you taking a life that isn’t yours to take, but it involves malice. The desire to cause harm to another human being. Often murder is premeditated which means there was time to consider the action before the act was carried out. So, the act of murder is immoral because I’m able to justify it. The way I personally see morality is something that’s beneficial to the majority, and immorality is something that has a negative impact on the majority. Take honesty as an example. Being honest is being truthful to someone, with no motive, no agenda and no desire to deceive. Being honest is beneficial to everyone. Whereas lying is being dishonest, usually with an agenda, be it guilt, deception or a motive to trick someone into a false belief. Lying isn’t beneficial to the majority.

This is essentially an example of Utilitarianism, but it can cause dilemma in some situations. Is it ethically correct to let one person die to save five people? If it means taking a life, to save five lives that’s doing something beneficial to the majority, but is immoral as it’s taking a life. Moral actions aren’t as black and white as they sometimes appear, especially in the modern world. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, and Greek philosophers only understood the world around them, and the history that preceded them. In the modern world we have situations that thousands of years ago wouldn’t have been imagined never mind considered. Take Nuclear energy, stem cell research, organ transplants, abortions, or gender modification. Only through moral philosophy can modern ethics be studied and acknowledged, without dogma or superstition.

‘An ethical idealist, a person whom embraces the honorable philosophy of ethical idealism, performs acts that are honest, pure, and righteous regardless of their fearfulness.‘ – Kilroy J. Oldster,