Author Topic: Dangers of the Modern World  (Read 8491 times)

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Cynthia

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Dangers of the Modern World
« on: April 20, 2008, 01:07:36 AM »
I am proud to be a Catholic today. The wisdom of our Pope rings such truth. God bless him.

His words are prophetic, indeed.



"As he praised the spread of democracy and respect for human rights, the pope cautioned about the dangers people face in the modern world.

"I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence and degradation -- especially of girls and women," the pope said.

And he decried "new injustices," including environmental problems.

The Earth "groans under the weight of consumerist greed and irresponsible exploitation," he said."

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/19/pope.sat/index.html
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 01:09:40 AM by Cynthia »

Plane

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 12:44:15 AM »
He seems like a nice guy .

But what is "Consumerist Greed"?

What is the alternative to it?

Cynthia

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 12:27:12 PM »
He seems like a nice guy .

But what is "Consumerist Greed"?

What is the alternative to it?

I suppose it would be consumerist share and share alike?;)

sirs

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 12:56:20 PM »
And what does that mean?
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 01:15:48 PM »
Consumerism is what makes the US economy go around.

One buys things which one does not need, with money one has not yet earned, to impress people he does not know.

For example, "Joe" buys a Hummer 3 on a 60 month payment plan to impress the rest of the people he shares the freeway with every morning.

The opposite might be for him to buy a used Corolla with the money he actually has in his account with no thoughts about what the rest of the commuters might think.

From the Pope's point of view, then if God were to warm the cockles of Joes' heart sufficiently, Joe might donate to a Mission where his money might save a Zambian kid's soul as well as educate him and feed him a proper breakfast.

As it is, Joe is not donating anything because of the Hummer and gasoline payments.

 
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 05:21:15 PM by Xavier_Onassis »
"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Amianthus

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 01:40:29 PM »
Consumerism is what makes the US economy go around.

One buys things which one does not need, with money one has not yey earned, to impress people he does not know.

American Heritage Dictionary:

Consumerism: The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards.

Barron's Marketing Dictionary:

Consumerism: Public concern over the rights of consumers, the quality of consumer goods, and the honesty of advertising.

Britannica:

Consumerism: Movement or policies aimed at regulating the products, services, methods, and standards of manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers in the interests of the buyer. Such regulation may be institutional, statutory, or embodied in a voluntary code accepted by a particular industry, or it may result more indirectly from the influence of consumer organizations.

Houghton Mifflin Economics Dictionary:

Consumerism: A movement in the United States that seeks to protect consumers against shoddy or improperly labeled products.

Your example does not seem to fall under any of those definitions.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)

sirs

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 02:48:56 PM »
D'oh
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Cynthia

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 03:45:29 PM »
And what does that mean?

 It is an alternative point to "Consumer GREED".   ;)

sirs

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 05:07:43 PM »
What would you be suggesting then?  Inhibit the dream of bettering one's self.  Mandating a certain level of failure.  Legislating involuntary donations?
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 05:20:18 PM »
Your example does not seem to fall under any of those definitions.

Nonetheless, I do not think the Pope is against people complaining when their VCR dies after two weeks, or  bitching when their paint poisons their kids, or perhaps fussing when a bottle of soda blows up in their face. The Pope appears to be speaking about acquisitiveness, and my guess is that being a German speaker as well as a speaker of Italian, he is speaking about the consumer society, which has as its goal consumption for consumption's sake.

I do not think that the Pope thinks that consumers demanding more reliable and safer products is a bad thing. Do you?

The habit of drinking bottled water from some exotic place, such as Fiji or Iceland, packaged in an expensive and disposible and rarely recycled bottle, where the bottle has to be shipped empty to Fiji and returned filled to the US and then discarded in a landfill for the next seventeen centuries might be a good example of this. Every step of getting the bottle of water from underneath Fiji to the consumer is arguably quite wasteful, and drinking tap water is probably no more harmful than drinking Fiji water.

I do not know whether Iceland water is bottled in Iceland-made bottles, but I do not think that either Iceland nor Fiji has the petroleum from which those clear water bottles are made. Perhaps Fijians make their own bottles.

But when an American in Omaha opts to drink bottled water from Fiji or Iceland, energy and expense is involved that is not involved when he simply sips Omaha tap water. Even if the water were distilled in Omaha, there would be less expense.

Perhaps if the petrochemicals used to make these bottles were dedicated to making fertilizer for use in Haiti, people in Haiti would not go hungry.

Since the 1980's, Haiti has been importing most of its basic staple, rice, from the US, since it cost more at that time to grow it in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti than it did to ship it from Louisiana. Of course, importing rice means that fewer Haitians are employed in the rice-growing industry.




"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 05:30:06 PM »
What would you be suggesting then?  Inhibit the dream of bettering one's self.  Mandating a certain level of failure.  Legislating involuntary donations?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does one need to buy an SUV to take Becky-Sue to ballet class to "better one's self"?

It seems to me that the Pope is simply asking that each individual consider the decisions he makes in choosing his lifestyle with regard to the greater good of world society as well as the environment, and that he voluntarily try to make decisions so as to benefit both himself and others more.

The world definitely grows enough food to feed everyone. There are many starving people because the food is poorly distributed due to economic forces. For example, if people eat the soybeans or corn, many more are fed than if the soybeans and corn are fed to cattle, and the cattle are eaten instead.

I would think that the Pope would think it to be an improvement if  no one starved, even if someone had to do without Kobe beef or supersizing their quarter pounders.


I don't think the Pope is advocating forcing Sirs at rifle point to forgo his rich diet. I do not even know is Sirs enjoys a rich diet.

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

sirs

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2008, 06:10:42 PM »
What would you be suggesting then?  Inhibit the dream of bettering one's self.  Mandating a certain level of failure.  Legislating involuntary donations?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does one need to buy an SUV to take Becky-Sue to ballet class to "better one's self"?

That's if one is buying the BS that an SUV is being bought simply to get everyine to look at them.  98% of the folks I know who own an SUV buy them to more safely take Becky-Sue to ballet class.  So much more, that they're willing to pay for the extra gas it guzzles.  Buying safer things is consistent with bettering one's self.

No one is mandating that Xo or Cynthia buy an SUV at gun point.  Simply allow the continued freedom for others to chose so, based on their needs, and not what others decide they need.  That way we can more appropriately ignore the garbage that buying an SUV is merely for attention getting



"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Cynthia

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2008, 12:34:50 AM »
It seems to me that the Pope is simply asking that each individual consider the decisions he makes in choosing his lifestyle with regard to the greater good of world society as well as the environment, and that he voluntarily try to make decisions so as to benefit both himself and others more.


Xavier....the essence of the Pope's message! The essence of what benefits ALL.

Summarizing the truth. Thank you, XO.

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2008, 12:39:45 AM »
That way we can more appropriately ignore the garbage that buying an SUV is merely for attention getting

=============================================
Kindly observe that I was not talking about buying just any old SUV, but that rather expensive modified pickup truck called the H3.
Perhaps people do feel these are safer, but they are wrong. Pretty much any old Volvo wagon would be safer, as well as any number of crossovers. People DO buy Hummers, Expeditions and such because they wish to impress/terrorize their fellow drivers.

They are not safer, in any case. Pretty much every vehicle I have seen upside down on I-95 has been an SUV or a pickup truck. Fools who THINK they are safe often ignore proper tire pressure and they flip when they throw a tread. Also, they have a much higher center of gravity, and flip when one tries to maneuver them as they might a car.

And I was not saying that they should be forced to buy something else, or forced to buy anything. With gas at $4.00+ a gallon, I am pretty sure that the larger of these behemoths will soon vanish.

I was simply trying to explain what the Pope meant my "greedy consumerism". Hummers are pretty much "greedy consumerism" on wheels.

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Plane

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Re: Dangers of the Modern World
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2008, 01:05:15 AM »


I was simply trying to explain what the Pope meant my "greedy consumerism". Hummers are pretty much "greedy consumerism" on wheels.




If the Pope agrees with your assessment , then he is making a mistake.


Good service to consumers is good service to the people , I know of no better alternative to consumerism that has any possibility of working as well or as long.