Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Attainment of an Immortal Soul

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Animals think. Man is conscious of his thinking.

By that I mean that Man is aware of himself, and can think about his thoughts. Man can consider two courses of action and consciously choose between them.

This is what allows Man, the animal, to become something unique in the world – Man, the Human.

As we discussed in the post “Veresapiens – Truly Wise, Truly Human”

All living things need space to live, and things to consume, in competition with others. Aside from Man, living things simply take what they need.

What truly differentiates Man from Animal is that Man is capable of consciously making a decision to refrain from taking. Man is capable of consciously choosing voluntary interaction, in cooperation with others, to satisfy needs.

Man can choose to Trade, not Take.

Man can choose to live by the rule “Thou shalt Not Steal”.

Not everyone makes that choice. But, to actually make that choice, and live that choice, is what it takes to be fully, truly Human.

The importance of that choice – to live that choice – was illustrated in “To Become At One With God”

And to be fully, truly Human is what it takes to attain an immortal soul and to become at one with God.

This is the same lesson found in the Christian Bible in the Galatians verses that teach “A man reaps what he sows”. In Galatians 6:8 it says

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

In other words, to live as Man, the animal, and Take what you need, leads to death and decay. But to live as Man, the Human, and to choose instead to Trade voluntarily for what you need, leads to eternal life.

The Human Soul is immortal, but a Man must become Human to attain a Human Soul.

 

In a Free Society, the Only Way to Create Wealth is by Helping Others

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Creating personal wealth is often characterized as selfish, or even sinful. In fact in the Bible, two separate books of the New Testament contain the quote…

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Yet, in a free market, the person who makes the greatest fortune is the one who enriches the most lives in the community. When markets are free, meaning all exchanges are voluntary, each person offering products or services has to compete with all other sellers to provide the most value. In other words, the sellers are in competition to see who can most enrich the lives of the most people.

 

Specialization and Trade Create Wealth

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It is uniquely Human to “Trade, not Take”.

Of all of the life forms on this planet, only Man has the ability to decide, consciously, to trade for his wants and needs rather than taking what he can from others.

Obviously not everyone chooses that path. But, the path exists.

The next question is “Is there a real-world benefit to trading, or is it solely a morality issue?”.

As it turns out, the beauty of trading is that beyond providing the key to being truly Human, trading also creates additional prosperity for the whole community.

Some simple (I promise) numbers will illustrate this point.

Imagine a primitive community that is just beginning to add farming to its food gathering efforts. Assume that they have just figured out how to use a harness to have a cow or ox help plow a field.

The plow and harness mechanism is simple enough that the two village farmers are able to make both the plow and harness themselves.

Now, you might think that if one farmer was better at plow-making and one farmer was better at harness-making, then they would benefit from specializing in making one or the other and trading with each other. And that would indeed be true.

But what if one of the farmers was actually better than the other at both plow-making and harness-making? Would it make sense to trade then? Would it make sense for one farmer but not the other? (Remember, a trade only happens when both parties feel like they are gaining from the trade.)

In fact, even if one farmer is better than the other farmer at both plow-making and harness-making, both farmers will be better off if they still trade.

Sounds a little iffy? That’s why I promised you numbers.

Let’s assume it takes farmer Ed 3 hours to make a plow and 4 hours to make a harness. That’s a total of 7 hours for the whole apparatus.

And let’s assume that it takes farmer Jake 6 hours to make a plow and 5 hours to make a harness (a total of 11 hours to make one complete set).

How can farmer Ed benefit from a trade, when he can build all of the parts so much faster than farmer Jake can?

The key is for farmer Ed to focus on the part with the biggest time advantage. He can make a plow 3 hours faster than farmer Jake, but can make a harness only 1 hour faster.

It takes Farmer Ed 7 hours to make a whole plow and harness set, but he can make two plows in just 6 hours.

Farmer Jake takes 11 hours to make a whole set, but he can make two harnesses in just 10 hours.

So by trading, farmer Ed gets a plow and harness for 6 hours of work instead of 7, and farmer Jake gets his plow and harness for 10 hours of work instead of 11.

And, as a whole, the farming community only had to spend 16 hours of labor to get two plow and harness sets instead of 18 hours, making 2 extra hours available for other valuable activities.

Man can decide to trade, and the trade not only benefits each of the participants (or they wouldn’t participate), but trade also enables and rewards specialization, which makes the whole community more efficient, raising its standard of living.

 

Voluntary Trade is Always Win-Win

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Does each free and voluntary trading (buying/selling) transaction result in a winner and a loser at the end of the negotiations over price?

Of course not.

Each side feels like they are better off with the deal than without. Otherwise, why would they participate? So, by definition, it’s a win for both sides.

But suppose one side has a monopoly and can jack the price up?

Same thing. If the buyer participates, it is because the buyer expects to be better off with the deal than without. Even at the higher price.

Besides, monopolies don’t last long in a free market. When other participants see the price the monopolist is getting for his goods, there will be a mad scramble to bring more of that product, or viable alternatives, to the market to get in on the profits. And, this will quickly kill off the monopoly and drive the price down.

 

To Become At One With God

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In the beginning, God loved Earth and breathed Life into her. And Life and Earth became one – EarthLife. As goes Earth, goes Life. And as goes Life, goes Earth. Each leads and follows the other. EarthLife.

If Life were uniform, it would, in time, use up all the nutrients Earth has to offer. Life must, therefore, be diverse, consuming a variety of resources.

But beyond that, for Life to be continuous, resources must ultimately be reused and recycled. Thus the cycle of Life – plants, grazers, predators, microbes, and back to plants. Prey and predator are equally critical to Life.

A planet changes over time, from its fiery molten beginning to some final fate tied to the life and death of its star. Life cannot be designed to perfectly fit all of the conditions yet to come on its planet, so Life is designed by God to evolve as needed to react to ever-changing conditions, and to thrive in each new stage of a planet’s lifetime.

There is one Life on Earth. EarthLife. It is a continuously optimizing community of living things. Each operating independently, but each also operating within, and affecting, the community. None are good or bad, higher or lower. All are equal members of the same community. Predator and prey are partners in Life. That’s how Life lives on.

Man evolved from and within the EarthLife community. As a living being, Man does not live above or apart from EarthLife. However, there is one thing that sets Man apart.

Man alone has evolved the ability to become spiritual, and to become at one with God.

However, individuals can attain an immortal soul only by exercising Man’s one unique capability. The one thing that sets Man apart from all other animals.

What truly differentiates Man from Animal is that Man is capable of consciously making a decision to refrain from taking. Man is capable of consciously choosing voluntary interaction, in cooperation with others, to satisfy needs.

Man can choose to Trade, not Take.

Man can choose to live by the rule “Thou shalt Not Steal”.

Not everyone makes that choice. But, to actually make that choice, and live that choice, is what it takes to be fully, truly Human.

And to be fully, truly Human is what it takes to attain an immortal soul and to become at one with God.

 

What Does ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ Actually Mean?

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TSNS – Thou Shalt Not Steal – Sounds like a pretty simple concept, doesn’t it?

But since TSNS is ‘The One Commandment’ of Veresapiens, let’s explore it a little bit, and see how it manages to cover behavior from petty theft to slavery and murder.

To define what it means ‘to steal’, we first have to define what it means ‘to own’.

So, what is ‘ownership’?

At the most basic level, ownership is not a financial term. To own is to control.

If you own something, you can make all of the decisions about it, yourself. You can do whatever you wish with something you own. You can use it, give it away, destroy it, whatever. Totally up to you.

If you need permission to do something with it, you don’t own it… at least not fully.

Suppose you ‘own’ a house. And suppose you bought the house with a home loan. And, finally, suppose that you rent out the house to tenants.

Financially, you own the house. You are the homeowner. However, your ownership rights have been voluntarily limited, as detailed in your mortgage loan agreement with the bank and your lease agreement with the renters.

For example, you own the house, but you cannot use the house as your home. You have agreed to give all of the normal residential usage rights (control) to your renters for the duration of their lease.

Also, you own the house, but you cannot tear it down and turn your property into a wildlife sanctuary. You have agreed to give up some rights (control), relative to the physical building, to the bank for the duration of the mortgage loan.

The important point, here, is that control is not all-or-nothing. And therefore, ownership is not all-or-nothing. Some portion of your ownership can be given or traded away.

And some portion of your ownership can be taken away. (And we have thereby arrived at the meaning of ‘stealing’.)

If someone takes away some or all of your control over your possession, against your will, they are stealing from you.

Even if, rather than physically taking, they simply prevent you from exercising your full control over your possession through threats or force, they are still stealing from you. Because, even if they are not taking your possession, they are taking away your ownership (control).

Now, suppose your life belongs to you. If you own your life, you must control your life.

Anyone who prevents you from exercising full control over your own life is stealing (taking) your life.

At a minimum, they are stealing your freedom. In the extreme, this can escalate to slavery or murder.

 

Veresapiens – Truly Wise, Truly Human

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We all feel that Man is dramatically different from all the other Animals.

Is it just because we are smarter?

Well, we might be the best at being smart, but we’re not the only animals with intelligence. Being ‘the best’ is not the same as being ‘the only’.

We’re not the only animals that make tools, or communicate, or live in social groups, or build homes.

What is it that is uniquely Human?

All living things need space to live, and things to consume, in competition with others. Aside from Man, living things simply take what they need.

What truly differentiates Man from Animal is that Man is capable of consciously making a decision to refrain from taking. Man is capable of consciously choosing voluntary interaction, in cooperation with others, to satisfy needs.

Man can choose to Trade, not Take.

Man can choose to live by the rule “Thou Shalt Not Steal”.

Not everyone makes that choice. But, to actually make that choice, and live that choice, is what it takes for Man to be fully, truly Human.