[ 1/2/20 ]
We obviously mix in very different social contexts.
Population limits is a topic I talk about a lot, particularly in the context of indefinite life extension.
Any particular context has very real population limits.
If you vastly reduce the probability of dying, then one must similarly reduce the rate of births as one approaches those limits.
What individuals consider a reasonable minimum for a standard of living will vary a bit. But if you assume we adopt a high tech approach that relies on solar energy, and you assume that we leave about half the earth’s surface in a natural state, and that a figure of 100KW per person is a reasonable value for energy use, then the limit for population is about 30 billion, on earth. In orbit, substantially larger. People who want to have lots of babies will have to go off planet. And even there, the problem with recur at some point in the future. Unrestricted reproduction does lead to resource competition and war at some scale. There is no avoiding that reality.
[followed by David Andersen – Bible says go forth and multiply…]
By any definition we have been fruitful and multiplied, and we have dominion over the earth.
All things have limits.
We are getting close to the limit on that one.
[followed by D A – My bible says nothing about limits on this issue.]
Maybe we were expected to be smart enough to see them for ourselves by now.
Don’t recall reading anything in the bible about driving cars or building aircraft or using fertilizer, but we manage to work those things out.
There is much great wisdom in the bible, and we all use a lot more than is contained in the bible every day – like using computers to communicate.
[2/2/20 – DA replied – That is the “subdue it” part…. the servant who locked them up behind closed gates and called them National Parks …]
Clearly we differ very deeply in our interpretation of such parables.
For me Mathew 25:14 speaks to that we have been delivered the tools to understand the world in which we live (a gift of value far greater than any silver or gold, as it is the gift that allows us to build tools such as these computers and all the automated systems that allow us to exist in such numbers as we do).
If we take that gift, and use it wisely to build greater understanding, then we give to the master both national parks and technology, both of which have great value in different dimensions.
For me the parable is clear, that we can have abundance in all dimensions, provided we give due care to all dimensions.
If we focus too narrowly, and do not look to the needs of all, then we will fail in our deepest duty of care that we have been given.
I would not be happy if any servant of mine delivered me silver, but left my land barren and sterile.
[ 2/2/20 DA long reply – Enron, just do it.]
I take the parable to be much more nuanced than “just do it”.
Talents are money, they have value only in what they can be exchanged for. One cannot eat a talent.
By trading with their talents, the servants used them as they are best used.
Enron was deliberate deceit at multiple levels.
Most of the current economic and political system is deliberate deceit at multiple levels.
A clear braking of Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
The current legal and political systems seem to be designed expressly to allow those with power to steal and deal falsely and lie with impunity.
And what of James 2:8 love thy neighbour as thyself.
We have the technology to ensure that all our neighbours have plenty, yet for the sake of the economic system we deny it to them.
We have been given the mental tools to create abundance. Refusing to do so for the sake of an economic system is to my mind a renunciation of all that Jesus held most dear. It is to abandon him and to worship Caesar.