How to compare this conflicting moral end?

I was thinking, if a leader thought there was a need for military expenses large enough to make things like charitable giving or necessary family income decrease, then how would he compare the relative values of these two or three conflicting ends?

That is, with what standard can things as different as charity expenditures and military expenditures be compared w/each other?

I suppose money would be the standard, but money in what mode? Revenues? Costs? Profits? And profits for who? Industry sometimes profits from war, but families might not and etc.

And would it not follow that gov. should try not to tamper with such a standard lest they bias it and misgovern?

This question is not reducible to a question of food for the hungry vs more guns.

One of the primary duties of the federal government is to raise up a military force capable of protecting us citizens. We also have to beware that our might is not being abused for wars of conquest or vengence. Then we have to as the following. Is our military sufficient to meet our need for protection? Is it efficiently run?

Care of the poor is a bottom up problem. It starts where the poor are. The federal government must promote policies regarding commerce, finance and the courts that promote prosperity and the rule of law but it is up to individual citizens to be caritible first. Next, citizens of local governments, cities and states, can vote to promote charity to the poor and weak by statute. When this is not sufficient the citizens of our country can agree to vote for representatives to pass laws that protect the poor by collecting revenue nationally and redristributing that money back down to the poor.

It’s not as simple as, “I asked for bread and you gave me a gun.”

That is a fine answer!

On a related theme…Leftism thrives on crisis…don’t get taken in by this Henny Penny President and his straw man battles…He (Obama) will continue to erode American dominance in the world…while claiming he is valiantly fighting the forces of decline and dysfunction.

I think you might be interested in researching something known as the military-industrial complex.

Also, any Americans who believe the United States don’t wage wars for conquest is mistaken. Economic conquest is the motivation for many of the wars the country has been engaged in. Some wars have been just, the majority have not been, especially in contemporary times. Our government (and most others) are extremely corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

American dominance? Where in the teachings of the Church is the promotion of global dominance by one country? This is news to me…

Ummm … you’re assuming we don’t know anything about the “military-industrial complex.” Perhaps we do but don’t see it quite the same as you do.

As far as the United States waging “wars for conquest,” that’s a pretty bald assertion. How about some explanation of why you see it that way. Perhaps links to sources that back up your rather sweeping view.

As for American dominance … just who is preaching American dominance and claiming the teachings of the Church support this?

My question is actually trying to pry-out an answer to a bigger question by using an easily imaginable scenario.

In this world Christianity wants to preach both war and peace depending on circumstances. However, what I’m saying is that there are circumstances where you can only choose between one or the other, and Christianity would end up being about all war or all peace. So the question becomes how do you decide which to choose in this dilemma?

There once was a Christian cop on patrol and he met up with gang bangers who were laughing and joking with him…so he was kind and loving with them…Then a few blocks later he found one of them trying to rape a 16 yr old girl. How is it so hard to figure out which scenerio requires force?

Now, Christians in a nation should press for their government to reasonable protect their own citizenry…and (if God has made them powerful enough) protect the weak of the world. However, if such a nation has to borrow 6 billion dollars a day just to pay for green energy research, gay cowboy poetry, Head Start education…and a thousand other social programs…then such a nation is clearly out of resources to defend the weak outside its own borders.

Right, so when the government pours billions into the war machine and expanding the military and police force and uses taxpayer dollars to bail out huge corporations that bankrupt themselves due to greed, that is perfectly acceptable. But when we put money into energy alternatives and education programs, we’re wastefully depleting our resources? :rolleyes:

How about the Iraq war? Even Pope Benedict (when he was still a Cardinal, I believe) said it was an unjust war. If you honestly think taking Hussein out was about justice, then you are sorely mistaken. The CIA aided Hussein into power because they wanted Iraq to side with the U.S. instead of the Soviets. The United States has a history of knocking over governments and setting up ones that are agreeable to their economic interests, often under the ridiculous guise of “spreading freedom.” The fact of the matter is that this country is an extremely militaristic one, and anyone who believes it’s a black and white matter isn’t paying much attention to the details. Western influences have been occupying the Middle East and taking its resources for over 100 years, and then we wonder why there are terrorists. Perhaps it would surprise you to know that in the 9/11 commission report has several chapters that suggest that the attacks were a consequence of bad foreign policy, a concept known as “blowback.”

Here’s a quote from page 48 to the top paragraph of 49, under section 2.2 about bin Laden’s appeal in the Arab world.

“He (Bin Laden) inveighed against the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, the home of Islam’s holiest sites. He spoke of the suffering of the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions imposed after the Gulf War, and he protested U.S. support of Israel.”

Bin Laden is quoted in the last paragraph on page 51 in the 9/11 Commission Report as saying the U.S. should “abandon the Middle East.”

Chapter 2 in the 9/11 Commission Report is a good “Blow Back” chapter.

We can cut all our social programs to save us some money, but imagine a country that didn’t have to spend so much on defense because of the imperialistic and bullying foreign policies we implement. It costs billions to blast humans in half, into calves and arms, and only one side is allowed to have the bombs. And while our tax dollars are drained into the war machine, arms manufactures profit in the billions and the military consolidates their power.

Premise # 1
As Christians, we are all concerned with the “anawim” (Hebrew word used repeatedly throughout the Old Testament). God reminds us over and over to care for the “anawim”…that is…“the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger in your land”. A Christian who is unconcerned for the Weak is a poor Christian indeed.

Premise # 2
There is a worldly philosophy that has deep concern for the Weak…let’s call it “Leftism”. Leftism is rooted in a god-free vision of the world that fears man’s inhumanity to man…because (without God) there is no overarching morality to stop wholesale manipulation. Therefore, Leftism sees the world as “red in tooth and claw” and, hence, divided between the DANGEROUS and the EMPATHETIC. Leftism seeks to impose 3 ethics on humanity. (Survival ethics–health and safety are #1 concern, Nature ethics–all of Nature evolved randomly and is equalliy meaningful and Victim ethics–the Weak must band together in herds to oppose the domination of the Strong). Leftism thus aims for a Big, Empathetic Government to help the Weak against the forces of evil…the Strong.

Premise #3
Christians get tangled up in Leftism because it appears to be deeply concerned for the Anawim and for peace and for controlling the domination of the Strong. However, Leftism is a disasterous philosophy that has empowered many “empathetic leaders” who then cruelly dominated all opposition to their powerful rule…eg…Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro/Che, the Mexican revolution, the French revolution…etc…etc.

Conclusion: Christians should be deeply concerned for the Anawim and avoid the cruelty, corruption and dysfunction of Leftism. A bankrupt America will CREATE many more anawim in a painfilled world…where many thuggish nations are once again unleashed to dominate at will.

Us vs. them, left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican. This is all hyperbolic conjecture that does the opposite of fostering meaningful and open dialogue to promote reasonable change; in fact it only serves to keep us divided. You can blame the left for all the world’s problems (and pretend the right don’t cause any) but personally, I think an ideal Christian should avoid the blame game and be humbly and respectfully critical of all people who act in discordance with God, regardless of where they land on the political spectrum. The left and the right are equally guilty.

I still don’t see how cutting education programs and energy alternatives is a more wasteful use of government funds than the billions we’ve poured into defense, the military, and bailouts…

Response point #1…The philosophy that I outlined as “Leftism”…is certainly the worldly philosophy that Paul warns us to avoid…since it has a form of godliness (concern for the anawim) but denies the power thereof (that there is a God we must acknowledge publicly…Jesus is Lord).

Point #2…You are correct…If America is clearly divided over philosophy…to discuss it is indeed “divisive”.

Point #3…As regards your larger point…I insists that it is clearly immoral to borrow millions of dollars an hour…by printing money and buying our own bonds…(loading that payment on the backs of our children)…to pay for ANYTHING but the absolute essentials.

Point #4…When a country is printing money to buy it’s own debt and…still considering more spending projects…(like universal government healthcare)…then the collapse is soon to occur!

Oh…by the way…I work for General Dynamics–a defense contractor–who got notice today that my job might go if sequestration happens (government spending is cut)…and I’m all for it.
Cut away, cut away, cut away…It is immoral to load such excessive spending on our children…It is immoral to print money to buy your own debt (which has doubled the price of milk for the poor and increased commodity prices–in dollars–like gasoline worldwide). President Obama…please cut away and stop printing dollars…you’re ruining the USA and in turn the world…and in turn the poor will suffer more because of your presidency.

You speak of something called “fiat currency,” which is something Nixon cemented in 1971. Nixon was as far right as you get.

Discussion is not divisive unless it is filled with partisan conjecture and an overall unwillingness to resolve things in an adult-like fashion. LABELS are just another way of subjugating people. Heaven forbid we actually work together and look past our differences to actually resolve something.

Whatever the antithesis to “Leftism” is, it is just as dangerous and un-Godly.

Luke 6:42

Or how canst thou say to thy brother: Brother, let me pull the mote out of thy eye, when thou thyself seest not the beam in thy own eye? Hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thy own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to take out the mote from thy brother’s eye.

Luke 6:35

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.