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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:55 am

Will do. Very Happy However, it would help if I could have more examples of what you mean as utilities so that I can try and have a bigger picture and such for my definition. (anyone is welcome to put in their two cents about what should be included.) Thanks.

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Peter G.
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Dr. Hipopótamo
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:20 pm

It seems like the definition given would include protecting the nation from foreign invaders and domestic criminals by fighting them off and punishing them, respectively. Both of those are services provided to a group. Were you intending to include these in your definition?

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:44 am

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
It seems like the definition given would include protecting the nation from foreign invaders and domestic criminals by fighting them off and punishing them, respectively. Both of those are services provided to a group. Were you intending to include these in your definition?

Ah, very good. Thank you. Hmmm...

Revision:

Any service provided to a large group of people as a whole instead of to individuals (therefore also called 'public' service) that cannot fall under the umbrella head of punishing crime or giving praise to those who work righteousness.

Better?

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:55 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
It seems like the definition given would include protecting the nation from foreign invaders and domestic criminals by fighting them off and punishing them, respectively. Both of those are services provided to a group. Were you intending to include these in your definition?

Ah, very good. Thank you. Hmmm...

Revision:

Any service provided to a large group of people as a whole instead of to individuals (therefore also called 'public' service) that cannot fall under the umbrella head of punishing crime or giving praise to those who work righteousness.

Better?

Yes, better. Are you including military/war in that?

-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:27 am

I'm pretty sure Jay doesn't mean to include that with my understanding of his original intent.

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:04 am

Jay's statement doesn't include war/defense because I think that based on conclusions gathered so far, we would only go to war to punish or prevent a crime.

On another note, are we willingly to include sewer and waste treatment systems in this category?
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:53 am

Jordan Wright wrote:
Jay's statement doesn't include war/defense because I think that based on conclusions gathered so far, we would only go to war to punish or prevent a crime.

On another note, are we willingly to include sewer and waste treatment systems in this category?

Correct, war/defense is a punishing crime issue, and is therefore not included in this definition.

Those would be included, yes.

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:57 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
Jordan Wright wrote:
Jay's statement doesn't include war/defense because I think that based on conclusions gathered so far, we would only go to war to punish or prevent a crime.

On another note, are we willingly to include sewer and waste treatment systems in this category?

Correct, war/defense is a punishing crime issue, and is therefore not included in this definition.

Those would be included, yes.

In that case, I agree with the definition. I was just asking the question to make sure people understand what exactly the conclusion sacrifices.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:59 am

Jordan Wright wrote:

In that case, I agree with the definition. I was just asking the question to make sure people understand what exactly the conclusion sacrifices.

Thank you for that. Smile

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:31 am

Okay, so far we have about 5 or 6 things that are meant to be in the definition and we have established. Are there any more Jay?

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:25 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
[Utilities-]Any service provided to a large group of people as a whole instead of to individuals (therefore also called 'public' service) that cannot fall under the umbrella head of punishing crime or giving praise to those who work righteousness.

These utilities would include water plants, electrical plants, roads, sewers, gas plants, waste treatments, transportation, agriculture, labor, construction, trade, oil, housing and urban development, veterans affairs, commerce, health and human services, energy, education, etc.

These would not be given up, but rather controlled by private companies instead of the government. Looks like I knocked several of the national departments out.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:18 am

That would knock out public education would it not?

And yeah, that would be nice now wouldn't it? Wink Less money going out... though less jobs... less restrictions... mmm... looks like a whole new world already now doesn't it? Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:43 am

Peter G. wrote:
That would knock out public education would it not?

And yeah, that would be nice now wouldn't it? Wink Less money going out... though less jobs... less restrictions... mmm... looks like a whole new world already now doesn't it? Smile

In Christ,
Peter G.

Less jobs?

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:26 am

People have to work at the Agencies don't they? Wink

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:33 am

Peter G. wrote:
People have to work at the Agencies don't they? Wink

In Christ,
Peter G.

True, but consider this: each of those agencies must be replaced by multiple competing private companies, thereby creating more jobs than ever before in those industries.

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:43 am

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
True, but consider this: each of those agencies must be replaced by multiple competing private companies, thereby creating more jobs than ever before in those industries.

Not necessarily. But yes I know what you mean. It could come out even, or it could increase jobs. We won't know until we try it.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:59 pm

For most of the utilities under this definition I would agree that the government should not interfere. I'm just not sure about the issue of roads, since there can't really be private competition in this area. You can't have sixteen roads built right next to each other. (Okay, maybe you could, but that would be a huge waste of land.) Anyway, I won't go into that discussion until Jay finishes his thesis.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:39 pm

caleb wrote:
Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Jay,
Thanks for the references. I looked them up, and it seems to me that they were both written to Christians about government, and not written to government as a complete outline of their duties (although they can be used for reference). Here are my comments on each one individually:

Romans 13...

The important thing here is to look at context. This is the place in Romans where he is briefly covering several different aspects of the Christian life, and encouraging believers in how they are to live in view of God's mercy. In a more immediate context, this portion of the letter is not written to government workers about what they should do, or even to Christians about what the government should do. It is written to Christians about what Christians should do, and that is to submit to the governing authorities. It tells Christians not to resist authority, and this is where it mentions that the government punishes evil and praises good, using this as a point to show that those who do good have nothing to fear from the government. I don't see anything here that indicates that this is an exclusive command for everything that government should do.


You're right Dr., the main intent of this passage is about how Christians are to respond to the government. It is not written primarily to outline how the government is to be run. However, these verses do tell us what the job or purpose of the government is. It does this as a reason for us to submit to it, however, in doing so, it also tells us what the government should be doing.

I see what you're saying, but I don't think it says that these are the only things the government should be doing (unless you see it as an exclusive list).

Caleb wrote:

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
1 Peter 2: 11-17...

This passage, like the other, is addressed to Christians, and not to the government, and couched in the middle of a laying out of several Christian responsibilities and exhortments. Also, verse fourteen is about governors, and not the whole government. So I don’t think we can apply it to everyone in government. It’s only talking about the king sending the governors, not about God sending the government. If we take verse fourteen to be an exclusive job description for governors, then it would be an inconsistancy not to take verse thirteen as a job description for the king.


Yes, you're right. Again, this is written primarily to the people in regards to how they should react to the government, but in doing so, this passage does briefly outline the responsibilities of the government. This passage is showing us the responsibilities of the government so that we know why we are to submit to it. Thus, if we recognize the intent of the passage, we can safely use it to show what the government should be doing.
This passage is different from the one in Romans in that it doesn't talk about the government in general, but specific leaders in the government. It talks about the king as the supreme authority, and the governors (not the government) as sent by the king to punish evil and praise good. If this is taken as an exclusive list, it is only a job description for governors, not the entire government. But I think it's only talking about the system that the Roman Empire was using. It distinguishes kings from governors, and says the governors are sent by the king to do this. Also, there is no such qualifier for the king, except "the supreme authority". Thus, it would be logical to say that if this means that we must have governors with this exact job, then by the same interpretation we should have supreme kings, who are not limited to that exact job. However, I do not believe this would be the correct interpretation. As I said before, I think it is descriptive of the flawed Roman system, not prescriptive for a Biblical government.
Caleb wrote:

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
It seems like your main argument for your that these are exclusive lists is that it would be impossible to list everything the government can’t do. (Am I correct here?) But why would it be impossible for the Bible to list everything the government can’t do? The government is bound by the same laws that the rest of us are, except that they have the responsibility of oversight and the right to punish criminals. The Bible lists everything we can’t do (do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, etc.) There is no exclusive list in the Bible of things that we can do, so why should there have to be one for government?

Keep in mind that these aren't the only two passages that outline the role of the government. These give us a general overview of the government's responsibilities, but the Law and other passages detail certain areas specifically to show how this general overview is played out.
Here's one of the reasons why I believe the Bible gives a list of don'ts for people and dos for the government. God has designed the life of Christians to be freeing and walking in a liberating relationship with Him. Much of the Law isn't even prescriptive to us, however, that which is, is there to bring us to the cross so that we can be saved and walk in a relationship with God. This means that it is simpler to gives us the don'ts of the law rather than all of the dos. (Even though there are several passages which give us dos.)

The government, on the other hand, is to be limited and small. This means that it is more efficient to list the dos rather than the don'ts. Government is not a main function or sphere of life. In fact, it is to be one of the smaller. This is why we are given mostly dos for the government (though, again, we are given some don'ts.)

I hope that answers your objections. For the main topic of this thread, however, see my post in the middle of page 3. This is where I do bring up other passages addressing the topic at hand along with a careful context study.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Okay. I see what you're saying. But how do you know that government is to be limited and small? And how do you know how small is small enough that it would be more convenient to list the dos? And how do you know God necessarily would do what was most convenient, instead of what's best in some other way? What if it would be less convenient, but easier to understand, to list all the don'ts?

Perhaps you will say that government is to be limited because it has the power of force. And you would be right. But I think that for the same reason that the power of force limits what government can do, it also provides enough "don'ts" to explain everything the government can't do. Here's how:

Think of the laws we ordinary citizens have to obey. For example, we must not murder, steal, cheat, kidnap, maim, or cripple innocent people. Nearly all of the "horizontal" laws in the Bible deal with improper use of force. If someone gives us a dollar bill in exchange for a pack of gum, we may take it. If we hold a gun to someone's head, and they give us a dollar bill, we are stealing, whether or not we give them gum. The use of force changes free trade to theft.
Where am I going with all this? Well, I would submit that since government is mainly force, it is wrong for the government to charge taxes to perform a service such as running a school or giving everyone a stick of gum without the consent of the people. It is not because there is no command about it in the Bible; it is because there is a command not to steal, and free trade with force is no longer free trade, but stealing.
Thus, it is the use of force that requires the government to be more limited than ordinary people, but it is also the use of force that defines what those limits are, because of laws like "Do not steal." So even though the government is to be more limited, it can still have an exclusive list of don'ts.

That's why I would like to discuss the question of when it is stealing for the government to build utilities, and when it is not stealing.


In Christ,
Daniel

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:49 pm

I kind of view the building of roads as something that a community would do of their own will as group, aside from government interference and from competition. The community wants a road, then they get together and pay a certain company to build such and such sort of road in a certain place.

I think that, regardless of whether or not it is stealing for the government to supply utilities, it is simply beyond their jurisdiction. The purpose of government already determine only allows the government to punish crime, prevent crime (my interpretation), and reward righteousness. None of these encompass utilities, and therefor the government's only duty in this area is to punish crime and reward righteousness.

In short, if the government supplies utilities, it is expanding it's powers in order to usurp the proper place of others.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:12 pm

Jordan Wright wrote:
I kind of view the building of roads as something that a community would do of their own will as group, aside from government interference and from competition. The community wants a road, then they get together and pay a certain company to build such and such sort of road in a certain place.

I think that, regardless of whether or not it is stealing for the government to supply utilities, it is simply beyond their jurisdiction. The purpose of government already determine only allows the government to punish crime, prevent crime (my interpretation), and reward righteousness. None of these encompass utilities, and therefor the government's only duty in this area is to punish crime and reward righteousness.

In short, if the government supplies utilities, it is expanding it's powers in order to usurp the proper place of others.

You're right that the purpose of government thread pretty much forbids the government from building roads, unless building roads is somehow necessary or helpful in punishing crime and praising good (which it might be). I guess I'm having second thoughts about whether that thread was done thoroughly enough. There seemed to be very little scripture used, it seemed to me like a reaction to a lot of the things governments are doing today that they shouldn't be doing, and we didn't really think through the ramifications of our conclusion. This was as much my fault as anyone else's, and for that I apologize.

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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:42 am

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Jordan Wright wrote:
I kind of view the building of roads as something that a community would do of their own will as group, aside from government interference and from competition. The community wants a road, then they get together and pay a certain company to build such and such sort of road in a certain place.

I think that, regardless of whether or not it is stealing for the government to supply utilities, it is simply beyond their jurisdiction. The purpose of government already determine only allows the government to punish crime, prevent crime (my interpretation), and reward righteousness. None of these encompass utilities, and therefor the government's only duty in this area is to punish crime and reward righteousness.

In short, if the government supplies utilities, it is expanding it's powers in order to usurp the proper place of others.

You're right that the purpose of government thread pretty much forbids the government from building roads, unless building roads is somehow necessary or helpful in punishing crime and praising good (which it might be). I guess I'm having second thoughts about whether that thread was done thoroughly enough. There seemed to be very little scripture used, it seemed to me like a reaction to a lot of the things governments are doing today that they shouldn't be doing, and we didn't really think through the ramifications of our conclusion. This was as much my fault as anyone else's, and for that I apologize.

When I originally read the thread the first thing I noticed was that it did not state clearly "prevent crime" but only "punish crime". Perhaps, now that we've all seen some of the ramifications of past decisions, might there be a way to re-write some past conclusions?
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:30 am

That's true. Jay we might need to "rebirth" that thread when one of these are dead. (plus I'm not sure if we clarified how we were going to reward people either...)

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Peter G.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:10 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
But how do you know that government is to be limited and small?

We see it in the order and timing of the different spheres of life (family, church, & state) given in Genesis. The family is the first and most important of the three. Not only is this true because it was the first one established, but the Bible speaks more about this sphere than the other two and holds it in high regard. The church is seen to come about next, and also has many passages dealing with its organization, function, and jurisdiction. (Possibly even more then governments. It definitely has more direct commands then government does.) When we look at Genesis historically, the first signs of government don't appear until about 400-500 years after creation. The commands and principles we find in Scripture lead us to conclude that government is to be limited and, thus, small.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
You're right that the purpose of government thread pretty much forbids the government from building roads, unless building roads is somehow necessary or helpful in punishing crime and praising good (which it might be).

I'm not seeing how you can argue that building roads is absolutely crucial to preventing or punishing crime. We see that this is the primary role of the government. I'm not sure we've really dealt with the government's role of rewarding those who abide by the law, but I don't see building roads as fulfilling that either. To praise the good would have to be done individually; road building would effect more then just those who abided the law carefully.

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
I guess I'm having second thoughts about whether that thread was done thoroughly enough. There seemed to be very little scripture used, it seemed to me like a reaction to a lot of the things governments are doing today that they shouldn't be doing, and we didn't really think through the ramifications of our conclusion. This was as much my fault as anyone else's, and for that I apologize.

I don't see where you're saying that very little Scripture was used. If you look at Jay and my longer posts you will see that we use multiple passages to back up our arguments. We are also building off of conclusions from other threads in which plenty of Scripture was used. (This last part may be where you're seeing a lack of Scripture. When we explain the restricted role of the government, we are building off of the posts in other threads, using those conclusions instead of restating the arguments and re-quoting the Scripture verses.)

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:22 am

Jordan Wright wrote:

When I originally read the thread the first thing I noticed was that it did not state clearly "prevent crime" but only "punish crime". Perhaps, now that we've all seen some of the ramifications of past decisions, might there be a way to re-write some past conclusions?

We already discussed 'preventing' crime at great length in this thread. We worded it that way on purpose.

I will open up many (if not all) the old threads in the Adjust room for us to re-analyze and to construct full thesis-like supports for them. I am writing one of these theses right now, albeit at a grueling slow pace due to many factors. :(

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May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
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PostSubject: Re: Utilities   Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:24 am

Sounds good Jay. Though do you think we might change the definition so much that we might have to go back and change other things as well?

And we need to get back on track people. Do we have a conclusion yet for this thread on utilities?

In Christ,
Peter G.
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