Would You Credit It?

Credit sometimes seems today like a four letter word but it comes from the root: ‘Credo’ – which means ‘i believe’, the same root as for Creed.

This is because, as is still evident on most banknotes all over the world a bank note is simply a Promise to pay THE BEARER on demand the sum stated. (US banknotes state in GOD we Trust – but He won’t be covering the US government financially when they can’t pay their massive foreign debts and a dollar bill becomes relatively worthless as the Credit Crunch makes countries stop lending to them and they begin to ask for some of their money back).

This had to be, and still is, taken purely on TRUST that the issuer of the note  (today mostly governments) has the funds to pay us the amount on the note. (or some one else believes it will in exchange for goods they offer the bearer).

When we buy or borrow on Credit it all comes down to how much we believe, Trust or have Faith in the issuer.

Money is ultimately a matter of Faith.

As to whether or not we should place all our faith in it i will leave up to the reader ( Hint: NO – YOU SHOULD NOT!!!) 😉

Not how much they trust us to repay the credit loaned of course – it only works one way. That is why today – contrary to the Law of God – we are charged interest (usury) on all loans. – To cover the moneylender’s losses when borrowers default on (immoral) loan payments.

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14 thoughts on “Would You Credit It?

  1. I agree we should not place all our faith “all” our faith in any one issuer, be they governments or corporations.

    Credit is however still an important, to me essential, part of Capitalism, which I do place my faith in.

    Having an great idea about how to improve a system, or product, means nothing, unless we can find someone who will gives us the credit to finance your idea. Inventors like Edison would still be tinkering away in their basements without the credit to build his machines that have revolutionized our world.

    I lived in an apartment, and it would have taken until my retirement years to save the money to buy a house. I borrowed against my future income, paying interest on my loan, to buy my condo, which I have enjoyed to the last 25 years.

    I believe that Capitalism, and credit, is a better financial system than any that existed in the past.

    Of course our financial systems will continue to evolve, like everything else, and in 50 or 100 years perhaps Capitalism will go the way of feudalism and communism.

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  2. Ed – i actually believe that Nature – which has been around long before the earth ever existed – has a few tricks we humans could learn from.

    Nature does not seem to follow the ‘credit’ principle and has built up some truly awesome structures; made some amazing inventions come into being.

    A seed takes just what it can handle and is available to it’s own resources/being for any given moment and grows from something most of us barely notice into a beautiful plant in flower or a massive Redwood – it does not go from a seed to a 300ft tall monolith in a single day by ‘borrowing’ yet it becomes a lasting monument to the power of sustainable self-improvement.

    Whether we are an individual with a talent for inventing or a community – we can all learn a little through observing nature in action.

    WE might learn the benefit of ensuring our lifestyle is sustainable without plundering the resources and credit of others also. Be it at an individual or Country level.

    While credit may have made some things possible and given some things to us sooner – the way it is used today is not for everyone’s ‘benefit’ – as the current crisis should be making everyone well aware.

    Sort of like insurance companies don’t actually help everyone either but mostly try to help themselves.

    Did you know that under Roman Catholic Authority in Europe it was a sin to charge interest to a Christian by another Christian?

    As it was for Jews to charge Usury to a fellow Jew.

    Man’s greed however found a way around this by permitting Jews to loan money to Christians at interest but they were mostly isolated in ghetto’s to ensure they did not ‘pervert’ the Christian State. They would sit at tables and benches to do ‘business’ with people who needed fast money and the Italian word for bench is banchi – the origin of our word ‘Bank’.

    Of course once the Christian States began to be separated from the Church and became ‘secular’ – all ‘sin’ concerning charging interest to your fellow man went out the window.

    And now here we are. 🙂 Some are happy with the system – some less so, on the whole i think the less so’s outnumber the ones happy?

    Or is that just my dark glasses talking? 😉

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  3. Playing the analogy game, squirrels will bury more nuts in the ground than they will dig up and find during the winter. A lot of wasted effort it would seem. However at least some of these excess nuts will grow into tress that will feed future generations of squirrels.

    I think we humans are able to adopt to survive because we have a unique brain. This brain creates very complex societies, probably not found in any other species. Our political and financial systems are unique to our species, at least I can’t think of any other like it in “nature”.

    I think Capitalism, and the current financial markets, are the most recent evolved financial systems. An improvement on the past. These markets are adjusting themselves to the current “crisis”. Many are unfortunately suffering hardship now, but that is just how evolution works.

    “WE might learn the benefit of ensuring our lifestyle is sustainable without plundering the resources and credit of others also. Be it at an individual or Country level.’

    I agree completely agree. My rose colored glasses see a brighter future. 🙂

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  4. Credit cn have its benefits I suppose like Ed mentioned, most people will not be able to buy a house without it. We were taught that a house is an investment, worthy of credit. Today I am not convinced however. It’s possible that I can still change my mind on this as I grow older and wiser, but I don’t see anything wrong with renting for the rest of my life. Sure, you’re paying somebody else, but you remain without debt- which to me is a bigger asset.

    The problem with credit is the debt trap which steals your freedom and swallows you whole. Part of this problem is obviously the banks who are lending money to people who can’t actually afford it.

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  5. Ed – i like the squirrel analogy! i like that the squirrel does what he CAN while he can. He does not have foreknowledge of whether winter will be a mild short one or a long harsh one, but he ‘prepares’ for the worst anyway. Thus giving him (and as you pointed out his species) the best chance for long term survival. 🙂

    Humans are certainly adaptable – but i don’t see that as all that good a thing – we can also be very slow to react to small constant changes/degradation and do too little too late ( extinction of many species as a direct consequence of our actions) We are not as smart as we love to think we are.

    To me creatures of Nature – such as the cockroach and the crocodile which have remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years and are perfectly in tune with and suited to their environments – are far better examples of how we should be than is man who foolishly believes he is capable of making things somehow ‘better’ than before instead of merely diffferent or ‘better’ for a remarkably small ‘few’. for a remarkably small period of time – most often at the expense of his fellow man or other species who have as much right to life as he does.

    Man is so poor at seeing the Bigger Picture. 😦

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  6. Rain – totally agree with your last statement. However part of the problem is also people who borrow money without the least idea of how they should or can repay it – especially if a boom period suddenly collapses as history shows they always do ( although not always as dramatically as the last one has)

    a bigger part of the problem is the ‘i want it all and i want it NOW’ mindset so many of us have developed and Freddie Mercury wrote a song entitled. This mindset did not exist, or was dramatically less prevalent, in my parents day. ( pre-, during and following WW2)

    i happen to think the Amish have a pretty good system when it comes to housing – you build your own and all your neighbours in your community all chip in ( like a barn raising for example). You owe nothing to nobody except gratitude and you put in when they are building their homes in return.

    Who NEEDS credit?

    Just the banks and bankers really. or those who have forgotten what the word ‘community’ really means but understand totally about me and self.

    Not a very Christian example now is it? ( US – please note). 🙂

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  7. I also think the Amish have a good system, but it’s one that only works well in a farming community, or perhaps small town.

    In the more complicated societies that exist in cities it would be kinda of tough for people to build a high rise apartment building themselves. 🙂 It would also be hard for any company to put up that building without borrowing money.

    I think the fun loving people of the pre-WII “roaring” twenties wanted it all, as did the miners who struck it rich in gold rush California. We have had periods of boom and bust through out human history. When times are good we want it all. This was true of the Romans, as well as the Chinese.

    What Capitalism does, is allow all citizens to live beyond their means, not just the ruling elite. 🙂

    The Amish have some of the same problems as any societies, such as documented cases of child abuse. However they do have a stronger sense of community. They are less vain, and violent, then the rest of us. They will also never build space ships to Mars.

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  8. Ed – as i said, man is so very poor at seeing the BIGGER picture…

    are you saying that high rise apartments are an improvement on the established forms of human communities – would many people even recognise. let alone really know, who lives ten feet above them or below them? is that how you think humans should live to improve our life?

    as for the ‘fun’ loving people of the roaring twenties, i seem to recall 1927 was the beginning of the greatest single disaster to humankind in it’s economic history – is i want it all such a great thing in an exaggerated boom time? were ALL Americans fun loving in the early 20’s or just a favoured few?

    As for the Gold rushes – how many went to try to win it all – and what percentage ever got their dreams? and which ones were capable of using their fast riches effectively for themselves and future generations as does the squirrell?? Very frew indeed i think you’ll find. a fact born out by the knowledge that 4 out of 5 major lottery prize winners are back where they began within 5 years of winning a lottery.

    I hope that when the spacesip to Mars is built you are personally able to live in a world that is closer to living at peace with it’s neighbours through better understanding of who they ( and who you) truly are – but i don’t see the chase for the dollar – or race for space is going to help achieve that one iota.

    maybe, just maybe, there is another ‘way’ ( rather than credit we can’t afford) to get the Big Picture ‘right’??

    Maybe if more of us tried the Amish way we could get it better than the minute few groups who have tried it so far have got it – or maybe we then could more easily see a third even better way to bring us all together as One?

    It’s a dream i have.

    i don’t see us getting ‘better’ at that since the de Medici family initiated interest bearing credit as a way to achieve massive personal wealth (at the expense of the majority of the community) in 17th century Italy

    All our health and scientific improvements could have happened faster if we actually cared about each other more than about money and the ‘need’ to get it.

    The relative ‘utopia’ of life in the Federation as featured in Star Trek seems to have ridded itself of that particular curse on mankind (money/credit) and still finds travel to mars quite easy? 🙂

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  9. Love, upon reflection I realize I have not given communities like the Amish enough “credit” 🙂 for having dealt with two of the great evils of modern society, war and poverty.

    You are right we can learn from them, by developing a stronger sense of community among all the people of the world, not just our own tribe. To use our resources as efficiently as the Amish do.

    Being a city boy I love the culture, and technology, of more modern societies. I have no wish to live as the Amish, or traditional cultures like those of India. I agree however that It would be a good thing if we could borrow the best parts from each of these different societies.

    I also agree that if we humans are going to survive another 10,000, or more years, we do find a way to see the “big picture” and learn to live more in harmony with both ourselves, and with every other living thing we share our world with. I still have hope that as we evolve a better brain we will do this.

    My dream is that the “One” we humans come to live by is one world.

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  10. Ed – i’m not sure i could live as ‘happily’ following only Amish standards as i do now 🙂

    i do think some of their ways are rather ‘helpful’ while some are less so. Similarly we have a couple of things that help and others less so.

    While i understand the principle of taking the Good Along with the Bad i think we both share a desire to live more from the good than the bad in life. 🙂

    ONE of the problems i have with science is the most common way it tries to understand is from taking things in isolation and not from complete inclusion with everything related to what is attempted to be investigated – it is a far more ‘dissective’ and taking things apart into small elements ( the ‘active ingredient’ principle than trying to better understand thw ‘wholistic’ concepts of the various parts. They try mostly to deconstruct with the aim of reconstructing back when each ‘part’ is better understood but if you try to do that to a human you will just kill it and will not be able to reconstruct them back exactly the way they were ( ie- alive and whole). You can learn a lot about anatomy that way but nothing about what it means to have an anatomy as part of a living being. ( or about what makes us ‘human’ – our consciousness, self-awareness.

    My reason for ‘switching’ from a Science-based faith to a God-based one is that man as a single entity or man as a species is so limited when compared to the entire Universe (that is a mere ‘part’ of what i consider my ‘God’ is) he likes to think He is the repository of ALL knowledge and what he doesn’t know he will ‘one day’ discover’ whereas my God already has discovered it as it is a part of ‘Him’.

    Through Him and observance of everything ( every thing) that IS Him i can have access to all knowledge – not just this piffling amount mankind has ‘proved’ exists to date.

    I also, very importantly and this is what science does not have a clue about, have a way to eliminate my personal human fallible ego that insists upon taking the ‘place’ of God in our personal ‘schema’.

    I do not yet do so always and perfectly, but i am making the attempt and can only get better at this in time.

    Thee exists a need for that that science seems to completely ignore at present.

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  11. You know, this is so interesting because off and on for the past several years I’ve been contemplating what the natural equivalent of faith is. The nearest I can figure … it’s money. Although I’ve not yet seen the whole way around that thought. hmm.

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  12. Annie – Hmmmm… i wouldn’t see ‘money’ as a ‘natural’ equivalent to faith – for the main reason that people never ‘owe’ someone faith like they can owe money. You can give someone some of your faith but you never go into ‘debit’.

    Faith is something you either have or don’t have (we ALL have it but we just invest it into different things at different times (well SOME do – some keep the ‘same’ faith)

    i would say the ‘natural’ equivalent is a faith in nature and ourselves. (a physical rather than spiritual faith. – A belief). A ‘lower’, more constricted version of our spiritual ‘higher’ selves.

    Sort of like there is ‘human’ love and His love. Human love almost invariably corrupts or fades into a form of ‘familiarity’, whereas His is unconditional, everlasting, constant but also continually being ‘upgraded’, refined so as to not fade or corrupt.

    I’m not sure what i would think is the ‘spiritual’ equivalent of money?? Unless you believe in the concept of ‘karma’ ( ie can be ‘earned’ by what we do and can accumulate as either positive or negative).

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  13. Interesting thoughts. Perhaps fear is debt? That would make sense on the level that they both essentially have the same effect – bondage and paralysis. Fear is a tool used to instigate spiritual (and emotional, physical, etc) paralysis – you’re rendered incapable of fighting the fight of faith if you are in fear (wasn’t trying to alliterate). Also the Scripture says that the borrower is slave to the lender. They are not their own anymore – they are at the mercy of the one they are in debt to. I see a similarity there of function, anyway. Owing a person money is to say that you don’t have money, therefore you are in debt. Fear is when you don’t have faith. So both fear and debt are the absence of something (faith and money) rather than the presence of something else. hmmm. probing thoughts. 🙂

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  14. Annie – good ‘lateral’ thinking (and unintentional alliteration!) 🙂

    There could be a profitable line of thought for future discussion here (after your work on Spiritual gifting of course) 🙂

    One thing i would ‘add’ to the conversation though is the thought that being poor and having no money is not the opposite of being rich. The Opposite of having lots of money is having lots of debts. You can be a millionaire with a million in the bank – but if you owe others a billion then you are the opposite of being rich. ( ie your ‘net worth’ is a large minus figure).

    Having zero money and zero debt is the ‘mid-point’ of wealth, not one ‘end’ of the spectrum.

    I think we human can have Faith – and yet still have ‘irrational’ fears of ‘something’ (like spiders for example?) 😯

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