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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> How many poor people can 60,000,000 euros feed?
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10/15/2007 04:17:02 PM · #26
Well, Jesus managed it on the side of a mountain with 5,000 people.
10/15/2007 04:18:28 PM · #27
Just for the sake of argument, it seems to me as if the church has been built in a grand style for the purpose of making it a destination in and of itself. Perhaps the thought was that this would generate even more visitors to Fatima and increase the amount of donations, thus in the long run, providing more money for charitable work.

Or maybe that's just my idealistic side peeking through. I'll try to stuff it back in it's cynical hole ;)

Do they really think that they can get even more visitors to Fatima? (there, that's better)
10/15/2007 04:32:48 PM · #28
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

As far as I can see from the image and the article, there's nothing lavish about that church except its size. And they NEED something big there, it's a HUGE Christian destination with tens of thousands of people congregating in the area during holy times. I don't see what the fuss is about. 60 million Euros isn't a particularly impressive amount to spend on a building that size.

Excess in the amount of 60M, whether the the amount is impressive or not, is still excess. The church is not necessary. The site remains one of pilgrimage with or without it (which in itself is bad). The needs of disadvantaged others completely outstrip the need to build this edifice to belief. Were it even the previously-mentioned corrugated shack costing a hundred and fifty bucks from materials obtained at the local Home Depot, the cost is too great, if that money could actually do some good somewhere.
10/15/2007 04:47:07 PM · #29
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

As far as I can see from the image and the article, there's nothing lavish about that church except its size. And they NEED something big there, it's a HUGE Christian destination with tens of thousands of people congregating in the area during holy times. I don't see what the fuss is about. 60 million Euros isn't a particularly impressive amount to spend on a building that size.

Excess in the amount of 60M, whether the the amount is impressive or not, is still excess. The church is not necessary. The site remains one of pilgrimage with or without it (which in itself is bad). The needs of disadvantaged others completely outstrip the need to build this edifice to belief. Were it even the previously-mentioned corrugated shack costing a hundred and fifty bucks from materials obtained at the local Home Depot, the cost is too great, if that money could actually do some good somewhere.


So your rant really IS that it's just about the money going to build a church and not about the amount of money?

The fact is that this same rant has been going on for ages. Those that don't believe in religion will always find a reason to rant and rave about it and those that do believe will always find a reason to, well, believe.

For the record, yes, I am a believer. And if these worshipers believe this church helps them and it offers them solace and peace, then it IS doing some good for some people.
10/15/2007 04:49:05 PM · #30
Originally posted by eqsite:

Perhaps the thought was that this would generate even more visitors to Fatima and increase the amount of donations...


Oh, I have no doubt about that. A grander place of worship could certainly attract more people, but from where? A Buddhist down the street isn't going to wander in and donate money just because you have a pretty building, so any new people you attract must be recruited from rival churches. People generally prefer to belong to the most exclusive club, and an impressive crystal and gold cathedral will draw WAY more worshippers than an amphitheater on the side of the mountain even if the mountainside church gave everything to charity. Does anyone really think a stunning stained glass window is a greater monument to a higher authority than helping other humans survive?
10/15/2007 04:52:28 PM · #31
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by eqsite:

Perhaps the thought was that this would generate even more visitors to Fatima and increase the amount of donations...


Oh, I have no doubt about that. A grander place of worship could certainly attract more people, but from where? A Buddhist down the street isn't going to wander in and donate money just because you have a pretty building, so any new people you attract must be recruited from rival churches. People generally prefer to belong to the most exclusive club, and an impressive crystal and gold cathedral will draw WAY more worshippers than an amphitheater on the side of the mountain even if the mountainside church gave everything to charity. Does anyone really think a stunning stained glass window is a greater monument to a higher authority than helping other humans survive?


You are a little off there actually. People will donate even if its not their faith. While i'm not so much into religion, Ill donate to the building fund of a cathedral if I find it architecturally pleasing. I doubt im alone on that?

I also don't get how you guys can't get over the fact that any religious organization, no matter what the faith, is a business. They have overheads, costs, bills, expenses, etc. You gotta spend money to make money.
10/15/2007 04:52:41 PM · #32
Originally posted by scalvert:

Does anyone really think a stunning stained glass window is a greater monument to a higher authority than helping other humans survive?


Apparently :/

I'm not advocating what was done, but just apply some business sense to it. Attract more people, get more dollars. What they then do with those dollars is where the test is I suppose. Perhaps build an even bigger place in the hopes of getting even more dollars.

And it's not necessarily a zero-sum problem. Just because people spend more at Fatima doesn't necessarily mean they will give less to local charities. Although the cynic in me thinks they probably would.
10/15/2007 04:54:00 PM · #33
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by RonB:


...then it would appear that your argument is really not against the expenditure of money to non-charitable causes - rather it is a rant against the fact that the moneys were expended to build a CHURCH.


When one cannot proffer substantive argument, attack the individual... it tends to deflect from the true target and confuse the masses.

Considering that you are one who is always clamoring for facts when anyone dares question your points of view, I am amazed at the penury of empirical data to subtantiate your point of view in this instance.

Circular arguments... always with the circular arguments.

Ray

First of all, Ray, let's be honest. I do not "clamor for facts when anyone dares question my points of view" simply because they question my points of view - I clamor for facts when they declare something as though it were based on facts, when, to my knowledge, there is no such basis in fact. Anyone, and everyone, gets a "free ride" from me when they clarify their statements of OPINION with certain words/phrases such as "Perhaps", "Maybe", "It seems that", "I/some/many believe that", "I/some/many think that", "Some/Many say that", "It is my understanding that", "As far as I am concerned,", etc. - namely some CLEAR indication that what they are stating is OPINION and should not be mis-interpreted as a statement of FACT. I also request some factual substantiation when a poster poses "loaded" questions that carry an implied answer that is not supported by facts, such as "Why were thousands of voters dis-enfranchised and prevented from voting in Ohio" when such an implication has no basis in fact.

You will note that in my posts above, except in those cases where I am posing rhetorical questions, I do use clarifying words.

I will admit that one of my analogies posited that Louis was an employee rather than an employer, but if you were to change the words employee to vendor and employer to customer then the analogy holds.

As for empirical data, I don't know what statement or statements you believe that I made that would require any. Note that I did not request Louis to provide any facts, nor did he request any from me - because both of us know full well that we were posing rhetorical questions that typically do not require factual responses.
10/15/2007 04:59:02 PM · #34
Originally posted by Louis:

Were it even the previously-mentioned corrugated shack costing a hundred and fifty bucks from materials obtained at the local Home Depot, the cost is too great, if that money could actually do some good somewhere.


If the money could do some good... as opposed to it doing NO good by allowing people to meet together?

As I said before, the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians. If we ignore that, then why shouldn't we also ignore the Biblical mandate to help the poor?

But you don't have to answer that. I think there's not really all that much more I can say here.
10/15/2007 05:02:00 PM · #35
Originally posted by sher:

So your rant really IS that it's just about the money going to build a church and not about the amount of money?

Well, that was kind of tongue in cheek, but I certainly make no apologies for wishing the world had fewer "believers", and therfore by extension fewer churches, but that's another story.

The idea is that it is the height of hypocrisy to raise a monument such as this, particularly given the Catholic church's declaration of poverty for itself and its various orders as an expression of eschewing the things of this world for those of the "next". The point was to demonstrate that 60M is better spent on the needs of real people, not the need of an entity like the church to aggrandize itself in the name of doing good, when in fact it hasn't done anything at all with this act except to glorify its own power. Bah.

In my view, it is unsavoury, to put it politely, to argue in favour of spending ridiculous amounts of money on a building like a church, when said money could actually do some good in the world.
10/15/2007 05:03:00 PM · #36
Originally posted by ajdelaware:

People will donate even if its not their faith. ... any religious organization, no matter what the faith, is a business. They have overheads, costs, bills, expenses, etc. You gotta spend money to make money.


Fair enough, but spending money on gold decorations, sculptures, crystal, marble and stained glass isn't quite the sort of overhead expense I'd expect from a non-profit or charitable organization. Besides, I thought that particular location was its own attraction?
10/15/2007 05:09:00 PM · #37
Originally posted by klstover:

As I said before, the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians. If we ignore that, then why shouldn't we also ignore the Biblical mandate to help the poor?

Well, I encourage you to ignore virtually everything in the bible, actually, and to act on your own. Do you actually need to be told that helping to alleviate the suffering of other human beings is "good"? Surely that's something you know innately on your own. Of course, that's fodder for another Rant.
10/15/2007 05:10:55 PM · #38
Originally posted by klstover:

the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians.


Great, but do the meeting places really need to be a monument to excess?
10/15/2007 05:11:44 PM · #39
Originally posted by scalvert:

Originally posted by klstover:

the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians.


Great, but do the meeting places really need to be a monument to excess?


No, and I've said that already.
10/15/2007 05:12:41 PM · #40
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by RonB:


...then it would appear that your argument is really not against the expenditure of money to non-charitable causes - rather it is a rant against the fact that the moneys were expended to build a CHURCH.


When one cannot proffer substantive argument, attack the individual... it tends to deflect from the true target and confuse the masses.
Ray

I don't believe that I "attack[ed] the individual" as you charge. I merely posited my conjecture that his original rant, though put forth as rhetorical questions about the AMOUNT of money expended, APPEARED to be, in reality, a rant about what the money was spent ON.
His response strikes me as more reasoned than yours - he actually agreed with my interpretation. In fact, he responded:

Originally posted by Louis:

Oh, absolutely, I don't deny that my rant is all about that. No question. Less churches, please.
10/15/2007 05:19:24 PM · #41
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by klstover:

As I said before, the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians. If we ignore that, then why shouldn't we also ignore the Biblical mandate to help the poor?

Well, I encourage you to ignore virtually everything in the bible, actually, and to act on your own. Do you actually need to be told that helping to alleviate the suffering of other human beings is "good"? Surely that's something you know innately on your own. Of course, that's fodder for another Rant.


Well, I guess the huge differences in perspective here are what's making this discussion hard. I totally respect a non-Christian's desire to tell me that I should not be lavish with my spending and ignore helping the poor etc. I do not, however, respond as well to a non-Christian's desire to tell me I should not do what the Bible tells me I need to do.

edit to add: I respect that a non-Christian would have different perspectives from my own, for sure. I'm just not about to ignore the Bible for anybody, is all :-)

Message edited by author 2007-10-15 17:21:13.
10/15/2007 05:24:00 PM · #42
Originally posted by klstover:

I totally respect a non-Christian's desire to tell me that I should not be lavish with my spending and ignore helping the poor etc. I do not, however, respond as well to a non-Christian's desire to tell me I should not do what the Bible tells me I need to do.

I don't respond well to the default assumptions of almost everyone on the face of the planet, but what're you gonna do?
10/15/2007 05:25:59 PM · #43
Originally posted by Louis:

I don't respond well to the default assumptions of almost everyone on the face of the planet, but what're you gonna do?


Be nice and civil when we talk about it, which is what's going on here from both you and me. :-)
10/15/2007 05:30:33 PM · #44
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by sher:

So your rant really IS that it's just about the money going to build a church and not about the amount of money?

Well, that was kind of tongue in cheek, but I certainly make no apologies for wishing the world had fewer "believers", and therfore by extension fewer churches, but that's another story.

The idea is that it is the height of hypocrisy to raise a monument such as this, particularly given the Catholic church's declaration of poverty for itself and its various orders as an expression of eschewing the things of this world for those of the "next". The point was to demonstrate that 60M is better spent on the needs of real people, not the need of an entity like the church to aggrandize itself in the name of doing good, when in fact it hasn't done anything at all with this act except to glorify its own power. Bah.

In my view, it is unsavoury, to put it politely, to argue in favour of spending ridiculous amounts of money on a building like a church, when said money could actually do some good in the world.


A church is supposed to express the power and glory of God and not for aggrandizement of itself. Since you do not believe, I can't imagine that any amount of money spent would not be considered ridiculous by you. So you may call me unsavory all you like but I will still argue that it is up to a particular church to decide how much they want to spend to fulfill it's own vow to it's people and to God. And I still say that if this church offers solace and a peace to the people who will worship there, then it is doing good.
10/15/2007 05:39:51 PM · #45
Originally posted by klstover:

As I said before, the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians. If we ignore that, then why shouldn't we also ignore the Biblical mandate to help the poor?


People shouldn't have to be told by a book to help the poor.
10/15/2007 05:46:21 PM · #46
Originally posted by ajdelaware:

While i'm not so much into religion, Ill donate to the building fund of a cathedral if I find it architecturally pleasing. I doubt im alone on that?


You may not be alone, but I would hazard a guess that you are definitely a very small minority. I could see it for tax purposes, but other than that... NOT A CHANCE.

Originally posted by ajdelaware:

I also don't get how you guys can't get over the fact that any religious organization, no matter what the faith, is a business. They have overheads, costs, bills, expenses, etc. You gotta spend money to make money.


... and pay taxes. Most business pay tangible dividends and churches... well ya get to go to Heaven... what more could you ask for?

Ray
10/15/2007 05:51:24 PM · #47
Originally posted by RonB:


His response strikes me as more reasoned than yours - he actually agreed with my interpretation. In fact, he responded:


OK, I fully agree with Louis' response... there, I have satisfied your need.

Funny thing responses...I am still eagerly awaiting your response to my other post.

Ray
10/15/2007 05:55:21 PM · #48
i WAS going to get involved in the religious debate, but a better purpose might be to challenge ANY of you to set aside your differences & consider the good that can be done over

IN THIS THREAD

Please consider DOING some good, rather than discussing it, and create a worthy & worthwhile challenge in the process! (Louis, my apologies if this thread-jack offends you, the OP...)
10/15/2007 05:58:31 PM · #49
Originally posted by smartypants:

Originally posted by klstover:

As I said before, the Bible says that Christians should meet together with and worship with other Christians. If we ignore that, then why shouldn't we also ignore the Biblical mandate to help the poor?


People shouldn't have to be told by a book to help the poor.


If you want to argue that people shouldn't be Christians, or argue that people should help the poor regardless of religious beliefs, or whatever, then fine. I think that's what you're doing.

But arguments to a Christian, personally, (i.e. efforts to convice a specific Christian person to help the poor) will be much more effective if they take into account that the person is a Christian and believes the Bible.
10/15/2007 06:07:39 PM · #50
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by RonB:


His response strikes me as more reasoned than yours - he actually agreed with my interpretation. In fact, he responded:


OK, I fully agree with Louis' response... there, I have satisfied your need.

Funny thing responses...I am still eagerly awaiting your response to my other post.

Ray

Which post is that, Ray? I, of course, would be happy to respond if I knew which post you were referring to.
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