Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Bible Scholar Bears "False Witness"

Charles Gill writes in HERE:

Being born again and putting on the new self

The modern market based system is based upon greed, as per the words of Adam Smith, the founder of Capitalism and the writer of the Wealth of Nations. He argues that man is by nature greedy, which he views as good. This differs from Shema which says inclinations are neither good nor evil, and that we need God’s help to discern how to apply our inclinations. Adam Smith says greed is good.”

For the author of an article which is an exegesis of Bible texts, Charles Gill is remarkably sloppy when it comes to reporting on Adam Smith.

I conclude either that Charles has not read Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), in which he describes greed as “pernicious” (referring to Bernard Mandevilles’ doctrine summed as “Private Vices, Pubic Virtue” in Fable of the Bees, 1724), or Wealth Of Nations (1776), which in no way asserts that “greed is good” or, worse, he is making up his account of Adam Smith’s views without any basis whatsoever (Smith never said that “argues that man is by nature greedy”, nor did he view such behaviour “as good”.

If he hasn’t bothered to read Adam Smith for himself his errors are excusable to the extent that his laziness is a personal failing.

If he is simply making up the alleged views of Adam Smith to strengthen his case, then that is not excusable at all; in fact it is condemnable, especially from an author claiming the authority of the Bible for his behaviour in defiance of its Commandment not to bear “false witness”.

Either way, it compromises his call to “on the new self”.

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