Have You Stopped Beating Your Wife?

There are many questions in this life that you know the answers to, but that are still difficult to answer. “Have you stopped beating your wife?” This is an example of one such question, it is phrased in a way¬†that makes almost all answers assign false guilt to the answering party, that is the whole point of the question. So when people ask these types of questions we struggle to answer, because we know it is a trap. The answer is simple, but because we are trying to cover our butts, we fall into the trap. That is exactly the reason the question is asked is the first place. The real issue here is that the question assumes a false premise to be true, you can’t really answer it. You must instead address the false premise the question is based on. “I have never beaten my wife.” Seems to be too simple of an answer, but it isn’t. Simple and direct is the only way to answer these questions.
There are two such questions I wanted to address today, one political and one religious.
“If God is good, why does He let suffering continue in our world?”
This question is one that has tripped up more than a few Christians. We can’t deny that there is suffering in the world, and we can’t deny that God could end it. So we are left stammering, even though we all know the answer, or at least should. God has provided the USA the ability to produce more food that we can consume, so much so that we pay farmers to not plant crops, in order to prevent the market from collapsing. We buy up more of the surpluses to feed our own hungry and to create a reserve to cushion bad crop years. In essence we have taken the approach that by limiting the supply we can insure that people can afford to produce. Meanwhile people around the world go hungry. There are hundreds of ministry efforts to teach people in these famine ravaged areas to grow their own food, with some success. However that success is limited by the climates of the areas where the farming is being conducted. We have also had some, mostly government, efforts to drop food and seed in these areas, with little effect. Why? Because the governments and militaries in the regions take the food and leave the people hungry. So here we sit in the land of plenty, lamenting the plight of people in the land of famine, as though God is what is preventing us from stepping up and ending hunger around the world.

So, what is the answer? “God isn’t allowing the suffering to continue, We are.”
“How do we provide people with a living wage?”
This is a fairly recent priority on the left, and it is a more complex question than most realize. Why? Because it tugs at the conservative tendency to think work should be rewarded, while hiding its true implications. In short, it is a trick. What is the trick? This question implies that everyone works, and that all of those people work in a way that should result in earnings that will support a family. That is a lie. The idea behind a ‘Universal Basic Income’ (UBI) is that everyone regardless of what they do, or don’t do, should be provided with enough money to live on, and live comfortably. The false premise of this question is that it is possible to do in our current economic or governmental system, or even that we should. In order to even attempt to provide a UBI, we would first have to ditch the free market. We would also have to turn control of both the means and method of production to the government. Otherwise no amount of money provided to the populace could prevent the reality of that income being inflated away. The government would be required to control both pay and price in some fashion, this is generally known as communism, or at least socialism. Neither of these forms of government or economic planning has ever worked. The reason they don’t work is simple, people do not generally work for the love of work, they work for the love of reward. IF people didn’t need to work to have their needs met, few would work. This leads to needing to force people to work, and when people are forced to work by authoritarian means, they do poor quality work. The human spirit cannot thrive under this kind of pressure. In our system we force people to work to reach a level of comfort that they are content with.
So, what is the answer? “We cannot provide people a guaranteed living wage, they have to earn it.”
So, when you are asked a question by someone seeking to undermine your point of view, first make sure the premise of the question is true, if it isn’t, address the premise.