Economics and Theology (+Infinity)

It’s been a while since I blogged, I’m doing an interesting side project and will not be blogging a lot, but I have this on my mind for a while now.

Just for fun, I want to put invisible qualities of God into a more tangible form, I’m not sure if this will be an accurate representation of the Gospel, so please do point out flaws of this theory.

I looked up the definition of economics on dictionary.com and felt it was an inaccurate description, so I decided to go to Wikipedia.

Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations (called economic actors, players, or agents), when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends. Agents are assumed to act rationally, have multiple desirable ends in sight, limited resources to obtain these ends, a set of stable preferences, a definite overall guiding objective, and the capability of making a choice. There exists an economic problem, subject to study by economic science, when a decision (choice) has to be made by one or more resource-controlling players to attain the best possible outcome under bounded rational conditions. In other words, resource-controlling agents must maximize value subject to the constraints imposed by the information the agents have, their cognitive limitations, and the finite amount of time they have to make and execute a decision. Economic science centers on the activities of the economic agents that comprise society.

 

Economics is based on the natural world, where infinity does not exist except in an abstract form or in Math. In a natural economic model, everything has an opportunity cost. An opportunity cost is the value of the next best opportunity foregone, where an agent has to choose between desirable yet mutually exclusive actions, or  “the basic relationship between scarcity and choice.”

An example would be if an apple costs 2 dollars, and a pizza slice cost 5 dollars. I only have 20 dollars. At most I can get 10 apples or 4 pizza slice.

I am also able to have bundles such as 7 apples and 1 pizza slice, or 3 pizza slice and 2 apples, etc… Choosing one option would mean foregoing the other.

But what if the merchant doesn’t accept dollars? I can’t get anything even if I insist on paying.

 

Now sin is an intangible. Sin, by its very definition, means debt. According to the Scriptures in the Old Testament, sin is often paid by the currency of blood and life, not by the currency of good works.

 

For “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” Isaiah 64:6, with polluted garment an euphemism for women’s menstrual cloth.

 

How much does sin cost?

Life: he state of being alive, in other words, priceless.

 

Sin corrupted everything that was good and perfect, and eventually people even stop paying for the debt and put more credit to sin

Debit: Sin  \infty or |x|

Credit: Life  \infty or |x|

The only way out of this is to pay “Life \infty” , but there is no way, because even if people live out their entire life doing good deeds – Life 80, or Life 58, or even Life 122, it doesn’t cover Sin \infty .

Who then have Life \infty?

Only God himself is \infty.  God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit – Holy, Holy, Holy

 Thus God the Father sends God the Son, Jesus, to pay Life \infty for \infty of people because He is \infty.

 

So now whoever trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Debt-Payer) is redeemed from sin. Whoever does not is still in sin.

Neither Christians nor Non-Christians deserve heaven, but it is by the gift of God: Grace, through faith, that brings us into Jesus’s body and household, so through Him we are saved.

I would say Economics is an interesting invisible quality that God reveals himself in – His Love and Justice – how he paid our debts no matter the cost while we are still disgusting enemies when he had an opportunity to start over and make a new world.

That is akin to playing SimCity and having those pesky Sims protest against you (the mayor), instead of you deciding to have fun with the disasters tab, leave, and create a new city, you actually take the time to fix everything up while foregoing something most important to you whatever that maybe: dinner, hanging out with friends, spend money on faster internet, etc…

I like to see invisible things. Fun fact of the day: God is the creator of humor, irony, sarcasm, sadness, and all other human pathos ethos and logos. It’s not God is like human but human made in God’s image.

 

 

 

 

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Opportunity Cost

Today my econ brain is more active than usual. As such, I see much clearer the results of people’s choices, including my own, and the opportunity costs it took to get those results.

Knowing about the results, I wonder if people are rational? Economics assume people are rational for the purpose of providing empirical results, given everyone has the same amount of information and knowledge to process problems.

This assumption is far from reality. We live in a very unfair world; life isn’t fair. Some people are born more gifted, some people have less resources, while others are born with closer knit community. Everyone has different backgrounds and perception of the world around them. 

One thing remain constant: everyone still have opportunity costs no matter where they are. There are always choices. Often you pick one choice, you forego the other. There is always a price, an opportunity cost, whether it is time, money, emotions, energy, potentials. 

So now I ponder, where is the limit? What are people willing to trade to get what they want?

Now one thing to consider: opportunity costs only apply to business/conditional relationships. Opportunity costs does not apply on family relations.

First I need to define the relationship I’m referring to (because English language is limited): it is the state of being related, not the state of interaction. Just like how the parable of the lost son, even though the son squandered his father’s money and left, it does not change the fact he is still his son. Another example is even though if a parent has Alzheimer’s and forgets you, it does not change the relationship status. There is no cost; the relationship is unconditional; it exists because it is.

This is what Jesus offers, it is this status of unconditional relationship. It is not a business deal: “here is something for this of yours”. It is an invitation, “come and be adopted”. 

Is this too good to be true? How? Why?

Because God is love; it is His character and does not change ever. He made the world perfect.

Humans are a different story though.

The opportunity cost to make humans able to love is allowing them able to choose not to love; humans were capable of choosing between good and the absence of good, which we now know as the word evil, both moral evil and natural evil.

Moral evil is what people do and the choices they make, that is what makes people hungry, that is what causes wars, that is what causes heartbreaks, that is what causes people to get shot.

Natural evil is when the earth became cursed, like wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis. When we humans told God to shove off, He partially honored our request. Nature began to revolt. The earth was cursed. Genetic breakdown and disease began. Pain and death became part of the human experience. 

Here is a less-than-perfect analogy for this opportunity cost God took: even before parents had children, couldn’t they foresee that there was the very real possibility they may suffer disappointment or pain or heartache in life, or that they might even hurt the parents and walk away? Of course — but parents still had kids. Why? Because they knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning.

“God took the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the universe — the death of God on the cross — and turned it into the very best thing that has happened in history of universe: the opening up of heaven to all who follow Him.” http://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-does-god-allow-tragedy-and-suffering/

I got lazy and decided to use someone else’s blog, but it’s pretty filling.

Anyways, the opportunity cost of following Jesus is your fleshly body. It seems to be a big price, but it’s actually not, considering what people’s flesh is. It’s mortgages, bankruptcy, or in accounting terms: “accounts unpayable”. What you need to give up is your values and exchange it for Jesus’s values, in essence, allow Jesus give you a new heart.

So many people asked me, what are you doing with your degree in economics? This is a part of the answer.

This is what studying economics do for me, more than learning equations and strategies and policies, economics allow me see things in a bigger perspective rationally.

What looks bad in the short term may be good for the long term, and what looks good in the short term may be bad for the long term. 

I’m reading this book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s a book analyzing how companies turn from good to great. One of the commonalities between them is they didn’t do more, but they focused on what to stop doing and give up for the greater good. 

Totally makes sense: in order to be greater than what you are now, you need to shed away the crap and hinders your goals. 

Then the question quickly becomes: What is your values and goal in life? If the “crap” you need to get rid of to achieve that goal is actually good, you should reevaluate your goal and your values. Don’t let your opportunity cost be higher than your result.

When I decide to follow Jesus, I know my opportunity cost is nothing compared to the result. Even now when I decided to go on missions to Thailand, I know the opportunity cost (my career/family approval/personal comfort)is nothing compared to the result of people’s lives saved and changed eternally. 

Yes, if anyone sees this and wants to support whether by prayer or financially for this trip, please message me. I’ll be leaving June 19th and I need the funds sent in by 15th. When you allow God to use your resources, you will not regret it, in fact, you’ll be more at peace because you know someone’s life will be changed and you are part of the reason why.

This was supposed to be a short rant about opportunity costs, but stuff popped up in my mind and I just had to keep writing.

So this is an example of what I think about when I lie down on my bed.

 

 

 

 

 

Comment with 1,333 Words

Originally I wanted to comment on this, but it turned into an essay. So I replied to that article with this and elaborated on it + add economic arguments. I’m gonna post what I meant to post here. This is a very intense issue that needs to be addressed. Honestly, what I wrote is something I would consider heretical a few years back, but it’s something God revealed to me. It is pretty damn bloody offensive to lots of people, possibly including my own family. I’m very open to discussion, so hit me up.

Beginning of 1,333 Words

In the present day, though homosexuals cannot reproduce, they can adopt and create an imitation of the family of blood relations. So in the economic sense, there are little negative externalities other than the economic benefits that normally comes to a male-female marriage are withheld by the government and lawmakers.

 

It’s also economically inefficient for the government to act according to moral values, because unless everyone believes in the same moral standard it’s impossible for there to be a true and perfect verdict. It’s clear that people have different moral standards, this article wouldn’t be posted if we don’t. So our system of law should be based on economics, rather than morals, because money is the common denominator (it’s a sad common denominator our society have today).

 

Here is an example of why it’s economically inefficient to base on morals, and I believe most will cringe at this idea, if not all): If someone is murdered, the family experience loss of someone who can provide (income), loss of productivity from painful emotions (income), and loss of money spent on grave/lawsuit/possible debts incurred (money again), so in theory, loss of a loved one can be financially compensated in the long run. But somehow our system ignore all common economic theory and instead does 2 things: 1). kill the murderer (lose taxpayer money and potential economic gain in society) 2) spend taxpayer money that could have been used for something else and keep him, feed him, give him shelter, away from the people who actually work (lose more money than killing him).

 

And answering the question of this article, yes, homosexuality is a sin, just as much as deceit, greed, adultery, etc, especially PRIDE, the one sin that people (non-Christians) never accuse themselves of. People may say money is the root of all evil, but no, the real evil is pride. Pride is what changed Lucifer into Satan. Pride is what happened when Eve decided she knew better than God when she ate the forbidden fruit and when Adam decided to be passive (Adam did NOTHING to help Eve) and follow Eve’s decision rather than God’s command (Both big problems people have these days). It is PRIDE in morals that prevents giving rights to LGBT and treating them as second class citizen. It is PRIDE that causes wars (not the only reason but one of them). It is PRIDE that republicans want to screw everyone over other than the 1% and win control. It is PRIDE that people always want to get more stuff than others. It is PRIDE that some women decide their body and their future is somehow more important than the one inside of her (I know there are certain times like rape/ life threatening stuff, glad I ain’t a judge, God is, and will decide depending on the situation what is true).

[This is the part that I really need confirmation on]

But the point is this, although it is CLEARLY written in the Bible that acts of homosexuality are sin from both before Jesus and after Jesus, there are no words in the Bible at all that say (or somewhere along the lines of) “you shall impose what you know as right to those who do not know what is right”, Bible talks about proclaiming what is right by your lives, not by your control over other people, just as God gave us free will, even though he has absolute power to control us. Bible talks about many things about relinquishing rights as well: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Mt.5:43-46), If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic.(Luke 6:29), and the most important one from Jesus’s example, who humbled himself from his glory, when he is GOD, relinquished his rights to die for people who hates him, his enemies. He died and resurrected to save not only the Jews, but to the non-Jews as well (Roman Empire at the time basically represents the world, and notice how Israel is the center of Eurasiafrica, so Gospel is spread because of another “coincidence”). The Bible also says “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:17). The theme of James Ch. 4 is submission to God’s will. This homosexuality issue is a very narrow line. [Is it good to impose our beliefs on people who don’t know the truth?] Change in behavior does not necessary mean change of heart. And why should Christians worry about anything other than do what God says?  (1. Love God 2. Love Neighbor = everyone else) Nowhere in the Bible does it say, “save your own life” or “protect your family”. The Bible’s most listed command is “Do not be afraid”, because God is in FULL control, even if it seems evil, the absence of good, keeps growing. I recommend any Christian to read Job, and notice how God set limits to what Satan can do. Unfortunately “Christian” conservative leaders do not live as the Bible says, (if I talk about democrats I would have to talk about abortion and I’m too exhausted to go there right now, but anytime someone uses God’s name for him/herself, please don’t follow them). If anyone is still reading, you must notice the change in how I wrote, I thought it was going to be short with a simple economic analysis. I hope this was not a waste of time writing this and shows what is really true. This is the first comment I wrote on HuffingtonPost because I felt bored, so maybe this is a good opportunity to write something that’s usually not seen nor heard of. Truth will always offend people.

 

And to get rid of bias as best as I can. I’m not gay, nor do I know any friends that are gay, nor I want to know any gay guy friends. (My pride is speaking: Please don’t hit on me). Not sure if I don’t want to give them opportunity to do more gay things or I’m just completely repulsed by the idea of someone doing gay things to me. Really there is no difference of severity of sin, but the feeling of someone gay hitting on me is like having someone throw feces at my face; I have to dodge it.

 

Summing up: 1) Government can’t really punish/prevent sin 2) All sins are equal 3) True Christians should live according to the Bible, not by their feelings of disgust or anything else. 4) Something I secretly inferred for those who are thinking about Nietzsche but I didn’t really go deep into it, good luck 5) Everyone needs Jesus. 6) Truth makes many enemies, even from people who are your family and friends. (This should sound familiar, if not, see Matthew 10:34-36)

 

I really don’t think I would be able to say all of the above to people I know, because they’re not ready for how intense this is, and I’m not a good speaker, but at least I wrote it out. I’m not anyone other than a follower/willful slave of Christ. I’m also unemployed almost employed freshly out of college. If I offend anyone, be offended, see why you’re offended, and see if your way is better than what God says. I’ll end with what Buddha said at his deathbed: “Behold now, bikkhus, I declare to you: all conditioned things are of a nature to decay. Strive on with earnestness.” (paraphrase: everything is going to decay, good luck and try hard). Or what Jesus said when he’s ascended to heaven: “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” <-reason I wrote all this, please find truth if you dare.

End of 1,333 Words

So this is the second time I tried to post it up, because I somehow hit some key and everything got deleted. Other than the 1,333 words that I saved on MSWord, everything here is new. Basically, I think LGBT + the 1% are the prostitutes and tax-collectors of our day. Yet I have heard no one talk about this (except the person who blogged about this issue, who is the one who got me start to think about all this, he probably doesn’t even know that I read his blog. I just randomly saw his blog on Facebook and read it and didn’t follow him. His locked his blog now. It’ll be fun if he reads this. I hope he talks about this one day because he is certainly in a position to do so.) I think people really don’t talk or even think about this because people are not ready to hear nor change the perspectives that has been so ingrained in their minds. I really hope I can post this without fail like last time. The Word is a double-edged sword; it affects me just as much as it affects you who reads what I write. I don’t think I am ready to reach out to gay guys, nor I think I ever will, but supposedly God brings them to me, I’ll be ready, because God is good all the time and will never do things to harm me.

Omg… this is going to top 2,000 words.

My recent experiences: so after I came back from my missions trip, I really missed worshiping in song and being together with other bros and sis. Then I thought about why do I only go to church on Sundays? I mean we Christians are the church. Denominations are all human-made. The “Holy” way of worship is completely human concept. I understand that God set apart a day to make it Holy, but why not all days? Why not really be the church and live like how the Christians in Acts do: sharing everything, selling everything, no one was without anything they needed. Oh, right, communism, not going to fly, especially nowadays. Totally impossible is just what I think of right now this second, but then now that I really think about it, is it really impossible? Impossible is nothing. (reminds me from Korea Conference 불가능은 없다) 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Not sure how it’s gonna fly, but it’s not really my concern. I went a little off track with my ideas here, the point is, as of now, it’s not possible for most people to live as a church, I don’t think any government would let that happen because it really is literally God’s kingdom on Earth, running on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word alone. What matters is I decided to go to two churches instead of just going to cornerstone.

So by being a newcomer, I remember how bloody weird it felt. I found that church playing with my Youversion bible app on my phone and clicked live, typed in 95148, south bay church, looked them up, see their doctrines, see their hours, decided to check them out.

I don’t think I ever was a newcomer because I always knew someone at church. This time was the first time I don’t know anyone. They’re a pretty recently made church from 2009 and they have some big plans for NorCal, like raising up new churches here, and getting people who don’t know Jesus to come. It’s a medium size church with 4 services 9am -1pm. They don’t have a lot going on, they basically divide it into 4 things, Sunday, kids, life group, n volunteer, they also partner with a church in Ethiopia and focus on them rather than doing everything.
 
But yeah I like big plans, especially when I know God is gonna make it rain revival in NorCal. So I’ll keep going there and see what I can do for them.

So yeah, if it’s weird for me, who’s been attending church for more than 12 years, it’s going to be bloody weird for non-Christians who know no one. So far I met got one guy’s number and met some people, probably can’t remember their names. It’s gonna be a lot more awkward for the “sinners” of our age. Please pray for them, yourself, those who teach, and me (not a teacher, at least for now).

And I’m tired now. There is so much more blessings God poured out on me that I cannot use mere words. Anyways, always remember to seek what is true, not abstractions, nor theories, but truth.

Oh and world is not ending in Dec 21, 2012, Source: “The hour and the date unknown” 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. written in the Bible. I write this so I can tag Apocalypse without sounding retarded and make random people see this.