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How do you justify spending $500+ on shoes? - Page 6

post #76 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

I don't think the two explanations are that different at the end of the day. The doctrine of papal infallibility does state that the Pope can speak without error on certain matters of faith and morals. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It's the, "when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church" that is critical and may seem like a lighter condition than it actually is. So the pope must (1) speak ex cathedra (when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority) to (2) define a doctrine (3) concerning faith or morals and (4) say that the doctrine must be held by the whole church. Anything said also cannot contradict prior doctrine defined infallibly. There's a lot there and it almost never happens. More than 99.9% of what a pope says does not meet this standard and for many popes it is 100%.

So when the Pope gives an interview, writes a book, writes an apostolic exhortation that the likes of Rush Limbaugh declare "Marxist," or even writes a teaching doctrine such as an encyclical letter, he is not defining doctrine infallibly.

OK...again I accept, and defer to your expertise, as well (I'm Lutheran). But I need to draw attention to the fact that the Catholic Church is rife with idiosyncrasies that are almost unique among Christian denominations. The pantheon of Saints, for instance.

The point I was making was that when you join the Church (or SF), you make a choice. One that tacitly embraces the canon and the foundational philosophies. In some sense you petition to be accepted as a like minded pilgrim, as who should say.

If you join with the intent to challenge or disrupt an institution...esp. one as structured and grounded in doctrine and Tradition as the Catholic Church...you do a disservice and a disrespect to everyone and everything that constitutes that organization. It's disruption for disruption's sake.

Similarly if you join and then decide it is not for you, then the gracious thing to do is move on to associations that are more consistent with your own beliefs.

The issue of Papal Infallibility is one of those defining idiosyncracies and I used it as a metaphor to draw attention to the fact that SF too has a canon and those who don't feel entirely comfortable with it, might be better off elsewhere. Again, the example of vegans who periodically excoriate all those people who wear leather shoes, comes to mind. Same same...in my opinion.
post #77 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
OK...again I accept, and defer to your expertise, as well (I'm Lutheran). But I need to draw attention to the fact that the Catholic Church is rife with idiosyncrasies that are almost unique among Christian denominations. The pantheon of Saints, for instance.

The point I was making was that when you join the Church (or SF), you make a choice. One that tacitly embraces the canon and the foundational philosophies. In some sense you petition to be accepted as a like minded pilgrim, as who should say.

If you join with the intent to challenge or disrupt an institution...esp. one as structured and grounded in doctrine and Tradition as the Catholic Church...you do a disservice and a disrespect to everyone and everything that constitutes that organization. It's disruption for disruption's sake.

Similarly if you join and then decide it is not for you, then the gracious thing to do is move on to associations that are more consistent with your own beliefs.

The issue of Papal Infallibility is one of those defining idiosyncracies and I used it as a metaphor to draw attention to the fact that SF too has a canon and those who don't feel entirely comfortable with it, might be better off elsewhere. Again, the example of vegans who periodically excoriate all those people who wear leather shoes, comes to mind. Same same...in my opinion.

I get where you're coming from with the analogy and suppose the papal infallibility digression was a bit of a tangent. I do agree with the premise that you make a choice to join either a particular church (the Catholic Church in your example) or a place like SF and that joining with the intent to disrupt does a disservice to and is disrespectful to others. Same idea with joining and later deciding it's not for you but remaining (though I understand inertia a bit more than joining to disrupt).

I guess the more interesting questions are (1) what are the particular idiosyncratic elements of a place like SF and (2) are they so clearly defined that we can really be making the analogy to the Catholic Church? Obvious trolling is one thing, lack of interest in clothes is another, but beyond that I am not sure where I'd go about drawing the line on this one.
post #78 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

I guess the more interesting questions are (1) what are the particular idiosyncratic elements of a place like SF and (2) are they so clearly defined that we can really be making the analogy to the Catholic Church? Obvious trolling is one thing, lack of interest in clothes is another, but beyond that I am not sure where I'd go about drawing the line on this one.

Probably one that is critical, if not central, in this context at least..

For me, and the reason I hang in here... despite the fact that this place is no less (and maybe more) full of mis-information and unsubstantiated opinion than any other place on the Internet...is that people are at least willing to entertain the idea that not all things are equal and that appreciation of quality and nuance are pursuits worth cultivating.

[Parenthetically, there is an implicit rejection of "relativism" here...regardless of the intent...that I find most welcome.]

Someone (Socrates?) once said that the unexamined life is not worth living...which, IMO, extends to much more than mental navel-gazing. It involves analysis, of course, but also study, learning,objectivity, discrimination and a progressive refinement of the senses.
post #79 of 124
Thanks Max and Archi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfSteam View Post

On used shoes: I find the paranoia over used shoes rather amusing. To each their own. I respect those that have no issues re-using shoes, similarly, I respect the opinions of those who choose not to, citing public health concerns.

The amusing part is that no one has a problem dining at a restaurant and putting a public fork in their mouth, putting their lips to public drinkware, and wiping hands and face with public cloth napkins.
As DW mentioned, forks, etc, can be cleaned much more easily and thoroughly than shoes. I own a few pairs of used shoes (all bought several years ago), but I don't think I'll buy another pair. When I was in grad school though, it was a good, cheap way of experimenting so that I knew better later what to buy new.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

BTW, I know this is your bailiwick --it certainly isn't mine--and, as a result, I automatically defer to you in these matters. But I find it interesting that if you google "Doctrine of Papal infallibility," you get a very different perspective...at least from Wikipedia. I'll let you do that search yourself but I would make one quote from it: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Now I don't know if this is counter to your explanation or not --I may be misinterpreting one or both. What interests me (aside from spuriously validating any mistaken assumptions I had) is that...knowing you and deferring to your expertise, and if what I'm reading on Wikipedia is correct...it calls into question the validity of all sorts of information being quoted from various sources on the 'Net. Information that has little or no first hand, real-world substantiation. Information that has no connection to the the person posting it and hence no reason/compulsion to take responsibility for the validity of it.

In other words, as a general rule, quotes from the Internet are nearly always suspect (and should be), IMO…unless you're the author or someone who can personally vouch for their truth.
Yes, as you guessed and Archibaldleach mentioned, they are compatible. The part you quoted fills in some things I didn't mention, such as that the pope's authority is grounded on the particular apostolic succession from Peter to whom JC gave the duty of feeding his sheep and the authority of keeping the keys. The Wikipedia passage also adds a further restriction to infallibility that I failed to mention, that it only applies to faith and morals (not science for example). The fact that it has been defined "dogmatically," to which you added emphasis, simply means that it became clear, official teaching at that point. There are of course, levels of dogma, with the highest, most binding being the articles of faith contained in the creed ("I believe in one God, creator almighty…").

Other thoughts from Wikipedia on how limited papal infallibility is: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
In July 2005 Pope Benedict XVI stated during an impromptu address to priests in Aosta that: "The Pope is not an oracle; he is infallible in very rare situations, as we know".[16] His predecessor Pope John XXIII once remarked: "I am only infallible if I speak infallibly but I shall never do that, so I am not infallible".[17] A doctrine proposed by a pope as his own opinion, not solemnly proclaimed as a doctrine of the Church, may be rejected as false, even if it is on a matter of faith and morals, and even more any view he expresses on other matters. A well-known example of a personal opinion on a matter of faith and morals that was taught by a pope but rejected by the Church is the view that Pope John XXII expressed on when the dead can reach the beatific vision.[18] The limitation on the pope's infallibility "on other matters" is frequently illustrated by Cardinal James Gibbons's recounting how the pope mistakenly called him Jibbons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by in stitches View Post

i think this is an excellent point, and while i do not quite disagree, i look at it as follows. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
i do place a great value on charitably using ones money to help others. however, as long as the money one is spending on their clothing is not infringing on what amount they would be using to help others, i think its fine.

certainly you could argue, well by very definition if you spend $500 on shoes and could get different shoes that would be just fine for $200, than you are spending $300 that you could be giving away. but i dont see it that way. by that logic should one never eat out at a fancy diner? should we be buying smaller homes and cars and never sending our kids to private school so we can give every extra penny to others?

maybe for a select few people out there that works, but i would not say that is what should be expected of the vast majority of people out there. the way i see it, everybody is comfortable with a certain level of charity. some people give 10% of their earnings, so more and some less, and as long as ones luxury purchases do not infringe on what they feel comfortable giving away, i do not see it as selfish.

now, what a person may personally struggle with is their own private business, and if a person does not feel right spending copious amounts of money on clothing, when there are people out there who live in cardboard boxes, that is their own personal decision, but i do not think that is a justification that every person should feel the need to make as long as they are comfortable with the amount of money they use for others as compared to how their spend for themselves.

just my opinion
.
I agree with you, with a caution about "comfort": Remember the scene in Schindler's List, in which he's lamenting the fact that he could have saved more lives if he had sold his ring, his watch, his car? I think we all need moments discomfort, even extreme discomfort like that…

To put it into a larger context (the one we pm'd about recently on another issue), I'd say it's a matter of virtue as defined by Aristotle and improved upon by Maimonides and Aquinas.

Virtue ethics is a moderate position between the extremes of relativism and legalism/fundamentalism. And it stresses that moderation is the key to virtue. So courage is not having no fear, but having the right amount, something between recklessness (too little fear) and cowardice (too much fear). The moderate amount is unique to each person, even to each situation. And one must have practical wisdom or prudence to make a proper judgement in each situation. To gain prudence, temperance, other virtues, one must experience (or at least know of) the extremes. So it's probably good to go through periods of extreme self-denial, as well as extreme self-indulgence, to learn the virtue of self-control.

Thomas, building on Paul's "faith, hope, and charity, and the greatest of these is charity" (1 Cor 13) would add that to really do the right thing, we need not only prudence, temperance, and other natural virtues, but also the graced virtue of charity. Charity too is commonly misunderstood. It doesn't mean handouts. It means loving whom God loves, how God loves. God loves everyone. And God's love doesn't think people are perfect, it wills them good. Willing all people good (across space and time, Seventh Generation, etc.) is another principle I would add to "comfort."
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexE View Post

I praise the thought you put into this and the concern you have about the well being of others. However, I actually believe that by buying high-priced products manufactured by qualified workers who receive decent wages as employees of mid-sized businesses in Northampton or Middleborough (and those are ultimately the companies we talk about here) you do as much good as by saving up your money in order to donate it for scholarships for kids of unemployed manufacturing workers.
I agree. Even better might be to purchase one's shoes from independent artisans who have dedicated their lives to excellence, like DW.
post #80 of 124
excellent stuff, emptym. when i have more time i will reply in greater length.
post #81 of 124
Awesome how this thread has involved into a major discussion of western/Christian values and ethics. I would however, like to add a northern European/Scandinavian angle to the discussion: when I look at my paycheck, the government has already taken more than 50 percent of what I am paid. I reckon that how I spend the last 45-50 percent is my own business. I am already subsidizing free education,health care, unemployment benefits, you name it - plus paying consumer prices 20 percent above EU average.. Overall I am not complaining btw. I am pretty sure that my family would have a substantial higher standard of living if we worked in the US or ( more realistically Germany) but I like my welfare state and that everyone gets a fair chance...
post #82 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by steffenbp11 View Post

I am pretty sure that my family would have a substantial higher standard of living if we worked in the US or ( more realistically Germany) but I like my welfare state and that everyone gets a fair chance...

Based on what I have seen in Scandinavia (primarily Sweden and Denmark) there are few places where you could bump your standard of living...maybe in Switzerland.
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Honestly, no disrespect intended but I am curious...why do you read or post to SF then?

I just don't understand the impulse to challenge people who are earnestly and sincerely trying their best to help. Or who pretty universally, across the board, hold a world view that is at odds with your [generic] own beliefs. It's not like people are being forced to listen or believe.

It's kind of like the vegans or the PETA folks who show up in the shoe or leather threads every now and again to chastise us all.

My attitude is that...at a certain point...if I don't share a somewhat similar view of the world with the underlying assumptions of a discussion or a forum--for instance a respect for the concept of quality--then it makes no sense to jump in and try to re-define the issues.

If you join the Catholic church you have to accept the principle of Papal infallibility or nail your theses to the door on your way out.

--

One of your best post ever. Bravo! I don't care too much for used shoes either. As to the OP's question, if I like it and I can afford it, I buy it. I'm generally fairly responsible in my spending with a few minor exceptions (some things you just have a passion for and your spending will often reveal what those are). I don't presume to speak for anyone else as to whether their spending is justifiable or even needs to be justified.
post #84 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by emptym View Post

I agree with you, with a caution about "comfort": Remember the scene in Schindler's List, in which he's lamenting the fact that he could have saved more lives if he had sold his ring, his watch, his car? I think we all need moments discomfort, even extreme discomfort like that…
To put it into a larger context (the one we pm'd about recently on another issue), I'd say it's a matter of virtue as defined by Aristotle and improved upon by Maimonides and Aquinas. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Virtue ethics is a moderate position between the extremes of relativism and legalism/fundamentalism. And it stresses that moderation is the key to virtue. So courage is not having no fear, but having the right amount, something between recklessness (too little fear) and cowardice (too much fear). The moderate amount is unique to each person, even to each situation. And one must have practical wisdom or prudence to make a proper judgement in each situation. To gain prudence, temperance, other virtues, one must experience (or at least know of) the extremes. So it's probably good to go through periods of extreme self-denial, as well as extreme self-indulgence, to learn the virtue of self-control.
Thomas, building on Paul's "faith, hope, and charity, and the greatest of these is charity" (1 Cor 13) would add that to really do the right thing, we need not only prudence, temperance, and other natural virtues, but also the graced virtue of charity. Charity too is commonly misunderstood. It doesn't mean handouts. It means loving whom God loves, how God loves. God loves everyone. And God's love doesn't think people are perfect, it wills them good. Willing all people good (across space and time, Seventh Generation, etc.) is another principle I would add to "comfort."

i certainly do remember that scene. how could i not. i think though that that is an extraordinary circumstance. i also think that there are people even now, even not put under such extreme hardship and discomfort, that do live that way. its a very virtuous and righteous way to live, and if you have a family, you have to take their comfort into account as well. i dont think i could live like that, but i think its important that there are always people like that out there.

i do think that for each person, as you said, there is some medium/moderate position that they should strive towards. somewhere where they feel that they are properly taking care of their own needs, and maybe wants as well, while not neglecting charity.

lastly, i agree that charity is over misunderstood. in some cases a handout may be the best form of charity, in other cases, maybe not. just as a simple example, for many people, accepting a hand out is very degrading, and often times issuing a loan is the more charitable act. it takes care of the receivers financial needs, while keeping their dignity in tact. beyond that, as you said, there are many cases where charity may have nothing to do with money at all.
post #85 of 124

My casual conversations with people indicate that one may not have to justify having several kids, a large house in the 'burbs or a luxury sedan - you know, those items are quite typical and expected.  However, a pleasant talk may turn sour once you mention a quality pair of shoes, an interesting vacation or a simple fact that you'd rather enjoy life and work less.  Once these thoughts live your mouth all bets are off :-)

post #86 of 124

Go big or stay on the porch. I say go big. 

post #87 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by JezeC View Post

This is really out of curiosity for the people that frequently purchase shoes in the range of $500+

$50 per toe and the rest for free.
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by papa kot View Post

My casual conversations with people indicate that one may not have to justify having several kids, a large house in the 'burbs or a luxury sedan - you know, those items are quite typical and expected.  However, a pleasant talk may turn sour once you mention a quality pair of shoes, an interesting vacation or a simple fact that you'd rather enjoy life and work less.  Once these thoughts live your mouth all bets are off :-)

+100. My sentiments exactly.
post #89 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by papa kot View Post
 

My casual conversations with people indicate that one may not have to justify having several kids, a large house in the 'burbs or a luxury sedan - you know, those items are quite typical and expected.  However, a pleasant talk may turn sour once you mention a quality pair of shoes, an interesting vacation or a simple fact that you'd rather enjoy life and work less.  Once these thoughts live your mouth all bets are off :-)

 

True.  You will never have someone stand in your home and ask you "Do you really need a house this big in an area this nice?  Have you ever stopped to think how many others you could help if you lived in a house half this size in the dodgy end of town?"

post #90 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by papa kot View Post

My casual conversations with people indicate that one may not have to justify having several kids, a large house in the 'burbs or a luxury sedan - you know, those items are quite typical and expected.  However, a pleasant talk may turn sour once you mention a quality pair of shoes, an interesting vacation or a simple fact that you'd rather enjoy life and work less.  Once these thoughts live your mouth all bets are off :-)

These same people will scrimp and save every penny and lose $50K in the stock market and fund stockbrokers' expensive lifestyles and think they're doing well, but balk if you still have your $300 pair of shoes long after their shares are gone. I ask them if their broker even bothered to send them a thank you note. Just sayin'...-smile.gif
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