AS62: History of Christianity, Part 1

We have a very special guest on today’s show! Lydia joins me to start on a long journey through the history of Christianity. We’ll be working through the book A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years which I heard Christopher Hitchens recommend in a debate video. Lydia brings the research and I’m sure I bring something or other to the discussion!

7 thoughts on “AS62: History of Christianity, Part 1”

  1. Congrats on your upcoming nuptials. Lydia has a nice podcast voice and you two worked well together — two thumbs up!

  2. This was a good topic to tackle. I thought Lydia did well. I would have like fewer attempts at humor from Tom.
    I also like your discussion of economics. I got the impression that you may be assuming people are more rational than the way they act. Have you read any of Dan Ariely’s books?

  3. Thomas, I enjoyed Lydia’s segment and look forward to future ones.

    As to your discussion of economics, I respect your position given that you’ve studied it more than I have. I would continue to contend that investments don’t have the same effect on the economy as purchases do, though. To my understanding, or economy is based on the productivity of our workforce. When people make purchases, that increases the demand for productivity. Investing increases the capacity for more productivity. They are two sides of a coin. If we have a situation where more of our money is tied up in investments, we have less demand for productivity, so it doesn’t matter what the capacity is. When folks like me make the argument that investments aren’t putting money into the economy, I think what we mean is that it’s currently out of balance. Please let me know if there’s a flaw in the way I’m looking at this, as I respect your analysis to be fair.

    1. Sorry for not responding, Daniel. I actually read your comment at the time and thought a lot about it. I kept thinking of responses but then not finding them adequate. From what I remember of my economics education, your analysis sounds a little bit too zero-sum to me, but one reason I am having trouble responding is I don’t know if I have retained enough detailed knowledge to give a satisfying reply.
      Essentially I don’t think there is such a thing as too much money tied up in investments. Another thing to consider is that when it comes to demand, people like you and I aren’t the only entities who buy stuff. Depending on what the industry we’re talking about is, consumers can be 100% people like us or 0% people like us and 100% other businesses. In that case then, investments in those businesses would fuel demand in that industry and would sort of go against what you’re saying. On the other hand, it is possible that the earnings multiplier is too high (many people have been saying this forever.) It could be that we value investments too highly, I don’t know. That’s starting to get quite advanced and I’d definitely not want to present myself as an expert in that sort of thing. Maybe I ought to get an economist on the show… but everything is SO partisan it’s hard to have confidence in any given source.
      Sorry for the delay in response!

      1. I appreciate you giving it a good amount of thought. I’ve always had a bad taste for supply side economics, but I can see your points. As far as getting an economist on the show, that person would have to be really engaging. Economics is so boring to listen to, that I’m afraid it’d be a horrible show otherwise.

      2. It’s funny, I just commented on how boring economics is and then I listened to dogma debate. One of his co owners, Jim Newman, was on again taking about finances. He hosts the Skeptic Money podcast and runs Polaris Financial Planning and was incredibly engaging. I don’t know if he would be able to go into economics, but it may be a direction worth exploring. (Finances and economics are the same thing, right? J/k)

  4. Morning, Thomas. I know you’re super busy and can’t reply to everything timely and your internet was dubious when my above comment was submitted.I understand if you missed it for some reason. Now that things are running better, could you address it here? Thanks for your time.

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