Archive for June, 2011

Natural Born Capitalists

According to an article posted on CNBC, kids are natural born capitalists. The article quotes the abstract from a psychological study that supports this view. The abstract reads,

Rather than being learned from parents, a concept of property rights may automatically grow out of 2- to 3-year-olds’ ideas about bodily rights, such as assuming that another person can’t touch or control one’s body for no [sic] reason, Friedman proposed…

Friedman’s team presented a simple quandary to 40 preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, and to 44 adults. Participants saw an image of a cartoon boy holding a crayon who appeared above the word “user” and a cartoon girl who appeared above the word “owner.” After hearing from an experimenter that the girl wanted her crayon back, volunteers were asked to rule on which cartoon child should get the prized object.

About 75 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds decided in favor of the owner, versus about 20 percent of adults.

Hmmm…I hate to admit this, but it appears Hillary Clinton may have been partially right: it takes a village – not to mention expensive, long-term indoctrination in “institutions of learning”- to raise a socialist.

As Scripturalists (those Christians who hold that the Bible has a monopoly on truth), we look on studies of this sort with a certain amusement. On one hand, the study does nothing to prove that the children are right and the adults wrong. Moral principles are never established by scientific experimentation. But while science – whether psychology or any other science – does not establish truth, it can at times present its largely atheist devotees with a well-deserved poke in the eye. At the very least, it has to be galling to all the central planners out there who recoil at the thought that someone, somewhere, in some way is using his property in a manner not regulated or approved by the masters of the universe.

Of course rather than explaining the children’s good sense of right and wrong as originating in their idea of bodily rights (where this idea comes from the abstract does not say), Christians would argue that the children’s moral sense is a result of their being made in the image of God, their minds lighted by Christ, “That was the true light which gives light every man coming into the world” (Jn.1:9). That light tells us negatively that theft is wrong, “You shall not steal,” (Ex.20:15) and positively that an owner has the right to use his property, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things” (Matt. 20:15)?

Yes, I know this is a hard pill for the various and sundry collectivists, fascists, central planners and professional busybodies who run our country and delight in lording their authority over others, but Jesus is a capitalist and the Bible is a capitalist document. And children, it seems, understand the morality of capitalism better than most adults.

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