Posted: Apr 05, 2010 11:36 am
by apparentlydeluded
Well, loans at low levels of interest have been legal for ages. They're issued by these things called "banks", and have been permitted not just by Christians, but by virtually all economists and governments. There is a difference between bank loans - which are actually essential for the economy to run - and the high-interest personal loans issued by loan-sharks as described in the OP. That type of usury is effectively slavery. Indeed, the human trafficking trade today often works by loan-sharks putting poor people in debt and basically forcing them to sell themselves or their family. Irresponsible bankers, whose toxic loans created the current financial crisis, are a separate issue, as is the IMF/World Bank. Lending at interest is not in and of itself an evil thing, since again the economy wouldn't work without it and we'd probably be stuck in the 17th century without it. As with many things, it is a case of responsible application rather than outright endorsement or opposition.

But I do agree to a point that this has nothing to do with atheism. I say to a point since I am of the opinion that it becomes much harder to defend one position over another without a real point of reference. But that is probably another debate for another day. (Is there a "good without God?" discussion somewhere?)