Login Register

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 2   [ 23 posts ]   Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:21 pm 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder

Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:19 pm
Posts: 1567
Religion: Catholic
We all hear that usury is unjust (accepting interest on a the basis of a mere loan). But is it unjust to charge interest on a debt? Basically drowning a person in debt potentially for life?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:33 pm 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
This is a mare's nest. I wish I could explain it but I can't.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:31 am 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder

Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:19 pm
Posts: 1567
Religion: Catholic
Fair enough. I have anxiety and OCD issues when it comes to moral matters, so I totally get it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:53 pm 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
This moral area is irrelevant to you unless you're offering loans to people (and charging interest). To the best of my knowledge it's never been taught by the Church that Christians could not borrow money at usury. The immorality is all on the other side.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 12:53 pm 
Offline
Trophy Dwarf
Trophy Dwarf
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:10 pm
Posts: 34827
Location: Here in the center holding my bleeding heart...
Religion: Catholic Convert
Church Affiliations: Dorothy Day Guild
Unwise and immoral are two different things.

Is the person saddling their spouse with debt without the spouse's consent/knowledge? THAT would be immoral.

_________________
Living life on prayers and hooks and needles...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:04 pm 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
True. But I take it the worry is more about things like: I can't get a car (or home, or whatever legitimate thing) without getting a car loan, but I need a car. So am I sinning if I take out the loan? Yes, you can instead save up for 6 years and buy the car with cash. Or save up for less time and buy a perhaps much less reliable car. Or whatever. But many of us don't need cars two years from now. Many of us need them now. Fortunately, even if the loaner is immoral, the loanee isn't, necessarily.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:25 pm 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
From the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 24, 24-27

Quote:
24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.


Clearly it is permissible to charge interest on a loan.

In the early Modern Era, Spain was the richest country in the world, due to gold and silver taken from the Indians. But Spain failed to create a system of credit due to laws against "usury." Other nations had less silver and gold, but multiplied the effect of what they had through credit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:21 pm 
Offline
Sons of Thunder
Sons of Thunder

Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:19 pm
Posts: 1567
Religion: Catholic
That brings up the interesting question of whether gaining money from an investment is the same as usury.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:23 pm 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
DominiCanis wrote:
That brings up the interesting question of whether gaining money from an investment is the same as usury.

No, it is not -- anymore than charging rent is usury.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 9:47 am 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
Like I said in my first post here, this is complicated stuff, and I'm not well equipped to explain it. But I would note that Vern is giving his opinions here without reference to any Church teaching whatever, which is generally what libertarian American Catholics do when economic issues arise. AFAIK, that's cool in the lyceum. It's a debate forum, and Vern's within his rights to state his views. I just want to encourage anyone looking for a Catholic view to ask for Catholic sources.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:54 am 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
gherkin wrote:
Like I said in my first post here, this is complicated stuff, and I'm not well equipped to explain it. But I would note that Vern is giving his opinions here without reference to any Church teaching whatever, which is generally what libertarian American Catholics do when economic issues arise. AFAIK, that's cool in the lyceum. It's a debate forum, and Vern's within his rights to state his views. I just want to encourage anyone looking for a Catholic view to ask for Catholic sources.

Can you find a Catholic source that says charging rent, making investments, lending money for interest and so on is sinful?

Matthew 24,24-27
"24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. "

I'll also point out that Jesus and Joseph were capitalists: They owned their own tools (private ownership of the means of production and distribution), they made their living with their tools (profit) and they were not the only carpenters in Judea (competition.) That's capitalism, by defintion,


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:27 pm 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
First, I think you need to pay a little better attention to that parable.

Second, your claim about capitalism is remarkably oversimplified. JPII made some helpful clarifications in his social encyclicals, to say nothing of Leo XIII and others.

Third, I made no claims about charging rent. As far as making investments and charging interest--it is an irreformable teaching of the Church that usury is gravely sinful. How, exactly, that teaching applies in the contemporary world is open to considerable doubt, which is precisely the reason I myself am not currently interested in trying to make specific claims about it here. But the principle is beyond doubt.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:03 pm 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
gherkin wrote:
First, I think you need to pay a little better attention to that parable.

Please expand on that.

gherkin wrote:
Second, your claim about capitalism is remarkably oversimplified. JPII made some helpful clarifications in his social encyclicals, to say nothing of Leo XIII and others.

Where did I go wrong?
gherkin wrote:
Third, I made no claims about charging rent. As far as making investments and charging interest--it is an irreformable teaching of the Church that usury is gravely sinful. How, exactly, that teaching applies in the contemporary world is open to considerable doubt, which is precisely the reason I myself am not currently interested in trying to make specific claims about it here. But the principle is beyond doubt.

I include rent because there is no difference in paying rent to use someone else's house and paying "rent" to use someone else's money.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 12:33 pm 
Offline
Criminally Insane Cucumber
Criminally Insane Cucumber
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:20 pm
Posts: 34132
Location: The countertop
Religion: The True One
Church Affiliations: OblSB
Vern Humphrey wrote:
gherkin wrote:
First, I think you need to pay a little better attention to that parable.

Please expand on that.

It could become a long conversation, but for one introductory thought--are we being exhorted to be like the "hard man"?

Quote:
Where did I go wrong?

It would help you to answer that question for yourself if you read the main documents that lay out modern Catholic social teaching.
Quote:
I include rent because there is no difference in paying rent to use someone else's house and paying "rent" to use someone else's money.

Well, one obvious difference is that the Church has unequivocally condemned one of those things, and has never uttered a peep against the other. So...maybe you're missing some stuff.

I'm sorry I don't have the time or interest to engage in a deeper discussion here. Like I said from my very first post in the thread.

_________________
Suscipe me secundum eloquium tuum, et vivam: et non confundas me ab exspectatione mea.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 3:57 pm 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
gherkin wrote:
Vern Humphrey wrote:
gherkin wrote:
First, I think you need to pay a little better attention to that parable.

Please expand on that.

It could become a long conversation, but for one introductory thought--are we being exhorted to be like the "hard man"?

Quote:
Where did I go wrong?

It would help you to answer that question for yourself if you read the main documents that lay out modern Catholic social teaching.
Quote:
I include rent because there is no difference in paying rent to use someone else's house and paying "rent" to use someone else's money.

Well, one obvious difference is that the Church has unequivocally condemned one of those things, and has never uttered a peep against the other. So...maybe you're missing some stuff.

I'm sorry I don't have the time or interest to engage in a deeper discussion here. Like I said from my very first post in the thread.

1. We are being exhorted to increase what was entrusted to us.
2. Which Church document condemns drawing interest from bank deposits?
3. Which Church document unequivocally condemns the basis of credit and commerce?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2022 8:26 am 
Offline
Adept
Adept

Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:33 am
Posts: 4281
Religion: Catholic
The parable isn’t about increasing what we’ve been given. It’s about using what we’ve been given to advance the kingdom. In that case, God will increase what we’ve been given because it’s being used to His glory (e.g., packed down in good measure overflowing).

_________________
"So mercifully blessed to be free from the ravages of intelligence." - Taken from Time Bandits


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2022 10:03 am 
Offline
Journeyman
Journeyman

Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:04 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Arkansas Ozarks
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 4th KofC
Peetem wrote:
The parable isn’t about increasing what we’ve been given. It’s about using what we’ve been given to advance the kingdom. In that case, God will increase what we’ve been given because it’s being used to His glory (e.g., packed down in good measure overflowing).

If it isn't about increasing what we've been given, why are the two servants who doubled the master's money praised, and the one who merely hid the money condemned?

But the point of this post is that Jesus told a parable where he indicated that drawing interest is morally permissible.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2022 10:19 pm 
Offline
Adept
Adept

Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:33 am
Posts: 4281
Religion: Catholic
Vern Humphrey wrote:
Peetem wrote:
The parable isn’t about increasing what we’ve been given. It’s about using what we’ve been given to advance the kingdom. In that case, God will increase what we’ve been given because it’s being used to His glory (e.g., packed down in good measure overflowing).

If it isn't about increasing what we've been given, why are the two servants who doubled the master's money praised, and the one who merely hid the money condemned?

But the point of this post is that Jesus told a parable where he indicated that drawing interest is morally permissible.


Your premise is incorrect.

You are assuming that doubling his money meant he did that via earning interest.

But again, the parable isn’t about making money.

God isn’t going to throw us into purgatory or hell because we make some money, but then didn’t invest it and make more money.

_________________
"So mercifully blessed to be free from the ravages of intelligence." - Taken from Time Bandits


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 8:38 am 
Offline
Resident Philosopher
Resident Philosopher
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:28 pm
Posts: 11127
Location: Playing Guitar for Siggy's Choir...
Religion: Catholic
Church Affiliations: 2nd Deg. KoC, SSFJDOG
This is not my area of expertise, but I wanted to chime in with some things I remember PED (someone who used to post here often) said about this topic that I remember. My apologies in advance if I misrepresent what he said, but this is what I remember.

There are many modern situations that make the application of usury prohibitions difficult.

1. Modern currency is subject to major manipulation in value. So, loaning money for longer periods of time brings greater risks of loss in value. So, sometimes adding interest is not really "interest" but a hedge against loss to ensure that when the loan is repaid, the same value has been exchanged.

2. Like number 1, most modern economies have actually built in a planned inflation to stabilize growth. Adding "interest" here is, again not really interest, but making sure that the repaid loan is inflated to keep up with planned inflation so that the same value is repaid.

3. Institutions that make loans have costs that need to be recouped to stay in business. Adding "interest" here as long it is a reasonable amount to pay salaries and fees that are incurred by the institution is probably not what is meant by usury.

Bottom line, as I recall, is that loans should occur in a "not-for-profit" model. Any interest or fees attached should only be to ensure that the same value is repaid (given the amount of inflation in modern currencies) and to cover real costs for doing business. Anything above that would get into the "usury" area. This would also go for personal loaning to friends and family. If it is a large amount for more than a year, then expecting a little "interest" should only be to hedge against inflation to maintain value, but not to MAKE money on the loan. And I think this becomes even more sinful when the need for the loan is because of real hardship. This would obviously be taking advantage of people.

That's what I remember...

FJ

_________________
Ut est rabidus.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Is interest added to a debt unjust?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2022 9:03 am 
Offline
Prodigal Son of Thunder
Prodigal Son of Thunder
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 23, 2002 10:54 am
Posts: 40556
Location: Ithilien
Religion: Dunedain Catholic
Church Affiliations: AWC, CSB, UIGSE-FSE (FNE)
I also think the "Zippy" view on mortgages can be helpful - he suggested that interest on a mortgage can be justified by viewing it as rent on the portion of the property you don't yet own. And interestingly, the amortization of a fixed-rate mortgage, at least, lends itself to this interpretation - you pay more interest in the early years when you have less equity than in later years when you have a lot of equity.

_________________
Formerly Bagheera

"Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King." (1 Peter 2:17)
Federation of North-American Explorers - North Star Group - How You Can Help


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 2   [ 23 posts ]   Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


Jump to:  
cron