Civilizing the Economy A New Economics of Provision

The Everyday Dog (God): For the South Carolina GOP primary

Posted Jan 17, 2012 by Marvin Brown in Uncategorized, No Comments

Suppose you have your hand holding a rope that is attached to a dog’s collar, and you follow the dog as it wanders down a path.  From a bird’s eye view, it looks like the dog is guiding you.  One of the better understandings of the word “god” is that it refers to whatever is guiding us, such as happiness, wealth, power, recognition, or even fear.  The problem, of course, is when talk about “god” prevents us from knowing where we are really going.  So how can we tell if your “god” is in need of serious repair?  Here are a few telltale signs:

If god prevents you from seeing the actual trends that are determining the future, such as the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the continued destruction of the planet, or the trend toward feudalism.

If god allows you to turn away from the claims of concrete relationships with actual persons by defining these relationships with such abstract terminology as saved or unsaved; deserving or undeserving.

If god is used to sanction force and violence on others

If god gives you advantages over others who have other gods.

If god is more important than your neighbor

If god sanctions the violation of civic rights

If god prevents you from seeing the need to repair your understanding of god

If god guides you much like a dog on a leash.


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Marvin T. Brown, Ph.D teaches business and organizational ethics at the University of San Francisco and Saybrook University in San Francisco.

This book is the culmination of 30 years of teaching and writing on business and society from a communicative perspective. Visit for more information.

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