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Website owner:  James Miller


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Causes of Poverty


   Poverty exists all over the world.  Poverty is relative.  And 
   there are many causes of poverty.  But I would suggest that the 
   cause of a large portion of the serious poverty in the world 
   has its root in cultural attitudes, outlooks and values.  It is 
   caused by how the people think, their mentality, their views, 
   how they feel about various things.  It is caused by wrong or 
   foolish views, attitudes and values on certain things which 
   then gives rise to wrong or foolish conduct which then gives 
   rise to poverty.  What kinds of attitudes, outlooks and values 
   are we talking about?

   1. Attitudes, outlooks and values in regard to romantic love, 
   sex and marriage.  And, more specifically, in regard to the 
   acceptability of sex outside marriage (i.e. views with respect 
   to fornication or adultery).  Some cultures are far more 
   accepting of extramarital or illicit sex than others.  Some 
   place a lot more value on chastity, virginity and marital 
   fidelity than others.  The general acceptance of illicit sex by 
   a culture creates poverty.

   2. Attitudes, outlooks and values in regard to the importance 
   of education.  Some cultures place a lot more value on 
   education than others.  Education brings wealth, lack of 
   education brings personal ignorance and poverty. 

   3. Attitudes, outlooks and values in regard to things like hard 
   work, self-discipline, perseverance, integrity, moral 
   character, etc.  Hard work, self-discipline and character bring 
   wealth, lack of them brings poverty.

   4. Attitudes in regard to the use of alcohol and drugs.  Heavy 
   use of either alcohol or drugs is closely related to poverty. 

   Allow me now to expand on what I have just said.  Extramarital 
   or illicit sex often leads to personal poverty.  Unwed mothers 
   find it very difficult to both support themselves and care for 
   their small children.  A lot of illicit sex in any culture or 
   subculture will have heavy consequences, financial and 
   otherwise.  It leads directly to unwed mothers, fatherless 
   children, broken marriages and to financial problems - as well 
   as other social problems.  Any culture or subculture with a lot 
   of extramarital sex will generally have a lot of unwed mothers 
   and generally a serious amount of poverty.  There is no 
   substitute for the institution of marriage.  It is an 
   institution that has been proven by the experience and wisdom 
   of many cultures and through many ages.  It takes two people, 
   both a mother and a father, to properly raise a child - one to 
   care for the child and one to work to bring in money.  And 
   there is no substitute for a legal contract binding them 
   together for life.  Marriage is a joint, cooperative 
   enterprise.  For healthy emotional and spiritual development a 
   child needs to have his mother in the home to care for him.  
   Healthy, well-functioning marriages create personal wealth, 
   illicit sex creates personal poverty.  In addition, cultural 
   attitudes with regard to education, hard work, integrity, self-
   discipline and other such things have a lot to do with how well 
   a particular society does economically.  And underpinning the 
   right attitudes and values for a healthy, prosperous culture is 
   religious belief and practice.  Religious faith and belief 
   shapes cultural outlook. 


   Aug 2004




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