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I am not religious but labourers in the vineyard stuck with me from school:

The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble(D) against the landowner. 12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat(E) of the day.’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend.(F) Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’(G)

Matthew 20:9

(Marek has the right to renegotiate. The fortune 500s had the right to use the work he offered for free, as that was the terms set)




One of the fallacies in reasoning is that people tend to judge outcomes solely on the results, not taking into consideration the initial conditions.

When the authors started, did they really know that the library was going to take off and be used by many companies in the world with boat loads of money? Hell no.

Open source licenses by are optimized for high usage and freedom. You also have to consider that because it was so permissive, people at huge tech companies used it for their projects, which led to those engineers telling other engineers about the project and fast tracked to amazing growth there.

Anyways, the authors have the right to renegotiate but I don't think companies have done significant evil.


> that was the terms set

The terms do not include free support.

Basically, Marak is just saying he won't go back to the vineyard to work for free, but he will if he gets paid a fair salary. Else, the landowner will have to search for new workers.


It's a parable wherein the landowner is the Christian god, the work of the vineyard is the work of his will, and the denarius is salvation. It doesn't have anything to do with people getting paid fairly, it has to do with the Christian god's generosity disrupting notions of fairness.


Sorry, but I don't get your point.

I think that, independently of the original meaning of the parable (which is not at all what we are discussing here), it indeed is a nice example of having to accept the terms you negotiated without looking at what terms others get. I used the same example to explain why I think this situation is a bit different. But it is just an analogy, nobody is claiming this is the right interpretation of the biblical text.


the parable serves to introduce the idea of fundamental dignity in contrast to conventional notions of reason and merit. and ought not be taken as youve suggested


People ought and do take whatever they please from the Bible.


This landover should not be surprised if workers start tp show up late as a rule. After all, showing up late means same money for less work.

In modern world, of course business owner can set salaries however, but should accept consequences on turnover and company culture.


Yeah, it's not a very good story. There are a few possible outcomes.

1. All workers start showing up later, thus the employer is motivated incentivize those who show up earlier.

2. Instead of raising wages, the employer limit the number of available position, thus incentivizing workers to show up earlier in order to be paid the denarius whereas those that show up later risked not getting the work and therefor lowered the statistical amount of money they can earn over time.

3. The workers organize together and mutually decide to bargain with the employer as a group for work hours and wages.

4. Scabs decide to work for the employer at an increased rate of 1.5 denarii.

5. Half of the crops rot on the vines, the employer raises the price of the wine to double it's original amount to recoup the losses.

6. The employer spends some additional money on lobbyists to convince Roman governors that their business is too important to fail, and receives a bailout.

7. The original workers and their families starve to death or turn to crime.

8. The bureaucrats and landowners profit and the scabs are forced to take 0.75 denarii as their wages because they have no bargaining power and they fear starvation as their contemporaries were made an example of.


Yes. The problem with licensing your software one way or another is exactly that: you agree on sone terms NOBODY imposed upon you.

Open Source developers need to take burn out into mind before committing themselves to such a labor.


i’m afraid you’ve missed the point of this teaching


The way I see it, the landowner is exploiting the workers and not paying them the just price for their labour.


Making an ethical judgment based on religious text is a serious folly.


Personally I'm an atheist, but I still find this piece of religious text interesting. It tells us that this is as old problem as human civilization is. How do people share the work and the fruits of the labour?


> How do people share the work and the fruits of the labour?

Atheist now, but formerly not. This story isn't about that. See my other comment for the broader context it is contained in.


> It tells us that this is as old problem as human civilization is

Only if you presume human civilization started with the bible. Fair bit of civilizing went on before that.


You're painting in broad strokes and getting some flak for it, but there's definitely some truth to this. The context surrounding the story is extremely relevant.

The Workers in the Vineyard is a story being told by Jesus within the larger story of the Gospels. It is a parable. It's not a beast fable with some clearcut moral. The whole story itself is intended as a metaphor for salvation and heaven.

He's not even indirect about it this time, he makes it clear from the beginning:

> For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard..."

The workers object because (surprise) this actually is unfair in a landscape of mortal human struggles. It's jarringly so. It defies common sense and notions of fairness. In that confusion, Jesus is trying to make a point about just how incomprehensible the generosity of the godhead is. He's saying it breaks your prior notions and that salvation doesn't map to time and money.

There's literally no other point being made by the parable, and it's a total error to try to divine another message.


It's surprising Jesus din't make the point that being good is its own reward, instead of focusing on the ultimate payoff of heaven.


Flattery gets you far, bribery gets you farther


Dismissing a text, simply because some people consider it holy, seems a worse folly.


Yeah but there are some timeless truths in many religious texts. This one seems to be applicable.


You can also mine out some awful stuff by plucking certain passages without the right context, and we have certainly seen hatred and violence justified that way through history.

This story is also missing the larger context that explains what it's really about -- and the answer isn't labor and wages.


As opposed to basing them on...some system you came up with?


Almost as good, one might imagine. No truth written in the Bible gets less true. No lie gets less false. About the only benefit is that you know the Bible as a whole is fairly Lindy and full of powerful and competitive memes.

Which may mean that the text is useful as a means to express your opinions.


What's your preferred alternative for making ethical judgements?


> Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?

No. Money is a collective construct and strictly subject to collective norms (e.g., taxes). Paying selected people money for not really working is the cornerstone of corruption.


I just bought a TV from a shop selling the same as in another store, but cheaper. Should I return it and go and pay more? I've paid my taxes, the rest is mine.


Through no fault of your own, powerful and/or discontent people in your country can significantly alter your purchasing power.




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