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  1. #1
    Host of NappingXM Radio Burner's Avatar
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    Default Is money the root of all evil?

    We agree we need money and resources to survive. But, what do you think about the idea of money being the root of all evil?

    My personal thoughts: It isn't a sin to be rich if it's genuinely earned, and there are times when money can reflect genuine value creation in business or other spheres. But, it's when we turn our fixations in life from the things that give us a more holistic sense of purpose and focus exclusively on the material that negative results come about. I wager this is the line of thinking most people have when they say or hear "Money is the root of all evil", but what do you guys think?
    Ti mozes sve, al' jedno ne...

    Johari | Nohari

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  2. #2
    stable genius Powehi's Avatar
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    I think selfishness and disregard/harming of others is evil, and money serves as a great way to express that concretely.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Earl Grey's Avatar
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    Evil is an intent, possessed by humans. Money cannot be inherently evil. Psychological mechanisms of shifting blame aside, the evil comes from the human that uses the item for nefarious ends. When this shifting of blame occurs, the individual points at money being the cause of their own evil, and being evil itself, instead of they. A more accurate question for me would be if money has a particular propensity to incite evil intentions, and further, whether or not that poses a problem. Folks go too far and brand it evil and vow off it entirely, but following that logic, anything that could incite evil (which is- many, many things) would be a 'bad' thing to partake in. Convenient items like knives, business arrangement, sex- these can be distorted into 'evil' things, so branding it evil and scooting away from it is not quite right either.

    Money is a necessity for the world to run as we know it. Personally, I consider it a communicative device, and its utility lies in its capability to be standardized across many people (whether this is done well or no and the intentions behind it is an entirely different question. I'm leering at anything between the shit like movie theatres that bloat prices to high brow high society 7 star hotels that also bloat prices to ridiculous levels or things that sells a brand instead of selling a utility). We are able to trade items with money as the common denominator that can then be traded for other things. Money buys value, and that is where the value of money itself lies- in what value it can be traded for. My $40 is a worth a night of eating out, or whatever else I use it for. Without the medium of exchange, they literally are pieces of paper (or numbers on a screen)- that's no philosophical mumbo jumbo, just simple economics. I think that itself is not a 'bad' thing, it is convenient.


    I think things go foul when money itself becomes a measure of Prestige, and that prestige itself becomes something that is valued by the individual and society. There is something going on here that I think is a mis-application of the value of money, where it is seen as valuable on its own, instead of being measured by goods and services of equal or comparable value it can be exchanged for (which is literally why money came to be in the first place).

    That's how we have folks with bloated bank accounts and fancy cars sitting in a basement, unused. It literally is nothing- the money left untouched does not feed anyone, it does not fix anything, build anything, transport anything, or acquire anything. It's 'value' literally becomes nil. A vast majority of that unused money can vanish without negative repercussions to the livelihood of those in severe excess. However, it remains regardless, seemingly simply because $1.000.000.000 is a very, very nice number to look at for a variety of brain-deaddening and flashy reasons. I think that is a bad thing on various levels- cultural / sociological, moral / ethical, and economical which can go further into 9000 details of 90000 examples I won't paste here since it's too long and that's not the point of the thread.


    I've had these thoughts bouncing around for quite a while. Thanks for letting me ramble.
    浮世は刹那

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  4. #4
    The Goldblum The Cat's Avatar
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    The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil ...that's not the same thing ime as money in and of itself.
    I am the Cat who walks by himself; and all places are alike to me...

    For the cat is cryptic,
    and close to strange things which men cannot see.
    He is the soul of antique Aegyptus,
    and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir.
    He is the kin of the jungle’s lords,
    and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa.
    The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language;
    but he is more ancient than the Sphinx,
    and remembers that which she hath forgotten...

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    gothic elf MovinOut's Avatar
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    I think people are the root of all evil. Money is just a vehicle.

    This is why we can't have nice things.
    And I've been a hero, helpless, I'm in hell...

    silent all these years: my personal blog

    vote on my type

    Johari / Nohari
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  6. #6
    Saturn's Amethyst
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    I don't see money as the root of all evil but rather millions of years of evolution and Darwinist laws and money is just the modern incantation of this. For millions of years our ancestors had to be "evil" to a degree to survive (After all you wont survive if you give up your food or shelter to another in a non group structure at least) but now we have big enough brains to move up the Maslow's pyramid and ponder questions like "what is evil" where as our four legged forebears would just be like "I have food they don't I survive".

    Evil though has many other roots in my opinion apart from money. Power is a big one as well as pleasure. Plus again evil just exists because we have big enough intelligence to think in abstract moral terms like that rather than *What can I eat".

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    in dreamland Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Money and desire for stuff accounts for much of it, but not all. I think evil materializes only when that desire is acted on, so it's the lack of impulse control or the disregard for boundaries that's the problem.

    Some people possess bad brain chemistry and delight in torturing little animals or causing harm to humans. That's another source of evil.
    I feel like the protagonist in an M. Night Shyamalan movie and everyone else is weird and creepy.

  8. #8
    Ultra Hyper Mega Member Vendrah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burner
    But, what do you think about the idea of money being the root of all evil?
    Definitely not, only for those who are shortsighted.
    Money is just an application, something else could be put in replacement.

    My personal thoughts: It isn't a sin to be rich if it's genuinely earned, and there are times when money can reflect genuine value creation in business or other spheres.
    Well, you seem to forgot that we don't live on a real meritocracy by any means; Ok, actually you don't since you used the word genuinely, and this genuinely earned is a rarity if we take it rigorously. It also depends how far you go to the rich word. Many humans mistake fortune as Godness, yup I made up that word, and believe they are the Gods on earth; But, well, regardless of beliefs, they are humans after all; Humans doesn't build pyramids alone, they need to work together to create one. Billionaires couldn't ever made a really big fortune even out of hard work, because they still are human after all. Their fortune is created based on the works of others, who goes forgotten, but they distort the value and use the "hey, money trades value flawlessly, everything value what moneys says, so if money say underpaid workers value nothing, they value nothing". Some millionaries, though, might be another story, but that depends a lot on the context.

    People don't take the idea of meritocracy for real; I did have only a few readings (because even finding something that is a genuine argument for meritocracy and not something attacking the whole idea or just used as an excuse to defend the status quo and pride of some people) on it, and, if taken seriously, it is indeed complex.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Lavender
    I don't see money as the root of all evil but rather millions of years of evolution and Darwinist laws and money is just the modern incantation of this. For millions of years our ancestors had to be "evil" to a degree to survive (After all you wont survive if you give up your food or shelter to another in a non group structure at least)
    You made a little bit of a common mistake here: See Darwinism only in the individual perspective, forgetting the group perspective entirely. Humans, as lots of animals, lives in terms of groups. In short, a group that is full of selfishness, evil and psychopathy is unlikely to survive. Groups that has people that eventually sacrifice themselves for others ends up saving the group and that interferes on the Darwin evolutionary theory, specially if they don't do that when they are young and do it after they had children.

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    Kawaii Red Memories's Avatar
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    Money itself? No.

    But money is power and power corrupts.
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  10. #10
    Evermore Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burner View Post
    We agree we need money and resources to survive. But, what do you think about the idea of money being the root of all evil?

    My personal thoughts: It isn't a sin to be rich if it's genuinely earned, and there are times when money can reflect genuine value creation in business or other spheres. But, it's when we turn our fixations in life from the things that give us a more holistic sense of purpose and focus exclusively on the material that negative results come about. I wager this is the line of thinking most people have when they say or hear "Money is the root of all evil", but what do you guys think?
    There is much to unpack here. First, we need to remember that money is just a medium, the middleman of economic value. We can't eat it, wear it, live in it, drive it around, or do anything with it directly. (OK - someone at work makes origami out of dollar bills, but you get the idea.) It's what money gets us that is useful and enjoyable. So, are the things money can get us evil? Some certainly are. We can use money for everything from substances to abuse, to bribing public officials, to ordering a hit on our ex's new boyfriend. Many more things are good, though, like the necessities of life, artwork, entertainment, experiences. Money is then a tool like any other, that can be used for good for for ill.

    Perhaps a clearer question is whether wealth or simply material possessions is the root of all evil. I have heard it said that it's the lack of money (read: resources) that leads to evil. Desperate people will often resort to desperate measures, but that seems closer to self-preservation than true evil, as the intent isn't to harm others but only to save oneself. Some focus on material goods and the money we need to obtain them is thus not only healthy but necessary. Without it, we perish, or live hopelessly barebones existences.

    But what happens after all our basic needs and simplest wants are met? Some people want more than that, much more; more than they can use or enjoy in a lifetime. Is this evil or harmful? If it becomes wasteful, I consider that bad, if not exactly evil. I don't like to see things go to waste, especially when someone else might be able to use it. Then there is the question of how the person goes about obtaining this excess. Are they doing it at the expense of others? That would be bad also. You mention the notion of genuinely earning one's money/wealth, and that is certainly better than stealing or swindling to get it. But the opportunity to earn is also a value, and one that is not unrelated to preexisting wealth. People who start off wealthy, or at least in a wealthy family, have easier access to the resources (education, connections) that will lead to a high-paying job and the chance to earn that wealth.

    How then if at all is evil connected to money or material wealth? I think greed is a big part of the answer. When people start wanting it for its own sake rather than for how it will enrich their daily lives, and when they get it at the expense of other people, that may be close to evil. This ties into the notion that resources are finite, and getting things is to some degree a zero sum game. Most societies nowadays ration things based on ability to pay, i.e. how much money the recipient or "customer" has. This can lead to a competitive greediness, in which people want to have more than their neighbors just for the sake of it. It can also lead to resentment on the part of people of limited means, who are unable to obtain many of the same things that the wealthy can obtain readily.

    I suppose this may all be leading to the notion that the true evil lies not in money, or wealth, or the desire for it, but in income inequality. I wasn't intending to make a political statement with all of this, and enforcing equal income/wealth would hardly solve the problem, for reasons stated above. Income inequality severe enough to leave many without the basics of life, while others pursue wealth as a self-serving game may not be evil, but it certainly is not good.
    “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”– Douglas Adams
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