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Is money the root of all evil?

Ghost of the dead horse

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The phrase is a misquote from the Bible.

The original makes more sense:
"The love of money is the root of all evil".
Sources:
King James Bible online, 1 Timothy 6:10 1 TIMOTHY 6:10 KJV "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the..."

Now on the matter in the question, is money the root of all evil? There can hardly be made a relevant argument to that effect. Money makes it possible to achieve true multilateral trade with the minimum of cost. One doesn't have to find a trade partner who wants to sell something you want to buy while simultaneously you want to sell something they want to buy.

The price of all trades determine the value of money. If you sell some merchandise in exchange for money, you now have money which can be used for practically anything. You don't need to worry that whe item you get in exchange will be useless. The price of money is determined all the time, and you can be sure that in our low-inflation times money keeps it's value.

It's so practical. What's not to love?

.. oh wait
 

EcK

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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?

Well, it's incoherent as the perception of evil (and so, 'all evil') predates money. So assuming linear time (ish - at macro scale at least) that would be a big fat no.
More seriously I'm not quite sure what to make of the concepts of good and evil. As far as I'm concerned i find many of the things (if not all?) that are universally (as far as I know) considered as bad/evil/immoral/unfair seem to create logic errors when universalized (if everyone thinks murder is good then it's wanted and it's not murder anymore etc.). Which is an interesting thought but I don't really have a 'final analysis' here, rather just some intriguing observations.
 

EcK

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Money allows to make people entitled to consumption. For example without money a disabled person could depend on whims of the society. For example the food owners could decide that people who don't work shouldn't be able to eat, but because there is money, one can buy food even if disabled or unemployed as long as the government decides to make appropriate provisions.

Not sure I follow your logic. How is having the government decide to steal other ppl's money and give it (after wasting most of it in admin that is) to someone because they're handicapped not morally inferior that what you call the 'whims of society' (ie: the voluntary kindness of people). Being handicapped doesn't morally entitle someone to theft.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Not sure I follow your logic. How is having the government decide to steal other ppl's money and give it (after wasting most of it in admin that is) to someone because they're handicapped not morally inferior that what you call the 'whims of society' (ie: the voluntary kindness of people). Being handicapped doesn't morally entitle someone to theft.

Why not? The mentally handicapped people on Wall Street seem fine accepting taxpayer money when they crash the economy.
 

EcK

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Why not? The mentally handicapped people on Wall Street seem fine accepting taxpayer money when they crash the economy.

Both things could be wrong at once. Imagine that. My objection is that theft is immoral and that merely giving the proceeds to one who someone or some group deem as deserving does not make it a moral act.
 

Andy

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Avarice certainly causes a lot of suffering in the world, but not all of it. Bigotry will often lead people into conflict even when there is no financial gain to be had and some people just enjoy bullying others.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Both things could be wrong at once. Imagine that. My objection is that theft is immoral and that merely giving the proceeds to one who someone or some group deem as deserving does not make it a moral act.

Right wing politicians don't seem to view it the same way as you. It's ok for them if it goes to rich people.

Show me one right-wing politician against bailing out investment banks and government stimulus for millionaires and billionaires, lol.
 

Indigo Rodent

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Not sure I follow your logic. How is having the government decide to steal other ppl's money and give it (after wasting most of it in admin that is) to someone because they're handicapped not morally inferior that what you call the 'whims of society' (ie: the voluntary kindness of people). Being handicapped doesn't morally entitle someone to theft.
Malnutrition is murder. "Property" doesn't entitle the society to torture vulnerable people with poverty. Wellbeing isn't conditional. Anyway, you're blocked for your inhumanity.
 

Tomb1

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Malnutrition is murder. "Property" doesn't entitle the society to torture vulnerable people with poverty. Wellbeing isn't conditional. Anyway, you're blocked for your inhumanity.

but what if they are malnutritioned because they lived their life by the view that ambition and money are the root of all evil...then altruism and judeo-christian virtues is to blame and not the selfish and greedy bastids like me.
 

Falcon112

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If morality is only a matter of behaviourism or conditioning then how and why did it become emergent in the first place to go on and become normative? Any reductionist suggestion that morality is a product of social engineering largely falls down when you ask the question who are the engineers? Unless the questioning of morality and the suggestion of conditioning by some shady, sketchy engineers is the whole point in the first place, which I find ridiculous.

I am willing to admit that some sorts of behaviourism and conditioning exist, even that it is simultaneously unconscious and conscious/deliberate, but it is as a consequence of class struggles, a long history of scarcity, rather than post-scarcity, which can be a result of social atrophy and social entropy or a sort of social "maturational crisis". Although, not all morality boils down to social norms. There is an objective order besides human understanding or comprehension of the same. This applies to psychology and morality as much as physical or natural science.

I think that evil and good have a relationship to psychology, developmental psychology and an objective human nature/essence. Some of its got to do with the conflict between essence and existence, there are limits to human adaptation, being perfectly adjusted to an existence which is divorced from human essence will result in illness and sometimes the first sign of it is behaviour traditionally thought of as wicked or evil. If you're interested in these ideas then I'd recommend Midgely or Fromm.

We are social animals, so we respect social rules. It's useful to look after fellow individuals, avoid hurting ones of our kind, so we are taught to avoid it. We are also equipped with affective empathy, which makes us share suffering with the others.

I don't know that much about apes to search for the engineer, but I'm pretty sure that "moral" or "altruistic" behaviours are also common among them. Same about elephants or dolphins. I'm not sure how you define the "morality" at first and what is this additional ingredient of it beside my reductionist biology. "Psychology" and "objective human nature" are not clear to me, so could you elaborate? I'm guessing that you mean something like the soul, nonetheless I'd like to avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly.

I agree that the history is what changes the morality, but why would it need any kind of change if there is some kind of human essence in us? It took us long to reach this point of morality, when most of the people (at least in some cultures) think that killing is an act of evil, no matter what are the circumstances, that people should be treated equally, that animals should be protected from people's aggression. Not all of men on this planet would agree on it, but I think it's a dominant approach toward morality in my culture, so I've given it as an example. The fact that there are multiple cross-cultural and dependent on historical era differences seems to deny universality (human essence).

I'm trying to but I'm not able to reach any example of moral behaviour that couldn't be explained by behaviourism and genetics (in short - biology).
 

EcK

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Malnutrition is murder. "Property" doesn't entitle the society to torture vulnerable people with poverty. Wellbeing isn't conditional. Anyway, you're blocked for your inhumanity.

ok good, i'm not sure i could stomach another totally incoherent and ethically challenged answer such as the last one.
ta ta
 

EcK

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Right wing politicians don't seem to view it the same way as you. It's ok for them if it goes to rich people.

Show me one right-wing politician against bailing out investment banks and government stimulus for millionaires and billionaires, lol.

I do not understand what this has to do with politics. You are the one who keeps bringing it up. I don't care about your opinion on US politics dude. I am saying theft is bad, that's it. Not exactly ethical rocket science.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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I do not understand what this has to do with politics. You are the one who keeps bringing it up. I don't care about your opinion on US politics dude. I am saying theft is bad, that's it. Not exactly ethical rocket science.

You're the one who started putting political talking points like "taxation is theft" in this thread. Silly me. I guess I should be able to grasp that taxation isn't a political issue.

Really lame dodge, by the way. Luckily you didn't create this thread, so you can't threadban me.
 

Polaris

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Money, properly earned, is a concrete representation of something abstract, namely the generation of good karma. By spending money, you're getting rid of something you want less than what the other has; and, at the same stroke, the other is doing the same with regard to you. It's a mutually beneficial situation. Money is only evil to the extent that one refuses to spend it; by refusing to spend one's money, the money loses its value and comes to represent nothing. Money is a little like blood; blood is valuable to us when it flows through our bodies, not when it pools up in one place. The origin of money is not theft as some would have it but charity. We come into a universe endowed with a value, in the form of our physical bodies, that we didn't earn. If we use the body, our original supply of value, to perform acts of genuine love, we are blessed with more value. And if we hoard what we have, we eventually lose everything, even our very hearts, which are the most valuable thing of all. How do we know that the laws of karma will be enforced? In the short term, we have no guarantee that they will be, nor any reason to complain when they aren't. What we have was given to us freely by the universe as a kind of donation; we aren't in reality entitled to any of it. How do I know that money loses its value when it isn't exchanged? Because a thing is valuable to the extent that it is useful, and a thing not used is consequently devoid of value. Do we have any guarantee that those who use money for ill will be punished for their misdeeds? By hoarding money, which is the same as using it for ill, a person cuts themselves out of the flow of value from one person to another in the sense that they lose the ability to offer anything, their value having ceased to exist through stagnation. All such a person can hope for is an act of charity like the one that brought them into the universe.
 

Tomb1

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money may make you a bad person, however not necessarily that they will definitely do so, the main truth everyone of us should remember is that u need to be a human after all

Wrong, I don't need to be "human." It is only ever other people in my life who need or want me to be more "human."
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Wrong, I don't need to be "human." It is only ever other people in my life who need or want me to be more "human."

I know what you mean. I want to be more of a sea urchin myself. I hate kelp forests and want to destroy them all.
 

ygolo

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I think money is utilitarian. However, needless and compulsive accumulation of possessions or wealth seems like a good candidate for the root of all evil.
 

Lark

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I think money is utilitarian. However, needless and compulsive accumulation of possessions or wealth seems like a good candidate for the root of all evil.

My view too pretty much, although only because it leads to neglecting the alternatives.

Having and being are close to being a true dichotomy, its possible to have much and to fail to actually be much, lose what you have and what are you then or what are you left with?
 
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