WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of money?

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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby ManBungalow on Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:
Army of GOD wrote:I would think that a love of money is just as much a cause of evil as like, say, a love of religion. Or a love of anything, really.


I disagree as money has no intrinsic value. Many other things do.

Bullcrap - nothing has intrinsic value.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:33 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Haha, I even quoted you on what you actually said, calmly addressed it, and somehow that's trolling.

Player, what is money?

what is time preference?

and what is transaction cost?

I ask because you've been using these ideas, but you don't seem to understand what you're saying.

If you don't understand what money is, then try reading some basic economic blogs.

If you want to discuss the Biblical saying.. then change your discussion to that topic.

It seems like you might have a point you wish to discuss, beyond trolling. However, it is too intermixed with your desire to troll to make an effective and valid argument.


Also.. my argument (and Tzor's for that matter) was that money allowing for the shortened transaction and transport costs is part of why love of money leads to evil. I have never said it did not do those things. Whether today or yesterday, Gold bars or a bank card.. is irrelevant. Its all money, it all operates the same basic way.


Haha, okay, it's okay.

Gold bars and bank cards do matter, because if you wish to change the issue to "money allowing for the shortened transaction and transport costs is part of why love of money leads to evil," then you'd have to compare the different causes on transaction costs in order to determine how responsible money itself (or love of money) is for evil.

You see how banks, various monies (media of exchange), etc. are related to that? Furthermore, (and you keep ignoring this), if you wish to use your 'decreased transaction costs partly causes love of money which leads to evil' claim, then you'd have to admit that using a car also decreases TC which partly causes love of money which leads to evil. If you can drive, you can get more money, and somehow cause more evil because one's love of money leads to more evil (which is completely false).


And finally, if you wish to narrow all this down to this newer, updated argument of yours, then I've already shown that it's wrong:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938582



*P.S. Great dodge. It's apparent that you do not know basic economics, but there's nothing wrong with this. What is wrong is presuming that you do know basic economics (which obviously you don't).
Last edited by BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Phatscotty wrote:as always, simple answer...

because it makes you do things you don't want to do or know you shouldn't do


That's a proximate cause. The fundamental cause stems from one's value judgments--and not money. Money doesn't act, nor does it cause you to do anything. That's like saying, "That small rock made me do it." That's false anthropomorphism.


If you were a very morally good person, then it would take a lot of money to convince you to do something absolutely evil (e.g. killing your best friend). We can change the amount of money offered (thus profit) in order to convince you to do X, but what determines your choice? Is it the money?

If yes, (which you're stating), then $1.00 would be enough to convince you to kill your best friend. Obviously, this is not true because your value judgments (among other contributing factors from within yourself) influence the price at which you'll act. The price may be presented as money, but ultimately, the cause of taking that money stems from yourself in the form of value judgements, your perception of profit, etc. It definitely does not stem from money itself, nor saying "money made me do it."

*For the sake of brevity, the institutions within which one acts also matter (so I'm not saying that it's 100% the atomistic individual at play).
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Money itself is amoral.

Love of money itself is amoral.

What matters is context, that is the decisions which you make that involve money.

For example,
Morally good = one's love of money to increase revenue for an upstanding charity
Morally bad = one's love of money to increase revenue for Hitler's SS operations


In other words, ask: "WHY does person A love money? For what purposes shall that person use the money?"


If you can't answer that (which the OP and player/tzor's argument ignore), then you'll be just as mistaken as the OP, tzor, and player.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:53 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Money itself is amoral.

Love of money itself is amoral.

What matters is context, that is the decisions which you make that involve money.

For example,
Morally good = one's love of money to increase revenue for an upstanding charity
Morally bad = one's love of money to increase revenue for Hitler's SS operations


In other words, ask: "WHY does person A love money? For what purposes shall that person use the money?"


If you can't answer that (which the OP and player/tzor's argument ignore), then you'll be just as mistaken as the OP, tzor, and player.

No, because what you are describing is not actually a love of money itself. You are describing a love of things the money can get and trying to shift the debate to that.

We are describing the problem with the love of money itself.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:01 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:My feeling is that money is used to purchase things, mostly immediate needs and wants. It allows you to pursue immediate desires instead of looking more long term. It can hide impacts of ills you do in that way.


Money allows you to do both...
(long-term and short-term).


So, it's not money, or the love of money, that's the problem here. The 'problem' which you envision is having a high time preference (i.e. "I want it, and I want it now"), which is not in all cases a problem. Regarding the love of money, it doesn't matter if the thing wanted was money to buy X, Y, and Z. It could've been potatoes, which would be exchanged for X, Y, and Z in some barter economy.


The problem is the fact that money (currency) is a means to an end, not an end in itself. When someone has reached the point where they "love money" they most likely have lost sight of what it really is and have moved into obsession territory. Obsessions are not healthy/productive.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:31 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Money itself is amoral.

Love of money itself is amoral.

What matters is context, that is the decisions which you make that involve money.

For example,
Morally good = one's love of money to increase revenue for an upstanding charity
Morally bad = one's love of money to increase revenue for Hitler's SS operations


In other words, ask: "WHY does person A love money? For what purposes shall that person use the money?"


If you can't answer that (which the OP and player/tzor's argument ignore), then you'll be just as mistaken as the OP, tzor, and player.

No, because what you are describing is not actually a love of money itself. You are describing a love of things the money can get and trying to shift the debate to that.

We are describing the problem with the love of money itself.


It doesn't matter how you often you shift your quicksand position because I've already countered the several different versions of the same basic argument with the following:



viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938576
(you failed with this one)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938582
(tzor's position, which is false)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938585

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938582

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938663
(PS' answer, which is also false)

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=180318&view=unread#p3938670


So far, you, tzor, the OP, and PS have all been shown to be false for reasons already stated. If you'd like to address the problems with your (and whoever's arguments which you'll agree with but not support or maybe support or maybe change but not really depending on your time of day), then be my guest.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:42 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
PLAYER57832 wrote:My feeling is that money is used to purchase things, mostly immediate needs and wants. It allows you to pursue immediate desires instead of looking more long term. It can hide impacts of ills you do in that way.


Money allows you to do both...
(long-term and short-term).


So, it's not money, or the love of money, that's the problem here. The 'problem' which you envision is having a high time preference (i.e. "I want it, and I want it now"), which is not in all cases a problem. Regarding the love of money, it doesn't matter if the thing wanted was money to buy X, Y, and Z. It could've been potatoes, which would be exchanged for X, Y, and Z in some barter economy.


The problem is the fact that money (currency) is a means to an end, not an end in itself. When someone has reached the point where they "love money" they most likely have lost sight of what it really is and have moved into obsession territory. Obsessions are not healthy/productive.


But FunkyT, so what if money is a means to an end? How is using money as a means to an end a problem? That's like saying, "using potatoes to trade for shoes is a (moral) problem."

Suppose the problem is money as an end in itself is your position. It still doesn't follow that 'money is the root of evil' or what have you. Would money as an end in itself be a problem? It could, but it depends on the consequence and means (the context) of how that money was collected.

Your second sentence may be true, or it may not be, because it depends on the reasons and consequences of that person's love for money.

Re: third sentence, they might be for the reasons stated above.


For example, if one is obsessed with money, and if they still produce value for others from which they profit--and this is all based on voluntary exchanges and no one's property rights are being violated here, then how is obsessing over money unhealthy or unproductive? It isn't because it depends.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:18 pm

If you love money, then you work for the money. How you get it is essentially irrelevant. In many cases, even the legality is irrelevant except that its usually more expedient (cuts into profits less) to follow the law. As Phattscotty said, you ignore harm unless it interferes with profit.

In a real sense, I doubt that even the worst embezzler, for example, really thinks about harming people. Still, someone like Madoff might start by convincing themselves they would pay everything back.. or that they are protecting people. But... in some personalities the pressure could lead them to do more than just theft.

But that gets into the second part of the question. How would someone who loves money act? How does the love of money lead to evil? How do we recognize it and that we are not in that trap?
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:25 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:For example, if one is obsessed with money, and if they still produce value for others from which they profit--and this is all based on voluntary exchanges and no one's property rights are being violated here, then how is obsessing over money unhealthy or unproductive? It isn't because it depends.


Indeed, thinking about and planning in regards to money is not necessarily unhealthy but obsessing over it is. Obsession implies an unbalanced and irrational state of mind. Obsession implies not knowing "when to say when". I am not taking the stance that money is the root of all evil because I don't believe this to be true. If anything is the root of all evil it's greed which happens to be associated with money and is what I feel the proverb is really referring to. Greed being the drive for power, prestige, material things, etc. beyond the point of being beneficial in any way.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby PLAYER57832 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:36 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:For example, if one is obsessed with money, and if they still produce value for others from which they profit--and this is all based on voluntary exchanges and no one's property rights are being violated here, then how is obsessing over money unhealthy or unproductive? It isn't because it depends.


Indeed, thinking about and planning in regards to money is not necessarily unhealthy but obsessing over it is. Obsession implies an unbalanced and irrational state of mind. Obsession implies not knowing "when to say when". I am not taking the stance that money is the root of all evil because I don't believe this to be true. If anything is the root of all evil it's greed which happens to be associated with money and is what I feel the proverb is really referring to. Greed being the drive for power, prestige, material things, etc. beyond the point of being beneficial in any way.

This is a good point. I sometimes think this way, but sometimes think (at least when it comes to the Bible) that it was money, specifically to which was referred. That's part of why I started the thread.. so see what other people thought about it.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:38 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:If you love money, then you work for the money. How you get it is essentially irrelevant.


Therefore, player admits that if you get your money by shooting people in the head, then this makes no difference when you compare that to someone who gets his money by voluntarily exchanging his services for some company.

Obviously, the context matters, and as long as player ignores this, she'll be constantly shown to be wrong.


PLAYER57832 wrote:In a real sense, I doubt that even the worst embezzler, for example, really thinks about harming people. Still, someone like Madoff might start by convincing themselves they would pay everything back.. or that they are protecting people. But... in some personalities the pressure could lead them to do more than just theft.

But that gets into the second part of the question. How would someone who loves money act? How does the love of money lead to evil? How do we recognize it and that we are not in that trap?


Well, gee, you seem to be confirming my earlier point about looking at the value judgments of the users of money instead of simply blaming the proximate cause (use of money itself, or love of money itself).

But then, in order to answer these questions, part of the answer lies in assessing the means and consequences and how the consequences affect the decision-makers (thus their value judgments), so in the end you're agreeing with me while contradicting yourself.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby john9blue on Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:32 pm

money is equivalent to power in our society.

power often corrupts.

it's really that simple.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby tzor on Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:44 pm

PLAYER57832 wrote:Yes, and Thank you. I tend to agree with you on the analysis, but beyond that, I appreciate your answering/discussing the question itself.

Do you think this is actually a true fear? or is it something that maybe was a fear and is not now? (and I realize you cannot answer right now)


As I mentioned before, this requires a lot of understanding of definitions, especially on the notion of (in this context) money, love and even evil. So the question starts off with “what is evil.”

Here is where I'll jump off of a religious argument and take on the role of the role playing philosopher, otherwise known as someone who enters one too many D&D debates. While evil is defined generally as “not good morally” and “causing or tending to cause harm” the real core definition of evil involves the actions of the will. The comet that destroys the earth is clearly not evil. The insane person who does not rationally think through all his actions is not evil.

Now clearly, by this notion I have tended to whittle down the universe of actions that can be considered evil. Back in second edition, someone wrote a basic summary of the D&D alignment system as a priority based structure. Basically “Good” was defined as putting the needs of others above the needs of self; “Evil” was defined as putting the needs of self above the needs of others.

Yes, the Joker isn't evil; he's insane. Satisfying ones raw emotions is not per se a “need.”

Also note that putting one group above another group falls off of the radar as well. How that action benefits the self is what is important. I've basically whittled this thing down to a toothpick, but it's still a very important toothpick.

So now we get to “need” which for the most part can be all secured with “possessions.” The good room, the good food, the good transpiration, the pampered life are all provided for via possessions. What you see you want to acquire; the painting, the woman, whatever, and at any price.

Remember that money is just a fungible possession. Likewise power is important because it can be fungible to money which in turn is fungible to possessions. Thus money is at the core of all “needs” of the individual (that can be met by that individual in such a way that can result in a “good” or an “evil” act).

Is this a “fear?” Hardly. This is a realization (and a generalization which means that it is not perfect) that the obsession of self possessions, or in effect the obsession of self results in the lowering of and abandonment of the needs of others. While I've defined this above as the opposite of “good” what it is really is the opposite of true charity/love.

This is as true today as it was in the beginning of the human equation, since the fundamental nature of man has not changed.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:01 pm

Wait is this all a reference to that "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" passage? If so, I love that phrase. I always thought it was quite beautiful and liberating. To me it basically means leave all earthly matters to themselves. It's not necessarily referring to money as evil but essentially a dead end in itself.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:20 pm

john9blue wrote:money is equivalent to power in our society.

power often corrupts.

it's really that simple.


Ah, so the poorest people in our society have very little money, thus very little power. Since power corrupts, then are the poorest people incorruptible? Of course not, because neither power nor money are fundamental causes of corruption or wrongdoing. They may contribute, but not in the way you mean because you forget the individual and the choices which he or she makes and which are limited within a certain institution.

Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.

The net worth of Bill Gates is $66 billion as of September 2012 (according to Forbes). He didn't bomb anyone or occupy any countries.

So what explains the problem with your simple model of money and power? It's insufficient. Obviously, money is not equivalent to power. And power does not cause corruption, but rather institutions and incentives can reward paths to wrongdoing or power, and that reward is not just money--it can be prestige, some subjective 'high' feeling, or whatever. It depends on how that person gets that money for the 18th time ITT. That ultimately hinges upon the person's value judgments and the institution and incentives which he faces.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby john9blue on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:37 pm

i never said they were incorruptible... and i'm not arguing my personal opinion, the thread asked a question and i answered it. why would someone such as myself who likes free markets/ayn rand/etc. think money is evil?

i believe that is why people say money is the root of all evil... because they view rich people as corrupt.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:44 pm

john9blue wrote:i never said they were incorruptible... and i'm not arguing my personal opinion, the thread asked a question and i answered it. why would someone such as myself who likes free markets/ayn rand/etc. think money is evil?

i believe that is why people say money is the root of all evil... because they view rich people as corrupt.


What causes evil?
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:45 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:money is equivalent to power in our society.

power often corrupts.

it's really that simple.


Ah, so the poorest people in our society have very little money, thus very little power. Since power corrupts, then are the poorest people incorruptible? Of course not, because neither power nor money are fundamental causes of corruption or wrongdoing. They may contribute, but not in the way you mean because you forget the individual and the choices which he or she makes and which are limited within a certain institution.

Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.

The net worth of Bill Gates is $66 billion as of September 2012 (according to Forbes). He didn't bomb anyone or occupy any countries.

So what explains the problem with your simple model of money and power? It's insufficient. Obviously, money is not equivalent to power. And power does not cause corruption, but rather institutions and incentives can reward paths to wrongdoing or power, and that reward is not just money--it can be prestige, some subjective 'high' feeling, or whatever. It depends on how that person gets that money for the 18th time ITT. That ultimately hinges upon the person's value judgments and the institution and incentives which he faces.


Solid point, BBS, but I think that John meant that monetary power has a tendency to make one feel as though they are above the laws of the "commoners". It's very easy for an extremely rich person surrounded by the privileges of wealth to start to feel like a god among men. Given this fact, doesn't it stand to reason at least that someone with more money has greater potential to do more evil with relative ease, monetarily, socially and morally? A poor person may be able to corrupt their little itsy bitsy world that surrounds him/her but someone like Bill Gates could do some serious damage. All it would take is a sudden change of heart. Given the nature of many humans, more money equals greater potential for more evil.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby patches70 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:47 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.


Do you think the POTUS or his cronies surrogates consider themselves "corrupted" or think of their actions as anything less than justified or honorable or required by a sense of duty?

Seems to me, the idea of what is "corrupted" or wrong, isn't widely agreed on by everyone. As in human beings are quick to label this or that as "evil" but at the same time have no real idea or understanding of what evil really is.

Things we like to think of as "evil" were often enough in our past considered "virtue". I'd bet that things we think of today are "virtue" will be considered "evil" in the future.
About the only thing that surpasses mankind's propensity for cruelty is our ability to justify said cruelty.

It's quite possible that this trait we have as a species, the easy ability to kill, maim, wage war with utter recklessness, may serve us well in the future. I can envision many scenarios where such traits are not only desirable, but will be required if we do not wish to go the way of the dinosaur. Then again, that very trait just may end up finishing us off.

Either way, I doubt very much the Universe cares one way or another.....
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:59 pm

patches70 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.


Do you think the POTUS or his cronies surrogates consider themselves "corrupted" or think of their actions as anything less than justified or honorable or required by a sense of duty?

Seems to me, the idea of what is "corrupted" or wrong, isn't widely agreed on by everyone. As in human beings are quick to label this or that as "evil" but at the same time have no real idea or understanding of what evil really is.

Things we like to think of as "evil" were often enough in our past considered "virtue". I'd bet that things we think of today are "virtue" will be considered "evil" in the future.
About the only thing that surpasses mankind's propensity for cruelty is our ability to justify said cruelty.

It's quite possible that this trait we have as a species, the easy ability to kill, maim, wage war with utter recklessness, may serve us well in the future. I can envision many scenarios where such traits are not only desirable, but will be required if we do not wish to go the way of the dinosaur. Then again, that very trait just may end up finishing us off.

Either way, I doubt very much the Universe cares one way or another.....


Slippery slope alert? For the time being we are going to have to settle for the general consensus.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:14 pm

patches70 wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.


Do you think the POTUS or his cronies surrogates consider themselves "corrupted" or think of their actions as anything less than justified or honorable or required by a sense of duty?

Seems to me, the idea of what is "corrupted" or wrong, isn't widely agreed on by everyone. As in human beings are quick to label this or that as "evil" but at the same time have no real idea or understanding of what evil really is.

Things we like to think of as "evil" were often enough in our past considered "virtue". I'd bet that things we think of today are "virtue" will be considered "evil" in the future.
About the only thing that surpasses mankind's propensity for cruelty is our ability to justify said cruelty.



Well, as I said before, good intentions can lead to bad outcomes. (hence consequences matter).
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:26 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
john9blue wrote:money is equivalent to power in our society.

power often corrupts.

it's really that simple.


Ah, so the poorest people in our society have very little money, thus very little power. Since power corrupts, then are the poorest people incorruptible? Of course not, because neither power nor money are fundamental causes of corruption or wrongdoing. They may contribute, but not in the way you mean because you forget the individual and the choices which he or she makes and which are limited within a certain institution.

Words like 'power' or "money" simply do not convey understanding. They're too simplistic.




The US president is perhaps the most powerful person in the world. He earns $250,000 per year as salary. The net worth of his personal finances (2011) according to opensecrets.org is $1,566,014 to $7,764,999.

The US president has killed a US citizen without a trial, bombed Libya and killed 2000+ civilians, continued the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq for another 4 years, and continues this dubious war against 'terrorists' and civilians across the globe via drone strikes.

The net worth of Bill Gates is $66 billion as of September 2012 (according to Forbes). He didn't bomb anyone or occupy any countries.

So what explains the problem with your simple model of money and power? It's insufficient. Obviously, money is not equivalent to power. And power does not cause corruption, but rather institutions and incentives can reward paths to wrongdoing or power, and that reward is not just money--it can be prestige, some subjective 'high' feeling, or whatever. It depends on how that person gets that money for the 18th time ITT. That ultimately hinges upon the person's value judgments and the institution and incentives which he faces.


Solid point, BBS, but I think that John meant that monetary power has a tendency to make one feel as though they are above the laws of the "commoners". It's very easy for an extremely rich person surrounded by the privileges of wealth to start to feel like a god among men. Given this fact, doesn't it stand to reason at least that someone with more money has greater potential to do more evil with relative ease, monetarily, socially and morally?


Well, you don't need a bunch money to organize a group of people and hang the local landlord. And it doesn't matter if the rich person feels like some god---as long as the outcomes of his decisions are good, and not bad (because I'm a moral consequentialist). A poor person can feel like a god among men if he organizes some mob under him too! Money and lack of money cut both ways, and power and money are not equivalent (which was what john was asserting).


So, you have a great question, so how do we answer it? With the following:

Your question was too narrow because you're trying to figure out if more wealth/power/money enables a greater potential for harm. Yes, in some cases that can be true, but one need not both wealth/money and power to have similar potentialities to cause bad. Furthermore, the same variables (wealth, etc.) can also increase the potentiality for causing good outcomes. This possibility has been overlooked this entire thread (except by me, I think). People seem to think that money and power corrupt, but they forget:

The person's value judgments and the institutions within which they operate matter the most. The variables themselves (money and power) are not the fundamental causes.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Dukasaur on Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:37 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:So far, you, tzor, the OP, and PS have all been shown to be false for reasons already stated. If you'd like to address the problems with your (and whoever's arguments which you'll agree with but not support or maybe support or maybe change but not really depending on your time of day), then be my guest.

The OP asked, "why is it said.... blah blah blah" It's pretty clear from the context that when St. Paul wrote those words, he was not referring to money in the sense of "medium of exchange" so all this arguing about whether money or credit saves you time in the marketplace is completely irrelevant.

St. Paul was talking about those whose materialism blinds them to their spiritual development.

St. Paul wrote:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Of course our public school teachers loved to quote this out of context as an attack on money in general, but you have to keep in mind that most public school teachers are members of virulently socialist public-service unions. Reading the passage in context makes it clear that it is not an attack on wealth, or on trade. It is an attack on materialism so intense that it distracts one from spiritual growth.

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

This is the nub of it. It basically means that there's nothing wrong with being well-off or even wealthy, as long as one's highest goals remain spiritual.

For Paul, of course, "spiritual" meant "Christ-worshipping" but there's no reason to straitjacket yourself into a narrow-minded model of any particular religion. Similar things are said in other religions, and in completely non-religious ethical systems.

For my atheist brethren, here's how Aristotle arrives at much the same conclusion from a secular approach:
Aristotle wrote:But, being a man, one will also need external prosperity; for our nature is not self-sufficient for the purpose of contemplation, but our body also must be healthy and must have food and other attention. Still, we must not think that the man who is to be happy will need many things or great things, merely because he cannot be supremely happy without external goods; for self-sufficiency and action do not involve excess, and we can do noble acts without ruling earth and sea; for even with moderate advantages one can act virtuously (this is manifest enough; for private persons are thought to do worthy acts no less than despots -- indeed even more); and it is enough that we should have so much as that; for the life of the man who is active in accordance with virtue will be happy.
http://www.constitution.org/ari/ethic_10.htm

Basically people complicate their lives with materialistic claptrap and forget that the point of life is self-improvement, and self improvement does not proceed from burying yourself up the the neck with all the putrescent shit that Walmart can excrete from its shelves. I mean, what do you really need? Good food, good beer, a warm place to lay your head, and a decent blowjob every now and then. Beyond that, all is vanity and vexation of the spirit, as the old poem goes.

When I see the retards lining up in the rain because the Iphone 3 is out and some marketing asshole told them they had to have one or die, I just want to run up to them and scream, "You retards are the TOOLs OF your own Enszlavement!!!!!" but of course I don't because they would stare at me like cows waiting for the abattoir and continue to think nothing.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby chang50 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:26 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
chang50 wrote:Like most old sayings this one doesn't bear much scrutiny,there is plenty of evil in the world that has no apparent connection to the love of money,eg serial murderers who kill for pleasure.Obviously being obsessed with money and what this leads to is not good..


How about obsessing over money in order to increase the revenue of a reputable charity?

That's somehow not good?

Like I said, it's not about money, or the obsession of money. It depends on one's purpose/value judgements--and definitely not money itself, or the pursuit/love of money.


Perhaps I was unclear,obsessions of all types are usually not good,principally for mental health,although there can be some useful side effects as you point out.
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