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Ok, well maybe the title does not express the meaning that much, but really I just went with the thing that describes the topic the closest. A debate perhaps not as common as everyone just conforms to societies "rules" let us begin with a somewhat old and overused question, that kind of has a philosophical meaning. Let us not take the western sense for it, lets look at this with how it has a role in society. Can money buy you happiness? Or anything for that matter? Hm for example, love? Well, love can be bought but not as an emotion but as a man/woman to marry, meaning if someone is rich people just like him, but not for him, for his riches.
Well, money has different roles in society but they differ so much from it's origin, to make life simpler money was made, meaning it was meant for people to go from "you have one sheep, I will give you two chickens for it" to giving these things values, but lets leave the value of money aside. Lets look at the role in society or in life for that matter, which is different from society, where are we heading with our idolization of money? Is the role in society of this thing greater than anything else? what will be the consequence of it all? Will money corrupt people and their values to no end? How will money continue to be an even great factor?
I will post my historical view on this later, so opinions?
Last edited by Josef K.; December 24, 2011 at 08:09 PM.
I agree in that money does not buy happiness in itself but I also thoroughly disagree with borderline satanic visions of it. I had a decent laugh with this article some time ago (because of the truth and exaggerations behind it lol).
As far as I am concerned, money is not in itself inherently evil, it is not a corrupting thing and it is by no means the cause of the world problems (I would argue any or at least most of the alternatives would not solve our problems and would perhaps cause deeper problems). Money is merely the means of exchange we have, if we had something else in all likelihood people would do the same things for other things used as means of exchange. In this regard, the problem with money is not that it corrupts people and degenerates values (specially the values as whether we have money or not they would change with time whether it is for good or worst) but rather that the world at large is not being efficient at either making it and/or distributing it. Now, I am not saying that money does not have an effect on values at large, I am merely arguing that values would change anyways and thus our focus should not be quite on that.
Well I went with how the origin and the question of "Why money was made?" have different answers than what we have today, thus how I wanted to start looking at it historically, let's take postal stamps for example why were they made? The origin of one thing clearly differs from what we think of it today and my point it perhaps when we misunderstood(in a way?) as to why certain things were made we tend go give them more or less value depending on what it is. For example some may value their cell phone because it is really handy and offers a solution of getting to hear the voice of a dear friend or family member in a short amount of time. But now look at cell phones?
It's more the meaning than the value since I started with the value. Maybe we are giving something a lot more value than it is worth? Think about how much value do people give electricity? We do not talk often about how great it is, we just use it as it was given to make life "easier". Same with money, perhaps a balance in value is key to stop overrating or underrating certain things because value varies and people give values to things they like or dislike according to their own personal thoughts.
With getting to a material vs spiritual happiness(comfort) we clearly see an argument emerging that, that which can not be "touched" nor "felt" by our senses has absolute no meaning, well in this world we have a table that has no emotion and you have a human that has emotion, so value in which? The one who gives the value is the person thus he can not be valued as he thinks he is simply without worth, not worthless, but his worth is too great to be measured perhaps. So yeah I would go with nature here as to say that LIFE can not be bought and even if someone buys a slave(has happened in the past, may happen) how will one value him? Sure, someone will go for hard-working, obedient, but the true value of that human can not be measured since our mind just says that we can THINK we are without value.
Money is useful to get you what you want, but that's it. As with the endless succession of consumer goods people spend it on, like the latest designer clothes or iPods, jewelery or cars, I just don't get the point of having money in itself. You either have enough of it to get by, or you don't.
Some time ago psychologists tried to test whether or not stock market traders are actually psychopathic. They aren't, but was interesting about their results here is that they weren't, because the sort of people who love money and wealth are after status rather than reaching a goal and will sacrifice success in order to avoid working with their competitors when its rational to do so, because their motivation is to outcompete their rivals at any cost. In other words, the kinds of people who display wealth behave like people who key their neighbour's car paintwork to make their cheaper car look better in comparison.
This is the sort of childish mentality that capitalism promotes, and not surprisingly the stock market traders performed worse on the stock market simulation than either the psychopathic prisoners or the neurotypical non-traders.
It was created by mankind and is used by it, so I don't see money as anything else than a tiny cog out of mankind will's cogwheel.
It would take too much time for the lazy guy that I am to try to explain it in english, but I obviously believe that money in itself is not inherently evil too. However, its purpose mostly is in my book : to enforce one's will onto the other by enhancing his fear thus leading his own will. It (among many, many, other means) gives off a sense of knowledge/truth that helps making people, from their very childhood to their adulthood, weak in front of doubt. And more importantly imho, it replaces nature's survival challenge while denying the positive effect of empathy.
I deeply believe that individuals, knowingly or not, lose to the complexity of life when they forgot the simplicity of living/dying, and that this particular cog is nowadays very effective in that regard.