a reply to: Akragon
Well now, this is a thorny one, isn't it?
Money is not the root of all evil. Greed centered around money, the love of it, the love of possessing it, the love of the power that wealth of large
measure can purchase, is the root of a great deal of evil, but there are MANY things about evil which have NOTHING to do with money.
It is not money, or a lack of it, which causes all serial murder, or child molestation, or animal mutilation, or criminal violence. It is not money,
or a lack thereof, which causes psychopathy, which is a state of mental construction which is common amongst some of the most evil people on the face
Money greases the wheels of an awful lot of evil things, but its application to problems can provide clean, safe drinking water to those who would
never have had any without its judicious application. A wad of money can be the difference between a person starving to death, or being fed. Money can
keep people alive, who would otherwise die, put shelter over the heads of those who would otherwise be exposed to the elements, protect those who
would otherwise be without defence.
Money itself is like a gun, like a knife, like a hammer, like a vehicle. You can use these things and many more for evil, but those things in and of
themselves are NOT evil things. They have no animus, they have no agency in how they are used, or even whether they are used. The acts carried out by
their use, are dictated in terms of their moral and ethical acceptability, by the mind and body which directs their work. Money used to buy healthcare
for someone who cannot afford it, is not evil money. Money used to buy off politicians so that healthcare remains a private concern, requiring
insurance and a whole host of other, pointless tosh, is not evil money. The USES of those wads of money, who uses them, why, with what intention,
these things are what give meaning to the act of spending it.
If you make money by hard work, with honesty as your main driver, then you can be sure that you earned every cent you ever picked up by doing so. If
you never trod on anyones toes, never stole credit for someone elses work, never screwed a customer and always put the work and its quality ahead of
what you expected to gain from it, then you KNOW the money in your bank account, your pocket, itself, is not evil. But if you deliberately aimed
yourself toward the kind of work which is anything but honest, work which involves being OK with shady morality and ethics, with a selfish focus,
gaining as much money per hour as possible, for the least amount of actual work done, taking credit for the work of others, stripping assets out of
crucial elements of a business, to make the bottom line look pretty, while endangering the longevity of the ability of the company to actually
continue to work, to employ people... That is evil.
The way a person USES money can be evil or not too. Lets say you have two millionaires. One of them spends his or her disposable income on setting up
charities which house the working poor and charge them much smaller fractions of the going rate for housing of that standard, allowing that family to
get on its feet and build a more stable short term future for itself. That individual also spends their disposable income on investing in technologies
which are designed as replacements for current, outdated, unhelpful technologies, like alternatives to fossil burning engines and power plants of
every size and application, for example. They do not live excessive personal lives, do not irresponsibly use the resources they have, and make every
effort to remain connected to the physical world, and the streets from which they came.
The other millionaire, EXCLUSIVELY spends money on things which will make him more money, and only makes charitable donations to avoid taxation. The
individual only has interests relating to what he can gain from everything he does. He is thinking short term, selfishly, not about the future of the
species, just the future of his bank balance. He is irresponsible with his use of the resources he has purchased for himself, and he is the only
person who benefits from his existence, or indeed his wealth. He ensures that every time he spends money, he gains more by it than those to whom he
paid it. He avoids and evades every cent of tax that he can. He refuses to acknowledge where he came from.
The first example involved, is not an example of evil. The second example IS evil, pure and simple.