Julio Lara

Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega

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Is the pursuit of financial wealth by itself "evil"?

One of most common advice I've heard growing up was to never work for the money. That we should do what makes us happy and wealth will follow. Even when I aknowledge this as true, it seems to me that money and the pursuit of financial wealth at least to some extend, has become "evil" in the minds of so many.

Why is not the pursuit of financial wealth regarded as noble as the search for love or some other virtue?

  • Dec 13 2013: I think your question is a good one, especially for the times we live in. There are an infinite number of ways to approach this question, but maybe modifying the word EVIL is a good idea. It is an absolute value on a spectrum of GOOD and EVIL, which encourages us to respond accordingly (yes or no), but it does not have a yes or no answer, because life rarely appears to work that way. Is it good for the species, the host (our planet), the market, the community, the individual? These frames of reference shape the answer to the question. In my opinion, the pursuit of resources (money) for the sake of personal gain is not in line with the long term survival of the species and problematic for the planet. If most people are struggling just to survive, the struggle of a few to gather more resources than they could ever possibly use in a lifetime seems psychotic, and probably is. In a small-scale example it makes sense. If you were trapped on a small island with ten people, and resources were difficult to obtain, how would you behave? Would you share? Would you take without giving? Would you put your own survival ahead of the group's? Your answer to these type of questions might lead you to a personal answer which is how you will behave. EVIL, no, but when the ratio of people who are devoid of needed resources is substantially greater than the number of people who have these resources...then violence follows historically. Don't be rich while others starve. That is not good, I think.
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      Dec 12 2013: Thank you very much! I Am not a native english speaker.

      What would be a better alternative to the monetary system in your opinion?
  • Dec 11 2013: Is this pursuit your SERVANT or your MASTER?
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      Dec 12 2013: If I understand correctly (and feel free to correct me if not), what you mean with your question is that the pursuit of money is not the problem as long as the person do not become obsessed with the idea. If that is the case, the issue is not the pursuit of money (or any other goal, for that matter), but the attitude towards it?
      • Dec 12 2013: You're in the game and the game is money. But, if you think amassing it is the object of the game, or, if your pursuit is simply as a means of egoic projection by way of cars, houses, flashy crap, etc., then you are NOT evil, and the pursuit is NOT evil. But!, it is extremely parochial. It reflects the awareness and mentality of a child. Being childish is not evil. Still, we can't help ourselves at being irritated at childish behavior. We have expectations that they should know better and therefore the only possible explanation somehow involves evil. That position in and of itself is childish.

        Pursue the hell out of money. Pursue it until it kills you. But use it to make a dent in the universe. Don't use it for flashy crap.....you've got one ride. Going to waste it impressing people?

        Yes, attitude is EVERYTHING. Who do you think creates your world??
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          Dec 13 2013: That is a very good point of view. Thanks for sharing!
  • Dec 16 2013: In “How to balance inequality” on Youtube, A few calls to a friend in the White House about an inheritance cap to let people redistribute their wealth fairly, realigns man's mission here with his natural, higher purpose.
  • Dec 14 2013: Yes it is. if your talking about money, if only because the way the system works is to gain wealth you have to exploit other people.

    No it isn't if your talking about doing something for the people of the world.

    And i leave you with this thought...maybe true wealth should only be measured by the number of people that turn up for your funeral... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=977TwLYyn3Q && http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzCUjFNqenQ
  • Dec 14 2013: The pursuit of wealth can't be classified as good or evil, it depends on what method you use to OBTAIN such wealth. For example, if a person invented things, such as electricity generation, or making cloth from fibers, or the method of food canning, and was awarded a patent which was rewarded with wealth, would you say he is evil? On the other hand, there are plenty of examples that people use scam, cheating even murder to accumulate lot of wealth, then they also contribute to many charitable activities. These people are usually praised as good or compassionate, except to the people they cheated or exploited under their cruel boots on the backs or heads.of the latter group.
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    Dec 13 2013: It's hard to decide whether things are evil or good. The label is (and in general, labels are) fairly subjective. I think the pursuit of financial wealth is usually considered 'evil' because financial wealth hints at excess of money and is usually a selfish pursuit. Selfish pursuits are considered 'evil' because it is common notion that helping others is good and selfish pursuits do not necessarily help others. I think that the financial wealth should not be pursued. It is fine to pursue money for your survival or the survival of others, but there shouldn't be a pursuit for an abundance of money. This doesn't mean you can't be financially wealthy though. You could become wealthy after years of trying to help others or providing a service, even if your goal wasn't too become wealthy.

    Hopefully that helped and sorry if it was too 'stream of conscious'-y, but I need to start doing some homework. Feel free to ask for anything else (includes clarification!)!
  • Dec 12 2013: Whatever we do, it is the motive that makes what we do, good or evil. A selfish motive makes a deed evil, even if it looks as if we're praying :)
  • Dec 11 2013: "good" and "evil" are simple moral tools you teach kindergardners to help them make sense of the world. A rational thinking adult really shouldn't be turning to them for any guidance. They just don't have enough of a basis in the real world.

    As for "do what you love and money will follow", can't say I agree. Its important to find a balance, especially considering that even most things you like won't be nearly as much fun when you need to start doing them professionally. Watching a movie of your choice now and again is great, watching four per day, chosen for you, and writing a review of each one, not so much.
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    Dec 11 2013: No
  • Dec 11 2013: I don't think this is the answer you want to hear but:
    “Wanting is pain”- Paramhansa Yogananda
  • Dec 11 2013: Nope. It's not evil.