Saturday, December 01, 2007

Evil is the Root of Evil

I grew up hearing that “money is the root of all evil.” If only there were no dollar signs, people wouldn’t murder, wouldn’t steal, wouldn’t commit fraud and wouldn’t cheat their way to success. What a lie! If anything, money has made these things easier to do as it has with everyday activities in the marketplace. Whether we have money or not, a stealer will steal and a murderer will murder.

If the notion that money is evil was simply an innocent mistake on the part of its adherents than that “sin” could be forgivable. However, it appears some push this baseless slogan as a way of disarming people of ownership over their property, over their money. What better way to take what you have not earned than to make those who have earned it feel guilty about owning it in the first place.

You have not stolen anything in the private sector as long as the market is open to anyone who can offer a lower price or better quality. If someone says you charge too much, then please tell that person to open up a shop and show us how to charge a lower price.

Defend your keep that you have earned through an honest day of hard work. To feel guilty for a sin that you have not committed is the greatest evil of them all.


At 4:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the passage reads “for the love of money is the root of all evil”. With the word “love” in the mix, the passage takes on a whole new meaning.

I realize that the word love can mean many different things. In this case it would be safe to assume that worship, obsessed and lust are connotations that the passage is striving for.

When one is blinded by their ambition to acquire money at all cost, values, family, community, nation, are compromised. As we know, devastating consequences are sure to follow.

On the other hand we can’t be naive to fact that there is more good done in the world by people who have money than those with out.

One should not feel guilty in acquiring money. In fact the greater sin fall on those that use this passage as an excuse to avoid apply themselves in using their talents to benefit mankind. We live in a free market society. If you have a talent that I could utilize, I would not only be happy to pay for those services I would probably become dependent on them. Most if not all of our greatest advancement as a human race has been because someone was greedy enough to conduct commerce.

The more I can love my neighbor in providing services that he/she can utilize the more money I can attain.

And the better we all are for it.

At 6:57 AM , Blogger Stuart K. Hayashi said...

Thank you for the comment. Tali loves comments. :-)

Not even the love of money is the root of all evil. At the dawn of man, there were many ancient hunter-gatherer tribes that had yet to develop a common medium of exchange -- money. Yet much evil occurred among men even then, for many hunter-gatherer tribes went to war with one another. Some ancient leaders even started wars with one another because they were fighting over some woman.

And think back to the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was jealous of Abel, but it was not over anyone's love of money that Cain murdered his brother. One person can feel envy toward another for almost anything.

In modern times, if a man killed his older brother because he believed that his parents gave the older brother more attention and encouragement when they were growing up, that murder would be evil, but it would not be motivated by either brother's love of money.

Money is not even the source of material wealth, as wealth is actually measured in terms of the goods and services you receive. Quality healthcare, for example, is a form of material wealth. So is quality education. Money only exists because money makes it easier, in terms of time and hard work, for one individual to trade the value of his goods and services with another person for other goods and services.

As the character Francisco d'Anconia observed in Atlas Shrugged, "To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men."

So the love of money is not the root of all evil. A peaceful exchange of money for goods or services, among consenting adults, is not evil. The instigation of violence against someone is evil, even when that violence is instigated by government officials who want to tell a peaceful entrepreneur how he can manage his own finances.

I have said above that one person may do evil to another because he can be envious for various reasons. This is not to say, of course, that someone is bad just because he envies another, or that someone who feels envy should scold himself for his emotions and try to censor his own feelings.

Rather, I would say that it would be healthy for a man to acknowledge his own feelings to himself, but not let his feelings control his actions. A man can be perfectly moral while jealous of other people, if he does not let that jealousy drive him toward mean-spirited behavior.

At 7:31 PM , Blogger Talifaitasi Satele said...

Thanks Stuart and "Anonymous". And yes, I do like comments. I like disagreement even more because it gets me to think about other people's positions.

anyways, to add to the discussion... i like to say that "what we love" or what we value, is really up to the person to decide.

some of us are so convicted of our own "values" that we believe we must impose them on others by law.

i believe in my values and i would like others to share in them, but to force my values on others would be contradict the concept of "value". something is a "value" to me because i value it. if someone is forced to "value" something but doesn't really value it then he or she would only continue to pretend to value this or that as long as the threat that's enforcing the value remains credible.

which is why i think alot of native cultures around the world quickly and simply disappeared once their traditional governments were replaced with more freedom oriented european styled governments.

instead of force, our goal should be to demonstrate why what we value is good and benefical to the person we choose to influence. for example, you should show respect because you'll receive respect in return. and we should not rely on words to demonstrate our values, but our actions in our relationships with each other.

i try to smile and say "hello" to others i don't know and i don't mind if they choose not to return my greetings. but i value being kind indiscriminately because it helps build a more genuine character. i don't think i could be grumpy to one person or at one time and then expect people to think that i'm a genuinely nice person to be around at another.

i'm not perfect at all this, but my main concern is to have respect of every individual as a person and maintaining a strong defense of my own pride, dignity and self-esteem.

i also try to write as much as sanely possible to Samoa News about the my value and rights of the individual, and how good public policy will result from that perspective.

so whether it's money, God, the siva Samoa or whatever value, we must respect every person's decision to value what he or she values, and if we feel so strongly about a value then we should stand up for it in words and actions.

and one last note. more of our values are values not just because they're part of tradition or culture but because they help you suceed in life. values of hard work, respect, humbleness, self-esteem, pride and dignity gets you ahead. when you don't have these things then it's hard if not impossible to have friends or to get hired for that matter.

unless of course, you get the government to order people to be your friends. now that would ridiculous but at the rate we're going, who knows?


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