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Thread: Does money make people depraved?

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    ouronis's Avatar
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    Default Does money make people depraved?

    You see it all the time in movies..the indulgent celebrity who spends thousands on a regular weeknight, the businessman who flies everywhere on his corporate jet and does extreme things to protect his money, the overt tendency towards hedonistic behavior anyone with money and time is shown as having.

    In our culture, the fat cats are simultaneously lauded and cursed for their supposed extremes of humanness and inhumanness. There is almost a mythology that the richer do it bigger and better, and that if we could be them, we'd do it the same way.

    So let me ask..do people become more depraved as they earn more money?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snap View Post
    When you start off by saying you see it in movies then it makes me think you should look for better sources of information.

    However my answer is: no.
    Shrug, movies are interesting. I don't need to justify it with everywhere I've seen it, just think of the culture of the years since the recession, it's on everybody's mind.

    Why do you say no btw? Personal experience, or ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by snap View Post
    If you don't need to justify it don't ask me to
    Thanks for your stupidity, guy.

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    Adam Strange's Avatar
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    In general, money is an amplifier. It doesn't make the music or the depravity, it only amplifies whatever is already there.

    However, I will add that, if the money was easily and quickly obtained, it amplifies the vices. If the money was obtained slowly and with difficulty, the desire to hold on to it will increase one's impulse control.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    money could buy me a lot of happiness. but it's not the key to my happiness if that makes any sense. other conditions have to be satisfied.

    then there's also this



    but does it make people depraved? obviously yes because it has, otherwise it wouldn't be such a popular motive for homicide.

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    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    i wouldn't do it the same way.

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    over $75,000 a year it makes people depraved.

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    strangeling's Avatar
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    I agree with Adam; I'd say it brings out the person's nature more because they are less restricted financially. Some people will be depraved because that's who they want to be and what they want to do.

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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    having capital in reserve often gives people more room to be generous to others and/or to not covet their posessions... it's not rich neighboorhoods where you have to worry about getting mugged or having your bicicle stolen...

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    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    In general, money is an amplifier. It doesn't make the music or the depravity, it only amplifies whatever is already there.

    However, I will add that, if the money was easily and quickly obtained, it amplifies the vices. If the money was obtained slowly and with difficulty, the desire to hold on to it will increase one's impulse control.
    i would argue this is equally if not more so true for scarcity. it is in situations of need that one's character is most sorely tested and the good and bad of one's nature surfaces in its most pronounced form.

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    Adam Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krieger View Post
    i would argue this is equally if not more so true for scarcity. it is in situations of need that one's character is most sorely tested and the good and bad of one's nature surfaces in its most pronounced form.
    Hi, Krieger.
    Scarcity is a whole other beast. I would say that it does not bring out one's character, since the response to scarcity is fairly uniform across peoples and cultures:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ut-everything/

    Scarcity may make you very uncomfortable on a personal level, and may put you in touch with parts of your character that you rarely visit, but a person's response to it is pretty predictable.

    Fortunately, we can rise above it by helping each other out, because poverty or scarcity or riches or abundance ARE NOT YOUR FAULT. They are not faults of character, they are accidents of birth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abraham Lincoln
    Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
    .
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Rich people are morally superior to poor people. How many struggling poor people donate 10% of their income to charity or patronize schools for the benefit of students?
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Money causes people to think they deserve it. So it becomes a proxy for self worth.
    I would say that ethically you are still supposed to act as if you have unilateral responsibility; but simultaneously you have to be able to see the other as a fully autonomous, free, aware person.

    Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.

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    Adam Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    Rich people are morally superior to poor people. How many struggling poor people donate 10% of their income to charity or patronize schools for the benefit of students?
    Hi, Xerx.
    I hope to God you were joking. But if not, ......
    No offense, but donating money to charity is both a tax write-off and a way to influence society in ways that are personal, which is something that has a lot of appeal if your personal agenda does not coincide with that of the general populace. I mean, it is more efficient if you can convince the general population to tax themselves through local property taxes to fund schools that train citizens to become factory workers to work in your factories, but sometimes you have an agenda that can't wait for the slow process of buying politicians (even though they are surprisingly affordable), and that's what charity is for.

    Struggling poor people often donate more than ten percent of their time to worthwhile causes. However, since no money changes hands, their contributions are not recognized by many people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    snip
    s'ok dude; i'm further to the left than Chomsky, i was just being sarcastic. (:
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    If by depraved you mean "evil" then no. Other than that, calling someone else depraved is a personal moral judgment on other people's choices and depends on your perspective.

    I don't see living a luxurious lifestyle or even promiscuous behavior to be synonymous with depravity. I am sure some people might have described me as depraved (in a non evil sense) in the past. They just didn't like my lifestyle choices. I do not make a lot of moral judgments as far as right or wrong but I do have my own values and code of ethics. I have some set in stone boundaries that I do not cross but there are other things that aren't so black and white. Lots of gray areas. I have been dirt poor and comfortably well off and I am not sure that money changed my personality. It just gave me more freedom. I might have been less morally acceptable to the majority of people when I was broke and chose socially unacceptable ways to earn money. Not a hooker! <-- but there is nothing wrong with that either imo.

    *senses all the silent judgments being made right now*

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    s'ok dude; i'm further to the left than Chomsky, i was just being sarcastic. (:
    Sorry, my bad. I should have known from your avatar and your Mao quotation.
    It is sometimes hard to interpret sarcasm in print.
    As for me, I'm about as far to the left as Chomsky, but less bitter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    If by depraved you mean "evil" then no. ..... I might have been less morally acceptable to the majority of people when I was broke and chose socially unacceptable ways to earn money. Not a hooker! <-- but there is nothing wrong with that either imo.

    *senses all the silent judgments being made right now*
    Aylen, I'm in no position to judge. Been there, probably done that. We do what we think we need to do in the circumstances we find ourselves in, and hopefully we come out the other side more or less intact. I looked at violating the legal (but not moral) conventions as practice for bigger leagues, where laws are changed on the basis of who can pay the most to change them.

    People may get the idea that the rich are depraved because they see the rich or powerful violating laws which the average person has been told are inviolate commandments (and they are, for the poor). What they don't realize is that everything is up for negotiation. The laws that built our society are not the laws of physics. Laws can and are being changed, as circumstances change and as people are increasingly unaware of their options or their true situation, and so can be better controlled by the rich and powerful. Money tends to concentrate if not taxed away, and concentrated money concentrates power. And concentrated power can easily be abused.
    The danger to society from concentrated power is that fewer people have veto power over really bad ideas, so those ideas are more likely to be implemented.

    Incidentally, I define "evil" as hurting people on purpose. That's probably an Fi definition, though. I'm guessing that Fe-doms would define it as refusing to adhere to social norms.

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    The Iniquitous inumbra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    People may get the idea that the rich are depraved because they see the rich or powerful violating laws which the average person has been told are inviolate commandments (and they are, for the poor). What they don't realize is that everything is up for negotiation. The laws that built our society are not the laws of physics. Laws can and are being changed, as circumstances change and as people are increasingly unaware of their options or their true situation, and so can be better controlled by the rich and powerful. Money tends to concentrate if not taxed away, and concentrated money concentrates power. And concentrated power can easily be abused.
    The danger to society from concentrated power is that fewer people have veto power over really bad ideas, so those ideas are more likely to be implemented.
    i think many of the rich are depraved because of what they do to the world. it is their actions i question, not their bank accounts. or maybe, i'd question some of their bank accounts too if i knew how they tried to get out of paying taxes. but it depends. a rich person owning corporations that help the world--i'm all for them getting out of taxes. the opposite, i oppose.

    but, as a caveat, it depends how much good they're doing of course. occasionally funding random meaningless do-gooder shit here and there does not suffice. basically in my brand of ethics, if you have billions of dollars you better be using it to better the world because that much wealth has no other functional purpose.

    naturally, many may disagree on what it means to better the world. i do think a person's character counts. but if you are of good character, you will try not to harm. and hopefully, to do more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    Sorry, my bad. I should have known from your avatar and your Mao quotation.
    It is sometimes hard to interpret sarcasm in print.
    As for me, I'm about as far to the left as Chomsky, but less bitter.
    np. intention is often hard to decipher without body language, hence why I sorta stopped typing people online, but that's a whole different topic... i'm not really a Maoist anymore, but I still like that quotation --- I kind've had a falling out in the 90s.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    ...
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