December 13, 2009

Response: Ethics and Money Part 2

The first thing to do when considering the role of money in our life is to work out how much we need to pay the basic bills;, the second is to work out how much we want (in a number of philosophical systems, of course (such as that of Epicurus), the goal is to match our wants to our basic needs; we'll come back to this).  But these two tasks are complicated by the fact that in our culture money is not just a means of purchasing goods and services, but also possesses considerable symbolic value.

So a key question is: when I want to buy something, what is it that I ultimately want to obtain?  For example, I may want to buy a bicycle because I want to get fitter, or to reduce my carbon footprint (or both).  I may want to buy my niece an expensive present because I think it will make her happy, or because I want her to love me (or both).  I may want to invest in gold because I think it will provide me with financial security in turbulent times, or because the investment will make me feel that I am successful (or both).  I may want to buy a sports car because I would love the physical sensation of driving it, or because I want others to admire or envy me, or because I think it will make me seem more attractive (or all of the above!).

The next question, therefore, is: how important are these ultimate aims to me?

Then: if they really are important, is money the only, or the best, means of achieving them?  For example: if my aim is to make my niece happy and/or to strengthen her love for me, could these aims be better achieved by giving her some of my time rather than an expensive present?

If I still really feel that a) my ultimate aim is important and that b) spending money on this particular product or service is the only, or the best, means of obtaining it, then I finally need to ask myself whether, even so, buying the product or service would in fact satisfy my need or want?  Is this particular need or want (for love, say, or a sense of security, or the admiration of others) insatiable or satiable?  If it seems to be the first, is it really insatiable, or does it just appear that way to me because I am conceiving it in the wrong way, or because I have been trying to satisfy it by the wrong means?  

If the need or desire really is genuinely insatiable, would I perhaps be better off trying to rid myself of it entirely rather than trying to obtain more and more money in a fruitless bid to satisfy it?  Or could I perhaps learn to accept that some needs and desires are intrinsically insatiable, and decide only to try to accomodate them to a certain degree but no more?

Next time we'll look at some of the things Plato has to say on these issues. 


- 4 comments by 0 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Anon

    If I still really feel that a) my ultimate aim is important and that b) spending money on this particular product or service is the only, or the best, means of obtaining it, then I finally need to ask myself whether, even so, buying the product or service would in fact satisfy my need or want? Is this particular need or want (for love, say, or a sense of security, or the admiration of others) insatiable or satiable? If it seems to be the first, is it really insatiable, or does it just appear that way to me because I am conceiving it in the wrong way, or because I have been trying to satisfy it by the wrong means?

    If the need or desire really is genuinely insatiable, would I perhaps be better off trying to rid myself of it entirely rather than trying to obtain more and more money in a fruitless bid to satisfy it? Or could I perhaps learn to accept that some needs and desires are intrinsically insatiable, and decide only to try to accomodate them to a certain degree but no more?

    Aren’t you getting a little ahead of yourself? i.e. once you agree that there is a WANT -

    The next question, therefore, is: how important are these ultimate aims to me?

    Then: if they really are important…

    subsequent reflections on whether the needs are insatiable or satiable are meaningless (unless they somehow affect the degree of WANT itself), since you would be engaged in the pursuit of those needs – regardless of if you’ll ever satisfy them. This, because you’re doing everything from your side to fulfill your want, and leaving no stone unturned – whereas if you censured expenditure of time or effort, then the mind will nag away until it morphs analysis into thinking that you should give it a chance.

    04 Jan 2010, 21:23

  2. Antony

    Part time money

    There’s a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

    The best place for freelance projects is freelancing sites. Freelancing sites are the best option for part time home based business and freelance jobs. There are many types of work available at freelancing sites……

    www.onlineuniversalwork.com

    18 Feb 2010, 08:08

  3. Antony

    Part time money

    There’s a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

    The best place for freelance projects is freelancing sites. Freelancing sites are the best option for part time home based business and freelance jobs. There are many types of work available at freelancing sites……

    www.onlineuniversalwork.com

    18 Feb 2010, 08:18

  4. Antony

    Part time money

    1. There’s a movement to radically change California government, by getting rid of career politicians and chopping their salaries in half. A group known as Citizens for California Reform wants to make the California legislature a part time time job, just like it was until 1966.

    2. The best place for freelance projects is freelancing sites. Freelancing sites are the best option for part time home based business and freelance jobs. There are many types of work available at freelancing sites……

    www.onlineuniversalwork.com

    19 Feb 2010, 06:24


Add a comment

You are not allowed to comment on this entry as it has restricted commenting permissions.

December 2009

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Nov |  Today  | Jan
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

Search this blog

Tags

Galleries

Most recent comments

  • yes its a free chat room under www.supondo.com by ♥ Girl21 ♥ on this entry
  • @ Ivor, Jowett's trans. "...there is laid up a pattern of it, methinks, which he who desires may beh… by W Lindsay Wheeler on this entry
  • @W Lindsay Wheeler: Plato's "ideal" state is portrayed as perhaps a paradigm laid up in heaven (end … by Ivor Ludlam on this entry
  • Excellent, this is always refreshing to use the pre–moderns to analyse modern and post–modern proble… by Shenpen on this entry
  • First of all, Plato's "ideal" state did exist! It's called S–P–A–R–T–A. (Morgenstern, cited in Mülle… by W Lindsay Wheeler on this entry

Blog archive

Loading…
Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXVII