Is Money The Root Of All Evil?

Thanks to a song in the 1940s, "money is the root of all evil" has become a common phrase. But is money really evil or is it an effective and necessary tool?

Money generally gets a bad rap. It's something most people want, but it often ends up criticised as an evil entity out there to encourage people to do absolutely anything to get it. In Atlas Shrugged, via her character Francisco d'Anconia, Ayn Rand discusses the virtues of money — a rebuttal of the idea that money is an inherently evil thing.

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

Full text available at Capitalist Magazine.

What do you think? Is money good, evil or somewhere in between?

Francisco's Money Speech [Capitalist Magazine]


    I'm fairly sure the origins of the "saying" go a little further back in history than the 1940s...

    The Bible for instance:

    The key differentiator being that it is the love of money that is the root of all evil, not money itself.

      Thanks Jase. Took the words right out of my mouth. Keyboard. Whatever.

      good one jase... my thoughts exactly. our loves consume us but money will never satisfy. may we love something or should i say someone who will love us back.

      That was exactly my first thought - thanks Jase!

    +1 Jase. It's the same as the whole gun debate. "It's the person behind the gun" that makes it evil.

    LOL @ 1940s

    Jase is correct about the more prominent origin of the (usually misquoted) saying.

    To my mind the biblical quotation, in its context, is using the concept of money simply as a symbol for a love of mammon in general - an allegiance & subservience to avarice & lust for material things in and of themselves. Such an obsession with material things as an end in themselves will, eventually, lead you nowhere. Things fall apart - it all crumbles to dust in the end.

    Living with material things and enjoying them has no inherent evil in it, so long as they stay the means to the end; and the true end remains those things that are lasting and eternal.

    In my scripture classes they made much of the good book stating the *love* of money is the root of all evil.

    Yeah it's the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil ie. "greed".

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