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  #1  
Old Mar 10, '12, 7:55 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

That is, is it wrong to want to make money when there is no reason (mediate or immediate) to make money?
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  #2  
Old Mar 10, '12, 11:45 pm
DJK100 DJK100 is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
That is, is it wrong to want to make money when there is no reason (mediate or immediate) to make money?
No. As long as you are not exploiting anyone or being illicit in your actions. You never know when you will need a "rainy day fund" or how those profits in the present may affect your future -- for instance you may need a influx of capital to help expand your business or invest in a new venture. I am not saying be money orientated but there is nothing wrong with earning extra money if down lawfully and in accordance with good conscience. Besides if you make too much money, don't need it or feel guilty about it donate it to your Parish or Diocese where they can put it to good use. They always have a need.
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  #3  
Old Mar 11, '12, 1:17 am
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

I suppose it depends on your conscience. Some people want money just for the bragging rights or pride or power for themselves, and that of course is wrong. But if you simply have excess of money in profits after working honestly, then there's nothing wrong with that.

It's not easy to give general answers to that because people's motives and situations differ.
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  #4  
Old Mar 11, '12, 10:29 am
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by user "PazzoGrande"
I suppose it depends on your conscience. Some people want money just for the bragging rights or pride or power for themselves, and that of course is wrong. But if you simply have excess of money in profits after working honestly, then there's nothing wrong with that.

It's not easy to give general answers to that because people's motives and situations differ.
But say that I wake up and say to myself, "I think I'll just make a bunch of money" wouldn't that be a problem for the same reason that interest is a problem, that is, because money is useful for other things and shouldn't be wanted just for no reason?

Why would that be wrong if it is wrong?
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  #5  
Old Mar 11, '12, 12:59 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

That's rather like asking, is it wrong to be paid wages if you don't really need the job in order to live?

No, it's not wrong. Profits get spent or invested, just like wages get spent or invested.

Suppose that Steve Jobs, say, in founding Apple, decided after a few years that the company had plenty of profits and didn't need to make any more profits. What would happen? The company would stagnate, there would be no innovation, consumers would flock to newer products, investors would abandon the company. But by continuing to grow the profits and use them to grow the company, the company expanded, provided more jobs for more peole all around the world. Not because providing jobs is their reason for being, but because providing jobs is a byproduct of growth which is a byproduct of profits.
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  #6  
Old Mar 11, '12, 1:19 pm
George Stegmeir George Stegmeir is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
But say that I wake up and say to myself, "I think I'll just make a bunch of money" wouldn't that be a problem for the same reason that interest is a problem, that is, because money is useful for other things and shouldn't be wanted just for no reason?

Why would that be wrong if it is wrong?
I am not going to debate you, but according to Catholic Doctrine, there is absolutely nothing wrong to make a profit for any reason what so ever, as long as the transaction was honest in its conception and execution.
To think that profit per se is immoral is Marxist and Socialistic thinking which goes against the tenets of Catholicism.
End of argument!
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  #7  
Old Mar 11, '12, 2:27 pm
PazzoGrande PazzoGrande is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
But say that I wake up and say to myself, "I think I'll just make a bunch of money" wouldn't that be a problem for the same reason that interest is a problem, that is, because money is useful for other things and shouldn't be wanted just for no reason?

Why would that be wrong if it is wrong?
Not wrong as long as it's honest.

Anyway you might want to read the encyclical Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII. It talks about the basic right for people to make profit and the proper use of money. It does, however, criticise capitalism -- just as it criticises Communism.

It's not easy to read (what constitutes five sentences for us constituted one sentence for Leo and you'd need to take notes just to understand it) but it contains good wisdom.
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  #8  
Old Mar 11, '12, 3:33 pm
ACCT ACCT is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Stegmeir View Post
I am not going to debate you, but according to Catholic Doctrine, there is absolutely nothing wrong to make a profit for any reason what so ever, as long as the transaction was honest in its conception and execution.
To think that profit per se is immoral is Marxist and Socialistic thinking which goes against the tenets of Catholicism.
End of argument!
Bingo!


When a man engages in remunerative labor, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property ... If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a working man's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labor. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the property consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life.

The remedy they [socialists] propose is manifestly against justice. For, every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.

Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

... There naturally exist among mankind manifold differences of the most important kind; people differ in capacity, skill, health, strength; and unequal fortune is a necessary result of unequal condition. Such inequality is far from being disadvantageous either to individuals or to the community. Social and public life can be maintained only by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition. ... no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. ...

RERUM NOVARUM , On Capital and Labor; Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII [Emphasis added]
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  #9  
Old Mar 14, '12, 7:14 am
David Castlen David Castlen is offline
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Default Re: Are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fakename View Post
That is, is it wrong to want to make money when there is no reason (mediate or immediate) to make money?
Why would it be wrong? Is it wrong to fish for pleasure rather than taking them home to eat? Is it wrong to walk more than my health requires? Is it wrong to go to Mass on sunday more than once? Is it wrong to extend a drive in the country?

It is wrong to eat more, drink more because the excess cause ill health to "a temple" of the Holy Ghost (me). What in thworld is wrong with more profits except it will probably result in more jobs, more pay etc.
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  #10  
Old Mar 14, '12, 7:19 am
David Castlen David Castlen is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PazzoGrande View Post
Not wrong as long as it's honest.

Anyway you might want to read the encyclical Rerum Novarum by Leo XIII. It talks about the basic right for people to make profit and the proper use of money. It does, however, criticise capitalism -- just as it criticises Communism.

It's not easy to read (what constitutes five sentences for us constituted one sentence for Leo and you'd need to take notes just to understand it) but it contains good wisdom.
RR does not condemn capitalism; it condemns abuses of capitalism. Here is a quote from Pope Benedict affirming the free market (given to us by Abu):
"Society does not have to protect itself from the market,
as if the development of the latter (the market)
were ipso fact to entail the death of the authentically human relations......
Therefore, it is not the Instrument (the market) that must be called to account,
But INDIVIDUALS, their moral conscience and their poersonal and social respoonsibility
(Caritas et Veitate, Benedict XVI, 2009, #36
Again, this quote was given to us by Abu
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  #11  
Old Mar 14, '12, 7:33 am
Catholic90 Catholic90 is offline
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Default Re: Are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Of course not.
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  #12  
Old Mar 14, '12, 1:01 pm
sandomenico sandomenico is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

I do not think those quotes from Rerum Novarum say what you want them to say, nor do they answer the original question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACCT View Post
The remedy they [socialists] propose is manifestly against justice. For, every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own. . . .
The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property. . . . Social and public life can be maintained only by means of various kinds of capacity for business and the playing of many parts; and each man, as a rule, chooses the part which suits his own peculiar domestic condition.
In short, a worker is entitled to his own wages, to dispose of them as he pleases, since they are his property by right; and, equal/communal/social possession of goods is bad for society, which thrives on variety (of work, of citizens, and of income) that is peculiar to each member of society.

This does not, however, justify Greed: to gather things to excess; to take rather than to give. Often greed focuses outside oneself - the greedy individual does not give to others; he has a severe lack of Charity. However, it also extends to oneself, and often goes by the name Gluttony.

One may not gorge himself on profits any more than he may glut himself on wine, sandwiches, women, leisure, or any other person, place or thing. Anything in this world can be misused for the wrong purposes - even down to atoms. Why should profits be exempt from such treatment?

Is it impossible that a man could legally gather incredible personal profit, yet still be doing his fellow man a grave injustice through greed?

Profit should be accompanied by knowledge of one's (and one's company's) needs [also called business and personal expenses], and the needs of one's society [also called charity]. To neglect any of these is to be derelict in one's duty to oneself, to one's employees/employers, and to one's fellows. Leo XIII himself uses the term "necessity" regarding profits. What on earth would happen if profit were morally limited only by one's desires?

God love you all,
sandomenico
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  #13  
Old Mar 15, '12, 2:34 pm
David Castlen David Castlen is offline
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Default Re: are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandomenico View Post
I do not think those quotes from Rerum Novarum say what you want them to say, nor do they answer the original question.


Quote:
This does not, however, justify Greed: to gather things to excess; to take rather than to give.
And how is one to judge if another is greedy or making as much as possible in preparation for bad times and replacement of assests that are depreciating and research into a better product and market research and...............

Quote:
Often greed focuses outside oneself - the greedy individual does not give to others; he has a severe lack of Charity. However, it also extends to oneself, and often goes by the name Gluttony.
And what god out here is able to tell if a person is greedy; who can see the heart of man

Quote:
One may not gorge himself on profits any more than he may glut himself on wine, sandwiches, women, leisure, or any other person, place or thing. Anything in this world can be misused for the wrong purposes - even down to atoms. Why should profits be exempt from such treatment?
Profits should not; policing them should be.
Quoting Abu, quoting Pope Benedict, " Society does not have to protect itself from the market, as if the development of the (market} were ipso facto to entail the death of authentically human relations... Therefore it is not the Instrument (the market) that must be called ot account, but individual, their moral conscience and their peronsal and social responsibility"

People must be regulated by their (personal) conscience - NOT the government. It is insanity to allow the government to be involved in business especially the service business.

Quote:
Is it impossible that a man could legally gather incredible personal profit, yet still be doing his fellow man a grave injustice through greed?
I just can not understand why not. In fact, one with an "incredible personal profit" will do more than you or I can do to help others whether he is greedy or not. How possibly does he do his fellow man an injustice? Please please please answer this; I am entriqued by such a proposition

Quote:
Profit should be accompanied by knowledge of one's (and one's company's) needs [also called business and personal expenses], and the needs of one's society [also called charity].
What is your basis for "....should be..." should be accompanied by.... what is the objective what is the bonum?????

Quote:
To neglect any of these is to be derelict in one's duty to oneself, to one's employees/employers, and to one's fellows.
And who the policeman to oversee this? And who is to determine if one is following your mandate? Where is this god or these gods?

Quote:
Leo XIII himself uses the term "necessity" regarding profits. What on earth would happen if profit were morally limited only by one's desires?
What are you asking? "....if profit was 'morally' limited??????? can you give an example?
I would suggest that profits be unlimited; in fact, i would encourage that they be unlimited. We will have more jobs, better products, better living standards, be relations with each other........... may I go on.


God love you all,
sandomenico
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  #14  
Old Mar 16, '12, 7:08 pm
sandomenico sandomenico is offline
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Default Re: Are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

David et alia,

Does the virtue of Temperance not apply to gathering profits?

Is the poor man who hoards his small profits any better than the rich man who hoards his wealth? Is the peasant who give magnanimously any worse than the king who lavishes crowns on his less fortunate subjects?

And as to your questions:

Quote:
How possibly does he do his fellow man an injustice? Please please please answer this; I am entriqued by such a proposition
Are business monopolies -- which legally allow someone to turn as much profit as he can, even though it destroys another man's profit -- just?

Quote:
What is your basis for "....should be..." should be accompanied by.... what is the objective what is the bonum?????
...should be accompanied by Charity, which simultaneously is the means and the bonum.

Quote:
And who the policeman to oversee this? And who is to determine if one is following your mandate? Where is this god or these gods?
I am a steward, not of my own mandates, but God's. I -- and every steward -- am responsible to oversee myself, firstly, and my neighbor as for myself. Isn't it a great act of Charity to admonish the sinner? Not judge him, but gently and charitably remind him of his duties to God and his fellows and of the wages of sin?

Quote:
What are you asking? "....if profit was 'morally' limited??????? can you give an example?
Remember the hunger of Erysichthon? Cursed with undying hunger for chopping down a sacred tree, he ends up eating himself. Greed has no limits. It is an intemperate desire for created things over their Creator. It will not die, but kill to feed itself. Creation only gives a taste of its Creator, a taste meant to fuel desire for Him. How can fare meant to increase our desire satisfy us? Only that which we desire -- namely, God -- can do so.

Take the example of a monopoly. Even if one man could end world poverty by his incredible profits: would he? And should he?

God love you,
sandomenico
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  #15  
Old Mar 18, '12, 6:22 pm
fakename fakename is offline
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Default Re: Are profits wrong when they don't satisfy any need?

Well there are problems with the all profits are evil thesis since it implies that no profit is good which is obviously wrong.

But it is also problematic to say that there are no unnecessary profits because then, the whole idea of the miser or the person who spends too much time making money, is rendered impossible. But that seems absurd: one can easily imagine a possible universe where someone both makes money and doesn't use it or doesn't use all of it to reinvest, etc.

These profits, which are not even useful for leisure or as a buffer/insurance policy, are precisely what Aristotle was against and that is why he was against the retail trade, because he saw that it was essentially a bunch of merchants who accumulated more money than they needed to cont. business and thereby they had more money than they needed for their desires. And to have such a sum is to act irrationally.

So one could say that profits which are useless are bad but profits that are useful are not bad.

But there are some problems here too, namely that something can be either ex ante useless or ex post useless. Now the former means that it is just useless simply while the latter means that it becomes useful after the act. So if I make useless sums, and then invest these sums to make more useless sums, am I doing something useful with my profits? I would answer that you are perhaps less guilty of being avaricious but you are still guilty of liking money though it contributes nothing to you or your household's leisure. In so far as this person's profits are useful to his business, then perhaps he should keep them, but not insofar as his profits are just heaped up in large vaults.

any thoughts?
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