Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:50 am
Is spending money that one doesn't have and going deep into debt an immoral activity?

I ask this for a reason. You see, I am constantly bombarded by advertising people who are so hungry to make a buck that it seems they will stoop to any low in order to get my money. And since I see the country in over its head in debt I naturally am inclined to couple these two things together.

It's amazing to think about how normal it has become to have so much continuous loud obnoxious and pornographic advertising shoved down your throat: some of which is entertaining but it's really not uplifting or a decent form of entertainment at all. It is revolutionary in that it is dramatically altering people, driving them towards the ecstasy of the irrational muses. This pornographic commercialization is seriously degrading to people's outlooks, not to mention very dangerous. There is real fire here and people are going to get badly burned. Because getting money and spending it has become a powerful drug.

I'm not a socialist but Americans give free markets a black eye by the type of wall to wall prostitution they engage in at the highest levels. I admit they are very sophisticated, but does that then mean that this behaviour is supposed to be acceptable? In fact, it seems to me that sophistication itself is part of the problem because besides humor, sex and money there is no longer any foundation or true world of real value in which to live and the whole world becomes a joke. This type of sophistication is really a form of pollution which darkens our society and wastes our social capital.

It seems that three different types of now sinister things are converging in America: Pornography, Unrestrained Capitalism, and Political Power. These are the heroin-like drugs of a deeply addicted people.

Moral reformation is a hope but, I suppose, is out of the question both for us individuals as for society at large. It's not just that our debts will never be paid, it is that nobody even understands the concept that debt is bad (?) or that it ever should be paid.

Again, I admit the people are smart, they are wildly clever in a million different ways. It is the case of the genius who develops a life-long addiction to hard drugs but who refuses to admit it. So I ask you smart people a simple question: Is the constant and ongoing accumulation of great sums of debt an immoral or ignoble activity?

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Native Skeptic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 07:13 am
@Pythagorean,
I will not make a claim to the moral or immoralities of debt but I will say it is very irrational to spend money you do not have.

Many people are coaxed into believing in false necessities that are propositioned by modern society. I've found many people believing things such as a house is a necessity, which is ridiculous, there are plenty of cheaper methods of lodging besides a home if you cannot afford it. I've also seen people, especially teenagers, think they need a credit card, which is again absurd.

Debt becomes dangerous when people use it to spend more than they can afford, which ironically without which would eliminate the point of such things, thus making it a self defeating practice; debt does not allow one to spend more than they have.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 07:30 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
Is spending money that one doesn't have and going deep into debt an immoral activity?



-


1. If debt is immoral, then borrowing is immoral.
2. Borrowing is not immoral.

Therefore, 3. Debt is not immoral.
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 07:50 am
@Pythagorean,
[QUOTE=Pythagorean;168949]Is spending money that one doesn't have and going deep into debt an immoral activity?[/QUOTE]

Now, why did you have to go and include the word "deep"?

I wouldn't say that spending money that one doesn't have and going into debt is an immoral activity. It's not immoral. It may be dumb, but it's not wrong.

Going deep into debt, on the other hand, may have some moral implications if it seriously undermines other certain obligations you may have. It depends on the circumstances, or at least I think it would.

[QUOTE]I ask this for a reason. You see, I am constantly bombarded by advertising people who are so hungry to make a buck that it seems they will stoop to any low in order to get my money. And since I see the country in over its head in debt I naturally am inclined to couple these two things together. [/QUOTE]Are you specifically bombarded (as you say), or are we as a society constantly bombarded (as is the case)?

See, I'm not constantly bombarded, and if you are, then there's something you can do about that. There are little things you can do to curb your exposure to not only advertising but sales promotions, personal selling, and public relations efforts as well. Did you want a list? I'm sure I can come up with a few good ideas.

[QUOTE]It's amazing to think about how normal it has become to have so much continuous loud obnoxious and pornographic advertising shoved down your throat: some of which is entertaining but it's really not uplifting or a decent form of entertainment at all. It is revolutionary in that it is dramatically altering people, driving them towards the ecstasy of the irrational muses. This pornographic commercialization is seriously degrading to people's outlooks, not to mention very dangerous. There is real fire here and people are going to get badly burned. Because getting money and spending it has become a powerful drug.[/QUOTE]

Awe! So, you aren't talking about you in particular. Do you want to ask if it's immoral for businesses to advertise pornography? Well, I'm no liberal, so my opinion is probably unwelcome by many, but I'm a southern white Christian, and though I may not understand the Bible as well as I ought, and though my opinion may not accompany hordes of evidence to support my position, my opinion is not much unlike yours. It hurts society. It certainly doesn't help it.

[QUOTE]Is the constant and ongoing accumulation of great sums of debt an immoral or ignoble activity?[/QUOTE]Well, it can be ignored, but don't take that the wrong way, for I certainly don't mean to imply that it ought to be ignored. To the contrary, it ought not be ignored, but paying attention to it is not enough either. Action is needed.

Is it immoral for a country to accumulate great sums of debt? Not necessarily. I want to say yes; I'm inclined to say yes. But, it really depends a great deal on why it was accumulated. I don't know enough about that to say (for example) if the debt created by The United States ought not have been, so I withhold my judgment for the time being.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 07:59 am
@fast,
fast;169033 wrote:


Now, why did you have to go and include the word "deep"?

I wouldn't say that spending money that one doesn't have and going into debt is an immoral activity. It's not immoral. It may be dumb, but it's not wrong.

Going deep into debt, on the other hand, may have some moral implications if it seriously undermines other certain obligations you may have. It depends on the circumstances, or at least I think it would.

Are you specifically bombarded (as you say), or are we as a society constantly bombarded (as is the case)?

See, I'm not constantly bombarded, and if you are, then there's something you can do about that. There are little things you can do to curb your exposure to not only advertising but sales promotions, personal selling, and public relations efforts as well. Did you want a list? I'm sure I can come up with a few good ideas.



Awe! So, you aren't talking about you in particular. Do you want to ask if it's immoral for businesses to advertise pornography? Well, I'm no liberal, so my opinion is probably unwelcome by many, but I'm a southern white Christian, and though I may not understand the Bible as well as I ought, and though my opinion may not accompany hordes of evidence to support my position, my opinion is not much unlike yours. It hurts society. It certainly doesn't help it.

Well, it can be ignored, but don't take that the wrong way, for I certainly don't mean to imply that it ought to be ignored. To the contrary, it ought not be ignored, but paying attention to it is not enough either. Action is needed.

Is it immoral for a country to accumulate great sums of debt? Not necessarily. I want to say yes; I'm inclined to say yes. But, it really depends a great deal on why it was accumulated. I don't know enough about that to say (for example) if the debt created by The United States ought not have been, so I withhold my judgment for the time being.


Whether debt is immoral depends on the debt: the amount, and what it is for. To judge that debt as such is immoral is mindless. It is like saying that walking (as such) is immoral.

I suppose that if you do not (or cannot) trust people to judge when debt is a good thing or a bad thing (useful or not) you may just lay down a blanket proscription against debt. "No debt. That's it!". But that has to do with you and your view about people, not about debt.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:02 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
Is spending money that one doesn't have and going deep into debt an immoral activity?


My feeling is yes: going deep into debt is an immoral activity.

But I don't see it as black and white; it'd depend on the details: Someone who goes slightly into debt for a justifiable reason and subsequently manages that condition hasn't, to me, done anything immoral. But when its done to the future detriment of the individual ("going deep") without a just cause, then yes. It can be considered so in that it's self-destructive.

Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
I ask this for a reason. You see, I am constantly bombarded by advertising people who are so hungry to make a buck that it seems they will stoop to any low in order to get my money. And since I see the country in over its head in debt I naturally am inclined to couple these two things together.


Me as well. I've had it with the amount of pressure brought to bear by every possible method to advertise and create that sense that I'm suppose to need or want <this thing>. It's disgusting, disappointing and quite annoying. Some of these places are trying to make an honest buck while others are pushing goods and services I find reprehensible; they all have the same effect on me: They make me angry and bitter with their constant badgering.

What's more, when so many are allowed to run around and tell you your life will be better with their <thing>, too much of this - I believe - changes the way we look at our lives by creating a sense of generalized, widespread disatisfaction. Advertisers are no longer simply saying, "Try <this>! We hope you'll like it". Marketing strategies have become very involved and, without apology, try and speak to our subconscious needs/wants to create that sense of desire for <whatever>. I worry about the effect, overall, on societies saturated with this.

Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
Is the constant and ongoing accumulation of great sums of debt an immoral or ignoble activity?


Certainly ignoble. Immoral? I believe so on at least the few levels I've mentioned. As far as selling sexuality goes: Yes its sad. People will sell anything they can from little children to their votes. We overvalue money and its taken such a large place in our lives that the more this happens, the more we lose our way socially and individually.

Thanks
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:08 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;169036 wrote:
My feeling is yes: going deep into debt is an immoral activity.



Well, of course it is. Since to go deep into debt is to borrow more than you can hope to pay back, and to do that is, at least, prima facie, immoral. But that doesn't show anything at all about debt. What it shows is that you should not take on debts you cannot handle. But who doesn't know that? It is like saying that you should not eat more than is good for you. Of course! But is that needed advice?

As in so many cases in philosophy, the mountain roars, and a mouse emerges.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:22 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;169037 wrote:
Well, of course it is. Since to go deep into debt is to borrow more than you can hope to pay back, and to do that is, at least, prima facie, immoral...


Ah, but you didn't say "more than you can hope to pay back", you said "deep". Yes, going so deep that you can't hope to pay it back is, I'd agree this is obvious as, in this case, it's making a promise one can't keep.

It sounds you meant to 'roar' but instead squeaked :p

EDIT: I'm not sure going deep is to borrow more than you can hope to pay back. It can be SO deep that it's prohibitive, but not necessarily. I suppose that'd depend on "how deep", but this is splitting hairs. And yea, it does make a difference
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 08:56 am
@Pythagorean,
Debt in itself isn't immoral, only the reason why you are in debt can be immoral.

Anyone starting something usually have to make a debt, to invest in machines, work power and cunsultant ..etc, to make anything happen.

But the gamling debt is immoral, those who willingly spend their fortune on mere endulgence are the real sinners of the world.

Also those who offer naive people a loan with unreasonable high interest, is immoral. All too many people are too simpleminded and does not understand the meaning of interest, that it is something of minescule importance.

..dolts and fools!

Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
It seems that three different types of now sinister things are converging in America: Pornography, Unrestrained Capitalism, and Political Power. These are the heroin-like drugs of a deeply addicted people
What you speak of, is scapegoats. Someone to blame for incompence of politicians.

The beast isn't a threat if caged, but should someone forget to lock the cage it will go rampage on people, but the wise should tame the beast and make clever laws, ethics and morals to support a mutual beneficial relationship.

In Denmark we don't have this frail scared attitude towards porn, we see it's beneficial side, it will deflate the rape. Iirc it was estimated the rape rate would fall 60% when porn was released back in the days.

Some are so naive to outlaw porn it will go away, like the ati boose law back in the days, only made the bootleg buisness flourish, gangsters had their day.

Political power, uhmm? People with power will always make mistakes, they'r humans afterall. What do you suggest as an alternative? Mob rule?

Maybe we can get more fair and reasonable rule when cybernetic machines takes over. Machine which are only swayed by reason and logic, not by pretty words, self interest ..etc.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 09:00 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;169039 wrote:
Ah, but you didn't say "more than you can hope to pay back", you said "deep". Yes, going so deep that you can't hope to pay it back is, I'd agree this is obvious as, in this case, it's making a promise one can't keep.

It sounds you meant to 'roar' but instead squeaked :p

EDIT: I'm not sure going deep is to borrow more than you can hope to pay back. It can be SO deep that it's prohibitive, but not necessarily. I suppose that'd depend on "how deep", but this is splitting hairs. And yea, it does make a difference


What does "deep" mean, then? Until we know that, how can we tell whether it is immoral to take on a deep debt?
0 Replies
 
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 09:14 am
@Khethil,
[QUOTE=Khethil;169036]Advertisers are no longer simply saying, "Try <this>! We hope you'll like it". Marketing strategies have become very involved and, without apology, try and speak to our subconscious needs/wants to create that sense of desire for <whatever>. I worry about the effect, overall, on societies saturated with this. [/QUOTE]

I'm not exactly sure what you mean about speaking to our subconscious, but a central tenet of marketing is to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers. Marketing is an eclectic discipline that draws on and overlaps with other disciplines. For example, marketing is (among many other things) a managerial tool, and as such, it can be used in immoral ways, but that doesn't poorly reflect on marketing but instead on those that use it as they ought not.

By the way, when I use the term "marketing," I'm using it in the widest sense I know. Advertising (believe it or not) is a small (no, make that very small) part of what marketing entails. In marketing, there is something known as the marketing mix (aka 4p's) which includes: Product, price, place, and promotion. Regarding the last one, promotion, there is also something known as the promotional mix which includes: Advertising, sales promotion, public relations, and personal selling. That's not to say advertising isn't big business, of course. It most certainly is, but marketing is so huge that by comparison, advertising is but a small part--but not necessarily budget wise.

But yes, marketing has evolved, and though we may not like some of the consequences of it, marketing has improved immensely in so many ways.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 10:00 am
@fast,
fast;169050 wrote:
I'm not exactly sure what you mean about speaking to our subconscious, but a central tenet of marketing is to satisfy the needs and wants of consumers.

... as well as create the desire in the customer for their goods or services. There's virtually no add, no commercial or endorsement that's not been carefully put together to portray <this> or <that> as something you want or should want. From colors, structures and settings that communicate calm, energy, vivacity, health to happiness. Show us visions of health and there's the hope that we, too, will equate their product with health. Show us lifestyles and individuals who are successful who use this toothbrush and therein is created the subconscious ideal that along with this toothbrush comes this lifestyle. It's not obvious, nor does it work all the time. But its there.

Lookup marketing strategies and you'll see what I mean - they won't tell you they're creating a 'need', but they do want to create these positive associations and desires. Create enough desires and how happy are the people you have? I know this sounds judgmental - but I honestly don't so much question or condemn their methods as I do the overall effect (either on me or whole societies)

As far as their motivations; I wouldn't much blame them - they're using all tools they can to sell. Its just the way it is.

fast;169050 wrote:
... it can be used in immoral ways, but that doesn't poorly reflect on marketing but instead on those that use it as they ought not.

Sure, and my purpose isn't to impugn the morals of those individuals involved in this. Like I said, I'm not happy with the overwhelming deluge I receive -and- I am concerned with the effects on so much marketing on such a wide scale (on the individual and society).

fast;169050 wrote:
... Advertising (believe it or not) is a small (no, make that very small) part of what marketing entails.


Excellent point to bring up. Marketing hits us in many ways (not just through ads).

Thanks

---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 11:02 AM ----------

kennethamy;169046 wrote:
What does "deep" mean, then? Until we know that, how can we tell whether it is immoral to take on a deep debt?


Well put. What's deep for me (debt-wise), right now, would probably be anything over $100. Three years ago, $ 10,000 would have been easily recoverable; so it depends on circumstances.

I hate Debt... I can't stand it. It burned me when I was young and I spent the next 10 years getting out from under it. I ain't goin back either.

Thanks
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 10:08 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;169069 wrote:

... as well as create the desire in the customer for their goods or services. There's virtually no add, no commercial or endorsement that's not been carefully put together to portray <this> or <that> as something you want or should want. From colors, structures and settings that communicate calm, energy, vivacity, health to happiness. Show us visions of health and there's the hope that we, too, will equate their product with health. Show us lifestyles and individuals who are successful who use this toothbrush and therein is created the subconscious ideal that along with this toothbrush comes this lifestyle. It's not obvious, nor does it work all the time. But its there.

Lookup marketing strategies and you'll see what I mean - they won't tell you they're creating a 'need', but they do want to create these positive associations and desires. Create enough desires and how happy are the people you have? I know this sounds judgmental - but I honestly don't so much question or condemn their methods as I do the overall effect (either on me or whole societies)

As far as their motivations; I wouldn't much blame them - they're using all tools they can to sell. Its just the way it is.


Sure, and my purpose isn't to impugn the morals of those individuals involved in this. Like I said, I'm not happy with the overwhelming deluge I receive -and- I am concerned with the effects on so much marketing on such a wide scale (on the individual and society).



Excellent point to bring up. Marketing hits us in many ways (not just through ads).

Thanks

---------- Post added 05-26-2010 at 11:02 AM ----------



Well put. What's deep for me (debt-wise), right now, would probably be anything over $100. Three years ago, $ 10,000 would have been easily recoverable; so it depends on circumstances.

I hate Debt... I can't stand it. It burned me when I was young and I spent the next 10 years getting out from under it. I ain't goin back either.

Thanks


So we know that "deep debt" means debt that you don't think can be handled. What that happens to be in each person's case may, of course, be different depending on the particular resources of the person. But "deep debt" means the very same thing in each case. (The same would go for, say,"affordable").
0 Replies
 
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 12:24 pm
@Pythagorean,
A person that is deep in debt is a person that has substantial debt compared to his or her income. (My interpretation).

For example, a woman who owes 3 times her income in debt may be said to have substantial debt. A woman who owes 1/3 times her income in debt has debt but isn't deep in debt.

A man who owes 10 times his income in debt most certainly has a significant debt load; he has substantial debt compared to his income. He is no doubt deep in debt.

Why is the man in debt? Is it because of medical? Or, does he have an insatiable appetite to buy everything in sight? If he owes 6 times his income because he's a gambling addict and owes 4 times his income because he's a child in a man's body and decides to place his wants ahead of the needs of his family, then yeah, I'd say it's morally wrong of him to jeopardize the livelihood of those he is morally obligated to look after.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 12:40 pm
@Pythagorean,
Yea,

By the time my first marriage went kaput, I ended up taking on just over $50K of debt. Over the next 10 years, despite a really decent income, I paid out so much I lived like a person half the wages. It hurt, but boy I learned my lesson. I fear for those just starting their careers with so many credit offers out there - I know what they're in for and it ain't pretty. The allure of "get what you want now and pay later" just feels mean spirited.

I told my sons to get one credit card; to use it, but never charge more than they can pay off each month (to build a good score), never miss a car payment and to incur NO other debts at all. Once a youngin starts down that road it'll follow them for years.

Thanks guys
sometime sun
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:04 pm
@Pythagorean,
Is immorality debt?
Buying or selling?
0 Replies
 
fast
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:13 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil;169132 wrote:
Yea,

By the time my first marriage went kaput, I ended up taking on just over $50K of debt. Over the next 10 years, despite a really decent income, I paid out so much I lived like a person half the wages. It hurt, but boy I learned my lesson. I fear for those just starting their careers with so many credit offers out there - I know what they're in for and it ain't pretty. The allure of "get what you want now and pay later" just feels mean spirited.

I told my sons to get one credit card; to use it, but never charge more than they can pay off each month (to build a good score), never miss a car payment and to incur NO other debts at all. Once a youngin starts down that road it'll follow them for years.

Thanks guys

If you're not going to incur any further debt, then why build a good score? Don't read into that too much. I don't think you gave your son bad advice--not at all. Some financial guru's may think otherwise, assuming they actually believe what they say ... and I wonder sometimes.

By the way, it's much easier to become a member of the 800 club with three credit cards instead of just one. It can be done with one though--given enough time.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:23 pm
@Pythagorean,
To create debt and expect someone else to pay it back (future generations say)
or
to create debt without the intention or the means of paying it back
strikes me as immoral.
xris
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:46 pm
@prothero,
well I am a socialist, who finds the money market immoral . You cant blame the individual who has the pressures of society begging him to borrow more and more for the advertised necessities, other market traders tell us we need. They do a damned good job, the modern experts of the marketing machines in understanding human behaviour and exploiting their weaknesses. I can remember when trying to borrow a few quid for a new suit, was almost impossible without credit references and my dad standing guarantor. Risk and debt control are not necessary in the modern money game, when high interests rates pay for the few who dodge their repayments. We lack education and controls on the money market. Legislation is an over due necessity.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2010 01:57 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean;168949 wrote:
Is spending money that one doesn't have and going deep into debt an immoral activity?

I ask this for a reason. You see, I am constantly bombarded by advertising people who are so hungry to make a buck that it seems they will stoop to any low in order to get my money. And since I see the country in over its head in debt I naturally am inclined to couple these two things together.

It's amazing to think about how normal it has become to have so much continuous loud obnoxious and pornographic advertising shoved down your throat: some of which is entertaining but it's really not uplifting or a decent form of entertainment at all. It is revolutionary in that it is dramatically altering people, driving them towards the ecstasy of the irrational muses. This pornographic commercialization is seriously degrading to people's outlooks, not to mention very dangerous. There is real fire here and people are going to get badly burned. Because getting money and spending it has become a powerful drug.

I'm not a socialist but Americans give free markets a black eye by the type of wall to wall prostitution they engage in at the highest levels. I admit they are very sophisticated, but does that then mean that this behaviour is supposed to be acceptable? In fact, it seems to me that sophistication itself is part of the problem because besides humor, sex and money there is no longer any foundation or true world of real value in which to live and the whole world becomes a joke. This type of sophistication is really a form of pollution which darkens our society and wastes our social capital.

It seems that three different types of now sinister things are converging in America: Pornography, Unrestrained Capitalism, and Political Power. These are the heroin-like drugs of a deeply addicted people.

Moral reformation is a hope but, I suppose, is out of the question both for us individuals as for society at large. It's not just that our debts will never be paid, it is that nobody even understands the concept that debt is bad (?) or that it ever should be paid.

Again, I admit the people are smart, they are wildly clever in a million different ways. It is the case of the genius who develops a life-long addiction to hard drugs but who refuses to admit it. So I ask you smart people a simple question: Is the constant and ongoing accumulation of great sums of debt an immoral or ignoble activity?

-

Great post. I say that going into debt recklessly is immoral. But so are ridiculous interest rates. You are right about advertising and moral decay. The world is a billboard. The world is a credit card. The world is an issue of Playboy. A bunch of vain monkeys we seem. Of course there are bright spots.
0 Replies
 
 

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