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   Author  Topic: Who deserves wealth?  (Read 2173 times)
Ophis
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Re:Who deserves wealth?
« Reply #15 on: 2004-01-06 03:36:08 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2004-01-05 17:20:51   
So we have two cases of people that deserve wealth, those that earn it, and those that got it from an investment of some sort. In both cases the wealth was transferred willingly from someone that had it to the person that deserves it. Could that be the common denominator? In the case of the person that earned the wealth by generating wealth, they receive it through trade. In the other case, they receive it because others believe (for whatever reason) that it will pay off eventually, whether investing in a corporation or in an heir.

This is good.  I think I like this new answer better than the one I provided earlier.  It is inclusive of my earlier answer yet it also addresses other situations that hadn't crossed my mind at the time.  So the new answer to who deserves wealth would be: those who receive wealth from consenting owners.


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To test the common denominator hypothesis let's look at a previously unexamined case. What if someone gets wealthy by winning a lottery or some kind of wager? Do they deserve it?

Pretty good example that would have foiled my previous answer.  In the light of the new answer, the wealth won by lottery would be deserved since it would be distributed under an agreed-upon contract with those who provided the funding.
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David Lucifer
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Re:Who deserves wealth?
« Reply #16 on: 2004-01-06 16:58:26 »
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Quote from: Ophis on 2004-01-06 03:36:08   

Pretty good example that would have foiled my previous answer.  In the light of the new answer, the wealth won by lottery would be deserved since it would be distributed under an agreed-upon contract with those who provided the funding.

Agreed. I think we are making good progress here. Let's examine another test case. What about the televangelist that acquires wealth by convincing (some might say gullible) viewers to send in their hard-earned money in the name of Jesus?
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Re:Who deserves wealth?
« Reply #17 on: 2004-01-07 09:03:49 »
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Quote from: David Lucifer on 2004-01-06 16:58:26   
Agreed. I think we are making good progress here. Let's examine another test case. What about the televangelist that acquires wealth by convincing (some might say gullible) viewers to send in their hard-earned money in the name of Jesus?

Well, assuming that the money is sent freely without coercion, that'd be a deserved wealth.  Of course, it might be that the televangelist feels the need to perform some phoney miracles to convince his viewers that he is "blessed" in some special quality.  If such miracles are influential in the donor's decision to send money, there might be an argument that fraud is commited by the televangelist.
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Re:Who deserves wealth?
« Reply #18 on: 2004-01-07 17:20:33 »
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Quote from: Ophis on 2004-01-07 09:03:49   

Well, assuming that the money is sent freely without coercion, that'd be a deserved wealth.  Of course, it might be that the televangelist feels the need to perform some phoney miracles to convince his viewers that he is "blessed" in some special quality.  If such miracles are influential in the donor's decision to send money, there might be an argument that fraud is commited by the televangelist.

It looks like this may be an edge case where the boundary between justified and unjustied wealth becomes fuzzy. Does it makes sense for someone's wealth to be partially deserved?

Looking at the example of the televangelist a bit closer, does it matter whether he believes what he says? If that does matter and he doesn't deserve the wealth if he knowingly lies, what if he later comes to believe his own story? Does he then suddenly deserve the wealth he has?

What if he doesn't fake any miracles, but he lies about talking to God? What if they aren't lies exactly, but more like dreams or visions that he embellishes for the audience?
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