Becoming Workshop 8: The Wrap-up

WORKSHOP 8: QUESTIONS

What do you take into account in any given economic decision?
Spending pocket money, buying big ticket items, borrowing money, investing money, working for money, getting daily necessities, housing, feeding, clothing, leisure?

What is being ‘a good human being’ in terms of how you handle money? In terms of debt, saving, credit, obligation, transactions all these things.
What is the morally correct way to handle money matters? To give money? To get money? Like, is it moral to earn a salary when you know the boss is taking out loans to keep the company running?

Is it moral to pay your debts? Is it immoral not to pay them?

Are our economic relationships always a cold calculation of ends and means, or are they more than that? In economic relationships do we always only calculate to our own benefit? Are all economic decisions by people part of a rational profit-loss calculation?

In terms of our economy, are people fundamentally in relationship to each other, or fundamentally individuals or free agents?
How would you describe the intersection of individual, social relationships and economic relationships?

討論逐字稿 for Becoming Workshop 7: Money and Morals

This is the transcript and notes to our seventh hands-on philosophy workshop at becoming, "Money and Morals".
The transcript below actually starts at the end of the discussion with the concluding statements, which was where all the participants in the discussion made a statement on something they understood during the class or answering one or some of the questions provided for focus.

After the concluding statements are the notes and transcript from the first part of the class.


Concluding Statements:

Questions to consider:

What is being a good human being in terms of how you handle money?
In terms of debt, saving, credit, obligation, transactions all these things
What is the morally correct way to handle money matters? To give money? To get money?
Like, is it moral to earn a salary when you know the boss is taking out loans to keep the company running?
Is it moral to pay your debts? Is it immoral not to pay them?


-I have an idea about the first question: good human being in handling money. It's a behaviour where you’re managing your money by whatever activity, in a responsible way. Beneficial for you, beneficial for those around you, who you're trading with, and there's no huge loss in any part. In financial terms, in ecological terms, in social terms. It’s kind of utopian, a perfect balance that's not actually possible, but good to keep it in mind.
For the second question. I guess it depends who your boss is taking loans from. If it's a good loan sheep, then no problem. If a loan shark, then it's a problem
-but the loan sharks are all wearing sheep's clothing
-why a shark and not a wolf?
-sharks are seen as emotionless killers

-it's hard for me to answer those questions, because in my world, no matter what kind of way you handle your money it's okay, you can send money, or lend money to others, or borrow money from banks or from your friends, or take your money to do business, whatever you want, but the key point is that you need, no matter what kind of decision you make, you need to show the…results

Money and Relationships Workshop 6: Money and Morals

First, let's define the terms, 'moral' & 'morality'.
What do you understand 'moral' to mean?
What is 'morality'?

Do you believe there is a universal right and wrong? Y N Depends
Do you believe a group has to agree on a standard of right and wrong? Y N Depends
Can we define the difference between moral and ethical?
If something is not moral is it immoral? Which is to say, is there a middle ground? Do you believe morality could be on a continuum or sliding scale? Do you believe it's absolute, black & white?


We talked about transactions a few weeks ago, and touched on profit and advantage, but let's quick define some terms:
What is profit?
What is 'having the advantage'? What is it in terms of a transaction?

What is the morality of profit and advantage in a transaction?
What are the human motivations behind doing a transaction?
Is there a correct or incorrect motivation?

討論逐字稿 for Becoming Workshop 6: Cash or Credit

This is the transcript and notes to our sixth Hands-on Philosophy workshop at Becoming, "Cash or Credit?".
The transcript below actually starts at the end of the discussion with the Concluding Statements, which was where all the participants in the discussion made a statement on something they understood during the class or answering one or some of the questions provided for focus.

After the concluding statements are the notes and transcript from the first part of the class.


Concluding Statements:
I want to say that during the time I grow up, I always take what others say to me, seriously, and people always say, just be yourself, but how can I not take into account about what others think of me. So this is related to eh first question, but still the other, what my friends and parents told me, that you're independent. You don't have to take others opinion into consideration, just be yourself, and do whatever you like to doe. And based on what we were talking about, we still need to cooperate, and adapt to society. And a few months ago, culture to cultural relations adapting can be separated into three part. Adapt, accept, and change
Accept is you know what you’re doing to do, but you wouldn't do it yourself. You acknowledge
Tolerance ?
Not the same!
Tolerance is holding your nose. Acceptance is just being okay with it.
Tolerance is pushing your feelings down for the sake of something.
And sometimes it bursts out
And acceptance is really being okay with it.

Money and Relationships Workshop 5: Cash or Credit?

CASH
How do you feel about cash? What is your personal attitude toward it?
Is it good? Bad? Neutral?
"Dirhams and dinars are not created for any particular purpose; they are useless by themselves; they are just like stones. They are created to circulate from hand to hand, to govern and to facilitate transactions. They are symbols to know the value and grades of goods.
They can be symbols, units of measure, because of this very lack of usefulness, indeed lack of any particular feature other than value."
… the same is the case with money--it has no purpose of its own, but it serves as a medium for the purpose of exchanging goods.
From this it also follows that lending money at interest must be illegitimate, since it means using money as an end in itself. "money is not created to earn money.'' …
Money is thus a unit of measure that provides a means of assessing the value of goods, but also one that operates as such only if it stays in constant motion. --Prophet Ghazali (1058-1101AD) Debt, p. 281

Cold cash was employed largely between strangers, or when paying rents, tithes and taxes to landlords, bailiffs, priests, and other superiors. … coins were most likely to be used both by the sort of people who ran the legal system--the magistrates, constables, and justices of the peace--and by those violent elements of society they saw it as their business to control. Debt, p.329

討論逐字稿 for Becoming Workshop 5: What do we owe our parents?


This is the transcript and notes to our fifth Hands-on Philosphy workshop at Becoming, "What do we owe our parents?".
The transcript below actually starts at the end of the discussion with the Concluding Statements, which was where all the participants in the discussion made a statement on something they understood during the class or answering one or some of the questions provided for focus.
After the concluding statments are the notes and transcript from the first part of the c
lass.

Concluding Statements:
-I kept wondering what should i say after this, because we were discussion and discussing, the conclusion is i said what i wanted during the discussion. Today i heard a lot of stories, it was more interesting than the other ones, because more stories.
I still think i owe my parents something. Especially when i grew up and i realized that it's not easy. When i grow up and go through what they did before i realize it. Knowing it's hard and noticing they went through it although it is hard. But i still don't believe that i owe i don't agree that i owe them what society thinks that i owe them. Sometimes i will complain that they didn't give the things that the others had, but they give the things that others don't have. Not have enough money or go do university in debt, tickets to paraguay, and we were happy, there was no suffering. Later i realize a lot of people have suffering [in their family]. So i think i would find a way to, to not sacrifice, but rethink my ability to pay back to them, to pay back my parents.

-I think, owing is an old chinese concept, and i think i don't like this kind of, i don't like this idea, it's negative, it's passive, it doesn't create good relationships because if you think you owe someone, you need to pay it back in the future, which creates pressure between you and them, and this pressure will turn into a tension between you and your parents. Um, i want to, i think it's better for us to treat this kind of relationship as a learning process. You know, parents need children needs to learn how to be a better person by raising kids.
-that's what you were saying earlier
-yes
-and children and kids can watch their parents, how they do their best to raise kids, they learn from their parents. So we are all learning it’s not that we are in mutual debt. I want to turn this kind of relationship to a positive relationship, not a negative one.
-you're reframing our today's discussion framework, you're saying it shouldn’t be about debt or not debt, it should be a bout mutual learning.
-because we have this kind of idea all in our lives, and it doesn't give any good to us
-it doesn't help us!
-right, so we have to change our concept.

-That's a good segue way, changing the framework. I see if it's a debt, or an obligation, owing is part of debt, it's not voluntary, it's a social bond that can't be quantified. I think that we do have our duties obligations to each other, we can obviously pay back, not pay back our debt, but try to fulfil our obligations to all the people that raised us, influenced us, our bodies, minds, spirits, we came from somewhere, we were inspired by people, we can't think we have to match that exactly, but the past can be, not paid back, but we can fulfil this obligation with the people who will come after, whether it's trying to raise our children well, or maximise their chances of being okay, not going into parenting lightly, and acknowledging the sacrifices our parents made, but also doing what we can to improve the quality of the world. But i think parents owe their children, it's a lesser time frame, but from 0 to 18 or 20, they owe them so much to keep them safe, and put them into a good enough environment to be at least okay. Success means being able to reach self-sufficiency? There has to be more than that. Children should acknowledge what the parents did for them. That they can look after them in their old and frail age, not equivalent at all, but they can show themselves in what they do in their life.

Money and Relationships Workshop 4: What do we owe our parents?

Nature Writer Ernest Thompson Seton had an odd bill presented to him on his twenty-first birthday. It was a record kept by his father of all the expenses connected with young Ernest's childhood and youth, including the fee charged by the doctor for delivering him. Even more oddly, Ernest is said to have paid it. I used to think that Mr. Seton Senior was a jerk, but now I'm wondering. Margaret Atwood, 'Payback'
Most of us wouldn't wonder much. Such behaviour seems monstrous, inhuman. Certainly Seton found it so: he paid the bill, but never spoke to his father again afterward. And in a way, this is precisely why the presentation of such a bill seems so outrageous. Squaring accounts means that the two parties have the ability to walk away from each other. By presenting it, his father suggested he'd just as soon have nothing further to do with him. David Graeber, Debt, p.92