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Is Not Paying Your Debts Immoral?
If you Wish to Know Human Emotion; Study Debt. . .
Debt - just the word alone sends shivers down the spine of any man. Love it, hate it, accept it, fight it; civilizations have been both built and destroyed with the instrument that is debt. Debt can destroy a marriage. Debt can cause otherwise rational human beings to commit unspeakable crimes. The worry of debt succumbs’ people to madness.
On the other hand, some would argue debt is what has built civilizations. Debt is what builds successful businesses. Debt when used wisely can allow a person to seize an opportunity. Debt can be a solution to meet immediate problems that gives the individual the time necessary to create future resolutions; live to fight another day so to speak. Having to pay off your debts provides the motivation to remain disciplined. Battling debt incentivises you to continually strive for progress.
Debt - a package of mixed emotions. Debt is filled with history. Debt is timeless. Debt is physical, philosophical, metaphysical, and often incomprehensible. Debt – in a true sense is perhaps the closest definition of a God – a God that we can both see and feel.
Is Opting Out of Paying your Debts Immoral?
On the surface this comes across as a simple question. If your friend gives you twenty dollars; it's your responsibility to pay him back. By refusing to pay him back; you're committing to breaking your word, treason, and theft all under the same breath. However, the book of debt has all her pages coloured in gray - nothing is as it seems on the surface.
I never explained what the recipient intends to do with the inherited debt. I never explained if the sender has knowledge of the recipients' intentions. If the person issuing the debt uses this as a means of controlling the person taking on the debt - then this is evil. Suddenly it's the issuer of the debt who comes across as the traitor, the deceitful, and the cruel.
There are an infinite number of possibilities that can seemingly stem from what seems at first a rather harmless transaction. The lender could have issued the debt to the recipient with the knowledge he doesn't have the means of repaying the debt. The lender could have loaned to his friend, with prior knowledge that his friend would use this money for criminal purposes, thus being complicit in the crime. The lender could have knowingly led his friend down a path of failure. A path of failure that he wouldn't have crossed; had the carrot on a stick that’s debt not been dangled over his forehead. As you can no doubt ascertain, our dear lender may not have the most benevolent of intentions. After all, it's in human nature that people look after their own self interests.
As for the recipient, I would go on to say the reason why he feels compelled to go into debt in the first place matters. Both Christianity and Islam speak heavily against the concept of usury. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why - the worship of an idol is strictly forbidden by people who practice these religions. Make no mistake, debt is an idol. Whether you're religious or not; I'm certain many will agree that there's a difference between a man who goes into debt to buy a Ferrari; versus a man going into debt to feed his family. The first is an example of gluttony. The second is an example of desperation. In the first example he should simply repay his master. In the second example he shouldn't repay his master, but should repay his debts to society through other means. Refusing to repay debts is immoral, but in many cases repaying the debt to your master is perhaps even more so.
Last but not least, people need to learn that often where there's mass debt - there's corruption and manipulation followed closely behind. Problem, reaction, solution - this is the sandwich making philosophy of any mastermind who has made issuing debt his profession. The person issuing the debt covertly creates the problem. People reactively panic as they go through the hardships of the problem. The person issuing the debt then comes up with the solution - issuing out debt. Through this destructive cycle the person issuing the debt comes across as the hero - and also profits rather handsomely.
Don't for a moment believe that this debt philosophy only applies to large governments and corporations. After all, most governments and corporations did start out small, all but to grow into a giant cancerous growth through applying this timeless method again and again. On a more personal level; while the people you know may never reach the level of Sir Evelyn De Rothschild, it's important that you understand that even amongst amateurs many play this game rather well on a smaller scale and show little remorse in doing so. You must always be leary of any individual who habitually issues out debts.
Debt is Immoral
Perhaps the question to ask is not is refusing to pay your debt immoral; instead we should ask is the concept of debt itself immoral? As far as I'm concerned; too many potential problems come in either accepting and/or distributing debt that doesn't justify the risks. To be frank; debt is a perverted relationship to have with another human being. Nothing good can ever hope to come from debt.
A lot of our problems are alleviated by not accepting debt in the first place. I make it my personal mission to never loan money to anyone else; nor to accept loaned money from someone else.
As for the argument that debt is necessary for the construction of civilization - correlation doesn't always equal causation. The debt accrued to build an enterprise could easily be applied through other means. In fact, there's nothing stopping a group of people with zero dollars in their pockets from starting a business as long as they have a genuine agreement to pay each other based upon their own productivity along the way. Of course doing so would involve many people to take a leap of faith in an attempt to achieve a goal greater than themselves - all for the sake of bettering themselves in the long run. Unfortunately, the majority of the population isn't ready to accept this burden. Whether they're ready or not may soon prove irrelevant - for there's a flood coming.
-Donovan D. Westhaver