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Is Money Really the Root of All Evil?

Updated on October 27, 2014

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Is Money Really the Root of All Evil?

This is another one of those questions of the ages. Is money really the root of all evil?

I decided to question once more some of the greatest philosophers and sages who have ever lived. Do I hear you explaining that many of those folks have been dead for centuries?

True! But with the aid of my newly renovated, superior supernatural helmet, I can question them with little difficulty. Trust me.

Note: I also asked this question of a few great minds who are still on the right side of the earth.

Here is what I learned when I asked, "Is money really the root of all evil?"

Mark Twain – A more accurate statement would be: “The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

Plato (5th century Greek philosopher) – No, Mark, “Ignorance (is) the root and stem of all evil.”

Herodotus (5th century Greek historian) – Plato, bro, you said it like it is: “The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.”

Sophocles (5th century playwright) – You are both on the wrong track. “Surely there never was so evil a thing as money, which maketh cities into ruinous heaps, and banisheth men from their houses, and turneth their thoughts from good unto evil.”

Swami Vivekananda (19th century Indian Hindu monk) – Soph, you were the man. “If money help a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.”

Dorothy Parker“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”

Mark Frost (co-creator of the TV series, ‘Twin Peaks’) – Do you know “… the first ironclad rule of the enormously wealthy? Never spend one’s own money.”

Francis Bacon – I beg to disagree, Mr. Frost. “Riches are for spending.”

Karl Marx“I do not like money, money is the reason we fight.” Too true, too often.

Henny Youngman“I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need if I die by four o’clock.”

Oscar Wilde“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.”

Aristotle Onassis – Not so, Oscar. “After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.”

H. L. Hunt – That’s true, Ari. “Money is just a way of keeping score.”

Ted Turner“Life is a game. Money is how we keep score.” (Ted, I think H.L. said it first.)

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.“Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.”

Agatha Christie – I always believed, “Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.”

Andrew JacksonFunny you should say that. “I have always been afraid of banks.”

Bob Hope“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”

William Shakespeare“Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

Alan King“Banks have a new image. Now you have ‘a friend,’ your friendly banker. If the banks are so friendly, how come they chain down the pens?”

Bo Derek“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.”

David Lee Roth – Right on, Bo. “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside of it.”

Everett Dirksen – “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

J. Paul Getty – That’s true, Ev. But “if you can count your money, you don’t have a billion dollars.”

Richard Armour“That money talks, I’ll not deny. I heard it once: It said, ‘Goodbye’.”

And on a very serious note:

Blaise Pascal“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

For me, that final quote may well sum up the misbegotten motivation of the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations.

Important Note: “Money is the root of all evil” is the popular but misquoted version of a Bible verse. The apostle, Paul, wrote in a letter to his young disciple, Timothy: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Just sayin’.

Oh, wait, almost forgot. As George Carlin once said: “May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.”

This hub is dedicated to pstraubie who requested a sequel to the "Why Did the Chicken Really Cross the Road?" hub.


© Copyright BJ Rakow (aka drbj) 2014. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

Comments for Is Money Really the Root of All Evil?

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    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      You got that right, shanmarie, m'dear. It is the LOVE of money that is the root of evil. Thanks for the generous comment.

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 2 years ago

      Delightful read, as always! It is the love of money, not money itself that creates a problem.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      You are welcome , look forward to your next questions.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for the kind words, K & T - 'twas my pleasure.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      You are so welcome, thank you for a posting a good subject drbj !

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for the additional biblical information, Kiss and Tales. And your return visit.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Keith Tax. Thank you for adding your take on the subject as well and enjoying my quotes.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      I agree with you, Kiss and Tales - it is not money that is the root of all evil but the love of money that causes many problems. Thanks for taking the time to provide additional literate Biblical information on the subject.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, ArtDiva for the visit, and loving my work. Do hope your coffers are filling up with coin of the realm as we speak ... er, I mean, write.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Audrey. Having worked in a financial environment for a number of years, I can attest to the fact that pens are often chained to the counters in many banks. Guess the clients are not as trustworthy as the bankers. ???

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Patricia. How I envy your being on a first name basis with Mark. I have to address him as Mr. Clemens. ;)

      BTW, did you notice that I dedicated this post to you since you requested a sequel to the question of the chicken crossing the road? 'Twas my pleasure.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      Thank keith tax for your reply , money could not be the root of all evil , because evil thoughts may not have a thing to do with money, example jealousy can turn evil,

      true what King James translated in the 1600's , but in the original hebrew and greek meaning it is worded different, the love of money can be the root of evil. A difference ,

      I listed the other verses that prove that money can be good as you can see, so here King James changes and translates says it is good . Human error in Scriptures exist,

      I have been a bible student a long time and I asure you will find defects in m a ns translations.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 2 years ago from Wisconsin

      The Bible says the "love" of money is the root of all evil. Money in and of itself is not a problem. Money is a tool like many other things. Used wisely it does good, used poorly and it is a problem.

      You did a good job gathering your list of quotes which are always fun to read.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      No money is not the root of all evil, evil can be practice with no money involved.

      This scripture has been translated in Error !

      What it is to really say

      Reference Bible

      1Ti 6:10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things, and by reaching out for this love some have been led astray from the faith and have stabbed themselves all over with many pains

      Reference Bible

      Ec 10:19Bread is for the laughter of the workers, and wine itself makes life rejoice; but money is what meets a response in all things.

      Reference Bible

      Ec 7:12For wisdom is for a protection [the same as] money is for a protection; but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom itself preserves alive its owners.

      And last what can money do if we allow an unbalanced view .

      Reference Bible

      Mt 6:24“No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. YOU cannot slave for God and for Riches.

    • profile image

      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Always love reading your work—so well researched with such flow of thought, and always with humor. Speaking of which, a flow of money would always be welcome, and doubt corrupted when filling the coffer with coin.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      I like Ala King's comment--so why do they chain down the pens!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      I have a tendency to agree with Mark (Twain, we are on a first name basis)....having not so much in the money department makes it difficult to pay those pesky little bills :D

      Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps

      Voted up++++ shared

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, Faith, for your gracious comments. Yes, this quote may be one of the most misquoted quotes ever misquoted ... if you get my drift. Blessings to you, too, m'luv.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Clever as ever! It is amazing how that quote from the Bible has been misquoted in so many different ways, but that most common one as your title indicates. Yes, the evil love, love, love their money!

      I am so glad pstraubie requested you do a sequel!

      Blessings

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      I'm with you regarding that visit with Oscar, JG. Could we put Twain on our schedule, too?

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      When the question of "If you could go back in time, who would you want to spend an afternoon with?", my answer is always some variation on "a couple of "brick-wall" ancestors and Oscar Wilde". ;D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      I'm fond of that Wilde quote, too, JG. I think you may be referring to: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Another quote of his I admire is: "True friends stab you in the front."

      Thanks for the return visit, m'dear.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      drbj, Wilde is one of my faves, too! He had such a delightful take on the world! For instance: 'When you're lying in the gutter, the only way to look is UP' (or something like that). ;D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, timorous. Thanks for enjoying this read. In a way, it was a panel discussion as you so perceptively noted. Money is only a commodity with which we do business and so much easier than carrying around silver coins or heavy gold bars.

      The U.S. is a country where anyone, ANYONE, can become wealthy if he or she has a goal and works toward it constantly and energetically. Too many folks, unfortunately, only want to live on government handouts these days. For many, it has become a way of life.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, JamaGenee. Delighted that one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes is also one of yours. Twain and Oscar Wilde have always been two of my favorite writers.

      You must have some interesting anecdotes to relate from your experience working with those two 'trust babies.' Thanks for the Up and the sharing, m'dear.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, RGNestle, especially since you loved the way I made this a conversation. Thanks for sharing that original Greek adage which does much to clarify this quote. It is interesting to note how much the now popular quote differs from the original thought.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Mary, thanks for sorely missing me as well as the lovely adjectives and the Up. You and I both share an admiration of both Dorothy Parker (what a wit!), and Yogi Berra. (I almost included that quote of his but couldn't figure out where it fit.)

      One of my favorite Yogi quotes is: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" Makes me laugh just thinking about it.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Jim. I never met a dollar I did not like but if I ever meet an evil one, I will be happy to donate it to you as per your request.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hey, Randi, I'm excited to see you here, too, m'dear. Thanks for appreciating my hub and the quotes. And thanks for the Up plus.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Genna. With your gracious comments, m'dear, how could I stay away? Thanks for missing me and the welcome back. We share a similar appreciation for Bob Hope and George Carlin - two masters of the quip.

      And you are most welcome for the laughter and the smiles.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, handymanbill. Well said. May you win the lottery so you can judge any 'evil' for yourself. And may it be in dollars, not change. ;)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Dearest psychicdog: Gambling is perfectly acceptable if you win more than you lose! I have spoken!

      Signed: 'the highly esteemed one'

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for stopping by, Rochelle. How nice that you found a bit of truth in all these quotes, m'dear. You possess the talent of a skilled arbitrator.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Mary, Thanks for loving these quotes. I think almost all of us would like to have the opportunity to find out for ourselves if that oft-quoted proverb really is true. Hope all is well with you, m'dear.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for finding this, Peg, and finding it funny. I knew you would know the original source of this well-known proverb.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      We have a lot in common, Ruby, we both miss George Carlin and Dorothy Parker, and we both agree that ISIS is a very dangerous terrorist organization with radical religious beliefs.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      From your writing, Don, I doubt that having a great deal of money would contaminate you. Thanks for the visit, the Up votes and the sharing, m'dear.

    • timorous profile image

      timorous 2 years ago from Me to You

      Hello drbj, nice to read you again. Another clever 'retro' interview, or was it a panel discussion?

      Actually, only the love of money and abusing it, is evil. Having read many books on wealth, it's clear that money itself is just a commodity, and a means of doing things. Many people have been brought up with the myth that wealthy people are greedy. Ok, some are, but it's all in the mindset of the individual.

      Actually, if people were to change their mindset, and stop resenting wealthy people, there's nothing stopping anyone from becoming comfortably wealthy themselves. It's also a mth that there's not enough money to go around.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 2 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Very clever, drbj! I often quote Twain's 'LACK of money is the root of all evil", but know that sometimes money really IS "only a way to keep score" from working for two women who were trust fund babies.

      Upped and shared! ;D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for enjoying these quotes, Alicia, and your gracious comments. Sharing my 'supernatural' abilities with you all is my mission.

    • RGNestle profile image

      RGNestle 2 years ago from Seattle

      I love the way you made this a conversation!!

      (The original Greek says, "Root for of all the bad (things) is the fondness of silver. Of which some reaching out were led off into error from the faith and themselves they pierced around to pains many."

      It was also NOT talking about ALL the "evil" in the world, for it said this only of those who were determined to be rich at the expense of all other things including family and faith.) :)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for stopping by, Hezekiah. You are correct. There is so much evil in our world today and all of it is not caused - at least directly - by money.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, billybuc. I think you expressed a universal wish - almost all of us would like to find out personally if money does corrupt. Thanks for the sweet welcome back.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      You have been sorely missed! You just have a way with you my friend. Not many quote Dorothy Parker anymore. She's always been one of my favorites!

      To add one more quote to your bevvy of beauties, "A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore." YOGI BERRA

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

      The Frog Prince - "If you don't want your evil money give it to me."

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So excited to see you here! It's been a while. Great hub, great quotes with a fun way of tying them all together! Thank you! Up+

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I always enjoy your clever humor, imagination and grace of style.

      My favorites:

      Bob Hope – “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.”

      As George Carlin once said: “May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.”

      Thank you for the smiles and laughter. You have been missed, drjb. :-)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Tina. You commented, yes, depending on individual greed. Do you think everyone is greedy? Just wonderin'.

    • handymanbill profile image

      Bill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

      If I had a bunch then maybe I could make a better judgement about how evil it is. It would be a nice change.

    • psychicdog.net profile image

      psychicdog.net 2 years ago

      Drbj - oh highly esteemed one - is it ok to gamble and make money - always within my means of course? :)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for your story, Fiddleman, and it IS the love of money that produces many of the problems in our world today ... but that is not new news.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      And do not feel badly, 'truth,' if auto correct hates you, you are not alone!

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

      All are true in their own way.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, 'truth.' Yes, I know that this quote has been misquoted from the original Biblical statement from Paul to his disciple, Timothy. I mentioned that in the important note at the bottom of the hub.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      You were 'bummed out' when this ended, Eric? What a lovely compliment. Thanks for your 'buck' quote contribution. Sorry to learn they are so transitory for you.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I don't know, but I'd sure like to find out for sure! Loved your quotes, BTW! I've never had enough of the stuff to form an opinion, I'm afraid.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Another funny interview, Drbj. I like Bob Hope's and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.'s answers. I was about to plug in the Timothy 6:10 verse until I got to the very end.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      boy do I miss George Carlin! Great quotes, my favorite, Dorothy Parker and the Suami. Religious types, ( ISIS ) are the most dangerous in the world today, also religions that spew judgement against anyone or anything that's different from their belief. Just sayin'

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Personally, I have never hada enough money to become contaminated by it. I think President Truman made the remark about banks being a great place to get money when you don't need it. Maybe where Bob Hope heard it. Up votes and sharing.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm so glad that you have brought your supernatural abilities back to HubPages! This is a very interesting collection of quotations. In addition, some of the quotes are very funny and some are very thought provoking. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      A lot of evil is done over money, at the same time evil is done where money is not concerned.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I saw your name pop up. Hooray, you're back! Always a pleasure, always worth at least a chuckle...well done my friend. I don't know if money would corrupt me, but I'd like the chance to find out. :)

    • Tina Asalina profile image

      Asalina 2 years ago from Alabama

      Yes, to a certain extinct. Depending on individual greed.

    • Fiddleman profile image

      Robert Elias Ballard 2 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

      I heard about an old Aftican-American preacher was delivering a sermon on money. "Get all you can!" He expounded and all the brothers and sisters responded,"amen, Rev,preach it. Sucking in another breath the preacher proclaimed,"Save all you can!" Again the congregation responded with enthusiasm,"Amen! Amen,Rev! Preach!! Finally the old preacher finished with his third and final point. "Give all you can!" The congregation fell silent. It is the love of money that is the root of evil and insatiable greed.

    • thetruth4ever profile image

      thetruth4ever 2 years ago from Shelby, North Carolina

      Autocorrect hates me

    • thetruth4ever profile image

      thetruth4ever 2 years ago from Shelby, North Carolina

      We should resort back to the final authority. And where you got the question to begin with. The bible brevet says money is the root of all evil. But rather, "the love of money. .." money is not evil. Churches and pastors must be paid with money. We need it to live, to eat, to buy or bibles, etc... But when you love money, you will do horrible evil things to obtain it. The love of money, nor money itself

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great job with quotes. I found myself bummed out when it ended. I never met a buck I did not like, and never found one that liked me.