Would You Rather: Money and Morals

Kajamba Fitz-Henley

 Despite the similar sound the words share, money and moral often do not share the same value among individuals. It seems that one must always take precedence to the other. Money is commonly referenced as the “root of all evil”. Such a saying makes it easy to see why money so frequently causes us to compromise our moral beliefs. However it is just as easy to argue that the saying in no way provides justification for unscrupulous actions in the name of money. The following scenarios might help us decide how to better organize our sense of money and morals:
·         Your parents are poor and they can’t afford your textbooks. There is a Social Studies textbook sold in your school’s bookstore that costs $5000.  You keep failing your assignments because you don’t have this textbook. You witnessed a $5000 note fall from the pocket of a student at school. This is a student who bullies you and is known for being rich and snobby. You’re the only one that saw the money fall.
Would you rather:
-          Take the money and buy your book (5%)
-          Return the money to the snobby students (95%)
o   “I would pretend like I didn’t see it, that’s all.” (Lisia, 12)
o   “The solution is never to steal so even though I’m poor I couldn’t take the money. Your conscience is bound to bother you after something like that.” (Adrian, 18)

·         There is a student known for selling contraband at school. He/she always has a lot of money because of it but he/she has never been officially caught. This student is the only one who offers to buy you lunch on the day you have forgotten your money. You have a test in the next period and you desperately want food. However you are a prefect and you don’t know if you should accept the money that was obtained illicitly.
Would you rather:
-          Take the money and get your lunch (60%)
-          Decline the offer and go without food (40%)
o   “I can’t be sure that the money he’s using is coming from his illegal activities though so…” (Romario, 14)
o   “It would be unethical to take the money if I know where he got it from, especially if I’m a prefect. I’d find some other way to get food or drink water of something.” (Charles, 17)
·         Your mother often complains to your father about getting the car washed. He promises that he will do it. But instead he offers to pay you to do it and pass it off as his work. You are close with your mother and she would be very disappointed if you washed the car and made her think that her husband did it. But you really want the money for a new phone.
Would you rather:
-          Take the money and deceive your mother (30%)
-          Tell you father no (70%)
o   “It’s just a white lie I guess. If I really needed the money then I’d do it and prevent her from finding out.” (Mindi, 15)
o   “I’m closer to my mom than my dad so I’d ask her for the phone money and tell my dad no.” (Gia, 16)

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