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In the Name of God بسم الله

#30 Knowledge or Money?

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Poll #30  

74 members have voted

  1. 1. If you could choose whether to have the knowledge of al-Khoei / al-Khomeini, or $20 million, Which would you pick?

    • I would rather have the knowledge of al-Khoei or al-Khomeini
      47
    • I would rather have $20 million
      27


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 Neither are related or tangible but are dependent on their particular context. A rich man living in comfort will take the knowledge as he is adding something he lacks. A poor man, will take wealth as both comfort and pleasure are the first principles that man follows.

Now each man judges well the things he knows, and of these he is a good judge. And so the man who has been educated in a subject is a good judge of that subject, and the man who has received an all-round education is a good judge in general. Hence a young man is not a proper hearer of lectures on political science; for he is inexperienced in the actions that occur in life, but its discussions start from these and are about these; and, further, since he tends to follow his passions, his study will be vain and unprofitable, because the end aimed at is not knowledge but action. And it makes no difference whether he is young in years or youthful in character; the defect does not depend on time, but on his living, and pursuing each successive object, as passion directs. For to such persons, as to the incontinent, knowledge brings no profit; but to those who desire and act in accordance with a rational principle knowledge about such matters will be of great benefit.

The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. Aristotle

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Would you prefer to struggle for knowledge or for money? Knowledge is sweeter, so the struggle would be more worth it. Working to make money isn’t quite as uplifting (for me), so give me the money so I don’t have to worry about it!

As a side note, with AI expanding, many jobs will be automated and the concept of universal basic income may be a reality as human jobs become obsolete. The side effect is that money will be provided as a default without the need to work, freeing up time for artistic, intellectual, spiritual, and cultural pursuits.

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[Shakir 9:111] Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.
 

إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ ۚ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ ۖ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ ۚ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ فَاسْتَبْشِرُوا بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُمْ بِهِ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ 

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I was going to say knowledge because I enjoy knowledge but don't care about money, but then I read @Reza's post and changed my mind. 

I enjoy obtaining knowledge, not just having it. Obtaining money is a nuisance, but necessary, so I'd rather have that burden lifted, freeing me to seek knowledge to my heart's content. 

_____

Or maybe it's just a rationalization of greed, I don't know. 

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Tools of seeking knowledge (books, technologies, traveling) take money, assuming you are not in special places on Earth. Acquiring knowledge is fun and self liberating. On the other hand, acquiring money is more likely to be a compromising, draining, and exploitating affair. 

Yes, I know the intrinsic value in “a hard days work”, but with money, you can “work”, defined on your own terms, rather than being subservient to an economic system.

The thing you value more should be appealing as both a journey and destination. Money is just a destination, while knowledge is both. 

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I want to live like in Star Trek, where everyone on Earth has enough resources to meet their needs and the freedom to follow their own motivations beyond just survival. 

Plus, 3 million would be plenty for meeting my needs for the rest of my life. I could do a lot of good with the other 17 million. 

Edited by notme
Added thought.
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Possessing a large amount of money like that can be dangerous sometimes, in the sense that it may lead to carelessness of one’s faith while the love of this world overtakes him. Gaining knowledge without earning it is not the same as earning it yourself, but in the end it’s still knowledge nonetheless, which is very important in life and something money can’t buy. Whatever a person chooses, whether the money or the knowledge, both can be good or bad depending how the person decides to do with them. But in terms of which option is the safer option to choose, I think knowledge would be better, simply because it has more benefits for one’s faith and the hereafter than acquiring money.

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I don't know if it's due to magic, or what, but a lot of people have spiritual power these days. These people control the rich people, in fact many rich people are like slaves. They earn money and give to these people who look poor. These people with spiritual power claim to have "knowledge". I want that kind of knowledge, the knowledge which will make me eligible to receive Khums money. If I get millions of dollars, I will lose them in 1 week, so I don't want the money. I want knowledge even if it's knowledge of magic. 

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4 hours ago, ireallywannaknow said:

Knowledge comes with the responsibility to act on it and i would fear my actions would be lacking because I haven't built myself up to that level yet. So the money. 

Everything someone has power on it, including the money, is that person's responsibility. Just because one has the property of something, it doesn't mean that it is morally right to do anything he want on it. Someone can do suicide, but it is not morally right.

Edited by 000
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Compared to a thousand years ago, material wealth is thousands time larger now due to extensive earth exploitation. Does it matter? Majority of people, those who belong in the bottom of the pyramid, are still working hard to even get basic human needs fulfilled.

 

Edited by 000
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I’m surprised at the opinions here. Knowledge for common people is based on experiences, so to just “get” knowledge the same way you just “get” money seems demeaning and cheapening to knowledge. Better to get the money, then be secure in this world, then you’re free to have the experiences that are a mandatory requirement for obtaining knowledge. Knowledge is not a “what” but a “how”.

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Like in The Matrix and many other sci-fi stories?

Knowledge easily gained does have value in its use, however, it doesn't come with wisdom. Wisdom has more value than knowledge, and wisdom is only gained by either attentiveness to the hardships of others or by a person experiencing hardship themselves. 

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1 hour ago, Reza said:

Knowledge for common people is based on experiences, so to just “get” knowledge th

Yeah the question is a bit strange. I assumed that the OP implied that we gain knowledge through struggle and be taught by Imam Khomeini etc.

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1 hour ago, Reza said:

I’m surprised at the opinions here. Knowledge for common people is based on experiences, so to just “get” knowledge the same way you just “get” money seems demeaning and cheapening to knowledge. Better to get the money, then be secure in this world, then you’re free to have the experiences that are a mandatory requirement for obtaining knowledge. Knowledge is not a “what” but a “how”.

 

1 hour ago, notme said:

Like in The Matrix and many other sci-fi stories?

Knowledge easily gained does have value in its use, however, it doesn't come with wisdom. Wisdom has more value than knowledge, and wisdom is only gained by either attentiveness to the hardships of others or by a person experiencing hardship themselves. 

That is, of course, an arbitrary distinction. Knowledge is literally to be aware of something and, at a later date, the ability to recall that something you were previously made aware of. Whether the thing you remember is an equation (a what) or how you got to the equation, how you felt when it happened and so on (what we would describe as the experience) is still just a memory; the distinction is made by us.

Obviously, in such an example, we assume the ideal scenario and hypothesise the transference of 'ideal knowledge'. Your objection can be easily removed by rephrasing the question to state, "Would you rather have the memories of Ayatollah Khoei or money?" The memories would include both the knowledge he had and his life experiences (wisdom). Yet, the fundamental choice underlying this hypothetical scenario remains.

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1 hour ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Yeah the question is a bit strange. I assumed that the OP implied that we gain knowledge through struggle and be taught by Imam Khomeini etc.

No my brother, this poll like many other polls is hypothetical based. The what, when, how, where, why you got your knowledge or money is not applicable in this scenario, the poll is just asking a very simply question of whether you would rather be as knowledgeable as these maraji' or instead have $20 million. 

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17 hours ago, Hassan- said:

Studying there books won’t make you as knowledgeable as them, you’d need 50+ years of studying various types of books just to reach their level.

Yes, I know but if you have $20 million, you can build several schools, you can help poor children to go to school and continue their education, help geniuses and scientists to launch their projects, to prevent the death of many sick people who cannot pay for their treatment, to help the homeless, to help disabled people who cannot find a career due to their disability (you can help them to be self-employed), help other jobless people (a lower unemployment rate results in a decrease in crime rate) and so on. You see, it is worth a lot.

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9 hours ago, shadow_of_light said:

Yes, I know but if you have $20 million, you can build several schools, you can help poor children to go to school and continue their education, help geniuses and scientists to launch their projects, to prevent the death of many sick people who cannot pay for their treatment, to help the homeless, to help disabled people who cannot find a career due to their disability (you can help them to be self-employed), help other jobless people (a lower unemployment rate results in a decrease in crime rate) and so on. You see, it is worth a lot.

Do you think things that you mentioned can be built only with money? For sure you can build schools and hospitals, buy materials and pay workers to build it...
but they will only become material buildings with no spirit of education and healthcare or anything good in it.

Money, most often is not the ultimate requirement for a problem to be solved. Most of the time, the problem of money will be sorted by itself, if the root cause of the problem is identified and being worked on.

Edited by 000
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52 minutes ago, 000 said:

Do you think things that you mentioned can be built only with money? For sure you can build schools and hospitals, buy materials and pay workers to build it...
but they will only become material buildings with no spirit of education and healthcare or anything good in it.

Money, most often is not the ultimate requirement for a problem to be solved. Most of the time, the problem of money will be sorted by itself, if the root cause of the problem is identified and being worked on.

What do you mean by "material buildings with no spirit of education..."? There wont be empty buildings. There will be some professionals in these buildings who use their knowledge to help people and educate them.

By the way, the poll is not about "knowledge" in general.

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32 minutes ago, shadow_of_light said:

What do you mean by "material buildings with no spirit of education..."?

 

It's hard to tell because it is something that can't be seen with eyes. But I can give you some example. There is a city, full of concrete, called Dubai. It was nothing years ago but suddenly become global economy built mostly by oil money. This kind of city does not have live spirits that can be found in other cities. It wouldn't last longer without oil money.
It goes the same for hospitals or schools that built solely by money, it wouldn't last anytime longer when the money runs out, because the reason of its very existence is the money.

Edited by 000
correction
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11 hours ago, shadow_of_light said:

Yes, I know but if you have $20 million, you can build several schools, you can help poor children to go to school and continue their education, help geniuses and scientists to launch their projects, to prevent the death of many sick people who cannot pay for their treatment, to help the homeless, to help disabled people who cannot find a career due to their disability (you can help them to be self-employed), help other jobless people (a lower unemployment rate results in a decrease in crime rate) and so on. You see, it is worth a lot.

Exactly. 

Money can help entire communities for generations (including the advancement of knowledge). 

Although there are some very knowledgeable personalities in the Islamic world, the critical juncture has been the dissemination of that knowledge to the world at large (translated books, training speakers, online materials, etc). That takes money.

Imagine if somebody with 20 million dollars had this as a priority.

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12 hours ago, shadow_of_light said:

Yes, I know but if you have $20 million, you can build several schools, you can help poor children to go to school and continue their education, help geniuses and scientists to launch their projects, to prevent the death of many sick people who cannot pay for their treatment, to help the homeless, to help disabled people who cannot find a career due to their disability (you can help them to be self-employed), help other jobless people (a lower unemployment rate results in a decrease in crime rate) and so on. You see, it is worth a lot.

 

1 hour ago, Reza said:

Exactly. 

Money can help entire communities for generations (including the advancement of knowledge). 

Although there are some very knowledgeable personalities in the Islamic world, the critical juncture has been the dissemination of that knowledge to the world at large (translated books, training speakers, online materials, etc). That takes money.

Imagine if somebody with 20 million dollars had this as a priority.

Actually, that's not entirely true. While, yes, the basic logic of your arguments are sound, $20 million is not actually a very large sum. In the above example, you'd be out of money after maybe just a few schools. Moreover, a marja' like Ayatollah Khoei would receive billions of dollars in Khums on a yearly basis. Yet, when you look at all the need there is for money to distribute to the poor, to spread Islam, to print books, to support students in the Hawza, to protect and renovate the shrines, and all the other things that fall under the responsibilities of the maraje and which they use the Khums money for, it's still not enough.

As such, arguing that the $20 million would allow you to somehow make a big impact on the world by promoting others' welfare and knowledge is simply not a factual statement given there already exist people who donate millions and maraje who receive billions in khums but the money is still not enough. As such, $20 million is just far too small a sum for that argument to hold. Unless the sum was increased rather significantly, the benefit coming from a marja's knowledge is not nearly the same as the potential benefit from $20 million.

Secondly, even with the fact that money can help entire communities in mind, as I've said before, someone with the knowledge of al-Khoei can receive billions in Khums, which they can use to benefit Islam. If it's a direct comparison of spending potential, you'd still have more money to spend on welfare as a marja' than if you just took $20 million as a lump sum.

Edited by Khadim uz Zahra
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