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What should you work for? Money? Or Happiness?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2019 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 440 times Debate No: 123773
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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All of us should work for happiness, If the subjective happiness is not financial.

Money is as much as technically a stage in life, Not a finishing statement where some practicality is achieved. Note money is very vulnerable and are just special printed paper, So bombing $1M in your vault deals more value loss than bombing $1M of the very very durable space material. Your money is used to be spend and invested in the future, And managing your money now means you don't need to do so in the future anymore at one point of time. And so money will eventually pile up and you just have more thing to invest in and you can chase your dream other than money. Note if your dream is not to be rich, Your piles of mountains of gold is just so much working towards your dream.

Rich people that just are rich for no reason tend to have depression over a lack of money as that them working towards bare money is not happy and they wanted something else. (http://www. Businesspundit. Com/10-millionaire-businessmen-who-committed-suicide/)

However money is not the only thing you can use to achieve your dreams, As that only money can do nothing other than pile up your garage virtually. You need time, Energy and other things to achieve your dreams, And money is just not the end whatsoever as that money would either drain you or run out of itself without any dream.


Money is just a means for purchasing what is for sale. Without it (in our contemporary neoliberal form of society) you cannot buy what is necessary to get by or what you want and will therefore suffer from a feeling of limitation. With it you obviate the need to work and therefore can begin to feel a lack of purpose and a listlessness common in many millionaires. Yet if you do not have to work or can work for less hours this opens up the possibility to pursue other meaningful relations with the world. You could write a book or develop better friendships (etc). This is why Karl Marx called for workers to have more leisure time to open up the possibilities for them to be creative and to pursue other things in life. Keynes too imagined a world in which technology liberated people from the necessity of unsatisfying work so they could pursue other ends in life which made them happy. Arguably some in society would use this extra time and excess purchasing power unwisely (hedonistically - in pursuit of bodily pleasure). Others might use it for other goals however.

Misers who prefer collecting their money than spending it do so finding the act of accumulation itself pleasurable. Having a pile of money may make them feel self-superior because they have more of it than others. It might make them feel secure because (not spending money in the present) they feel that their future is assured and immune from financial hardship. Some additionally enjoy collecting money because they take pleasure in conspicuously displaying their wealth to others for the social status this proffers.

Time to use your energy to pursue other goals without being deprived of what you need to live and thrive: that is what having a sufficient amount of money enables. That the pursuit of these other goals necessarily entails happiness is not assured however. The pursuit of a successful marriage can be tumultuous if that be your goal. Artists can suffer and struggle and have to overcome many problems. "Happiness is not made for us poor crawling reptiles of the earth" said William Blake. "There is infinite hope but not for us". That one was written by Kafka. The notion that if only I had enough money I would be happy is a false one. Money does not purchase happiness. There is ineluctable suffering and hardship to any life and to whatever pursuits (especially if they are worthwhile) no matter how much or how little money one has. Happiness is not really something one can work at or pursue directly. It's an intermittent feeling one experiences sometimes in the cracks of one's life. It's like crying at a film or feeling excited for the day that is to come. It's an affective state or feeling that sometimes occurs in relation to a specific object rather than an enduring and permanent lifestyle. It's a temporary experience.

Debate Round No. 1


For the person that just showed up in the comments section while I am reading garbles off my notebook for the past 40 minutes, You hated your job, And at this stage you are working only for money. But is it the end though? Money is just the tool you use to achieve your dream. Buy a Bentley? Have a mansion? Invent something the world really needs, Patent it, Sell it and become an active billionaire until you die? And also yes, Money can be your ultimate goal, Such as to be a millionaire before your end of life, But you are happy earning money thus it is safe to assume you are also working for happiness that IS the money. Either way, You are earning for happiness in the future, And you use money to achieve it, Meaning money is just the process of it.

The ultimate goal of working your job or even becoming the CEO of a company is to have happiness, And while working as a normal white collar, You are earning for money, Which would eventually turn into the things you buy that gives happiness, Investments that can give you more money and be happy, Your family's smile which makes you happy, And so on. Working for money is working for the materials for the happiness in the future.

Did I ever say that you CANNOT work for money? No. Never did. I said that you are working for happiness which can be represented for money, At any side. Do you hate your job? If you do, Your happiness is essentially what the money came out of it turned into. If you love your job, Then doing whatever you are doing IS happiness, Which IS happiness as it is self explanatory.

"You could write a book or develop better friendships (etc). This is why Karl Marx called for workers to have more leisure time to open up the possibilities for them to be creative and to pursue other things in life. "

Note Working does not only mean formal job, It can also mean side hustles. You can find joy whatever you find yourself working, When it is not for the later happiness of money. This is why people want better working conditions from the 1800's all the way to now, As well as better pays. People always want happiness when they are working, And Better pay, And better conditions makes for it. You are not working for just money as if you hate money they don't mean anything good to you. But most people find joy having possession of money, And working for money is also working for joy. But money are just printed paper. You just want them to have joy that is all.


Less than just being printed paper money contemporarily is data recorded on computer hardware which we access through keys like debit cards. I'm not paid in paper. I'm paid by numbers appearing in my bank account I see through online banking.

I think people work less for happiness than for survival. They work so they can pay their bills and eat and support their families and - well - live. This often involves committing to forms of work they would not do if they were more affluent and could afford not to work and to pursue other interests and ways of living. Sure workers have sought to improve the quality of their lives whilst working by improving the workplace. This is more of the elimination of suffering whilst engaging in what they see as a necessary evil (work) than a love of the workplace because you do not have to work in dangerous or unpleasant conditions.

It's true a small sect of people will really enjoy their work and get a sense of happiness from it (artists and people in authority and people well socially connected to others in their workplace etc). But I do not think that for most people they actually enjoy labour and the work they do. Can you say of retail workers and ticket officers and bin men and data inputters and office clerks that they really love their work? Wouldn't they be doing something else if they had enough money that they could afford not to work? Have you personally ever had a job? Most of them are repetitive and you have to put up with bureucratic procedures and things you just do not like doing - even if you are fortunate enough to be in a job you genuinely enjoy.

The accumulation of material goods (a Bentley for example) does not cause more happiness. It might allow you to make more decisions. If you love painting having enough money for oil paints enables you to pursue the activity of painting you find enjoyable doing. Some people love spending money and accumulating goods. This is because they find the act of spending money enjoyable. This is not all people though. And there's a certain hollowness to this form of enjoyment because it relies solely on the act itself. It's like eating ice cream. It's enjoyable whilst you are doing it but does not form a lifestyle and state of being in which you are generally happy in all of those times you are not eating ice cream.
Debate Round No. 2


I will counter your argument by Paragraphs.

1) If it is just hollow online data then that is my argument. No one is trying to earn virtual number shown on the deep web. Everyone is earning so they can either spend it, Save it for the future, Invest it, Or what other action than can bring them financial freedom, Which whatever is bought and enjoyed, Whether stationary or eternal, Is happiness. Whatever they are earning, They are trying to be happy by having them. Again, If you argue that people are trying to earn money, I already argued that their happiness can be money.

2) Being alive is happiness than dead for these people, Otherwise they wouldn't be even living. Whatever you said, Be careful that it still counts as happiness. You cannot not earn for happiness, Whether for the experience or product, Those, You do because you can be happy after, Otherwise you wouldn't even be able to bring yourself to do this. Money doesn't mean anything itself. But it means things to you maybe, Because it brings goods and you can enjoy it, Which I said, Money can be happiness.

3) Ignore money. If they even get happiness outer' money, Then it is still happiness. If it IS money, It can bring happiness. No one is trying to work to be sad and poor. No one.

4) People like it, And they find actual happiness in it. You can prove Kylie Jenner wrong, But you cannot stop her doing it because this is what she does for a living and fortune. If you chain the temporary happiness together you get an eternal chain of happiness, Which is what many people are trying to achieve. Either way, You are never just earning for money not happiness, Consider if you work for money you can buy things afterwards. This is also why high salary attracts workers> Admit it. What else do you have in question? Let's battle in the comments tomorrow.


1) Some people enjoy collecting money because of the feeling collecting money and seeing how much they have triggers in them. These people do not necessarily value money as much for its utility in giving them a purchasing power than for the joy of accumulating it itself. That's what makes them plutocrats.

Buying things is not happiness. When people buy things not for their own survivial it is for a self-gratification and short-term payoff. Happiness is more of something you experience as a result of your way of living and connection to others and the world around you. It is not hit after hit of pleasure resultant of buying the next commodity.

See Google for a definition of hedonism.

2) Sorry I did not understand that point.

3) Money can be an enabling factor for survival and (if you have enough that you don't need to be in full-time employment) to pursue different struggles and pursuits in life.

4) A chain of happiness? Is the idea that if I eat a bowl of ice cream every hour I am happy because I enjoy eating ice cream. Such short-term pleasure seeking and gratification I would argue of a very low quality of happiness. It is nowhere near the happiness experience of having a difficult and meaningful pursuit in life you struggle with. It is nothing like the happiness you experience after overcoming a hardship or what you get from developing characteristic virtues and relating to others in a meaningful and joyful way.

High salaries can be an incentive for workers because for many reasons. They might want to use it to do other things (like buy property). They might actually enjoy the responsibility and difficulty of their job with the salary just being coincidental. They might enjoy the social status which comes with having a certain kind of wealthy lifestyle enabled by money. Etc.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by HeartShapedBox 2 years ago
anc2006's arguments didn't make sense a lot of the time and the points he made that were legible boiled down to "money is only a step to an individual's happiness" every time. No one works without getting paid. People want a sense of purpose, But this doesn't always have to be through a job. There are forms of happiness money can't buy but no one would work if they had money.

TheUnexaminedLife won every round.
Posted by 1000lifetimes 2 years ago
I don't go to work to be happy, I go to work to earn my paycheck. However, Making money makes me happy. Having been both broke and financially stable, Let me just say that having money makes me a lot happier.

Thinking you should work FOR happiness, Makes no sense to me. No matter how much you love your job, I'm sure 99% of us would agree that if they stopped paying us, We'd stop showing up!
Posted by anc2006 2 years ago
Well earning a money is not a no-no, But money is never the end.
Posted by Phil413 2 years ago
Money is always the issue no matter if you are happy or not. A person who loves what they do but gets little in terms of money, Still needs that money to survive. They may have to work a second or third job to keep their happiness work alive. Even those who have jobs they love and they pay well, Still need money to survive. So in essence, No matter what work path you choose, Money will always come into play.
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