Isn’t the whole notion of human nature–‘all people are greedy”–a way for us to avoid taking responsibility for creating the world we want to create? Are we somehow confronted with a problem we can’t solve because its “ontological”–an unchanging part of our being? Really?


6 thoughts on “Greed?

  1. People CAN be greedy but people can also change. There are responsible people that can contribute to solving problems. The people that are greedy might not be aware that they are greedy and weather they are aware of it or not they can change and put their greed behind them if they try.

  2. People can often use greed as an excuse for inequality in the world, but saying you are greedy is not necessarily something to boast about. Though people can be greedy they also want a world that is ultimately equal. Equal, in whatever peoples vision of equal is. We need to be motivated to think differently so that we believe that by doing things for other people, it will also give us a moral pay off. So maybe in a sense we are all greedy, but why do something that that does not benefit you at all. Even if the benefit is just that you feel good after doing it. We can use “greed” or just our want for a better world to create the world that we want.

  3. It is a true fact that all people are greedy. The human race goes through life trying to create the best for themselves. Unless something better come along we care for are self above all others. Because greed has made us who we are, from the beginning it has been part of survival. It’s not something that can quickly be removed from a persons. Of course if greed was out of the question it would be much easier to create a complete world of equality. But even when people help others there is generally an alliterative motive. Which is not always a bad thing, it could be wanting to feel better about your self be doing an act of kindness. There is no way to remove greed from people. The best thing we can do is lean how to us it to are advantage. To start creating the world that one is proud to be a part of.

    • If this is true (And what real evidence is there that we are “essentially” greedy?), how exactly do we use human greed as a way of creating a greater sense of equality? If everyone is only interested in his of her self, shouldn’t more people insist on greater equality as a way for each of us to take care of him/herselves?

      • I would argue that to say that we are essentially greedy is to say that the biological instinct to survive is greed. We, like any animals, ultimately put survival first, which means that we want to have everything that could help us survive. If this is greed then yes, greed is a intrinsic part of human nature, but not, I would argue, morally or inherently wrong. Whichever way we define greed, though, I would argue that greed or the natural difference that is being discussed here is different from the issues of inequality that we have set out to discuss in this blog. I believe that when we speak of inequality as a problem or set of problems that need to be dealt with we are really talking about inequalities created or perpetuated by society or outside forces. Some people will always be smarter or faster or stronger than other people, but that is different than a political system that is skewed towards the rich and now towards corporations or lower taxes for the wealthy. Biological disparity is natural and a part of the world and the evolutionary process, it will and should always exist. Our resource use, on the other hand, is unnaturally skewed and must change, drastically, if we are to sustain the planet or humankind. Greed must absolutely be considered, like all parts of human nature or behavior, in our solutions and in our thinking about solutions, but greed being inherent does not make true problems of inequality inherent. We can change the system to level the playing field and have tried or at least moved towards trying in the past. What is democracy if not a system designed to attempt to thwart inequality? We cannot throw up our hands and say that inequality, because it is tied to greed, will always exist. The type of inequality that exists today has not always existed and does not need to continue to exist. The world will have to completely reshape itself in order to level the playing field, but that does not mean that it cannot happen.

  4. i believe that greed is natural. the survival instinct to stock up, to gather excessive amounts of food to be stored for later. its unnecessary in most of the situations that it acures, but people have converted the survival instinct for food and shelter into the want for more. more money, more land, more things. its gone from being a necessary trait for survival to being a trait that people look to avoid. “sharing is caring” beyond your basic necessities everything you have is wealth, and sharing that wealth with those who are in need is considered a good thing. people take more than they need but look for people who take only what they need.

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