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Why are humans "greedy"?


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#46    Chauncy

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

Greed is one of the qualities that separate us from almost every other organism on our planet!

All successful lifeforms here ,are extremely efficient... utilizing symbiotic exploitation of resources, to sustain a peaceful existence.

Except for us ! We consume , and consume, and consume. ..... It's almost as if we have a non satiable hunger, that we attempt to subdue.... but instead produce waste :(

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#47    Paracelse

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:03 AM

View Postsynchronomy, on 14 December 2012 - 02:54 AM, said:

We are born with basic needs for food, shelter, and love.  These give us a sense of security.
Our capitalist societies play upon that to "condition" us to be consumers.  That's our "job" in the economy.  Work to earn money, buy "stuff", use it, throw it away, then repeat.
Television bombards us with "conditioning" to the point that exuberance in today's society is sickening to the point of being pornographic.  Consumption beyond definition.  Bigger cars, bigger homes, bigger boats, designer clothes.  Christmas has been corrupted to the point where it is now disgusting.  Some large retailers do 25% of their annual business in the 6 weeks before Christmas...then Boxing Day the programmed masses are back out spending more money on big sales.
The rich and famous are worshipped by the media, bombarding us with their lavish images and driving the "wanna be like them" mentality deep into our subconscious.
For many people, their favorite pastime is "shopping".
We're not born greedy, Big Brother conditions us to be so in order to drive the big wheel called the economy.
Consumers, do yourselves a favor...start thinking for yourselves and not the corporate world.
Have you read Wealth of Nations?  Interesting book.  Unfortunately the "pretend capitalists" of today are creating a hugre monopoly to control prices and thus control the population.  It is greed to price things high when you're the only one offering a product or a service.  It is capitalism when one or more companies arrive and offer the same good at half the price for the good of the population.  How many tv's have you in your nome?  How many CD players?  How many computers?  The list could go ad nauseum.  Greed does not comes from capitalists it comes from individuals who seek possession.
An unknown parable was tought amongs the "Compagnons du devoir et de la LIberte" (companions of duty and freedom) a now defunct stone cutter union known as the Cathedral builders:  When JC was gathering his disciple for the first time, Simon Peter came to him and asked him: Master shouldn't we gather some food, as the trip is going to be long and difficult.
JC answered:  Peter look at this crow on top of the tree.  Does he gather some food for tomorrow?
Peter says: No Master he doesn't>
Are you dumber than this crow Peter?

I guess this says it all.  I'm not christian and yet I find this particular saying useful.


View PostProfessor T, on 14 December 2012 - 03:15 AM, said:

there is a difference between need & greed.

I couldn't aggree more, but could you define need?  Isn't need often confused with wants?  The kid often tells me :You need a new car... when in fact it is his ego that would like to see me into something faster and more up to his taste.  He often says also you need a new computerm but my five years old acer tells me everyday... I'm good I've got high mileage still left in me.  Preparedness is a nessecity in the modern world.  But how to draw the line?

Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither Benjamin Franklin
République No.6
It's time for a sixth republic.

#48    King Fluffs

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:02 AM

We crave more, and when we get it the cycle repeats itself.


#49    Professor T

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

View PostParacelse, on 15 December 2012 - 08:03 AM, said:

I couldn't agree more, but could you define need?  Isn't need often confused with wants?  The kid often tells me :You need a new car... when in fact it is his ego that would like to see me into something faster and more up to his taste.  He often says also you need a new computerm but my five years old acer tells me everyday... I'm good I've got high mileage still left in me.  Preparedness is a nessecity in the modern world.  But how to draw the line?

Needs by my definition are the basic nessesities of life. Food, Water, Shelter, Love, education, good health & freedom to go wherever and be whoever you want to be.

Wants, by my definition, are 99% false and born of a disproportionate society (capitalism) where certain people have more. They have the fast car.. They have the latest gadgets. Wants are also born of Consumerism.. Commercials make people believe that the need the fast car, that their lives will be better if they wear Guuci.. That their sex lives will improve dramatically if they wear certain deodorants.. Wants are for the most part in our society born of Capitalism and Consumerism and a grosely disproportionate distribusion of resourses.. But that is not to say that all wants are false..

The other 1% of wants are true wants.. People want to live in a free society. People want their basic needs fulfilled.. People want the Wars to end and a brighter future for their children.. And where there is suddenly a nessisity to create or even achieve something that's just inspirational people will want to do that.. These good wants are born of Immagination and lead us to Invention and Creation, which imo is a human in a nutshell.

Edited by Professor T, 15 December 2012 - 09:38 AM.


#50    Paracelse

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

View PostProfessor T, on 15 December 2012 - 09:17 AM, said:

Needs by my definition are the basic nessesities of life. Food, Water, Shelter, Love, education, good health & freedom to go wherever and be whoever you want to be.

Wants, by my definition, are 99% false and born of a disproportionate society (capitalism) where certain people have more. They have the fast car.. They have the latest gadgets. Wants are also born of Consumerism.. Commercials make people believe that the need the fast car, that their lives will be better if they wear Guuci.. That their sex lives will improve dramatically if they wear certain deodorants.. Wants are for the most part in our society born of Capitalism and Consumerism and a grosely disproportionate distribusion of resourses.. But that is not to say that all wants are false..

The other 1% of wants are true wants.. People want to live in a free society. People want their basic needs fulfilled.. People want the Wars to end and a brighter future for their children.. And where there is suddenly a nessisity to create or even achieve something that's just inspirational people will want to do that.. These good wants are born of Immagination and lead us to Invention and Creation, which imo is a human in a nutshell.
To play devil's advocate, what if your wants do not coincide with your neighbor's wants?

Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither Benjamin Franklin
République No.6
It's time for a sixth republic.

#51    Idano

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:50 AM

View Postwhitelight, on 14 December 2012 - 02:59 AM, said:

Humans are "greedy" because they want to live.

want to live..or want to mate? Same thing?

What could possibly go wrong?

#52    lightly

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:16 PM

... like i said earlier,  Selfishness / Ego.  I'd say there are varying levels of Greed / Selfishness / Needy Ego?   As others have said, it's really a matter of Insecurity, which i equate with     Fear.




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Edited by lightly, 15 December 2012 - 01:20 PM.

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#53    Professor T

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:17 PM

View PostParacelse, on 15 December 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

To play devil's advocate, what if your wants do not coincide with your neighbor's wants?

I don't see there being a problem because the true wants are universal, and that shouldn't get in the way of that Basic need of freedom to go wherever and be whoever you want to be.

It's these false wants that cause problems. They address and re-enforse Ego and create a false sense of value that is not to the benefit of anyone except for sustaining Corporatism, Capitalism, Consumerism and our current elite.. In religious terms, if a neighbour wants his neighbourhood to live by his religious laws then well, stiff sh.t mate, that cannot happen because that supresses peoples basic need of freedom to go wherever and be whoever you want to be.

Our basic needs should over-ride any Want, even the good ones, if those wants threaten to suppress those basic needs..

Edited by Professor T, 15 December 2012 - 07:19 PM.


#54    SpiritWalker7

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

People are greedy because they need something to fill them and refuse to become spiritually whole.


#55    lightly

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

maybe it's got something to do with wanting to be loved too ? ...   more is "better"  ,, so,  "better" deserves more love.    A sort of desperate attempt for love , from others,  and a higher self love / esteem  of oneself?         It's as if people think respect and love can be , like anything else,  ' acquired'    rather than   received.


i dunno.. great question though :tu:

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#56    Professor T

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

View Postlightly, on 15 December 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

... like i said earlier,  Selfishness / Ego.  I'd say there are varying levels of Greed / Selfishness / Needy Ego?   As others have said, it's really a matter of Insecurity, which i equate with Fear.

*
True that, it all comes down to Ego..
But I think it goes beyond Fear in many cases.. In some cases it's Programming.. Such as People who believe (though programming) that the aqusition of large sums of money/riches will make them feel whole and accepted in society. Or People who believe (though programming) that owning the latest gadget will make their lives whole.. Your right that it's all about Ego, but fear is only one aspect of it imo. Or People through belief and Programming who think they must aquire the most money, the most riches, own fifty houses, and have a bigger income than their neighbours.
Greed is a symptom of these types of belief and programming imo.. Not the cause..


#57    lightly

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:30 AM

interesting Professor T.   .. My dictionary description of greed included Food as something we could have intense desire of.   I get that now...    Gluttony would be a food 'greediness' ?      It's natural to get hungry and desire food,  it's unnatural to keep eating once your full?

Survival instinct , and hunger,  causes us to pick berries... but  gluttony makes us eat too many of them at once?   ..and then greediness causes us to take home as much as we can carry and more than we can possibly use before they spoil so we can eat too many tomorrow and the next day too?      

Or, what if our tribe allowed us to trade the berries for items of value and we got rich!  .. would it be viewed as greed or admired as ambition  ? How is ambition viewed now?   I think your right about greed sometimes being a symptom of what we are taught has value.

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#58    Mr Walker

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:03 AM

View PostParacelse, on 15 December 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

To play devil's advocate, what if your wants do not coincide with your neighbor's wants?

IMO that is where society, laws, and education of the population to compromise comes in. It comes back to the difference between needs and wants. No neighbour has a right to deprive someone of something they need, eg sleep but they might have the right to deprive them of something they want, eg a three story house overlooking their back yard.

In a democracy these conflicts are worked out by the representatives of the people and the courts. This is infinitely better than having the strong or powerful do as they want.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#59    C235

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

It's a malfunction in genetic level.


#60    ealdwita

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

View Postlightly, on 14 December 2012 - 02:02 AM, said:


greed |grēd|
noun
intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food.   .   .   ( food?   .. ok  guesso )
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: back-formation from greedy.

...which descends from the Anglo-Saxon 'ælegrǽdig'

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I can teach you with a quip, if I've a mind; I can trick you into learning with a laugh; Oh, winnow all my folly and you'll find, A grain or two of truth among the chaff!
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