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Why are humans "greedy"?


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#61    JGirl

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 05:23 PM

View Postlightly, on 15 December 2012 - 07:45 PM, said:

It's as if people think respect and love can be , like anything else,  ' acquired' rather than   received.
interesting point


#62    Mr Walker

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

View PostJGirl, on 16 December 2012 - 05:23 PM, said:

interesting point
Children are often taught or learn this principle. They are judged for what they do, not for who they are. This applies from childhood with many parents, but certainly in schools and society; work sporting and social groups.

Children also observe the lives of adults in reality and on television, magazines, social media etc, and notice that worth and repsect is judged not on how good a person is, how compassionate, ethical and moral they are, but how rich they are or how powerful and influential they are.

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.

#63    lightly

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

View Postealdwita, on 16 December 2012 - 03:55 PM, said:

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


        Could you translate   'ælegrǽdig'  into modern english as closely as possible please ealdwita?  ( if anyone can it's probably you )

  Funny if you say it means 'GREEDY'

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#64    EllJay

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:02 PM

View Postlightly, on 17 December 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

Could you translate   'ælegrǽdig'  into modern english as closely as possible please ealdwita?  ( if anyone can it's probably you )

  Funny if you say it means 'GREEDY'

greed [] 1. néodfracu f yearning; 2. ~y adj ælegrǽdig, eallgrǽdig; ~y for gold adj goldhwæt; 3. Allgreedy


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#65    JGirl

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:45 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 16 December 2012 - 10:03 PM, said:

Children are often taught or learn this principle. They are judged for what they do, not for who they are. This applies from childhood with many parents, but certainly in schools and society; work sporting and social groups.

Children also observe the lives of adults in reality and on television, magazines, social media etc, and notice that worth and repsect is judged not on how good a person is, how compassionate, ethical and moral they are, but how rich they are or how powerful and influential they are.
agreed, but i would say it's the same for adults too. they look to these things to define worth as well.
i think it's what's at the root of all the crap to be honest.


#66    Jor-el

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 13 December 2012 - 11:40 PM, said:

Deliberately vague. Deliberately open. I dont want to say any more, including my own train of thought, for fear of directing peoples' thoughts, but I'd be interested in any opinions, spiritual or physical, on this.

Greed is a symptom for something much deeper... egocentrism. Hence it is in fact the original sin... all others stem from it.

Edited by Jor-el, 17 December 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#67    Mr Walker

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

View PostJor-el, on 17 December 2012 - 06:57 PM, said:

Greed is a symptom for something much deeper... egocentrism. Hence it is in fact the original sin... all others stem from it.
There is a lot of truth in this. I might not use a modern psychological term like ego centric but certainly the concept of self as the most important thing in the universe is at the heart of many human problems.

It comes, I believe, from our independent and separate states of self awareness. The first awareness we become conscious of is our own and it fixes in place as the most important thing in our lives. It is very rare for a human to truly understand the awareness of others, and to credit each and every one with equal significance to their own.

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.

#68    Magicjax

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:40 AM

In my opinion I don't think the term greedy can be applied to any other life form on earth except humans.

I "blame" the cultures we've created. If you observe animals you'll see some of them do things that we might appear as greedy. But its really just their nature. For example a leader of a pack may seem greedy when they eat first and snarl at anyone that tries to take some. But in my opinion they aren't being greedy. They're doing their job as "leader". Making sure they say strong so they can protect the rest of the pack. But, they'll also make sure the lesser members of the pack are fed as well in most cases.

Humans are the only ones that desire possessions out of place or that they don't deserve. We're the only ones that want more than we need. I feel the culture we've developed is responsible for that. The richer we are the more power we have. We're the only ones that have moved beyond our instincts to survive as a driving force.

Edited by Magicjax, 18 December 2012 - 07:44 AM.

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#69    Mr Walker

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:36 AM

View PostMagicjax, on 18 December 2012 - 07:40 AM, said:

In my opinion I don't think the term greedy can be applied to any other life form on earth except humans.

I "blame" the cultures we've created. If you observe animals you'll see some of them do things that we might appear as greedy. But its really just their nature. For example a leader of a pack may seem greedy when they eat first and snarl at anyone that tries to take some. But in my opinion they aren't being greedy. They're doing their job as "leader". Making sure they say strong so they can protect the rest of the pack. But, they'll also make sure the lesser members of the pack are fed as well in most cases.

Humans are the only ones that desire possessions out of place or that they don't deserve. We're the only ones that want more than we need. I feel the culture we've developed is responsible for that. The richer we are the more power we have. We're the only ones that have moved beyond our instincts to survive as a driving force.

Your last statement says it all, I think. Humans can choose greed or not.

In fact, the very concept/ construct and idea of greed only comes from human thought and language, which attaches a name to a symbolic concept. Like all our other conceptual constructs.

I think you are on track with your second deduction too. We evloved as instinctive animals conditioned to certain responses to our environment. As we developed self aware intelligence we know some of thse responses are not appropriate when we have such control over our environment,  but our biology drives us on.

  Also we use resources as power and as control. So perhaps that is why humans  are greedy, not just in eating more than is good for them, but in accumulating wealth beyond anything needed for comfortable survival.

Anyway, I have had the good fortune to gain an unexpected windfall of several thousand dollars.

My wife and i are having some pensioners around to our place for christmas lunch and tea, to give them a bit of a treat they could not afford; and some I have given away to young people who have nothing at all and are homeless or couch surfing, so that they can have  something for christmas. My family are all rich enough that there is no point buying anything for them and  I have only bought presents for my wife (some indoor gold fish, and a carrara marble  benchtop, if i can ever find one) and my mum ( a voucher from her favourite  gardening shop)

Only two more sleeps to christmas, so to anyone who reads this, a peaceful, stress- free and happy, christmas and new year.

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.

#70    fadedface

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

Humans are greedy because they are inherently evil and all human actions are based on natural selection and survival of the fittest. The most competitive and aggressive take everything and leave nothing for weaker beings. This is the true savage face of humanity.


#71    Mr Walker

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:17 PM

View Postfadedface, on 24 December 2012 - 02:11 PM, said:

Humans are greedy because they are inherently evil and all human actions are based on natural selection and survival of the fittest. The most competitive and aggressive take everything and leave nothing for weaker beings. This is the true savage face of humanity.
Even if i were to accept that evolution makes us greedy rather than just as we are,(capable of greed and charity) then why does evolution not make all animals the same?

I think greed only comes with our evolved self aware intelligence, and how we learn to be. No other animals really display greed because it goes against evolution. They would get fat, lazy, and either not be able to predate, or be easy prey for predators. Humans have moved beyond those limitations via technology and so can "afford" to be greedy.

one problem with competitive and agressive humans trying to dominate more peaceful menbers is the balance of numbers. In the wlld west before families arrived, and law via courts and sheriffs etc was established, a number of gangs tried to "tree" a town and rob a bank etc only to be repulsed, and in some cases eliminated, by otherwise peaceful, law- abiding, but well armed citizens.
To be a bit controverial at the present time, this was one principle on which the USA was founded. That armed citizens could not be dominated by any form of tyrant, if they combined together.

Edited by Mr Walker, 24 December 2012 - 11:23 PM.

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.




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