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Is greed a bad thing

Updated on July 2, 2017
Greed by Muffet
Greed by Muffet | Source

Seven sins

Mankind has decided that there are seven behaviors that are to considered so bad, we should never show them. Those seven sins are even called deadly or mortal or cardinal sins. The seven sins are not necessarily bad, because if you take time to learn from them, these sins are great teachers. So what are those seven sins:

1. gluttony in the form of eating to much
2. greed (or avarice) the wish to hold on to
material things to become rich
3. sloth meaning extreme laziness
4. pride in the meaning of finding yourself better than others
5. lust in wanting something or someone very much
6. envy meaning that you want what others have

7. wrath in the meaning of being very angry at others

If you look good at these seven sins you might see a pattern, they all have to do with excess.

Greed by Jusben
Greed by Jusben | Source

To start

with some explaining

So our ancestors decided they would call extreme forms of certain human behavior sins. Why these behaviors should be sins, is up to us to discover, as our ancestors only told us stories to show why they were right to call them sins.


But were our ancestors right to call the seven deadly sins sins. Off course it is not fun to be the victim of someone with behavior that can be called a sin. Someone suffering from gluttony is off course doing something wrong. As he overfeeds himself and keeps others from getting enough food. But those suffering from gluttony also created ways to create more food. So how bad are sins if those possessing them create solutions to feed their sin.

Off course we would rather live in a world without weapons. But if someone had not felt wrath, he or she probably would not have come up with a weapon or strategy to take revenge on his or her assailant. Which created more safety for others.

Human need

Another point one can make is that most sins seem to come from the same core need humans have. Gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride, and wrath all are extreme forms of the human need to survive.

  • Gluttony is excessive eating and drinking, so it is an extreme form of our need to eat and drink so one can stay alive.
  • Greed as the extreme form of saving for a rainy day is in its normal form a good thing as our body uses fat as a way of preparing for days with less food.
  • Sloth is an extreme form of taking a rest, where rest is a good thing because it gives our body a chance to restore and mend itself.
  • Lust is the extreme form of love, which we need to survive, because it makes it possible to trust others and cooperate with others. But love is also needed to safeguard the survival of our species.
  • Pride is an extreme form of self-worth and confidence, which is necessary to get out of bed every day and go out in the world to earn a living.
  • And last but not least wrath or being extremely angry is the extreme form of protecting yourself and others.
So how can sins that in their normal form are good, be bad in an extreme form.

About Greed on Amazon

Is Greed good - or is it bad

What do you think greed is? Is it good or is it bad. Is it bad because we say it is bad or is it good if it results in something good.

Greed is bad - or is it

New York by joiseyshowaa
New York by joiseyshowaa | Source

So this lens started with the question in the title:

Is greed a bad thing.

If you look at it from the point of view of the person being greedy, you probably would say no. Because what is bad about having more then enough to eat and drink, if you are the one doing the holding on. If you take the point of view of a victim you will say yes. Especially if you are the one doing the letting go so the greedy person can have his hoard of food and beverages. And if you come in the situation that you are on the brink of starvation because of someones greed, you might even develop the sin of wrath.

Greed is good

So yes greed is bad, especially if you find yourself to be greedy in a situation in which you can not fulfill this need for hoarding. But how come a simple human trait like wanting to survive by having enough to eat and drink can become the sin of greed. And why do we call something bad that also has brought us good things. Because greedy people have brought us houses, because they needed enclosed spaces to save all that food they were keeping for themselves. Greedy people thought up methods to transport their hoards in a safe way. Greedy people thought up methods to enlarge their harvest so they could have more to eat, and know we have methods to feed more people than ever.

Our lessons

But the most important thing why greed is good is that it shows us that we need each other to help each other. Because the greedy person is greedy out of fear for his life and his hoard gives him a feeling of safety, because he does not believe that others will protect him of his fear or help him if his fear becomes true. So the greedy persons shows us in his behavior that we did not give him a feeling of safety. He shows us that we did not build trust in what we will do when the day comes that the greedy persons needs our help to protect him.

Lesson no. 2

Another lesson we can learn from greed is that we need to stand up to greedy people. It is not enough to hope that we will not become victim of a greedy person. We need to let the greedy person know that we do not accept their behavior. If they want to be greedy, they need to do that somewhere where greed has no consequences or they have to stop being greedy if they want to stay with us.

And off course it is much more difficult to stand up to greedy people nowadays. Because it is much more easy to be greedy if you take from a million people a dollar then when you take a thousand dollars from a thousand people. But politics makes it possible to stand up against greed and let greedy people know that their neighbors do not accept the greedy behavior.

Grain by Melodi2
Grain by Melodi2 | Source

So is greed a bad thing

that depends

The answer can only be yes and no. It is yes when nothing is done to fight greed and a greedy person. Because more and more people will think that greed is good. But as Ghandi said:

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed

The answer is no if we are willing to stand up to a greedy person, because then we and the greedy person can learn that this world has enough to give us. Because one thing greedy persons forget is:

Life is boring if you are living it all alone.

And you will be living alone if the are no other people left who want to live with you, because your greed has driven them away.

Do you have bad experiences with greed or the seven mortal sins or do you have good experiences.

Let me know - what you know

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    • Normyo Yonormyo profile imageAUTHOR

      Normyo Yonormyo 

      5 years ago

      @poemsthatdance: Hello poemsthatdance, I too think that greed is bad for natures balance.

      Your question if successful people are greedy is probably impossible to

      answer. What you probably would see in research is that there are greedy

      people if you define success as the amount of money someone gathers and

      generous people if you define success as the amount of money people donate.

      So maybe success is not the best way to research greed. A better question

      would probably be: Do greedy people have success in the form of financial

      wealth? Or: Do greedy people donate less money or time than generous humans?

    • poemsthatdance profile image

      Maria Grujicic 

      5 years ago from Darwin, Australia

      Greed is bad because it destroys nature's balance, which is crucial to our survival. Greed means everything for me and nothing for you. What I'd like to look into: Are successful people greedy? Thanks for an interesting debate. :)

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile imageAUTHOR

      Normyo Yonormyo 

      5 years ago

      @EdTecher: So very true.

    • EdTecher profile image

      Heidi Reina 

      5 years ago from USA

      Greed skews priorities and wealth does not equal happiness.

    • Normyo Yonormyo profile imageAUTHOR

      Normyo Yonormyo 

      6 years ago

      @spunkyduckling: That is always a pity to experience, people not able to share what they have. But most of all, people who are so enthralled in their greed they can not see any other option to help the other person asking them to share what they have.

    • spunkyduckling profile image


      6 years ago

      I have both good and bad experiences if i could call them that. I grew up with greedy people around me but it never affected me because i was not after the same thing they were. Now I'm at a point wanting them to share some of those things so my eyes are open to how greedy they really are.


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