Author Topic: In Praise of Greed  (Read 4543 times)

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Online jdawg70

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2013, 09:16:48 AM »
Well, from that, I think a workable definition of the word 'greed' in this context could be:
The desire and/or acquisition of any potentially limited resource either without due consideration for consequences to others or in spite of negative consequences to others.

I propose that definition because from Astreja's original post, I didn't perceive anything that I would label as greed.  I think, by and large, people associate a negative connotation to greed, and it's because when they think of 'greed' they are thinking of something similar to what I defined.

Is that definition invalid or not useful in any way?

Hmm.  It approaches it - but suppose I said that my wife was a limited resource?  There's only one of her, after all, and I can say pretty definitely that when I was courting her (to use the quaint expression), the last thing I was considering was whether I would upset anyone else if I "grabbed her for myself" (apologies for the expression!).  Was that greed on my part?  If so, then more praise greed!
Put like that, then with this above definition, I think you're right that your courtship could have been considered greedy.  The weakness of my proposed definition in this case is seems to be a result of the 'due consideration' and 'negative consequences to others' clause.  Those are both poorly defined and lead necessarily to subjective interpretation.
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Of course, partners on the whole may not be limited (and she'd quite rightly thump me for called her a "resource".....), but you see my point?

If we restricted it to "material possessions" that might work better.....but if I'm bidding on ebay for a limited edition collector's whatever......there's limited numbers of those, and I can't recall ever stopping bidding just in case the other guy wants it for his dying child, or whatever.  So am I "greedy" in that situation as well?
I think modifying the definition to incorporate something to the effect of 'reasonable due diligence' would make this case less ambiguous.  I'm unconvinced that would help reduce the ambiguity of 'greed' in your first point though.  I'll have to think that one through more.
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Restricting the definition to "more than you NEED" is problematical as well, as I've said.  We NEED very little.

I'm just saying that its hard to define "greed".  We all pretty much know what it means, but it can be surprisingly hard to put into words, at least in my opinion.  Maybe I'm just greedy though?
Agreed - a proper definition of 'greed', like any other wholesale word intended to describe some aspect of human behavior, is elusive.  And restricting it to 'more than you need' suffers from the same ambiguity as the word 'need' has.  'Need' is an insufficient metric to make a categorical evaluation of 'greed' vs. 'not greed'.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2013, 09:17:01 AM »
Greed is a murderer I will not apologize.

Reported for slander.

You praise greed it is not slander. You did not say that the greed that causes so much pain and suffering was exempt of your praise and until you do you are embracing a monster.  I have watched picture after picture of dead children stroll across my screen, so yes I'm quite disturbed when someones praises the very cause of those unnecessary tragedies.

You tell me that you don't praise greed and I'll take it back.

Greed is a murderer I will not apologize.

And this is why no conversation with you is getting anywhere. You mistake thinking you know what you're talking about with actually knowing what you are talking about. You confuse opinion with fact, constantly.

Seriously jb, either your reading comprehension sucks or you are prone to ridiculous presuppositions. And like it or not, you are badly lacking in critical thinking skills - that's probably not your fault, most people have to be taught to think critically, myself among them.

You leap to completely unfounded conclusions and hold to them, despite them being created from thin air. You made some appalling accusations against Astreja because you assumed ridiculous things to be truthful that she never said - YOU were out of line, not Astreja.

The fact that you likely don't even understand why is the real issue here. This has nothing to do with you being a believer among atheists, this is due to your own sloppy thinking.

No the facts are there you people just won't look at them. My thinking skills work just fine. You can not praise little greed w/o praising "big" greed unless you distinguish the two.  No distinction was made.

Believe it or not Jag I scored the highest on reading comprehension, score= mastered!  Astre can play the "devil's advocate" but don't be so whiny when people get in your face about it.  I just wanted to show how terrible it sounds to say "I Praise Greed."  That statement means a lot more than just her own personal experience it's a widespread epidemic that kills.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Jag

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2013, 09:21:12 AM »
^^^And with that, I rest my case.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2013, 09:35:04 AM »
Grow, raise. harvest, and/or produce your own food supply.
Harvest seeds (and critters if you consume meat) from nature to do the above.
Go everywhere on foot - unless you can provide a mechanical method of transportation that doesn't require the purchase of any material or a fuel source that cannot be produced by you alone.
Raise cotton or sheep (or similar) to produce fiber to spin into thread, to make into fabric to create your own clothing.
Grow and harvest lumber (or other material) to build your own shelter, again, seeded from nature, not a catalog, internet or store.

Anyone not doing all of the above, just to name a few, is contributing to the problem of greed as it's being defined and presented by junebug and Heirophant.

See how foolish this can get? Are you both hypocrites? I'm assuming you don't already do all the above, am I right?

Isn't it like that video MM posted? We were all brought up to participate in the game. Handing down generation after generation, etc.. I want to hand down something better to mine.  We inherited this lifestyle and try to be productive citizens as we were taught.  I had no idea what I was cooperating with. 

I don't think we need to go to that extreme, I'm happy for people that make successful lives for themselves, but somewhere somehow you have to realise that w/o others there is no success.

Where greed really gets ugly is when politicians take money and pass laws that are not in the best interest of "we the people."  That is why it's so bad right now. It is interfering with democracy.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #62 on: May 03, 2013, 09:43:10 AM »
Where greed really gets ugly is when politicians take money and pass laws that are not in the best interest of "we the people."  That is why it's so bad right now. It is interfering with democracy.
You seem to be very vague here about "best interests" Do you mean, "my personal interests"? And "we the people" (i.e. the Tea Party) were defeated at the last presidential election so, the majority of the people were quite happy.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Graybeard

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #63 on: May 03, 2013, 09:51:53 AM »
The mods have had a complaint about accusations of murder. However, I note the tone of this post was set in the first post:
Quote
In this thread, we're currently having a knock-down-drag-out fight in which one of the participants insists that greed is responsible for the majority of the world's ills.  I'm going to take the opposing stance and point out the many benefits that I received because I decided not to be content with the absolute minimum.

I judge that the “knock-down-drag-out fight” has continued in this thread and that everyone is aware of that.

I note also that Astrja says, “going to take the opposing stance” I think she must mean “going to take the an opposing stance as she does not seem to be complaining that unlimited greed never hurt anyone ever, at all.

Rather than jump up and down about who murdered whom, I suggest we forget the accusations, reassess and calm down a little, perhaps to the level of a "knock-down-drag-out fight" : )

Many thanks GB Mod.
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Offline Jag

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #64 on: May 03, 2013, 10:08:17 AM »
Where greed really gets ugly is when politicians take money and pass laws that are not in the best interest of "we the people."  That is why it's so bad right now. It is interfering with democracy.

Ok, jb, keep doing what you just did in this post. You clarified your original position to more accurately identify the point you are trying to make. With that tiny little correction, you have now done what we have been asking you to do from the very beginning - SAY what you MEAN, and be willing to clarify or adapt your position when challenged about it's accuracy.

You've been making sweeping generalizations for weeks and refusing to alter your words to more accurately explain your actual opinion - this is the basis of every dispute you're currently involved in, to some extent.
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #65 on: May 03, 2013, 10:10:47 AM »
You praise greed it is not slander. You did not say that the greed that causes so much pain and suffering was exempt of your praise and until you do you are embracing a monster.  I have watched picture after picture of dead children stroll across my screen, so yes I'm quite disturbed when someones praises the very cause of those unnecessary tragedies.

You tell me that you don't praise greed and I'll take it back.
Get off of your high horse already.  Things like greed and belief are not black and white, good and bad.  They simply are.  It's what people do with them that matters, not simply their mere existence.

Do we say that a knife or gun is a murderer, or do we say that the person using it is the murderer?  By claiming that "greed is a murderer", you're absolving the people who actually act on their greed in stupid, harmful ways of responsibility for their actions.

Quote from: junebug72
No the facts are there you people just won't look at them. My thinking skills work just fine. You can not praise little greed w/o praising "big" greed unless you distinguish the two.  No distinction was made.
Astreja's very post made that distinction.  Your mistake was in assuming that if she was praising some forms of greed, she must necessarily be praising all forms of it.  Because of that assumption, you made an accusation which was uncalled for, to say the very least.

Quote from: junebug72
Believe it or not Jag I scored the highest on reading comprehension, score= mastered!  Astre can play the "devil's advocate" but don't be so whiny when people get in your face about it.  I just wanted to show how terrible it sounds to say "I Praise Greed."  That statement means a lot more than just her own personal experience it's a widespread epidemic that kills.
She wasn't playing a devil's advocate.  She was pointing out that greed is not necessarily bad, just as you were pointing out in the other thread that belief was not necessarily bad.  And you totally missed it.  You were too busy lecturing her about how bad she was for daring to point out that there are positive ways to use greed to notice that you made a donkey of yourself doing so, because you jumped to conclusions.  Not even particularly sensible conclusions, just "how dare you say anything good about greed without excluding every form of it which I think is bad!"

Greed is not an epidemic.  It is not a disease.  It is simply an impulse that drives people to do things.  And like every other impulse, it's what a person does with it that matters, not the mere fact that they have it or act on it.

Offline Astreja

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #66 on: May 03, 2013, 10:16:10 AM »
I have watched picture after picture of dead children stroll across my screen...

Strolling across your screen?  What Linux distribution are you running on your computer, Junebug?

Because, y'know, it would be somewhat morally conflicting to be running Microsoft Windows and contributing to the wealth of Bill Gates... Even though he contributes billions of dollars to worthy causes worldwide.   ;)

And, of course, greed has to be a black-or-white issue, because colours and shades of grey are just some nasty myth that someone made up to confuse us.  Either we're living out of a used cardboard box with one set of clothes (washed with ecologically-sound soap, of course) and eating a steady diet of rice and beans and oatmeal, or we're The Enemy.

Rather than jump up and down about who murdered whom, I suggest we forget the accusations, reassess and calm down a little, perhaps to the level of a "knock-down-drag-out fight" : )

Right; I'm on it.

Although I now have the wedding scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail stuck in My head...  ;D
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Online jdawg70

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #67 on: May 03, 2013, 03:49:40 PM »
Strolling across your screen?  What Linux distribution are you running on your computer, Junebug?
I imagine dead.kid.linux would not be a terribly popular distro.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Offline shnozzola

Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2013, 04:22:03 PM »
Hierophant,
   I am assuming this is what you are referring to-
Quote
Neo-liberalism includes:
1.   THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.
2.   CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.
3.   DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environmentand safety on the job.
4.   PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.
5.   ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

If that is what you are referring to, it sounds very "Reagonomic" to me, and I do not like it.  In fact, it sounds closer to Grover Norquist's utopia then anything liberal.   I am not too smart about economics, but it is interesting to me.     I do support the basic idea of the rule of market, but not to include social damage, the above type of privatization,  or deregulation.   I believe the center is a better place to be.  For example, I do not consider my desire to own a car as being petty.  I think I need the car.  But yours is a good voice to consider.

Do you think society prospers and survives in the long term by fighting our evolutionary survival mentality?

      I always think of walking into a forest, and noticing what plants (trees, mosses,  underbrush, etc. )  survive and /or thrive without any assistance or intervention .  That is a very natural way of long term existence. Capitalism of the forest, if you will.

Do you feel your own lifestyle is at odds with the argument you are presenting?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #69 on: May 03, 2013, 04:34:26 PM »
Hoo boy...

http://www.newsofinterest.tv/neocon_globalist/neocon_neoliberal.php

No wonder that economic roundup sounded suspiciously neoconservative to me.  And no wonder Republicans and Democrats have started to seem like clones of each other.  They're both following this "neocon globalist" philosophy; neoconservatism is basically military in outlook, and neoliberalism is basically economic in outlook, but they have the same goals.

At least, assuming the site I linked is accurate.  What they're saying makes sense, but I'm leery of taking it as gospel.

Offline shnozzola

Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #70 on: May 03, 2013, 05:12:13 PM »
Just seeing Paul Wolfowitz scares me.
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Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #71 on: May 03, 2013, 05:49:20 PM »
By neo-liberalism I am referring partially to what you listed, yes. This is what the global neo-liberal cabal (IMF, World Bank, US Government) try to impose on other countries (usually under the pretense of "loans"), and their own: the end result is always death and disaster. Millions of people around the world are thrown into poverty because their safety net has been disintegrated, and many people die.

The exportation of misery is another aspect of neo-liberalism. Finding countries where labour laws are few or non-existent, and milking the people for all they're worth, then moving on. Of course, both aspects work together: first you wreck a country's economy, then you exploit it.

Another aspect of neo-liberalism is the support of dictators and tyrannical actions on a global scale, including kidnapping and torture. I don't want to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist or something, but The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein is a good book to read on this topic if you don't know anything about these aspects.

Again, and I know people don't want to listen to what I'm saying about this, greed at a personal level is just a reflection of these policies at a world level. We live in a world of greed, and the consequence is widespread misery and death. It is believed (and I don't know to what extent this has been proven or not) that pollution is the #1 cause of death in the world. Another is suicides in sweatshops. This is just one example. Of course you people don't care as long as you get your car made and your computer made, even if it uses coerced labor or even slave labor. Your Microsoft mouse was made by these people. They are so exhausted that they sleep right on the assembly line. And you come on here and gloat that your greed is great. Of course it is easy to gloat about greed when you're not living like an animal.

Stop talking as if your greed doesn't affect anyone or anything else! What the fuck is it gonna take for you people to start listening to me? What? Should I start a juggling act? Or are you going to keep ignoring the consequences of your actions regardless?
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 05:52:19 PM by Hierophant »

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #72 on: May 03, 2013, 06:05:29 PM »
That's where you're wrong, Hierophant.  Greed at a personal level is not a reflection of those policies at a world level.

For example, I'm greedy about sweets (and to a lesser degree, food).  I eat too much food in general and eat far too much junk food and candy.  That doesn't mean that I would let my greed for them run rampant if I were in a position of power.  You know why?  Because I'm not stupid.  I don't make the mistake of assuming that what I want is the be-all end-all of existence.  And that means that I can discipline my greed to an acceptable level.

You don't seem to understand that.  From what I've seen, you're missing the distinction between the kind of stupid, destructive greed that you're complaining about, and the kind of intelligent, benevolent greed that improves things for people.  And worse, you don't seem to care that there is a difference - as far as you're concerned, greed is greed is greed.

Maybe instead of breathing fire about this and scorching anyone who doesn't agree with you, you should take the time to review your facts and present them calmly.  Who would you be more likely to listen to, someone who laid out the facts in a rational manner and stayed calm throughout, or someone who ranted and screamed at you because you didn't agree with them?  You're coming across as the second right now.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #73 on: May 03, 2013, 06:32:51 PM »
For example, I'm greedy about sweets (and to a lesser degree, food).  I eat too much food in general and eat far too much junk food and candy.  That doesn't mean that I would let my greed for them run rampant if I were in a position of power.
When did I say anything about what you'd do in a position of power? That's completely irrelevant to the topic. For all I know, you are an angel in human form. So what? You are still part of a system of greed that exploits the marginalized in your society and people in the Third World to give you the lifestyle you live.

Quote
You don't seem to understand that.  From what I've seen, you're missing the distinction between the kind of stupid, destructive greed that you're complaining about, and the kind of intelligent, benevolent greed that improves things for people.
Because there is no such thing as "benevolent greed." Greed is the desire to accumulate resources beyond one's fair share. By definition greed means taking resources away from least fortunate or marginalized people. It may use intelligence in doing so, but it is not in itself intelligent. It is an unintelligent process which, on a world scale, is hurtling us towards the depletion of the planet's resources.

Quote
Maybe instead of breathing fire about this and scorching anyone who doesn't agree with you, you should take the time to review your facts and present them calmly.
I have presented my case calmly. I have explained to you why your personal greed, your lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but you people aren't listening. You just act as if the world stops at your nose.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #74 on: May 03, 2013, 07:17:23 PM »
When did I say anything about what you'd do in a position of power? That's completely irrelevant to the topic. For all I know, you are an angel in human form. So what? You are still part of a system of greed that exploits the marginalized in your society and people in the Third World to give you the lifestyle you live.
That's pretty well what you implied by saying, "greed at a personal level is a reflection of these policies at the world level".  You may not have intended it like that, but that's pretty much how it comes across.  Yes, the system is based on greed.  So what?  Not everything in this economic system is built on the exploitation of the marginalized dregs of society.  There is much that's good about it, and you're dismissing all of it as "greed".

Quote from: Hierophant
Because there is no such thing as "benevolent greed." Greed is the desire to accumulate resources beyond one's fair share. By definition greed means taking resources away from least fortunate or marginalized people. It may use intelligence in doing so, but it is not in itself intelligent. It is an unintelligent process which, on a world scale, is hurtling us towards the depletion of the planet's resources.
Actually, greed is not defined as taking resources away from those who are marginalized (that may be your definition, but you can't expect other people to just accept your redefinition of a word).  It's defined as a selfish desire for more than what you need.  But who defines what a person's need is?  I suppose you could define 'need' based on survival, but that excludes almost everything.  And as far as claiming that there's no such thing as benevolent greed, I have to disagree.  I don't think you can possibly have benevolence without selfishness, and that means that in order to be benevolent, you have to also be selfish.  And selfishness is greed - it's the desire for more than what you need, "me first and most".

Quote from: Hierophant
I have presented my case calmly. I have explained to you why your personal greed, your lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but you people aren't listening. You just act as if the world stops at your nose.
If saying, "Stop talking as if your greed doesn't affect anyone or anything else! What the fuck is it gonna take for you people to start listening to me? What? Should I start a juggling act? Or are you going to keep ignoring the consequences of your actions regardless?" in bold text is your idea of being calm, I'd hate to see you upset.

By the way, where do you live?  Because its a little outrageous for you to lecture everyone here about lifestyles and such and how bad they are, when you most probably have a similar lifestyle.  For example, you clearly have regular Internet access, with all that implies.  You might come across a little more honestly if you didn't act like you weren't a part of the very problems you're complaining about.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #75 on: May 03, 2013, 07:21:11 PM »
I have presented my case calmly. I have explained to you why your personal greed, your lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but you people aren't listening. You just act as if the world stops at your nose.

I think we have to be a little pragmatic and look at the wider picture. First of all the wealth of the world is finite and the distribution has, since the beginning of time, been uneven. I think we can deduce that a part of human nature is to want things; regardless of how much you have, you want things. We can’t escape this, the empirical evidence stares us in the face.

To protest about greed (which, it has been pointed out, is more-or-less indefinable) is to protest about the weather.

Someone once observed that if all the wealth of the world were distributed evenly, within a year it would be back to the same position as before.

I’m sure that nobody is suggesting that we could all live on $5 a day. Getting used to that would kill 30% of the world within a year and most of the deaths would be in the West. If we are worried about death by starvation and exposure, are we worried who it is or is it a principle? And how does a lack of wanting things help the total – it would seem to be a zero sum game.

Not to put too fine a point on it, some societies are far more advanced than others, and the causes of poverty are more linked to primitive and corrupt societies devoid of education, welfare, infrastructure, and honesty.

Today we are privileged to see ascendant economies in Brazil, China, India, Mongolia and have the chance to compare them with North and South Korea. We begin to have an idea as to why it is that some populations starve and others feed fillet steak to their dogs.

It is as if countries progress at different rates – there are places still in the Stone-Age whilst we are passing beyond the Space-Age. Take a place like Afghanistan – it is existing in a virtual 12th century. If we accept this, then there is little or nothing we can do to drag them through 8 centuries and turn them into a prosperous society; societal evolution will have to take its blind course.

Imagine that you are beyond Bill Gates wealthy. Where’s your money? It is invested. What are the investments doing? They should be creating more wealth. Now one way or another those investments are going to provide money for someone else. Or you could donate it, or get taxed on it. The actual percentages don’t matter because money is no good unless you spend it.

We are not awful people, we are not causing the deaths of millions, our consumption (on average) affects most people positively – the majority win.

Christianity preaches that this is a shit world filled with badness. They do this to make death seem appealing. To some it is, but again, it is a zero-sum game. The truth is that the world is the world and nature cares nothing for anything that is on it.

Our behaviour is just what it should be, otherwise it would be different. Unfortunately, like all creatures that consume, eventually we humans will die in our own waste and through lack of food and water, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

As I said, "To protest about greed (which, it has been pointed out, is more-or-less indefinable) is to protest about the weather."
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #76 on: May 03, 2013, 07:36:56 PM »
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That's pretty well what you implied by saying, "greed at a personal level is a reflection of these policies at the world level".  You may not have intended it like that, but that's pretty much how it comes across.  Yes, the system is based on greed.  So what?
Then you are admitting that the disaster we're imposing on the world is based on greed.

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Not everything in this economic system is built on the exploitation of the marginalized dregs of society.  There is much that's good about it, and you're dismissing all of it as "greed".
Yes, but the parts that are good about it, are the parts fighting the greed that is inherent in it!

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Actually, greed is not defined as taking resources away from those who are marginalized (that may be your definition, but you can't expect other people to just accept your redefinition of a word).  It's defined as a selfish desire for more than what you need.
You just repeated the same thing. Taking more than you need does imply taking it away from the marginalized. Who else is it going to be taken from?

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I don't think you can possibly have benevolence without selfishness
There is nothing benevolent about selfishness. And greed is not necessarily selfish, as I proved previously. But greed is still bad.

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By the way, where do you live?  Because its a little outrageous for you to lecture everyone here about lifestyles and such and how bad they are, when you most probably have a similar lifestyle.  For example, you clearly have regular Internet access, with all that implies.  You might come across a little more honestly if you didn't act like you weren't a part of the very problems you're complaining about.
I am a part of the problem! When did I say otherwise? Instead of making these snide little comments, why don't you start acknowledging the scope of the problem you're ignoring?

Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #77 on: May 03, 2013, 07:38:42 PM »
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As I said, "To protest about greed (which, it has been pointed out, is more-or-less indefinable) is to protest about the weather."
Stop trying to ignore your responsibility by trying to portray doing evil as inevitable. We can decide to act otherwise. We can decide to act responsibly towards ourselves and our community, if we want to. But you people don't want to. So you try to wriggle out of it.

Maybe I should go to Atheism+ instead. They are pretty dumb, but at least they don't ignore the rest of the world beyond petty arguments about divine ontology.

Offline shnozzola

Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #78 on: May 03, 2013, 07:42:08 PM »
H,
            Try changing this:

I have presented my case calmly. I have explained to you why your personal greed, your lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but you people aren't listening. You just act as if the world stops at your nose.

           To this:

I have presented my case calmly. I have explained why our personal greed, our lifestyle, is hurting us on a global scale (although it particularly hurts some people, it also hurts all of us), but we all need to listen. We all just act as if the world stops at our noses.

 and we will understand your position easier.   ;)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 07:46:06 PM by shnozzola »
“The best thing for being sad," replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something."  ~ T. H. White
  The real holy trinity:  onion, celery, and bell pepper ~  all Cajun Chefs

Offline Jag

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #79 on: May 03, 2013, 07:44:33 PM »
You seem to be mistaking this website and its members for a political movement.

I'm can't speak for anyone else, but my political activism (related to atheism or otherwise) and my participation here are separate activities.
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #80 on: May 03, 2013, 10:08:34 PM »
Why is me saying greed is bad a "political movement" but all the people here saying greed is good is not a "political movement"? Is it because I am a minority position and therefore must be rejected out of hand?

Offline Jag

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #81 on: May 03, 2013, 10:41:22 PM »
Why are you so determined to take offense?
"It's hard to, but I'm starting to believe some of you actually believe these things.  That is completely beyond my ability to understand if that is really the case, but things never cease to amaze me."

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #82 on: May 03, 2013, 11:06:22 PM »
Why is me saying greed is bad a "political movement" but all the people here saying greed is good is not a "political movement"? Is it because I am a minority position and therefore must be rejected out of hand?
No, it's because you're making a mountain out of a molehill - trying to act like everyone here should be politically motivated on this subject because you are.  And not just that, but the way you're doing it is really grating.

Offline Azdgari

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #83 on: May 03, 2013, 11:24:02 PM »
Heirophant, have you considered that greed might be, in your terms, an ethical intuition?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline Hierophant

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #84 on: May 04, 2013, 03:22:50 AM »
I never asked anyone to be politically motivated, I am asking that you don't ignore the facts and don't reduce everything to your own personal sphere. Your actions have an impact on the greater world. That's not a political doctrine, that's a fact. That you refuse to accept it and therefore must repeatedly paint it as a partisan belief is your problem, not mine.

You find my attempt at conveying this "grating." So what? I am not singing you a song or writing a novel for your consumption, so how is this relevant to anything? I cannot see that as anything but an attempt at poisoning the well.

Your arguing strategy is fallacious and inflammatory. Its sole goal is to divert away from the point and to impute me personal flaws that make what I say irrelevant. That I am politically biased, and therefore should not be listened to. But everyone is politically biased, so by that standard, what you say is equally worthless.

The fact is that ever since I started posting on this forum I have been targeted by personal attacks. But I am not an intellectual coward and I will not back down just because you try to bully me into backing down.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2013, 03:29:11 AM by Hierophant »

Offline junebug72

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #85 on: May 04, 2013, 05:30:16 AM »
Self preservation and greed are two different things goddess. You have not took more than you need.

Oh, yes I have!   I have a larder well stocked with spices.  I own more than one computer.  I have an E-book.  I buy chocolate bars on a regular basis.  I eat fast food.  I spend $30.00/hour on weekly music lessons with a private instructor.  I like to have a good bottle of whisky in the liquor cabinet.  These are not things that I "need" -- These are things that I want.

As for your ham-handed slander of My character, Junebug,  I'm tempted to outright sue you for literally everything you own for insinuating that I would be "a friend to a murderer."

You have 24 hours to post an unqualified apology in this thread.

You know I would have given you an apology if you hadn't of threatened me with legal action. I don't usually go off on people like that.  All I could see was those cancer ridden children taken too soon because of greed.  I should not have responded with so much emotion and I am sorry for that.  I really do hope you can forgive me and sue me because I don't want anyone to think I'm just saying I'm sorry because I don't want to be sued but because I'm genuinely sorry for making a horses a$$ out of myself.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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Offline junebug72

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Re: In Praise of Greed
« Reply #86 on: May 04, 2013, 06:55:04 AM »
Do you guys think that the political system,(American), that is supposed to protect "we the people" from individual greed is broken. Politicians are owned.  They have been bought and paid for.  They can not be trusted and we've been living to comfortably to complain.  It is infringing upon our democracy and our right to clean air and water.  They give big corps. tax breaks to create American jobs and they send them elsewhere. I don't want people in other countries to be unemployed, but I do think you should have your own affairs in order to properly help another country to develop.  I just want the greed out of politics so they can objectively make decisions that benefit all our society not just the top 2%.

I mentioned a Dr. Richard Wolfe in another post.  He is an economist that says capitalism doesn't work. He made a compelling argument against it but I don't know that his cure is possible.  I went to his website and asked some questions; I did not get a response.  He says socialism is the cure, don't know about that. I think we're too far into it to turn back now. Surely just a few regulations here and there and we could be back on the right track.

I do believe for anything to change we have to stand together and consider what's best for society and our individual lives.

I am still not sure I agree that self preservation and greed are one in the same but I do see how you can.  It is technically defined the way it has been interpreted here. I propose we give the monster I'm talking about a new name, any suggestions?  We could call them greedaholics.  I do believe some people are addicted to greed and I believe it has something to do with ego and self esteem. I bet most billionaires have a low self esteem they replace with power.  W/o their money they would not feel confidence or self worth.  That book I live by "The Four Agreements", points that out. I didn't make it up.  Wait it might have been, "Co-Dependment No More", I don't know it was one of many self help books I've read.  It made sense to me.


Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Thomas Paine

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