Major Conflict got me fired up. Rather it was a comment on the post that did -
"What's wrong with being greedy?"
The comment needs no context to tie it into the post. It is a stand alone question from a commenter I would expect no less from. We have traded comments more than a few times on Major Conflict .
Immediately I ripped off a 500 word reply blasting greed and the nasty side effects that usually accompany it. Feeling better, I sat back and re-read what I had written. I immediately deleted it. So I responded instead -
"Before I can answer that I need to know what is right about being greedy."
I generally hate answering a question with another question, but I felt that in order to point out what was wrong with Greed, I needed to know what was considered right with Greed. I was raised to believe greed was not a favorable trait in a human being. I was raised to believe that it is one of our traits we should attempt to keep at bay. I took it for granted that when I caught myself being greedy an appropriate amount of guilt should be self inflicted also.
I really did try to think of something positive to say about greed. Anything I came up with always fell short in that successful greed always seems to end up with winners and losers. And that is fine if we are talking sports, card games, or horseshoes. But when it is greed out in the real world that affects real people in tangible ways, greed tends to have a detrimental effect on some to the benefit of others. In a social order structure application, I saw no long lasting benefit to greed.
I could almost agree that when applied to a Life or Death situation, survival type scenario, greed could be understood as a needed tool. But that in no way makes it good. It makes it necessary. The greed we normally associate the word with is wanting more than one needs. Pulling out Websters right now, I will look it up. Sometimes the ritual of opening a book can bring some clarity.
"Greed - excessive desire for getting or having wealth; desire for more than one needs or deserves; avarice;cupidity"
No clarity, no positive support for the notion of Greed by our man Webster. Hmm.
So rather than continue to beat my dense noggin against this quandary of mine, I would ask anyone out there who is most likely much smarter than I am, what, if anything is good about Greed.?
Seriously. I really cannot think of a thing.
And if there is nothing good about Greed, then all I can come up with is everything is wrong with Greed. Unless of course over the top self interest can be considered good.