Nerdfighters

I always hear people talking about greed as if without it the world would be a beautiful utopia where everyone would be happy and lead perfect and wonderful lives.  I don't understand this thinking.  While I won't deny that greed has led to a great deal of horrible things throughout history, it's also responsible for pretty much everything good we have.

 

Look at your local supermarket.  There is significantly more than enough food there to feed everyone living within several miles, with more food trucked in on a daily basis, because thousands of farmers, packagers, truck drivers, entrepreneurs, and who knows how many others, coordinate to make, process, package, and ship the food, all of whom have the exact same thought in mind; make money.  You don't get this kind of effective coordination without the people involved being personally motivated to get their jobs done properly.

 

Throughout history, millions, maybe even billions of people have died from thirst.  Today, we get an infinite amount of water pumped into our homes, and we don't even have to think about it aside from the monthly water bill.  Why?  Because there are people whose paycheck is dependent on water making it through underground pipes and into your home.

 

How about this fucking snow?  Thousands of tons of society-crippling frozen death falls from the sky, and before the storm clouds roll in we have trucks dumping sand and salt on all the roads, and when the snow falls we have snow plows roll out and make the roads usable and safe.  Why?  Because every town has an asshole politician or two that know that they won't get re-elected unless they get someone to organize all of that.

 

Your favorite book?  Printed, packaged, shipped around the country, and possibly even written, because some people wanted to make a lot of money off of it.

 

Vaccines.  Antibiotics.  Cancer treatments.  Your computer.  Your favorite video-game.  Your car.  Your home.  The clothes you're wearing.  The condom that broke and got your mother pregnant with you.  Every necessity in your life.  Every luxury in your life.  All of these things exist simply because someone, somewhere, wanted a fat stack of cash in their pocket.

 

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that greed fucking rocks, and stop hating on it.

Views: 1558

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Humans need a balance between greed and restraint. Both are considered, "sins," by we humans. The perfect balance is one of both greed--essentially following the Id side of your ego--and restraint--essentially following the Superego side of your ego.

 

In other words, greed is good, to an extent. Similairly, restraint is good, to an extent. When greed helps other people (Inventing something to become famous, for example) that greed is good. When restraint helps other people--or, rather, restrains you from harming them (For example, not mugging someone and taking their wristwatch because it's shiny, or not raping someone) it is also good.

 

Greed and restraint are neither good nor bad--they're both. It's how one uses them that counts.

As Buddha said, follow the Middle Way (or something similar to that effect).

I think your using greed far too widely as a monicer. The profit motive is not in itself a bad thing, so where you say "All of these things exist simply because someone, somewhere, wanted a fat stack of cash in their pocket." I would answer by saying "That's not greed". It becomes greed when the profit motive outweighs other motives and considerations. IE where money becomes the central and only goal.

 

Throughout history, millions, maybe even billions of people have died from thirst.  Today, we get an infinite amount of water pumped into our homes, and we don't even have to think about it aside from the monthly water bill.  Why?  Because there are people whose paycheck is dependent on water making it through underground pipes and into your home.

 

People wanting to get money from what they do is not, in itself, greed. When they want the money to the extent to which they undermine their job performance to get more money, then it becomes greed.

The profit motive is not in itself a bad thing, so where you say "All of these things exist simply because someone, somewhere, wanted a fat stack of cash in their pocket." I would answer by saying "That's not greed".

I'm curious to know what it is, if not greed?

It becomes greed when the profit motive outweighs other motives and considerations. IE where money becomes the central and only goal.

What do you mean by "other motives and considerations"?

Exactly!
In WWII there were Germans who helped ship Jews across the border to help them avoid going to concentration camps. They did this with no chance of gaining any kind of financial gain from it. Still greed?

Iron Maiden have way more money than they'll ever be able to spend. Making records and touring to make money is therefore a waste of their time. They still make records (and they've continuously stated they don't really care if pepole buy them or not) and tour. Still greed?

I have a lot of friends who are teachers. They tell me they wouldn't switch to any other job that made twice as much money, unless the assignments were pretty much the same. Still greed?
Yes, this response would certainly be relevant if I had said something like "all good ever has been motivated purely by greed".  As I did not, your post is not at all relevant to the discussion.
You did say this:

While I won't deny that greed has led to a great deal of horrible things throughout history, it's also responsible for pretty much everything good we have.

Which would indicate greed is the motivation behind all good ever.
Correct.  At least it would have been if what I had said was "it's solely responsible for everything good any human being has ever done".  And when I said "we" I meant, well, we.  People like us.  Not Jews in Germany 70 years ago.
You're either a racist or you just don't realize Jews in Germany 70 years ago are pepole like us.

And are you saying that throughout history other things than greed have provided good things for us, but at this moment in time that's not the case? Voluntary work in poor countries doesn't help anyone?

And really, are you saying teaching isn't something good?
Join my army?

Do I really have to elaborate on every fucking thing I say?

 

When I say people like us, I mean middle-fucking-class Americans.  Or middle-class members of any similar developed country.  I'm not talking about people suffering genocide.  I'm not talking about people living in third world countries.  I'm talking about the kind of person who is sitting behind their computer right now, reading this discussion.

 

Stop constantly twisting everything I ever fucking say.  It's an annoying as hell and intellectually dishonest debating tactic.

RSS

Youtube Links!

Here are some YT links to channels related to Nerdfighteria and educational content!

*Can you think of any more? Pass along any suggestions to an Admin who will then add it to this list should it fit!

© 2014   Created by Hank Green.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service