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Thread: Are most human beings innately greedy ?

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    Default Are most human beings innately greedy ?

    For the last few years , on and off , I've been having arguments of varying intensity about whether there exists people who are genuinely good. By good , I mean generous of their time and concern for others. People who go out of their way to help others and genuinely expect nothing in return , some acting alone , others in the voluntary sector. But , what amazes me is how so many think that just about nobody does this unless they think they can get something out of it or unless they're a bit freakish , religious or otherwise. The number of young people who hold this view has shocked me.
    Yet , I personally believe that there are people around who have no ulterior motives and feel it their duty to help others where possible.

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Greed, for want of a better word, is good.

    Delicious greed.

    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=IE#/watch?xl=xl_blazer&v=vscG3k91s58
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeDroit View Post
    Greed, for want of a better word, is good.

    Delicious greed.

    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

    How come your contribution doesn't surprise me ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeDroit View Post
    Greed, for want of a better word, is good.

    Delicious greed.

    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
    I realise you're coming from the standpoint of a fan of unfettered capitalism, which in theory means greed is good. In practice, this greed and short-sighted hunger for profit at any cost has led to the situation in which we currently find ourselves. How do you reconcile your advocacy of aggressive individualism with the knowledge of the mess it has created...are you saying there are different forms of greed?
    I'm not trying to troll/provoke you here (I find your posts are usually thoughtful and well argued)...I just want to know where you're coming from...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cricket View Post
    For the last few years , on and off , I've been having arguments of varying intensity about whether there exists people who are genuinely good. By good , I mean generous of their time and concern for others. People who go out of their way to help others and genuinely expect nothing in return , some acting alone , others in the voluntary sector. But , what amazes me is how so many think that just about nobody does this unless they think they can get something out of it or unless they're a bit freakish , religious or otherwise. The number of young people who hold this view has shocked me.
    Yet , I personally believe that there are people around who have no ulterior motives and feel it their duty to help others where possible.
    No, a chara, they are not. But human beings today are conditioned into an inhuman, greedy and egotistical mentality by the machinary of capitalism. It takes literally years to condition a good natured child into a vicious spiv - but, the uneducational system, the Murder Machine, is quite good at it. It cant teach maths, or Irish, or science, but it can instil fear, deference and envy.

    But, despite the mind control of capitalism, most humans first instinct is towards goodness and comradeship.

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    Politics.ie Member bormotello's Avatar
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    Have a look on salaries of union leaders and CEO of different charity groups
    Have a look on links between politicians and businessmen from asylum industry
    May be will understand that too many people abusing good intention and tuning willing to help other people into hypocrisy as cover for their incomes paid by taxpayers

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    Politics.ie Member bormotello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBananagrabber View Post
    I realise you're coming from the standpoint of a fan of unfettered capitalism, which in theory means greed is good. In practice, this greed and short-sighted hunger for profit at any cost has led to the situation in which we currently find ourselves. How do you reconcile your advocacy of aggressive individualism with the knowledge of the mess it has created...are you saying there are different forms of greed?
    Main idea of capitalism is that everybody pays own bills
    If government increased spending based on incomes from property bubble, it doesn’t mean that we cover debts of bankers and developers. Plus it also doesn’t mean that we have to pay for populism of politicians.
    If we had proper capitalism, we could follow Iceland example, refuse to pay debts of bankers and developers and would adjust our spending according to income
    It is actually greed of people who made most out of boom (public servants and dole recipients), which don’t allow to make all necessary cuts and holding us in present situation

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    Greed is a base, Darwinian instinct which will guide people unless they find some way to transcend it. I think most people do, in some form; through charity, love, and what have you. The problem is that only the saintly are ever capable of doing this all of the time; the rest of us waver between selfishness and selflessness, never quite settling on either.

    I don't despair though. I believe society has the potential to transcend its atavistic avarice; all that is needed is the right motivation -a pure and uncorrupted motivation which springs from those innately good facets of human nature which remain even through society's darkest periods, flickering on in the darkness. What's needed is a system which would allow the better part of human nature to prosper; one that must surely be very different from what we have today.

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    Politics.ie Member LeDroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBananagrabber View Post
    I realise you're coming from the standpoint of a fan of unfettered capitalism, which in theory means greed is good. In practice, this greed and short-sighted hunger for profit at any cost has led to the situation in which we currently find ourselves. How do you reconcile your advocacy of aggressive individualism with the knowledge of the mess it has created...are you saying there are different forms of greed?
    I'm not trying to troll/provoke you here (I find your posts are usually thoughtful and well argued)...I just want to know where you're coming from...
    I do not believe that Greed has caused our current problems. I believe ineptitude on the part of regulators and a belief by the swindlers that the State would not enforce moral hazard has led to our problem. Essentially it boils down to this: this was a swindle, a bank robbery, thievery, a con job. The system, whether it was subprime sludge, Credit Default Swaps, or straight forward pyramid scheme property bubbles, they were all part of the same thing. It was a strategy of first in, first out with them gambling that the losers would be bailed out by the State.

    And they were right. From Day 1 to today, they played the central authorities. For example, Goldman were financing the subprime market, selling the CDS into that market, false-flooring the property market AND shorting ALL of those markets!! They're way too clever for regulators.

    Capitalism has survived and it will bring us out if this. We're just waiting for a floor which will bring confidence to invest again. They will do that because Greed has survived and thank God it has.
    "A govt big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by splashy View Post
    Greed is a base, Darwinian instinct which will guide people unless they find some way to transcend it. I think most people do, in some form; through charity, love, and what have you. The problem is that only the saintly are ever capable of doing this all of the time; the rest of us waver between selfishness and selflessness, never quite settling on either.

    I don't despair though. I believe society has the potential to transcend its atavistic avarice; all that is needed is the right motivation -a pure and uncorrupted motivation which springs from those innately good facets of human nature which remain even through society's darkest periods, flickering on in the darkness. What's needed is a system which would allow the better part of human nature to prosper; one that must surely be very different from what we have today.
    Men wanting to have sex with girls as soon as they have reached puperty is also a Darwinian instinct for species survival, but we have made a conscious decision that this is not the best way to do things. If society was telling us all the time that having sex with 13 year old girls is the best way to run society, then most men would be happy to do it. More than likely, the girls would be happy about it too, as, equally, society would be telling them that its the only thing to do.

    Its the same with greed. Its clear that logic tell us that curtailing instinctual greed is the best thing for society - but the capitalist system demands that we indulge in greedy behaviour as much as possible.

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