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Are most human beings innately greedy ?


cricket

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Nov 7, 2009
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13,959
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.
 


LeDroit

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Mar 11, 2010
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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
 

MrBananagrabber

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Sep 8, 2010
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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...
 

Cael

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Jun 19, 2006
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13,343
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.
 

bormotello

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Aug 8, 2008
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12,192
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
 

bormotello

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12,192
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
 

splashy

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308
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.
 

LeDroit

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Mar 11, 2010
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1,771
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.
 

Cael

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13,343
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.
 

splashy

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Messages
308
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.
You're simultaneously saying that greed is and is not responsible. Pyramid schemes aren't formed just to pass the time.
 

Cael

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Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
13,343
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.
You are very much like the kind of portmodern Communists who claim that Stalin was not a Communist. That only good things happen in Communism. What you fail to see is that Goldman Sachs are the epitome of capitalism, the epitome of the greed that you praise. You have learned absolutely nothing, and are waiting for the vicious circle to simply start all over again.
 

owedtojoy

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Joined
Feb 27, 2010
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46,046
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.
You can show evidence that humans are innately greedy. However, there is also evidence that humans are natural rule-makers and deal-makers. Things like division of labour, trading and dealing only with those you trust is instinctive among humans. That leads to co-operation and communities.

The obverse if xenophobia, fear, hatred and mistrust of those outside the community.

There is also a natural creation of a power structure. Hobbes had people in their "state of nature" elect a Sovereign, Locke and Jefferson had rulers rule only with the consent of the governed.

It is essential to have rules that are fair for all and positions that are open to all. The more these are lacking, the more greed will come to the fore as means of protecting ones position.
 

LeDroit

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Mar 11, 2010
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You're simultaneously saying that greed is and is not responsible.
No no. Greed is always present, like oxygen. But you can't blame fires on oxygen. Fires are started, accidentally or deliberately by a spark. They can then be fanned and fuelled or smothered and extinguished. Regulation failed. But it's not regulation's fault either, it can't be blamed when ultimately this is the State's fault for bailing out failure. Failure should not be bailed out, it should be celebrated because THAT is a functioning capitalist democracy.
 

eoghanacht

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Apr 18, 2006
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There's an old native american tale dealing with this subject, if will allow me to indulge myself i think you will be pleasantly surprised.

One winter’s evening whilst gathered round a blazing camp fire, an old Sioux Indian chief told his grandson about the inner struggle that goes on inside people.

“You see” said the old man, “this inner struggle is like two wolves fighting each other. One is evil, full of anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, deceit, false pride, superiority, and ego”.

“The other one,” he continued, poking the fire with a stick so that the fire crackled, sending the flames clawing at the night sky, “is good, full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith”.




For a few minutes his grandson pondered his grandfather’s words and then asked, “So which wolf wins, grandfather?”

“Well”, said the wise old chief, his lined face breaking into a wry smile, “The one you feed!”
 

Cael

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There's an old native american tale dealing with this subject, if will allow me to indulge myself i think you will be pleasantly surprised.

One winter’s evening whilst gathered round a blazing camp fire, an old Sioux Indian chief told his grandson about the inner struggle that goes on inside people.

“You see” said the old man, “this inner struggle is like two wolves fighting each other. One is evil, full of anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, deceit, false pride, superiority, and ego”.

“The other one,” he continued, poking the fire with a stick so that the fire crackled, sending the flames clawing at the night sky, “is good, full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith”.




For a few minutes his grandson pondered his grandfather’s words and then asked, “So which wolf wins, grandfather?”

“Well”, said the wise old chief, his lined face breaking into a wry smile, “The one you feed!”
Excellent, a chara. That about says it all.
 

LeDroit

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You are very much like the kind of portmodern Communists who claim that Stalin was not a Communist. That only good things happen in Communism. What you fail to see is that Goldman Sachs are the epitome of capitalism, the epitome of the greed that you praise. You have learned absolutely nothing, and are waiting for the vicious circle to simply start all over again.
I have learned alot as we all should have. But you're right, I am eagerly awaiting the wheels turning again.
 

eoghanacht

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Excellent, a chara. That about says it all.
It is Cael, do we really want a society based on primative alpha-male socities?

Or can we try and evolve beyond that? This is not a political question, capitalism/communism and any ideology in between are by products of the kind of societies we choose.
 

making waves

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Mar 2, 2010
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The notion that greed is part of human nature is easily debunked.

This article demonstrates that greed has nothing to do with human nature -

it is the same pro-capitalist ideologues who preach that people are too “greedy” for socialism who then turn around to demand workers “tighten their belts for the common good” whenever they want to lower our wages, lay us off, or cut our social programs.

Theory: Is “human nature” a barrier to socialism? | socialistworld.net
 

LeDroit

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There's an old native american tale dealing with this subject, if will allow me to indulge myself i think you will be pleasantly surprised.

One winter’s evening whilst gathered round a blazing camp fire, an old Sioux Indian chief told his grandson about the inner struggle that goes on inside people.

“You see” said the old man, “this inner struggle is like two wolves fighting each other. One is evil, full of anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, deceit, false pride, superiority, and ego”.

“The other one,” he continued, poking the fire with a stick so that the fire crackled, sending the flames clawing at the night sky, “is good, full of joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith”.




For a few minutes his grandson pondered his grandfather’s words and then asked, “So which wolf wins, grandfather?”

“Well”, said the wise old chief, his lined face breaking into a wry smile, “The one you feed!”
Great story. I can see kiddie books, a cartoon movie, merchandising. . . :)

Need an agent?
 

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