The Case Against Greed

Greed – An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth: “Many . . . attach to competition the stigma of selfish greed” ( Henry Fawcett). The American Heritage Dictionary

Religious Arguments Against Greed

In Buddhism, greed is one of the Three Poisons. Greed can take a lot of different forms, but a good example would be acquiring things to elevate our status. If we are driven to wear the most stylish clothes so that we will be popular and admired, for example, that is greed at work. Hoarding things so that we will have them even if everyone else must do without is also greed. More here.

Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

Economic Arguments Against Greed

Greed and Good

Greed prevents a just distribution of essential goods and services among all members of a society. This unjust distribution increases poverty, crime, disease, ignorance, suffering, death, conflict, war and, as a result, decreases everyone’s standard of living.

Is an economy that produces the essential goods and services that all of its subscribers need to experience true well-being more effective, efficient and ethical than an economy that only produces the essential goods and services for some of its subscribers?

“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi

Psychological Arguments Against Greed

Greed: The Ultimate Addiction

Greed encourages people to be kind to themselves and others as a result of what they have rather than because that is the best way to create well-being for themselves and others.

Social Arguments Against Greed

Greed denies essential goods and services to other members of society resulting in great harm to others.

Greed encourages people to see each other as rivals.

Greed encourages unhealthy competition when healthy cooperation would be more beneficial to all.

Greed encourages exploitation.

Greed encourages disregard for the well-being of others.

Greed is incompatible with a just society because its very definition excludes behavior which creates ill-being for others.