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Author Topic: Where greed comes from?  (Read 293 times)
Thekool1s
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October 11, 2019, 04:52:05 PM
Merited by suchmoon (4), hugeblack (1)
 #1

We often blame it on human nature, but is it truly the case or is it a result of this "Social system" which has been going on for thousands of years? we are often told that early humans only survived because they learned to work together as a group if that was the case how did the idea of "having more" got into us?
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October 14, 2019, 01:48:06 PM
Merited by paxmao (2)
 #2

What you are describing was in the very early days, when the human existed as an ape.
Very soon someone realized that he could control others and make them work for him.
This kind of control over people led to power and then to greed.
However it is not common in some indigenous people (i.e South America), so greed has to do with the environment too.
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October 14, 2019, 06:21:26 PM
Merited by suchmoon (4), friends1980 (1)
 #3

AFAIK, it was never a case that humans didn't have the "greed" element in them. Ever since we came into existence, we've been thriving for "having more". I'd love to know which history (book/research) you're referring to when you say that humans initially didn't have the idea of having more. I believe that we're a part of a fixed cycle, and that is the cycle of three steps:

1. Born
2. Thrive for more & more while following the basic rules around (which includes the greed)
3. Die

We've been following this cycle for thousands of years and will continue to do so in the future.
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October 22, 2019, 11:21:35 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1), paxmao (1)
 #4

"Hunting and gathering was presumably the subsistence strategy employed by human societies beginning some 1.8 million years ago, by Homo erectus, and from its appearance some 0.2 million years ago by Homo sapiens. Prehistoric hunter-gatherers lived in groups that consisted of several families resulting in a size of a few dozen people.[8] It remained the only mode of subsistence until the end of the Mesolithic period some 10,000 years ago, and after this was replaced only gradually with the spread of the Neolithic Revolution."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter-gatherer
Groeneveld, Emma (9 December 2016). "Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Societies"


Historical "evidence" will only suggest early human lived in harmony cuz they realized that it was their best option and had a common goal of just filling their "Tummy" so to speak. It was around 10,000 years ago when we had this radical shift and the idea of "having more" came into place.

Also, I'm not so sure if the 3rd part of your cycle will remain true. We are close to becoming "Cyborgs". There are different projects Like "Initiative 2045". Recently XPRIZE announced a $10 million competition "$10 million XPRIZE Aims for Robot Avatars That Let You See, Hear, and Feel by 2021". "Initiative 2045" wants an Avatar which is capable of holding a human brain by 2025. "The Cycle" will change within this century forsure, what it will do to humanity? That is another discussion.
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October 22, 2019, 01:59:20 PM
 #5

...

Due to agriculture and land property.
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October 27, 2019, 03:10:23 AM
Merited by Foxpup (3), Upgrade00 (1)
 #6

-snip-

Historical "evidence" will only suggest early human lived in harmony cuz they realized that it was their best option and had a common goal of just filling their "Tummy" so to speak. It was around 10,000 years ago when we had this radical shift and the idea of "having more" came into place.

-snip-

Early humans didn't live in harmony. From burials that have been found and dated to the time, its concluded that the era was the most violent in human history. We didn't have weapons to do the job effectively, but the proportion of skeletal remains found with horrific damage show that it wasn't a good time to be alive if you wanted to avoid being bashed in the head with something.
Heres one source: https://www.livescience.com/27055-neolithic-skulls-show-violence.html
I'd argue that the only reason there were no neolithic "billionaires" is because there weren't permanent settlements to accumulate wealth.

I don't really like the characterization of greed outside of the whacky cartoon villain portrayal. We don't call honey bees greedy for storing more honey than they need for winter, nor predator that kill more frequently when there is abundance of prey. I feel like the source of human "greed" is a natural instinct to accumulate a safety net of resources so that you can survive. One major difference between us and lions however is the concept of history and progenital nature. Every species wants to pass on their genes and insure their children survive. Humans are unique in that we also want to make sure our assets are transferred along as well. We don't just consider our own safety nets, we consider that any excess that we can accumulate outside of that safety net in an ideal world would improve the lives and opportunities of our children/grandchildren.
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November 14, 2019, 12:32:24 PM
 #7

We often blame it on human nature, but is it truly the case or is it a result of this "Social system" which has been going on for thousands of years? we are often told that early humans only survived because they learned to work together as a group if that was the case how did the idea of "having more" got into us?

you're ignoring that an overriding desire for materials can manifest at the group level as well, the fascist and communist movements of the C 20th demonstrated this abundantly.


The soft-fascism of the latter half of C20th up to the post iron-curtain world of C21st is certainly a far more insidious problem. I am concerned that people are beginning to romanticize totalitarian socialism again, without really taking in the full subtly of the overall issue. Of course, it's being sold as "liberalism", or liberating, no different to the C20th version. And it seem no coincidence that the establishment & the media are attacking genuine liberal philosophy in at least 4 or 5 different ways while socialism makes it's comeback.

Working in a team is a perfectly valid strategy for life. Being forced to work in a team against your will is only necessary if the team is led by dictators, and this time around is no different. If your ideal way of living is so convincingly good, there's no need to bully anyone into doing it, they will join your team willingly.
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November 21, 2019, 12:51:56 PM
 #8

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We don't call honey bees greedy for storing more honey than they need for winter, nor predator that kill more frequently when there is abundance of prey.

Well, they aren't storing e.g 99% of the honey in the world so... Billionaires on the other hand hoard massive amounts of wealth... That analogy doesn't fit in tbh...

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I feel like the source of human "greed" is a natural instinct to accumulate a safety net of resources so that you can survive.

One could argue that is because of the current system we live in... So if there is a system which will ensure the "survival", you are basically saying Human greed will be eliminated.

Quote
One major difference between us and lions however is the concept of history and progenital nature. Every species wants to pass on their genes and insure their children survive.

Indeed, what if there is a "system" which ensures everyone gets to pass on their "genes". Coming to Carlton Banks point of "socialism" hey at least it will ensure everyone gets to pass on their genes which according to "biology" that's the only reason we are alive. So what is stopping that from happening?

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Being forced to work in a team against your will is only necessary if the team is led by dictators, and this time around is no different.

Agreed...
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November 30, 2019, 05:39:00 PM
Merited by Heisenberg_Hunter (1)
 #9


Well, they aren't storing e.g 99% of the honey in the world so... Billionaires on the other hand hoard massive amounts of wealth... That analogy doesn't fit in tbh...

They don't know that. The percent doesn't matter, the concept of greed has to do with the desire for excess.

Quote
I feel like the source of human "greed" is a natural instinct to accumulate a safety net of resources so that you can survive.

One could argue that is because of the current system we live in... So if there is a system which will ensure the "survival", you are basically saying Human greed will be eliminated.

I'm not sure about that, assuming my premise of greed being a natural instinct is at least partially correct, it takes a long time to override instincts. I don't think human greed is something that can be eliminated. What I do think can be eliminated are some of the negatives that come along with greed, such as exploitation and general dickery.

Quote
One major difference between us and lions however is the concept of history and progenital nature. Every species wants to pass on their genes and insure their children survive.

Indeed, what if there is a "system" which ensures everyone gets to pass on their "genes". Coming to Carlton Banks point of "socialism" hey at least it will ensure everyone gets to pass on their genes which according to "biology" that's the only reason we are alive. So what is stopping that from happening?

Quote
Being forced to work in a team against your will is only necessary if the team is led by dictators, and this time around is no different.

Agreed...

Human built "systems" aren't a sure thing. We'd need a sure thing for hundreds of thousands of years to get rid of evolutionary tendencies. Your eyes can spot an earthworm on the ground and process information regarding it multiple times faster than other things because of its similarity in shape to snakes. I'm not sure the last time when a worm made me fear for my life, but biology says I might need to some day.

I don't think we can get rid of greed. 1% of the world owning 99% of the world's wealth or whatever similar statistic it actually is, is alarming. Its easier to make money when you have money, and easier to keep money if you have money and education. I personally only see greed as a negative when you screw others over. Someone who makes a lot of money with a good idea, working hard and paying their employees a livable wage in my opinion isn't a problem. A major company that treats its employees well also isn't a problem even if they are gathering vast amounts of wealth. Its the "rich culture" which breeds negative behavior. I feel like changing that is probably the easiest way to better the world.
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December 01, 2019, 01:58:00 PM
Merited by Cnut237 (2)
 #10

I personally only see greed as a negative when you screw others over.

it will always exist, and in fact provides a useful example to those that can recognize it. This makes the overall concept of deception more vivid, and gives people an improved insight into the imaginative process that generates deceptive strategies. This cuts both ways; the deceptive can use it to refine their ideas (or to recognize when an idea is too easy to detect and contemplate novel alternatives), but it gives honest and/or co-operative people a chance to do their own contemplation, and preempt attempts to deceive themselves and others before it happens.

So I disagree that it's categorically a problem, the opposite in fact (and reality doesn't conform to your assertion anyway, it's a fantasy). However, when deceiving and cheating people becomes a dominant behavior, that elicits a negative feedback loop, then it truly does become more destructive than instructive.
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December 03, 2019, 04:31:08 PM
 #11

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They don't know that. The percent doesn't matter, the concept of greed has to do with the desire for excess.

Last time I checked we classified animals as creatures acting upon their instincts not making conscious decisions. Desire is a "Conscious" thing iyam. Doesn't really fit in with the animals, Either it's instinct or they are making "Conscious" decisions.

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However, when deceiving and cheating people becomes a dominant behavior, that elicits a negative feedback loop, then it truly does become more destructive than instructive.

I think we are currently living in this "deceiving and cheating" world.
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December 05, 2019, 08:07:50 PM
 #12

Actually some animals (primates) have a human-like behaviour when they are trying to find their "position" in their community or want to become the leaders of the team.
The following video is not the one I was searching for, but it can give you an idea of ​​what I mean.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv71JevtR-0


Quote
They don't know that. The percent doesn't matter, the concept of greed has to do with the desire for excess.

Last time I checked we classified animals as creatures acting upon their instincts not making conscious decisions. Desire is a "Conscious" thing iyam. Doesn't really fit in with the animals, Either it's instinct or they are making "Conscious" decisions.

Quote
However, when deceiving and cheating people becomes a dominant behavior, that elicits a negative feedback loop, then it truly does become more destructive than instructive.

I think we are currently living in this "deceiving and cheating" world.
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December 08, 2019, 11:12:25 AM
 #13

"Greed" is the terminology used to define someone else's "strive for the better", by people who suffer from jealousy towards this other person.

So most of the time, it's actually those who call someone else greedy, who are the greedy ones themselves.

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December 08, 2019, 12:04:55 PM
 #14

"Greed" is the terminology used to define someone else's "strive for the better", by people who suffer from jealousy towards this other person.

So most of the time, it's actually those who call someone else greedy, who are the greedy ones themselves.



Which White man's dictionary did you get that from?
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December 16, 2019, 03:29:35 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #15

Greed has always been there, it's an evolutionary trait that is positively selected for (sorry, poor grammar). But excessive greed is also negatively selected for.

If we just consider two points:

1) Finite resources. Lets look at the historical perspective, with our distant ancestors. If you need one piece of fruit a day to survive, it doesn't matter that you are greedy and eat 10 pieces, unless (a) you strip the trees bare and then run out of available food, and die. It seems likely that individuals who exhibit this sort of behaviour pattern will be self-selected out of the gene pool. The other finite-resources scenario, (b), is that you live in a social group and need to share finite resources. Here, evolution selects for social behaviour, the 'selfish gene' theory, whereby your personal greed is offset by wanting to support those with whom you share a genetic make-up, firstly your family, secondly the wider tribe. So in both these scenarios, the individual and the tribe-member, greed on an individual basis is constrained by natural selection.

2) Abstraction of value. This is what we have nowadays, and is what makes the effects of rampant greed more apparent. Thousands of years ago you were limited by the amount of fruit you could eat or the amount you could carry. There was a physical limit to how far your greed could go. Now though, 'value' is synonymous with money, and there is no limit to how many zeroes you can accrue in your bank account. Inequality can rise to ridiculous levels, and because the population is so large, and rich people are in general separated from the poor, it is not so obvious to the rich that they are doing anything wrong. You don't see a billionaire sharing a neighbourhood with homeless people, or with starving people  in the third world. Of course billionaires are not stupid, and many of them do start to give back, e.g. Bill Gates, it's just that the negative effects of the greed are not so immediately obvious.

So I think greed has always been there, and in the past was controlled by evolution, but nowadays with abstraction there is no limit to how greedy you can be.
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December 17, 2019, 08:22:55 AM
 #16

when deceiving and cheating people becomes a dominant behavior, that elicits a negative feedback loop, then it truly does become more destructive than instructive.

Yes, such as we have in modern politics. One tactic that the modern political liar uses to avoid exposure is sheer speed. If Trump for example seems to lurch from crisis to crisis, that is entirely the point. Whenever he says something outrageous, it becomes a news headline - but there is almost no time to investigate and expose the lie before he comes out with some new shocking pronouncement, which submerges the first and renders it mere history. This is deliberate - a lie has a limited shelf-life, and by keeping the turnover sufficiently rapid, the lies stay fresh and have the desired impact. The liar is only in trouble once he slows down.
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