Greed: The Mother of All Sins

Many world religions say greed is the stuff the other deadly sins are made of.

lauragreene97

08/31/2011 09:01:04 PM

"In truth, we’ve come to think of greed as an ambiguous quality--sometimes good, sometimes bad." So true. I can't count how many times I've heard a variation on the phrase "greed will fix our economy." It's silly- to me, it seems like people are trying to justify sins by saying it's good for the economy. One of my favorite books on American society, "Shadow in the USA" by Kay Plumb (http://shadowintheusa.com), describes greed as a shadow that's everpresent behind a veil of good intentions. Hits the nail on the head, in my opinion.

Fea_Istra

07/28/2006 12:41:45 PM

One more thing: it has been said that all virtue is one. Perhaps all sin is one too? Meaning that they all have the same origin and are related. Just a random thought.

Fea_Istra

07/28/2006 12:35:41 PM

"Here in the West, it is Judaism and, by declension, Christianity that has appointed greed as the matriarch of all other sins." hmm...I thought it was Pride that was the worst sin according to Christianity (I'm not sure about Judaism). I mean, wasn't Pride the sin that caused the Fall? I think that pride is wanting to be better than others (and also independent from God), and greed is just wanting more and more of it. I think pride comes first, but I'm not sure. Both are pretty bad though.

Joey39

07/28/2006 02:48:44 AM

While I agree with this article and not trying to discount the Word of God in any way, shape, or form, even as a Christian, I do not see anything wrong with the way we think about things at all. I believe that our thoughts are only wrong when we intend on acting on them. But since most of us are able to keep our private thoughts to ourselves without ever acting on them, what we think about or choose to think about isn't anyone's business except God's. However, I do agree that greed is rampant in our society, and it is only going to get worse before it gets better.

jestrfyl

07/18/2006 02:54:11 PM

In a nation as "well rounded", stout, portly, or well - fat (my own self included) I am surprised that Gluttony did so poorly - tied for fourth! It is good to see Lust trumps all -especially greed and wrath. Of course, I think the world views the US as the greediest and most wrathful nation lately. But no one asks what our Neighbors think our deadliest sins are - and for that I am grateful.

mrmissy

07/17/2006 08:42:34 PM

Greed allows you to shed the blood of others for your own enrichment---yet you can state out loud that Jesus is your role model. Greed allows you to rip off your own workers---and then pretend that you of all people know what God wants.

jd70

07/17/2006 02:49:34 PM

jacknky: Thanks for the insight. It looks like I just need to keep practicing.

jacknky

07/17/2006 12:26:40 PM

Sage, I agree. I think there is an unspoken assumption in our culture that Capitalism will provide the greatest good for the greatest number of people. I think, looking at the decisions of our current administration, it's time we challenged that assumption.

jacknky

07/17/2006 12:24:03 PM

jd70, "I find Buddhism to be a great spiritual path. The problem for me is that it is difficult to practice. I tend to think too much." LOL. A meditation practice IS hard, especially at the beginning. I first tried meditation in Vietnam but dropped the practice. I didn't try again and stay with it for 30-something more years. I was ready and more open then. And the idea isn't really to stop thinking. That's what the mind does- it thinks. But we can learn to be more aware.

noneed4greed

07/17/2006 11:29:35 AM

Forget it! Even i could not post the truth on greed here. Said i could not have over 1024 carictures. As i had only 215 words. So whatever that means.But lets face it,prices are way out of reach in the past 20 years according to most wages. But the government also keeps giving the rich loopholes. Of which the poor have to make up for also.

sage1967

07/17/2006 09:33:31 AM

I found the following from Tickle’s article to be of particular relevance re: America’s take on greed: “…of countervailing cultural messages: that greed--well harnessed and regulated--is good not only for corporations, but society as a whole, even the poor”. And: “The world's major faiths have no such illusions about greed. Greed, say many of them, is not only unambiguous, it is the Mother of All Sins.” This contradiction between such double speak, i.e. greed is actually “good”, and the reality that um…..the world’s major religions are in stark disagreement with this notion (this would of course include Christianity) emphasizes one of the great, American paradoxes - Christianity is NOT the dominant American religion, but in fact unbridled capitalism.

IRiseToTheSun

07/16/2006 11:43:38 PM

money-- a necessity. Although,when people over indulge themselves into the material world, money becomes a temptation which leads to greed and a sense of fake happiness.

namchuck

07/16/2006 03:42:36 PM

Someone once suggested that, when we desire more than what is required simply to survive, and, consequently, spend our money in procuring more than what we need, we have the blood of the poor on our hands.

jd70

07/16/2006 03:21:08 PM

Yes, jacknky ignorance is definately the better term. I find Buddhism to be a great spiritual path. The problem for me is that it is difficult to practice. I tend to think too much.

natureboy_the0

07/16/2006 02:28:37 PM

Greed is desire for something other than the requirements for life, and they fall under “covet” (Exodus. 20:17). My experiences have proven that all of our mental pains are caused because we covet what we see. Advertising is designed to create covertness in others, and it does it job so well that even so called Christians don’t see that they are coveting. When Israel desired a king (I Samuel 8:6) they were coveting the things the people around them had. Today’s Christians who have presidents, legislators, judges, and the like are coveting what other man have. This coveting is the thing the Laodicean church (Rev. 3:14-22) were warned of doing, as it types today’s church at this time the second coming is to taking place. But above that, it is what caused Adam to eat from THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL to cast man into our present lot. The sin of desire is desiring without having understanding of the consequences. To desire for learning is the proper use of it, to desire ignorantly is sin.

jacknky

07/16/2006 01:30:56 PM

jd70, "When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad I feel bad" LOL. You'd make a good Buddhist. It's my understanding that the Buddha taught that, due to our own ignorance, we are caught in a cycle of grasping (moving toward what we believe will decrease suffering) and aversion (moving away from what we believe will increase suffering). Greed is grasping caused by ignorance. For some reason I prefer to think of my ignorance as ignorance, not "sin". seems less harsh and judgemental.

jd70

07/16/2006 08:40:04 AM

I would take a more of a couse and effect view of sin: When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad I feel bad.

windbender

07/15/2006 07:51:25 PM

Namchuck - So in practical terms, simply a matter of what works and what doesn't, eh? I think I can buy that.

namchuck

07/15/2006 06:05:16 PM

'Sin' means disobedience to God. If there is no God, which is more than likely the case, then morality is simply related to our worldview and how we decide as individuals and societies to deal with one another.

nnmns

07/15/2006 01:34:14 PM

I looked up definitions of sin on the internet and while a very few mentioned moral codes most referred to a god. Since there probably is no god, and if there were one we've no way of knowing which one it is (or maybe there are some) so most definitions of sin are useless. Thus we fall back on other meanings, like varying from a (particular) moral code. While a particular society can turn its moral code (as interpreted politically) into a law, many of us don't consider sinning necessarily the same as breaking the law. E.g. is driving 46 in a 45 zone sinning? It seems to me the Golden Rule, or some variant from another religion is a good practical way to determine what's sin (i.e. bad) in most situations.

BillThinks4Himself

07/14/2006 10:49:00 PM

There is no mother of all sins, just as there is no mother of all flavors of ice cream.

fromoz

07/14/2006 07:15:36 PM

Excellent post WillSea. I don't regard highly the giving of most churches, I perceive most of it as Christians "big noting" themselves, and often with money given to them by Humanist non-Christians. I believe most giving by Christians is for their own benefit and to create dependency in the receivers. Give a person a fish v's education and the giving of life skills that would allow people to support themselves with all the benefits in self esteem that brings. And we see some churches making the giving of support dependent on conversions. Here in Australia we have our own Heritic for Christ, a minister who was found guilty of heracy because he believed (for example) that any church that truly follows the teachings of Jesus in denouncing greed and materialism and giving away all that it has will cease to exist. I can see the teachings of Jesus in that heritic, but not in the lives of so many others who claim to be followers of the Christ.

LairdsChapel

07/14/2006 01:14:01 PM

It's been said that a "character defect" can be looked at also as a "character defense" - a negative quality which actually masks a positive one. In the case of greed, one must acquire more and more because one is never genuinely satisfied with what one has. So, greed may actually mask an inner quality of spirituality beyond that which is material. If "repent" meant "to turn around" we can turn greed upside down by praying that we value the spiritual more than the material and take time to count our blessings. Cheers, Lairds' Chapel

nnmns

07/14/2006 11:11:19 AM

A church using its money to feed the poor or help them find work is a good thing. Using its money to build still more churches to raise still more money and convert people to its particular faith is not my idea of a good thing.

brigid

07/14/2006 11:01:26 AM

It isn't buying a yacht that is the sin. It's how Ken Lay got the money to buy the yacht that's the sin. Being rich isn't the sin, it's denying a living wage, and decent working conditions to your employees to become rich that's the sin and that is what makes greed bad. My ex's grandmother was a faithful follower of a TV ministry. She sent money from her very small social security check to this ministry when she should have been buying decent food to eat. The ministry built a big amusement park for the aggrandisement of the TV evangelist, and didn't spend one dime to help the poor people who were faithfull followers. That's greed, that is the sin. He who dies with the most toys missed the point.

Godfactor

07/14/2006 10:53:59 AM

Finally, if we are being greedy, why, In God's name would we build a Church in one of the most dangerous and poor areas in the country? We are not expecting to make millions of dollars there. Please think about what you are saying before you spout rash generalizations.

Godfactor

07/14/2006 10:47:40 AM

My church is sponsoring the building of a new Church just a few blocks from 8 Mile in Chicago. If you don't think there is need there just go there and hang out for a while. I would be willing to bet that you wouldn't be there for very long before running scared back to your safe suburban neighborhood.

Godfactor

07/14/2006 10:43:50 AM

Fromoz wrote, "Clearly for modern day Christians "Greed is good"." I take exception to this statement. I agree that there are some Churches that focus on making more an more money and building gargantuan buildings and such. However, there are many many more who use that money they recieve to do good works. In fact many of those gargantuan churches do a huge amount of good works too. My church tithes what it recieves 1. to feed house and clothe those in need in the community and throughout the world. 2. to build new churches in areas where there is a need for one. The rest is used to pay the bills, staff and building maintenance. By lumping all "modern Christians" as believeing that greed is good is a very simplistic veiw of Christianity. Clearly there are some who exibit greedy tendancies, however, these are a minority. It's sad that these are the ones who get the attention of those who are not Christians. Think of the Billions of dollars that Christians give to help others. Need is not greed.

WillSea

07/14/2006 09:30:53 AM

But what is the root of the root of this sin? What's the cause of greed? To stop it, we have to understand it. Desire is not the root here. Even the sparrow desires food and works to get it. But it takes only what it needs, to feed itself and its offspring. Greed comes from FEAR, that there's not enough, that we have to protect ourselves and "our people" from the hierarchy of needs. By piling the goods on, by having more, we think to protect ourselves from being without. We take from others thinking that it makes us stronger. But this whole scenario denies the Source of Life and all we need. See this, that the greediest people are the most fearful, willing, like Lay, to go into massive debt to protect themselves. It's also true that the most altruistic people are the most trusting in their Source. The most giving people KNOW that their Source provides and so aren't worried about what they give away. Thanks, I needed this. Charity = Clarity.

nnmns

07/14/2006 08:55:30 AM

Well there's the greed that apparently led to poor construction of Boston's "Big Dig" that killed one person and could just as easily killed a lot more. There's the greed that led Enron's executives to inflate their stock price to get rich and lie to their stock holders and employees so some were impoverished. There's the greed that causes people to try to cut federal taxes when we are fighting a war (actually two wars, one necessary) and need to repair our infrastructure and improve our schools and provide medical care to our citizens and on and on. Yes there's plenty of greed around and it has really bad consequences.

b-baggins

07/14/2006 08:30:33 AM

Finally, I would disagree with the article's premise. I think pride is the root of all sin.

b-baggins

07/14/2006 08:28:52 AM

So, is the man who owns the yacht-building company that makes the yachts that people like Ken Lay buy evil, too? Are the people he pays to build the yachts also evil?

b-baggins

07/14/2006 08:25:46 AM

Isn't envy and the hatred it spawns (see the article's vitriolic against Lay for his $220,000 birthday present yacht) a more subtle, sinister and evil form of greed at work?

nnmns

07/13/2006 11:18:05 PM

Yes, money is just a tool for trade. There might possibly be moral advantages if it didn't exist, there might not. But it's not going away. Wanting some money to provide for yourself and your family is natural and right. Wanting way more than other working people around you have is bad for society. Jesus is purported to have said something about a rich man and the eye of a needle. I'm guessing this doesn't get much play in a lot of mega churches these days. Or what he's supposed to have said about divorce.

namchuck

07/13/2006 10:01:47 PM

No, it is the love of money that is the problem. Money itself is a simple abstraction and cannot be evil. Wanting money doesn't in itself represent anything bad, rather, it is the reason behind what we want the money for that can be the problem.

Lutheran_bloke

07/13/2006 09:49:06 PM

greed is much a sin that can not be forgetten. Money is root to all evil as many of us would agree on that. it is very hard to know these days when enough is enough. I need more more and more. I know i am guilty of this sin myself.

namchuck

07/13/2006 09:14:46 PM

Money is not the root of all evil, as many mistranslate that passage from the Bible, but the "love" of money is supposedly the root of all evil. Of course, I don't love money, but I would certainly like some more of it. And I'm not too sure that those pagan's(?) of the Pacific Islands are that happy in what many of us might consider their idyllic environment. There are huge numbers of them here in my country who seek after the same things as the rest of us, and who are not indisposed to taking advantage of a welfare system if other means hold no attractions to them.

fromoz

07/13/2006 06:58:30 PM

I watch some "American" evangelists on television most mornings, and I'm rather intrigued by their teachings that only those blessed by God will have abundance. And to be blessed by God one first has to give-away all they have, mostly to the ministers. And we can also see how many churches flaunt their wealth, the Crystal Cathederal and the Vatican come to my mind. Clearly for modern day Christians "Greed is good". And I believe it is the notion that the wealthy, no matter how their money was obtained, that are the most Godly in our Western societies. To my mind however greed is not the source of happiness, greed is never satisfied. To my mind the happiest people on Earth are many (Pagan?) Pacific Islanders who have very little but live in non-competitive, supportive and co-operative communities.

Human_Being

03/22/2006 09:29:08 AM

In the 1960s, when I was growing up, it was all "Love" and "Peace". Anyone, (like me), who even secretly wanted money was looked on as wanting to become Simon Legree...and was a traitor to her/his generation, besides. But--really--all I wanted (and want) to do is PROTECT myself against the Simon Legrees of the world. By the 1990s, Abby Hoffman had become a stockbroker! And a caricature of a Beatles song went, "All You Need Is Cash". Money does NOT create evil! Evil people with money creates evil! Give $1,000,000 to Fidel Castro...and you'll get Evil. But give it to someone like Robert Kennedy...and you'll get Good! Money is given a "bad rapp", and confuses good people trying to help themselves...and others. Money is neither good nor evil. It is a TOOL!

protestant_irish

03/17/2006 11:36:38 AM

Greed has could many problems in the world and it will always as long as there are human beings.

revandre

03/16/2006 09:56:18 PM

Speaking for Buddhism, but also Vedanta and Taoism, there is little talk of 'sin'. It all depends on the scribe who does the translation of the scriptures. But, what we are calling greed here is referred to as 'desire' in the scriptures. Desire is seen as the greatest obstacle in the spiritual life, and as such is at the root of all the deadly sins, since they all have desire as their base. I think 'greed' is a mistranslation of the scriptures here, though they do also mention the pitfalls of greed.

Cusidh

03/16/2006 08:37:56 PM

There could also be the problem of people dividing the world into'sin' and 'virtue' and being terrified to just share.

hotdoggie

02/15/2006 01:53:39 PM

Theres always been the problem of far too much taking and not enough giving. it is most doubtful that will ever change. We can only hope and PRAY it might tho!

edkapasi

06/27/2005 10:22:58 AM

wow,not that long ago i used to think i was not a greedy,selfish,or self centered person. but with the help of God,i have found the courage to really look at things. much to my amazement i have learned that i am all these things and more!! i have found i am capable of doing most any wrong that can be done.i am really glad these things were found out,that i am learning to be honest with myself;that was not easy because i thought i was more honest than most;I WAS WRONG.i am trying to follow the 12 step program;i still have sooo many character defects;God still walks with me and helps me.i have a long way to go but it is going in a better direction.tye1 for listening.

bluecloudsky4

06/21/2004 06:22:41 PM

i stand neutral on the subject of greed. on one hand greed makes you endlessley hungry, seemingly always filling the belly of a hungry animal, while on the other hand greed provides you with the sustiance needed to get what one desires.

alienproyect

08/14/2003 01:00:35 AM

Mr.MMarston:how can you choose not to panic when you say that fear is a chemical reaction, hormonally based?. How can we override our animal responses when we are the Only Animals that do destroy their nest?. I say their is nothing to control. I beleive we are doomed for more suffering, more despotic wars, more insanity, more Humanity. The answer for me, the 12 steps. I admit that i am powerless over civilization, that my life has become ingobernable by deluting myself with wanting what is not. I am The One Who Has To Change.Live all of life as a new experience and you will be free. Free from worry. Free from expectation. Free from previously gained understandings. Free from earlier experiences that hold you bound to the positive or negative aspects of other people or external events. Let everything in life be new. A Day At a Time . I got some insight reading Ishmael and Story of B by Quinn. Tomorrow will be a new day. PEACE AND TOLERANCE AND DREAMS. AlienProyectoo3

mmarston

09/06/2002 09:34:33 AM

fear is not an 'emotion' as much as a chemical reaction, hormonally based. the really great thing is that we ARE capable of overriding our animal responses with reason, if, we allow ourselves. we don't have to take that chemical ride or come up with the bs to explain it to ourselves. we can choose not to panic. we can choose to stand alone in a crowd of wacked out apes who copy, falsely validate, each other in a moment of monied frenzy. the survival response is the 'root of all evil'which response, ironically, is evident in humans who have survival licked, sometimes slobbered on to the tune of millions of dollars! this, of course, makes no sense. the animal in us cannot reason, but the human in us does, can, control the animal in us like a slightly wild pet, which pet we must love but from which we must protect ourselves and protect others....mm

mmarston

09/06/2002 09:25:42 AM

god is alive and well and living in my prefrontal cortex...:)....yours, too, probably. this is quite a claim, not provable, i suppose, but it may stand to reason. what is provable is that there is a war in us, in our brain anatomy, between the survival driven animal, and the enlightened, reason driven human. all of the 'sins' are animal behaviors in origin, sometimes cloaked heavily in rationalizations*. (*plausible explanations usually used in self deceit.) to be more compassionate, all sins are products of a fearful animal in us, defending territory, acting, but not thinking. (continued above)

davidian

09/05/2002 07:11:40 PM

Remember Greenspan is talking about the corporate culture, an extreme extension of capitalism. Whatever its social merits, capitalism is based on Greed - although it pretends to be for "the greater good." Over a hundred years since Adam Smith, history has taught us harshly otherwise. Not believing in the perfection of man, I am able to accept this Greed so long as the fundamental dignity of people is provided for - health, education, shelter, and so on. It is interesting that so many people here defend ambition. The lust for power rightly falls under Pride, not Greed, but that doesn't exempt it from the Seven Sins. The Protestant belief in the divinity of industry (hard work) has led to much confusion about ambition. Ambition is not industry. Greed has even less to do with hard work. Just ask Bush Junior, looking to take food out of babies mouths to feed the fat faces of CEOs. Greenspan wasn't talking about me and you, even if you did invest your pension. A 401K is no golden parachute.

aseaglesfly

09/05/2002 04:53:02 PM

Much has been written about greed and the devestation it brings. Greed unchecked by honesty and strict adherance to rules has throughout history become the predominate reason why people suffer. Greed touches more people than any other human failing. Greed in combination with power turns men into something from the darkest part of there sole. The question of concious for these people is controversal because it seems that a leopard really never changes his spots. In other words if it is part of your character to be a cheat, then you will be a cheat. Thats why there are penalties for people who act this way. The big problem today is getting away with cheating others is in vogue and the checks and balances beople are just as greedy and corrupt as the people they are watching. Come to think of it, this is not actually a new thing, it's just that in my opinion, we are experiencing the"infectious greed" that Greenspan is talking about.

phalanxite

08/10/2002 01:33:42 PM

I think it is odd that the phrase "better yourself" means "make more money". Thus an arrogant, selfish, dishonest, cruel, ignorant person becomes better by making more money. "many people eager for money, have wandered far from the faith und pierced themselves with many griefs." At least one problem with the fancy car is that the owner has less money for more worthwhile projects, such as taking vare of widows und orphans.

thepotbellypig

08/07/2002 08:59:38 AM

Greed is bad, but ambition is good. Ambition is the driving force to better onesself & mankind (or humanity) as a whole. For instance, there is nothing wrong with accumulating material goods morally & ethically, it is when we cross that line and are willing to get it by any means that it is bad. Buying a fancy car is not wrong. Stealing the car, or hiring a shady lawyer to use the law wrongly so that the other person looses the car is wrong.

longhornmo

07/30/2002 12:09:16 PM

I think every one of these sins are manifestations of selfishness. We want what we want when we want it and are willing to compromise our values, our relationships, and even our own health in order to have it. Our society does reward greed. We also celebrate lust and gluttony in the entertainments we pursue. Our society promotes envy with marketing. When we decide that we can each make all our own rules without consequence...that's pride. Our society has misused the word "rights" to create a sense of entitlement in our poor and our young that promotes sloth. Our society promotes wrath when we put our own desires and convenience above everyone elses then rage at everyone who gets in the way. It's all selfishness. I remember being taught that my rights only extend to the point that they do not violate others. Now self expression trumps everything else.

Errol_O

07/29/2002 08:40:01 PM

I think it's interesting that most people consider greed the most deadly sin but only about 5% say it's the one they are most guilty of. It's THE OTHER GUY (GIRL) that's greedy, surely NOT ME! Lust is outpacing either envy or pride 2 to 1 as the sin we are most guilty of so there must be a lot of desire to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh. We're discontent and frustrated with our real-life romantic encounters and conquests so we watch pornography or Britney Spears videos or whatever takes us to fantasy land. It's envy and pride that causes us to lust. You can call me shallow but we discount the heart of other people because we want THE PRETTY ONE!

darkfiend

07/29/2002 04:13:53 PM

I see sins as just mans way of controling other men threw there own guilt. They are all based on naturally occuring instincts, and the men that made them so dispicable knew full well that these sins would be committed repeatedly, as they are part of man's nature. Evil does nto exist in a totalitarian way, it is purely subjective. One man's evil is another mans good. It all depends on your perspective.

conversion

07/29/2002 01:44:29 PM

There is a reason they are called the deadly sins. They are all deadly. It is like being "a little bit pregnant". When held accountable, there won't be any equivocation. They'll all give us a ride in the handbasket equally fast!

ggo

07/27/2002 02:04:48 PM

It is interesting that the survey shows 4% feel greed is their sin. Approximately 4% of thke population in U.S. controls 95% of the wealth in our great country. The "sloth" percentage should be higher. That is my most gregious deficiency as well as most of us. We are too lazy or apathetic to do anything to change the system that allows Greed to control us. If we could only find a way to support representatives that would change things so reason and compassion would be promoted as heroic deeds thken we may be on thke road to equal justice for all.

rlostetter

07/27/2002 11:59:36 AM

Lots of good comments about abundance (from God/spiritual world) and scarcity (economics/material world)! I for one have often casually commented that greed underlies all the other "sins". But I have pondered the critique that has been offered -- that it is idolatry that underlies even greed. When our values are out of whack (Judeo-Christian: when we place self, possessions, power, etc. above God), all the other sins fall neatly into place. For instance, even our gluttony (I confess!!) has its effects -- on the hungry next door and across the globe and on the animals who are "factory farmed" in cruel conditions. So in placing our own appetites above God's law/desire/plan, we blot out concern for the needs of others, both human and critter.

Human_Being

07/26/2002 11:45:15 PM

Money in itself is NOT EVIL! In fact. it has been said, "Money -- or the lack of it -- is at the root of all evil." one's religious principles....but also for the very practical reason that one can never tell about the undiscovered talents of others.....that peasant earning $350 a year might, if given the opportunity, be able to cure cancer, or global warming, or do other invaluable work to help us ALL. "Greed" is not to be confused with ambition, personal comfort is not to be confused with ostentation. Having one car does not mark a lazy person who loves luxury.....but having 10 cars when you can only drive one at a time, is. So my idea on acquisition and greed can be summed up thusly: "Live Long And Prosper -- And Try To Help Others Do The Same!"

battros

07/26/2002 03:01:45 PM

Well said, grayc.

teach_u_truth

07/25/2002 01:28:15 PM

I have read a book by Mother Angelica, founder of the Catholic cable tv station EWTN. I agree with her, that the primary deadly sin we all are guilty of in varying degrees is the sin of PRIDE. Pride is the sin that leads us into each of the other sins. Those corporate bigwigs who lied on their earnings and now are going through lawsuits and bankruptcies, first pridefully thought their lives were more important than all their employees and investors, and so sinned of pride and then sinned of greed of a magnitude I have never seen nor heard of before. For Heaven's sake, take a look at the things you do. If they aren't of God, if they aren't helping your fellow man, if they are only a reflection of what you want solely for yourself, while overlooking the sick, indigent, young, elderly, and dying, then you must be committing one of the seven deadly sins, the first of which is Pride.

kifm981

07/25/2002 09:30:33 AM

It is indeed most interesting as pjj316 wrote that according to the survey, of all the seven deadly sins, that lust and gluttony were the two that most trouble and affect us. Just today a report was made in the local news how four counties in my state of Vermont were deemed as having the most overweight populations per county in the state. As for lust, well I believe it is this that leads us to greed. We lust, we plan for, we seek, and we receive. In the end, we have committed sin. We can lust after many different things; money, food, flesh, power, and so forth. therfore I believe that greed is no more than an integral part of lust. Although seperate by definition, the seven deadly sins form a gestalt. Furthermore, the Lord said that if webreak one of his commandments, then wehave broken them all.

shehbui

07/25/2002 07:22:41 AM

The sin of covetousness (From deadlysins.com) Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Greed: "it is a sin directly against one's neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them... it is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." (2, 118, ad 1) Sinopsis What it is: Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Greed. Why you do it: You live in possibly the most pampered, consumerist society since the Roman Empire. Your punishment in Hell will be: You'll be boiled alive in oil. Bear in mind that it's the finest, most luxurious boiling oil that money can buy, but it's still boiling. Associated symbols & suchlike: Greed is linked with the frog and the color yellow

lisahere

07/24/2002 11:49:50 PM

And we should ask ourselves, Do we own our possessions, or does our possessions own us???

lisahere

07/24/2002 11:46:39 PM

I see pride being the worst. We all have it. Some of us choose not to admit it, and if your one of them, you just shown a form of pride. We all want things our way, we want to do it or way, and when someone gets mad at you and you don't thinks it's your fault, that's pride. We do it everyday until we see it and control it. In Christ

lisahere

07/24/2002 11:43:16 PM

Grayc, What do you think the church does with your money? I know mine puts it towards bills, to pay for repaires, to pay employers, to set aside for a love donation( in case someone loses a job and needs to buy groceries or to pay bills. There are many things that Churches use your money for. But if you suspect the money is being mishandeled, you and the people should investigate. In Christ

InadifferentSpirit0

07/23/2002 02:55:06 PM

Re: ...the error is being mistaken about what will satisfy you. and an earlier thread about the importance of fear in the definition of what is evil/sin: Early in my spiritual pursuits I defined sin as causing someone fear. I invented a diagram of how it leads to all other sins, much like map pinpointing the ultimate potentional in desire for sin. In my experience, desire is troublesome, but I wonder if what we are considering the ultimate sin isn't just the veil behind which we create this existence. 7 veils = 7 sins. Maybe when counsel is given us on how to escape desire, it is not judgmental counsel, it is counsel to remain aware that there is always a choice, we are always making choices about what we understand. How else would any of this have come into being without, first, desire? It makes sense that the end of this existence would be the extinguishing of desire.

grayc

07/23/2002 02:03:15 PM

If the quest of worldly goods is wrong, and some have suggested a sin, Why does the church ask of my money?

kifm981

07/23/2002 01:45:01 PM

Concerning greed, desire, want, etc., remember that we are of this earth an to it we will return. We live in a physical world on one plan but yet strive to exist on another,a spiritual world. That is the problem. Christ asked us to lay down our worldly treasures and to take up the cross and follow him. It is a very difficult thing to do. Since we are unable to, the very nature that drives us to accumulate has already been forgiven of us by his death on the cross. It is by our faith that we are saved. On another note, the concept of democracy and capitalism as equitable means to sustain a society is delusional. They are merely means to provide wealth for a few others. We are allowed to work and vote thus believeing that we are a free people. We are not. We are enslaved to this materialistic society and world. There then is no wonder why we struggle with greed, desire, and want.

shehbui

07/23/2002 09:15:17 AM

"If then God clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?" Luke 12:28. In other words we are the product of God and he is capable of providing for our every need. "But God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19. You are invited to ask God greed is not required. Belief is.

pjj316

07/23/2002 06:15:38 AM

Based on the survey taken here lust and gluttony seems to be more problematic behaviours for people than greed the lowest on the seven list of sin. Therefore it cannot be the mother of all sins. Adam and Eve lusted for power of knowledge of knowing good and evil being like God indeed.

dennis01

07/23/2002 05:57:44 AM

I know (not merely believe) that when you are willing to release the sense of wrong about "others" greed, your will be forgiven as well.

dennis01

07/23/2002 05:45:49 AM

Greed is based on fear, but its only a mistake based on error. The error is being mistaken about what will satisfy you. Gods love is unconditional, unlimited and, available now. There is no substitue for His love that will ever satisfy you. Greed is what happens when you look for substitutes that dont satisfy. May the unlimited peace of God be with you.

jamshark70

07/22/2002 01:52:16 PM

One could just as easily say that fear is the root. Greed is the fear of not having enough, or of not being enough in and of oneself. So one compensates for the fear by acquiring more and more, vainly hoping that it will fill the void. And of course it never does, which is the fundamental delusion. Becoming free from fear is what really counts. James

god_is_in_the_tv

07/22/2002 01:18:03 PM

I am curious about this concept of "earning" that people keep talking about. It is only by the collective delusion of "ownership" with which we domesticated primates play along that allow anyone to deem what is "earned" and what is not. One should ask, in the end, who it is that ultimately profits from those who work to "earn" what they who delude themselves into believing they "own" in the first place deign to give them. "I own" is the warcry of the oppressor. "I earned" is the cry of the oppressed.

Eudaimonist

07/22/2002 12:03:59 AM

peter wrote: If desire proceeds to the logical conclusion in a free-market economy, people will inevitably want what they cannot have--scarcity admits of no other ending. I can't make any sense out of your objection. If someone can't get what they want because this desire is frustrated by scarcity, there is no evil in this. This is merely a frustrated desire. What is relevant is that desire is essential to behaviors that are undeniably evil. Desires are also essential to behaviors that are undeniably good, such as desiring to live a good life and desiring the well-being of others. It seems to me that it is a willingness to act on a desire that involves the mistreatment of others, or the mistreatment of oneself, that is evil. (Seeking the unearned is a cause of this sort of desire.) Desire itself is not the culprit.

jschlosser

07/21/2002 08:54:26 PM

The greed thing is something we sacrifice our families to in this country. Mothers leave their children to be raised by strangers just so they can have enough to pay the sitter, car payment, gas, conveniences (look at the "mops" they advertise on TV now - or disposable baby washcloths - are we all nuts), and work clothes. Most working mothers fall into this category. They are afraid to stay home with their kids. I had the kids, then the career - the mommy life is wonderful - the people you work with at home love you - the ones in the office use you.

jschlosser

07/21/2002 08:51:19 PM

Americans don't know the difference between a want and a need. We need shelter, food, clothing, health care, education. We don't need a car that costs more than we make in a year. We don't need to completely replace our wardrobes as the seasons change. We don't need to try to buy the most expensive house we can get a loan for - the banks will lend you more than you can really pay - itis amazing! We qualified for a mortgage that would take 80% of our pre-tax earnings! (No, we didn't want that much or need it, either!) We all know people who work to pay for the car and clothes they need for work. It is insane.

peter

07/21/2002 04:26:38 PM

Desire isn't evil. Only the desire for the unearned. One of the foundations of free-market capitalism is the concept of scarcity: that while human wants are unlimited, the resources to satisfy those wants are limited. If desire proceeds to the logical conclusion in a free-market economy, people will inevitably want what they cannot have--scarcity admits of no other ending. Can there be greed without desire? Can there be envy without desire? Can any of the Seven Deadly Sins exist without there being first desire? Whether desire is good or evil is not relevant. What is relevant is that desire is essential to behaviors that are undeniably evil. We may want, but it is dangerous to presume that wanting is a good thing. Cordially, Peter

Eudaimonist

07/21/2002 03:26:20 PM

Greed is good...when one desires to earn what one gets with honesty and integrity. Greed is only evil when one is willing to mistreat others to get what one wants. Desire isn't evil. Only the desire for the unearned. As far as the "mother of all sins" goes, I'd say it is Envy, for this is the purest expression of the desire for the unearned.

Thought1

07/21/2002 10:22:53 AM

Well isn't that a surprise? Greed is driving corporations. Duh. It's called 'free' enterprise and of course it doesn't work. It needs checks and balances, just like the democratic process needs laws, because the majority of individuals are prone to being - another shocker= selfish.

peter

07/21/2002 10:05:14 AM

The suffering of this world is predicated on desire. All the sins of the world come down to desire. "Greed" is desire for everything. "Envy" is desire for what others have. "Sloth" is desire to obtain without effort. "Gluttony" is desire run amok. "Lust" is desire without judgement. "Anger" is desire thwarted. "Pride" is desire glorified. No matter the since, at its core is desire. Suffering begins with the phrase "I want." Cordially, Peter

ElGabilon

07/21/2002 02:57:22 AM

The greedist people on earth are the religious. It may say in the bible not to be, but the fact is (as the Catholics are now finding out) that it is rampart in church organizations. There was a time when you could buy yourself into heaven. Probably still can! Greed (as a sin) is used as a propaganda method to get the faithful to empty their pockets and give it to the church..supposedly for good works. Take a good look at some of the churches. They cost money to build. Our greatest sin however has nothing to do with greed. Association with humans is ours. Parasites upon the world, worse, parasites upon themselves.

daley

07/21/2002 12:38:05 AM

i believe that pride is the one sin that seems to come before all others. we fail when we begin to become puffed up. it was lucufers downfall according to christian authorities.

thepotbellypig

07/21/2002 12:24:05 AM

Stinkbay, you are right on target. In the last 30 years we have combatted segregation, sexism & homophobia. In the process of conquering these evils , we have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. And in the process of fighting, our society has forgotton what it was fighting for. We have replaced one evil with another: A soft society, whether its Hollywood or Wallstreet, unwilling to admit hard truths. Give an charity concert rather than take any real moral stand, or cook the books. Its all relative. Sometimes we become worse than the enemy by adopting his/her habits.

stinkbaby

07/20/2002 11:15:45 AM

At the risk of sounding far more conservative than I really am, I think there is a lot to be said about going back to basics and reexamining how the traditional "7 deadly sins" are damaging our society. It's not just Greed, but also its ugly step-sister, Envy, that drives out-of-control consumer spending and credit card debt, crime, violence..you name it. Gluttony, another unfortunate American tradition, is eating away at our hearts and our arteries. Wrath is often at the root of the high rate of American violent crime. And Lust, of course, goes unheeded and unchecked and leads to all sorts of other problems....Does this all sound like dreadfully old-fashioned advice coming from a 30-something athiest? Perhaps it is. But sometimes old traditions contain very practical advice that is worth understanding.

sock

07/20/2002 11:04:55 AM

I to agree that is the problem with America right now. All you have to do is turn on the radio or Tv nowadays and just listen, how peoples lifes are being ruined by greed. Its a shame people didnt hear the leason of 9/11. When we come together to help each other anything is possible. We can overcome anything when we do it together.

anglo_catholic

07/20/2002 12:50:16 AM

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ and friend of other belifes, I think america made build on greedness and it jsut part of culture and way of thinking. It not about we it about me. This is American way of life. You work for what you get and that is it, We do not do enough for ppor. To have our socity is have right and poor and that luck of dice sometime in this life. Blessing in Jesus and mary Danny

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