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ESSAY 5: Two Greeds:

marzo 19, 2014

            The speech made by Gordon in the film Wall Street 2 is at least controversial. It should be at least obvious that many people could take the meaning of the word ‘greed’ in a different way, and be even offended by what he says. Taking his words out of context is very easy. But the main sense of the word greed when he used it takes it away from a moral context and places it in the orbit of the subject of evolution and survival instinct.

            There are two greeds in human nature. The first one is dominated by the instinctive part of our self. Without it, we wouldn’t be here. It is necessary a priori to accept it, to follow it. If you want a promotion because you need more money to pay debts, you will not have contempt for some other contesters for that demanded workplace. You only care about yourself, and you have the right to do so, because for yourself you are more important than others.

            Not always, though. People throughout history have, in what many deemed as heroic acts, made sacrifices, even given their lives, for the benefits only of others. These actions in theory should go against everything that our principles of self-conservation represent, but not only they do exist, they moreover are regarded always and by everyone a most laudable kind of acts. They indeed do not go against nature principles; they surpass it.

            The second part of our nature is the conscious part. The part in which we humans transcend the even mathematical becoming of the universe and create chaos with our own decisions. The part of good and evil. The second class of greed is here. As conscious beings we are not obliged to follow strictly the causality of nature, and most of times it is better to benefit our human part than our reptilian part. For example: it is better to study all night for the most important exam of your life than sleeping another night as one normally does.

            So, greed is good. Normally. In the daily life basis, greed keeps us advancing and progressing both personally and collectively. But we always need to keep in mind that greed is selfish, and human nature is superior to it. When good, a person is generous. When good, a person forgets about itself and cares only about others. When guided only by its instincts, he looses his humanity. Gekko at the end the film indeed goes to jail because of his extreme greed.

            In conclusion, instinctive greed and moral generosity and detachment are not supplementary, they don’t exactly contradict each other, because they belong to different facets in life. One is qualitatively superior to the other, but that doesn’t make the second necessarily evil. As creatures in this world we shouldn’t forget about evolutionary greed, but we must know that we are more than animals, and whenever we have not acted as such, consequences have always been bad to say the least.

Apparently images are necessary, so I put one.


From → Debate

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