Greed  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Greed is selfish, excessive or uncontrolled desire for or pursuit of money, wealth, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others. It is generally considered a vice, and is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism. (People who do not view unconstrained acquisitiveness as a vice will generally use a word other than greed, which has strong negative connotations.)

Some desire to increase one's wealth is nearly universal and acceptable in any culture, but this simple want is not considered greed. Greed is the extreme form of this desire, especially where one desires things simply for the sake of owning them. Greed may entail acquiring material possessions at the expense of another person's welfare (for example, a father buying himself a new car rather than fix the roof of his family's home) or otherwise reflect flawed priorities.

Coveting another person's goods is usually called envy, a word commonly confused with jealousy. The two words denote opposite forms of greed. We may envy and wish to have the possessions or qualities of another, but we jealously guard the possessions or qualities we believe we have and refuse to share these with others. Greed for food or drink, combined with excessive indulgence in them, is called gluttony. Excessive greed for and indulgence in sex is called lust, although this term no longer carries as negative connotations as it once did.

Inspirations

Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one profits from soliciting goods within the actual confines of a church.

In Christian morality:

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Greed" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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