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A personification of greed.

Greed is a desire to acquire or horde wealth, possessions, or power beyond normal reason. A drive to acquire possessions and status, to a certain degree, is a part of human nature. Greed is when this desire becomes unduly strong and takes precedence over moral considerations such as concern for others. Various disciplines such as ethics or religious studies weigh the destructive aspects of greed.

In Christian tradition, greed (often called avarice in this context) is considered to be one of the Seven Deadly Sins. When taken to mean an excessive desire for money, greed is specifically condemned by St Paul in the Bible: "Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1Timothy 6:10 ).

Famous examples of greed include the mythical King Midas, who foolishly wished that everything he touched would turn to gold, and the bankers whose pursuit of short-term profit together with home owners who borrowed more than they could afford in the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008 in Europe and the US.

Capitalism has been criticized for encouraging greediness. However, it has been argued that greediness is not inherent to capitalism, and only the sinful and selfish utilize the capitalist system to feed their greed.[1]

See also


  1. Andersen, Kerbey. "Bible, Economics and Capitalism." Probe Ministries.