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The Greed Gene - Would Removing it Save the World?

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posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 05:36 PM
Hey ATS, I haven't been for a dip in Skunk Works for a while so I thought it's about time to piss some people off as usual!

Now I don't think there can be many among us who haven't been guilty of the Deadly Sin of Gluttony. Come on, have you never finished off a few more cookies than is fair? Taken an extra spoon of ice cream leaving less for your family?

Well I know I have, more than once.

But when I talk about greed, I mean serious greed. You know, the type of person who will break any moral code for a buck. Who doesn't care who suffers as long as the bottom line looks good.

People who put material wealth, possessions, money above everything else as a guiding force in their lives.

I don't begrudge the rich among us the spoils of their good fortune, hard work and good decisions. Not at all. But is there a limit? I mean seriously, if there was a Greed Gene, would mankind be better off having it removed altogether?

I'm not a fan of communism, socialism, in fact I'd like to keep politics out of this (Deep sigh as I fear this will be impossible!), but a society where there is no greed would benefit everyone, wouldn't it?

Since the first time our ancestors realised that they could put a bit of grain away for the winter months, hoarding, saving and eventually greed have been eating a hole in the conciousness of man.

Why is this on ATS? Well simply, that the greed of perhaps less than a thousand individuals is stopping the world from being an amazing place to live.

In 2009 Forbes declared:

This year the world's billionaires have an average net worth of $3 billion, down 23% in 12 months. The world now has 793 billionaires.

That's a net worth of $237,900,000,000,000 , I'm sorry, imagine what that could do for the world. Now it surely isn't fair for these 793 people to give it all over to the world's poor, but seriously. Think of the diseases that could be cured, problems that may be fixed, great discoveries that would be made if they gave up %10, %20, %30.

These people are at the top of the NWO, maybe not the very top, but I tell you if they fell off the pyramid it would be a long ride down for them. This NWO that CAUSES all the problems, then tries to get us too PAY for the privilege of fixing them ( Eg Global Warming), when they have '$237,900,000,000,000', now THAT should be in Skunk Works my friends!

The solution? I really don't know, but I do know that without greed the world would be a better place, without these 793 hoarding the world's wealth, we would be on Mars.

I'm aware that the activities of these 793 probably employ %50 of the worlds population, but I'm sorry, hoarding that amount of wealth is despicable, in fact it's inhuman, which if you believe some of the stuff out there on the boards, is a fairly apt description of those 793!

[edit on 16-10-2009 by kiwifoot]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 05:59 PM
Yeah, I mean, you really, really don't need that much money. You could never spend it all, and I'm pretty sure you could allow more than 20 generations of your family prosper and live multi-millionaire lifestyles with that sort of money.

Call me jealous because I don't have that sort of money, but I think if all these rich dudes banded together and handed off a lot of their personal wealth to countries that could use that sort of money, then they could at least sleep well that night, knowing that they've actually done some good by helping out people.

I'm not talking 1 or 2 million, I'm pretty sure a billionaire could use that as toilet paper. I'm saying maybe hand out half of their personal wealth to undeveloped nations.

Though, there's also the problem that the money wouldn't get spent well by the third world leaders, and they'd just make it their own personal weath.

All I know is that I personally couldn't live with having a billion in my bank account while I know others that struggle their whole lives just tying to provide their family with the basics, as the bank does nothing but keep on their back because they're barely able to afford to keep a roof over their head. It's horrible to think about. I just wish that I could have that sort of money so I could see it better the lives of others.

Hell, even five million dollars would be far too much for me.

[edit on 16-10-2009 by Whine Flu]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 06:01 PM
Removing blunt capitalism would save the world.

But then again, blunt capitalism is in essence Greed or easily leads to greed so..

[edit on 16/10/09 by Dermo]

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by Dermo

Without greed we would all still be living in caves and chasing after dinner. Some level of greed is healthy.

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:05 PM
I'm thinking it would be a very bad idea to remove such a gene, if it exists. We got our genes over millions (maybe even billions) of years of evolution. Somehow it was something that enabled us to survive. Now it interferes with how we get along in society, which is a bad thing. But... society hasn't existed for very long. I wouldn't assume that our present version of society is the best we could ever do, or that it won't change over the next few thousand years. Maybe society will even break down completely, and we'd need that greed gene to survive again.

We've got lots of genetic traits that make it difficult to live in society. We get angry - our bodies are geared to fight or run, our hearts beat faster, our muscles tighten, etc. We no longer have to fight or flee some wild animals (most of the time). It's usually just some jerk who annoys us, but we still gear up like it's a fight to the death.

You wouldn't necessarily want to remove the "fight-or-flight" instinct or gene. Society isn't perfect. Sometimes we might encounter a violent or sociopathic person who is a genuine threat to life. We need to be able to run for it or put up a fight. Also, there have been times when society has broken down. It's not that solid, yet. If it breaks down, even just temporarily, then we're back to the law of the jungle and old instincts could make all the difference.

Same with the "greed gene". Let's not get rid of it until we're sure this society thing is going to work out. We've had "society" for only a few thousand years. That's nothing, compared to the millions of years of evolution that we've also been through. Don't throw away millions of years of evolution without a whole lot of thought and care.

As for greed itself, I saw somewhere an interesting idea, a "maximum wage". Just as there is a minimum wage for workers, how about a maximum wage? Make it very high, so people could get rich, but limit it, so that they don't just hog up all the money. Not sure if it would work, or whether it would cause more problems than it solved. I'm not an economist. But it is an intriguing thought...

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:14 PM
This is very shaky moral grounds your suggestion walks on. Genes are one side of the coin, surroundings is the other. Not all people (gladly - by far not all people) who have genes responsible for excessive violence would kill other people. Because there is family,education,society, environment and numerous other factors that are working here. So while i agree that greed in general is a huge problem and modern society can function perfectly well without it - solving it by "removing" people with "greed gene" -and i do not know if it exists at all by the way - will make much more harm then good.
Education,education and education. People should understand what it does on personal level, idiocy with rich "winners" vs poor "losers" should be stopped.
But replacing God and deciding who is to be removed from Humanity because he has some gene - sorry count me out.

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:36 PM
To be honest, I think that the "greed gene" that the OP mentioned is more metaphorical than scientifically based.

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:39 PM
reply to post by chiron613

Nice post man, I agree with you too.

The whole thing isn't really meant to be a serious idea about genetically modifying the human race, more it's supposed to highlight the intense greed of a few people!

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:42 PM
We have to distinguish greed from ambition. Ambition is good for the world. Ambitious people do grandiose things like producing artistic masterpieces and making groundbreaking scientific discoveries. Ambition can save the world, it is productive. A lack of ambition can doom the world.

Then their is greed which is ambition's closely related cousin. Greedy people sometimes do grandiose things, but they will often do destructive things. Greed, of course, is a source of many of the world's problems.

The problem with greed is that it is often difficult to distinguish it from ambition. How can we remove greed from human nature or society without eliminating ambition?

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:45 PM

Originally posted by Whine Flu
To be honest, I think that the "greed gene" that the OP mentioned is more metaphorical than scientifically based.

Phew, someone got it!

I was thinking I was going to get blasted again like a few other threads I've put in Skunk Works!

"You want to genetically engineer man to not be greedy!! Are you insane!??"

thanks mate!

posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 09:00 PM
No probs. It's a good thread that should be read by many more people. I think it's important that something like this actually gets mentioned.

Besides, you'd think that people would've gotten what you meant once they read your post.

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