Four Reasons Why Greed Is Harmful to Society

Four Reasons Why Greed Is Harmful to Society Rule of MoneyThere are those who claim that greed serves an economic purpose in that it increases demand for goods and services. Thus, greed can stimulate economies and advance prosperity.

However, greed has moral and social dimensions that are not considered by those who hold it as an economic stimulus.

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Historian Odd Langholm mentions four reasons why greed harms society according to medieval authors and philosophers:

Greed is a sin against oneself because it causes disorder in one’s affections.

It is a sin against God, because it causes one to have contempt for eternal things for the sake of temporal things.

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Saint Thomas Aquinas observes that greed denies a person mental quietude since one defers to gold that which is proper to God.

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Greed has corrupting effects on a person’s character and spiritual life leading to vices that harm society and economy.

Taken from: Odd Langholm, The Merchant in the Confessional: Trade and Price in the Pre-Reformation Penitential Handbooks, (Leiden; Boston: Brill) 2003, p. 271.