Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beyond Greed - Still thinking

Here are some things I’m still thinking about from part 2 of Beyond Greed. I would love to hear your thoughts.

* greed and enjoyment of possessions

I am a little confused by the quote from Augustine on page 58 which distinguishes between enjoyment of things and use of them. He seems to suggest that it is sinful to enjoy things. We should in fact use them to enjoy God. However 1 Timothy 6:17 says, God… who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. So are we to enjoy them or not? I suspect the answer may lie in the meaning of ‘enjoy’ in both cases… can someone shed light on this for me?

* greed and pride

I’ve been thinking about what pushes me to acquire certain possessions and in my case I think it is pride. I want people to think well of me, think I am “successful”, intelligent, sophisticated, cultured… and so buy things that accord with that image. I would add this to Rosners’s list of things that drive greed: inordinate love, misplaced trust, forbidden service and selfish pride. Do you agree? Would you add anything else?

* business and the economy

I admit that I understand very little about business and the economy and am ill-qualified to comment much on how the economy operates. I am interested to know if there are others out there that can. Would you agree with Rosner’s assessment? Can our present model operate without greed? Are there economic models and practises that do not assume and encourage greed?

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