Greed: A Fatal Desire

Greed: A Fatal Desire

2017, Society  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 8.04/10 from 104 users.

It's one of the seven deadly sins, and it seems to be an integral component of human nature. It could also serve as the gateway to moral bankruptcy and the trigger for global devastation. What drives our thirst for more, what is its impact on our personal sense of peace and the state of the world, and is it a behavior that can ever be unlearned? Greed: A Fatal Desire addresses all of these key concerns with probing insight.

There are several theories as to why the human species might harbor greedy tendencies. Most of the film's narrative is driven by the teachings of Sheldon Solomon, a social psychologist who believes that greed is a reaction to our inherent fear of death, and that each new material possession represents a means of stalling this inevitability. As long as we need, we live. In this age of ego - where the needs of the individual trump all else - our self-esteem is often defined by the things we own.

In part, this instinct can ensure survival and achievement. But when our quest for more power, possessions, and attention comes at the cost of others, this behavior can cripple individual, communal and cultural relationships. The class divide widens, and an acceptable quality of life becomes unattainable for far too many citizens of the world.

In reality, of course, money and possessions do not result in immortality; they're temporary rewards that can easily enslave us. The things that really matter - family, love, compassion, and harmony with our natural environment - transcend the notion of power and status. It is through them that we can achieve true peace and contentment. The film concludes on a hopeful note by urging us to raise our level of self-awareness and recalibrate our priorities for the benefit of all.

The film features an assortment of voices from each end of the spectrum, including medical experts, sociologists, religious figures, and those who proudly defend their drive to achieve greater wealth and material comforts.

Told in two parts, Greed: A Fatal Desire dives into the most basic building blocks of human nature. It will likely be a rewarding, revelatory journey for many viewers.

Directed by: Jörg Seibold

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Pixi

    The film is quite well made and has some good points and acknowledgement about the state of society, but also some weak and ignorant ones. The biggest problem humanity is facing is its constantly rising population - the world is overpopulated and with it comes the destruction of the environment. Unfortunately, there is a taboo on acknowledging this without any argument, blame or guilt. But it could be the first step to find out about intelligent living on this earth.

    1. Joe

      Looks like the v@x is going to help you towards your goal...

  2. Sally

    'Some people are so poor because all they have is money'

    1. Don

      Well said Sally!

  3. Sally

    As a person who has lost everything and not by choice but unfortunate circumstances, I understand what it means to be stripped down to where joy really comes from. Where everything which is genuine has nothing to do with money. I found out who my true friends were and also the sad truth of being 'kicked out' of my family for being a poor disappointment to 'the family'. They are all wealthy and no one has called me and tried to help me and I've learned I'm the wealthy one even though I have no money. I'm very happy. I work at a simple job I love. I value my life so much more and everyday is filled which great experiences. I am much more aware in life and much more present. I heard a saying a long time ago and now I understand it....Your life begins when you lose true.

  4. urban dweller

    Greed is wanting MORE than enough. So much more that you don't care about another human being who may be languishing because of greed. Third world countries were created from American and European greed. They devastated those countries of their natural resources and left a big gaping whole in their world just so somebody could purchase a larger TV, or a newer car, or the latest fashion. Maybe I missed that book in the Bible - "The Book of What Can I Buy Today?"
    Jesus said, "They will know you by the love you have for one another." They will know what kind of person you really are by how you treat others, not whether or not you purchased the latest piece of junk. Because it's likely that most of what you own today will be in a garbage bin within the next five years. That's waste. Another deadly sin.

    1. stead

      'Third world countries were created from American and European greed' People like you make me laugh. I've lived in one of those third world countries for many years and can tell you no one on Earth is as greedy as those who run them. Their culture/value systems are diametrically opposed to the West. Nowhere is lacking empathy and philanthropy than those countries. Go do some research before spouting neo liberal bull.

  5. joe nobull

    Greed is NOT good...humanity did not rise from a primitive species because of greed...we rose because of co-operation and sharing...greed is an old part of our brain,the inner core small brain,co-operation and sharing is part of our outer higher brain.
    mortal life 'must' be part of our soul...think of this...what is beyond the edge of space? nothing?..well scientists have discovered there is no such thing as 'nothing' there was just a nobel prize awarded for this(well not exactly this,but their discoveries suggest there is always something everywhere,they can see this through 'effect')...and other scientists are now in the process of proving there are 'other' dimensions...i would suggest dont 'risk' your immortal soul...there is likely a god or gods or a 'ALL' judging 'law' such as the physically laws we see in our elemental realm...what does nature or the laws we know of today accept more...the triangle?...or the circle?

  6. skipper

    Children are the danger and the cause of most problems Stop having them

  7. flybow

    Desert Gypsy Girl. Im afraid all your arguments fall flat on their faces when you mention god. There is no such thing. If you think there is. Prove it.

  8. John Miller

    I hate to be the one dissenting guy here because I really agree with most all of this and am a big proponent of the TMT guys. However, after a lifetime of personal study of the past and present I must conclude that it is more likely than not that the people who "give up in despair and do nothing" are less harmful than those who are "passionately working" towards trying to change how humans behave. What they (the passionate fixers) are likely doing is dragging out the suffering by slowing down the carnage just enough to keep humans going along in our slow steady decline of creating misery for sentient life. I don't see us as a whole "waking up" to become kinder and gentler and wiser humans. It's never happened in the past and it's not happening now. There has always been a tiny percentage of benign/wise humans but that percentage IMO will never change and it's not enough to effect a cure for the destruction we, as a species are causing. If we just let it all go now it will likely go faster and cause less human suffering in the long run. But if you feel you must act there is IMO one act that will almost surely reduce some of the suffering. Don't procreate, become an antinatalist. At least you'll not be responsible for the suffering of any potential offspring. I for one plan on doing nada and watching to see how it all goes down. However I'll likely be dead before the big crash if there is one. I'm kind of sad about that.

  9. Leave God out of your Greed

    Lol money machine. The zimbabwe guy is totally lost on his biblical perspective. He has a point in other regards, but not on the Bible. The Bible states quite unapologetically that "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a wealthy person to enter into the kingdom of God." The more wealth you have, the more of a buffer zone you create between yourself and God. You need others less and less, this is also applicable to God. You feel with increasing wealth that you are a god in your own right, lording over the increasing masses of others with less wealth around you. Abraham's wealth was hand in hand with his absolute submission to the will of God. He had wealth of cattle and family, yes, but his wealth he attributed entirely to God and was thankful and dutiful to God almost all the time. The only time he was not dutiful was when God had promised him a child with his wife, and he lost faith in God and had a child with her handmaiden instead. This led only to grief for himself and his wife in time, as defying God always does. Later, when granted a son with his wife as God had promised, he was willing to sacrifice his son because it was asked of him by God and his devotion to God was so great. He didn't go out and buy a thousand pairs of sandals that he'd never wear. He was a river of wealth unto his people, giving the wealth to the tribe, and ever thankful to God for that wealth. Also, he mentions Genesis, the direction God gives mankind is to be dominant over animals and nature, not to dominate over other men. God even said to the Israelites, when they prayed for a king like their pagan neighbors, that they didn't need a king, that they should be free of a ruler and only follow God. If I had a penny for each time I've heard the word of God misused and misquoted I'd be the wealthiest person on earth, ever.


    I disagree with the dude talking about the old testament and all the wealth.....the old testament did not work....hence the new testament....the old is dead dead I agree with you Lorraine!!!!

  11. Ron

    Haven't watched the doc yet. Went directly to comments to see if I might want to. We live in opposing paradigms. Capitalism requires infinite consumerism, but we live in a fragile world of finite resources. Play that movie fast forward...... Not sustainable! No easy answers is there?

  12. JaseFace

    I prefer Mark's Twain's attitude to fear of death: "Afraid of death? No, I was dead for thousands of years and it didn't inconvenience me in the slightest."
    For a long time Greed has needed to be the subject of a documentary. This was a pretty good stab at it but not comprehensive.
    I was turned off by all the global warming propaganda; air, land and water pollution are more import issues. If that turns you off, consider another Twain quote: "If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"

  13. Pjarmas

    Very interesting and thought provoking, already a convert but great to see the word is out.

  14. Minh Duong

    Desert Gypsy Girl:
    Prosperity =/ = Consumerism

  15. Mark

    "Money comes from God"??? Hahaha...Two afirmations that show how humans are slaves of primitive concepts: money and "God"...

  16. Glen

    Stupid me I assumed we wanted things to make our life easier and security,,

  17. Desert Gypsy Girl

    Yes, Lorraine. God wants prosperity to circulate. You are talking about the "love" of money which is not the same thing as living well. (In fact, I'm not exactly sure what that means.) I am talking about circulating prosperity and living well. You don't think God wants you to live well? You think God wants you to live in poverty? Be poor or hate money? NO! Of course not. Prosperity comes from God. Money comes from God. Why would He say it was evil? All He asks is that we be good stewards of it. "Your Father gives you the Kingdom." Not "Your Father gives you poverty."

  18. Ahmed jama

    Throughout the history of mankind we are trying to find the way to win the battle of nature that there are two contradiction fighting togather is the dualism of reality and truth,
    Like every alse thing have two aspect of reality and the deficiency of our consciousness to know what the whole truth of something, that why we have observations and a little information for everything.
    greed is the most essential ideas or things that impulse us to acheive something by motivating our consciousness and mind to find something new and continue the way to get it,
    according to the physics time is what datermining our destiny because we didn't acheive anything except by time, the deficiency of our knowledge and consciousness to predicting what will happen tommoraw, the short Of our time and have a little opportunity to live and existing for this life, the fear of dispearing and expiry its what make us to abide doing somethings

  19. john smith

    Very well made.The music and sound effects are excellent.Covering a sensitive subject for some. Story needs to be told.Gives one the opportunity to evaluate ones life.

  20. Lorraine Williams

    " Even God wants you to spend money and have nice things" ?
    I don't recall reading that in the New Testament, but I do recall reading "The love of money is the root of all evil" We certainly have ample proof of that in the world today.


    "My greatest skill has been to want but little." Thoreau

    Thoreau chose his words carefully. Notice that he says “skill” and not “characteristic” or “trait.” A skill can be learned. Today, the non-thinkers are taught the opposite skill — buy more useless crap.

  22. cyberdog

    I second what Desert Gypsy Girl said.

  23. Desert Gypsy Girl

    Okay. Three minutes in, I stopped this doc. WHAT?? Humans are by nature greedy?? Since when is the desire for nice things in life is a disease? Leftist propaganda! Go shopping? Yes, that's what stimulates the economy. Even God wants you to spend money and have nice things. Hoarding is the sin! Can't watch this. I fear for the future of our country. And the world.