Theodicy – Greed

Generally when the word greed is mentioned it refers to something bad. It is normally referred to power or riches many a times in a bad way. Let’s put it into perspective, many people have oppressed others for their own interests. Namely the underworld, people of power in a country have oppressed the majority in order to achieve their gains.

For these people the gains are “good” and they had to do what was necessary to achieve their goals. For the oppressed however being forced to give up a portion of their livelihood is not as easy, especially for the poor who can barely make it through to feed their families.

So one side is doing what they think is good for themselves and the other is forced to give a portion of their earnings to the minority who force them to do so. So here greed is bad as seen by many, but the question is who is committing “evil” or doing something bad, and who is doing “good” or benefiting others?

It is clear that something good for one might not be good for someone else, especially if wealth and power are gained at the cost of someone else’s life, earnings, effort etc. So then what defines good and evil? What are the benchmarks for doing something good and vice versa?

These are the doings of humans, regardless of their race, religion culture, gender etc. Is God involved in committing any of these autocracies? But if God exists why does He choose to keep quiet?

Greed in the previous case leads to multiple issues within a society. Many have been and still are oppressed by the greedy. So What if the greed is to do good? Is there a way doing good will harm others? What if there were volunteers or ordinary people who put the lives of others ahead of their own.

How many people have given their own lives to protect strangers? And how many mothers have died giving birth to their child? A child is basically a stranger to the mother, no one know what a child would grow up to be but we only hope for the best.

Is it greed or is it a need to serve others? And why would someone serve others and provide help to them at the cost of their own lives? The saviour is willing to save and the one in need, wants to be saved. So if there is a good in greed is greed all that bad?

And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear God; indeed, God is severe in penalty.

Quran 5:2