To the Tao Te Ching, greediness definitely falls on the dark side of the Force. (See: Emperor Palpatine.) Taoism is all about getting over yourself and being humble, so the idea of packing your bank account with cash and cramming your house with expensive stuff just doesn't fit into the Taoist mindset.

The TTC points out that there's totally no point in lusting after material possessions because 1) you're just setting yourself up for loss, 2) you make yourself a target for theft, and 3) eventually everything fades—you, your stuff, etc.—so what's the point in placing value in material things?

Questions About Greed

  1. In what ways does the Tao Te Ching say that greediness can be dangerous?
  2. How does the TTC say that we can actually gain the most in life?
  3. The TTC warns us not to place value on things that are hard to find. What would a society look like that actually stuck to this principle?
  4. Is the TTC right when it says that the want of profit is the cause of crime? Why or why not?

Chew on This

It's idealistic to think that human beings will ever stop valuing things that are hard to find; wanting what we can't have is fundamental to our nature.

The Tao Te Ching is right to condemn greediness since greed is the cause of almost every problem we have in society.

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