Greed vs. Envy

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Greed and Envy is that the Greed is a an inordinate or insatiable longing, especially for wealth, status, and power and Envy is a resentful emotion that “occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it.

  • Greed

    Greed, or avarice, is an inordinate or insatiable longing for material gain, be it food, money, status, or power.

    As a secular psychological concept, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. The degree of inordinance is related to the inability to control the reformulation of “wants” once desired “needs” are eliminated. Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” It is typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, although it may apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else.

    The purpose for greed, and any actions associated with it, is possibly to deprive others of potential means (perhaps, of basic survival and comfort) or future opportunities accordingly, or to obstruct them therefrom, thus insidious and tyrannical or otherwise having a negative connotation. Alternately, the purpose could be defense or counteraction from such dangerous, potential negotiation in matters of questionable agreeability. A consequence of greedy activity may be an inability to sustain any of the costs or burdens associated with that which has been or is being accumulated, leading to a backfire or destruction, whether of self or more generally. So, the level of “inordinance” of greed pertains to the amount of vanity, malice or burden associated with it.

  • Envy

    Envy (from Latin invidia) is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it”.Aristotle defined envy as pain at the sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we ought to have.” Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. Not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his or her envy, Russell explained, but that person may also wish to inflict misfortune on others, in forms of emotional abuse and violent acts of criminality. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement of economies and must be endured to achieve the “keep up with Jones” system. He believed this is what helps to maintain democracy, a system where no one can achieve more than anyone else.

  • Greed (noun)

    A selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions.

    “His greed was his undoing.”

  • Envy (noun)

    Resentful desire of something possessed by another or others (but not limited to material possessions). from 13thc.

  • Envy (noun)

    An object of envious notice or feeling.

  • Envy (noun)

    Hatred, enmity, ill-feeling. 14th-18thc.

  • Envy (noun)

    Emulation; rivalry.

  • Envy (noun)

    Public odium; ill repute.

  • Envy (verb)

    To feel displeasure or hatred towards (someone) for their good fortune or possessions. from 14th c.

  • Envy (verb)

    To have envious feelings (at). 15th-18th c.

  • Envy (verb)

    To give (something) to (someone) grudgingly or reluctantly; to begrudge. 16th-18th c.

  • Envy (verb)

    To show malice or ill will; to rail.

    “He has…envied against the people.”

  • Envy (verb)

    To do harm to; to injure; to disparage.

  • Envy (verb)

    To hate.

  • Envy (verb)

    To emulate.

  • Greed (noun)

    intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food

    “the colonists’ greed for African land”

    “mercenaries who had allowed greed to overtake their principles”

    “greed has taken over football”

  • Envy (noun)

    a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck

    “she felt a twinge of envy for the people on board”

  • Envy (noun)

    a person or thing that inspires envy

    “France has a film industry that is the envy of Europe”

  • Envy (verb)

    desire to have a quality, possession, or other desirable thing belonging to (someone else)

    “I envy Jane her happiness”

    “he envied people who did not have to work at the weekends”

  • Envy (verb)

    desire for oneself (something belonging to another)

    “a lifestyle which most of us would envy”

Oxford Dictionary

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