rybak303 wrote:I've heard alot of talk in Buddhism about desire and passion being bad and in fact being the root causes of all suffering. But are there some desires and passions that are good? For example the desire to eat food and have sex is vital to the procreation of life. Or the passion a composer has to create symphonies, or a painter to paint? Are these passions really bad? Would it really be a good thing for a composer to be in a state of dispassion in regards to music?
Not all desires are bad. Only those based in one of the three unwholesome greed, hatred, or delusion are bad. And even those that are based in them can be bad to different degrees than others. There are plenty of examples of good desires. For example, after the Buddha became enlightened, he was motivated by compassion and desired to help people by teaching them. This is a good desire.
The things that you mention in your post are mostly examples of desires that are based in the three unwholesome roots, but that doesn't mean that they aren't allowed. When we start abandoning our desires and cravings, we start off by focusing on the more obvious and gross forms of negative desire, and only give up everything if we are willing to go all the way and ordain as a monk or nun. For laypeople, it is best to focus on giving up anger and hatred towards other people and our more obvious forms of greed such as obsessing over material possessions and money before starting to worry about these more benign forms of desire.