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Needs And Values

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All living organisms have needs.

A need is an objective requirement of a living organism’s survival and wellbeing. Some need-satisfying action is an automatic (example a plant turning its leaves turning towards the sun, beating of the heart), but at human level, automatic action alone is insufficient.

People have to conceptually identify their needs and discover through thinking and research, how to satisfy them.

It is very necessary to distinguish needs from values.

Needs are inborn, they are part of an organism nature, whereas values are required / learned. Needs exist even if one is not aware of them, whereas values exist in consciousness.

Unlike the case of needs people do need a value hierarchy, because without one, they would be unable to make choices.

It is values that prioritize needs.

The most fundamental of all values in moral values that which in individual considers good or bad.

A given action is not usually or necessarily motivated by just one value for e.g. One’s carrier efforts may be motivated by a desire to earn a living, the desire to earn an excellence, ambition and desire to achieve a personally significant long range purpose.

Furthermore, a value may help to satisfy more than one need. e.g. Most people value money at least to some degree.

But money is relevant to the satisfaction of one’s physical needs, because money has symbolic as well as material significance.

Consider self-esteem. You cannot buy self – esteem but the ability to earn money to the degree that it reflects one’s ability to use one’s mind productively can contribute to self-esteem.

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