Wants? Needs? Law of the Jungle Dehumanizes Humans
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
A survey of the news on any given day will typically illustrate, especially amongst the younger generation, a growing proclivity to classify as “needs” things understood by earlier generations to be “desires” or “wants.” Whereas today’s parents and grandparents understood items such as cell phones, cars, and computers as luxury items, many in our society now see these things as “needs.” And where there is an established “need,” talk of “rights” cannot be far behind.
We see this thinking reflected in many of our government policies. Many in our society believe it appropriate for government to supply free phones for the “indigent,” free syringes for the addict and free healthcare for everyone. Yet in seeking to fulfill what Franklin Roosevelt famously described as the “freedom from want,” we dehumanize ourselves and those we seek to help, by placing Man on the same plane as animal.
When a dog is hungry it eats, or when it’s tired it sleeps. In the animal kingdom “wants” and “needs” are synonymous in that they represent mandates for action. Man is the only creation that is called by his Creator to deny himself and his desires. It would be absurd to ask a dog to consider fasting or going without food but men regularly forego nourishment for religious and other reasons. Because they are created with a natural desire to propagate the species, one would never think to ask an animal to abstain from sex. Nevertheless, humans willingly abstain for any number of reasons.
Animals, as creatures without souls, have “needs” that must be satisfied. Man, because he is descended from angels rather than risen from apes, is an entirely different sort of creation. As such, he should be expected to respond to his wants and desires according to a different standard. Public school sex education programs, free condom giveaways, and government subsidized abortion/contraception and similar programs are the product of a worldview that sees Man as a prisoner to his “needs,” incapable of rising above his animal nature. Such a view dehumanizes Man and debases his Creator.
Man who has a “right” to everything he desires is not human but an animal and such a man cannot rightly be described as civilized. Instead, he is truly a barbarian, separated from his Creator and from all notion of virtue. Sadly, today this is the vision of society propagated by many who are entrusted with the education of our youth as well as the governance of our country. Unless our nation reverses course and denies this sort of vulgar ideology, we can expect nothing less than a society governed by the chaotic Law of the Jungle.
Kevin Ritter is a small business owner in southeast Ohio. He holds an MA in Political Science from Central Michigan University (1990) and has completed coursework, language requirements, and comprehensive exams for a PhD. in Modern European History at Western Michigan University.