Define "need"

So my dad frequently told me to separate my wants from my needs but I find it hard to draw the line on what actually counts as a need. Colloquially it seems as if water would be a need for survival, but philosophically I still find that confusing because I see no need for humans to survive, we simply want to survive. But if we were to all die tomorrow the universe would continue to move on without us.

Even with something like water it’s like hey, I can do with parasite-infested water because it’ll keep me alive today and anything cleaner than that is just a want, a luxury.

So come on help me here, I don’t really get it. A phrase such as “prioritizing my wants” would have made more sense.

You don’t need anything. /thread

are you being serious? or flippant? or both?

as an individual my survival and survival of my loved ones are a need of mine. I am not looking at societal needs, where you maybe worthless.

so, while I need water, and food. I may want fizzy flavored water and filet mignon and lobster
to go to work, I need a car, though I might want a mercedes
I can even see a computer, TV, other electronics as viewed as needs, but what level device becomes the want

I am being serious because if someone like my dad is going to dish out advice, he better be able to answer questions like this or else this could result in some really bad advice indeed.

Is a car really a need? You can walk man, is what someone might say. I’d be like, that’s ridiculous, so there really should be a line somewhere if we’re going to be tossing around words like this.

there is no job near me I could walk to. For me a car is transportation, I don’t go status symbol

But you can arbitrarily keep messing with someone if they justify it that way. For example, one could say, man why do you need a job that far? Go work at the convenience store across the street Mr. Fancypants.

I see need as not just survival, but some level of fulfillment.

I could work in the convenience store and would be miserable doing it.

For some people it is adequate, it can feed their family and they will be happy.

Needs sound basic, but not all needs are created equal

So, stop listening to your dad.

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to define need, u first need to define outcome. If your desired outcome is to live for the next 5 mins, then u don’t need anything

However, if your desired outcome is to live a long and satisfying life, then define your needs accordingly

and don’t be so hard on your pops, he’s only trying to help u out

Food, water, shelter, healthcare.

Have you been reading that moustache personal finance blog?

Healthcare is optional in the US.

It’s definitely a distant 4th among the needs, but when you need it you really need it. Even a simple infection could do many of us in without eventual treatment.

Ya, I was just being snarky. Health care is pretty damn important.

My sarcasm detector was working. I was just heading off the eventual “I haven’t been to the doctor in 5 years and I’m fine, so how is that a need?” comment

You might want to throw clothes in there too. Just sayin’…

good relationships. People don’t realize how important this is

There are many ways to make a living :judge:

Ah. Yeah, most people don’t need the healthcare system every day. But when you need it, you need it.