Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Needs, Wants, and Legitimacy

“All true needs—such as food, drink, and companionship—are satiable. Illegitimate wants—pride, envy, greed—are insatiable. By their nature they cannot be satisfied. In that sense materialism is the opium of the people. Enough is never enough. Greater quantities are required for satisfaction, and each increment proves inadequate the next time. That is the horror of the giant in John Bunyan and the wicked witch in C.S. Lewis who give their victims food that causes greater hunger. The idolatries that promise wealth without end draw adherents as the tavern draws alcoholics. Ivan Illich calls this “the ethos of nonsatiety.” That is the sense in which the love of money is the root of all evils (1 Tim. 6:10).” (Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction, p. 107-108).
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