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Abraham Maslow is renowned for his invention in relation to the hierarchy of needs. The psychologist invented the hierarchy of needs based on the premise that the needs of the human beings are not the same. He stated that the implementation of the human needs requires the following of some trend. This means that lower needs in the hierarchy have to be satisfied before moving on to the higher goals.
Just like in a ladder, the lower rungs have to be stepped on before proceeding to the next runs that are located at the higher levels (Myers, 2004). There are different motivations behind the invention of the hierarchy of needs. This paper will focus on the hierarchy of needs and the motivation behind the development of the hierarchical representation of needs.
The theory states that people have differing needs. These needs are the main motivators of the actions. Therefore, people are spurred into action by their needs. A need for a certain achievement will push someone into action (Myers, 2004). The motivational needs of the human beings are represented in five levels. The five levels can be further depicted as basic needs and growth needs.
Basic needs are prerequisites for human survival. The needs motivate people to act whenever they are unmet (Myers, 2004). The basic needs include food and esteem. If one is denied the basic need for long, the desire to fulfill the needs mounts hence the relationship between the urge and actual fulfillment of the needs.
Satisfaction of the lower level needs is a requirement for the proceeding to the higher needs. The basic needs have to be attained first before proceeding to the higher needs of growth after the person has attained the goals of the lower needs; he or she may proceed to the attainment of the higher goals. The highest motivational goal in human beings is self-actualization
Human desire to progress of the higher goals is a pervading factor that leads to the development of the actions undertaken (Myers, 2004). Therefore, the main motivation of action in the human life is the attainment of the higher goals. Every human being has the need or desire to progress towards the highest rung or tier in the hierarchy. However, the rate of progression towards the same can be hindered by a variety of factors.
The failure of a person to meet the lower needs hinders the development of higher needs. Some life experiences may even lead to the fluctuations of the attainment of the needs. A major life experience affects the rate of progression since it may affect the level of stability and focus that the person has towards the attainment of the goals (Wade & Tavris, 2000). Fluctuation between the hierarchical levels is expected, and it is the main deterrent of the smooth progression towards the attainment of the higher goals. Fluctuations are expected in between the levels. Therefore, the movement or progression to the higher levels cannot be undertaken in a smooth and effective manner.
In the society, very few people attain their dream of self-actualization. The main explanation for this development can be found in the way the society rewards the motivation. The society does not acknowledge the self-actualization drives (Wade & Tavris, 2000). In most of the cases, it rewards the motivation biased on the social needs. This leads to a trend of appreciating the middle-level needs than the higher level needs.
As there is an emergence of the higher needs takes effect, they become dominate in the information of action that the individual undertakes. This means that the higher needs end up replacing, the lower needs, which are focused on the most basic survival. Emergence of higher needs increases the desire to attain them (Myers, 2004). However higher needs only emerge once there is the assurance that the lower needs have been attained to the satisfaction.
The hierarchy of needs has been worked on to include other needs such as the cognitive and aesthetic needs; later there was the inclusion of the transcendence needs (Myers, 2004). Cognitive needs are the needs that emerge in the individual as the main motivation for the pursuit of knowledge. They are instrumental in the driving of research at all levels (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004). Cognitive needs drive the need to search for new sources of information.
Transcendence needs form the highest needs in the revised version of the hierarchy of needs. The needs are present only in the people that have attained self-actualization (Wade & Tavris, 2000). Transcendence needs are the needs to help other attain their needs for actualization. The people that have the needs develop their tendency towards out of the need to have more people in their group. As stated earlier, few people attain self-actualization. Therefore, very few people have attained this level (Myers, 2004). Transcendence needs arise to increase the number of self-actualized people.
However, the development of the hierarchy of needs has received some criticisms. The main critics of the psychological philosophy are centered on the methodology that the research used. The biographical analysis was the main approach used in the assessment of the self-actualized people. The sample size of 18 could not possibly reflect the rest of the humanity. The method of analysis was largely subjective since the opinion of the researcher was the most pervasive aspect (Stockdale & Crosby, 2004). Biasedness of the opinion increased the chances of the findings being invalidated.
Myers, D. (2004). Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers.
Stockdale, M., & Crosby, F. (2004). The psychology and management of workplace diversity. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2000). Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
1. Rationale for Choosing this Category
Several theories have been designed to explain the relationship between divinities and humans. Although it is important to study and understand divinities, it is far much important to understand humanity. In life, the interrelations between human beings are the forces that control life on earth. The actions of divinities do not influence how human beings relate with one another. Evil acts such as hatred, mass killing, and most disaster are linked to human actions (Walsh, 2011). By understanding humanity, it becomes easier to understand why people engage in some evil acts and possibly come up with solutions to counter their actions. Failure to understand humanity and over focusing on divinities may be one of the reasons as to why evil exists within religion. It is highly essential that scholars seek to understand humanity first before exploring divinities. From the above argument, it is clear that the study on humanity has been neglected with most scholars treating humanity as subjects to the divinities. The main focus of this paper is to establish whether or not humanity has control over what happens in the world.
2. Description and Significance of the Selected Category Across the Religions Studied
The study involves a study on the view of human nature according to different religions. Research findings indicate that there are more than 4000 religions in the world. In every religion, there is a different definition of human nature, the existence of evil and perspective towards sin. Religion controls a considerable percentage of the actions by people, but this does not address the idea of human nature and its role in what people do. By definition, human nature refers to the unique characteristic in the human being that is immune from influences from elements of culture and religion (Sayadaw, 2014). To verify the above definition, it is important to study how different religions view human nature.
According to the perspective of the indigenous people, human beings have been wandering away from the right path. The right path was first lost by the ancestors and was carried on by the descendants who continued to tread on the wrong path. Human beings have the ability to do good and evil; an ability that is controlled by the existence of curses, vows, incantations or evil spirits. This means that human beings are not born evil. Instead, they become good or bad based on the factors influencing their behavior (Sayadaw, 2014). Nonetheless, they possess the ability of good and evil that is only unleashed when certain factors are present. According to beliefs of indigenous people, had special channels of communicating to the spirit world which were either witch doctors or shamans.
According to Jainism and Hinduism, human beings are completely free of sin at birth. In Jainism, it believed that a person could liberate his or her own should through karma. This means that it people’s actions that lead them to sin. Similarly, in Hinduism, the nature of a person and his/her destiny are controlled by the law of karma (Religion Facts, 2004). The actions of a person unleash the good or evil in him/her.
In Buddhism, the nature of a person is constructed around five composite aggregates namely; physical form, feelings, ideations, mental formations and consciousness. All these aggregates are not permanent which further emphasizes the idea of anatta (no soul). According to Daoism and Confucianism, the nature of human beings is shaped by convention or ritual. The nature of interactions introduces distinctions and defines the responses towards various things. In the Shinto religion, human beings are born pure, but have the capability of sin and can still be purified from sin.
Judaism views people as beings made in the image of God and with the ability to reason. In Christianity, human beings are naturally good, but enjoy free will. Just like in Judaism, they can choose between good and evil. Islam supports the idea of free will that is only meant to help people submit to Allah. Modern religion does not offer a specific definition on what human nature refers to (Walsh, 2011).
From the study and analysis of the view of human nature based on different religions, it is clear that human beings are born pure. However, they can do good or evil within them. Different factors influence them to either unleash the good or the bad in them.
3. Practical Example on the View Of Human Nature
The view on human nature is a topic that studies verifiable aspects regardless of the religion or culture background of a person. Although different religions practice different beliefs, the view of human nature is nearly the same. Most religions believe that human beings are free of sin at birth (Religion Facts, 2004). The actions that they engage in are the ones that make them bad or good people. From a personal perspective, I have made observations on some of the students and bad people in my society. Most people who engage in evil acts have a history of growing up in violent families or were exposed to bad activities when they were still young. As a result, they became bad people. Perhaps, they would have become good had they been brought up in environments that triggered good behavior.
Religion Facts,.(2004). Hindu beliefs: what do Hindus believe?.
Sayadaw,.M.V.(2014). Buddhist studies: The theory of karma.
Walsh,.D.M. (2011). Understanding divine human relationship in Judaism Christianity and Islam.
It is true that that illness that develop and interfere with the physical appearance of the body such as a lump in the breast or abnormal rash depict the body as oppositional. The reason for this is that the faulty body will resist the self in interfering with one’s current plans and undertakings (Toombs, 150). The body make-up as a faulty physiological organism is a crucial factor that causes the sense of bodily separation that constitutes an illness. It is also agreed that the distinctiveness of body is normal to illness, which are felt in experience. Two of the four senses in which the body is felt as weird in normal situations are also true because they develop themselves in illness (Toombs, 150).
The first sense is the limitation/inescapable. Under this sense, it is agreed that when a patient experiences illness, he directly faces it with a major emergency of his existence and unpreventable limitations of his embodiment. One has to learn how to encounter the limitations of his embodiment whether he resists the illness that comes in or not. Another practical argument by Toombs is that a patient cannot wholly separate himself from his body (Toombs, 151). He must attend to the disability that intrudes and interferes with the continuing tasks. The sense of limitation and inescapability, therefore, are inherent to illness-as-lived.
Another practical sense that is observed in the illness encounter is corporal implicatedness. It is always true that a patient realizes that what his body experiences must also irreversibly happen to him. A patient can make attempts to control or change his body through therapeutic mechanisms to alter the array of bodily implicatedness, to regulate what might happen after the illness (Toombs, 152). However, it is always true as stated by the author that the patient has little or no capacity to control his biological system, which is his body. Thus, it is reasonable to be noted by the author that the body experiences are fundamentally out of control and capacity of the self. On the other hand, it is practical that the body controls what the self can do in the projects or other activities in the everyday life. An example is where one is prevented from continuing with an operation when infected by diseases such as influenza because the body resists the self from continuing with the tasks as a result of the physical incapacity.
Considering Sontag’s argument, it is practical that diseases that spread more easily are considered as plagues (Sontag, 5). Diseases such as leprosy, cholera, syphilis and cancer should be regarded as plagues because they are widespread illnesses that infect people across the globe. They are also some of the most feared diseases and can transform the body. Truly, plagues are always originated from somewhere else and intrude to a particular region or groups of people. For example, syphilis can originate from one country and spread to another country. These plagues are caused by changes in the environment such as the diet and weather (Sontag, 6). On the other hand, AIDS is argued to be a result of divergent sex. Heightening the disease’s allegorical figure by maintaining practical anxiety of its effortless transmissibility its looming spread, does not lessen its status as the result of illegal acts. AIDS is considered as a repercussion of immoral behavior and also intimidates the innocent (Sontag, 7). This argument on AIDS as a plague is true because it is an illness acquired by weak and immoral individuals and can infect any person.
Sontag, Susan. Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphor. New York, (1990).
Toombs, S. Kay. The Meaning of Illness: A Phenomenological Approach to the Patient- Physician Relationship. Houston, Texas, (1990).
The following article examines Locke’s proposition on the issue of innate ideas. It checks the grounds in which he formulated his reasoning and highlights the impact of his ideas on modern political theory and the value it added to Enlightenment.
Locke describes ‘understanding’ as the “most elevated faculty of the soul” and is the most used. He opines that this ability makes us seek out the truth to gain more knowledge. He likens the pursuit of knowledge as being similar to hunting; where the hunter enjoys both the thrill of the hunt as well as the kill itself (Locke, 2004).
In book II chapter XXVII, the author talks about the factors that design human actions. He observes that men decide their moral actions based on the “esteem and fashion of the place and sect they are of.” In this regard, Locke does not repudiate, per se, that a human action can either be a virtue or a vice, but he stresses that the terms “virtue” and “vice” are relative. He postulates that “virtue” and “vice” are more about the “reputation and fashion of each particular society within itself.” The author adds that even in corrupt matters, the rule of nature – virtue and vice - is still usually well preserved, but that ultimately man should judge his actions according to the unalterable truth which determines whether these actions can be classified as “virtue” or “vice.”
Locke’s opinion on “innate ideas” hinges on the opinion that the soul learns from the mind, and that at birth what is present in the mind are not these ideas but the capacity to learn. He, therefore, subscribes to the notion that the mind and soul learn “from the outward senses.”
Locke writes that there are certain principles which are taken as universal truths, but in reality, are either just “speculative” or practical. On the issues of innate ideas, he questions why, if the principle is universal, are children and idiots born not knowing much (Kant, 1788)
Locke’s repudiation of “innate ideas” gave more impetus to Enlightenment because people started questioning the conventional way in which ideas, beliefs, opinions, and thoughts were founded in premedieval times. In the Enlightenment Era, these ideas, opinions, and thought were challenged based on the principles of reasoning, and that whatever had minimal sense in it was ultimately done away with (SEP, 2010. Kant, 1788).
Kant, I. (1788). Critique of Practical Reason. Thomas Kingsmill Abbott.
Locke, J. (2004). An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (Vol. 1). Steve Harris; David Widger.
SEP. (2010, August 20). Enlightenment. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/
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