NEEDS AND WANTS – WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS

Marios Kyriakou

26.10.2018


The main, or fundamental, problem in Economics

When people say that they face a “problem” what do they mean really? They usually refer to a matter, or situation, which is considered to be unwanted, or harmful, and there is a need to overcome it, deal with it and find a solution. In order to find a solution, people will have to take action in altering the current “state of things” into another state, the one they desire. This desire to alter the current situation, generates needs and wants that can only be satisfied by using the recourses available to them.
The main, or fundamental, problem in Economics is that there is Scarcity of available recourses. In modern societies, the majority of people wish to consume more goods and services than the amounts of those available for a specific period of time, they have unlimited demands.

The optimal situation would be the one in which human beings have found ways to use renewable recourses for satisfying their needs. Then the economic problem would not exist. Nevertheless, there is one undebatable truth. The economic problem exists, or gets worse, because of human beings’ preferences and choices. By choice we are generating unlimited needs, thus we, humans, are the ones creating the economic problem, or making it worse.
Undoubtedly, human beings have needs and wants to be satisfied. However, if we want to truly understand human behavior, we need to understand what human beings are, their composition as living entities, what is their purpose in life and how do they differ from other entities. Breakthroughs in technology teach us that human beings are capable of recreating something that mimics their behavior and way of thinking.
It is quite remarkable that an android robot has been recently created. A bold attempt of humanity to create a synthetic organism designed to resemble a human being and its intelligence. This entity is supposed to perceive its environment and take actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals. This means that such an entity will be capable of moving in to space-time, to absorb information, and based on that information, calculate, plan and take decisions. A good question is, what would its goals be? Will that robot think about the future? What would be that robots’ needs and wants? Will, such an entity, even have needs?
There is one truth at least. The creator can program the robot to have needs. Meaning that the robot can be programmed to behave in certain ways under certain conditions. The robot’s behavior will then be characterized as rational or irrational based on human thinking. If the creator wants the robot to behave rationally, a term that we use to characterize the behavior and way of thinking of the majority of human beings, then it will program the robot to think, thus behave, like a human being.
“Everybody in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”, Steve Jobs.

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