Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
Spectrum
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Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 10th, 2018, 11:10 pm

According the Abraham Maslow's Motivation Theory, the motivations for the general behaviors of humans can be represented in the Hierarchy of Need below;

Image
Wiki wrote:Physiological needs
Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. This is the first and basic need on the hierarchy of needs. Without them, the other needs cannot follow up

Physiological needs include:
Air (Breathing)
Water
Food
Sexual instinct
Sleep
Clothing
Shelter
95% of humans are religious and 90% are theistic.
Which level[s] should we place religions and theism?

I believe we should expand Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with one level at the bottom most and label it 'Existential Needs' i.e. the need for basic survival and the need to cope with the existential crisis. This primary need will then permeates upward to influence the other levels in various degrees.

Views?
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Frost
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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 10th, 2018, 11:20 pm

In Indian philosophy there is the purushartha, which literally means the goals of persons. This is essentially a hierarchy of intrinsic life values for man, which are artha (material well-being), kama (psychological well-being), dharma (social well-being), and moksha (spiritual well-being). In this system, it is the spiritual aspect that really grounds all the others, and enhances the meaning and values of the lower values. All the while, spiritual well-being is held up by the lower values. They are not contradictory, but rather, properly understood, are a harmony of intrinsic life values.

I personally find a lot of similarity with Maslow's work. The self-actualizing people that reach peak experiences are a matter of self-transcendence. This is the same that occurs in spiritual well-being (moksha) in Indian philosophy. The physical needs fall into material well-being (artha), although artha is a much broader concept since it also includes economics. There is a hierarchy within each of the categories, with higher and lower aspects.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 11th, 2018, 4:11 am

Frost wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 11:20 pm
In Indian philosophy there is the purushartha, which literally means the goals of persons. This is essentially a hierarchy of intrinsic life values for man, which are artha (material well-being), kama (psychological well-being), dharma (social well-being), and moksha (spiritual well-being). In this system, it is the spiritual aspect that really grounds all the others, and enhances the meaning and values of the lower values. All the while, spiritual well-being is held up by the lower values. They are not contradictory, but rather, properly understood, are a harmony of intrinsic life values.

I personally find a lot of similarity with Maslow's work. The self-actualizing people that reach peak experiences are a matter of self-transcendence. This is the same that occurs in spiritual well-being (moksha) in Indian philosophy. The physical needs fall into material well-being (artha), although artha is a much broader concept since it also includes economics. There is a hierarchy within each of the categories, with higher and lower aspects.
Noted your points where moksha is at the higher levels of the hierarchy but note these verses from the Gita which I believe pertains to the lowest level beyond the physiological level;
First one is "Verse - 22, Chapter Two of Bhagwat Gita"
“vasansi jirn-nani yatha vihaay
navani grihnati naro-parani
tatha sharirani vihaya jirnany-
anyani sanyati navani dehi” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter II verse 22)

"Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: As a person discarding worn-out clothes, puts on new garments, likewise the embodied soul, casting off worn-out bodies,enters into other bodies which are new."

Second one is "Verse - 23, Chapter Two of Bhagwat Gita"
“nainum chindanti shastrani
nainum dahati pavaka
na chainam kledayanty-apo
na soshayati maruta” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter II verse 23)

"Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: Weapons cannot cut the soul, nor it can be burned by fire, nor water can moisten it, nor wind can make it dry."

Third one is "Verse - 24, Chapter Two of Bhagwat Gita"
“acchedyo-ayam adahyo-ayam
akledyo-asoshya ev ch
nity sarv-gatah sthanur
achalo-ayam sanatanah” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter II verse 24)

"Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: For this individual soul is incapable of being cut; and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. This soul is eternal, constant, omnipresent, unchangeable, immovable and everlasting."

Fourth one is "Verse - 30, Chapter Two of Bhagwat Gita"
"dehi nityam avadhyo-ayam
dehe sarvasy bharat
tasmat sarvani bhutani
na tvam shochitum-arhasi” (Bhagwat Gita: Chapter II verse 30)

"Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: O descendant of Bharata, this soul residing in the bodies of all can never be slain. Therefore you should not grieve for any living being."
These are the few verses in the early chapters of the Gita that provide the soothing psychological comfort/assurances against the existential crisis.

I believe these operate one level beyond the level of physiological needs.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 11th, 2018, 9:54 am

Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow your point. In the Gita there is a mix of different philosophies which can be a bit confusing. Samkhya is structurally very similar to Cartesian substance dualism, but the Gita also mixes in advaita or non-dual philosophy, in which the soul of the soul is the Absolute (atman = brahman). It is neither realism or idealism, and it is not dualistic like Samkhya.

With that said, those passages relate to Spiritual Well-Being or moksha, but the four ends are interrelated and spiritual well-being will have impact on psychological well being, but the former is not ontologically reducible to the latter. The former is about the nature of being itself, while the latter about the contents of conscious experience. Moksha will lead to the ultimate psychological well-being once returning to ordinary consciousness, but the highest realization has nothing to do with psychology.

I'm not sure if this helps, but please correct me if I misunderstood what you meant.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Count Lucanor » March 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm

Spectrum wrote:
March 10th, 2018, 11:10 pm
According the Abraham Maslow's Motivation Theory, the motivations for the general behaviors of humans can be represented in the Hierarchy of Need below;

Image

95% of humans are religious and 90% are theistic.
Which level[s] should we place religions and theism?

I believe we should expand Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs with one level at the bottom most and label it 'Existential Needs' i.e. the need for basic survival and the need to cope with the existential crisis. This primary need will then permeates upward to influence the other levels in various degrees.

Views?
Maslow's Hierarchy intends to show individual, intrinsic motivations behind behavior, but there's no reason to assume religion or theism arise in individuals as intrinsic motivations, as needs. Most likely, following Maslow's Hierarchy, all of these levels merge with social activity and as a result, different social strategies are constructed, among them religious organization. A religious group could provide shelter, love, friendship, respect and self-fulfillment, yet these needs can be resolved by other means, including those which can operate without any reference to theistic views.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 11th, 2018, 3:10 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm
Maslow's Hierarchy intends to show individual, intrinsic motivations behind behavior, but there's no reason to assume religion or theism arise in individuals as intrinsic motivations, as needs. Most likely, following Maslow's Hierarchy, all of these levels merge with social activity and as a result, different social strategies are constructed, among them religious organization. A religious group could provide shelter, love, friendship, respect and self-fulfillment, yet these needs can be resolved by other means, including those which can operate without any reference to theistic views.
I don't think his hierarchy is reducible to social well-being. In his books he talks a lot about self-transcendence in peak experiences as part of self-actualization, particularly in his The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. This is the essence of the religious experience.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Count Lucanor » March 11th, 2018, 6:50 pm

Frost wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 3:10 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm
Maslow's Hierarchy intends to show individual, intrinsic motivations behind behavior, but there's no reason to assume religion or theism arise in individuals as intrinsic motivations, as needs. Most likely, following Maslow's Hierarchy, all of these levels merge with social activity and as a result, different social strategies are constructed, among them religious organization. A religious group could provide shelter, love, friendship, respect and self-fulfillment, yet these needs can be resolved by other means, including those which can operate without any reference to theistic views.
I don't think his hierarchy is reducible to social well-being. In his books he talks a lot about self-transcendence in peak experiences as part of self-actualization, particularly in his The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. This is the essence of the religious experience.
It's obvious, since it is a psychological theory, that it is not meant to be a social, cultural hierarchy, but an individual hierarchy of needs, which then is expressed in social interactions. By religious experience I assume you mean mystical experience, but that's just a non-essential association with religion practices, which involve many other things and even can do without the mystical aspect, which are rare anyway. In self-actualization theory, peak experience means any epiphany of discovery and enlightenment. An atheist realizing god does not exist can be said to have experienced such an epiphany.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 11th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:50 pm
It's obvious, since it is a psychological theory, that it is not meant to be a social, cultural hierarchy, but an individual hierarchy of needs, which then is expressed in social interactions. By religious experience I assume you mean mystical experience, but that's just a non-essential association with religion practices, which involve many other things and even can do without the mystical aspect, which are rare anyway. In self-actualization theory, peak experience means any epiphany of discovery and enlightenment. An atheist realizing god does not exist can be said to have experienced such an epiphany.
I think you're really misunderstanding his work. Self transcendence is the heart of mysticism (enlightenment) and self-actualizing peak experiences. They are part of the same spectrum. An atheist claiming to realize God doesn't exist isn't at all in the same category.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 11th, 2018, 7:58 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:50 pm
By religious experience I assume you mean mystical experience, but that's just a non-essential association with religion practices, which involve many other things and even can do without the mystical aspect, which are rare anyway.
Here is what I mean:

"[...] these "revelations" or mystical illuminations can be subsumed under the head of the "peak-experiences" [...] to the extent that all mystical or peak-experiences are the same in their essence and have always been the same, all religions are the same in their essence and always have been the same. They should, therefore, come to agree in principle on teaching that which is common to all of them, i.e., whatever it is that peak-experiences teach in common [...] This something common, this something which is left over after we peel away all the localisms, all the accidents of particular languages or particular philosophies, all the ethnocentric phrasings, all those elements which are not common, we may call the "core religious experience" or the "transcendent experience." "

pages 19-21, Maslow, A. H. (1967) Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences

If he calls the mystical experience a core religious experience, I don't think it can be considered to be a "non-essential association with religion practices." The following quote makes this point clear:

"In a word, organized religion can be thought of as an effort to communicate peak-experiences to non-peakers, to teach them, to apply them, etc." (ibid, 24)

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Count Lucanor » March 12th, 2018, 12:02 am

Frost wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 7:42 pm
Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 6:50 pm
It's obvious, since it is a psychological theory, that it is not meant to be a social, cultural hierarchy, but an individual hierarchy of needs, which then is expressed in social interactions. By religious experience I assume you mean mystical experience, but that's just a non-essential association with religion practices, which involve many other things and even can do without the mystical aspect, which are rare anyway. In self-actualization theory, peak experience means any epiphany of discovery and enlightenment. An atheist realizing god does not exist can be said to have experienced such an epiphany.
I think you're really misunderstanding his work. Self transcendence is the heart of mysticism (enlightenment) and self-actualizing peak experiences. They are part of the same spectrum. An atheist claiming to realize God doesn't exist isn't at all in the same category.
Frost wrote: Here is what I mean:

"[...] these "revelations" or mystical illuminations can be subsumed under the head of the "peak-experiences" [...] to the extent that all mystical or peak-experiences are the same in their essence and have always been the same, all religions are the same in their essence and always have been the same. They should, therefore, come to agree in principle on teaching that which is common to all of them, i.e., whatever it is that peak-experiences teach in common [...] This something common, this something which is left over after we peel away all the localisms, all the accidents of particular languages or particular philosophies, all the ethnocentric phrasings, all those elements which are not common, we may call the "core religious experience" or the "transcendent experience." "

pages 19-21, Maslow, A. H. (1967) Religions, Values, and Peak Experiences

If he calls the mystical experience a core religious experience, I don't think it can be considered to be a "non-essential association with religion practices." The following quote makes this point clear:

"In a word, organized religion can be thought of as an effort to communicate peak-experiences to non-peakers, to teach them, to apply them, etc." (ibid, 24)
Self-actualization is not mysticism. As we can see in the texts you quote, Maslow is actually reducing religion to its basic psychological constituents and the last quote is particularly revealing about its nature: there are "peakers" and "non-peakers" and they all belong to the same organized social practice of religion. If mysticism was an essential part of religious experience at the level of individuals, then you would expect all religious members having mystical experiences, but that's not the case. So, self-actualization might translate mysticism in psychological terms, but it will do the same with other forms of enlightenment, not necessarily related to theistic views, because what matters for Maslow is the psychological experience itself, from which the content can be "peeled away".

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 12:14 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:02 am
Self-actualization is not mysticism. As we can see in the texts you quote, Maslow is actually reducing religion to its basic psychological constituents and the last quote is particularly revealing about its nature: there are "peakers" and "non-peakers" and they all belong to the same organized social practice of religion. If mysticism was an essential part of religious experience at the level of individuals, then you would expect all religious members having mystical experiences, but that's not the case. So, self-actualization might translate mysticism in psychological terms, but it will do the same with other forms of enlightenment, not necessarily related to theistic views, because what matters for Maslow is the psychological experience itself, from which the content can be "peeled away".
Perhaps you are right on the psychological aspect, although I would honestly have to reread his books. He is a psychologist, after all, but that's also not to say that he may think those experiences are merely a matter of psychology. If that is the case, then I disagree with him since those experiences are not reducible to psychology and I think the Indian hierarchy of life values is more complete.

However, when you say that one "can do without the mystical aspect," this may be true once the religion is established, but since it is the very basis of the religion, if you do without the mystical revelation, you do away with the religion in the first place.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Count Lucanor » March 12th, 2018, 12:37 am

Frost wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:14 am

However, when you say that one "can do without the mystical aspect," this may be true once the religion is established, but since it is the very basis of the religion, if you do without the mystical revelation, you do away with the religion in the first place.
If revelation was the basis of religion, then there wouldn't be non-revealed religions, but as far as I know, many Eastern religions and ancient polytheistic religions are included in such a category.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 12:41 am

Frost wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 9:54 am
Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow your point. In the Gita there is a mix of different philosophies which can be a bit confusing. Samkhya is structurally very similar to Cartesian substance dualism, but the Gita also mixes in advaita or non-dual philosophy, in which the soul of the soul is the Absolute (atman = brahman). It is neither realism or idealism, and it is not dualistic like Samkhya.

With that said, those passages relate to Spiritual Well-Being or moksha, but the four ends are interrelated and spiritual well-being will have impact on psychological well being, but the former is not ontologically reducible to the latter. The former is about the nature of being itself, while the latter about the contents of conscious experience. Moksha will lead to the ultimate psychological well-being once returning to ordinary consciousness, but the highest realization has nothing to do with psychology.

I'm not sure if this helps, but please correct me if I misunderstood what you meant.
Whatever that has to do with the mind (mental) activities is psychological. Note Arjuna anxieties and despair of death and the dilemma of fighting his own relatives - these are psychological.

The Gita starts by explanation of the human condition of the existential crisis in the early chapters and progress to provide principles and practices on how to resolve the existential crisis and ultimately liberation.

I am proposing the psychological elements of the Gita relating to the existential issues early chapters of the Gita be placed at one level below the physiological need.

This is where the root cause of religion arise to enable the creation of religions which subsequently effect the other higher levels within the hierarchy.

This is in contrast to the claim religions arise because God-said-so there must be theistic religions. :roll:

In placing the motivation need of religion at the bottom of the hierarchy meant we need to dig deep into the psyche of oneself instead of passing the buck to an 'external' God.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Frost » March 12th, 2018, 12:44 am

Spectrum wrote:
March 12th, 2018, 12:41 am
Frost wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 9:54 am
Hmm, I'm not entirely sure I follow your point. In the Gita there is a mix of different philosophies which can be a bit confusing. Samkhya is structurally very similar to Cartesian substance dualism, but the Gita also mixes in advaita or non-dual philosophy, in which the soul of the soul is the Absolute (atman = brahman). It is neither realism or idealism, and it is not dualistic like Samkhya.

With that said, those passages relate to Spiritual Well-Being or moksha, but the four ends are interrelated and spiritual well-being will have impact on psychological well being, but the former is not ontologically reducible to the latter. The former is about the nature of being itself, while the latter about the contents of conscious experience. Moksha will lead to the ultimate psychological well-being once returning to ordinary consciousness, but the highest realization has nothing to do with psychology.

I'm not sure if this helps, but please correct me if I misunderstood what you meant.
Whatever that has to do with the mind (mental) activities is psychological. Note Arjuna anxieties and despair of death and the dilemma of fighting his own relatives - these are psychological.

The Gita starts by explanation of the human condition of the existential crisis in the early chapters and progress to provide principles and practices on how to resolve the existential crisis and ultimately liberation.

I am proposing the psychological elements of the Gita relating to the existential issues early chapters of the Gita be placed at one level below the physiological need.

This is where the root cause of religion arise to enable the creation of religions which subsequently effect the other higher levels within the hierarchy.

This is in contrast to the claim religions arise because God-said-so there must be theistic religions. :roll:

In placing the motivation need of religion at the bottom of the hierarchy meant we need to dig deep into the psyche of oneself instead of passing the buck to an 'external' God.
In the Gita, liberation is not a psychological state at all. Once a person returns to normal consciousness from realization, there are psychological manifestations, but realization itself is nothing at all psychological.

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Re: Hierarchy of Needs - Religions?

Post by Spectrum » March 12th, 2018, 12:50 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
March 11th, 2018, 3:03 pm
Maslow's Hierarchy intends to show individual, intrinsic motivations behind behavior, but there's no reason to assume religion or theism arise in individuals as intrinsic motivations, as needs.
Most likely, following Maslow's Hierarchy, all of these levels merge with social activity and as a result, different social strategies are constructed, among them religious organization. A religious group could provide shelter, love, friendship, respect and self-fulfillment, yet these needs can be resolved by other means, including those which can operate without any reference to theistic views.
I am placing the basic existential need at the bottom layer below physiological need.

When human beings are alive and anxious of certain 'death' [premature] almost to death, there's this terrible suffering that need to be soothed. It is only religion [at least for the majority] that can resolve this need effectively, e.g. just believe and viola! one is saved and all existential suffering disappears. This basic existential need cannot fit into the physiological, shelter, love, friendship, respect and self-fulfillment.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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