Problem

Unnecessary personal consumption


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Excessive luxury
Unnecessary luxury
Wasteful personal consumption
Unsustainable personal consumption
Artificial needs
Nature:
Once bodily wants are satisfied and efficiency is maximized any meeting of further desires is a luxury. The consumption of luxuries has economic, social and ethical importance. Expenditure on superfluities has a tendency toward relaxation of concentrated effort. In extreme cases it weakens moral fibre and opens the way to dangerous excesses. It not only tends to injure the person whose life is luxurious but acts on others by force of example. Once a group of people have become accustomed to an unnecessary luxury, it cannot be withdrawn except by violence.
Claim:
Don't care if you're rich or not, as long as you can live comfortably and have everything you want.
Counter Claim:
The ever greater availability of material goods not only meets needs but also opens new horizons. The danger of the misuse of material goods and the appearance of artificial needs should in no way hinder the regard we have for the new goods and resources placed at our disposal and the use we make of them. (Papal Encyclical, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 30 December 1987).
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
28.04.1999 – 00:00 CEST