On the non-existence of Human Needs
Everyone I know exposes themselves to an increased risk of death in order to satisfy other preferences they hold: Travelling by car, smoking, drinking alcohol, crossing the street, biking, going swimming, giving birth, eating food that hasn’t been pre-liquified to minimise the chance of choking, the list goes on.
Apparently most people do not place infinite value on extending their own life. If they did, their lives would look very different.
This being the case, it’s clear that for most people, those things that extend life are part of the same value scale as everything else; life-extending things compete with non-life-extending things in a single value scale. People choose what to do according to which option they expect to most closely satisfy their preferences at that moment.
So there’s no justification for treating life-extending goods and services as though they are qualitatively different to non-life-extending goods and services. Which is what Venus Project advocates (and most other people) do when they insist that ‘human needs’ are a different kind of thing to ‘human wants’.