715. How can human beings know the limit of what is necessary?
“Wise men and women know by intuition, while many others learn through experience and at their own expense.”
716. Has nature outlined the limit of our needs in the requirements of our physical makeup?
“Yes, but human beings are insatiable. Nature has indicated the limits of their needs by their physical makeup, but their vices have changed their structure and created wants that are not real needs.”
717. What should we think of those who in order to secure excess, hoard the goods of the Earth to the detriment of others who lack what is necessary to survive?
“They overlook God’s law, and will have to answer for the poverty they have caused others to suffer.”
There is no finite boundary between what is necessary and what is superfluous. Civilization has created necessities that do not exist for savages. The spirits who have dictated the aforementioned principles are not saying that civilized human beings should live as savages do. Everything is relative, and reason must determine how things should be divided. Civilization develops both the moral sense and the sentiment of charity, which leads people to support one another mutually. Those who live at the expense of others, depriving them of even the barest necessities and hoarding the benefits of civilization for their own profit, only wear the mask of civilization, just as others only wear the mask of religion.