I've noticed in at least a few A/N posts people mentioning that there is a difference between surviving and thriving. No one has stated what that difference is but it seems a common idea that there is a difference and that it matters. One can infer that it is better to thrive than merely survive but the difference between the two states is bound to be subjective.

If food, water, shelter and community are all that are needed to survive, is thriving then only a qualitative measure of that survival? Does good food, good water, and good shelter mean you are thriving? Is there a cognitive measure to one's ability to thrive? Meaning does a thriving person also/instead need some preferred mental state or social condition? Can a person thrive on bread and water in a tent in the woods as long as they are happy or with someone they love?

The reason for this post is that it appears as though some people believe that to thrive is merely a qualitative state of survival while others seem to say that there is more to it. I've already assumed that there will be consensus on the idea that to thrive is much better than mere survival. So the big question is how do you measure whether someone is thriving or merely surviving? And does everyone (the totality of the human race=everyone) deserve to thrive?

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"No one deserves to thrive, for it is not a matter of deserving or not deserving. It's the wrong question."

Yeah, sorry. That was a stupid question.

The question should be, Does society have a moral imperative to ensure the survival of it's members? And if so, does that imperative extend to ensuring that societies members thrive?

I understand that modern civilization grants a very large number of people the opportunity to thrive in certain societies. Without the cooperation of everyone these societies would be unable to maintain their levels of survival above the baseline. Therefore a cooperative society needs its members to thrive in order for the society itself to thrive. To me, that means that yes I have a moral imperative to ensure not only that I thrive but that others in my society thrive as well. Kind of like the saying, "A man can only truly be free when everyone else is too."

So do you, Stephen, think that liberty is the largest factor in the difference between thriving and survival?


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