Should this sentence's verbs indicate that the actions occurred in the past indirectly by using the compound present prefect construction:

The man has always needed religion and as profoundly as he has always needed food.

Or should it indicate that the actions occurred in the past directly by using the simple past tense:

The man always needed religion and as profoundly as he always needed food.

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    Are you specifically asking whether the present perfect is correct as opposed to the simple past? – joiedevivre Dec 14 '17 at 20:29
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    I think you are referring to human beings, all of us, right? Not to a particular man? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 14 '17 at 20:31
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    Remove the and. Both are correct. As with most SP and PP questions, it all depends on what you want to say. The continues continues to be true the second implies the man is dead or no longer within your bailiwick. – Lambie Dec 14 '17 at 21:05
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    @Lambie It would be correct without the "and", but it's also correct with it. The writer is trying to say, first, man has always needed religion, and then second, he has always needed it just as profoundly as he has needed food. Without the "and" you lose the idea of the two steps. – Jay Dec 14 '17 at 21:30
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    You probably mean "Man has always needed..." (that is, man as a general concept, or men in general), not "The man has always needed...", because *the man refers to a specific man. – stangdon Dec 14 '17 at 21:40

Both are correct. The first indicates a continuous need. The second could strictly literally be understood to mean that this is a need that existed in the past but no longer exists, but in context, unless the author specifically says that he thinks the situation has changed, we would probably understand him to mean that this phenomenon continues.

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