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Locked: A world built on materialism...
5 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 9:27PM #21
VG59
Posts: 3,368

So where do you live if you only own what you can pull behind your car C?

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 9:30PM #22
dystopian
Posts: 25

Its because society as we know it has been let go on unchecked for too long. Materialism IS all we have, or atleast anymore. It is consumerism that has replaced any hope of achieving an American culture or identity. Saddly, it means nothing in the world view to be American excapt that you are probably loud, obnoxious, over-weight, and arrogant on top of it all. We have managed to create a system that sucks the life out of everything we do, we strive to break even before we die. A majority of our time is consumed by work and when we aren't working we are being fed a media campaign of fear and consumption. Needless to say all of this riggor makes us empty as we troll through our hollow existance and hey, why not fill the void with a myriad of quick, cheap food and then panic once we realise we are fat and then move to consume whatever fad comes along in the form of exercise or diet.


But I think I have made my point.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 9:42PM #23
costrel
Posts: 6,216

Mar 1, 2009 -- 9:27PM, VG59 wrote:


So where do you live if you only own what you can pull behind your car C?




I live in a tiny little apartment. Someday I would like to be able to afford to buy a house. I'm not against owning things, by the way (though I do think that Americans, compared to my Japanese friends, own way too much junk). I was simply trying to make a point that just because I'm an atheist does not also mean I'm a "crass materialist," which seems to be what I'm charged here as being.


Edited for clarity.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2009 - 9:58PM #24
VG59
Posts: 3,368

I hope I did not say anything to make you think so.


I was responding only to no matter what we believe, whether materialism is a delusion to what is really real or not, it seems to be here......and seems to distract us from more important "things" in life.


I would speculate there are as many atheist that live a simple life as there are people who believe that materialism is a delusion. 


I don't know actually what I believe, but I know I struggle with moderation and sensibility.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2009 - 12:06AM #25
johndavid23
Posts: 4,324

costrel,


 


Please note that attempting to discuss the relative merits and fallacies of materialist thought does not constitute calling them a materialist.  One assuming that that is so, however, is a possible indication of one's latent defensive awareness of one's  present path.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2009 - 8:19AM #26
arielg
Posts: 9,100

I never said anything about proving my assertion that materialism is all that we have.

 But all those years I lived as a Christian and as an ascetic, I never saw evidence of anything besides the material world. No matter how much I fasted, prayed, recited the Psalms, or any of the other spiritual disciplines -- I saw no evidence of a deity, of angels, demons, or anything else besides this material world.


   You were looking for something outside of yourself. You are not going to see  deities,  angels, demons, or anything else out there that you can prove.  That is precisely what materialism is.


Of course, that is nothing but my own experience, and therefore is no evidence or proof of anything -- but then, all anyone has is his or her own experience, or, as Emerson and Whitman noted, the experiences of dead prophets and dead poets who lived and died before us. But why trust the experiences, the so-called "evidences" of these long-dead prophets and poets?cannot see  anything besides this material world because you are looking in the material world.  Obviously, all you will see there is material.

"Proof" can only exist in materiality, in the objective world. The spiritual experience is subjective.  You will not find that kind of "proof" there.


Of course, that is nothing but my own experience, and therefore is no evidence or proof of anything -- but then, all anyone has is his or her own experience, or, as Emerson and Whitman noted, the experiences of dead prophets and dead poets who lived and died before us. But why trust the experiences, the so-called "evidences" of these long-dead prophets and poets?

Their experiences are menus to you.  You cannot eat menues.  You have to find the food they are referring to.  And that is not in the material world.  The material world is  just a menu.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2009 - 10:26AM #27
costrel
Posts: 6,216

Mar 1, 2009 -- 9:58PM, VG59 wrote:

I hope I did not say anything to make you think so.



No, you didn't say anything like that.


I was responding only to no matter what we believe, whether materialism is a delusion to what is really real or not, it seems to be here......and seems to distract us from more important "things" in life.


I would speculate there are as many atheist that live a simple life as there are people who believe that materialism is a delusion. 


I don't know actually what I believe, but I know I struggle with moderation and sensibility.



I do agree that consumerism, logocentrism, emphasis on brand-names, keeping up with the Jonses, and yes, even capitaism can lead to disastrous consequences, but I see no reason to consider materialism a delusion. Some people are intellectuals, and see the one important "thing" or goal or purpose in life as being a life of the mind (or, what Thoreau termed education). For the sensualist, pleasure (food, nice clothing, sex, etc.) seems to be the purpose of life. I tend to agree with Jean-Paul Sartre -- each person decides for him- or herself what is important; each person has to create his or her own purpose.


Thus, it seems to me that there is really no one essentialistic "thing" that can be classified as the most important "thing" in life (or civilization), with the possible exception of some of Maslow's needs in his hierarchy (but even these are not universal; for instance, Maslow places sex alongside other physiological needs as breathing and sleep, though not all human beings need sex, not even for psychological purposes).


Interestingly, St. Benedict of Nursia considered monks living according to his rule as living a life of moderation. I'm guessing, though, that most people would not consider the Trappists (those Benedictines who live the letter of the rule rather than the spirit of the rule) as living a life of moderation! "Yet, all things are to be done with moderation on account of the fainthearted" -- The Rule of St. Benedict 48.9.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2009 - 10:32AM #28
costrel
Posts: 6,216

Mar 2, 2009 -- 12:06AM, johndavid23 wrote:


costrel,


 


Please note that attempting to discuss the relative merits and fallacies of materialist thought does not constitute calling them a materialist.  One assuming that that is so, however, is a possible indication of one's latent defensive awareness of one's  present path.




No, I do have a latent defensiveness to my present paths of atheism and strict materialism. I do, however, understand that many theists consider atheism and strict materialism, as one Christian so clearly explained to me on the Christian Debate Board, to be evil. So if I have any defensiveness in my posts (and I am sure that I do), it is my attempt at explaining that my lifestyle and my beliefs are not evil, regardless of what some theists may think.


(I also wonder how many people who criticize materialism have ever tried to live an ascetical and an anti-materialistic life. They would probably fail at it just as I failed at it. I , by the way, am glad that I failed at it.)


Edited for clarity.

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2009 - 8:03PM #29
Boblight7
Posts: 217

Since this is beliefnet, where topics like spirituality are to be discussed.. I will express my Spirituality,  The Earth is the footstill of G-d, as represented by serifot  Malkuth,  the 10th sefirot on the Tree of life. To me materialism is not good or bad, it is just another form of spirit that vibrates at a slower speed.. All matter is spirit and all spirit is matter, all comming from the One ( Creator). To me the Creator is so beyond form and egoic understanding that to try and describe the Ayin Solf is beyongd human consciousness.. There is nothing wrong to use and appreciate the beauty and bounty of the Earth, but not at the devaluation of Spirit, Love , brotherhood etc.  Pure materialism is barren and dark, balanced with ( Spirit, consciousness) it lives! Pure materialism will manifest as war, cruelity, greed, fear and darkness. Add a bit of Spirit  and you got a human being..

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5 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2009 - 4:29PM #30
Boblight7
Posts: 217

There is no better way to kill a thread than post ones Spiritual beliefs on a Forum that deals with such practical matters such as politics. For this I do aplogize!

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