Do you know the meaning of the term ‘materialism’? What is your attitude towards materialism?
Materialism has two major meanings. The first one is associated with philosophy. The second meaning is related with the personal traits and the importance of the materialistic values. Materialism is one of the most important trends of philosophy, which is characterized with the dominance of the material values over the spiritual ones. Materialism is a very controversial issue for the research; therefore, I will try to observe this problem form different sides.
Materialism is a complex of personal qualities, which mean that a human being places material values on the top of her hierarchy of values. I should say that materialism is the main idea of the modern civilization, because this idea is related with physicalism. The people who support materialistic lifestyle believe that material wealth is more important than spiritual or moral wealth. Such people reject religion and belief in supernatural powers. They think that money and valuable items are more important that feelings and various moral values.
I suppose, materialism can be observed from the point of view of history. Although people have always appreciated gold, silver and valuable stones, the development of materialism occurred only in the 18th century. In my opinion, materialism is connected with industrialization and globalization. Years ago, people appreciated gold, but they believed in God and devoted much time to various noble actions. In simple words, morality was quite important at that time. The 18th century is characterized with The Industrial Revolution. People invented numerous machines, which enabled them to produce goods in big quantities. Consequently, the profit of every entrepreneur increased with enormous speed. Everybody knows that excessive wealth changes human psychology. Rich entrepreneurs accumulated wealth and wanted more money all the time. Accumulation of wealth became the main goal of their life. Naturally, spiritual values disappeared from their preferences. I guess, the same lifestyle exists nowadays too. People work hard to accumulate wealth. Very often, they do such things, which stand too far from morality and ethics in order to earn material values.
In my opinion, materialism is a negative phenomenon, which ruins social relations. A human being believes that money is more important than family and friendship. We can think about careerism, which is very popular nowadays. Young people do not make families before they make a successful career. On the one hand, it is right, because one should start a family when his life is stable and when he can provide his family with the necessary things. On the other hand, many young people think that career is more important than feelings. Consequently, they sacrifice their love and happiness but make a career. Then, many people reject their friends and choose their career, because money is more important than friendship.
It is possible to see the dangers of materialism in the field of business. Smart entrepreneurs say that only the strongest survive in business. I should say that they are right. These words have direct and figurative meanings. When you want to make money, you ought to be smart, selfish, persistent and cool-headed. Business is a constant competition. If you want to win, you ought to possess all the enumerated qualities. Very often, entrepreneurs cheat and murder their rivals in order to gain wealth and conquer the best place on the market. Naturally, this behavior is far from ethics. I believe that material issues break the norms of morality. Materialistic people are selfish and they do not treat others as equals. They are ready to exploit and cheat others to accumulate wealth. Finally, there are cases when materialistic people show off with their wealth. They do not require money for the satisfaction of their needs. They use it to show off and humiliate those people who do not possess wealth.
To sum it all up, materialism is a controversial issue. I believe that radical materialism is negative for the society, because it ruins its norms.
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