What’s Wrong With Materialism?

ma·te·ri·al·ism  Noun  /məˈti(ə)rēəˌlizəm/

1. A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
Materialism; the need for concrete properties over that of abstract ones; to gain physical items – such as money – and possessions of
“materialistic value”, instead of inner feelings. For centuries, religious texts such as the Bible and Milton’s Paradise Lost haveinstructed readers to reject materialism; to turn ourselves away from the ‘forbidden fruit’, and instead harness things that are less tangible – feelings and emotions.

Some works of literature – in particularly, Anton DeVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ – encourage the readers to become materialistic, and indulge in their desires. LaVey states clearly that he believes that man should always tend towards indulgence, not abstinence.
 Whereas other religions seek to dictate what man should abstain from (which according to LaVey, are most of man’s natural urges), his religion of Satanism seeks to encourage man to indulge all his carnal desires, so long as they fall within the bounds of Satanic ethics. Satanism, as an atheistic religion, holds that as there is no afterlife and therefore no paradise or Heaven or Hell, all happiness and satisfaction must be attained here, on earth. LaVey therefore advises that you indulge to the greatest extent possible, how that your days on earth may be best spent.
However, LaVey also cautions against failure to exercise self-control, and especially engaging in self-destructive behavior masked as “indulgence”.
This is commonly used as a Satanic argument against such things as drug use. LaVey also points out that religionist guilt preventing them from enjoying themselves is in fact only compulsion masked as religious piety, a compulsion to self-denial.

Should we truly deny materialism? What is wrong with ambition, and the need to push oneself forward to purchase a new car, for instance? Should workers and people who want to show a sense of social power be universally stigmatised for wanting more than they already have?

About Adam Fearn

ThursdayNightRants@gmail.com @ThursNightRants View all posts by Adam Fearn

2 responses to “What’s Wrong With Materialism?

  • chunkee2na

    There is nothing wrong with owning things, however current trends dictate materialism as pretty much the only way to live. I don’t even need to point out today’s youth as a great example. They tend to have their esteem and ego bound by objects. What is an Aston Martin in the end? Nothing a but box with wheels, albeit a very comfortable box.

    Plenty of family and friends get mad with me when I don’t tell them I’ve got a fancy new gadget or something of the sort. I don’t understand why I should tell them. I didn’t make it, I bought it or received it as a gift. And everyone can buy anything, it’s not unique.

    The media definitely doesn’t help, as anything that gets a person’s mind and spirit ticking is quickly swept under the rug; in order to make place for something (usually) negative. As a relatively young person myself (21), I can safely (and sadly) say my peers highly value designer clothes, iPhones and expensive cars. And it is something that they will pass on to their kids (whom they have before they are financially afloat and responsible enough).

    I am not telling people to not enjoy their lives here on Earth, but the cult of buying has to end somewhere. And that somewhere is not just consumers’ minds but also manufacturers. Why can’t manufacturers consolidate various upgrades and release a big one every 2 years instead of every month?

    Regarding religion and materialism, that is a never ending debate, my friend!

  • Aleister Nacht

    As the saying goes “Greed is Good”. In a capitalist society, greed ofter produces the most needed and greatest inventions, most skilled doctors, safer vehicles, etc. Without the hope of a monetary gain, society reverts to “everyone is equal social thinking” much like the former USSR. I agree there needs to be a balance however I understand the motivations.

    If young people “work” for the money needed to provide designer clothes, i Phones, cars, etc. then a valuable lesson has been learned. It is when they expect to be given these things by society and they do not wok for them…………….that is the problem.

    “Regarding religion and materialism, that is a never ending debate, my friend!” – Religion is materialism at its most basic. Just drive down any street and observe the MASSIVE chapels and churches that are built to simply “exceed the church across the street”!!

    I digress……….

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