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?