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Materialism and its Effects on Society

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by Justin Cleroux on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Materialism and its Effects on Society

Materialism and its Effects on Society What is Materialism? Noun: 1. A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values

2. The doctrine that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency (How it f%#@ing pisses me off) Buddhism Three Signs of Being Dukkha -Means "suffering -Everything that is unsatisfactory in your life is Dukkha -Life is Dukkha because nothing is perfect -No one can escape Dukkha, but Buddha's teachings can help overcome it Annica - Means "impermanence" -Nothing lasts forever -People, plants, and mountains are always changing -Buddha said that because nothing changes, there is no rest The Four Noble Truths Dukkha Samudaya -The Noble truth of the Cause of Suffering -People suffer for one reason: the desire of things -Desire is never satisfied because we always want more, and we always want what others may have Nirodha -The Noble Truth of the End of Suffering -Goal of Buddhism is to end suffering -It is possible to end suffering if one is aware of one's own desires and puts an end to them -Leads to everlasting peace Magga: The Noble Truth of the Path The Noble Eightfold Path http://mattbrundage.com/publications/materialism-happiness/ -Television has made us perpetual consumers Television and Advertising -Commercials eat away at our general satisfaction of material possessions -People possess items they do not want, and desire items they do not have and most-likely cannot afford -Advertisers rely on western societies largest need: desire -Businesses and consumer mindsets have shifted our needs from intangible, like faith, love, relations, to tangible Wealth=Happiness? -No matter how wealthy we are, we begin to adapt to our circumstances -You begin to want bigger, better, and more valuable things -You begin to feel as if you are "average" -There is also relative deprivation, comparing your wealth to others' wealth -Then proceeds relative endowment, which is comparing your wealth to middle-class citizens in order to make yourself feel as if you are satisfied with your circumstances in life Education -High school students are observing post-secondary options -They search based upon how high their salary will be after studying in a particular field -Results in uninteresting fields
of study to the student -Results in a field that he/she hates Discussion Questions Is materialism changing the way our society perceives success? Is happiness defined by material possessions? Do people learn to adapt to their wealth, no matter how wealthy they are, thus making them desire more and never be happy? Can somebody who previously lived materialistic turn to non-materialistic ways? Are Buddhists, Amish, and other anti-materialists totally nucking futs? Monster Themselves -History of dishonesty -At Best Buy upon featuring their HDMI cables, they weren't even comparing with another HDMI cable, it was a component cable, which is a completely different type of cable -They're very good marketers -The first to take a name (Dr. Dre) and brand a pair of headphones/earphones Beats by Dr. Dre -You can buy better quality headphones for $50-$100 -The bass is overloaded -It makes everything else very muddy, which doesn't help because the bass itself is very muddy -Plastic = Not very good durability -Plastic headphones that sound like shit should not be $300 - Studio Series noise cancellation: -Decent headphones, but again, they're way too expensive -The noise cancellation sucks -You're not supposed to hear your surroundings when the volume is halfway -The batteries need to be changed often -When the sound is shitty enough as it is, don't throw in an even shittier active noise cancellation Are you materialistic? Do people still desire to seek spiritual fulfillment? Karl Marx's Historical Materialism 1. The basis of human society is how humans work on nature to produce the means of subsistence. 2. There is a division of labour into social classes (relations of production) based on property ownership where some people live from the labour of others. 3. The system of class division is dependent on the mode of production. 4. The mode of production is based on the level of the productive forces. 5. Society moves from stage to stage when the dominant class is displaced by a new emerging class, by overthrowing the "political shell" that enforces the old relations of production no longer corresponding to the new productive forces. -This takes place in the superstructure of society, the political arena in the form of revolution, whereby the underclass "liberates" the productive forces with new relations of production, and social relations, corresponding to it. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Materialism -Our society is still stuck at "Self-Actualization" needs -We will never achieve self-actualization due to the desire for material objects -Goes back to Siddhartha Gautama saying that the desire for material objects causes Dukkha -We cannot reach "Transcendence" because our material needs will never be fulfilled Can materialism lead to unhappiness/happiness? Can money buy happiness? Work -Work is not only for money, but it is for self-expression and self-actualization -If one's happiness rests on material objects, it only makes sense that the processes we undertake to acquire material objects should be so revered. -People are participating less and less in activities that once brought fulfillment and even happiness (volunteer work, various hobbies, etc.) -Few realize that we could be happier if we were actively involved in the community and had social ties outside of work
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