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Materialism



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Well i think we r all a little materialist, as we play games that we perchase and wont really like to give them away.
 

Pelafina

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I like having a small number of possessions. I tend to value each one more, and it's easy to clean.

But, uh, I don't really care otherwise.
 

Geocillin

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What type of materialism are you talking about? There's the metaphysical view of materialism believing that everything in the universe can be explained in terms of matter and energy and nothing exists outside that. Basically it's stating there's no existence of any abstract things like a spirit and emotions are just a result of a set of chemical reactions happening in the brain and such.
 

Essence of Elegy

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Most of us who live in the US are materialists. Americans have such closed minds.
 

Q

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I'm talking about general materialism, from the philosophical definition to the terms in the regular world, as in a desire to possess physical objects.

I'd like to hear opinions about it.
 

Square Ninja

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inb4buddhism

Materialism stems back to humanity's earliest roots. It's a product of our survival instincts. Eventually man moved beyond this fight for survival in that sense, and the instinct is kind of out of place so to speak. We think we need things, but what we think we need to survive and thrive is twisted.

There's also the materialism that stems from depression, which is like what I said before, but with a greater urgency and even more twisted.

I honestly try to live as removed from materialism as I can or at least practice moderation...and I'm poor.
 

CtR

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In society now it seems that posessions = success.

The more you own the more successful you are viewed as being, the more expensive, the more powerful etc etc.

So it is like a competition, if you want to be the best, you have to have the best, if you want to have the best then you need more more more.

As Square Ninja said in some ways it is like the instinct to survive xD

People want to be at the very top, survival of the fittest and all that jazz :3

In some ways the media doesn't help, nor does advertising xD we are confronted on a daily basis with images that imply we neeeeed these things and that we have to have them at all costs.
 

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inb4buddhism

Materialism stems back to humanity's earliest roots. It's a product of our survival instincts. Eventually man moved beyond this fight for survival in that sense, and the instinct is kind of out of place so to speak. We think we need things, but what we think we need to survive and thrive is twisted.

There's also the materialism that stems from depression, which is like what I said before, but with a greater urgency and even more twisted.

I honestly try to live as removed from materialism as I can or at least practice moderation...and I'm poor.
Yeah, that sorta sums up my thoughts about it too, except for the fact that I think certain types of materialism are fine, i.e., survival sorts (like food, water, shelter, etc).

But since we aren't living in a hunter-gather society or somewhere where food is scarce, I suppose even that doesn't apply to some, itt people who are already spoiled on that. Hoarding isn't great, I don't believe.
 

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.-. it's not possible to be a well-balanced person who just enjoys having things to remind them of certain aspects of life they enjoy? I mean, I don't consider myself materialistic, but I do have a lot of ... stuff I guess you would say. Do the things I have make me feel better about myself... no. But a lot of things I do have I genuinely like. I don't believe in having stuff that you don't have for a reason.

Some would say that people who have things that aren't completely essential to survival and strive for more of the same would be materialistic, but I don't see that as fair in our current consumer heavy lifestyle.
 

Thelonepickle

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Food, water, shelter, and I guess the only other really important thing to me would be my music. And my instruments.

But other than that, I plan to live without. :/ I mean, I think phones and the internet are cool, but I only use them to talk to people who are far away, y'know? So, yeah, I'd have a phone, because that's practical, and yeah, the internet is nice, but I could probably live without.

I'm more into being out and about and not having to worry about a bunch of stuff rotting back at my house, y'know?
 

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I guess I am, but when after I clean stuff out that I never use, I just feel that my room is a lot cleaner.

Before I buy new stuff, I see what old stuff I never use that I can get rid of.
 

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There are also interesting considerations on how materialism has changed our mindsets in dealing with the world.

It was suggested to me some time ago that a fundamental understanding of how we interact with outside objects in the world changes with the onset of materialism--that is, the ability to "possess" objects; possession, which is rather vaguely defined but in some instances can be reduced to "I am standing on this plot of land with my gun, so you'd better go find another plot of land to stand on." To possess an object is to label something not apparently attached to me as "mine"--and that is the full extent of the interaction. To possess an object, I do not need to have made it, I do not need to understand it, and I do not even need to use it. It is an entirely self-satisfying connection, and it is nine-tenths of the law. Somehow, it gives me power over the object possessed.

But try to imagine a world in which possession, for most people and most things, does not exist as a plausible form of interaction with objects--a world in which you are not in a position to say "this is mine" and back it up with a gun, or perhaps materials are simply too scarce for individual ownership. To interact with objects in this world it is necessary to establish those connections discarded by (or at least secondary to) possession--"I made this," "I know this," or "I use this;" more tangible connections, and perhaps more useful to existing in a world rather than simply owning it.

Make no mistake though, these interactions are also power interactions to their own extents--perhaps knowledge most of all has been used as such. In older Chinese tradition, to know the name and character of an object was to hold a certain power over it, and this is not the only instance of the "name-knowing" game--Odysseus played a similar one with the Cyclops. Possession, though, seems to hold a premium position, perhaps in part because of its ambiguity--what did the god of Genesis actually do in giving the beasts and plants of the world to Adam and Eve?

This is not a revolutionary idea for a utopia--such a world, where possession is not the dominant form of interaction (by necessity or otherwise) has and likely continues to exist, and it is not necessarily better. It is useful, however, in taking into consideration that materialism has wider-reaching effects than the oft-attacked vices of consumerism--it can really shape how we interact with 'our' world.
 
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frisson

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People certainly don't need a lot of the things they have, but I'm not entirely sure I can disagree when it's said that Materialism is the key to Power.

Ownership and power are synonymous in today's society and probably always has been. With enough money you can practically get anything, minus those sentimental things, but can't they be classified as a need anyway?

It even applies to video games. Take Guild Wars, the MMO, as an example. Initially a lot of things had to be earned through quests, but now practically everything can be bought for your character if you have enough money, including levels, the skills you need and the titles you supposedly "earn".

I'm not really finished making my point, but this is just the way I see it at the moment. Prove me otherwise.
 

Pelafina

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I think I'm going to try to emulate the main character in The Gospel According to Larry.

Reducing my possessions to 75 items, including clothes, would be interesting.
 

Q

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There are also interesting considerations on how materialism has changed our mindsets in dealing with the world.

It was suggested to me some time ago that a fundamental understanding of how we interact with outside objects in the world changes with the onset of materialism--that is, the ability to "possess" objects; possession, which is rather vaguely defined but in some instances can be reduced to "I am standing on this plot of land with my gun, so you'd better go find another plot of land to stand on." To possess an object is to label something not apparently attached to me as "mine"--and that is the full extent of the interaction. To possess an object, I do not need to have made it, I do not need to understand it, and I do not even need to use it. It is an entirely self-satisfying connection, and it is nine-tenths of the law. Somehow, it gives me power over the object possessed.

But try to imagine a world in which possession, for most people and most things, does not exist as a plausible form of interaction with objects--a world in which you are not in a position to say "this is mine" and back it up with a gun, or perhaps materials are simply too scarce for individual ownership. To interact with objects in this world it is necessary to establish those connections discarded by (or at least secondary to) possession--"I made this," "I know this," or "I use this;" more tangible connections, and perhaps more useful to existing in a world rather than simply owning it.

Make no mistake though, these interactions are also power interactions to their own extents--perhaps knowledge most of all has been used as such. In older Chinese tradition, to know the name and character of an object was to hold a certain power over it, and this is not the only instance of the "name-knowing" game--Odysseus played a similar one with the Cyclops. Possession, though, seems to hold a premium position, perhaps in part because of its ambiguity--what did the god of Genesis actually do in giving the beasts and plants of the world to Adam and Eve?

This is not a revolutionary idea for a utopia--such a world, where possession is not the dominant form of interaction (by necessity or otherwise) has and likely continues to exist, and it is not necessarily better. It is useful, however, in taking into consideration that materialism has wider-reaching effects than the oft-attacked vices of consumerism--it can really shape how we interact with 'our' world.
Well, "owning" an item really means you can defend it, or you have some sort of factor that prevents others from taking it. In an extremely basic world, violence is going to be the only way to defend your "possession". Is it really self-defining it when you can defend the possession? Something that hurts someone else is very defining to others, I think. Although the rest of the things you said are very true, I just think that saying that the only thing you really need to do is stand there and label it "mine" is a little short. You have to back up the claim with a way to defend it.
 

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I'm materialistic. Everyone is a bit materialistic.

The things I care most about is anything I have relative to basketball.
 

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I've a slave to consumerism. And I don't care.

I happily buy what I want. Comic books, DVD's, video games, collectibles, all things which take my hobbies.
It may be excessive, but it makes me happy and I have the money.
 
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This is my opinion in regards to 'economic materialism'. Materialism has ebbed itself within todays society as a predator to our youth. I agree with what many have said in this thread, it is simple we are all in someway a materialist as such. Personal gain of common luxuries isn't so much the "bad egg" of the equation in my opinion. But more so it's ability to make us succumb to popular franchises, our addictive behaviors as such. Anyhow I pursue my collection of video games, Anime and manga etc. because I want to, it's for my own personal gain.
 
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