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We do not live in a materialist culture.

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posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 04:47 PM
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We have always been told we live in a materialistic culture. The fact is, this culture is idealistic, and not materialist enough. We do not care for the material at all.

Rather, we see the opposite: the destruction of the material world for mental benefit. Peace of mind, happiness, comfort, convenience. Everyone wants their own little happiness, and will step on, off and over the things of the world to achieve this idealistic goal—one that is so fleeting, that by the time it is reached, it has long since passed.

A strange thought perhaps, especially if you have been blaming materialism for the state of our Earth this whole time, as if a concern for material things involves the destruction of material things. Or maybe you've adopted the more modern, and consequently, the more stupid Hawthornian definition of materialism, thereby hijacking that old French term for your indiscriminate and political use, basically slandering the history of materialistic thinking every time you equate it to greed and evil. Finally, maybep you imagine materialistic thought to be spiritually empty—and rightfully so. Well then, that would only mean that yours is physically empty, and we can finally weigh which of the two is more empty in this regard.

However, if you are diligent and prefer a more serious look at what you are told, its veracity, and whether such an assertion holds any weight, you might find a different meaning than the one you're all-too-commonly used to. The "Materialism" of today in its foul modern usage, that being equating the concern and belief in the material of the world with the capacity for human greed, want, vanity and desire, is idealism in a rhetorical disguise, and thus a mistake.

Now materialism and idealism are too broad of terms to get into anything mathematically specific (and one would have to read much literature on both sides to see if I am even discussing these concepts at all), but the treatment of the earth and of our fellow beings is the greatest evidence against the assertion that our culture is materialistic. One who believes in the primacy of the physical, and not the primacy of the mind or spirit, have already placed a higher value on everything in the universe by making this simple distinction.

Every materialistic thinker, if and whenever their thoughts have survived the book burning and crusades of idealists (they are exceedingly rare), have only ever been guilty of placing everything physical in the universe—you, me, a tree, a planet—on a higher value than an idealist or a spiritualist would. Bestowing "primacy" is such an evaluation. If an idealist were forced to choose whether to destroy the matter or the spirit of something, say a tree, they'd hack it down and burn it in a heartbeat, and they'd be quite confident that in doing so they saved its spirit. If the materialist were to make the same choice, all he'd have to do is pull out an imaginary axe, chop down an imaginary tree-spirit, and place it in an imaginary fire. Only in one case is the tree still there.

But if there is no spirit, no mind-stuff, not primary not secondary, then how does idealism even fit in? Wouldn't the very absence of idealistic truth make our culture inherently materialistic?

Good question. Idealism still remains as that human value judgment, "primacy", given to either the object itself, or to our ideas about it. Today's culture is idealistic in the sense that we see and imagine not a cow, but the benefits it brings us. We prefer the benefit it brings us to the actual cow, and we will go to great lengths at the cows expense to retain the right to this value judgment. Idealism is necessary for survival.

Do insatiable consumers stampede over each other at sales events for certain brand-named items because they appreciate the material they are made out of? You would think that if these people gave primacy to the material world, they might line up in an orderly fashion so as not to crush any of it beneath their heavy feet. Instead, they push and crawl over material things and beings to reach their goal. All "material goods" in this sense are not considered or appreciated as material goods at all, but as simply means to an idealistic end, or more commonly, things that are simply in the way.

And take celebrity. What is so fascinating about the celebrity in a materialistic culture? They have material bodies, yes, but is that why we lust after their every movement? Is their material value really any different than yours and mine? Not really. Only in an idealistic culture can one person be imagined more important than another. Only in an idealistic culture does one see a homeless man, a reprobate, a leech on society, than a man named Tim.

Dear reader, open your wallet, take out your plastic cards and money, and do something other than purchase with it. I don't know, maybe make some clothes or serve it up at your next meal as a side dish. Make some tools with it, or defend your territory brandishing your wads of cash and platinum cards. What is money—credit? numbers in a bank system somewhere? stamped coins and paper? Money is imagined, but we do not have the wherewithal to imagine more of it and simply give it all away.

And to those who fear materialistic science and philosophy for fear of what it might say about us. In the sense that every ontology is a mental list of things that exist, just look at what our so called material sciences are giving primacy to—first causes, teleological principles, immaterial forces and universal law and order. Simply describing the objects and their motion is not enough, that they must describe its “purpose”, the ideas of the universe. The primacy is placed not on the phenomena, not on the matter, but on the cause of it. Just look upon what philosophical foundations the beginning of modern science is built upon—theological and idealistic ones. If they did not believe the world was a grand machine, like a great clock built by a great watchmaker, God's design,which led to deterministic and mechanistic ideas that make us out to be mere machinery in some contraption, it would be wholly different if it began on a materialistic evaluation. In the tradition, even our dear theoretical physicists of today spend more time observing math than the physical world, relying on platonic entities, mathematical functions, and abstract ideas to fill in the holes of their so-called concrete science, leaving the layperson to believe there exists wave-functions, constants, and laws stirred into nature, and not born from human expression. Indeed, physics without engineering is merely philosophy anyways. If one needs simply a mathematical function to describe the universe, well then, the hard sciences must be the easy sciences.

No, there is no materialism. Materialism is dead or too rare to even notice, and when it does finally show its beautiful self, we've almost certainly put it to the flame.




posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 04:58 PM
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I get the crux of your biscuit. Can you please pass the butter.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:06 PM
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Attempts at twisting words is irrelevent to their meaning.

More idealistic thinking is required.


Dictionary


materialistic

adjective
1.
excessively concerned with physical comforts or the acquisition of wealth and material possessions, rather than with spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.
2.
adhering to the philosophy of materialism, a theory that regards matter as constituting the universe and all its phenomena.





Idealistic
adjective

1. idealistic - of or relating to the philosophical doctrine of the reality of ideas
ideal
2. idealistic - of high moral or intellectual value; elevated in nature or style; "an exalted ideal"; "argue in terms of high-flown ideals"- Oliver Franks; "a noble and lofty concept"; "a grand purpose"



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:13 PM
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When people say "materialism", they really mean "consumerism". Does that help?



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: theabsolutetruth

Attempts at twisting meanings is irrelevant to their words. Your meanings are wrong is what I'm arguing.

Etymology


materialism (n.)
1748, "philosophy that nothing exists except matter" (from French matérialisme); 1851 as "a way of life based entirely on consumer goods." From material + ism.



Physicalism is sometimes known as ‘materialism’; indeed, on one strand to contemporary usage, the terms ‘physicalism’ and ‘materialism’ are interchangeable. But the two terms have very different histories. The word ‘materialism’ is very old, but the word ‘physicalism’ was introduced into philosophy only in the 1930s by Otto Neurath (1931) and Rudolf Carnap (1959/1932), both of whom were key members of the Vienna Circle, a group of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians active in Vienna prior to World War II. It is not clear that Neurath and Carnap understood physicalism in the same way, but one thesis often attributed to them (e.g. in Hempel 1949) is the linguistic thesis that every statement is synonymous with (i.e. is equivalent in meaning with) some physical statement. But materialism as traditionally construed is not a linguistic thesis at all; rather it is a metaphysical thesis in the sense that it tells us about the nature of the world as such.


Physicalism



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:15 PM
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a reply to: PlanetXisHERE

If only we could go through life saying something and meaning something else.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

If you write a thread about word definitions you should first be clear about the specific definitions on which you based your argument.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:19 PM
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Words are stupid. There's too many of them.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:25 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Good post, I enjoyed reading it. In my opinion, few will even grasp what you are trying to say and therefore the message breaks down before it can be picked up and admired.

Even though you might not willingly accept the title of being smart, you are. You understand concepts others don't and therefore can entertain them. Where does education, environmental influence or being the victim of circumstance come into play? Sometimes survival is based on the expectation of others even though one should not believe that it is required.

There is destruction of material in order to benefit the mind, but I often see the opposite as well. Some people willingly suffer in order to achieve a material outcome or status. In the end this can also classify as comforting ones mind but instead is born from idealism though it may look as if the person was driven by materialism.

Also, the goal of happiness is never fleeting when you find out where it comes from. Neither idealistic or materialistic but rather a state of mind. A genuinely happy person can be upset without breaking character as their anger is removed like a blanket in the morning, leaving only their true naked self. There is core belief which stands firm and then there is adaptive emotion used daily to navigate life's little perils.

This all may have sounded better in my head so I apologized for any confusion. I had a hard time figuring out how to approach this one. I like to believe everything is subjective and the construct of words and their meaning that we live in is a nonsensical catalyst for both our idealism and materialism to take place. Life is a blank canvas and most people like to justify the materialistic or idealistic picture they paint.


S+F



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: theabsolutetruth

I wrote this.


Now materialism and idealism are too broad of terms to get into anything mathematically specific (and one would have to read much literature on both sides to see if I am even discussing these concepts at all)


The literature is there if you ever wish to take a glance. However, I'm not going to do it for you, and the dictionary isn't going to help you with philosophy.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:41 PM
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originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

If you write a thread about word definitions you should first be clear about the specific definitions on which you based your argument.

I thought the definition was made clear from the beginning. Am I missing something? From the OP,

Or maybe you've adopted the more modern, and consequently, the more stupid Hawthornian definition of materialism, thereby hijacking that old French term for your indiscriminate and political use, basically slandering the history of materialistic thinking every time you equate it to greed and evil.

I understood quite well what definition they used. If you missed it, you missed the entire point.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: eisegesis

Thank you for reading and the kind words.

I like your ideas here and they add well to the thread.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:49 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope
If your a materialist, does that mean youre communist?



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

O.P.
Erm ?
Were do I start?

maybep you imagine ,

NO¬!

Mayhap I dost know for sure.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

IF ONLY WE COULD GO THROUGH LIFE SAYING SOMETHING BUT MEANING SOMETHING ELSE.

it happens all the time my learned friend

WHATCH AN LEARN

www.bing.com...=detail&mid=37A5983B3AEE2CF17DA537A5983B3AEE2CF17DA5



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 06:48 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Your discussion of materialism is simplistic.

In the following passage you demand a literal only meaning of materialism, instead of the common concept of materialism that the word conveys today.

"Do insatiable consumers stampede over each other at sales events for certain brand-named items because they appreciate the material they are made out of? You would think that if these people gave primacy to the material world, they might line up in an orderly fashion so as not to crush any of it beneath their heavy feet"

It's a common debate tactic, to force a definition onto the crowd and disprove that definition. Sadly it's false and too easy to spot and refute. Other posters have defined materialism properly, while you refuse the definition.



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 07:15 PM
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originally posted by: Tucket
a reply to: LesMisanthrope
If your a materialist, does that mean youre communist?


No, a communist and a materialist are two different things. Communism is an ideology about the working class being compensated for their working hours.

Materialism is about identifying with materials instead of ideology as a way to be happy - for example, having a nice house would make you happier than worshiping a God.

In practice, communists weren't materialistic because their ideals got in the way of making sure that everyone was comfortable - you can look at the history of communism and how it suppressed people and made them poor.

Capitalism is more likely to be based in materialism, however I think the O.P. is making the point that people get so wrapped up in making money and in working long hours and in worshiping celebrities that they still get distracted from being practical.

In some ways, having the ideal of being rich gets in the way of enjoying being rich.
edit on 28pmSun, 28 Dec 2014 19:23:08 -0600kbpmkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 28 2014 @ 07:23 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

By your response, I guess I missed the point of the thread then too. I'll try and focus on your questions.


But if there is no spirit, no mind-stuff, not primary not secondary, then how does idealism even fit in?

Idealism would then be based on the new age definition of materialism, would it not? Without spirit or fulfillment of spiritual endeavors, would ones thoughts and actions be simply based off of material loss or gain?


Wouldn't the very absence of idealistic truth make our culture inherently materialistic?

Idealistic truth is a term a don't fully understand. If there was one idealistic truth, it would most likely remain unobtainable for most as it requires the quest for perfection. Have you looked around lately, lol? If I am understanding your question correctly then things would exist for the sole purpose of existing adding or detracting from nature in the most primitive basic form and function.


What is so fascinating about the celebrity in a materialistic culture?

All it takes is one well written story to sell the rags to riches concept. Suddenly, everybody has a chance to become famous, throwing away what is most idealistic to ones growth in order to chase their egos and notoriety.


Is their material value really any different than yours and mine?

Physically no, but idealistically yes. A celebrity can be admired or adored. Once one obsesses, the celebrity now becomes influential to your idealisms and some tend to forget that they exist as merely materialistic figures.


What is money—credit? numbers in a bank system somewhere? stamped coins and paper?

Power or slavery, depending what side of the coin you're on. Materialism by your definition developed into a control mechanism. Paper and metal being given value, a value that only exists in a belief amongst people who choose to use it.

Am I getting warmer?


edit on 28-12-2014 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope
Placing words and labels on a page and then defining them is materialism in itself. You try so hard to make 'materialism' a thing and you try to make 'spirit' a thing. When you have dreamt a 'thing' into existence you can now fight it. You seem to be against every 'thing'.
All of this happens 'inside' you - you imagine one thing and then another thing and then they can battle. When there appears to be things there will never be any peace.

After reading all the replies it seems your message is unclear - what are you really trying to point out?
Thank you for sharing your conflict.

Noeltrotsky makes a very good point.

It's a common debate tactic, to force a definition onto the crowd and disprove that definition. Sadly it's false and too easy to spot and refute.

edit on 29-12-2014 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 29 2014 @ 04:34 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I find that it is not really the "thing" itself that people are purchasing, they are purchasing something far more complex - when someone is furnishing their house, the house can be likened to the persons state of mind, and when they find "things" to add to their collection, they are also changing on an internal level, gaining various satisfactions that are in line with their "lifestyle" - something hard to really grasp yet an "ideal" nonetheless that exists in their minds.




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