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Old 06-25-2003, 09:15 AM   #1
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This is a subject I've been thinking about a lot lately. I think many people living in Western countries have a tendency to be far too materialistic. People can get too fixated on money and possessions even to the extent that it seems that everything life takes a less important role. People become obsessed with work, work 70 hour working weeks so they'll have enough money to "keep up" with their friends. People boast about the cost of their house or where they visited on vacation last year. People justify spending hundreds of pounds on something ridiculous like a pair of shoes!

Compare that to the abject poverty which billions of people worldwide live in. How can we in the West justify the thousands of pounds we spent on Christmas gifts each year, knowing that at the same time we're giving and receiving those gifts, people are dying from lack of food or clean water? How can we justify how unbelievably wealthy people in the West are when we know that people in the rest of the world are literally dying from poverty?

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Old 06-25-2003, 09:38 AM   #2
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it isn't justifiable

and many of us are guilty of the same paradox:

being deeply concerned about something yet doing very little.

But that's the society we live in. It's driven by materialism; without it, the system would not prosper.
Something needs to happen for all the millions to survive and live comfortably. it doesn't make sense that they should be in this condition

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Old 06-25-2003, 09:38 AM   #3
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Fizz, this has been a very important subject that's been on my mind a lot lately. In fact, it's a good part of the reason I'm joining the Peace Corps. I know that the common response is that "well, my not having money won't mean that someone in Africa has more money" but I'm not sure how far that flies. Perhaps its a collective thing. If our society depends on the generation of more and more products and more and more consumption, are we not using our resources in a negative manner? I dunno. It's a complicated issue. All I can say is, for myself, I find my conscience driving me to try to cut back and be more circumspect.
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 06-25-2003, 02:17 PM   #4
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Materialism is contentment unchecked.
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:23 PM   #5
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I find nothing wrong with materialism per se, I do however have problems with Christmas, but that is a whole other thread in itself...
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Old 06-25-2003, 06:30 PM   #6
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Materialism is one of the main faults our society has, and one of our greatest sins as a race. Invariably, you cannot have the concept of materialism without poverty fitting in the equation, and there is nothing 'alright' about poverty.

Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
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Old 06-26-2003, 12:41 AM   #7
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Material possessions are safety and security to many people. We may justifiably blame it and say its a curse on this vain western culture of ours and thats fine, quite probably the closest to the truth. Excess is disgusting however you look at it and it would be quite noble to give it all up and live a simpler life, but we dont. We take out comprehensive insurance on our houses and content, we feel devastated when it is lost. It makes us who we are.

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