Mod+ 277. FRANK HUGUENARD, BEYOND MIND=BRAIN

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#2
What is the connection if any between scientific materialism and the kind of materialistic consumerism that is so prevalent in our society. Is there a link or is it just in name only?
There are several connections. Part of the problem is that due to the structure of the brain, the brain cannot engage in analytical thinking and empathic thinking at the same time. When people are fooled into adopting the scientific materialist world view and its dependence on reductionist logic, it rewires their brain via neuroplasticity and makes the brain unbalanced with an excessive capacity for analytical thinking and a stunted capacity for empathic thinking. This makes people callous and prevents them from seeing the hard problem of consciousness. which hinders belief in our spiritual nature. This callousness is the cause of many of the problems in the world today and the lack of belief in spirituality turns us into consumerists because we become focused on measures of success in this earthly life: material objects that represent wealth and power. Widespread belief in the life review, reincarnation, and the lower levels in the afterlife might cause an improvement in behavior. But even if you are born into a religious family and believe in God and the afterlife, those beliefs don't protect you from the effects of unbalanced analytical thinking. You will still be callous and you won't really comprehend the implications of spiritual beliefs. Examples of this include Calvinism and the historical wealth and abuses of the Papacy. Therefore, proving materialism false beyond any pseudo-skeptical doubt won't solve the whole problem. The problem is not entirely due to scientific materialism it is due in part to Scientism (over dependence on analytical thinking) which would persist even if materialism were proven false beyond any pseudo-skeptical doubt. The solution to this is not to give up analytical thinking but to develop our ability to engange in empathic thinking so that it balances our capacity for analytical thinking.

There is also the problem of dehumanization:
Yes, materialism and capitalism are both dehumanizing. This is a problem because dehumanization leads to atrocities and crimes against humanity.

Materialism is dehumanizing - What could be more dehumanizing than reducing a person to a machine operating according to deterministic consequences of the properties of atoms and physical laws.
http://www.discovery.org/a/6301
By reducing humanity to their biological makeup, these Darwinian-inspired biological determinists contributed to the dehumanization process.
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Human intent became irrelevant in interpreting human documents. Dehumanization thus spiraled even further downward, as all human values were construed as socially constructed.
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Human rights are meaningless is a world of determinism or social (or individual) constructivism.​

Capitalism is dehumanizing - The problem of dehumanization is not unique to capitalism but capitalism does lead to dehumanization. If you ever worked for a corporation, you probably saw that workers are treated like objects and manipulated to improve profits by improving efficiency. For example, there is a common practice in the retail industry to treat workers like pieces of equipment to be turned on and off as needed by having them on call (which prevents them from finding a second job) but only calling them in to work if they are needed. And assembly lines treat workers as if they were cogs in a machine.

Corporate jargon reflects this dehumanization:
http://scholarsandrogues.com/2010/1...ployment-the-dehumanizing-toll-of-efficiency/
For example, ever heard any of these terms: “outsource,” “downsize,” “lay off,” “let go,” “headcount reduction,” “terminate,” “reduction in force”? These are all cleaner, emotionally sanitized ways of talking about firing a worker or group of workers. And when I say “firing,” that’s a slightly easier way of talking about taking away a worker’s ability to provide food and shelter, education and health care for him or herself and the spouses, parents and children who perhaps rely on that job for the basic necessities of life. When we go through an ROF, that’s considerably easier to think about than potentially putting an innocent child on the street, isn’t it? Even worse, we talk about “the last ROF round,” a linguistic structure that makes turfings not only sound natural, but routine. Like the seasons, or the cycles of the moon, or the start of a new school year or quarterly reports.​



Dehumanization leads to atrocities
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3915417/pdf/nihms-547993.pdf

Dehumanized Perception: A Psychological Means to Facilitate Atrocities, Torture, and Genocide?

Dehumanized perception, a failure to spontaneously consider the mind of another person, may be
a psychological mechanism facilitating inhumane acts like torture. Social cognition – considering
someone’s mind – recognizes the other as a human being subject to moral treatment. Social
neuroscience has reliably shown that participants normally activate a social-cognition neural
network to pictures and thoughts of other people; our previous work shows that parts of this
network uniquely fail to engage for traditionally dehumanized targets (homeless persons or drug
addicts; see Harris & Fiske, 2009, for review). This suggests participants may not consider these
dehumanized groups’ minds. Study 1 demonstrates that participants do fail to spontaneously think
about the contents of these targets’ minds when imagining a day in their life, and rate them
differently on a number of human-perception dimensions. Study 2 shows that these humanperception
dimension ratings correlate with activation in brain regions beyond the social-cognition
network, including areas implicated in disgust, attention, and cognitive control. These results
suggest that disengaging social cognition affects a number of other brain processes and hints at
some of the complex psychological mechanisms potentially involved in atrocities against
humanity.
More evidence of the link between scientific materialism and consumerism comes from the fact that people tend to give up consumerism when they give up scientific materialism and become spiritual.
There is a phenomenon that occurs when people get spiritual, they also frequently give up the materialistic consumption based life style. Often it is because they choose to take a cut in income in order to live a more spiritual life. It was a common theme of talks given by members at the Zen center I used to go to ... how someone who had a well paid career said they decided to give it up and live at the Zen center so they could spend time meditating and living a life conducive to meditation. I used to think they were nuts....until I retired earlier than most people do because I didn't like the rat race and now I don't mind spending much less money than my peers because I have the time and freedom to pursue my interests in spirituality.

Another link is that the tools of science are used to make us materialistic.
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http://lifehacker.com/how-stores-manipulate-your-senses-so-you-spend-more-mon-475987594

How Stores Manipulate Your Senses So You Spend More Money
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When you walk into almost any store, you're immediately overloaded with sights, sounds, smells, and various things to touch. This barrage on your senses are hand-picked for one goal: to make you spend more. Here's what's going on...
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How Stores Tap Into Your Sense of Sight to Get You to Spend More
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Why Touching Products Makes You Want to Buy Them
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Why the Perfect Scent Makes You More Willing to Spend Money
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How the Right Song Makes Expensive Products Look Better
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The food industry is a good example of how our economic system is dysfunctional. The grocery stores are as bad a drug pushers because of they way the stores are organized to make money off of unhealthy foods. There is an obesity epidemic, people are dying, and the food industry deserves a lot of blame for pushing junk. Bad nutrition science deserves a lot of the blame too. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to buy junk food, just that it shouldn't be in your face at the checkout lines and in special displays in the front of the store or advertised everywhere. I don't mean the government should pass new laws, (every new law is a new opportunity for the government to kill someone) just that people should find ways to make a living that don't harm other people. Materialism, lacking recognition of the afterlife, doesn't really help to justify this kind of ethic and Darwinism is easily appropriated to justify selfishness.

But capitalism doesn't have to be selfish. And eliminating scientific materialism would not be a complete solution to the world's problems. Too much analytical thinking would still be a problem in modern society even if no one believed in materialism. You see this in parapsychologists who doubt the afterlife. Part of the solution is to develop empathic thinking. Capitalism seems to be the best economic system given the failings of humanity, and if humanity were less selfish, capitalism would work even better.
There is a family owned chain of grocery stores in the area where I live. Last summer they were in the news because the employees went on strike. They went on strike not for higher wages or benefits, but because they wanted to force out a cousin of the family who had taken over control of the company. The previous CEO, a different cousin, had run the company to provide the lowest prices for customers in the area, and the highest wages grocery store workers too. He did this by putting stores in areas where the rents were a little lower and they didn't redecorate as often as the competition. I shop there even though it is the farthest of the three stores near where I live. I bought a bicycle so I could continue to shop there after I got rid of my car. The prices are lowest, and I found out during the strike when I had to shop elsewhere that they have the best trained and most helpful, most polite staff. The new CEO wanted to change things and the first thing he did was to distribute a large one-time dividend to stock holders (family members). The employees were eventually successful and the previous cousin, CEO, was reinstated. I think what this shows is that the owners of companies can have a choice for what their goals are. One goal is to extract as much money as you can from the corporation and from customers, and as much labor as you can from employees, another goal is to create a business to provide a service to customers, jobs for workers, and a sufficient profit for yourself. If more people were more spiritual, maybe more corporations would operate on the latter principle. I don't know what the philosophical basis for running the grocery chain that way was, but I do know what it wasn't. It wasn't Darwinism.
 
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#5
Alex asks about the link between materialistic consumerism and scientific materialism.

Materialistic consumerism is about the joy of FEELING superior to other people because you have better gadgets, cars and homes than they do. It's about the DESIRE to get more and more money and stuff because you enjoy the fact that other people envy you. It's about delighting in the fact that you
get to CHOOSE from 20 different kinds of shampoo. In short, consumerism is all about human emotions, choices and desires, and as far as I can see it has no connection with the idea of biological robots in a meaningless universe, or with the deterministic Newtonian clockwork universe.
 
#6
What is the connection, if any, between scientific materialism and materialistic consumerism?

This question was raised quite recently on Skeptiko and I wasn't sure that there was a direct connection. The standard rubric is that if you believe in a meaningless universe, then what the heck, you may as well live for now and buy all the crap you can to try to keep yourself happy for the short time you're here.

However, thinking back to times when scientific materialism wasn't the dominant paradigm, although there were fewer people with money, those that had it tended to flaunt it. They sometimes spent it in glorifying God in the hope of future reward in paradise, and sometimes in buying things to display their power and wealth, or on armies to defend their fiefdoms. Ostentatious consumerism doesn't depend on scientific materialism: history tends to gainsay that.

Something that Hugenard hinted was that at times of paradigm shift, one can expect the worst excesses of dogmatism to come to the fore: witness the views and actions of ISIS on the one hand and militant materialists on the other, which, while very different in their modalities of expression, do perhaps represent a similar motivation: the desire for things not to change, in fact for them to regress to mythical times of perceived greater surety.

Meanwhile, those who are seeking paradigm shift aren't totally immune: there can be a degree of stridency in their reaction to militant materialism.

All in all, we are living in interesting times and things may well have to get a lot worse before they start to get better.
 
#7
Alex asks about the link between materialistic consumerism and scientific materialism.

Materialistic consumerism [ . . . . . ] has no connection with the idea of biological robots in a meaningless universe, or with the deterministic Newtonian clockwork universe.
You're 100% correct. It's been explained a few times but Alex, and a few others, persist in seeing them as one and the same. This confusion seems to happen a lot when there's one term used to describe different things.
 
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#8
Ostentatious consumerism doesn't depend on scientific materialism: history tends to gainsay that.
Yes! Yes indeed. Human beings have been materialistic way, way before materialism became a philosophy.

20th century consumerism is a very recent phenomenon and I think it transcends any specific philosophy. The cornucopia of goods, products and stuff that has flooded the richest countries in the past 60 years is a true novelty. We have changed our standards of living at breakneck speed and we don't seem to be willing to slow down, quite the contrary. We have created a self-feeding monster that will grow even more with the emerging countries aspiring to the same standards of life.

It's the first time in the history of human kind and, as history tells us... we need to crash and burn to learn our lessons. I don't think it will be different this time, if not for the possible repercussions of such crash(es).

Btw... I live in most catholic of the catholic countries. Ninety-some % of the population is catholic here, so hey... we shouldn't be so horribly materialist as more secular countries right? Nope, not a chance in hell :D
 
#9

"the intellect can only operate at the five senses level."
Incorrect obviously. If that were the case no one could assess/discuss their beyond-physical experiences. The intellect can only assess what it's presented with. It is not a method for knowing.

"Our structures are built on materialism. Our economic structures, our social structures…all that’s built on materialism."
No, no, no and no. This is becoming a dogma for you. And , even in the usage of materialism to mean placing primary importance on material possessions, it isn't correct. Strongly affected by - yes. Built on? No.
 
#10
Yes! Yes indeed. Human beings have been materialistic way, way before materialism became a philosophy.
What's so strange about conflating the two is the the dictionary gives clear and different defintionS. Merriam-Webster:

materialism
noun ma·te·ri·al·ism \mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm\
: a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things

philosophy : the belief that only material things exist


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IOW one can be both spiritual and materialist (in the Material Girl sense) .Of course that's been common in known human history. So I have no idea why anyone would start confusing the two.
 
#11
What's so strange about conflating the two is the the dictionary gives clear and different defintionS. Merriam-Webster:

materialism
noun ma·te·ri·al·ism \mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm\
: a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things

philosophy : the belief that only material things exist


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IOW one can be both spiritual and materialist (in the Material Girl sense) .Of course that's been common in known human history. So I have no idea why anyone would start confusing the two.
Why is it so hard to understand that the belief that only material things exist would cause people to place too much importance on material things as opposed to spiritual or intellectual things?
 
#12
Enjoyed the interview!

Sometimes I think of sense and nonsense as the snake eating its tail. We chase down all these rabbit trails of apparently logically consistent phenomena and at the end we fall through the rabbit hole and reality is a bunch of nonsense. ...makes the head spin.

To answer the question at the end..
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...ture-is-materialistic.2219/page-10#post-66738
to good not to re-post:

Here is my summary on how materialism is woven into the culture and economic system and human history in general...

Humanity originated as a tribal system where small communities shared everything and there was little if any private material property. Material possessions were limited to what one could carry. These tribal peoples had a form of spirituality that was often very connected with nature. This was the garden state. The mind was free but uninitiated into more complex realms of consciousness.

As farming and other technologies developed, cities formed which enabled improvements in efficiency, a stratification of labor, and trade. The small communal tribal system became untenable. The ability to accumulate material possessions led to inequalities which led to increasingly predatory behavior. Groups formed for protection and in doing so ceded some of their personal liberty to leaders for more forceful coordinated action. As cities expanded hierarchical systems of authority were formed such that progressively fewer people exerted progressively more control over larger and larger groups of humans. The desire of every human to be free and return to the garden state of his origin is in conflict with this hierarchical system of control making the pyramidal structure inherently unstable. A stable pyramid requires a delicate balance of top-down control and bottom up stigmergy. Every human has varying degrees of desire for comfort, control, freedom, as well as an empathetic capacity. The pyramidal structure naturally filters certain personality types to the top: those with low empathy and high desire for control. Every so often, the pyramid becomes unstable and a flip occurs where an empathetic self-sacrificial leader finds himself at the top. This empathetic leader allows those lower on the pyramid greater degrees of comfort and freedom which stabilize the pyramid. But time passes and the empathetic leader dies or is conquered by another and once again psychopathic types begin filtering their way to the top.

This pyramidal hierarchical system of control is maintained through violence and mind control. After several thousand years of history, many combinations, flavors, and variations of violence and mind control have been tried by various elites that have risen to the top of civilizations so that a science has been developed for the maintenance of the pyramid. Technology gave rise to the first miniature city-state pyramids and as new technologies arise and allow the expansion of the pyramid to potentially encompass the entire global population, the science of pyramidal control is being continually refined and expanded.

Materialism is a philosophy which stabilizes the pyramid. Materialism increases fear of loss. Fear of loss is what initially drove people to band together and cede their personal liberty to a guardian. Fear of loss limits risk-taking ventures to overturn the pyramid. Materialism increases fear of death which makes the threat of violence more effective. Materialism limits the ability to find greater meaning beyond a single incarnation so that pseudo-meaning is derived from one's place and function in the pyramid or one's ascension within the pyramid. Materialism reduces hope for a better system leaving the inhabitants of the base layers unmotivated or self-defeated and unable to overturn the system.

The less conscious the individual, the more easily that individual is controlled. The more conscious, open, knowledgeable, enlightened, empathetic, and hopeful the individual, the more difficult that individual is to control. The expansion of consciousness is a direct threat to the control structure. Therefore, those in control seek to maintain this control by keeping people in an unenlightened barely conscious state. Materialism is a great aid to their effort. Secret societies have served a dual purpose throughout history. In some cases, they have protected and preserved knowledge about the mental nature of reality from destruction. In some cases they have created roadblocks and hierarchies of their own to prevent the common man from breaking out of materialism and into an expanded understanding of reality. Since knowledge is power, the elites in control seek to monopolize this power and are often responsible for the destruction of knowledge, which ironically spurs the formation of new secret societies to protect that knowledge.

As trade expanded, a medium of exchange was needed to increase efficiency in the economic system. As shipping technology advanced, it became feasible to transport luxury goods for trade from around the world. This expanded form of trade required new forms of technology to increase trade efficiency. Enter the merchant banker and paper currency. Merchant bankers improved trade efficiency by reducing the need to carry around the weight and liability of precious metals. They also began to engineer forms of credit expansion through the fractional reserve system. Eventually Merchants and Bankers parted ways and the merchants kept to the relatively honest side of the business in dealing with materials and the bankers took the more esoteric path of dealing in the SYMBOL of the materials: currency. Since the ultimate nature of reality is mental and symbol and not material, banking is inherently an occult business. The naturally powerful and occult business of banking attracted a certain personality type and so a few hundred years ago, the bankers rose to the top of the new hierarchical pyramid. The few at the top dominate the mass at the bottom through the monopolizing of symbol and knowledge about the mental nature of reality while steering the masses way to materialism.

The bankers' invention of the fractional reserve system enabled them to control currency, the symbol of material wealth and power. It also created a debt machine (a pyramid scheme) that would collapse unless continually fed by more credit. The requirement for exponential increase in credit led to the banker's need to create exponential demand for their credit so that their money continued to be valuable. To create this demand, the bankers developed their slave laborers' materialistic tendencies programming them to want more and more and more stuff. Eventually the exponentially expanding debt system collapses, but the bankers orchestrate these collapses and therefore still manage to consolidate wealth through them.

In short: materialism is a natural tendency of human nature that first became a force when technology made tribal living obsolete. Materialism creates and maintains hierarchical systems of control which filter psychopaths to the top. Psychopaths understand how materialism affects the human psyche and use it to maintain control. As technology increases, the potential size of the pyramid increases, and the science of maintaining control must expand to incorporate this new technology. There is a short window where this technology can spur the mass expansion of consciousness and overturn the pyramid before the elites figure out how to use this technology to further solidify control and prevent the expansion of consciousness. From a historical perspective it is certainly a very interesting time to be alive!
 
#13
"the intellect can only operate at the five senses level."
Incorrect obviously. If that were the case no one could assess/discuss their beyond-physical experiences. The intellect can only assess what it's presented with. It is not a method for knowing.
You seem to have missed the point and are in fact reiterating the point. People can and do assess/discuss their beyond-physical experiences using the intellect, but since the intellect is typically fed with information through the 5 senses, it often fails when applied to information obtained outside those 5 senses.

"Our structures are built on materialism. Our economic structures, our social structures…all that’s built on materialism."
No, no, no and no. This is becoming a dogma for you. And , even in the usage of materialism to mean placing primary importance on material possessions, it isn't correct. Strongly affected by - yes. Built on? No.
I would agree that the philosophy of materialism did not precede the human tendency to place too much importance on material possessions. However; the philosophy of materialism came into vogue at the same time that technological developments (shipping, industrial revolution, fractional reserve lending, military industrial complex) enabled a vast expansion in the ability to accumulate and protect material possessions. The philosophy of materialism supports the institutions and corporations that control our world.
 
#15
Yes! Yes indeed. Human beings have been materialistic way, way before materialism became a philosophy... Btw... I live in most catholic of the catholic countries. Ninety-some % of the population is catholic here, so hey... we shouldn't be so horribly materialist as more secular countries right? Nope, not a chance in hell :D
point taken. I guess I'm coming at this from a non-dual/enlightenment perspective. i.e. we're creating this material world out of consciousness (in some way I don't completely understand, but hints emerge from those who have experience with extended consciousness). scientific materialism reinforces the false reality of "the world is made out of stuff." consumerism further exaggerates this misconception.

but I'm starting to think that maybe you and others are right... maybe there's no real difference between now and consumerism of the 1700s. I mean, feel the buzz of unboxing a new android phone, but that's probably no different then what people experienced 300 years ago going to the city.
 
#16
For me, there is a HUGE connection between "Materialism" as a world view / philosophy (incorporated in this schema is the Biological Robots concept of human existence), and our economic attitudes and policies, political structures, scientific communities and spiritual life (or lack thereof).

When Bucky remarked that "Human beings have been materialistic way, way before materialism became a philosophy" I think that the point Alex and Frank were getting at is being entirely missed. That humans have been "materialistic" since before those apes from 2001 threw a bone into the air is not in contention. I think the important point here is that throughout all periods in history, humans have wrestled with their materialistic and covetous tendencies, but that the various prevailing paradigms for any given period or culture in history will to a greater or lesser extent have tempered human attitudes, and therefore human made institutions that govern human life (economic institutions, educational, artistic, social, religious / scientific ec).

For example, the North American Indian tribes did not have a system of land ownership, and such a concept was foreign to their understanding of both themselves, and the universe they inhabited, and of course what the land represented. Doubtless, many of them would and could still have been highly materialistic and petty minded when it came to their possessions and ambitions, however this would inevitably have been GREATLY tempered by their overarching world view, and understanding of their position in the universe.

Now, we on the other hand, have been force fed a diet of philosophical materialism for a seriously long time now in the western so called "scientific" world view. From that comes the notion that the universe is meaningless. You are meaningless (you are nothing more than a flesh machine, the result of a strange fluke in the cosmic roll of dice). Your love for others is pointless (unless it has survival value in propagating the all important DNA). So, there is nothing we are here to learn, to experience, or to do under materialism except pass on our DNA, so the resulting flesh machines can pass on their DNA ad infinitum (ad absurdum). All the art, culture, relationships, philosophising, introspection, wars, and strivings of humanity are nothing more than a peculiar side effect of DNA's blind march forward in a blind and meaningless universe.

This bleak version of the reality and meaning of life is inevitable if we have as our foundation the philosophy of materialism. It will also shape our drives in life. Gone are the age old notions that virtues have any real value in themselves (such as patience, compassion, contentment etc), and their only use is as an expedient means to acquire more of what we our selves want (be it money, sex, power , possessions, fame etc). if all the above is the case (and I assure you, at it's deepest level it is and must be), then of course our financial institutions, educational systems, artistic tastes, notions of social responsibility, and spiritual attitudes will invariably be forged out of this foundational world view we each have bought into (or been force fed).

To put it simply.
People feel life is meaningless. People feel life is short. people feel life is unfair (all driven by the prevailing paradigm).
People invent reasons to live (acquisition of things which convey enjoyment, prestige, power etc), people try to acquire as much as poss as quickly as they can as life is short, and people do it unfairly, because afterall life is unfair. These people run our financial institutions, our governments, our schools, our ADVERTISING industry etc. All born from a single mistaken assumption that there is a really existing material universe completely independent from us, blind to us, and we blind to it, and we are a mistake in the random bangs and crashes of this materialistic fluke.
 
#17
Subsistence agriculture, which is what most people did in Europe in 1700, is not consumerism. You have to have vast amounts of wealth made possible by scientific progress and capitalism before you can have consumerism. Poor people don't buy new stuff, they repair, repurpose and reuse old stuff. The concept of "disposable" is a modern invention made possible by science and capitalism. You won't find disposable diapers in a civilization where the people don't have disposable income. Acquisitiveness is not the same as consumerism. A bird attracted to stealing shiny objects is acquisitive, but you need science and capitalism before the bird can be conditioned to feed coins into a vending machine. Consumerism involves psychological conditioning and manipulation by advertising and other means to encourage and direct acquisitiveness along desired channels.


People might be naturally acquisitive, but there has to be a consumer economy before their acquisitiveness can lead them into the consumerist rat race. Scientific progress and and capitalism lead to consumerism because there is no other way to raise the standard of living high enough for consumerism to exist. Scientific progress leads to scientific materialism because of the influence of analytical thinking on brain development as I wrote above. Scientific materialism gives a philosophical justification for unbounded unabashed acquisitiveness. When people become spiritual they often give up the rat race and their acquisitiveness seems to dissolve. A technologically advanced capitalist society who's members are genuinely spiritual, would be very different from the civilization we have today.
 
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#19
Why is it so hard to understand that the belief that only material things exist would cause people to place too much importance on material things as opposed to spiritual or intellectual things?
Whoa! Are you also that confused? Employ that logic you claim to favor.

But let's start with clarity. What you cite is a distortion of the argument. The argument at hand is that "placing primary importance on acquiring physical possessions is solely driven by and rooted in the philosophy that only the physical exists" IOW that a knowledge of the actuality of non-physical existence automatically prevents or reduces placing the primary importance on acquiring physical possessions." That argument is false. And can be seen by simply looking at known history. Not to mention many current instances.

Now back to the logic. First of all that you mentioned intellectual shows that you're reaching. Many philosophical materialists are among the most intellectual of people. So we'll go to "spiritual". If one believes B doesn't exist it is illogical to say that one is not placing enough importance on it. Additionally, if one truly believes only the physical exists one is just as likely to find a focus on acquiring possessions to be dangerous and stupid. That is why many staunch philosophical materialists are environmental activists, people who advocate a small human footprint, animal conservation, etc.

Please wake up and think before simply attempting to bolster confused viewpoints. Spiritual does not mean touchy-feely, nice, caring, etc. It simply means being aware of the spiritual, the non-physical.
 
#20
People might be naturally acquisitive, but there has to be a consumer economy before their acquisitiveness can lead them into the consumerist rat race.
??? The only difference is that a consumer economy guides most people to acquire by purchasing things rather than bartering or taking by force. It's also no the point. The point is that some, including Alex, are confusing two different usages of therm materialism.
 
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