Ethics of Materialism

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Repercussions of Materialism

Materialism and the want of consumer goods, has proved to be a prevalent force in the last century. When superficially thinking about materialism, one would not immediately register that there is a relationship between materialism and ethics; although, under examination, we can see that there is indeed a great association between the two. Are materialism and the obsessive consumer culture we have made for ourselves ethical? People's opinion on this question can be polar opposites. Some people believe that materialism has great benefits for the technological and economic growth, while others argue that materialism strips people of their individuality and creates unethical division between the rich and the poor. It's very easy to understand why someone would chose to live a life full of materialism as there is a lot of luxuries, lavishes and comfort. However, looking at it deeper, consumers have now become victims of this never ending cycle of materialism where they always want the newest and latest goods. Also, people who cannot afford to pay for these products try and find illegal and immoral ways to gain wealth so they can be accepted in society. So, although materialism promotes technology and modernity, excessive amounts of it creates a division between social classes, which causes poor people to act unethically in order to live up to the materialistic standards society has created.
The goal of a materialistic life style is to be on the top of the social hierarchy, to be recognized as the most powerful and to be able to flaunt the greatest amount of luxuries. Without consciously realizing it most of us judge others on their status and position in society. This means, that we are internally programmed to look at people based on the amount of materialistic goods they have. This is one of the main reasons why people who can not afford to live up to the materialistic standards set by the privileged, have to resort to unethical means

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