Author Topic: The Disease of Materialism  (Read 6380 times)

November 16, 2014, 01:08:57 AM

Offline guest1

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The Disease of Materialism
« on: November 16, 2014, 01:08:57 AM »
Alexis de Tocqueville, in some ways the father of sociology, was a 19th century French philosopher and statesman who traveled in the United States in the early 1800's, later writing about his findings in his masterpiece, Democracy in America. This book takes a comprehensive view on culture, society, and political science (through the lens of early America), and Tocqueville's penetration and keen understanding of his subject is one of the best and most comprehensive ever written on the subject.

In the quote of his I share below, it is not wished to emphasize politics, but rather the dangers of materialistic philosophy amongst the sciences and in culture, as contrasted with spirituality and religion; and the effects each has on man overall.

Spirituality is instinctively hard wired into our species. This is an objective reality, and science, culture, and the very well being of individual man ignores this fact at his own peril.

(Emphasis is mine)

"But while man takes delight in this honest and lawful pursuit of his own well-being, it is to be apprehended that in the end he may lose the use of his sublimest faculties, and that while he is busied in improving all around him, he may at length degrade himself. Here, and here only, does the peril lie. It should therefore be the unceasing object of the legislators of democracies and of all the virtuous and enlightened men who live there to raise the souls of their fellow citizens and keep them lifted up towards heaven. It is necessary that all who feel an interest in the future destinies of democratic society should unite, and that all should make joint and continual efforts to diffuse the love of the infinite, lofty aspirations, and a love of pleasures not of earth. If among the opinions of a democratic people any of those pernicious theories exist which tend to inculcate that all perishes with the body, let men by whom such theories are professed be marked as the natural foes of the whole people.

The materialists are offensive to me in many respects; their doctrines I hold to be pernicious, and I am disgusted at their arrogance. If their system could be of any utility to man, it would seem to be by giving him a modest opinion of himself; but these reasoners show that it is not so; and when they think they have said enough to prove that they are brutes, they appear as proud as if they had demonstrated that they are gods.

Materialism, among all nations, is a dangerous disease of the human mind;
but it is more especially to be dreaded among a democratic people because it readily amalgamates with that vice which is most familiar to the heart under such circumstances. Democracy encourages a taste for physical gratification; this taste, if it become excessive, soon disposes men to believe that all is matter only; and materialism, in its turn, hurries them on with mad impatience to these same delights; such is the fatal circle within which democratic nations are driven round. It were well that they should see the danger and hold back.

Most religions are only general, simple, and practical means of teaching men the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. That is the greatest benefit which a democratic people derives from its belief, and hence belief is more necessary to such a people than to all others. When, therefore, any religion has struck its roots deep into a democracy, beware that you do not disturb it; but rather watch it carefully, as the most precious bequest of aristocratic ages. Do not seek to supersede the old religious opinions of men by new ones, lest in the passage from one faith to another, the soul being left for a while stripped of all belief, the love of physical gratifications should grow upon it and fill it wholly.

The doctrine of metempsychosis is assuredly not more rational than that of materialism; nevertheless, if it were absolutely necessary that a democracy should choose one of the two, I should not hesitate to decide that the community would run less risk of being brutalized by believing that the soul of man will pass into the carcass of a hog than by believing that the soul of man is nothing at all. The belief in a supersensual and immortal principle, united for a time to matter is so indispensable to man's greatness that its effects are striking even when it is not united to the doctrine of future reward and punishment, or even when it teaches no more than that after death the divine principle contained in man is absorbed in the Deity or transferred to animate the frame of some other creature. Men holding so imperfect a belief will still consider the body as the secondary and inferior portion of their nature, and will despise it even while they yield to its influence; whereas they have a natural esteem and secret admiration for the immaterial part of man, even though they sometimes refuse to submit to its authority. That is enough to give a lofty cast to their opinions and their tastes, and to bid them tend, with no interested motive, and as it were by impulse, to pure feelings and elevated thoughts.

It is not certain that Socrates and his followers had any fixed opinions as to what would befall man hereafter; but the sole point of belief which they did firmly maintain, that the soul has nothing in common with the body and survives it, was enough to give the Platonic philosophy that sublime aspiration by which it is distinguished.

It is clear from the works of Plato that many philosophical writers, his predecessors or contemporaries, professed materialism. These writers have not reached us or have reached us in mere fragments. The same thing has happened in almost all ages; the greater part of the most famous minds in literature adhere to the doctrines of a spiritual philosophy. The instinct and the taste of the human race maintain those doctrines; they save them often in spite of men themselves and raise the names of their defenders above the tide of time. It must not, then, be supposed that at any period or under any political condition the passion for physical gratifications and the opinions which are superinduced by that passion can ever content a whole people. The heart of man is of a larger mold; it can at once comprise a taste for the possessions of earth and the love of those of heaven; at times it may seem to cling devotedly to the one, but it will never be long without thinking of the other."

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America - Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 15
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 01:21:32 AM by Len »

November 22, 2014, 04:18:50 PMReply #1

Offline guest1

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2014, 04:18:50 PM »
Quote from: guest1
Well that's certainly a very pertinent subject for our times. However I personally try to always maintain a humble tone when dwelling upon spiritual topics with materialistic people. The problem here arises when one expresses ideas that are not wholly proven by any scientific method and the materialist demands proof which cannot be fully satisfied. In fact I myself have no definitive assurance of these things except for the mystical texts I've read throughout the years, which while very compelling, remain the words of other men and not based on my own experience. So while I will dwell on these topics I can't fully endorse them because I myself haven't fully corroborated them.

One thing that is easily corroborated however is how the extreme materialism brings societies to a point of debauchery which is clearly detrimental. IF anything at least one should aspire to have a population interested in philosophical matters, which entertains their minds with thoughts about matters that concern humanity and its existence on this world. When people's thoughts are exclusively focused on material gratification then the time of their social demise cant' be far.

November 22, 2014, 04:19:20 PMReply #2

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2014, 04:19:20 PM »
What is ignored by so called scientists who worship at the altar of Materialism are the countless scientific studies demonstrating observable super sensory phenomenona. This prejudice is hardly based on the scientific method, but rather based on a diseased religious ideology itself. What is also conveniently ignored is that the spiritual instinct is in our very biology.

Considering Aristotle for one, who was actually the founder of the scientific method, and who discoursed on metaphysics, one wonders how modern and forgettable scholars could consider these giants and founders of science itself to be so blind.

I think it is high time to call out the bankruptcy of the materialistic cult.

November 22, 2014, 04:19:58 PMReply #3

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 04:19:58 PM »
Quote from: guest1
They hold these old philosophers in high esteem but they simply consider their works to be the work of people from an era of ignorance who didn't have enough tools to corroborate their theories. I myself to be honest have not yet seen very solid scientific evidence for mystical beliefs of the existence of the soul as of yet. I think in a way all the current endeavors to test artificial intelligence and trying to download human consciousness to the digital realm constitute an attempt of humankind to finally answer the age old question of, what is actually consciousness?

Also one must take into account how different branches of spiritual through there are, many of them being highly bogus. When you start talking about granting credibility to these things you have plenty of people espousing very different theories and it's very complicated to establish which should be taken seriously and which shouldn't. Scientific oriented people will call it all unfounded mystical superstition and disregard it outright, yet it's true that it's fascinating how people have a deep need for some kind of spiritual nourishment. Unfortunately this craving often leads them to cults that offer them cheap but gratifying ideologies which are based on nothing but fantasy.

November 22, 2014, 04:20:43 PMReply #4

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2014, 04:20:43 PM »
I'll point you to some scientific studies demonstrating super sensory phenomenona if you are not aware of them, in fact, I have already done so in this group.  ;)

Are there spurious spiritual theories? Sure. Are there also countless spurious scientific theories? Definitely. By this logic should one then reject the totality of all spirituality and science? That would be ridiculous, but it is just what the cult of materialism propounds.

November 22, 2014, 04:21:18 PMReply #5

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2014, 04:21:18 PM »
Quote from: guest1
Well to be honest I prefer to leave everything not fully demonstrable in the theoretical realm, whether scientific or metaphysical. I will totally be up for discussing these theories and entertain them but I won't go around professing them as the truth if I can't fully corroborate them, that would feel dishonest to me.

It's interesting because many characters in the Kolbrin go over this very same preoccupation, the doubts that arise from someone who wants to believe in the immortality of the soul but hasn't fully experienced themselves the actual vision that grants the full certainty. It's a recurrent theme which leads to thinking that what I'm expressing was a very common thing even in ancient times (if indeed the Kolbrin is what it purports to be)

November 22, 2014, 04:21:55 PMReply #6

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2014, 04:21:55 PM »
I'll point you towards the scientific studies in super sensory phenomenona and certain areas of metaphysics if you haven't seen any.

I think you actually posted some yourself in the area of reincarnation some time ago.  ;)

November 22, 2014, 04:22:28 PMReply #7

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2014, 04:22:28 PM »
Quote from: guest1
Yeah well I may have posted some interesting articles but that doesn't mean they represented definitive irrefutable evidence  ;)

November 22, 2014, 04:23:18 PMReply #8

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 04:23:18 PM »
he fact that there have been multiple studies showing that children know minute details about other lives that they have no explainable way of knowing may not be irrefutable evidence, but it is pretty solid.

How high must the level of proof be? Materialistic standards are so high, nothing, not even their own beliefs, can be substantiated. From this standard, you can't even prove you exist.

What should also be kept in mind here is that materialistic thinkers are inconsistent with their own beliefs. While ignoring evidence to the contrary, they proclaim all metaphysical existence and phenomenona to be nonexistent, claiming that the scientific method is the only pathway to truth. As the scientific method has in no way debunked metaphysical phenomenona (instead, to the contrary, it has affirmed it), materialists hold their core belief in something they cannot prove, and which scientific evidence of is irrationally obsfucated.

Ideological belief in something with no base, proof, or personal experience of that also ignores rational counter argument and evidence is one of the main definers of a cult. As the materialistic cult also attempts to extinguish the instinctive and natural drive of spirituality in mankind, this particular cult shows clear symptoms of a peculiar type of disease. It is worrisome that these traits are rarely noticed, and that healthier minds don't combat this sickness more vigorously. Instead, more balanced minds more often pander to and seek the approval of the materialist.

The disease of the materialistic cult is bad enough in itself, but the harm it does to society, as Tocqueville discusses, is the really concerning issue. Again, it is high time to attack this pernicious element in society on all fronts. It is against nature, against evidence, against reason, and against health.


Fans of Manly Hall might enjoy these lectures:

http://www.youtube.com/v/Y_YcnOnqIVM&fs=1&wmode=transparent


http://www.youtube.com/v/8gCB68E7_rI&fs=1&wmode=transparent
« Last Edit: December 15, 2014, 12:37:27 PM by Len »

February 27, 2015, 05:18:44 PMReply #9

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 05:18:44 PM »
The dangers of materialism on society are found in different areas. You brought up politics and sociology in twenty first century democracy. You mentioned science as being destructive to thought pattern and its outcome. Take a look at technology where the atom is embraced and manipulated to form faster computers, and handheld gadgets that distract the user and consume the attention of the user. Faster computers may be utilized well in the military and business and even at home. There is less time we are willing to take to perform every day tasks because we do not want to suffer the less pleasurable in life. In a Hedonist society, the pleasure hunt reigns supreme and the sacrifices of lending a helping hand to those in need is viewed as something less noble. With materialism, from atom to life form, there is a selfish zeal for more accomplishment, but it awakens human progress. I would not want to be out of a toilet for even a day, just how students should not be without a teacher for even a day.

The Humanist Manifesto II supports a tenet of atheism; that God does not exist. This doctrine is apart of college learning directed from teacher to student. Professors may know about it, though the ordinary person does not. I believe the doctrine excludes the absolute mindset of a Christian when using, remembering, and articulating the Bible. The humanist embrace a more relativist mindset where moral truths are relative to the beholder. Those who have received a humanist education are atheist do gooders, which seems positive to many people, but not those who hold Christ in their hearts. It may be inferred that the current education system crushes God and brings about the result of communist society, materialist society, and socialist society; take your pick. I do not believe someone who has a high level of training in philosophy would disagree. Democracy is what is supported by western nations and I hope it does not fail as in the past when it could not control its morality and state function.

Progress is nice and advances society through wars and economic malaise. The scientist may one day realize that at the core of his work is God and God’s hand in the cosmic moves the universe. Only when science recognizes God, will there be total loving kindness on earth. People will walk with each other and walk hand in hand.

April 03, 2015, 06:24:06 AMReply #10

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2015, 06:24:06 AM »
I feel that perhaps democracy has already failed throughout the so-called democratic world.  I believe, too, evidence abounds to support this belief.

I believe more and more scientists are actually coming to the conclusion there is something 'out there' that pertains to higher concepts.  I have heard this through acknowledgements of 'the God particle', the 'Universe' as though it has some form of consciousness associated to, but far superior, than our own.  I'm sure there are other titles used by science in order to integrate a somewhat materialistic view with that of a spiritual (or possibly even religious) view.

April 20, 2015, 06:58:46 PMReply #11

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2015, 06:58:46 PM »
I feel that perhaps democracy has already failed throughout the so-called democratic world.

This is a very loaded comment, which I hardly know how to begin to respond to. I might begin by stating that all societies everywhere at bottom are democratic, because the rulers, in whatever form or system, require the majority of consent and will of the governed in order to rule.  If the majority of a population unreservedly rejects their rules, rulers, or system, the governing system is not long for change. You might call the above a law of all human society, and that to reject this democratic underpinning of human interaction is to call nature herself a failure.

On the other hand, if what you mean is that the democratic systems we have in place are corrupted to their stated intent, that the people are overly fooled and apathetic, and there are countless manipulations in the political arena; I would have to agree. But the problem is not necessarily democracy in it of itself, as apathy, ignorance, and manipulation occur within any form of government or social structure. The problem is corruption itself, ignorance itself, apathy itself... and these things cannot be changed by changing the facade of the system. This is confusing cause and effect. The preconditions for a healthy society and government lie in the individual, and their regular human relations. Balance these, and the government will balance itself.

I believe more and more scientists are actually coming to the conclusion there is something 'out there' that pertains to higher concepts.  I have heard this through acknowledgements of 'the God particle', the 'Universe' as though it has some form of consciousness associated to, but far superior, than our own.  I'm sure there are other titles used by science in order to integrate a somewhat materialistic view with that of a spiritual (or possibly even religious) view.

Some scientists will remain true to the scientific method wherever it leads, and not fall into the blind following of materialistic doctrine. And yes, the more we learn, the more we find proofs of metaphysical underpinnings of reality. Quantum physics and astronomy are just two of the most obvious, but we will see many more of these discoveries in the years ahead...

May 11, 2015, 06:05:39 AMReply #12

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2015, 06:05:39 AM »
Yes Len, it is the latter I was referring to.  And I agree, it is not so much the concept of democracy that is the problem so much as the people corrupting it.

As for the latter comment, I believe you are so right here, there will be many more discoveries in the years ahead - let's hope so, anyway.  The scientific method, like any method is susceptible to corruption though, and it is this I am referring to here.  But that, too, has the potential to and for change.  We will see how things pan out.

May 26, 2015, 06:21:50 PMReply #13

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2015, 06:21:50 PM »
Lance, CERN is an institute that researches particle collision using a Large Hadron Collider. These particles that collide release energy that quickly dissipates. The energy release has been captured by electromagnetic camera and may one day be apart of a method to cultivate and store a more potent form of energy. Some in science groups have already supported a demonstration by CERN that shows white light. I believe white light was first calculated and portrayed on the Milton Spectrum. We associate white light with divinity, as with the transfiguration of Jesus Christ. This supernatural experience of white light during the time of Jesus and from him, along with recent CERN white light findings, is the manifestation of God because white light involves being at the core of divinity and the core of atoms in the natural world. So, the manifest white light discovered with Jesus, and the scientific record under the Milton Spectrum can jointly be called the “God particle.” There are scientists that would challenge this and say that there is no link between white light and the divine, but it is now apart of our physical world, nature, and can grip human senses and faculties. A union with the spiritual and material worlds.

Three scientific discoveries that have happened within the past twenty years are cloning, stem cell organ harvesting, and nano-robotics. Dolly the sheep was cloned and died before reaching maturity perhaps because her genetic code did not deliver proper instructions to her. Cloning research never stopped, only traveled to Australia and other countries. I believe human cloning will show the same results as with Dolly the sheep. A scientific discovery left hammered down by failed success and well reasoned ethical standards.

Stem Cell research has not made any significant advances over the past few decades. Protein synthesis takes time and like with organ transplants from human to human, usually do not hold steady and healthy because the organs are recognized as foreign by the body. This also, leads to early death, but not as early a death as without the transferred organ. Nano-robotics is an isolated zone of scientific research. So far, cancer treatments by nano-bots have sometimes worked. It is very rare that treatment is offered, though organizations such as the Wyss Institute construct cancer treatments using nano-bots. Both of these science discoveries have yet to prove satisfactory for general use.

With advances in science, the material world can be corrupted. God needs to be in the hearts of people so science complements spirituality. It was tried during the Roman Empire.

August 23, 2015, 06:12:41 AMReply #14

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Re: The Disease of Materialism
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2015, 06:12:41 AM »
Quote
CERN is an institute that researches particle collision using a Large Hadron Collider...
True Christopher.  I believe this same white light was referred to, back in Moses time (and before) as Manna [from Heaven].  It is the same white light residing in everything.  It is also the same white light drawn into this physical realm by ancient metaphysicians (by whatever name).  It is also the same light used by various non-scientific groups today - and into the future.

A union with the spiritual and material worlds this has always been, for the material worlds would not exist without the spiritual counterpart.  Whether scientists believe in the link between this 'white light' and the divine is mere semantics (I believe).  There are those scientists who do not want to believe in a divine anything and there are those who do.  We live in a universe or dimension of opposites, so opposites there must be.

Quote
Three scientific discoveries that have happened within the past twenty years are cloning, stem cell organ harvesting, and nano-robotics...
Cloning - it will be interesting to see how this method of prolonging one's life will work where humans are concerned.  Without that divine light that exists in all living things, I wonder how such a creature would exist and function as someone who was naturally conceived and born.  My understanding is that from conception a discarnate entity overshadows us, eventually to take its place in the forming foetus, and to eventually be born, live and die.  I was originally going to use this as an example of how cloning would fail without the presence of an overshadowing discarnate entity.  But I can see no real reason why this couldn't still happen.  I suppose a discarnate entity could still be possibly drawn to an evolving clone were the conditions right.  Hmmm, worth more consideration on my part.

If the light were in the original cell or cells used for cloning, then I can't really see why the remainder of the animal/humanoid/creature should not be filled with it, as I would assume the exact same conditions would also be reproduced.  Who knows how far scientists are willing to go.  But I, for one, have enjoyed the act of procreation - test tubes don't really do it for me.

Stem Cells - this research does have its positive points, but humans being what they are, especially those who can afford to go beyond the mere health benefits, could quite easily abuse this process by paying for what could be considered 'unethical' experimentation - we hear of these things in fictional novels as well as in real life.  The fact that stem cells work is, to me, testament to the validity of the divine light working within each cell.  Were it otherwise, the cells would be dead (or lifeless as we understand the term) and thus non-functioning.

Nano-bots - I have difficulty in viewing an automaton, robot, or prosthetic as having any life force in it whatsoever.  I do believe the divine light is still there within the molecular, atomic and subatomic particle levels, but I cannot see how the life force could be.  Mind you, nano-bot technology is still in its infancy as far as mainstream science is concerned.  So who knows what might happen.

Quote
God needs to be in the hearts of people so science complements spirituality. It was tried during the Roman Empire.
Yes.  And we are still paying for that one inasmuch as spirituality dissolved into religion which devolved into control via fear and corruption.

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With advances in science, the material world can be corrupted.
As it can be in health, politics, technology, economics, etc.