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Featured Is Materialism a Sin?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Jan 12, 2022 at 2:43 PM.

  1. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    I was referring to the quote in the OP not just the thread title:

    “Our God is a consuming fire. He consumes pride, lust, materialism, and other sin.” Leonard Ravenhill
     
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  2. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Sin is a loaded word. We should perhaps be careful how we use it.

    I would say that the things of this world are not of enduring value, and to make the pursuit of them our life’s business, is to pursue an illusion. In trying to fill spiritual emptiness with things empty of real value, we perhaps become more conscious of the lack of meaning in our lives.

    Having said that, I did recently buy a watch for more money than I can reasonably justify, without actually feeling guilty about it.
     
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  3. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    I think the appreciation of material things are fine as long as we accept that "thing's" impermanence is part of the package.

    If we accept he original meaning of sin, that of breaking God's laws. As long as one is not worshipping the material, I wouldn't think it a sin.

    However the atheist/scientist are they not putting the physical universe above God?
     
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    How do you know? Can you provide context for the quote, to show what he was talking about? These evangelicals sometimes like to have a pop at both preoccupation with material goods and at a materialist worldview. And sometimes it suits them to pretend that the two things are the same, when of course they are not.
     
  5. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta, Theosophy, Spiritualism
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    Just following what I thought was the clear intended meaning.
     
  6. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Sure, but as I suspected, post 14 suggests that that may not be obvious to the originator of the thread. So maybe it's not as clear as you think.;)
     
  7. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    I think sin means to reject God or to be apart from God. When person is sinful, he does sinful actions and materialism may then be also sin, because sin is what sinner does.
     
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  8. Ella S.

    Ella S. Aspiring Alchemist

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    I think we need to be careful about how we define sin and materialism, because the precise definitions of the two in this context have been the subject of a lot of debate. It can be hard to give a straightforward "yes" or "no."

    I think that it is ignorant to place objects above people and to objectify sentient beings. I think that doing so turns us away from the light and towards the darkness.
     
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  9. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I see the distinction. I wouldn’t use the word sinful, to describe the belief that the observable material world is the only reality. That’s not an unreasonable point of view, even though I don’t share it. That might be what the chap quoted in the OP meant, I don’t know. But you don’t have to believe in God, to love your fellow man and woman. I’m a Christian in the loosest sense of the word, but the whole of Christ’s message can be boiled down to this, in my view; “That you should love each other, as I have loved you”

    I think that if we are to be judged, we will be judged on our actions not our beliefs. Specifically, on how we have treated each other. I don’t really believe in a literal heaven, with pearly gates presided over by Saints and Angels, but in that scenario I imagine the only question we’ll be asked is, “Were you kind?”
     
    #29 RestlessSoul, Jan 13, 2022 at 1:35 PM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2022 at 1:50 PM
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  10. Ella S.

    Ella S. Aspiring Alchemist

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    I am a metaphysical physicalist, so my only umbrage with ontological materialism would be that non-material things like spacetime, energy and forces demonstrably exist.
     
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  11. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    We all need some "materials" to live, but that's not what "materialism" implies. In Christianity, materialism is considered a sin because it's an end in and of itself-- a form of "greed", which is one of the "Seven Deadly Sins".
     
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  12. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    Well. I think that's an opinion. A hard position. I have of course heard this argument from many, and some even justify it with some kind of scripture. Most of these justifications to this so called sin is done by the opposing view. For example, some atheists justify their view that religions make them go to hell for their materialism, and a Muslim might say its a sin, and a Christian might, etc etc.

    But the bottomline, thinking logically, it is absurd. Because some of the Islamic philosophers have deemed that if someones materialism is a sin, it is the Muslims fault really to have not being an exemplar. Thats one view. The second view is that anyone who's materialism is a so called "sin" should think that they have not conveyed the message, and the so called "sinner" has not understood the message.

    So the primary Islamic position is that it is impossible to simply make it a sin. Yet, people have had some movements in the past and today, that materialism is a sin. They will probably hold it tomorrow as well.

    But also there is another view that "some" materialists are just doing that because they are too attached to pleasures and even though they truth in this theistic view, they will intentionally cover it. Thats a sin.

    There is a lot of nuances. My view is with some of the theologians that the scripture does not have that idea that materialism is a sin by nature. This has been my view since such a long time ago. And that's not because I like to associate atheists or materialists or anything of the sort. Its my school of thought, derived from scripture itself. BTW, there are atheists who are not materialists. Many.

    Cheers.
     
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  13. ajay0

    ajay0 Well-Known Member

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    As per Hinduism and Buddhism, materialism is not a sin as long as the objective is to satisfy man's needs on a material level, through capital gained by honest labor.

    Such honest labor is said to increase Dharma or righteousness. ( Dharmah Arthasya Moolah - Righteousness increases through wealth earned by right means. )

    Materialism becomes sinful only when the needs become greed in the form of cravings for power, pleasure and money, even beyond one's legitimate needs. Such cravings tend to overpower one's sense of virtuous conduct leading to crimes or vicious acts.

    All crimes and vicious conduct can be traced back to strong desires in the form of cravings and aversions which manifest as lust, rape, murder, robbery and so on.
     
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  14. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Ahm, it's rather conspicuous that Mr Ravenhill's consuming fire of a God isn't having much luck in destroying pride, lust or materialism ─ or other either.
     
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  15. RestlessSoul

    RestlessSoul Well-Known Member

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    A fire will go on consuming, for as long as it has fuel and oxygen
     
  16. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    But our central character, however fiery, should also be demonstrating smarts worthy of a god, not least ideas like "prevention is better than consumption", no?
     
  17. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    All things in the universe are material though.
     
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  18. PearlSeeker

    PearlSeeker Well-Known Member

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    Materialism has at least two different meanings:

    1. a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

    2. PHILOSOPHY the theory or belief that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

    In the first category we have gluttony, lust and greed.

    I can hardly see anything sinful in the second category. Only possibly in error.
     
  19. DNB

    DNB Christian

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    Yes, materialism is a sin. The term is definitive - if one says that another is materialistic, it implies that it's the predominant trait in the person. Materialism, as in capitalism, or spiritualism, or hedonism, or humanism, express a tenet that one lives by to a definitive degree.
    So, if one loves something that cannot love them back, we consider it an absurdity and misguided.
    It's better to be poor and in good company, then to be wealthy and, either alone, or surrounded by parasitical or pretentious people.
     
    #39 DNB, Jan 14, 2022 at 11:18 PM
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022 at 5:49 PM
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  20. Honestly

    Honestly New Member

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    If our focus is on the things of God, then our talents, wealth, position, and material possesions become a stewardship to be used for good purposes. In the absense of sefishness and pride (striving to lift ourselves above others), we are accountable to God for how we use them. God blessed many notible persons with wealth. Think of Abraham.
     
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