OPINION: Materialism Matters

//CADEN KROONENBERG//

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, materialism is “a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things.” A lot of people of people would argue that materialism should be rejected because it leads to narcissism and ignorance. I have even seen articles online drawing similarities between materialism and the devil. Well, I’m here to tell you times have changed. Materialism is simply our culture at this point.

If you take time to think about it, anti-materialism is a radical stance nowadays. The belief that all possessions should be rejected because intellectuality is more important is bogus. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for intellectual things. Big intellectual guy over here. I think people should value knowledge and education, however, rejecting material items because they get in the way of intellectual ideas is whack. Without materials, human advancements can only go so far. We’re talking stone age here. Try taking microscopes and calculators from intellectuals and they won’t be too happy with you. If intellectualism is Mario, materials are the gold star that makes him unstoppable.

In fact, I might go so far as to argue that those opposed to materialism are also against the advancement of the human race. It’s a stretch, but I’m willing to go there for the sake of the argument. Think of it this way: if materials aid advancement in science and technology, then materialism itself drives improvements in those fields. Today, science and technology are taking larger roles in our lives than ever before.

In Apple’s 2018 Keynote, three new phone models and the fourth series of the Apple Watch were released. The livestream of the event on YouTube and Twitter accumulated millions of views. It’s pretty evident: people care about their technology and with good reason. When you have a watch that can give you an electrocardiogram or can contact 911 like a hands-free LifeAlert after detecting a harmful fall, it’s hard to say technology and materials are works of the devil. Granted, I don’t know what an electrocardiogram does other than detect heart problems, but it can show you your heart beating in a graph so that’s definitely cool. The fall detection feature is actually a life saver. “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” will become a saying of the past, except for those rejecting materialism. Calling 911 might be a trouble for you without the magic watch or phone you’re rejecting.

Therefore, I make a pretty simple claim: in today’s society, materialism matters.

Without materialism fueling intellectualism, human advancements would have hit a wall. That means no improvements in medical technology, no efficient worldwide communication and transportation, no mass media, and no efficient energy.

At the end of the day, people preaching for the death of materialism are just edgy and half-hearted. I mean come on. Nobody can go full send with anti-materialism. Except the Amish. If you’re Amish you have my full respect for sticking with traditionalism that is ambitious. As for those claiming materialism is a bad thing: you are reading this on a computer or a phone. It’s a web post. Can’t preach anti-materialism if you’re indulging in technology.

Case closed. Check mate. Etc.

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