Effects of Consumerism and Materialism on the Environment

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Materialism is the notion that a person’s mental states are nothing over and above their material states. The theory is far more than a simple focus on material possessions. It states that everything in the universe is matter, without any true spiritual or intellectual existence. There are two arguments that support Materialism. The first is sometimes called the causal argument, also called the argument from causal closure. It is the common sense assumption that our intentions, or decisions, or beliefs and desires often cause those bodily motions (e.g., muscle contractions) that make up our behavior. On this assumption, many mental states have neurophysiological events among their effects. Presumably these psychological states are not causally adequate by themselves for their neurophysiological impacts; yet they are causally adequate for their belongings in the conditions in which they really happen, conditions that would be inadequate alone. The second argument is the argument from Neurophysiological Dependence (Melnyk,2012). The crucial premise in this reasoning is that in recent decades innumerable correlations between mental states and activities, on the one hand, and neurophysiological states and activities, on the other, have been discovered by the use of such techniques as fMRI. What these empirical findings make plausible is the claim that the mental is dependent on the neurophysiological in the specific sense that, for any person you like, and for any type of mental state that person might be in or mental process that person might undergo, in order for that person to be in that type of mental state or undergo that mental process, there is neurophysiological activity of some distinctive kind that has to be going on—simultaneously—in that person’s brain.

There are two objections to materialism that focus on particular features of mental states: Original Intentionality and Phenomenal Consciousness. The intentionality of a mental state is its being about—or directed toward—something,typically something distinct from itself, e.g., an object. The Phenomenal consciousness argument states that sensations (or experiences) such as being in pain, are said by philosophers to be phenomenally conscious. A mental state is phenomenally conscious if, and only if, there is something it is like for the subject of the state to be in that state, something of which we are aware in introspection. The commonest reason why philosophers reject materialism is that there are powerful arguments for the conclusion that what it is like for someone in a phenomenally conscious mental state to be in that mental state is not a materialistically acceptable property.

Materialism is bad for the environment. Our society today runs on money. People who have more money have more luxuries, goods and can satisfy their wants and desires. This creates envy for people who do not have the resources to give in to their desires and wants. People today compare their worth and happiness based on how many items they have. As people want more and more, large companies will take more resources from the Earth. If people want a bigger house, they need more land. If they want a car, they need metal from caves. For electricity, they need fossil fuels such as oil. The carbon footprint from these activities are increasing which causes global warming and drastic climate changes.

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Materialism also have negative effects on people’s lives. Materialistic tendencies are detrimental to your happiness and your social relationships. In recent years, researchers have reported an ever-growing list of downsides to getting and spending – damage to relationships and self-esteem, a heightened risk of depression and anxiety, less time for what the research indicates truly makes people happy, like family, friendship and engaging work. And maybe even headaches. Numerous studies have shown that materialists set unrealistically high expectations for these material-oriented ‘life domain’ goals, are not satisfied with what they have and continually want more. This dissatisfaction then tends to ‘spillover’ into feelings about ‘life as a whole’.

Consumerism is the belief that personal wellbeing and happiness depends to a very large extent on the level of personal consumption, particularly on the purchase of material goods. A consumerist society is one in which people devote a great deal of time, energy, resources and thought to “consuming”. It is a model that is sometimes referred to as consumer capitalism, a system in which consumer demand for goods is deliberately increased through manipulation as a means of increasing sales. The model relies on stimulating consumer desire for goods far in excess of satisfying needs. Customer service is also highly regarded here because it drives people to buy more. Also, customer’s rights are well protected, to make sure negative experiences don’t impact on future purchases. As consumers spend, economists presume that consumers benefit from the utility of the consumer goods that they purchase, but businesses also benefit from increased sales, revenue, and profit (Chappelow, 2019). Consumerism is fueled by the Media. Advertisements are made specially to attract children and adults to large companies items. Corporations target peoples’ desires and longings. This leads to people buying new items long before the old items are fully consumed. Large corporations have control over the media as they have the resources to buy large advertisement spaces. Social media also has a huge impact on today’s youth. This forms a feeling of inferiority if they do not have an item that inevitably leads to buying an item that was not needed in the first place (Ho,2018).

There are negative effects of consumerism to the environment (“The Negative Effects of Consumerism”). These can include pollution by producing industries, resource depletion due to widespread conspicuous consumption, and problems with waste disposal from excess consumer goods and packaging. We are experiencing devastating effects on the planet’s water supplies, as progressively more water takes care of spent or diverted as a bit of raised developing frameworks. Waste disposal is transforming into an issue, and it is being dumped in the ocean. Items are used once and then thrown into landfills and oceans.

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