Has modern society become too materialistic?

() - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

L.C. Fiel, Quezon CITY: Modern society has no monopoly on materialism because it has been humanity’s curse since time immemorial.  

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: We can’t avoid it. Progress is a constant and ongoing process. The power and capacity of the human brain is simply amazing.  

The two go hand in hand

Elpidio Que, Vigan: Modernism and materialism go hand in hand. The Aetas and Mangyans do not have Rolexes, diamond rings, mansions, flat screen TVs, SUVs, choppers, a string of sex partners and whatever, unlike what perfumed bandits in government and business have. All these ethnic minorities have are their insufficient second skins that barely cover their hidden assets because they are conveniently neglected by the government.  

Noel Navales, Metro Manila: Technology was supposed to make life easier for us. However, our addiction to it has made life much too complicated.  

June Deoferio, Cavite: Yes, because we use high technology almost everyday, with our cellphones, cars, telecommunication equipment, and others.  

Renato Taylan, Ilocos Norte: Definitely, as modern society has invented so many gadgets that have become necessities.  

We just want life to be comfortable

Jose Fabello Jr., Cagayan de Oro City: Too materialistic, perhaps, because things are there for life to be enjoyed in comfort. But we can only be this way when money is not a problem.  

Alexander Raquepo, Ilocos Sur: It would be a lie if I said no. I’d say we just want our lives to be more comfortable and happy that’s why we buy material things needed to attain such status, within our capacities and means, of course.  

Life was simpler then

Elmo Cruz, Manila: When we were teenagers, my siblings and I used to stay with our relatives in the province for summer vacation. We enjoyed swimming in the river, playing patintero or taguan, picking some fruits and vegetables. At night, we heard serenades accompanied by guitars. We found contentment helping one another. There is a resort now in the river we used to swim in and we have to pay to get in. The family compound where friends and relatives stayed for free is now a townhouse occupied by moneyed people. The talipapa where we used to buy our simple needs is now a shopping center. There are now net cafes for youngsters while what used to be a pasture then is now a sprawling golf course. Now we are apprehensive helping a well-dressed, glib tongued new acquaintance for he could be a recruiter for the “houses” in the red light districts of Metro Manila. Those were the good old days.  

Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: It’s very evident that modern society is too materialistic. Fifty years ago, we did many things manually, but now everything is push button and automatic that we can even talk face to face through webcams to someone who is thousands of miles away. Modern equipment is good per se, but they need gas and energy that has left us captured through an imperialistic tender trap. I wonder how modern Filipinos could still survive without gas and energy.  

We have neglected our values

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: Yes, modern society has become too materialistic that it has eroded the good morals and values inculcated in us by our forefathers.  

Patrick Miranda, Marikina City: I believe so, because we want the tallest buildings, million-dollar cars, intelligent homes, etc. but we neglect our health, churches and family.  

Erwin Espinoza, Pangasinan: Yes, very much materialistic. Money is much more important than God in today’s society. ‘Pag walang pera, walang happiness ba?  

Manuel Abejero, Pangasinan: Not only materialistic, but the majority are atheists and idolaters. Imagine how many trillions of dollars are spent to protect our material gods!  

William Gonzaga, Marikina City: Absolutely! Material things are the be-all and end-all of many of us.  Even spirituality has been subsumed by material things, especially in the prime of youth. Only old age causes the attraction of such things, usually in preparation for an eventual meeting with the Creator.  

We are still the captains of our souls

Deo Durante, Camarines Sur: It depends. Despite the materialistic world, we are still the masters of our souls. I prefer for my family to live a simple life, with fear of God and a focus on things that money can’t buy.  

Ben Paguirigan Jr., Ret., Zamboanga City: It all depends on how we look at it. Modern society has its ups and downs but we must accept it with open hearts and use what is advantageous to us.  Col.

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: We may be bereft of material wealth, but we are considered one of the happiest races in the world. It’s because of our deep faith in God.  

We live in a materialistic world

Concepcion Gaspar, Laoag City: Yes, we live in a materialistic world. With the advent of modern technology, our society has swarmed us with a multitude of inventions  from simple gadgets to complex electronics. Gone are the days when we expressed our love through serenades. Another obvious manifestation of our materialism is the unabated greed for money, especially among our politicians. Money can buy various things. Nowadays, it can also buy love. Material wealth prevails over spiritual values and this is our world today.  

Dennis Montealto, Mandaluyong City: The measure of success in a consumerist, capitalistic society is to have all the comforts in life through the possession of things that make living easier. Yes, we are in a material world dominated by a material god, Mammon.  

Col. Dennis Acop, Ret., Benguet: Is there anything wrong with the world becoming too materialistic? Indeed! Materialistic values and moral-spiritual values are not always convergent. Oftentimes, in fact, they are divergent. Practiced to the extreme, materialism tends to emphasize the individual self-interest away from its opposite, which is denying the self in favor of the larger interest involving others. “There is no greater love than a man laying down his life so that his friends may live.” Materialistic men and women will find it hard, even impossible, to do anything beyond themselves. I came from a profession where laying down one’s life for others above and beyond the call of duty is a very significant value  a clear example that society is still capable of moral-spiritual values. It pains me to know that the same profession is now often led by a leadership that not only believes but actually practices Machiavellian (hypocritical) principles  preaching values but executing non-values  a clear manifestation of society gone too materialistic and losing its soul in the process.  

Ernesto Oliquiano, Las Piñas City: If being materialistic means desiring for material things in life, I can yes. But this can’t be avoided. People have to keep themselves attuned to the modern times. They need material things to survive. Nowadays, owning a house and lot, a car, appliances, etc. can no longer be considered luxurious. They are now basic necessities in life.  

Man is too weak to resist the good life

Mandy Rillon, Cabanatuan City: God has given us what we need, and yet people still want more. This is because of extreme commercialism and false advertising.  

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: Despite the Bible teaching that man does not live by bread alone, but with every word emanating from the mouth of God, man is too weak to resist the good life and worldly prestige brought about by modern society. The sad part is that many souls put aside idealism and resort to materialism just to keep up with the Joneses. Worship services in small chapels in poor neighborhoods are not attended by materialistic residents who travel a long way to attend mass in a big church in an upper class community. Gone are the days of helping one another, and money still talks.  

Ishmael Q. Calata, Parañaque City: Getting too materialistic is the by-product of a fast-changing society. This materialism is a consequence of the new things man has discovered and invented that have modified the people’s way of life. Man is prone to trying new things and because of this, man has the tendency to acquire things, by hook or by crook! Imagine, a teenager can kill just to get a cellphone.  

Envy and greed make us materialistic

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan City: Yes. Envy and greed has made modern society too materialistic, as exemplified by corrupt politicians and government officials.  

Johann Lucas, Quezon City: Yes, people have become more materialistic and seldom notice how they are truly blessed with what they have.  

Felix Ramento, USA: The material comfort and luxury indulged in by modern society are generally the main reason for their seeming indifference towards tradition.  

Romeo Caubat, Masbate: Yes, very, very materialistic, plus very, very corrupt, especially the powers-that-be. We should save for the rainy day.  

Material wealth is our measure of success

Ignacio Anacta, Metro Manila: Modern society has misunderstood materialism as the true measure of success. Many will lie, exploit, corrupt, and even kill others just to get rich. Others are motivated to get rich because they want their children to have riches for an easy and enjoyable life. Ironically, when the parents die, such riches are the very reason that the children fight among themselves. When one is born, his or her fists are closed, signifying willingness to fight life, but when such a person dies, the fists open and remain open, signifying total surrender. We can’t bring any of these to the next world.  

Lucas Banzon Madamba II, USA: There have been some changes. Some sectors of modern society have become materialistic. Our society needs change for the benefit of progress, empowerment and prosperity.  

Everything has a price

Cris Rivera, Rizal: Yes, change dictates it. Every intention has a price. In this part of the world, our bayanihan now is just a portrait of way back when.  

Rudy Tagimacruz, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon: The fact that anything now has a cost proves that modern society has become too materialistic.  

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: Yes, because we believe that money can buy anything, which is farthest from the truth.  

Edwin Castillo, Tanauan City: Nothing is free today. That is why graft and corruption is here to stay  unless we do something to fight this menace.  

No money, no honey

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: For the wealthy, yes; for poor who are hand-to-mouth, anything will do.  

Ed Alawi, Davao City: Yes, modern society definitely has become too materialistic, and that includes all the religious organizations. Look at how they flaunt their wealth.  

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: Yes, indeed. As they say, no money, no honey. People need money to buy their basic needs that they succumb to politicians buying their votes.  

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: Modern society has become too materialistic due to the poverty that prevails throughout the country.  

Armando Tavera, Las Piñas City: Yes. It’s something when one has plenty of money. Everybody looks up to you as if you rule the world.  

Materialism is part of our evolution

Gerii Calupitan, Muntinlupa City: Yes, the great Greek philosopher Plato was already bewailing man’s degeneration into materialism centuries before Master Jesus was born. Man’s materialism worsened in the 1970s. My co-SRF Kriyaban George Harrison’s LP ‘Living in the Material World’, warned society about turning away from Krishna’s grace. Marcos’ Bagong Lipunan planted in the minds of Martial Law babies that rich was in, as Imelda called it then. I’m so sad that it was retained in the Filipino psyche and became part of our damaged culture. Global warming, climate change, recession, etc., all come from our wrong priorities. Christians say that Mammon became man’s master instead of God. TV evangelists, religions  God business is good business.  

Jim Veneracion, Naga City: Since the fall of our first parents, with Eve choosing to eat the apple in the Garden of Eden, man has become materialistic. This is especially true in our modern age.  

Leonard Villa, Batac City: Yes and it’s part of our sociological evolution. People’s inventions and the continuing production of goods and services make us more materialistic as the days go by.  

Ed Gulmatico, Bacolod City: Yes, materialism has become part and parcel of modern society and this is the prevailing reality minus hypocrisy. No matter though how hard we will try to distinguish this separately, we will only end up to be lying to our own selves, If we’ll not take it at face value “as it is”.  

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.

NEXT INBOX QUESTION: Do you favor including sex education in the high school curriculum? Why?

You may also email your views to: inbox@philstar.com.ph.


(Editor’s Note: We have just added another channel to reach Inbox World via the growing Facebook community. If you have a Facebook account, add up PhilStar Inbox and give us a glimpse of your views on raging issues of the day. Selected comments will be published in The Philippine STAR Inbox World. Readers may also post intriguing questions for other Inbox friends to comment on. See you there.)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with