The Instigator
Ariesz
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
missbailey8
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Materialism is the best way to pursue happiness

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 485 times Debate No: 90831
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Ariesz

Pro

Round 1-Acceptance, Round 2-Cases, Round 3-Rebuttals, Round 4-Defense
Materialism- a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
Pursue-follow (someone or something) in order to catch
Happy-feeling or showing pleasure or contentment:
I will be arguing that materialism is the best way to achieve happiness. My opponent will argue that there are more negative effects of materialism than there are benefits.
missbailey8

Con

I accept the debate and I agree with the definitions provide. I'll argue that materialism is not the best way to pursue happiness. I look forward to your arguments and hope for a civil debate. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Ariesz

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. My case will be divided into two parts. I will first be stating the benefits of living a materialistic lifestyle. Than I will show the harms of a spiritual lifestyle, and compare the two.
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Materialism benefits everybody. If one is capable of acquiring physical comfort, than one should put all of his or her energy into acquiring that physical comfort. I would like to state that I believe that there is a low probability of there being an afterlife. I believe that we must live our lives we have now to the best of our potential. An afterlife though would be great.
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Materialistic Examples-This argument is a compilation of products and devices that give people physical comfort. I will be arguing why this is beneficial considering the world we live in.
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Video Games-I noticed that someone in the comments stated that as a fellow gamer; they would completely agree with materialism. My opponent cannot underestimate the significance of gaming, because 217 million people around the world play video games. Why do people play video games? There are an abundant amount of answers that I could give. A simple answer would be that almost all gamers see games as a source of physical comfort. The escape video games offer is very comforting. It has been estimated that we spend 3 billion hours a week playing video games collectively. This a huge harm to people that are of the spiritual world. I would argue that materialism represents itself to the common man through video games. Gamers are obviously achieving more benefits from video games than spiritualism. I would ask my opponent these questions.
Why would the common man resort to spiritualism for happiness than video games?
Can you prove that spiritual values will even make a significant impact on the common man?
----------------------------------------------
Internet-I can basically argue that the internet itself is a physical comfort. The internet itself is a materialistic source. There are many sub-points that I could put on this example, but won't due to lack of characters. Again, what your going to find is that there is a large number of people that use the Internet. 2 billion people use the internet. I am just going to list the common websites that people visit for physical comfort.
-YouTube-Number of Videos people watch daily is 100,000,000
-Facebook-175 million people log in daily.
-Instagram- 100 million users log on daily.
-Porn-Pretty much everybody=http://www.bing.com......
Now, I will again ask the same questions.
Why would the common man resort to spiritualism for happiness than the Internet?
Can you prove that spiritual values will even make a significant impact on the common man?
-------------------------------
Money-People will usually assume that the height of practicing materialism is when one is very rich. This might be true, but there are a lot of advantages that come with money.
Advantages:
-Financial freedom
-Holidays anywhere
-A great home
-Funding for your pastimes and passions
-Good suits
-Great health care
-A swimming pool full of girls in bikinis
-Gold teeth
Now, I know my opponent would use the argument that money does not make you happy. But, does having little to no money make you happy either? Is being in the middle class offer any happiness? As human beings, it is only natural for us to keep aiming higher. I also think the idea of being rich has been over-hyped by the "American Dream". Can my opponent really dispute that being wealthy does not benefit your stability in life? It does offer stability. Wealth does give you leisure time to discover what gives you physical comfort.
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Spiritualism-
First let me define what spiritualism is.
Spiritualism is a belief that spirits of the dead have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living.
One can be spiritual by embracing the common values that religions offer. I will also accept the association of humanism with spiritualism.
Here is a list of spiritual values.
-Self-understanding
-Integrity
-Diversity
-Honesty
-Uncertainty
-Discernment
-Novelty
-Humility
-Holism
-Synthesis
All of these values seem beneficial at first. But, how realistic are they is my question, and main attack on spiritual values.
Novelty, humility, and honesty are all idealistic for the human being. Materialists can also practice these values in order to maintain order in our social lives. But, how can one really practice these values. I will be arguing that the common man cannot possible execute these values to the level of proficiency a Buddhist in Asia can.
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Humans are naturally selfish. One can observe throughout evolution that the common theme and survival of our race was off of selfishness. Our race hunted and killed animals. We built tools that made us efficient in this task. We started to evolve. Our ambition made us discover new areas in the world. Humans split up into different areas in the world. This is also in recent history that we have accomplished this. One can look at the endless conquests humans have done. The Persians, Romans, Arabs, Mongols, French, British, and German conquests all reflect who we are. Humanity holds traits that are itself materialistic. Humans want physical comfort. It is engrained in our DNA.
I have provided statistics in this debate that prove people do look towards materialism as a source through happiness. The common man in the status quo pursues happiness through video games, the internet, and money.

Sources:
http://www.thecultureist.com...
http://techcrunch.com...
https://answers.yahoo.com...
http://www.ted.com...
http://www.bing.com...
missbailey8

Con

First, I'd like to thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate. Here are my opening statements.

Opening Statements


A. Relationships and Children


Divorce rates show that a staggering 22% of couples split due to money issues. [1] This is the third leading cause of divorce behind incompatibility and infidelity. To put that to perspective, here's a chart to display this.




The yellow part is the money issues, among other common reasons for divorce. But let's explore this further. Studies show that materialism and greed is harmful in marriages.

"For one out of every five couples in the study, both partners admitted a strong love of money. These couples were worse off in terms of marriage stability, marriage satisfaction, communications skills and other metrics of healthy matrimony that researchers studied.

"The one out of seven couples that reported low-levels of materialism in both partners scored 10 to 15 percent higher in all metrics of marital quality and satisfaction. Interestingly, the correlation between materialism and marital difficulties remained stable regardless of the actual wealth of the couple." [2]

In other words, the couples that reported a sense of materialism were less happy and less stable than those who scored low in materialism, regardless of the actual wealth of the couple in question.

Unfortunately, it not only affects marriage, but also children.

"In a national survey of 540 parents and 996 tweens, Goldberg studied connections between marketing, youth materialism, happiness and school performance. Those kids who scored the highest on the materialism scale were also the most susceptible to advertising and most interested in new products. Compared to less materialistic kids of the same age, they tended to shop more, save less, and have more purchase influence with their parents, who consider them the experts on products like soft drinks, popcorn, milk and shampoo. Among the tweens who had jobs, the more materialistic ones earned more money." [3]

Materialism also affects the moods and possibly the grades of children.

"Overall, the kids' grades were fairly high, but the most materialistic didn't perform as well in school as the least materialistic kids. And while the study found no connection between materialism and happiness, the most materialistic tweens were much more positive about their future financial well-being than the less materialistic ones." [3]

The study states that this could be because of influence from materialistic parents, peer pressure, or marketing.

In other words, materialism can affect your relationships and it harms children.

B. Stress and It's Effects on Materialistic Individuals

Your reliance on objects such as money, clothing, etc. can negatively affect how you react to traumatic events.

"When faced with a mortal threat from a terrorist attack, the researchers found that highly materialistic individuals in Israel reported higher levels of post-traumatic stress, compulsive consumption and impulsive buying than their less-materialistic peers.

"'Materialistic people cope with bad events through materialistic mechanisms,'" said Rindfleisch, who also is the head of the business administration department at Illinois. 'When there's a terrorist attack in Israel, people who are materialistic suffer higher levels of distress and are more likely to compensate for that through higher levels of compulsive and impulsive purchasing.'" [4]

This means that after distressing occurrence, materialistic are more stressed and they cope through obtaining more.

There are many negative side effects of stress, including, but not limited to the following.

  • Eating more or less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Isolating yourself from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability or short temper
  • Agitation, inability to relax
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Sense of loneliness and isolation
  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying [5]
Based on these, materialistic people are at a risk of sorts if a traumatic event were to occur to them.

C. Narcissism and It's Relations to Materialism

Narcissism - extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. [6]

So is there a relation? In fact, there is! According to some studies, those who are narcissistic tend to show tendencies of over-indulgence, which is quite similar to the effects of materialism.

"Some psychologists have suggested that consumer cultures may contribute to the development of narcissistic personalities and behaviors, 'by focusing individuals on the glorification of consumption,' psychologist Tim Kasser wrote in The High Price of Materialism. Narcissists generally act with arrogance and are deeply concerned with issues of personal adequacy, seeking power and prestige to cover for feelings of inner emptiness and low-self worth, Kasser explains.

"'Narcissists’ desire for external validation fits well with our conception of materialistic values as extrinsic and focused on others’ praise,' he writes. 'Thus it was not surprising to find that students with strong materialistic tendencies scored high on a standard measure of narcissism, agreeing with statements such as "I am more capable than other people" ... "I wish somebody would write my biography someday.’"'" [7]

Narcissism is a serious mental illness that can be treated like depression or bipolar disorder. [8] It isn't far-fetched to say that narcissists and materialistic individuals may have some sort of connection.

D. Depression and It's Link to Materialism

Finally, I'll analyze the connection between materialism and depression. According to Baylor University, the more materialistic you are, the more likely it is that you're unsatisfied with your life. This is because they find difficult to be grateful for the have, so then they become miserable. [9]

"The research found that those who rated low on gratitude were more likely to be materialistic and less satisfied with life. Materialism tends to be 'me-centered.' A material outlook focuses on what one does not have, impairing the ability to be grateful for what one already has, researchers said." [9]

If you take this research in account, then materialism can cause they exact opposite of happiness. Like I said before, depression is a serious mental health issue that is treatable. Unfortunately, over indulgence can very well cause depression.

The End of Opening Statements

In conclusion, materialism can affect your relationships, children, and your mental health, making you unhappy, which is against what this whole debate is about. Thank you for reading my opening statements.

Citations

[1]https://www.institutedfa.com...
[2]http://abcnews.go.com...
[3]http://news.psu.edu...]
[4]http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[5]http://www.helpguide.org...
[6]https://www.google.com...
[7]http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[8]https://www.psychologytoday.com...
[9]http://www.progressiveimpact.org...





Debate Round No. 2
Ariesz

Pro

I would like to again thank my opponent for accepting this debate. Before I start my rebuttal, I would like to state that almost everything my opponent has stated is true to an extent. The main points my rebuttal will highlight the alternative to materialism. The resolution states "Materialism is the best way to pursue happiness". I would like to add that just because a philosophy might have its problems does not mean that it isn't the best way to pursue happiness. There are other philosophies that the individuals my opponent listed could have tried out, and failed to receive any happiness.

I would first like to add evidence of countries that are spiritually inclined, and believe that spiritualism is the best way to achieve happiness. There are 151 countries analyzed in this research
1. Brazil=21th happiest country in the world.

2. Peru-24th happiest country in the world.

3. Kenya-98th happiest country in the world.

4. Iraq-36th happiest country in the world.

5. Romania-75th happiest country in the world.

6. Macedonia- 140th happiest country in the world.

7.Fiji-Unkown

8. Armenia- 121st happiest country in the world.

9. Nigeria- 103rd happiest country in the world.

10. Ghana-Unknown
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now, I will give the top ten materialistic countries, and their happiness.
1. Denmark- 1st happiest country.

2. Switzerland-2nd happiest country.

3. Iceland- 3rd happiest country

4. Norway. 4th happiest country.

5. Finland- 5th happiest country.

6. Canada- 6th happiest country.

7. Netherlands-8th happiest country.

8. Sweden- 10th happiest country.

9. United States- 13th happiest country.

10. Germany- 16th happiest country.
One can judge the evidence here, and clearly see that materialistic countries outperform spiritual countries.
Now, I will rebut the arguments my opponent made.

Rebuttal:
" Relationships and Children "
I have a simple answer to this argument. Don't get married if your not ready yet. What philosophy does my opponent bring to counter materialism? My opponent claims that divorce is usually a result of a strong love for money. Well, maybe those people should not be getting married. This whole argument is not an attack on materialism, but an attack on those people so foolish as to think there love of money and selfish interests is compatible with raising a family, Any person would know that in order to create a successful family environment; one must take time out of their selfish pursuits, and think about the others in their family.
------------------------------------------------------
"Materialism also affects the moods and possibly the grades of children. "
First of all, the study you mentioned noted that teens that were more materialistic earned the most money. I would view this as a positive. Now, you go on to claim that materialism affects the child's ability to acquire a good grade. Now, in order of this claim to be valid, my opponent must explain the link between materialism and a child's ability to make good grades. Couldn't the link be that the child just was not gifted in academics? Couldn't it be that the parents were not around for that child to acquire a good upbringing? This claim is too broad for it to be valid. There will always be kids that make bad grades, and it does not matter which philosophy they embrace. Statistics prove that the most spiritual countries in the world have the lowest scores in education.
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"Stress and it's effects on Materialistic individuals"
My opponent claims that materialistic people buy more than their less materialistic peers. What is the net harm in buying more materials in order to comfort yourself? My opponent failed to explain this claim which makes this claim null. Did my opponent ever state another philosophy? My opponent can degrade materialism all she wants, but the fact of the matter is that if my opponent cannot produce another philosophy whose benefits outweigh materialism, than all of these claims should be considered null.
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"There are many negative side effects of stress"
My opponent provides many effects of materialism. I would respectfully ask that my opponent cite the specific source for this research, because I doubt all of these effects. The researcher could very well have biases towards materialism. How does the researcher classify materialism. A good example of why I doubt all of this research is this effect:
"Eating more or less"-What is the common ground when it comes to eating. Did the researcher judge everyone who embraces materialism?
"Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax" My opponent would need to explain how this harms an individual. Therefore, it is an invalid attack. I believe that this world is our last world. Drugs are proven to release dopamine which causes an individual to be happy. Why is this a problem? Countries that had drugs legal ranked higher than countries that had drugs illegal.
"Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)
Aches and pains"
These two claims are just absurd. Everyone who embraces the materialistic philosophy does this. It is a legitimate claim to make that almost all people on the Forbes list(Billionaires) have lived their lives accordingly to materialistic values. Do you really thing they have nervous habits? Also, how do you know all materialistic people have Aches and pains?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Based on these, materialistic people are at a risk of sorts if a traumatic event were to occur to them.
Narcissism and It's Relations to Materialism
Again, my opponent fails to explain why narcissism is a bad thing. My opponent does not explain how narcissism makes a person depressed. Donald Trump looks like he is the most arrogant person alive, and looks like he has had a pretty thrilling life. One can find that the majority of my opponent's claims really stereotype materialistic people as a whole.

Breakdown of all arguments:
-My opponent fails to mention any other philosophies that are more effective at achieving happiness.
-My opponent's studies have proven to be false, or highly circumstantial.
-My opponent fails to explain why some of the values materialistic people hold are harmful in order to achieve happiness.
I will give you a list of people that are materialistic.
Bill Gates
Steve Jobs
Carlos Slim Helu
Larry Oracle
Charles Koch
David Koch
John D. Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie
All of these people have achieved great things, because of their pursuits of material interests. These people did not have any problem with academics. We also cannot live without their innovations.
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I want to offer my opponent these questions.
-Why is it that the most materialistic countries are the most happy?
-Why is it that usually more spiritual countries are more impoverished?
-Why is it that our American society is more inclined to materialism, and not spiritualism?
-Why is it that more than 80% of the richest people in the world are not inclined to spiritual values?
-What benefits does spiritualism have that outweigh materialism?
-Why is it that the average individual is able to click with materialism more than spiritualism in the western world?
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Concluding statements:
My opponent cannot deny that throughout human history; we have proven to be very ambitious people. It is in our DNA to want more, and crave more. When a human acquires what they wanted; it is scientifically proven that domain in the brain is released causing positive feelings to arrive. It makes sense that the countries that were built off of a materialistic foundation are more happier than the spiritual countries that base their governments off of spiritual values. America, Britain, Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland all receive benefits that the people in spiritual countries will never receive. I ask my opponent this final question.
Would you rather live in a spiritual country like Ghana, or live in a western country with advanced technology that the people in Ghana cannot even comprehend?
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Sources:
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
http://www.happyplanetindex.org...
https://www.armradio.am...
http://www.thecountriesof.com...
missbailey8

Con

Here's my rebuttal to my opponent's arguments.

First, my opponent claims that materialism benefits everybody. I counter this with the fact that materialistic people are less happy than non-materialistic individuals, according to San Francisco State.

"They found that people who were more materialistic also felt less gratitude which, in turn, was associated with lower levels of life satisfaction. Psychologists have consistently shown how important gratitude is for both life satisfaction and happiness." [1]

How does it benefit everyone then? These people are scientifically proven to be less happy then their less materialistic peers. So no, it doesn't benefit them, it actually harms them. Yes, we should live our lives to our full potential, but this can lead to unhappiness in these types of people. As most know, unhappiness leads to a multitude of problems. [2] Should they be dissatisfied with their lives? This contradicts the argument we should live our lives to our full potential.

Next, my opponent brings up video games. I'd like to point out that these are bare assertions. My opponent provides no sources to prove this argument true with the exception of an article on TED to represent the number of hours spent playing video games. The rest have no evidence.

How is this a huge harm to people of the spiritual world? How does materialism represent the common man through video games? How do video games give more benefits to people than spiritualism? These are among some questions I'd like my opponent to answer in his defense.

As for the questions my opponent asked me, I'll answer them in my defense, just as my opponent will answer my questions in his defense.

Then, my opponent brings up the internet. First, I'd like to point out that Pro's information is wrong.

YouTube - My opponent claims that all people combined watch 100,000,000 videos a day through the site. Where does he get this information? Yahoo Answers. It's the third link provided in his arguments, but for the sake of my rebuttal, I'll put a citation. [3] Also, the question was answered seven years ago, so it's definitely outdated, according to statistics.

The actual number is 4,950,000,000, as of 2015. [4] While it may be outdated by now, 2015 is closer to today than 2009, as of today.

Facebook - Again, the information is outdated. How long ago was it? The article was made uploaded February 1, 2010. [5] As of March 2016, 1.09 billion log into Facebook daily. [6]

Instagram - Unlike the other examples, this has no source to point to. Statistics show that about 75 million users log into Instagram daily. [7]

Porn - My opponent links two sources actually, but they don't lead to anything. One is just Bing and the other is "How many people watch porn?" typed into Bing's search engine. For proof, here are the sources he linked. [8,9] And no, not everybody watches porn. While I was unable to find the stats on daily viewing of porn, I was able to find that 40 million Americans watch porn regularly. [10] That's pretty far off from the projected 7 billion people on Earth. [11]

So this information is almost completely inaccurate.

Lastly in the debate for materialism, my opponent argues in the case of money. My opponent claims that most people who practice materialism have the money to support their habits. But my question is what about the lower to middle-class? They don't have the money to support this. This can prove to be harmful to those people if they frequently practice materialism, as they can go into debt faster than those are are upper-class.

In a study of the effects of winning the lottery, research found this:

"In other words, a certain amount of wealth relieves financial stress and its associated hardship. But the absence of such worries doesn't necessarily bring about happiness. And once you're financially secure, the returns diminish on your extra revenue. As Norton puts it, if you double an income of $10,000, you've got a profound life change. But an extra $10,000 on top of a $1 million salary? The bump is marginal.

"Consider, too, a principle that happiness researchers call 'hedonic adaptation,' which is to say, you get used to the niceties " a new car and roomier digs " and, as you do, the lift they provide wears off. (Suffering hard blows, sadly, has a more lasting impact, Norton says). In his research with co-author Elizabeth Dunn, a University of British Columbia psychology professor, Norton asked wealthy British investors how much more money they would need for life to be a 'perfect 10.' Despite the range of their earnings, all of them answered they would need to triple their income." [12]

This shows that wealth doesn't necessarily offer stability. Also relating back to the lottery, winners are likely to go bankrupt. [13] In fact, a whopping 70% of them file for bankruptcy! [14] Also, the rates of people filing for bankruptcy has gone up quite a lot in all classes. [15] The third most common reason for bankruptcy is excess use of credit. [16] So is materialism really the best way to go to be happy?

On the second half of the argument, my opponent points out the Cons of spiritualism. My opponent provides no sources for any of the values he posts.

I do agree that materialists can practice novelty and honesty, but I can make a case against humility.

Humility - a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness. [17]

In my opening statements, I made a whole subpoint of my argument about narcissism and it's relation to materialism. I'll repost the definition of narcissism.

Narcissism - extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. [18]

This completely goes against the definition of humility, can't you agree? If you really want to go more in depth in this, I have subpoint C of my statements dedicated to this alone where I connect narcissism to materialism.

Then, my opponent says that one can't simply execute the values he provided with the proficiency an Asian Buddhist can and that he'll prove this. He never goes on to prove this.

Lastly, he says that humans are naturally selfish and we hold traits of materialism to this day. This is true, but what if you're an extreme materialist? What is defined as extreme? I'd say someone who relies on possessions. They surround themselves in objects because they need them to try to be happy. Is this not unhealthy?

Yes, all humans have a degree of selfishness. Science agrees with this. [19]

Selfish - (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. [20]

Selfishness, like materialism, as quite a few negative effects if it's on an extreme level, including self pity, envy, thoughts of suicide, thoughts of murder, anxiety, insecurity, and jealousy, among others. [21]

Thank you. I look forward to your defense against my rebuttal. By the way, I'm sorry for how late this was. I'm uploading it literally 20 minutes before the cut off. And I apologize for the length of the rebuttal. I got a little too sucked into this, as this is easily the best debate I've taken part in for a while. Good bye!

Citations
[1]http://www.spring.org.uk...
[2]http://zenhabits.net...
[3]https://answers.yahoo.com...
[4]http://www.statisticbrain.com...
[5]http://techcrunch.com...
[6]https://zephoria.com...
[7]http://expandedramblings.com...
[8]http://www.bing.com...
[9]http://www.bing.com...
[10]http://www.webroot.com...
[11]http://www.worldometers.info...
[12]http://health.usnews.com...
[13]http://www.marketwatch.com...
[14] https://www.google.com...
[15]https://www.debt.org...
[16]http://www.investopedia.com...
[17]https://www.google.com...
[18]https://www.google.com...
[19]http://www.express.co.uk...
[20]https://www.google.com...
[21]http://www.examiner.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Ariesz

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent again for responding. I will begin my defense.

"How does it benefit everyone then? These people are scientifically proven to be less happy then their less materialistic peers. So no, it doesn't benefit them, it actually harms them. Yes, we should live our lives to our full potential, but this can lead to unhappiness in these types of people."
I have asked my opponent to repeatedly provide another philosophy a person can live by. My opponent has not.

"Then, my opponent brings up the internet. First, I'd like to point out that Pro's information is wrong.

YouTube - My opponent claims that all people combined watch 100,000,000 videos a day through the site. Where does he get this information? Yahoo Answers. It's the third link provided in his arguments, but for the sake of my rebuttal, I'll put a citation. [3] Also, the question was answered seven years ago, so it's definitely outdated, according to statistics. "
The actual number is 4,950,000,000, as of 2015. [4] While it may be outdated by now, 2015 is closer to today than 2009, as of today.
The number is still very large. This doesn't disprove anything.

" the second half of the argument, my opponent points out the Cons of spiritualism. My opponent provides no sources for any of the values he posts.
"I do agree that materialists can practice novelty and honesty, but I can make a case against humility.
Humility - a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness. [17]
In my opening statements, I made a whole subpoint of my argument about narcissism and it's relation to materialism. I'll repost the definition of narcissism"
My opponent has not made a case for any other philosophy. She has simply pointed out the cons of materialism. This has made for an unfair debate. Materialism can be challenged, but it must have another philosophy that outweighs it.
My opponent has not provided this philosophy. I have provided countries with high levels of spiritualism, and have pointed out how they are usually poorer. They are usually less happy, than materialistic countries in the western world. Critique materialism all you can, but if my opponent cannot find another way that would outweigh materialism, than this debate is clearly a win for Pro.
missbailey8

Con

Here's my defense against my opponent's arguments.

Yes, the resolution of the debate is that materialism is the best way to pursue happiness, but it never said anywhere that I had to offer up a better philosophy. Proof? Let's look at my opponent's first round where he laid the framework of the debate, skipping past the definitions and structure:

"I will be arguing that materialism is the best way to achieve happiness. My opponent will argue that there are more negative effects of materialism than there are benefits."

There was no mention of making better philosophies than materialism, just that I had to argue that there are more cons than pros to materialism. If you saw my opening statements, then yes, my part of the debate was fulfilled.

My opponent goes on to list countries compared through the means of spiritualism and materialism. Did my opponent provide a source? No, he didn't. While this can be thrown out as a bare assertion, I'll show the falsehood in this anyway.

Brazil - Yes, Brazil is a very spiritual country with just 1% of people not believing in any God or religion, [1] but according to statistics, Brazil is ranked as one of the three most materialistic countries in the world behind China and India. [2] This is more materialistic than all ten of the materialistic countries listed.

Fiji and Ghana - Why put these countries on here if there is no measure of their happiness according to this invisible source?
Next, my opponent goes on to list "the most materialistic countries". In fact, these aren't the most materialistic countries. I can't confirm the accuracy of the source, (sense there is none) so I provided my own statistics.

"Those most likely to agree they feel under a lot of pressure to be successful and make money are from China (68%), South Africa (66%), Russia (66%), India (60%), Turkey (53%) and South Korea (52%) â€" the emerging economies....
"Similarly, those from China (71%), India (58%), Turkey (57%), Brazil (48%) and South Korea (45%) are most likely to measure their success by what they own while those from Sweden (7%), Spain (15%), Great Britain (16%), Canada (20%), the United States (21%) and Italy (22%) are least likely to do so." [3]

Though it doesn't show the exact order of materialistic countries like my opponent's list, we can infer that the list goes something like this, in no specific order:

China
South Africa
Russia
India
Turkey
South Korea
Sweden
Spain
Great Britain
Canada
United States

Of those, only three that were on my opponent's list are on my list.

Anyway, let's just assume that the list my opponent provides is absolutely true, no questions asked. Many factors can go into the happiness of citizens in the countries we listed, like economic burden, traumatic events, the sample group selected, etc. We can't just assume that the supposed level of materialism in each country is the end all be all of happiness.

Defense: "Relationships and Children"

The only rebuttal my opponent really makes is that if you're not ready, you shouldn't get married. But what if they don't realize their materialistic ways or their selfishness? What happens then? And this is a broad statement. It still happens regardless and will continue to happen.

Defense: "Materialism also affects the moods and possibly grades of children"

My opponent references that a study I cited said "noted that teens that were more materialistic earned the most money. I would view this as a positive." But why is this positive? Materialism in teens is positive because they earn more money? My opponent doesn't explain this.

Defense: "Stress and it's effects on Materialistic individuals"

I said in my opening statements that your reliance on material can negatively effect the way you perceive traumatic events. It isn't the actual objects that make you materialistic, it's the dependency on them that make your materialistic.

Defense: "There are many negative side effects of stress"

These are the side effects of stress, not materialism per se. These side effects were to express how harmful stress can be. My opponent misquoted me by saying that they were the side effects of materialism. My opponent asked for a citation, when I, in fact, gave a citation. It's the fifth citation in my opening statements. For proof, here's the citation. [4] Compare it to the fifth citation in my opening statements and you'll see that they're the same citation. This part of the rebuttal can be thrown out because of the misquoting used by my opponent.

Defense: Narcissism and It's Relations to Materialism

Once again my opponent misinterprets the information I provided. He says this:

"My opponent does not explain how narcissism makes a person depressed." My argument wasn't about the effects narcissism has on depression, but narcissism and it's connection to materialism. The fact is that narcissism has links to materialism, like I explained in my opening statements.

As for explaining why narcissism is a bad thing, you can look at the definition alone and see the downsides of narcissism.

Narcissism - extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. [5]

But to elaborate on this further, let's look at this:

"Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a disorder that is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet." [6]

"People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician." [6]

According to the same source, like I confirmed in my opening statements, narcissism is a serious mental illness. People with the disorder tend to be abrasive, snobbish, and above everyone else. (At least in their one mindset.) Is this a healthy way to act?

The End


I'd like to say thank you to my opponent for an interesting, thought-provoking debate.

Citations
[1]http://www.studycountry.com...
[2]http://qz.com...
[3]http://www.ipsos-na.com...
[4]http://www.helpguide.org...
[5]https://www.google.com...
[6]http://psychcentral.com...


Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by missbailey8 6 months ago
missbailey8
@johnlubba Would you like to vote on this debate?
Posted by johnlubba 7 months ago
johnlubba
I will vote on this debate if reminded.
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