Are you a Materialist?

Are you a Materialist?

In essence, these are some of the conflicting ideas about the nature of the strongest motivator in human experience. These opposing views are discussed in the section, Three Debates in Chapter 1 of your textbook. These debates represent age-old human disagreements about what “makes the world go round.” These debates often manifest in our individual lives, particularly with respect to the important decisions we have to make at critical moments. When the debate is occurring within ourselves, we call it a dilemma. We all experience one or more of these dilemmas in the course of our lives.

In this assignment, you will choose one of the three debates Miller describes and the conflicting values it represents. Then discuss how that debate represents a dilemma you have experienced, in other words, a debate within yourself. For example, you may have at one point had to decide between money and love. Perhaps on an important occasion, you had to decide whether to follow established rules or disregard the rules and decide your own distinct course of action. Whatever the dilemma, after you describe it, indicate on which side of the argument you eventually came down. The decision you made should tell you something about yourself, specifically what for you is an essential value.

So, what does your decision tell you about your “basic self?” What is your core value? Does your decision reveal that deep down you believe that money and nice things are the most important things in life (which makes you a cultural materialist) or that you believe that making decisions for yourself, even at some personal cost is far better than following established rules (which means you believe in individual agency)? Develop this discussion. Can you think of other dilemmas, large or small you resolved the same way? Whatever category you choose to describe yourself, do you know why you believe this? Did you know this about yourself before beginning this assignment?

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