Materialism is wrong – and wrongheaded
Materialism, the idea that matter is all that exists, is on a mass seduction campaign nowadays, especially through the media. To see through its seduction, let’s analyze how it is wrong intellectually and wrongheaded practically.
Materialism is wrong intellectually because it cannot withstand logical scrutiny that starts with an objective study of the world. If matter were all that existed originally, as materialism assumes, why and how did conscious beings come into existence in a world of unconscious matter? Materialism asks us to believe that it somehow happened without offering any supportive evidence.
Materialism is wrongheaded because it sticks obstinately to wrong notions even in the face of decisive contrary evidence. Many people adopt materialism because it promises happiness in the here-and-now, primarily through sex and money. However, increasing sociological evidence is proving irrefutably that materialism is a liar. Its promise of erotic delights has given way to a nightmare of divorces, heartbreaks, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases. Its promise of wealth has given way to the nightmare of constant financial insecurity for most people and an unending tormenting craving for more money among everyone, even the super-wealthy.
This analysis can help us see the truth of the declaration of the Bhagavad-gita (16.09) that materialism is detrimental at best (ahitah) and disastrous at worst (kshayaaya).
As an alternative to materialism, Gita wisdom offers us a dualist and personalist vision of reality. It integrates the two dimensions of reality – material and spiritual – as energies of the all-attractive supreme person, Krishna. This holistic worldview is intellectually appealing and practically endearing. Intellectually, it explains coherently how a conscious supreme being activates his spiritual and material energies to manifest the world. Practically, it enables us to lead a balanced life of devotional service that yields fulfillment in this world and endless ecstasy in the next.
“Following such conclusions, the demoniac, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.”