A Journal of Reflection on the Psychological Clash between Consumerism and Religion

A Journal of Reflection on  the Psychological Clash between Consumerism and Religion

[Year 3]

A Journal of Reflection on the Psychological Clash between Consumerism and Religion

Introduction
The present paper will first attempt to show how desire links consumerism and religion together, and how desire draws a distinction between them. From that, we shall suggest a possible point of view in which consumerism can replace religion psychologically if that distinction was blurred, thereby we reinforce that distinction. By reflecting on the social phenomena of commodification of religion, we shall see how consumerism embraces self-centrism and its impact. We shall then turn to another battleground of consumerism and religion: faith. We believe that reflection on the topic may hint on how should we behave in contemporary consumerist society and react to religion in our contemporary life.

Consumption and Consumerism
First of all, let us confine the meaning of “consumption” to the level of individual persons, rather than on a social level in macro-economics. It appears that consumption does not necessarily require the participation of parties other than oneself, that is, we can say a farmer consumes an apple when he eats it, regardless of whether he grew the apple himself or bought it from the market. Consumption in this sense seems to be an act attempting to satisfy a desire, for, consider the case that: Had the farmer not been having the desire to eat apple, would he have eaten it? It seems not. For another case that: The farmer was kidnapped and was forced to eat apple, would we regard such eating as the farmer’s consumption? Again it seems not. Then what is the distinction?

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A Journal of Reflection on the Psychological Clash between Consumerism and Religion



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