Discern your faith journey. Contribute ideas to the Archdiocese.
We invite all Catholics to contemplate the past with gratitude, reflect on the
role of our faith in the present situation of the Church, and discern how we can best respond to the Call of God to be a more vibrant, evangelising and missionary Church. The ideas gathered from this exercise will contribute to the update of the Archdiocese Pastoral Plan.
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Explanation of Secularism, Materialism, Individualism and Relativism
Secularism means to remove God and anything holy from our lives. This means that God does not play a part in what I do, so we say “I think” or “I say” instead of thinking “the Church teaches us..” or “God tells us…”
Materialism, to put it simply, means to focus on getting more of the things that I like to have or do. For example, spending whatever extra money I have on more toys for myself, instead of donating the money to help needy families.
Individualism means to put myself above all others. I am the most important person in my life and I don’t need to be responsible for anyone but me. God has no place in my life.
Relativism is really the toughest of them all. It means that there is no right or wrong because everything can be reasoned out. For example, finding a reason to say it is ok to steal because someone is poor.
Secularism simply means removing God and anything that is holy in our lives and rely on our own thinking to explain what is happening.
Materialism means that we place importance on material things or interests. Remember the rich man whom Jesus invited to follow Him but the rich man turned Jesus away? (Matthew 19:16-30) He was basically a good guy, but he failed to see that there IS a right way and a wrong one especially when we are faced with JESUS asking us to follow Him.
Individualism is a me-first attitude, where I am responsible to no one and for no one except myself. There is no room for God in my life.
Relativism says there is no right or wrong as everything can be reasoned or argued out. So what is considered right or wrong is entirely dependent on circumstances of the moment.
Secularism simply means to remove God and the sacred from our lives and deal with only what is human, scientific and cultural based on human reason alone.
Materialism is the theory that everything comes from or is derived from matter. Man’s soul is essentially material and is not uniquely created by God since there is no real distinction between matter and spirit.
Ethically, materialism means that man’s main reason for existence is to enjoy material goods or interests, including the pleasures of the body and emotional experience.
In social philosophy, materialism is the viewpoint that economics and this-worldly interests are the main functions of society.
Individualism is a philosophy that places an individual’s interests above the welfare of others and society. The personal desires of the person is considered to be more important than the social values and the common good of the masses. A person who practices individualism is aggressive in demanding that society recognize their individual liberty and does not conform to the collective good.
In other words, put simply, it is a me-first attitude and way of living, where I am responsible to no one and for no one except myself. So all other relationships are are matter of my personal choice since I create and decide who I am.
Relativism is a philosophical view that there is no absolute truth. In other words, the truth depends entirely on factors such as person, place, time, and circumstances. Moral relativism says that there are no inherently evil actions since everything is based on other factors such as customs, conventions and social approval.
In simple terms, relativism says that there is no right or wrong, as everything is relative to one another, and what is considered right or wrong is entirely dependent on circumstances of the moment.