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Essay on “Material process and Human Values ” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Material process and Human Values 



  1. Material progress and increase in wealth-steps towards degeneration of human values and ethics.
  2. Materialism leads to selfishness, greed and corruption.
  3. Values needed for human progress ignored in the mad pursuit of materialistic advancement.
  4. Materialistic advancement not entirely responsible for degeneration of human values.
  5. Conclusion.


It is commonly believed that material progress and increase in wealth are steps towards the ultimate degeneration of human values and ethics in society and the overall collapse of a society. This view has an ancient origin. It with developments and changes gained currency in the ancient Indian, Chinese, Roman and Greek civilisations that led to destruction of cultures as well as emergence of new modes of thought and societies. The discovery of iron sometime before the advent of Christ led to a rapid improvement in the materialistic life of human beings. While earlier man produced barely what was enough for his needs, the discovery of iron offered him the luxury of producing more than he needed for his various needs. But the surplus production in food and accumulation of wealth gradually made humans more acquisitive in nature. They became selfish for more and more wealth and worldly possessions. Later, accumulation of private property in land. commodities, implements of production and slave labour, gave birth to an era of gradual exploitation of one person by another. This was more evident when feudalism took deep roots. And this triggered a series of catastrophic developments where human values and ethics were concerned.

In India, Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira were aware of the growing materialism and they started working earnestly to arrest the overall degeneration of human values. By founding new ideas and beliefs, they showed their repulsion against blatant material progress, and sought to enlighten the people on the importance of enduring human and spiritual values. Elsewhere, Jesus Christ was successful in highlighting the significance of human values and ethics for human society. Socrates, the Greek thinker and philosopher, sacrificed his life to draw the world’s attention to the retarding effects of degeneration of human ethics. Indeed, history is proof to material progress and the resulting accumulation of wealth being a major impediment to flourishing of human values and ethics and love among fellow human beings.

The same holds true in the present situation, when materialism seems to have led to growing selfishness, greed and corruption in society.

With rapid increase in the wealth of people and societies across nations, there has indeed been erosion of human values to some extent. There is a view that people of societies and nations that are progressive and materialistically quite advanced, often exhibit a great degree of selfishness and fail to show compassion and love for their fellow human beings. They opine that with material progress, the driving force of self-interest, in all its damaging manifestations, takes toll of human values and social ethics. The recognition that only the fittest can survive in an increasingly materialistic society makes people place selfinterest over all other things including human values of love, consideration and cooperation. All this leads to a situation where, in the mad pursuit of materialistic wealth and economic advancement, the kind of values that are necessary for human progress in the long run are stepped upon. On the other hand, material progress is an offshoot of that very same nature that motivates humans to safeguard their self-interest. A world that does not move forward, and keeps on growing is destined to disintegrate over a period of time. Materialistic advancement in life should not be solely held responsible for the erosion of human values and lack of brotherhood among fellow human beings. Societies that are overall materialistically advanced may not always lack in human values. Many African and Asian countries are materialistically backward. Even in India, a majority of the people are poor and backward. But that does not mean that the poor are morally superior to others or richer in’ human values compared to those who are materialistically advanced. Even in the stone ages, when people managed to collect just enough to survive, and when they groped about in the dark, there was enough enmity and cruelty in the world. Human beings fought with each other and indulged in many degrading activities such as lusting and killing each other at the slightest pretext as a result of selfishness and greed. Many materialistically advanced or progressive nations and societies. in fact, are morally sounder and ethically on a much secure footing compared to the poor and materialistically deprived nations. The main reason for this is perhaps, that wealth and money bring with them responsibilities. A more secure frame of mind is created which allows feelings of consideration and compassion for fellow human beings to take root. Is it not true that most of the charity work in any society is done by the rich and wealthy people to help the materialistically less advanced and deprived people meet their existential needs and grow.

The good and the bad exist in every age and in every sort of society. Material progress has not much to do with the falling of overall morals or human values of a society and its people. If wealth breeds greed, it also creates space in the mind to consider the plight of other not-so- fortunate men and women. After all, if a person is Fighting to fulfil his basic needs all the time, how can he/she think of others needs and feelings. Hence. it would be fallacious to come to the conclusion that material progress necessarily leads to a fall in people’s moral and human values.


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