Individualism VS Collectivism

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Individualism VS Collectivism

Postby Fortnox » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:23 pm

Let's see if we can get an Individualism/Collectivism philosophical discussion going. Feel free to join in if you don't understand the terms, the point is to find out how many Individualist-minded or Collectivist-minded people there are here- usually people do lean towards a specific philosophy or ideology naturally.

If you've ever read a Plato book on philosophy, he's a collectivist. If you've ever read a book about Aristotle, he's Individualism- well, he founded the ideas that created Individualism, rather.

So let's start off with two things, an example;

Three men are adrift at sea, on a raft that can only save two of them; are two of them justified in over powering the third- leaving him to die- and swimming to safety?

And a question- do you agree with this quote;
"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so"?
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Postby HairyLemon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:21 pm

Could you please explain the quote to me i'm afraid i dont understand it

cool avatar by the way.
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Postby Fortnox » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:19 pm

Hey, thanks. The quote simply means this; Nothing, absolutely nothing, is inherently evil or wrong, good or great. It is only what we think of it that makes that the case.

If you accept murder as a normal, acceptable thing, it's not evil to you- it's very possible to grow up in a society where murder is acceptable. It is not fundamentally wrong by any divine right- it is what you think of it, or what your society thinks of it that makes it right or wrong.

A better example is the word nigger. No word is inherently racist, it is the context it is used in that gives the word meaning. However, people fear the word, which only serves to give it a great amount of power.

It makes sense. There were civilizations and tribes in the past in which women were objects and rape was the only way to mate, obviously this concept is horribly offensive in modern culture and could never again be the case. However, it wasn't evil for them- the world around them was not evil because they didn't believe what they were doing was evil. What ever a group accepts as the truth at a certain time and place, will be the truth for that time and place- we now accept the opposite, that rape is horribly wrong and evil.
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Postby Dan » Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:37 am

Fortnox wrote:Hey, thanks. The quote simply means this; Nothing, absolutely nothing, is inherently evil or wrong, good or great. It is only what we think of it that makes that the case.

If you accept murder as a normal, acceptable thing, it's not evil to you- it's very possible to grow up in a society where murder is acceptable. It is not fundamentally wrong by any divine right- it is what you think of it, or what your society thinks of it that makes it right or wrong.

A better example is the word nigger. No word is inherently racist, it is the context it is used in that gives the word meaning. However, people fear the word, which only serves to give it a great amount of power.

It makes sense. There were civilizations and tribes in the past in which women were objects and rape was the only way to mate, obviously this concept is horribly offensive in modern culture and could never again be the case. However, it wasn't evil for them- the world around them was not evil because they didn't believe what they were doing was evil. What ever a group accepts as the truth at a certain time and place, will be the truth for that time and place- we now accept the opposite, that rape is horribly wrong and evil.


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I'm an individualist, but I'm not completely estranged from the concept of collectivism and I think different circumstances call for a different school of thought.
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Re: Individualism VS Collectivism

Postby champagne_supernova » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:58 am

Well, in order to start such a discussion, you'd have to clearly define your terms. And you've botched that up a little, I think.

Nobody is going to be a pure individualist or collectivist, and Dan is right in suggesting that different circumstances warrant different ideologies. Anyone who 'decides' to be one or the other is a total nutcase.

What you really want to have a discussion about is freedom of the mind and the issue of the distributive nature of justice in society. Please define your terms clearly.

Oh, and those two men on the raft are completely entitled to overpower the third. Anyone who thinks otherwise has an obvious martyr complex.
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