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Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by BenW, Sep 11, 2009.
What's your opinion on individualism vs. collectivism? (Maybe you should split threads).
I prefer individualism, but I think it very frequently segues into collectivism: obviously we are better off as a large group of individuals (with division of labor) than we would be each on our own desert island. (I'll split this topic if more people are interested in pursuing it.)
But that is the unforgivable sin!
I agree, It's more like a ecosystem than a one choice you're forced to side with.
How are we defining these terms?
I prefer individualism due to the fact that I like to be responsible for my own actions whether they are negative or positive. Plus, people in groups tend to fall in the category of a group think mentality which could be destructive to humanity as a whole.
I prefer to pick up the broken pieces of those around me and to work together. When people are doing thier own thing it tends to fall into disarray and I feel this is destructive to society. Teamwork, two minds are better than one, and all that, I suppose I am a collectivist.
I call myself an individualist, but that has a different meaning then what you are saying. I lean to individualism, but definitely see use in collectivism to an extent.
I'm split in the middle. I think we need a bit of both. Then again, whenever I think of collectivism, I'm reminding of the horrors of it's totalitarian application. I guess I'm rather skeptical of it ever operating as smoothly as promised.
I think collectivism would be useful when you want to make your visions into reality and that you're positive that it's going to benefit everyone in the process.
Which it often is.
I'd say this is more of an opinion than anything. Both collectivism and individualism have their ups and downs and both are necessary. We're inherently social individuals and can gain from working together. Yes, collectivism can and has gone too far, but it also has it's ups. Anything taken to an extreme can lead to something detrimental. I disagree that it often leads to destruction.
I think individualism is an illusion. Every person is individual in the same sense that a cell is individual within the body. However, just as a cell will eventually die if you cut it away from the body, an individual will die as he or she is cut off from society. The greatest punishment that we can conceive is to be isolated and left alone. That is why solitary confinement is used in prison to punish those who are being punished. Humans are interdependent with one another. We rely on each other for resources, protection, support, etc. and we are reliant on our environment to provide for us.
I think individualism exists to an extent but the illusion is absolute individualism. Off topic - Using isolation as a form of punishment is torture, if you do not know the mental damages of isolation already it would probably be interesting for you.
As I said, I see people as individual in human society as much as I see a cell as individual within the human body. Do you see humans as more individual than that, and if so, in what ways? I know it can be considered a form of psychological abuse when used with children, and some people are actually calling for it to be defined as a form of "cruel and unusual punishment" in prisons.
I have the same view as you in that each individual is most like a cell in the body but that is far from meaningless. Each cell has a life and story much like each person has a story to tell. With the whole individualism vs collectivism, they're all definitions. It's like a human trying to understand time by breaking it down into smaller sections when it's really all one unit. To me it's beyond just a cell in a human body the universe itself is one collective. The value of a rock is no more or less important than you in the face of the universe. However individualism still exists in the sense that each object living or not has a story and that story is their own. How important that story is will be up to opinion and opinions change. Dealing in absolutes the prime example of human arrogance, we deserve it after all we thought it; That is however another topic.
Cells within a body do not compete with each other. People do. If you're going to call individualism an illusion just because humans do not survive as well in isolation, then I'll call collectivism an illusion, because of the inevitable stagnation of a purely altruistic society. Both are unrealistic extremes.
Pfff, c'mon... That's what entrepreneurship is for.