Is the individual more important than the collective?

Individualism is a core value of liberalism. Are you, as an individual, the best judge of your own interest? How does this work in a society like the USA where individuals do not share the same interests?

The myths of “fierce independence” and “self interest” are conservative pretend values https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/11/30/1165900/-Conservatism-Makes-People-Unfit-for-Society-The-Conservative-Myth-of-Independence-3

We aren’t living in pioneer days or hunter/gatherer days, but even then, the humans who were interdependent were the ones more likely to survive and thrive.

So many conservatives with their perpetual BS, make functioning in an interdependent society more difficult. They are, as this article suggests “Unfit-for-Society”.

 

 

Where is that LIKE button?

The right is lost in an fantasy of unreality, gonna bite all of us in the end.

Are there any Americans here? Responses from US citizens would be appreciated.

[S]elf-interested independence that focuses exclusively on personal profit, that tries to avoid the obligation of supporting society while simultaneously enjoying its benefits—that degree of independence is indistinguishable from rank selfishness. . . .

Since society is a collection of interrelated individuals, society will begin to suffer when reasonable self-interest passes over into selfishness—which is precisely what happens when many people start to accept the Myth of Self-interest.

The Myth of Self-interest, reinforced by the Myth of Independence, hardens the hearts and minds of Mythers, so that they actually believe they don’t owe anything to the society that provides them with the benefits they enjoy.

When people believe such things, they try to limit their obligations in every way possible. They try to minimize continually the contributions they have to make to the general welfare. They insist on the right to pursue activities that damage or destroy society’s common resources. . . .

The Myth of Self-interest reinforced by the Myth of Independence generates a severe egoism that is the root of all evil in the social sphere. …


Sree, do you think you own society anything?

Are you demanding to see our birth certificates? So typical. Where are you from Sree? Altrightia?

The values there are to believe in crap erroneous ideas like the Myth of Independence. This, at best is hypocritical, because you remain in American society. (Really, why do you need American society? You have fierce independence.) As the fellow, George, said in the sited article, “[t]hat is to say, (you) are part of a collective of interrelated individuals that originally joined together for mutual aid and support. Despite this, (you or other believers of BS myths) try to maximize their own benefits and minimize their contributions to the society that continues to protect (them). This is certainly ungrateful, and also unjust in the highest degree.”

The Americans around here, have values you don’t seem to understand. Values like “bring us your tired, poor and downtrodden”, like “all are created equal”, like maintaining honor and loyalty with our allies, like truth, like justice for all not just the wealthy, like liberty as long as you are not hurting anyone else, like NOT purposefully and cruelly damaging the development of children who were brought here for asylum, like valuing leaders who are NOT corrupted by their own narcissism, valuing themselves over the nation they were elected to lead. And so on.

 

Hey Tim, Citizen, I am trying to engage anyone here who is on the same page as me with regard to discussing topics of mutual interest. So far, I have been unable to connect with anyone. I did not realize that Dawkins is a Brit and that this must be a forum started in the UK. My fault. We Americans do tend to think that the US is a planet and not just a country among many on mother Earth.

AFAIK, the 3 of us on this thread, so far, are citizens of the good old USA.

As far as people being from Great Britain, that doesn’t make them bad people. The Brits are well aware of us Americans being eaten up with our own sense of superiority. They put up with it, considering us to be cartoon people, like Homer Simpson.

Just a small town boy

Born and raised in South Detroit

 

Been to a few Springfields too

Hmm. I just had an urge to board a midnight train goin anywhere.

And an urge to not stop believing.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=boARD+A+midnight+train+goin+anywhere&view=detail&mid=75584FC2AE0C9C61621175584FC2AE0C9C616211&FORM=VIRE

Individualism is a core value of liberalism. Are you, as an individual, the best judge of your own interest? How does this work in a society like the USA where individuals do not share the same interests?
America is big enough that people can self segregate.

But Individualism is more complex than that. What it really means is a belief that an individual has moral worth simply because they’re an individual. And it is a very big part of liberalism; you could not even have liberalism without it. The term is used today to mean personal expression or being yourself, but that also stems from the original thing.

In an evolutionary sense the collective is more important, but evolution has also given rise individualism.

Funnily enough, liberals live far more individualistic lives than conservatives even though they mock conservatives for thinking of themselves as lone wolf hardasses – which is more of a libertarian attitude. Liberals have a strong abstract “love for humanity” but are actually very socially atomized. Conservatives have a visceral connection to family and community but are not that concerned about people on the other side of the world.

Well said, oneguy. You are smarter than you look.

We “liberals” mock conservatives for thinking of themselves as lone wolf hardasses, because that is the implication they make when talking about “individual responsibility and self reliance”. We do not mock the belief that an individual has moral worth simply because they’re an individual. But nice try with your definitions and explanations.

Oneguy is smart. Just misguided.

In Better Angels, we call these red facts and blue facts. Tim and One Guy are using facts, oneguy is distorting them wildly. It’s kinda late for a dissertation though.

Sree, Individualism is a core value of liberalism.

Are you, as an individual, the best judge of your own interest?

How does this work in a society like the USA where individuals do not share the same interests?


Okay can’t argue with much of The Guy’s summary at 10:21. But America is not that big. You can segregate into compounds, but that’s about it. We are a society that is interwoven. I’ve managed to live a rather individualistic life, relatively speaking way out in the outback. But I’m damned well dependent on those tankers coming around the gas stations, and those 18 wheelers filling up the grocery and hardware store. When I go out into the world I still need to deal with all sorts of different people, what’s wrong with that? We are a connected society, a healthy society requires increasing respect for others, not getting hung up in one’s own feeling of supremacy - man, that can only end one way.

Asking if the individual is the best judge of their own interest is a contrived question. “People” theoretically sure, of course. But if that were really the case we won’t have people getting lost in drugs and dying by their own hand, or abusing their kids or anyone of a million other hideous and self-destructive things people are capable of doing to themselves and others.

Sree, how about looking at it from the other direction:

We need each other to keep ourselves honest.
Does that sound reasonable?

We’re an increasingly crowded society shouldn’t we be working on getting along? Now days I listen to tidbits of Christian radio and FOX and jesus christ we liberal types are made to be worse than scum that needs to be wiped out. We listen to trump and his cartoon alter-ego destroying his enemies with a wave of his hand and that’s nothing but pro-wrestling and lord of flies mentality, you really think there’s a healthy future in trump’s hostility laced theatrics and the hatred he is sowing across our country on both sides? It’s really rather terrify and looking worse for our future all the time.

 

Being an “individual” is in how you live and behave and think, part of that is in how you interact with others. Individualism shouldn’t be a license to disregard the society we are embedded within.

and dependent on.

OneGuy: “In an evolutionary sense the collective is more important, but evolution has also given rise individualism.”

What do you mean by “evolution”, why is the collective more important, and how does evolution, in the sense you mean, give rise to individualism?

I take it that individualism, that core value of liberalism, is not the same as that of the “lone wolf hardass” libertarian. Could you lay out the differences and critique them?

Citizen said: “Individualism shouldn’t be a license to disregard the society we are embedded within.”

Well said. However, it is harder to practice your belief than to preach it, be it religion or secularism. Here we have in America a society comprising individuals who have disregard for one another because each sees the other as a threat to the society in which all are embedded. This forum is a microcosm of that society. Unlike America, which is founded on Christian values, this forum rejects beliefs in religion. What code of conduct would you propose for individuals in this forum which is too small for desegregation?

 

“lone wolf hardass” libertarian
Are the biggest weenie delusionals of all. Reducing complex life down to black and white two-dimensional cartoons, then talking themselves seriously.

Just saying our actions have consequences, choosing to ignore those consequence is childish, then it crosses over into being a resentful delinquent vandal.

Incidentally, I stand back and notice the responses and questions you’ve received that you choose to ignore. hmmm

Unlike America, which is founded on Christian values,
How do you figure that?

America was founded on principles of the Intellectual Enlightenment,.

True enough most all those Revolutionary Era delegates came from backgrounds embedded in Christianity.

The American Constitution was written as a nonsecular document - with God being in its rightful place, The Unknowable. Divine Providence and such.

supporting evidence:

www_iep_utm_edu/amer-enl/

www_constitutionfacts_com/us-declaration-of-independence/two-great-thinkers/

_ = .


 

Sree, would you mind if I asked: Do you believe you can speak for the God Almighty of Light and Time, Life and Love?