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  1. #1
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default Individualistic World

    I've noticed that over time, people are becoming more and more individualistic. At the "beginning of time", humans were completely communistic; their loyalties lay with the tribe etc. And now look at us. We are individual because we can afford to be. It's no longer an issue that we have to look after one another, because society does that for us, people think. Our government is there to protect us only, people think. Is this the right or wrong way to live and think?

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    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I've noticed that over time, people are becoming more and more individualistic. At the "beginning of time", humans were completely communistic; their loyalties lay with the tribe etc. And now look at us. We are individual because we can afford to be. It's no longer an issue that we have to look after one another, because society does that for us, people think. Our government is there to protect us only, people think. Is this the right or wrong way to live and think?
    1984

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    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    It's no longer an issue that we have to look after one another, because society does that for us, people think.
    If looking after one another is a function of society, and you are a member of society, then to what extent are you responsible for looking after others? If you could excuse yourself from this responsibility without reason, then what should stopping everyone in society from doing the same? And then in what sense would looking after one another be a function of society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Our government is there to protect us only, people think.
    All things ought to be well managed, but if we lived in a morally ideal world, would anyone need to wield the sword? If no one needed to wield the sword, then what would the role of government be, and what would differentiate it from the role of the family, or society?

  4. #4
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I've noticed that over time, people are becoming more and more individualistic. At the "beginning of time", humans were completely communistic; their loyalties lay with the tribe etc. And now look at us. We are individual because we can afford to be. It's no longer an issue that we have to look after one another, because society does that for us, people think. Our government is there to protect us only, people think. Is this the right or wrong way to live and think?
    I don't know that humans were communistic at the beginning of time. They ate each other, for instance. Tribal gatherings arose over a period of time.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

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    Senior Member Apollonian's Avatar
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    In 2007, the American Sociological Review released this 20 year study which seems relevant here:

    Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades

  6. #6
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Main stream America is an individualistic culture. Don't judge the rest of the world, or even all cultures found in America, by how the main stream culture acts. Native Americans, for example, have long been collectivists and valued compromise over the individualism and competition of main stream society. African Americans have called each other "brother" and 'sister" since the days of slavery because they value their "people" as one interdependent family. Considering America was founded under individualistic principles, it isn't a surprise that is how the main stream culture has evolved. However, the main stream culture, which is mostly comprised of white men, have long looked to the government to enforce their right to be individuals over any "opposing" culture. The policy has been assimilation or extermination of alternative ideals, an attitude which has accelerated over the last few years. For example, you may have noticed white kids taking up "black music" such as Rap or the metrosexual fad. These are all cases where the mainstream culture has attempted to assimilate aspects of other cultures. Extermination is also evident as groups attempt to eliminate anti discrimination legislation, declaring it unnecessary in an "individualistic" society. Of course this attitude disregards group solidarity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  7. #7
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    1984
    Never occurred. What's your point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    If looking after one another is a function of society, and you are a member of society, then to what extent are you responsible for looking after others? If you could excuse yourself from this responsibility without reason, then what should stopping everyone in society from doing the same? And then in what sense would looking after one another be a function of society?
    I don't know, ask "people". I do want to add one thing though; who says one is a member of society?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Main stream America is an individualistic culture.
    As is Northern, Western and Southern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Eastern Europe, many parts of Asia, parts of Africa and South America.

    Hence, say bye bye to your argument.

    Don't judge the rest of the world, or even all cultures found in America, by how the main stream culture acts.
    This is rendered void.

  8. #8
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    who says one is a member of society?
    It is not who is to say, it is what is to say.

    There is a sense of society in which you can refuse to participate in it, or others may remove you from participation in it. Human society is a society of rational beings, and so your participation in human society is conditioned upon the extent to which you appear to you use reason. E.g., the rights of children are restricted because they've not yet developed the ability to fully use their reason, psychotics are locked up because they can't be trusted to behave rationally, the rights of criminals are restricted because they've shown that they've not used reason to understand what right action is, and people generally ignore persons they deem to be irrational.

    So, you may decide the society you live in is largely irrational and so remove yourself from it, (e.g. you could move to a monastery, or a cabin out in the wilderness, etc.) On the other hand, you could deny the possibilty of rational action and stare at a wall until you die of starvation.

    Aristotle said that man is a political animal: anyone who can live apart from society is either a god or a beast. Humans, by their very nature, must interact in order to realize their full potential as human beings. We are born ignorant and must be taught the good and the means to it. But teaching assumes insight, and insight is based on rationality. To borrow from Plato/Socrates: "the unexamined life is not worth living." To lead a thoughtless life devoid of rationality is to be less than human.

    If you don't want to be a member of society, that's your choice. Maybe the society you live in is less than rational. I often think that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. Or, you could choose to live like an animal. But, if you want insight into the good life, then it would behoove you to participate in a society of persons who seek to know what is good and the means to it, and who share their understanding with one another in order to increase the value and richness of life.

  9. #9
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    It is not who is to say, it is what is to say.

    There is a sense of society in which you can refuse to participate in it, or others may remove you from participation in it. Human society is a society of rational beings, and so your participation in human society is conditioned upon the extent to which you appear to you use reason. E.g., the rights of children are restricted because they've not yet developed the ability to fully use their reason, psychotics are locked up because they can't be trusted to behave rationally, the rights of criminals are restricted because they've shown that they've not used reason to understand what right action is, and people generally ignore persons they deem to be irrational.

    So, you may decide the society you live in is largely irrational and so remove yourself from it, (e.g. you could move to a monastery, or a cabin out in the wilderness, etc.) On the other hand, you could deny the possibilty of rational action and stare at a wall until you die of starvation.

    Aristotle said that man is a political animal: anyone who can live apart from society is either a god or a beast. Humans, by their very nature, must interact in order to realize their full potential as human beings. We are born ignorant and must be taught the good and the means to it. But teaching assumes insight, and insight is based on rationality. To borrow from Plato/Socrates: "the unexamined life is not worth living." To lead a thoughtless life devoid of rationality is to be less than human.

    If you don't want to be a member of society, that's your choice. Maybe the society you live in is less than rational. I often think that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum. Or, you could choose to live like an animal. But, if you want insight into the good life, then it would behoove you to participate in a society of persons who seek to know what is good and the means to it, and who share their understanding with one another in order to increase the value and richness of life.
    You pretty much summarised my thoughts on life. However, although I agree with him, just because Aristotle says something doesn't make it true.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Veneti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    I've noticed that over time, people are becoming more and more individualistic. At the "beginning of time", humans were completely communistic; their loyalties lay with the tribe etc. And now look at us. We are individual because we can afford to be. It's no longer an issue that we have to look after one another, because society does that for us, people think. Our government is there to protect us only, people think. Is this the right or wrong way to live and think?

    There's always been a selfish gene; Just now we can express it.

    Although, people now probably have become more materialistic and less interpersonal relationship based.

    I'd also say that the introduction of effective contraception, has probably liberated more women to make their own decisions in life, than many before could not make.

    Lastly, is being "self centric" all that bad? There’s plenty of people being parasites in relationships..... I think many people could be individualists if there weren't so "codependant" and insecure about being alone.

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