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  1. #141
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    In school, we are taught that the American belief in the individual stems from the Puritan idea that success in life wins god's favor and so a good life after death.
    I don't recall where you are from but I don't think you are American, correct? Because that's not entirely different from what Americans are taught anyhow, it's just taught in a manner that sounds both more positive towards and more intimate with egoism and religion (naturally).

    That being said, I also think you are describing Max Weber's Protestant ethic. It is notable to be that Catholics have followed a very different path. They are often a force of socialism in Latin America, and often they had been Fascists in Europe and Africa. Libertarianism never seemed to go with Catholicism.
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  2. #142
    window shopper Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    I wouldn't say moreso, that is (was) just the by product of living in such an advanced and powerful society.
    The Soviets also lived in powerful society, which they saw as a machine. A machine of collective effort, as opposed to American society which is capistalist and believes in individual effort. Thats what my remark was about. But the Capitalist notion of people "working for their own welfare" is largely inspired from the Protestant outlook(if Im not mistaken especially Calvin's outlook) on money. The bible even says " If a man does not work, he shall not eat" So you're most likely on to something, since America was founded by Protestants.

  3. #143
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Puritans had no interest in earning God's favor. They believed they were God's chosen people.
    I am sure there were different beliefs among those who called themselves Puritans. In any case, the hypothesis is too simplistic.

  4. #144
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    My experience is fairly narrow, but I think it's safe to say that there are chunks of Protestantism, especially Evangelicalism, that strongly push the idea that each of us is God's own special little snowflake.

    Edit: I don't know how or if it relates to Individualism, etc. That's just what I've seen the last thirty years give or take.
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  5. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    He didn't call you an animal. He's just illustrating what he believes happens when you carry the philosophy you've stated here to its logical end. He would only be calling you an animal if he thinks your philosophy is true, which he doesn't. He's trying to illustrate that you do have a sense of morality despite denying it.
    So the logical conclusion of deciding morality doesn't exist is to become an animal... News to me.

    You're right in the sense that I "have a sense of morality" in the way that he thinks morality is. But I think that the idea of Morality is not reflective of reality external to the human perspective. Why is this even controversial?

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    In school, we are taught that the American belief in the individual stems from the Puritan idea that success in life wins god's favor and so a good life after death.
    Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    The Soviets also lived in powerful society, which they saw as a machine. A machine of collective effort, as opposed to American society which is capistalist and believes in individual effort. Thats what my remark was about. But the Capitalist notion of people "working for their own welfare" is largely inspired from the Protestant outlook(if Im not mistaken especially Calvin's outlook) on money. The bible even says " If a man does not work, he shall not eat" So you're most likely on to something, since America was founded by Protestants.
    I cannot deny that powerful machination, though I honestly have no insight into the individual's purchasing power under their economic system. I've always presumed the wealth was incredibly centralized (as people fear with developed capital-fueled entities) or the goods available very limited, it's something I've been meaning to look into.


    Quote Originally Posted by En Gallop View Post
    Bitter? I'm not bitter towards anyone. I have NOTHING against either Lark or Beorn personally (how can I - I don't know them lol). It just bugs me that they put my opinions down as "self-evidently wrong" and give no justification for such a conclusion. They aren't even interested in having a discussion about it. It's just "I disagree, go away!"

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  7. #147
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I am sure there were different beliefs among those who called themselves Puritans. In any case, the hypothesis is too simplistic.
    No, what you were taught is exactly the opposite of what they believed. They believed they were chosen (some, like Richard Baxter, were arminian, but for this analysis that doesn't matter). They didn't believe God rewarded success. They believe God valued virtue regardless of the result. So they were able to continue to work hard and be content because they believed God loved them despite the result of their toil.

    Moreover, they were covenantalists, which meant they believed in child baptism. That is they didn't think baptism was a matter of individual choice to worship God, but rather a matter of being born into the church as a community.

    The individualism comes more from enlightenment thinking and more baptist belief in emphasizing individual choice.


    Edit: I will grant that the puritans were more individualistic than Catholics and so maybe represented a step towards more individualism, but I wouldn't call them the source.
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  8. #148
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    I don't recall where you are from but I don't think you are American, correct?
    Correct. German.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Because that's not entirely different from what Americans are taught anyhow, it's just taught in a manner that sounds both more positive towards and more intimate with egoism and religion (naturally).

    That being said, I also think you are describing Max Weber's Protestant ethic. It is notable to be that Catholics have followed a very different path. They are often a force of socialism in Latin America, and often they had been Fascists in Europe and Africa. Libertarianism never seemed to go with Catholicism.
    The safest bet is probably to trace the difference back to Luther's deinstitutionalization of faith and ritual.

  9. #149
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by En Gallop View Post
    Bitter? I'm not bitter towards anyone. I have NOTHING against either Lark or Beorn personally (how can I - I don't know them lol). It just bugs me that they put my opinions down as "self-evidently wrong" and give no justification for such a conclusion. They aren't even interested in having a discussion about it. It's just "I disagree, go away!"

    You're not giving me a reason why I should defend my beliefs with you. You don't believe in shoulds. Being reasonable or not being stupid is just a preference for you. There's nothing wrong with being stupid or unreasonable to you.

    I'm more than happy to defend my beliefs against people who have a reason to believe that beliefs should be in line with the truth.
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  10. #150
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    The Soviets also lived in powerful society, which they saw as a machine. A machine of collective effort, as opposed to American society which is capistalist and believes in individual effort. Thats what my remark was about. But the Capitalist notion of people "working for their own welfare" is largely inspired from the Protestant outlook(if Im not mistaken especially Calvin's outlook) on money. The bible even says " If a man does not work, he shall not eat" So you're most likely on to something, since America was founded by Protestants.
    The protestant work ethic and the idea of capitalism are linked, the doctrines of an elect of justified individuals destined for heaven whose names are written the book of life and therefore should have no worries about finding God's favour or salvation from death or hell underpinned a lot of capitalistic behaviour.

    The idea being that if you are one of the elect you should be able to discern it and one of the ways of doing so was to become the "richest man in the cemetary", if you worked hard, became wealthy and had riches it was a sign of God's favour or divine providence.

    That is the sort of mind set and habits necessary for capitalism, especially during the period preceeding modernity which Marx, and some other sociologists, would've referred to as "primitive accumulation".

    The passages about if you do not work you do not eat, those would have been as popular, if not more, with socialists, anarchists and anti-capitalists as capitalists, just framed differently as those elements did not believe that capitalists actually did any work themselves, they just lived of others toil, innovations and inventiveness. In fact I didnt know about them until I read D A De Santillan's book After The Revolution which talks about syndicalist proposals to set up council communism.

    Whether or not the ideas create the order or the order creates the ideas has been argued over since time began, the two opposing camps in sociology with respect of the work ethic idea are Marx and Weber. Its all pretty chicken and egg.

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