Individualism vs. Collectivism

For all things philosophical.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Skepdick
Posts: 1867
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:53 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:00 pm
It is only individuals that do harm. It is only individuals that do anything.
The collective view is just a way of seeing the sum of all individual behavior while ignoring the individuals that actually do it.
This is a very narrow perspective which ignores the asymmetry of outcomes observed when individuals are in different settings.
You are also ignoring the fact that it is also individuals who DON'T do things, and NOT doing something can also result in harm. If a doctor doesn't amputate a gangrenous leg the patient dies.

There are immoral acts that individuals in large groups would do, while individuals alone wouldn't: Herd mentality.
There are moral acts that individuals in large groups would NOT do, while individuals in smaller groups would: Diffusion of responsibility
RCSaunders wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:00 pm
It rips away the cloak of innocence from all collective evil, revealing all the horrible things done in the name of saving the community, society, the world, the environment
It wraps the cloak of guilt right around the individual evil, revealing all the horrible inaction resulting in harm to other individuals, the community, society, the world and the environment.

Individual responsibility is about reducing harm. Some times that requires action, some times that requires inaction. Catch 22.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:55 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:53 pm
It wraps the cloak of guilt right around the individual evil, revealing all the horrible inaction resulting in harm to other individuals, the community, society, the world and the environment.

Individual responsibility is about reducing harm. Some times that requires action, some times that requires inaction. Catch 22.
Apparently the news has not reached you yet that the world, society, the community, and the environment are not yours to make the into the kind you would like them to be. All your moralizing is nothing more than a cover for your desire to make everyone be what you would like them to be and do what you would like them to do. H.L. Mencken described you and all the other, "save the world," types: "The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it."

Individual responsibility is about reducing harm, but it is hardly fundamental. The only harm an individual is responsible for reducing, is protecting himself from the harm you and others wish to inflict on him for the sake of your noble ideals. No one is born with any other obligation or responsibility. It is going to be a great disappointment for you when you finally realize the only individuals you need to accomplish your collective dreams, have no need of you at all.

Skepdick
Posts: 1867
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:05 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:55 pm
Apparently the news has not reached you yet that the world, society, the community, and the environment are not yours to make the into the kind you would like them to be. All your moralizing is nothing more than a cover for your desire to make everyone be what you would like them to be and do what you would like them to do. H.L. Mencken described you and all the other, "save the world," types: "The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it."

Individual responsibility is about reducing harm, but it is hardly fundamental. The only harm an individual is responsible for reducing, is protecting himself from the harm you and others wish to inflict on him for the sake of your noble ideals. No one is born with any other obligation or responsibility. It is going to be a great disappointment for you when you finally realize the only individuals you need to accomplish your collective dreams, have no need of you at all.
Looks like I struck a nerve. And I am calling you out on your absolute fucking horseshit!

If you insist that doctors or paramedics MUST NOT act in an ethical manner and in a way that is conducive to saving your ungrateful individualist ass please post evidence of your DNR. Please also post photographic evidence of the signs on your house/property which informs the fire brigade that (in the event of fire) their services are not required.

Furthermore, you should go and cancel ALL your insurance policies, ALL your investments - you don't need such collectivist instruments and safety nets! Got any finance ever? Cheater! You are an individual!

Are you using money or bank cards as a form of currency?!? Collectivist nonsense! Real men carry cattle and gold to barter with! Then again, individualists doesn't need others. If I don't need you and you don't need me - why would we ever need to trade?

So I am really curious to see all the infrastructure you have invented from scratch! The factory to build your own cars, the schools you have built to educate your children, the farms you have established to feed yourself, the water purification plants you have built to distill your water, the waste purification infrastructure you have created to clean up all your shit. The medical know-how you must have acquired from I-don't-know-where? This computer that you are using right now? How long did you take you to invent it? And this internet thing? Also - how do you make the electricity to run all that stuff?

Everybody is a fucking "individualist", while taking for granted all the stuff they have because of the collective. Fucking freeloader. Give it all back and make your own.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:57 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:05 pm
So I am really curious to see all the infrastructure you have invented from scratch! The factory to build your own cars, the schools you have built to educate your children, the farms you have established to feed yourself, the water purification plants you have built to distill your water, the waste purification infrastructure you have created to clean up all your shit. This computer that you are using right now? How long did you take you to invent it? And this internet thing? Also - how do you make the electricity to run all that stuff?
So all you lovely collectivists are supposed to help everyone and reduce harm for them, Right?

Perhaps I'm demented. If you care so much for others, shouldn't you be trying to comfort me, rather than castigating me? Is there a faint odor of hypocrisy around here?

[You have a charming vocabulary.]

Skepdick
Posts: 1867
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:06 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:57 pm
So all you lovely collectivists are supposed to help everyone and reduce harm for them, Right?
straw.png 2019-08-27 19-04-45.jpg
straw.png 2019-08-27 19-04-45.jpg (31.57 KiB) Viewed 293 times
RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Perhaps I'm demented. If you care so much for others, shouldn't you be trying to comfort me, rather than castigating me? Is there a faint odor of hypocrisy around here?
Oh, you don't like being castigated when you talk bullshit? You would prefer being comforted? What happened to choices and consequences?

The standard illusion of every "individualist" - mistaking freedom-of-speech with freedom-from-consequences.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:19 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:06 pm
The standard illusion of every "individualist" ....
Could be. I wouldn't know. I'm not an individualist.

Take it easy. I'm not your enemy. I wish you no harm.

Skepdick
Posts: 1867
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:23 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:19 pm
Could be. I wouldn't know. I'm not an individualist.
Nor am I a collectivist.

RCSaunders wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:19 pm
Take it easy. I'm not your enemy. I wish you no harm.
That's why these dichotomies are stupid ;)

Every one of us is both a collectivist and an individualist in different contexts.

The individual choice is between cooperation and agitation.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 6444
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:29 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:49 pm
The animals cannot make mistakes because they have instinct, which provides them with the exactly right behavior required by their nature to live successfully as the kind of organisms they are. Instinct is exactly what human beings do not have. They have no automatic patterns of behavior because they have an entirely different conscious nature from the animals.
Yes. Isn't that interesting?
Why are human beings so easily deceived? Simply because they are too lazy to learn the truth (it's easier to believe what some authority teaches, or what everyone else believes, or what they, "feel," is right, or what some guru tells them. It makes them feel safe and secure. Reason is difficult requiring time and difficult mental gymnastics which for most people is just too hard when millions of experts are in the world to teach them short-cuts to knowledge and success,
Yes, quite so.
...and that they are just as good and important as (or no worse than) anyone else, and that no matter what, "they'll be forgiven."
This is an interesting comment. But that can't be true of "experts," can it? I don't know how may of them are shelling out forgiveness, do you?
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:29 am
People smoke, even though everybody knows it produces the great evil of cancer.
In addition to the Bible you also accept government pronouncements as truth? Smoking does not cause cancer. [/quote]
Yeah, see...I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

But since no particular causal links are absolutely provable, and because they depend on evidence I have to grant you that it could be that all the medical experts are wrong on this, and that there's a remote chance that my aunt just died of bad luck.
What other people are, or are not, is not really our business, it it?
That depends. Are these "other people" just anybody? Or are they "people" we want to live near, be friends with, trust with our money, enter into relations with, or marry? Because if it's any of those, then suddenly, yeah, it's our business.
How others choose to live their lives is frankly no one else's business, unless what they do has a direct relationships to oneself.
I don't think we're learning that's true. Even people with whom one has no "direct relationship" can be an issue. They can still make our neighbourhoods dangerous, vote for the wrong people for our nation, or pollute our common environment, even if they don't live near us and have never met us.
I'll only say that the Bible clearly teaches that sin is deceitful, that sinners are deceived, and it is ignorance of the truth that is the source of all sin. (References supplied on request.)
I have no argument with the first claim, and no necessary argument with the second. With the third, I'd say that it's not the whole story, but is part of the story. But I do believe you could find at least some (among others) references to support each of those points, at least somewhat.
I also believe it is impossible to intentionally choose what one is sincerely convinced will amount to a loss greater an any possible gain, that is, that what he chooses is really the worst possible choice he could make.
I have to agree with that. Jesus Christ Himself put it this way: "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Good point.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:29 am
I have heard a lot of people enthuse about Jung. Personally, I find him speculative, in the first place, unscientific in all his methodology (despite his occasional bows at the shrine of academic rigour) in the second, and wildly unpredictable in his interpretations as well. ... I really must be missing some aspect of Jung, because I cannot figure out why this man got any attention at all. And he sure got a ton. But I'm going to keep looking. He must have something to offer.
I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed, though the exercise itself might enlightening. [/quote]
He does have a few quotable fragments, I've found; but given that these are mixed in with a lot of pretty wild speculation, I'm not sure I'm ever going to find a use for them.
That Jung received and receives so much attention should not surprise you. He, like most philosophers, offers an excuse for every vile belief and practice of human beings. The excuse, "it's not my fault, the devil made me do it," has been secularized and made scientific by psychologists, "it's not my fault, my psychology made me do it."
Yeah, fair enough.

I see we share an interest in recognizing the responsibility people have for their own choices.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:29 am
There are no short-cuts to success and happiness, but they are available to everyone who chooses to pursue them.
It depends on what we define as "success" and "happiness."
Yes it does. Here's my view: Success is being and achieving all that one can possibly be as a human being. [/quote]
"All" what? And what "is" a human being? These terms obviously require the hearer to have the same idea as you about what "all" human beings could do, and about what a "human being" is for. But it's obvious, isn't it, that different people and cultures have different ideas about these questions? So I don't think it's going to be easy for everyone to agree with you as to when that "all" is being achieved, or on the question of whether or not these human beings are coming close to what human beings are supposed to be.
Saying sin is, "missing the mark," without identifying exactly what the "mark" is explains nothing.

Oh. I did. "Righteousness." Complete moral perfection.
"Not adequate to righteousness," just makes the question murkier, because we now have to know what righteousness is.
Sure. Well, that's the necessity of divine revelation. There's no way we'd know if God didn't tell us, would we? But we do know. We can start with the great "Thou shalts" and "Thou shalt nots" of the Law. Then we can move on to the moral teachings and personal example of Jesus. And we'll have a pretty good outline of what God means by "righteousness," (or "right-wise-ness," if you prefer).
The opposite view was once described by George Bernard Shaw in his, "Maxims for Revolutionists," appended to the play, Man and Superman, which I've rephrased: "Some men's view of a lifetime of happiness with a beautiful woman is like trying to enjoy the taste of wine by keeping his mouth always full of it."
Interesting.
So, thanks to you too, for making life a little more enjoyable and interesting.
And to you. Good conversation partners are like a good wine, found at an affordable price, in one's local shop.

Nick_A
Posts: 4293
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:46 pm

Matthew 6:25-34 King James Version (KJV)

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Animal Man taken together forms the Great Beast or society itself - the Grand collective. It is a creature of reaction It is only concerned with the lower parts of the human essence

Spiritual Man that knows it is more than animal Man is concerned with something else. The lilies of the field react in accordance with their being. Animal man cannot but regardless still feels the conscious potential for Man. A human being experiencing metanoia is drawn to the potential for human being but the grand collective governed by conditioned animal man struggles against it. Talk about being stuck between a rock and hard place. Perpetually living in hypocrisy. The lilies of the field don't have this problem. Maybe that is why they look better than Solomon.

Nick_A
Posts: 4293
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:23 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Thu Aug 29, 2019 5:07 am

The Grand collective dominating society is the Great Beast described by Plato

from Book VI of his Republic (here Plato critiques those who are "wise" through their study of society):
I might compare them to a man who should study the tempers and desires of a mighty strong beast who is fed by him--he would learn how to approach and handle him, also at what times and from what causes he is dangerous or the reverse, and what is the meaning of his several cries, and by what sounds, when another utters them, he is soothed or infuriated; and you may suppose further, that when, by continually attending upon him, he has become perfect in all this, he calls his knowledge wisdom, and makes of it a system or art, which he proceeds to teach, although he has no real notion of what he means by the principles or passions of which he is speaking, but calls this honourable and that dishonourable, or good or evil, or just or unjust, all in accordance with the tastes and tempers of the great brute. Good he pronounces to be that in which the beast delights and evil to be that which he dislikes...
The Beast Masters manipulate the Beast for their own purposes. All this is easily seen in the workings of collective society. The only people capable of actually helping society to be more than a beast are the philosopher kings. Discussing the qualities of the philosopher king requires a separate post but for this post it is sufficient to say that the guardians or potential philosopher kings are still caught up in opinions from their experiences with the visible world, the philosopher king has been taught and experienced knowledge of the Good. The philosopher king is no longer limited to the visible world but experiences the intelligible world though intuition rather than the senses.. Rather than learning anything new, knowledge of the good is remembered.

This is why real philosphical/religious knowledge must be the last thing to be taught. As it is done now, the great ideas are just corrupted into meaningless opinions.

Jesus would be the ultimate philosopher king. He was not restricted to sensory knowledge but had full knowledge of the intelligible world. He could enable those around him to acquire eyes to see and ears to hear. He faced the ultimate encounter with the attractions of the great beast while he was tempted by the Devil,

Matthew 4.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Jesus could have been the ultimate beast master but rather than ruling the earth he chose to serve the source of existence.

It is obvious that the great beast rules the day. There are no philosopher kings to oppose its dominance and the world denies the help of grace Jesus brought into the world to open the eyes and ears of society. So awakening is restricted to a small minority. As much as they are hated by the followers of the beast masters, their influence is essential in the world if humanity is to survive the psychological effects of technology.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm

Skepdick wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:23 pm
The individual choice is between cooperation and agitation.
The relationship of a collectivist with others is not cooperation, but subordination. What makes a relationship between individuals a collective one is the subordination of individual interests to the interests of a collective, whatever that collective might be.

Cooperation is the relationship between individuals in which each individual chooses to participate in some activity with others because it benefits each participating individual to do so, without anyone having to sacrifice any value or purpose of their own.

Cooperation can be extremely valuable. Collective subordination is anti-value and the source of every form of social, "agitation."

Collectivism and cooperation are mutually exclusive.

Skepdick
Posts: 1867
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:16 am

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm

RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm
The relationship of a collectivist with others is not cooperation, but subordination.
More dualistic bullshit.

Was the baker a subordinate of the milkman or vice versa in a bartering society?
Is a doctor a subordinate to a lawyer in today's society?
Are you my subordinate? Am I yours?
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm
What makes a relationship between individuals a collective one is the subordination of individual interests to the interests of a collective, whatever that collective might be.
What makes your perspective skewed is your failed attempt at decoupling the individual from the collective, and the collective from the individual. Can you give me even one example of a prospering economy (which is a collective concept) in which the individuals would be better off if the economy tanked?
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm
Cooperation is the relationship between individuals in which each individual chooses to participate in some activity with others because it benefits each participating individual to do so, without anyone having to sacrifice any value or purpose of their own.
Yes! It's called trade. Trade between 8 billion people an economy makes.
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm
Cooperation can be extremely valuable. Collective subordination is anti-value and the source of every form of social, "agitation."
Collectivism and cooperation are mutually exclusive.
So you don't trade with others? You don't exchange value with anybody?You make ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING you consume by yourself?
Would you label the people you trade value with as your "subordinates" OR as your "superiors"?

Your confusion stems from your inability to incorporate the two perspectives. The time-average (which is how individuals experience reality) and the ensemble-average (which is how "collectivist" statistics works). So you think you have to make a choice between the two - you default to the Prisoner's dilemma.

If you actually choose to play a cooperative game then the way to ensure a synergy between time-averages (individual) and ensemble-averages (collective) which is what Ergodic theory is for.

If we implement social policies which benefit individuals at the cost of the majority - we are fucked.
If we implement social policies which benefits abstract society at the cost of individuals - we are fucked.

If society benefits individuals and individuals benefit society - everybody wins.

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:31 pm

Hi IC,

I think we have reached a kind of impasse. I'm a little reluctant to comment because I do not want to offend you, and because I'm going to have to change what we originally agreed to in our conversation of debating what Biblical Christian teaching is. The reason is because I think your current arguments are not about Bible teaching, but the question of Biblical authority.

Before that, there is one thing you said I must address:
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:29 am
But since no particular causal links are absolutely provable, and because they depend on evidence ...
I hope you don't mean this as a general principle. If you do, it is a very bad mistake, probably based on the belief that science is, "inductive," in nature, a huge lie put over originally by Hume.

You mention evidence as though it were some unreliable thing. Without evidence there is no knowledge of anything. Everything that exists is evidence, and it is evidence that all knowledge is based on and is about. Some evidence may be regarded as unreliable, but it is not evidence that is unreliable but human interpretation or reasoning about the evidence.

You accept the Bible as evidence and believe there are some things that could not be known without it. As you said, "Well, that's the necessity of divine revelation. There's no way we'd know if God didn't tell us, would we?" So your suggestion that something cannot be known with certainty because it, "depends on evidence," is just not true.

I suspect your idea of "cause" is also not correct, but the one commonly accepted and frequently referred to as, "same cause, same effect." The true meaning of cause is, "explanation," and means nothing happens without a reason for it happening. Science is not a search for, "cause and effect," it is the search for principles by which the nature and behavior of physical existence can be explained.

The reason a chemist can say with certainty that sulfur burning in air will produce sulfur dioxide is not because he has seen it happen so often (inductively), but because the nature of sulfur and the nature of oxygen as described in the periodic table explain why those two elements combine to form sulfur dioxide. In a previous post I described various kinds of disease causing organism, like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, and disease causing vectors, like mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, triatomine bugs, tsetse flies, fleas, aquatic snails, and lice. If one is infected with any of the disease causing organism or injected with a disease organism by a disease vector they will have that disease, caused by the organism or vector, that is, the organisms and vectors are the explanation of those diseases. Those explanations were discovered by pathologists studying the evidence of those diseases, and the explanations are absolutely certain, both positively and negatively. One never exposed to a particular disease causing pathogen never has the disease, and someone who is infected with the disease causing pathogen does have the disease, even if there are no symptoms as in some cases of typhoid or cirrhosis, for example.
Immanuel Can wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:29 am
Sure. Well, that's the necessity of divine revelation. There's no way we'd know if God didn't tell us, would we? But we do know. We can start with the great "Thou shalts" and "Thou shalt nots" of the Law. Then we can move on to the moral teachings and personal example of Jesus. And we'll have a pretty good outline of what God means by "righteousness," (or "right-wise-ness," if you prefer).
As far as I have been able to discover, there are only three supposed sources of knowledge: evidentiary, the evidence of the directly percieved existence (the physical) and evidence of our cosciousness (the psychological); authority, the teachings, assertions, or declarations of any so-called writer, teacher, leader, shaman, preacher, or expert whose writing or words cannot be verified by evidence that anyone who chooses to can examine; and what I call, magic knowedge, which is knowedge one just has with no explanation referred to variously as a priori, intuition, instinct, mystic insight, or revelation.

It was the concept of revelation that originally convinced me there was no sound basis for the mystical or supernatural in any form. Religion combined two so-called sources of knowledge which I knew could not be true. By the time I began serious inquiry into religion, I had discovered that no authority or expert could be trusted merely on the basis of their so-called authority or expertise. I have always been eager to learn, especially from those who had already done the hard work of study, reason, and experience that I admired, but it had to be learning, not acceptance or credulity. I was delighted to be taught by those who could explain and demonstrate why things were true, but rejected any pronouncement of anything as true if it could not be explained in terms I could understand or demonstrated by means of evidence I could examine.

The main problem of relying on authority for knowledge is how does one decide which authority to accept. Every religion and ideology has it's own preferred authority or authorities, whether individuals or writings, and they are all certain there authority is the only true one.

The main problem with revelation is there is no way to distinguish illusion, delusion, or simply imagination, from what is supposed to be revelation. I am sure you are aware that a primary symptom of schizophrenia is illusions of, "revelation," in the form of voices and visions. If I had an inexplicable experience I would certainly doubt it was anything more than the result of high fever (an experience I have had) or some physiological problem. I'm certainly not going to trust in someone else's illusions.

Finally, you have made the argument that finally convinced me religion is a mistake. If moral right and wrong are determined by the pronouncements of an agent (God or man), there can be no principle of right and wrong. The dictator may declare just anything moral, and it is. When a Christian says God is righteous, or moral, or good, he has said nothing at all, because anyone who gets to say what is good, or bad, is going to say what he does is good. The God of Christians is not bound by any principle of right and wrong because there are no such principles in the Christian religion, there are only what their God, at any moment chooses to say is good or bad.

These are my views, and nothing more. I hope you are not offended, that is certainly not my intention, and I'm not trying to convince you I am right. So these are not arguments except in the sense they are my reasons for my views. I readily admit, as I'm often accused, they are my opinion. (Why in the word would I be expressing someone else's opinion?)

My best!

RC

User avatar
RCSaunders
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by RCSaunders » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:10 am

Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm
RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:30 pm
Cooperation is the relationship between individuals in which each individual chooses to participate in some activity with others because it benefits each participating individual to do so, without anyone having to sacrifice any value or purpose of their own.
Yes! It's called trade. ...
That's exactly right and exactly what I mean.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm
... Trade between 8 billion people an economy makes.
If it were really trade between all 8 billion people it would be as close to perfect as one could get, in my view. The prerequisite to being a trader is being a producer. Before one has something to trade, they must produce something of value, a product or a service, others are willing to trade what they produce to acquire, only then does everyone gain.

The actual case is that of all 8 billion people, a tiny fraction actually produce anything of value, but expect to enjoy the fruits of other's productive efforts just because they exist. They are not producers and not traders, they are parasites claiming a right to what others have produced just because they are, "part of society," or "a member of humanity."
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm
So you don't trade with others?
Trading is the only relationship I have with others, whether in business or socially, all my relationships are to the mutual benefit of those who individually choose to participate.
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm
If we implement social policies ...
Who is this, "we," with the hubris to believe it is up to them to enforce policies for how individuals choose to trade and interact with each other, and what makes them think they know how individuals ought trade and interact better than those individuals?
Skepdick wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 2:37 pm
If society benefits individuals and individuals benefit society - everybody wins.
If you want to call all the individuals who choose to produce, trade, and interact with each other for each individual's own benefit, "society," you are right. But that is seldom what any actual society is. Actual societies are almost always made up of a few true producer traders and a mass of individuals who produce nothing, or very little, of value, but for who's the sake the producers that make a prosperous society possible are required, or at least expected, to sacrifice their well-earned wealth. Such societies benefit the least valuable members of society at the expense and sacrifice of the most valuable.

User avatar
Immanuel Can
Posts: 6444
Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:42 pm

Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:18 am

RCSaunders wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:31 pm
I hope you don't mean this as a general principle. If you do, it is a very bad mistake, probably based on the belief that science is, "inductive," in nature, a huge lie put over originally by Hume.
Mathematics can be deductive, once the basic mathematical axioms are taken for granted, RC. But empirical science is not deductive but inductive. And it's not Hume we can blame for this observation; it just happens to be true.
You mention evidence as though it were some unreliable thing.
No, I don't mean that. "Unreliable" is not the right word.

Rather, I would suggest that evidence is grounds for estimating a higher probability of something being true or false. To believe something that has 99.99% probability is way better than to venture a conclusion on something that has 30% probability. But all physical science is probabilistic, not absolute. It deals with the empirical world; and in the empirical world, we never have more than probability calculations.
It is not evidence that is unreliable but human interpretation or reasoning about the evidence.
To call any phenomenon "evidence" is already to say that the phenomenon has been processed by human interpretation. A rock falling off a cliff is not "evidence" for anything, in and of itself. But to a geologist, it may be "evidence" of shale. To a physicist, it may be "evidence" of gravity. To a climber, it may be "evidence" of danger. "Evidence" is a human attribution made upon the phenomenon; it is not the phenomenon itself.
You accept the Bible as evidence and believe there are some things that could not be known without it. As you said, "Well, that's the necessity of divine revelation. There's no way we'd know if God didn't tell us, would we?" So your suggestion that something cannot be known with certainty because it, "depends on evidence," is just not true.
All I was saying is this: it seems improbable to me that any particular person has privileged knowledge of the purposes of God unless God Himself made them known to him. I'm not saying such a person would be guaranteed to be truthful; I'm saying that the only way he could be truthful (if he is) is if God had revealed the truth to him -- in other words, I'm saying that he could not get divine truth any other way -- assuming he had it at all.

If you were to think otherwise, then you would have to explain to me how a mere human came to "know" something truthful about God that God Himself had NOT made known to him. And if you have that, I'm listening. But Romans 1: 18-19 says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them."
I suspect your idea of "cause" is also not correct, but the one commonly accepted and frequently referred to as, "same cause, same effect."
I have no idea where you got this idea, RC. It certainly wasn't from me. In fact, the axiom you offer there looks manifestly incorrect to me. You would have to explain it.
The reason a chemist can say with certainty that sulfur burning in air will produce sulfur dioxide is not because he has seen it happen so often (inductively), but because the nature of sulfur and the nature of oxygen as described in the periodic table explain why those two elements combine to form sulfur dioxide.
Flesh that point out for me, if you would. I don't think it's right either. Most scientific work is experimental, and the scientific method starts with a hypothesis, not a certainty, and then attempts to prove it probabilistically through testing and trials under laboratory conditions, and then eventually, afield.

Your suggested method seems to suggest a chemist just looks at the periodic table and says, "sulphur, saltpetre and charcoal, in the right proportions and compressed, will explode." But that's not how gunpowder was, in fact, discovered by the ancient Chinese, long before there was a "chemistry" or a scientific method.
It was the concept of revelation that originally convinced me there was no sound basis for the mystical or supernatural in any form.

That wouldn't make sense. Your supposition would have to be either a) there is no God (or gods) to reveal anything, or b) there is a God (or gods), but He (or they) can't reveal themselves.

The first postulate is gratuitous, and can't meet any scientific test; and the second is just nonsensical. What kind of God couldn't do something so simple that we mere humans do it all the time -- communicate? So neither seems to me any kind of reason to balk at the idea of revelation. One can choose to believe it hasn't happened, though I can't see justification for that choice; but one has no reason at all to suppose that if there were a God, it would be the slightest problem.
Religion combined two so-called sources of knowledge which I knew could not be true. By the time I began serious inquiry into religion, I had discovered that no authority or expert could be trusted merely on the basis of their so-called authority or expertise.

Well, in the case of revelation, the "authority" is said to be God. Now, you can say, "I don't think it is;" but there's no justification for thinking, "If God spoke and revealed his nature, there's no way He's a reliable authority."
The main problem of relying on authority for knowledge is how does one decide which authority to accept. Every religion and ideology has it's own preferred authority or authorities, whether individuals or writings, and they are all certain there authority is the only true one.
The problem you're identifying is a problem only if "revelation" means "man imagining that on his own he discovered things about God." And we've both conceded so far that that is improbable to us. But it's not a problem if God does the revealing. God would be a reliable and ultimate authority on what the truth about himself would be. The human problem would only be sorting between the false accounts, those accounts in which mere men claim to know about God without revelation, and that which represents the true revelation.

But that's a problem on our side, not on God's. And it doesn't for a moment suggest revelation is impossible. It just suggests there might be counterfeits to deal with.
The main problem with revelation is there is no way to distinguish illusion, delusion, or simply imagination, from what is supposed to be revelation.
You mean that you don't know the way? Fair enough. But there are ways. One of the first steps is reading the different things that are offered as "revelation" by different traditions. They are decidedly not equal, by any fair estimate, you will find. But there are other steps as well: coherence, morality, integrity, consistency, predictive power, truthfulness to reality, and so on would be good criteria. But ultimately, God Himself might open one's eyes to the truth, if one were serious about seeking it.
Finally, you have made the argument that finally convinced me religion is a mistake. If moral right and wrong are determined by the pronouncements of an agent (God or man), there can be no principle of right and wrong.
I have made the opposite claim. That if we live in a godless universe, then we live in an accidental one. There's no third alternative, really: either there is purpose in our origin, or nothing "purposed" anything by our being here. Atheism has to believe the second. But for that reason, Atheism is inherently amoral. For an Atheist, giving ice cream to orphans, on the one hand, and pushing live children into a wood chipper, on the other are morally equal acts. That is to say that neither has any objective moral dimension at all. A "good" Atheist could do either, and do them equally, because there's no such thing as "good" or "evil."
The dictator may declare just anything moral, and it is. When a Christian says God is righteous, or moral, or good, he has said nothing at all, because anyone who gets to say what is good, or bad, is going to say what he does is good.

This assumes God is a human being. However, analytically and by concept, the Supreme Being is not.

Human beings act in self-interested ways, and contrary to objective morality, it's true. But if God exists, it's not just the case that God chooses to be moral; it's the case that whatever "moral" actually is, it's based on the character of the Creator Himself.

To put this another way, "God is good," and "Good is what God is." Both are true. Trying to separate the terms "good" and "God" is like trying to say, "Is RC his wife's husband, or is he his child's father," and thinking it's an either-or. It's not. It's a both-and.
The God of Christians is not bound by any principle of right and wrong because there are no such principles in the Christian religion, there are only what their God, at any moment chooses to say is good or bad.
Really, what you have here is a version of the old "Euthyphro Dilemma" that dates back to Socrates. It is sometimes taken by skeptics of religion as if it poses some sort of serious challenge; but it's been well-answered by Christian philosophers, and I think I can do a credible job of doing the same, if you like.
These are my views, and nothing more. I hope you are not offended,
No, not a bit, RC. Please don't worry about that at all. You are polite and rational; how could I possibly be offended? Rather, I'm pleased.

I also hope nothing I have said sounds offensive, though I have on some points challenged what you suggest. I'm happy to explain further or to try again if something here doesn't strike you as right, and feel no unkindness toward you, nor am I upset at your views. You're an honest man. I value that highly.
My best!

RC
And same back, RC.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests