Individualism vs. Collectivism

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Skepdick
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Skepdick » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:30 pm

Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
I asked you just to do it once.
No. You asked me to read it "again" after I read it once. That's asking me to read it twice. Third time lucky, maybe?
Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
And then, if you still can't understand what I actually said, sure, I have to give up.
Rather than giving up - why not try and paraphrase it?
Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
And indeed, you've just confirmed you can't understand the second time around, even though I gave you a very explicit clue to help you understand.
This communication thing - you don't understand how it works, do you? It's not a game of Cluedo - rather than giving clues, try elucidating instead.

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Speakpigeon
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Speakpigeon » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:30 am

Skepdick wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
I asked you just to do it once.
No. You asked me to read it "again" after I read it once. That's asking me to read it twice. Third time lucky, maybe?
No. You don't understand English. I asked you once to read again. I didn't asked you over and over.
You are systematically misrepresenting the facts of what I say. You are essentially an idiot.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
And then, if you still can't understand what I actually said, sure, I have to give up.
Rather than giving up - why not try and paraphrase it?
There's no reason to paraphrase. It's a simple question and I have indicated clearly what I meant by logic in the context of my question.
If you can't understand a simple question, you're an idiot.
Skepdick wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:30 pm
Speakpigeon wrote:
Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:51 pm
And indeed, you've just confirmed you can't understand the second time around, even though I gave you a very explicit clue to help you understand.
This communication thing - you don't understand how it works, do you? It's not a game of Cluedo - rather than giving clues, try elucidating instead.
Try to ignore me.
You don't have the wits to understand a simple question, therefore you don't have the wits to provide any meaningful answer to it.
Further, you have already demonstrated you don't understand what a logical argument is, what logic is, what computers are.
You have zero expertise I could have been interested in.
Please, just ignore me.
EB

surreptitious57
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by surreptitious57 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:34 pm

Nick wrote:
A human individual would first be master of themselves
They would have the quality of consciousness that understands its connection to higher consciousness
What do you mean by higher consciousness ? Is it something that you only believe exists or can it be empirically demonstrated ?
Can a human truly be master of themselves ? Does the human condition not mean we are always going to be works in progress ?

surreptitious57
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Re: Speak

Post by surreptitious57 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:47 pm

Nick wrote:
The essential purpose of philosophy is not to provide answers but rather to open the mind to questions and the basic contradictions we live with
Philosophy cannot provide answers but with an open mind and clinical application of reason it can provide a better understanding of any question
There are no single definitive answers in philosophy because there are multiple ways in which reason through logic can be applied to any problem

Nick_A
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:27 am

surreptitious57

I appreciate the contents of consciousness as expressions of the relative quality of inclusion of universal influences. A given quality of being is capable of an appropriate quality of inclusion which determines how it reacts. A clam has an appropriate level of inclusion which enables its reactions. A dog has a higher level of inclusion allowing for its reactions.

Man is unique since it has a quality of being typical of animal life but is not limited to reactive consciousness. Man has the potential for human consciousness connecting above and below.

Imagine yourself on a street doing normal street things. Then you enter a round building. The first floor allows you to see all round you. You see the ground below where you were but now you see it from a higher perspective. You re no longer in it but are now observing it. Going to the second floor the ground is still further away and you become aware of the world itself which includes the ground. It is obvious that reality is more than the ground and higher consciousness is what enables you to experience the ground as a whole within a higher perspective. Since we are psychologically attached to the ground it takes special efforts to get to the second floor which we normally avoid. But the more conscious we become, the more we are noticed and helped by higher consciousness. The Gospel of Thomas describes the conscious connection.

http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gthlamb.html
(3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."
To be master of oneself is necessary to allow oneself to remain open to experience higher consciousness in the face of ll the resistance offered by the world.
Philosophy cannot provide answers but with an open mind and clinical application of reason it can provide a better understanding of any question
There are no single definitive answers in philosophy because there are multiple ways in which reason through logic can be applied to any problem
As you know, one of the basic characteristics of the human condition is the fact that we live in contradiction. We may want to do one thing but end up doing the opposite. IYO can philosophy as you described it including the clinical application of reason lead to understanding or just result in more confusion and argument?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:12 pm

To the original question, Jonathan Haidt has a very interesting argument in his book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

He argues, and I think rightly so, that Left and Right are divided by misunderstanding. Conservatives tend to see Leftists as mere ideologues (which, at their worst, they are, of course), rather than as well-intended collectivists (which, at their best, they can be). Meanwhile, Leftists harpoon conservative individualists as "uncaring," or "selfish" or "indifferent to suffering," (which, in extremis, some can be, of course) rather than as defenders of freedom, opportunity, and individual rights (which, at their best, they are, or course).

But Haidt's interested in taking the best, most kind reading of both camps, and making them understand each other (it's not even reasonable to expect that extreme Lefist ideologues or Right-wing anarchists would ever understand anyone -- even themselves. They are what Jordan Peterson calls "ideologically possessed," and need to have that fixed first). But the moderate middle of both camps, Haidt thinks should learn to listen to each other better.

What individualists and collectivists (the middle ground) have in common is a lot: they agree on the importance of human beings. They agree that there are serious problems. They agree about what many of those problems are. They agree that the right thing to do is to help people out of bad situations. They agree that compassion is very good, and that things could and should be better than they are. And they even agree that some particular political arrangement is a key to making that happen. They are, to use Haidt's term, "righteously" motivated: so demonizing each other distorts the conversation and does a disservice, he says.

But here's where they disagree: not the motive, but the method.

Individualists think that the best way to a better future is to secure the rights and opportunities of individuals, to maximize human freedoms, and to liberate options to take responsibility for one's own life so as to become more personally powerful in the world. This, they say, is the route to dignity and flourishing. To do otherwise is to harm the individual and to cut off opportunity: and this would be "unrighteous." To increase personal freedom is the "righteous" thing to do -- for everyone.

Collectivists think the best way forward is to mobilize the masses, the collective, and to immerse the individual in a wave of social action. For individualists, big government is a threat, an incompetent and clumsy entity at best, and at worst, authoritarian. For collectivists, big government is the tool of overthrowing "oppression," that vague force that they take to be too big and terrifying to be overthrown by anything less than big government. They fear to let go of it, because letting go of it feels to them like "doing nothing," or accepting the status quo. It feels "unrighteous." To smash "oppression" feels "righteous" to them.

Ironically, both sides are trying to do things they see as good. Haidt calls this "righteousness," because both feel it with a quasi-religious zeal. The problem with this is that somebody who is against "righteousness" (collectivist or individualist) is, by deduction, an "unrighteous" person, a poisoner, an evil entity, a demon. It then becomes "righteous" to be hateful toward them; and paradoxically, to do anything to harm them, whether by honest means or not.

Haidt wants this kind of name-calling ended, for each side to see the other more virtuously, and for both to engage in a better kind of conversation -- that is, between Right and Left (centrists and moderates: as I say, I don't think he holds out special hope for the extremists in either camp.)

It's a nice idea. I don't see it as being likely. And while both sides are capable of demonizing the other, I see collectivists as most urgent in their need for a demon-enemy to hate. It's really their sine qua non, because without a demon-enemy, collectives are impossible to mobilize. (Individuals are easier, because they mobilize individually: each has his/her own interests and motives naturally, and these do not have to be coordinated and mobilized collectively.) That's why the Left multiplies extreme pejorative terms like "oppressor," "fascist," "Alt-Right," "Nazi," "patriarch," "homophobe," "Islamophobe," "cisgender," "white," "racist," "sexist," "ageist," "ablist," "xenophobe," and so on. The Right has some pejoratives for the Left (like "Communist," "authoritarian," and so on) but not nearly so many, and not so virulent.

So if the two sides are to learn to talk, then the first "climb-down" has to happen on the Left: and I don't think they can do that, without damaging their own ability to mobilize collectives, so I don't think they will.

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henry quirk
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by henry quirk » Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:53 pm

"ideologically possessed,"

guilty

#

"need to have that fixed first"

Yeah, I don't think so.

#

"both sides are trying to do things they see as good.

No doubt. Thing is: the collectivist, tryin' to do good, is still a hobbler. The collectivist, on the other hand, can make no claim that I'm lookin' to hobble him (unless deprivin' him of my resources is hobblin' [it's not]). The 'injustices' of one against the other are not symmetrical.

#

"the first "climb-down" has to happen on the Left"

Or: they could just mind their own damned business. Demonize me all you like, just leave me be (they won't, and that unwillingness, or inability, to just go about their business & leave the other guy to his is why, as I say elsewhere, the next five to ten years here, in the U.S., are gonna be instructive to those who are interested in how to get out from under thumb & heel).

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:24 pm

henry quirk wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:53 pm
"both sides are trying to do things they see as good.

No doubt. Thing is: the collectivist, tryin' to do good, is still a hobbler. The collectivist, on the other hand, can make no claim that I'm lookin' to hobble him (unless deprivin' him of my resources is hobblin' [it's not]). The 'injustices' of one against the other are not symmetrical.
That's true.

The collectivist needs you for his/her project. He/she must induce you to join the cause and pursue the collective goal. As an individualist, you don't need to force anybody else into your platoon. You can let people do as they please.
#

"the first "climb-down" has to happen on the Left"

Or: they could just mind their own damned business.
Yeah, but that's not going to happen, for precisely the above reason: they need you to go their way. Your project happens without them; but their's is impossible (as they see it) without you being convinced to play ball with them.

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henry quirk
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by henry quirk » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:48 pm

"As an individualist, you don't need to force anybody else into your platoon. You can let people do as they please."

I just wanna correct one lil thing: I'm an individual, not an 'individualist'. It's a piddly distinction, I know, but a distinction worth noting.The 'individualist', seems to me, goes out of his way to 'be' an individualist, while the individual simply 'is'. The former is a self-conscious act while the latter is just a guy.

#

"Yeah, but that's not going to happen"

Yeah, I know: that's what my heads-up about the next five to ten years is all about.

Nick_A
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:02 pm

I C
Individualists think that the best way to a better future is to secure the rights and opportunities of individuals, to maximize human freedoms, and to liberate options to take responsibility for one's own life so as to become more personally powerful in the world. This, they say, is the route to dignity and flourishing. To do otherwise is to harm the individual and to cut off opportunity: and this would be "unrighteous." To increase personal freedom is the "righteous" thing to do -- for everyone.
A thought provoking analysis. Just to add another wrinkle, I’d like to include the distinction between a Christian individualist and a secular individualist.

The secular individualist appreciates their individualism in terms of worldly influences. They need to define for themselves what satisfies their need for meaning.

In contrast, the Christian individualist appreciates their individualism in terms of non-attachment to the world and their connection with their Source.

Luke 9
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
When a person realizes that they are surrounded and governed by spiritually dead people, individualism or the attraction to life becomes more attractive. Christian individualism requires making a break from worldly attachments that govern our lives in favor of what it means in our hearts to become able to serve God
Collectivists think the best way forward is to mobilize the masses, the collective, and to immerse the individual in a wave of social action. For individualists, big government is a threat, an incompetent and clumsy entity at best, and at worst, authoritarian. For collectivists, big government is the tool of overthrowing "oppression," that vague force that they take to be too big and terrifying to be overthrown by anything less than big government. They fear to let go of it, because letting go of it feels to them like "doing nothing," or accepting the status quo. It feels "unrighteous." To smash "oppression" feels "righteous" to them.
Collectivist do not understand that the world is full of dead people having become animal in nature which is why Plato described the collective (society) as a beast. They believe the fallen human condition is the norm for human being.
Simone Weil gets the term "Great Beast" from Plato. Specifically, this passage 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...
Politicians want to be beast masters and guide the great brute to believe and act in certain ways for its own good.

So the true individualist must choose between two masters: to become part of what egoistically rules the world or nourish their soul

Matthew 16:25 -26
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Jesus has inspired the question: what really is an individual? Is it a person dead inside who reacts to the world or a person who is no longer attached to the world?

Of course all this is poison for the collectivist and threatens their dominance. Awakening to reality is the last thing a beast master wants.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:36 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:02 pm
A thought provoking analysis. Just to add another wrinkle, I’d like to include the distinction between a Christian individualist and a secular individualist.

The secular individualist appreciates their individualism in terms of worldly influences. They need to define for themselves what satisfies their need for meaning. In contrast, the Christian individualist appreciates their individualism in terms of non-attachment to the world and their connection with their Source. Luke 9
Yes; but perhaps "non-attachment" needs to be explained. It's not that the world doesn't matter; it's that it matters differently.
Christian individualism requires making a break from worldly attachments that govern our lives in favor of what it means in our hearts to become able to serve God
That's the idea. The world becomes a place of stewardship, a thing to be valued for its potential to actualize its original telos or purpose, for the ultimate glory of God. It is not any longer an end-in-itself, far less something the utility of which depends on the individual's private assessment. it is, in that sense, both more and less important than it was.
Collectivist do not understand that the world is full of dead people having become animal in nature which is why Plato described the collective (society) as a beast. They believe the fallen human condition is the norm for human being.
It seems to me that no utopian scheme takes seriously the problem of evil, especially the evil potential inherent in human beings. It treats those things as merely manifestations of incomplete social arrangements, and expects them simply to disappear when utopia arrives.
So the true individualist must choose between two masters: to become part of what egoistically rules the world or nourish their soul Matthew 16:25 -26 " For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?"
Quite so.
Jesus has inspired the question: what really is an individual? Is it a person dead inside who reacts to the world or a person who is no longer attached to the world? Of course all this is poison for the collectivist and threatens their dominance.
I think you're pointing out that Christian individualism is a denial of both secular collectivism and secular individualism, and is a significant challenge to both. And I think that's true. But it can more easily live with secular individualism, because it takes seriously human freedom and the right to free conscience -- both of which collectivism finds quite poisonous.

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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:14 pm

IC
Yes; but perhaps "non-attachment" needs to be explained. It's not that the world doesn't matter; it's that it matters differently.
How can we become able to witness the world for what it is and at the same time witness our resistance to objectively experiencing the world? I’ve found that Simone Weil’s insights make the most difficult ideas understandable
“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached. There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.”
We are incapable of detachment when we are in the power of hatred and lying. As a result we create attachments to justify ourselves through imagination.

When we understand this the purpose of the Crucifixion becomes clear. Jesus had to consciously affirm what was happening in the presence of all the horrors the World afflicted him with. The final battle between affirmation and denial. The greatness of Jesus’ effort is that it invited the Holy Spirit to reconcile the Crucifixion and open the way to the Resurrection which some could follow..

That's the idea. The world becomes a place of stewardship, a thing to be valued for its potential to actualize its original telos or purpose, for the ultimate glory of God. It is not any longer an end-in-itself, far less something the utility of which depends on the individual's private assessment. it is, in that sense, both more and less important than it was.
Did Jesus pray for the world?

John 17
6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
From this perspective human individuality is the practice of transcending the world rather than praying for it. Secular individuality is the process of adjusting to self serving imagination necessary to make the darkness of the World tolerable.
It seems to me that no utopian scheme takes seriously the problem of evil, especially the evil potential inherent in human beings. It treats those things as merely manifestations of incomplete social arrangements, and expects them simply to disappear when utopia arrives.
Yes, what we call evil in humanity is just the normal result of the human condition. The leopard doesn’t change its spots. Manifestations of evil aren’t the result of social arrangements but of what we ARE.
I think you're pointing out that Christian individualism is a denial of both secular collectivism and secular individualism, and is a significant challenge to both. And I think that's true. But it can more easily live with secular individualism, because it takes seriously human freedom and the right to free conscience -- both of which collectivism finds quite poisonous.
I agree. I support the Lost Son as described in Jesus’ parable. He had the courage to learn for himself rather than just being a slave to a collective. It took me a while to start to absorb the many meanings within this parable. IYO was the second son right to complain?

Luke 15
The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his propertybetween them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:11 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:14 pm
How can we become able to witness the world for what it is and at the same time witness our resistance to objectively experiencing the world?
I don't think we have to do the second one, honestly. In fact, I'm not sure I even understand it.
“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached. There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.”
Well, I have to say that I think this is not a Christian view of things, for sure. It's gnostic, and possibly influenced by Eastern Mysticism of some kind, but it's definitely out of step with the Biblical idea of Creation.

In Biblical thought, God creates the material world, and then pronounces it "good." Genesis 1. Material existence is not inherently evil: rather, evil is an addition to it after the fact of its creation. There's nothing inherently evil in materiality...in fact, in Biblical thought, it's the theatre or locale of human response to God...a very good thing.
That's the idea. The world becomes a place of stewardship, a thing to be valued for its potential to actualize its original telos or purpose, for the ultimate glory of God. It is not any longer an end-in-itself, far less something the utility of which depends on the individual's private assessment. it is, in that sense, both more and less important than it was.
Did Jesus pray for the world?
No. But why would He need to? "The world" here means not "the world's people," but "the material world." Why would Christ "pray" something for the material world? :shock: That would be like praying for a rock or a tree.

I think you're mixing two different conceptions of "world," and we must keep them clear in our thinking. The Bible uses the word "world" in several ways: sometimes as synonym for "all people," as in "for God loved the world so much that He gave His unique Son" (John 3:16), sometimes for the fallen cultural milieu alienated from God, in contrast to the saved, as in "do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world" (1 John 2:15), and sometimes to refer to the globe and its environment, as when God says "the world is Mine, and all it contains" (Psalm 50:12).

One has to look at the surrounding verses and context, in order to know which one is being alluded to in each case. In the present case, we're using "world" as a synonym for "material existence."
Secular individuality is the process of adjusting to self serving imagination necessary to make the darkness of the World tolerable.
Umm...no, it's not. There's nothing inherent to secular Individualism that necessitates even the recognition of "darkness."
It seems to me that no utopian scheme takes seriously the problem of evil, especially the evil potential inherent in human beings. It treats those things as merely manifestations of incomplete social arrangements, and expects them simply to disappear when utopia arrives.
Yes, what we call evil in humanity is just the normal result of the human condition. The leopard doesn’t change its spots. Manifestations of evil aren’t the result of social arrangements but of what we ARE.
Right. Yes.

Social Justice thinking often overlooks this obvious fact: that whatever social structures there are, whether good or "oppressive," they are nothing but the products of human beings. If the "oppressive" quality were not present in human beings, there would be no social "oppression" at all.

Yet they have no intelligent account of this.
I think you're pointing out that Christian individualism is a denial of both secular collectivism and secular individualism, and is a significant challenge to both. And I think that's true. But it can more easily live with secular individualism, because it takes seriously human freedom and the right to free conscience -- both of which collectivism finds quite poisonous.
I agree. I support the Lost Son as described in Jesus’ parable.
I'm not at all sure what you mean, there. You seem to be making from it something of which I am unaware.

I don't think the issue there is individualism versus collectivism.

Nick_A
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Nick_A » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:17 pm

I C
“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached. There is no detachment where there is no pain. And there is no pain endured without hatred or lying unless detachment is present too.”

Well, I have to say that I think this is not a Christian view of things, for sure. It's gnostic, and possibly influenced by Eastern Mysticism of some kind, but it's definitely out of step with the Biblical idea of Creation.
Simone is referring to psychological rather than physical attachment. Would you agree the creation of illusion is the domain of the Prince of Darkness. If so, how is recognizing demonic influences non Christian?
In Biblical thought, God creates the material world, and then pronounces it "good." Genesis 1. Material existence is not inherently evil: rather, evil is an addition to it after the fact of its creation. There's nothing inherently evil in materiality...in fact, in Biblical thought, it's the theatre or locale of human response to God...a very good thing.
I agree that materiality is neither good nor bad. It is just the means in which the process of existence takes place. However before the material world, God created light and pronounced it good. What is the light and the darkness that precedes materiality? Is a Christian just supposed to accept it on faith or enter into the practice of conscious contemplation? If a Christian is supposed to be ignorant, how can science and the essence of religion be reconciled as complimentary?
I don't think the issue there is individualism versus collectivism.
The prodigal son was celebrated because he learned by experience rather being a part of the collective working on the estate. The second son was insulted by this.

Simone Weil is known as the Patron Saint of Outsiders. She asked questions the Church couldn’t answer. These same questions are shared by all those who feel the profound value of Christianity but cannot accept the corruption that entered it.

The primary value of individualism is its need to question. When it is a sincere effort to understand as opposed to a desire to be a pain in the ass, then it is as essential in the Church as it is in the World.
Did Jesus pray for the world?

No. But why would He need to? "The world" here means not "the world's people," but "the material world." Why would Christ "pray" something for the material world? That would be like praying for a rock or a tree.
What suggests to you that Jesus associates the world with materiality in these passages? Rocks don’t hate Jesus and his awakening effects. People living in psychological darkness do. Most seem to belong to the world and struggle to maintain their relationship. Some were capable of being chosen “out of the world”. They must be hated since they no longer belonged to the world. Rocks don’t have this choice.
John 15:

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

John 17

6 “I have revealed you[a] to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Post by Immanuel Can » Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:51 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:17 pm
Would you agree the creation of illusion is the domain of the Prince of Darkness.
Yes, but not that "illusion" is coextensive with "reality." I'm not gnostic about reality, nor is the Bible gnostic about it.
I agree that materiality is neither good nor bad. It is just the means in which the process of existence takes place.
Well, I'd agree with Christians and Jews that it was originally good, and is potentially good again. But I'd agree with you that not all of it is good right now.
If a Christian is supposed to be ignorant,
He's not. I disagree with the idea that ignorance is a road to any good.
I don't think the issue there is individualism versus collectivism.
The prodigal son was celebrated because he learned by experience rather being a part of the collective working on the estate. The second son was insulted by this.

No, I don't think this is true. The second son was angry because he thought he'd always been "a good son," and his dissolute, whoremonger brother was being celebrated for repenting and coming home to the father. The passage makes that quite explicit.

There's no mention of collectivism there.

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