It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

The collective over the individual, where does responsibility belong?

page: 1
6
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 09:33 AM
link   
Relatively recently I have been seeing a shift from individual responsibility to the collective. I'm of the opinion that this is part of the identity politics which has seemingly taken over large parts of academia and is having a louder and more impacting voice within politics in the western world.

Have a watch of this short video from the World Science Festival channel, where the philosopher Jesse Prinz

argues that eliminating free will could actually help distribute responsibility for one person's wrongdoing across broad social structures





I would argue against this position I believe a better society is achieved by encouraging each individual to take responsibility for their choices and actions. As it is only at the individual level that we have any personal control (over our emotion, over our thoughts and over our individual actions) and can affect meaningful change.




posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 09:46 AM
link   
a reply to: CatandtheHatchet

I believe it takes both parts, really.

Bullies shooting up schools is some parts collective, and individual, I'd say. If a person is treated so terribly by peers that they snap, they just short circuit.. Is that really fully something to blame on the individual?

I believe in individual accountability with collective responsibility.

A person can go to jail due to their actions, being a glitch in the collective program can be harmful, but it's not to say they are one uniquely bad virus in a whole computer system - it's to say, it's quite possible the computer system never made the attempt to accept them as a part of the program.

Take Muslims, for instance. Does the world or rather USA encourage peaceful acceptance more, or caution against terrorism more and attempt to deny "that plague"?

Not to say we shouldn't be cautious, and alert - but I really do believe intolerance breeds intolerance.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:20 AM
link   
a reply to: deadlyhope




I believe it takes both parts, really. Bullies shooting up schools is some parts collective, and individual, I'd say. If a person is treated so terribly by peers that they snap, they just short circuit.. Is that really fully something to blame on the individual? I believe in individual accountability with collective responsibility. A person can go to jail due to their actions, being a glitch in the collective program can be harmful, but it's not to say they are one uniquely bad virus in a whole computer system - it's to say, it's quite possible the computer system never made the attempt to accept them as a part of the program. Take Muslims, for instance. Does the world or rather USA encourage peaceful acceptance more, or caution against terrorism more and attempt to deny "that plague"? Not to say we shouldn't be cautious, and alert - but I really do believe intolerance breeds intolerance.




I agree society has a part to play, but I feel responsibility for the results of my choices best rest's with me. Society sets the tone but I still get to choose, society can limit or expand my options, but I ultimately choose how i participate.

Take the individual who committed the school shooting in your example, society provides the environment where they carried out the shooting, but they chose to do it, no matter what is going on in their life.

They chose to acquire a gun and shoot other humans. I can't control all the factors that make up their environment, and neither can they. All I can do is share with them the thought, that they have control over their actions, and no one has any right to end their life, just like they don't have that right either.

We can may find justifications for short circuiting, and it would be up to the court, in the case of a shooting to take these in to consideration.

I would like our prison services not to just be about punishment, but also about rehabilitation, but this can only be done at the individual level. This is where society get's to choose how much of its resources it want to spend to afford an individual with the tools to change.

When is comes to a religious ideology for example Islam, I believe the west has to talk honestly about what is acceptable in our society, not in the language of hate, but from the position of a secular society. Which is tolerant of the practice of religion, but is not tolerant of any intolerant practices espoused by any religion. The society will have to choose what it tolerates, while allowing individual freedoms.

Every individual is their own arbiter, and has the ultimate responsibility over their choices, we can not give up the notion of free will for the concept that society knows best, because in many cases societies are controlled by the few who shape the narrative.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:27 AM
link   
I've always felt that the belief that all people can/should be 100% personally responsible and self-sufficient to be just as lofty an idealism as the belief that everyone should be taken care of by government or whatever else.

I think the answer as with most things lies in the middle ground.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:31 AM
link   
I live in a culture which puts more emphasis upon collective responsibility than individual.

I have days, and situations, in which that irritates the heck out of me, and others I feel humbly acknowledging of the power of collective force, and the mistake us americans make when we disregard it completely.

No, as an individual, you are not all powerful. You can live in a self induced delusion that you are however. You can convince yourself "I CHOSE this", " I did this on purpose", or "this is a result of my own choices and actions"- even when it is not, just to experience a sense of power. With a minimum of intelligence one can create rationalisations to support and nurture that delusion.

This is the lesson of many "spiritual" teachings, and how to master and manipulate your own emotions and internal experiences. You can endure anything with this technique- from freezing in the snow with a box of matches to being nailed to a cross.

But in physical terms, in the shared world of physics, it has no truth. You still die on that cross, you still become frozen meat, you still become crushed or enslaved when faced with a collective force of many. (no matter how blissfully and peacefully you feel as it happens).

Responsibility and power are two sides of the same coin. Refuse collective power, you have given away a strong force.
Your puppet masters WANT you to proudly refuse that and blissfully live in delusion, because it keeps them powerful and comfortable. Keeping the people divided and turned against one another is the aim.

Both forms of responsibility/power have their appropriate usage and context. It is foolish to refuse either completely.
Just my opinion tho.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:32 AM
link   
Beside the practical difficulties of removing ones free will, what purpose would it serve to have everyone all behaving the same, acting like robots?

Oh, never mind...



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:39 AM
link   
I have been reading about people who have killed because they had a brain tumor.
Charles Witman killed 14 people and injured 38 as well as his wife and mother the previous day. He even wrote a note asking doctors to examine his brain after he was dead. He had sought help before hand but he could not stop what happened.

Post-mortem autopsy of his brain revealed a glioblastoma multiforme tumor the size of a walnut, erupting from beneath the thalamus, impacting the hypothalamus, extending into the temporal lobe and compressing the amygdaloid nucleus (Charles J. Whitman Catastrophe, Medical Aspects. Report to Governor, 9/8/66).
brainmind.com...
It is a very interesting story - to me it shows that he was not the one choosing. His brain forced him to do it. Maybe others who are killing are not choosing - maybe there is no free will. DNA and conditioning and brain stuff and are out of our control.

Does a scorpion choose to sting? Animals tend to be aggressive if they are scared. Maybe our society breeds and promotes too much fear.
edit on 17-10-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:47 AM
link   
a reply to: CatandtheHatchet


As an individual I get absolved of free-will actions but I get to blame society? So society is the victim being mugged?


I see that happening quite frequently in various videos different than this one.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 10:54 AM
link   
a reply to: Bluesma




But in physical terms, in the shared world of physics, it has no truth. You still die on that cross, you still become frozen meat, you still become crushed or enslaved when faced with a collective force of many. (no matter how blissfully and peacefully you feel as it happens).


Someone chose to put me on that cross, they are responsible for that choice, someone made the choice to enslave me. Your right my suffering in the physical world doesn't change. However I choose as an individual to treat everyone as I wish to be treated, I will not put anyone on a cross/wheels, I will not enslave anyone, and the more individuals who make that choice the less enslavement and various torture devices.

The individual who chooses to enslave or torture me, are responsible for that choice, they made, regardless of any individual justifications they think they have, or simple sadism, or authority given by a collective.

It has been my experience that the vast majority (99.9%) of individuals I have met, have not wanted to hurt me or enslave me to their will. I think it is more beneficial to the collective and the individual to encourage personal responsibility.


I believe that the collective are influenced and controlled by 0.1% of individuals (who have the most resources), so to diminish the power of those few, we all have to choose how we participate at the individual level.

Where we have direct control, and it makes it easy for the few to maintain their power when we deny personal agency to avoide responsibility over our day to day life.
edit on 17-10-2016 by CatandtheHatchet because: avoide



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 11:08 AM
link   
a reply to: Itisnowagain

There are going to be outliers, are the individuals who acted in psychotic ways due to ergot poisoning responsible, well if we as a society are judging after the fact we have to take context in to consideration in all cases.

As far as Charles Witman he chose to write that note, this shows he had some self awareness at that point. If he could write a note couldn't he have slit his own throat, rather than kill others. We will never know how much choice he really had, and how much was uncontrolled compulsion.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 11:13 AM
link   
a reply to: intrptr



The word robot was coined by artist Josef Čapek, the brother of famed Czechoslovakian author Karel Čapek


While writing this play, he struggled to come up with a word to name the robots, initially settling on ‘laboři’, from the Latin ‘labor’. He discussed this with his brother, Josef, and Josef suggested ‘roboti’, which gave rise to the English ‘robot’. ‘Roboti’ derives from the Old Church Slavanic ‘rabota’, meaning ‘servitude’, which in turn comes from ‘rabu’, meaning ‘slave’.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 11:18 AM
link   
a reply to: corvuscorrax




I've always felt that the belief that all people can/should be 100% personally responsible and self-sufficient to be just as lofty an idealism as the belief that everyone should be taken care of by government or whatever else. I think the answer as with most things lies in the middle ground.



That's why i posted this in the philosophy forum and not political
not trying to frame this as left, right or middle, just an open chat



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 11:56 AM
link   
Have you ever seen the documentary about gun crime in America called 'Bowling for Columbine' ? It looks at the reason why there is so much gun crime in America compared to other countries that are allowed guns. It is easy to blame the individual but it does not stop the problem.
If a society makes it's people feel safe and happy they will not be violent.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 12:07 PM
link   
a reply to: Itisnowagain




Have you ever seen the documentary about gun crime in America called 'Bowling for Columbine' ? It looks at the reason why there is so much gun crime in America compared to other countries that are allowed guns. It is easy to blame the individual but it does not stop the problem. If a society makes it's people feel safe and happy they will not be violent.


Okay I'm not sure I'm understanding where you comeing from on this, there is no societal pressure or malaise that is going to make me choose to pick up a gun and shoot people.

Yes I want society to be safe and happy, what about society in America (1999) gave Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, any form of justification for killing 13 people and injuring 24?

Are you talking about the use of SSRI drugs and this having linkage to what they did, influencing their choice, so mitigating their personal responsibility?



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 12:15 PM
link   

originally posted by: CatandtheHatchet
Are you talking about the use of SSRI drugs and this having linkage to what they did, influencing their choice, so mitigating their personal responsibility?

I did not have that in mind, however it has to be taken into account.
SSRI drugs make people kill themselves as well.
Seeing violence on tv or in the home - being abused - all these things shape the individuals behaviour.



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 12:40 PM
link   
originally posted by: CatandtheHatchet
a reply to: Bluesma

What you are saying has little to do with my point - that your very virtuous individual choice does not help you to stay alive when another makes the (non-virtuous) choice to kill you... especially when it is a group of individuals, making that choice . Yes, yes, you may die with a wonderful sense of moral superiority to them .... but I guess I am a rather pragmatic person, and see little of value in that.

The most effective way of countering a group of individuals choosing together to kill you is to join forces with individuals who make the same choice as yourself. You can choose together not to kill, and perhaps simply emprison the attacking group, for example. You might be able to, together as a collective.

But all alone? Good luck with that.

I watch a large population here, without having to become wealthy or powerful in terms of social status, have the power to keep their government and large corporations from abusing them. It works, quickly. Less than a week.
The individual that tries to over turn or influence such elements all by themselves might be able to have a small effect, over the course of years. Maybe. I doubt it though. I lived with the idea that just through hard work and determination, you can be anything and change the world, and I didn't witness real evidence of that. I watched as studies showed that your environment impacts your abilities, that genetics does, that we are not all "blank slates", or Tabula Rasa, upon which the individual will can write it's desires and goals.


We need each other. I believe that.
I don't subscribe to the exaggerated power of the individual myth anymore. I don't believe that famous 2% got there alone. As I get older and circulate amongst people of more and more power, one of the most important things they tell me is that networking is the key. It is gathering the help and aid of others along the way, everyday, in each effort. It is knowing how to keep ties to many, to create bonds, and know who to call when.

It's only the powerless who put so much emphasis upon doing things all alone.
It's part of the ethics the powerless pass on to their children, which ensures that they also, shall remain powerless, and their children as well.


edit on 17-10-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 12:41 PM
link   
a reply to: Itisnowagain

There has been violence throughout our history, considering our increasing population density, the incidences of common societal violence seem to be diminishing, which is interesting.

Do you think violence in media shapes us to be violent? We have more violence probably than ever in our media, yet instances of violence seems to be on the decline (Europe) There has been some interesting correlation between violence in computer games and that decline.

By violence in the home are you referencing domestic violence?

Regardless of violence in our art and entertainment, do you feel its representation in those areas, again takes away responsibility from the individual choosing to act out violently?



posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 12:59 PM
link   
a reply to: Bluesma




What you are saying has little to do with my point - that your very virtuous individual choice does not help you to stay alive when another makes the (non-virtuous) choice to kill you... Especially when it is a group of individuals, making that choice . Yes, yes, you may die with a wonderful sense of moral superiority to they .... But I guess I am a rather pragmatic person, and see little of value in that.


I am not a very virtuous individual, I'm just me. Why would anyone choose to kill me, competition over resources? I have nothing to compete over. Sadism? they derive some personal pleasure over killing me? I will resist, possibly die who knows.


The most effective way of countering a group of individuals choosing together to kill you is to join forces with individuals who make the same choice as yourself. You can choose together not to kill, and perhaps simply emprison the attacking group, for example. You might be able to, together as a collective.


There is no group of individuals who are choosing to kill me, if I find out there is, I will go to the police.


But all alone? Good luck with that.


If they catch me by surprise they will kill me, if I find out and I inform the police they have a duty of care, so I wont be alone, who would this group of killers be?


I watch a large population here, without having to become wealthy or powerful in terms of social atatus, have the power to keep their government and large corporations from abusing them. It works, quickly. Less than a week.
The individual that tries to over turn or influence such elements all by themselves might be able to have a small effect, over the course of years. Maybe. I doubt it though. I lived with the idea that just through hard work and determination, you can be anything and change the world, and I didn't real evidence of that. I watched as studies showed that your environment impacts your abilities, that genetics does, that we are not all "blank slates", or Tabula Rasa, upon which the individual will can write it's desires and goals.


Every individual within a society has free will, say you come to me and say you "must join me in killing this person", I will ask why(out of curiosity)? and then say No.



We need each other. I believe that.
I don't subscribe to the exaggerated power of the individual myth anymore. I don't believe that famous 2% got there alone. As I get older and circulate amongst people of more and more power, one of the most important things they tell me is that networking is the key. It is gathering the help and aid of others along the way, everyday, in each effort. It is knowing how to keep ties to many, to create bonds, and know who to call when.


Yes we need each other we are social beings, loneliness can kill.
I'm not aware of this myth of power of the individual, who are these famous 2%, and what do you mean?

I am quite happy networking an exchange of ideas is great, make friends and new acquaintances is pleasurable, but how does that take away from my personal responsibility for my individual choices?


It's only the powerless who put so much emphasis upon doing things all alone.


I'm not powerless and I'm not talking about doing things all alone, I'm talking about responsibility.




posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 02:18 PM
link   

originally posted by: CatandtheHatchet
a reply to: Bluesma


There is no group of individuals who are choosing to kill me, if I find out there is, I will go to the police.

First, don't forget we're using an extreme example simply because it makes this illustration simpler.

But your answer supports my point - you shall rely upon the police... a collective force, to protect you.
So... apparently you do percieve, and benefit from, the power of collective force and responsability.

You are aware then, that your individual power has some rather serious limits when it comes to your well being and survival.




Every individual within a society has free will, say you come to me and say you "must join me in killing this person", I will ask why(out of curiosity)? and then say No.


The first assertion is a point of disagreement between us, but to really attack it would lead too far off the topic at hand. Neuropsychology has evolved beyond that - it is terribly evident that our thoughts may determine our emotions and behaviors, but the the thoughts are formed by exterior influences. Your ego may be making choices, but the formation of the ego is sculpted by both biological and environmental factors... so it is actually those that determine our thoughts, behaviors and emotions.

But anyway, if a group of people have decided to join together in their common shared choice of action to kill you (who knows... maybe they think you are a threat to their children, for example).

If you want to live, you need to run to a collective force of equal power.. as you have said you would do.





I'm not aware of this myth of power of the individual, who are these famous 2%, and what do you mean?


You refered to them as 0.1% - refer to them, but widen it slightly.
I am refering to the American myth that any individual can do and be anything they like, with strong will and hard work, without relying on others. I am refering to the emphasis upon individual merit and responsibility that goes so far as to refuse any positive qualities to "herd mentality" or collectivism at all.




I'm not powerless and I'm not talking about doing things all alone, I'm talking about responsibility.


Well, it is a bit confusing for me. It sounds one minute like you want to encourage individual responsability and reject collective responsabiity,
but then you describe how you depend upon the collective responsability of the police force, apparently accepting and appreciative of that.

So it seems were more on the same page than it seemed at first - you do see value and benefit of collective force and responsability I am trying to point at?




posted on Oct, 17 2016 @ 02:59 PM
link   
a reply to: Bluesma




First, don't forget we're using an extreme example simply because it makes this illustration simpler. But your answer supports my point - you shall rely upon the police... a collective force, to protect you. So... apparently you do perceive, and benefit from, the power of collective force and responsibility. You are aware then, that your individual power has some rather serious limits when it comes to your well being and survival.


Sure, I realise that was an extreme example, my thread was not about denying the collective force or its power, the police in my country operate under the principle of implicit consent of the public.

I was talking about where responsibility belongs. My position being that it fundamentally rest with the individual who exercise their free will in their choices, and that we should not use the collective and its magnified power in proportion to the individual as a convenient scapegoat i.e blame society, leading to the attitude I was following orders for example.

Which I think is the danger in the position of Jesse Prinz who argues that eliminating free will could actually help distribute responsibility for one person's wrongdoing across broad social structures.

(Plus I value free will, over handing more power to collective will of society which already has more than enough, and is open to greater abuse due to the magnitude of its power)




The first assertion is a point of disagreement between us, but to really attack it would lead too far off the topic at hand. Neuropsychology has evolved beyond that - it is terribly evident that our thoughts may determine our emotions and behaviors, but the the thoughts are formed by exterior influences. Your ego may be making choices, but the formation of the ego is sculpted by both biological and environmental factors... so it is actually those that determine our thoughts, behaviors and emotions.


I accept what your saying and parse all of that and still take responsibility for my choices no matter how the environment shapes them. Take the extreme example of killing again. I can still refuse to kill, even when another individual representing the government(authority) orders me to. Even if they threaten me with death, I can refuse to participate, outside of overbearing physical or psycho-chemical inducement.



But anyway, if a group of people have decided to join together in their common shared choice of action to kill you (who knows... maybe they think you are a threat to their children, for example).


So in the society I live in a group of people decide to join together in common choice to kill me, because they believe I’m a threat to their children, why would they commit murder, when they like me could call on the power of the police?



If you want to live, you need to run to a collective force of equal power.. as you have said you would do.


Yes if a group is acting illogically and planning murder instead of using the social apparatus of the collective (police) I would indeed go to the police. If I choose instead to kill them all instead, I would then be guilty of mass murder and I would not make that choice.



You referred to them as 0.1% - refer to them, but widen it slightly.
I am referring to the American myth that any individual can do and be anything they like, with strong will and hard work, without relying on others. I am referring to the emphasis upon individual merit and responsibility that goes so far as to refuse any positive qualities to "herd mentality" or collectivism at all.


Any individual depending on circumstances (context) if they have the personal capacity(ability etc) can with the application of that capacity indeed go far, but their society, chance and the environment, play its part.



Well, it is a bit confusing for me. It sounds one minute like you want to encourage individual responsibility and reject collective responsibility,
but then you describe how you depend upon the collective responsibility of the police force, apparently accepting and appreciative of that.

So it seems were more on the same page than it seemed at first - you do see value and benefit of collective force and responsibility I am trying to point at?


I do indeed value society, but I believe responsibility still belongs with the individual, because we can control ourselves. I will not blame society for my poor choices, however would I evolve and make better choices with my expression of will, if I blame or praise everything around me, instead of taking responsibility?



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join