The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
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0 Points
The Contender
famousdebater
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Collectivism ought to be preffered to Individualism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 3/15/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 39,959 times Debate No: 88275
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (210)
Votes (1)

 

kasmic

Pro

Full Resolution: On balance, Collectivism is preferable to Individualism

== Rules ==


1. First round for acceptance. No new arguments or rebuttals in the final round


2. By accepting the debate, Con agrees to the following definitions...

Collectivism: the philosophy that the interests of society as a whole should be considered ethically paramount.

Individualism: the philosophy that the interests of the individual should be considered ethically paramount.


3. Burden of Proof is shared. Pro must show that Collectivism is preferable to Individualism, and Con must show that Individualism is preferable to Collectivism.


4. No semantics, kritiks, trolling, etc.



famousdebater

Con

Accepted.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Thanks for accepting Famousdebater and good luck my friend!

Framework:

Based on the definitions given in round one, we see this debate rests on ethics. That is, whether the individual or society is “ethically paramount.” Thus, it should be obvious that the framework for this debate could only reasonably be set on how morality is determined. Once determined all that is left is to apply ethics to our question.

An Intro To Ethics: Utilitarianism


Famousdebater and I Identify as Utilitarian’s, and as it is widely accepted moral world view. Here is a basic overview of utilitarian ethics.

Ethics delves into what ought to be rather than what is. Henry Sidgwick rightly points out a typical flaw made when determining what ought to be done, or in other words, what is ethical. “we frequently prescribe that this or that `ought' to be done or aimed at without any express reference to an ulterior end,” (1) As John Stuart Mill says “All action is for the sake of some end.” In order to determine what we ought do we must observe what the results will be from that action. What ends are produced? “all the rules of conduct which men prescribe to one another as moral rules are really---though in part unconsciously---prescribed as a means to the general happiness of mankind,” Henry Sidgwick (2)This is basic utilitarianism, The Greatest good for the greatest number. As Utilitarianism is the ethic both my opponent and I subscribe to and is a sound moral philosophy, it ought to be the preferred moral framework by which we determine this debate.

Thus we can determine which philosophy, Collectivism or Individualism, ought to be preferred by observing which produces the Greatest good for the greatest number.


My Case:


I. The Harm “Individualism has negative social repercussions in practice”

Whenever we observe an increase in society's individualistic values, we always see it accompanied with an increase in destructive societal tendencies. The first time we can see this happening in human history is right at its dawn, with the Neolithic Revolution. Prior to it, human societies were largely egalitarian -- the social bonds between family members held together large clans in which every individual was looked after; resources were distributed roughly equally, and internal strife was virtually non-existent [4]. But with the advent of the Neolithic Revolution and its associated innovations, this collectivist way of life was greatly diminished, and individualistic social phenomena such as private property ownership, social stratification, and wealth inequality became the centerpieces of human societies [5]. From that point onwards, human history has been notably more violent, with wars, slavery, tension between classes, and crime becoming the norm.

This trend has continued throughout history. Events motivated by the pursuit of individualistic values have always resulted in a society which is worse off than before. This is most clearly evident in the French Revolution, with the bourgeoisie and their desire for greater personal liberties coming at the grave expense of social stability. Even today in Western countries, we witness that trend manifest itself in the contrast between urban centers (the hubs of modern ideals such as individuality) and rural areas (where collectivist communities as described previously still exist to some extent). Unsurprisingly, signs of social decay are far more prevalent in urban centers, with violent crime rates and poverty levels being 3 to 4 times higher in cities than the countryside [6]. Individualism simply does not work out in practice -- it attempts to simultaneously promote everyone's conflicting self-interests, which inevitably leads to tension, violence, and the degeneration of the social fabric. In this way, Individualism (ironically) tends to hurt the average individual's chance of success -- it's self-refuting.

II. Collectivism increases the chances of individual success

The logic underlying this is simple. A society, by definition, is a group of individuals. So when we "value the interests of society", we are really just valuing the interests of the largest possible number of individuals within that society -- we are valuing the interests of the majority. And since an individual is statistically more likely to part of the majority than the minority (duh), collectivism ensures that any given individual is more likely to have their interests protected than not. Thus, on a purely theoretical & statistical level, collectivism increases the probability of individual prosperity.

However, this is not only demonstrable in theory; we can also see empirical examples of this holding true in practice. Just take a look at nature. There is an enormous variety of species which instinctively tend to live in large, collectivist groups -- wolves, elephants, lions, chimpanzees, meerkats, bison, sheep, antelopes, ants, bees, ducks, small fish, and many more fall into this category. There is a reason why such a behavior has become so widely adapted: living in those 'societies', where the group as a whole is valued over each individual animal, has proven to be an evolutionary advantage to the individual animals themselves. It ensures them a much greater chance of survival than they would otherwise have on their own. Moreover, these collectivist species tend to be far, far more abundant and prosperous than solitary ones. Natural selection -- a completely selfishness-oriented mechanism -- clearly indicates that the collectivist lifestyle is beneficial to individuals.

For humans specifically, this is all the more true because we are fundamentally social animals. According to anthropologist Paula Grey: "Human beings are social animals. Our lives depend on other humans... We develop and learn about the world around us through the filter of other people. Our connections to others are key to not only our survival, but also to our happiness and the success of our careers... our social networks have [an enormous impact] on our lives. The bottom line is that we are influenced by, and we are able to influence, people up to three degrees removed from us." [3]. In other words, we derive happiness and personal fulfillment from other people, and our social structures require us to directly & indirectly interact with thousands of other people every day in order to prosper. As the socially complex and emotional beings that we are, we *need* to value the welfare of those around us -- the welfare of our society. From all this, we conclude that even under individualism we have to prefer collectivism, essentially making the resolution impossible to negate.

III. Collectivism is a more objective version of Individualism

Individualism posits that everyone should place paramount ethical value on their own interests. However, this only takes into account the subjective viewpoint of each individual. From an objective point of view, all humans beings are fundamentally the same, and no one person is inherently superior to another. Therefore, *every* individual's interests have equal value; intellectual honesty requires that if I value my own interests, then I also have to value everyone else's just as much -- and it is this concept which forms the basis for collectivism. In other words, Collectivism is essentially just an objective version of Individualism, effectively rendering it to be the more rational philosophy.

Conclusion:


The Burden of this debate is to demonstrate which philosophy is to be preferred. We have determined this clearly means which produces the greatest good for the greatest number. Collectivism meets this criteria. Individualism in converse has negative repercussions. We can conclude based on these arguments that Individualism is self defeating and that collectivism actually produces the desired results. Thus we see that Collectivism ought to be preferred over Individualism.

The resolution is affirmed.

Sources:

(1) http://www.laits.utexas.edu...
(2) http://www.laits.utexas.edu...
(3) http://www.aipmm.com...
(4) http://www.cavemenworld.com...
(5) http://www.d.umn.edu...
(6) http://law.jrank.org...

famousdebater

Con

Introduction


I thank Kasmic for instigating and agreeing to debate such a controversial topic. In this round I will provide our opening arguments and will use the following round for rebuttals. I hope that me and Kasmic will learn more about this topic from the debate. Apologies if you find that I occassionally speak in the plural (ie. instead of I, I might say we), this is because me and Kasmic debated the same topic a while ago but in a team debate with Hayd as my partner and Romanii as his. I am copying my arguments over from that previous debate but since that was a team debate you may find that I speak in plural in this round. I once again apologize in advance. Thank you once more for instigating and without further ado I will begin with my case.


Framework


My framework will be based on the political ideology, libertarianism. Libertarians feel very strongly in relation to individualism and a less restricting government on civilians - i.e. freedom of choice [1]. If we are to prefer society over the individual then the majority within society will receive the preferences. Assuming that the requests of the individual are reasonable and logical then we can easily provide both the majority within society and the minority what they want (as long as it coincides with rationality and reason), this produces a positive correlation between individualistic societies and overall happiness [2]. This happiness increase coincides with basic libertarian philosophy of keeping the individual prioritized. Our framework demonstrates that individualism equates to an increase of happiness within society [2].

We ought to view this debate under libertarianism since we're are debating which is preferable. Preferability is defined as the action that is most desirable or suitable. Ergo, we should be looking at this from the libertarian onset since they prioirtize and strongly value life and doing what is in people's best interest.


Compassion


Individualistic societies are built on equal opportunity. A quote that I would like to build this contention around is a quote that contrasts greatly from the stereotypes of both individualism and collectivism:

Let’s put this in the context of a hypothetical. We drop a bomb on city that is known to be a city in which a dangerous cult lives. If we think about this from an individualist perspective, we would individually assess the people in order to determine if each individual is innocent or not. A collectivist society would assess the people in general and therefore bomb them all to completely eliminate this entire group of people, regardless of whether some of them were innocent (forced to join, born into the cult, etc.)

As you can observe from the hypothetical, individualism demonstrates higher moral standards.

The individualist is compassionate in the sense that they care for the individual and their value as human beings. The collectivist, on the contrary, is immoral in the sense that they believe the elimination of these group of people is okay because they are a group - not just individuals [3].


Success Of Individualistic Societies


Here is a map of individualistic and collectivist societies within Europe (blue being individualist and red being collectivist):

At first this may seem like a case against individualism due to the evidently higher quantity of collectivist countries, but when we look at the map and the success rates (economically speaking) of the individualistic countries in comparison to the collectivist countries, there is a huge and evident economical difference-wherein the individualist ones are more successful[4] [5].

It is often used as a rebuttal to state that there are many factors that determine wealth however whilst this is true, there is very strong evidence suggesting that individualism is the root to wealth and economic benefits [6] [8]

“[Because] individualist culture gives social status rewards to people who stand out … give a special, culturally motivated, incentive for innovation that is separate from the standard monetary incentive...As a result, the higher innovation rate eventually leads to higher levels of productivity and output in the long run compared to a collectivist culture … the advantages of individualist culture affect dynamic efficiency and thus long run growth” [6]

The paper goes on to say,

“Using Hofstede’s measure of individualism, we regress the log of GDP per worker on individualism and find a strong and significant positive effect of individualism. We report in Gorodnichenko and Roland (2010) that a one standard deviation increase in individualism (say from the score of Venezuela to Greece, or from that of Brazil to Luxemburg) leads to a 60 to 87 percent increase in 7 the level of income, which is a quantitatively large effect. We also observe strong, positive correlations between individualism and measures of innovation. The results are similar when we use Schwartz’s measures of individualism. These are not simply correlations. In Gorodnichenko and Roland (2010, 2011), we provide evidence of a causal effect of individualism on innovation and measures of long run growth.” [6]

Because individualism awards social status to those who are being effective, this creates an incentive for innovation, putting individualist countries above collectivist countries. Individualism is preferable to collectivism if a country wants to be economically successful.


Metaphysics


The indivisible beings we see are individual humans. These individuals may be organized in a group in order to achieve a purpose, for example a soccer team. But the team is still comprised of individual players, each with his own mind and body.

This concept is demonstrated beautifully by Frederick Douglass in his letter to his ex-master.

I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What

you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both, and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bound to you, or you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me, or mine to depend upon yours. I cannot walk upon your legs, or you upon mine. I cannot breathe for you, or you for me; I must breathe for myself, and you for yourself. We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living. Your faculties remained yours, and mine became useful to their rightful owner.

Human beings are not in any way metaphysically bound to one another because each must drive their own bodies, must feel their own emotions, no one else can do this for them. Groups of people (families, communities, or societies) are not metaphysically real; they do not exist in and of themselves; they are not fundamental units of human life. Rather, they are some number of individuals [7].

Individualism correlates with the fundamentals of human life, whilst collectivism does not. Therefore, individualism is preferable to collectivism.


Utilitarianism



Utilitarianism is the philosophy that states that actions are right if they are useful or benefit the majority [6]. Take the following hypothetical:

If 10 people were strapped to a train track and you had the option to switch the rail direction towards 1 person strapped to a train track what would you do?

The collectivist would leave the train to kill the 10 people. They would view the 10 people collectively and therefore they are equal to the 1 person. They would leave it because since they are equal there is no need to intervene with the death of a person if the outcome will ultimately be the same (in their opinion).

An individualist, on the other hand, would view them all as separate individuals. The individualist would switch the train track so that it killed the one person - ultimately saving lives. This analogy doesn't seem particularly detrimental until you expand it to a larger scale. A true collectivist would see killing 1 person as equally bad as to killing 7 billion people. Therefore, if we substitue 7 billion as oppose to 10 in the analogy (for the purpose of the analogy we won't look at the feasibility of the train being able to kill all of those people and the size of the train track, etc.), the collectivist would rather let those 7 billion die than switch the track to kill the 1.

Thus we can see that collectivism is detrimental.



Conclusion



In conclusion, I have shown through strong and reliable evidence that individualism is the preferable ideology to collectivism. I once again thank Kasmic for his case and as mentioned earlier, I plan to address it in the following round. The resolution is negated!



Sources


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
[2] http://www2.eur.nl...
[3] http://www.activistpost.com...
[4] http://www.eupedia.com...;
[5] https://www.theobjectivestandard.com...;
[6] https://www.google.co.uk...;

Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Framework:

There is one obvious reason the framework I provided for this debate ought to be preferred. My framework is on topic.Con offers an alternative framework than the one I provided. He offers a political ideology, I offered an ethical philosophy. Because this debate rests on the question of collectivism or individualism being “ethically paramount” per definitions it is clear that a framework based on ethics should be preferred.

Clarification:

After reading con’s arguments and conversing with him in the comments it has become clear that con misunderstand the topic ideals being debated. Con especially misunderstands collectivism as a whole. I will thence be providing a clear summary of collectivism.

Collectivism: “the philosophy that the interests of society as a whole should be considered ethically paramount.”

This is in contrast with;

Individualism: “the philosophy that the interests of the individual should be considered ethically paramount.”

In the comments con presented a link to Wikipedia. That link states Collectivism is the moral stance… that emphasizes the significance of groups—their identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc.—and tends to analyze issues in those terms.” (1)

To illustrate this with a simple analogy, imagine in your mind’s eye a car. The car represents society as a whole, the parts of the car are the individuals. The car is made up of individual parts. The collectivist sees the interests and the needs of the car as a whole as ethically of more import than that of the individual parts. For example, the collectivist is more concerned that the car as a whole is able to fulfill its function and drive around of more import than if the stereo works. Likewise, the collectivist will address individual issues that affect the society as a whole. For example, say the individual, in this analogy the tire is popped. The society (car) as a whole can no longer function, thus fixing the tire would be the collectivist goal.

With this simply clarification we can now observe why con’s arguments should be dismissed as fallacious or incorrect.

Utilitarianism:

Con seems to understand the basics of utility, though applies them poorly to the topic at hand with his analogy. The collectivist would not see the group of ten as one, and the individual as one, they would see a society of eleven. They would then determine what would be best ethically for the society. Thus we see that the collectivist would assuredly switch the train to the track with one person to say the greater part of society, being the ten. We see then that collectivism being defined as “the philosophy that the interests of society as a whole should be considered ethically paramount” is synonomous with the concept of the greatest good for the greatest number.

The utilitarian views society as a whole, like the collectivist. Consider the words of John Stuart Mill from “On Liberty.”

“I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being.”
(2)

He goes on to say;

“Those interests, I contend, authorize the subjection of individual spontaneity to external control… There are also many positive acts for the benefit of others, which he may rightfully be compelled to perform; such as, to give evidence in a court of justice; to bear his fair share in the common defence, or in any other joint work necessary to the interest of the society of which he enjoys the protection; and to perform certain acts of individual beneficence, such as saving a fellow-creature's life, or interposing to protect the defenceless against ill-usage, things which whenever it is obviously a man's duty to do, he may rightfully be made responsible to society for not doing. A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.” (2)

We seen than from the author of Utilitarianism that this ethic of utility goes hand in hand with collectivism. In fact, one of the main criticisms of utilitarianism is that it can ignore the boundaries of the individual.

For example, Thomas Nagel objected to utlilitarianism stating it “treats the desires, needs, satisfactions, and dissatisfactions of distinct persons as if they were the desires, etc., of a mass person.” (3)

This presents a huge issue for my opponent in this debate. This is because he has not rejected Utility, rather tried to use it as part of his argument. Utility goes hand in hand with collectivism. Unless con rejects utility and provides reasoning for a different framework, he cannot win this debate. At this point, utilitarianism is the only moral framework presented. As that framework supports collectivism, the resolution is affirmed.

Compassion:
As was true with the previous example, con misapplies collective principles. He says “The individualist is compassionate in the sense that they care for the individual and their value as human beings. The collectivist, on the contrary, is immoral in the sense that they believe the elimination of these group of people is okay because they are a group - not just individuals”

It seems to me reasonable that the collectivist would argue that bombing a whole society because a small group of individuals would be unethical as the result would be harmful to the society as a whole and would thus not bomb the group. In fact, the real difference is the collectivist would weigh the impact of bombing the group based on the society as a whole, whereas the individualist would only weigh the impact to specific people. Regardless, we have determined utility as the framework of morality, Compassion is irrelevant unless con rejects utilitarianism which he has not done so.

Success of individualistic Societies:

First I would reference my 2nd argument in response to this. Second, it is important to look at his source for the map. (His source 4) The definitions given there in are not equal to the ones given in the debate. It defines Collectivism as “caring about what others in your group think of you, caring about the image of your group from the outside. It's essentially about image, respect, interpersonal relationships and emotional dependence on the group.” Thus we can dismiss this map and its conclusions as it is entirely off topic.

The same is true about the other paper sourced. (His source 5) It defines Collectivism as “the idea that the individual’s life belongs not to him but to the group or society of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group’s “greater good.” This is closer to the topic but still not the agreed on definition.

Also of note, this article confirms what I stated previously… that is that utilitarianism supports collectivism. The motto as it were of utilitarianism is “the greatest good for the greatest number.” This article quotes Ayn Rand to attack that idea. “The greatest good for the greatest number” is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.” My opponent must either accept Utility and concede the debate, or refute utility as the basis of morality.

Metaphysics:

Con argues that “Human beings are not in any way metaphysically bound to one another.” I have presented already an argument that humans are bound to one another. I refer of course to the quotes from John Stuart Mill. Additionally, I quoted this in my opening argument. "Human beings are social animals. Our lives depend on other humans... We develop and learn about the world around us through the filter of other people. Our connections to others are key to not only our survival, but also to our happiness and the success of our careers... our social networks have [an enormous impact] on our lives. The bottom line is that we are influenced by, and we are able to influence, people up to three degrees removed from us."

Conclusion:

My opponents arguments are off topic. I.E. his sources are not compatible with the accepted definitions of this debate, nor is the framework of political ideology necessary to answer the resolved question about ethics. My opponent misunderstands and misapplies collectivism. When we view these concepts in context coupled with the accepted ethic of utility we see that collectivism ought to be preferred to individualism.

Sources:

(1)
https://en.wikipedia.org...
(2)
http://www.bartleby.com...
(3)
https://en.wikipedia.org...


famousdebater

Con

Thanks Kasmic!


Framework


Since this framework coincides with the ideology of libertarianism (which is the moral principle in which my framework is based upon I accept my opponent’s framework. This should not be seen as a concession or an argument in my opponent’s favor as agreeing to this framework neither benefits my opponent or me unfairly in any way.


Individualism Has Negative Social Repercussions In Practice


Unfortunately, my opponent’s whole case relies on assertion. Completely mitigating its impact upon the resolution. My opponent’s CLAIM that society has become notably more violent after this period of time but show no evidence to support this claim. Nor do they prove that the reason for increasing violence is because of individualism. Even assuming that my opponent’s history is correct, there are many factors involved and this means that they need to do a lot more to prove that individualism is the direct cause of the violence increase. Other factors include: immigration, industrialisation and the value of products. We could easily say that it is the fault of the immigrants that violence is increasing (not that I believe this). We could say that it is the fault of the rapid and constant industrialisation that this is happening. We could say that the value of products is causing violence due to its constant increasing value [1].


Collectivism Increases The Chances Of Individual Success

Pro starts off by explaining that in a collectivist society, the individual is more likely to have his/her interests protected than not, because a collectivist society values the majority over the minority, and the majority holds more individuals than the minority, so therefore more needs are met.


Are the needs of the minority not important? Are the needs of the minority not valid? Majority-rules reasoning leads to many problematic issues.


Pro suggests that societies should make decisions based on what the majority wants, whether or not it is right or not. This often leads to an oppressed minority. If we let majority rule voting, the popular opinion--whether true or false--will direct the society. Societies should run based on what's right, not what's popular.


Pro also states that collectivist species tend to be far more prosperous and abundant than [individualist] ones. They cite wolves, elephants, lions, chimpanzees, meerkats, bison, sheep, antelopes, ants, bees, ducks, small fish. What the judges need to realize, is that many of these species are endangered or vulnerable, definitely not prosperous nor abundant.


Wolves [2], elephants [3], lions [4], chimpanzees [5], meerkats [6], bison [7], antelopes [8], bees [9], several species of ducks, and small fish (marine life in general) [10] are all nearing extinction.


That leaves sheep and ants (although many species of ants are almost extinct). From this we can conclude that the majority of collectivist species are not prosperous, and not abundant, and because of the reasons that Pro stated, this must be a result of collectivism, and therefore the impact of this argument is moved to our side.


Collectivism Is The More Objective Version Of Individualism

Individualism (as defined in R1), does not mention that it prioritizes certain individuals above others [11]. It simply believes that the individual’s opinions is more important than societies as a whole [11]. An individualist will generally take on board the individual’s subjective opinion (as long as it be within reason), and attempt to achieve this. This doesn’t mean that some are valued more than others. It means that everyone gets what they NEED (not want), and therefore the minority will not be excluded from their needs. This may appear subjective to our opponents and some collectivists however when you think about this on a larger scale and in the long term this becomes an objective ideology. By being an individualist, you value everybody in society and as our arguments demonstrate, individualism is an economically successful ideology [12][13]. When analyzing something and showing that its advantage is in regards to the economy this is classified as objective - not subjective [14].


Conclusion

My opponent has provided a case that I’ve successfully refuted. I will provide my counter rebuttals in the next round. My opponent’s burden is not fulfilled as a consequence. Thank you once again Kasmic for an enjoyable debate so far. I look forward to the next round. Collectivism is negated. Vote Con!


Sources

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] http://www.humanesociety.org...

[3] http://www.bagheera.com...

[4] http://www.iucnredlist.org...

[5] http://www.allaboutwildlife.com...

[6] http://www.iucnredlist.org...

[7] http://www.iucnredlist.org...

[8] http://www.usatoday.com...

[9] http://www.globalresearch.ca...

[10] White-headed, Laysan Teal, Australian Spotted Duck, Bali Duck, Aylesbury Duck, Blue Swedish Duck, Black East Indies Duck, Buenos Aryan Duck, Buff Orpington Duck, Gayuga Duck, Crested Duck, Mallard Duck, Magpie Duck, Muscovy Duck, Northern Pintail Duck, and a lot more.

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org...

[12] http://www.eupedia.com...

[13] http://www.pnas.org...

[14] http://atlassociety.org...
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

Framework:

Last round Con stated “I accept my opponent’s framework.” My framework was based on the ethical world view of Utilitarianism, or in other words, “The greatest good for the greatest number.” Also of note, remember in the first round it is stated that the burden of proof is shared. Let’s see how the arguments stack up to our burdens.

Con argued 3 things about individualism:

1) Compassion: Con argued that individualism was more compassionate. I responded we have determined utility as the framework of morality. Compassion is thus irrelevant to this debate and this argument holds no weight due to the accepted framework of this debate.

2) Success of Individualistic Societies: Con argues that individualistic societies have had greater success then collectivist societies. Though, upon examination we see his sources are defining collectivism and individualism drastically different than we have in this debate and are thence misleading at best, off topic at worst.

It is worth noting again that Con’s source confirms what I stated previously… that is that utilitarianism (the framework for this debate) supports collectivism. The motto as it were of utilitarianism is “the greatest good for the greatest number.” The article he sourced quotes Ayn Rand who attacks that idea. “The greatest good for the greatest number” is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.” Being that my opponent accepted Utility and cites sources that reject utility in favor of individualism, it is clear that my opponents views are incompatible and that Utility supports collectivism.

3) Metaphysics: This is again, an off topic argument so even if I granted it, which I don’t, it would not support con’s burden. Again when placed with the frame work of utility, collectivism comes out on top. “I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being.” (2 source from last round.)

Summary of Con’s arguments: We see that con has not met his burden in this debate.

(Pro) In addition to extensively showing utility in support of collectivism, I argued three things as well.

I. The Harm “Individualism has negative social repercussions in practice”

Con’s response to this argument was “Unfortunately, my opponent’s whole case relies on assertion.” he goes on to say I “show no evidence to support this claim.”

I argued that
whenever we observe an increase in society's individualistic values, we always see it accompanied with an increase in destructive societal tendencies. This argument is well sourced and documents clearly that Individualism simply does not work out in practice -- it attempts to simultaneously promote everyone's conflicting self-interests, which inevitably leads to tension, violence, and the degeneration of the social fabric. In this way, Individualism (ironically) tends to hurt the average individual's chance of success -- it's self-refuting.

This argument was to demonstrate the harm of individualism, as individualism shows a net harm collectivism on grounds of Utility ought to be preferred and fills my burden in this debate.

II. Collectivism increases the chances of individual success

Con’s contention to this argument is that Majority rule can lead to the issue of Mob rule. While this contention is a potential harm that societies often try to mitigate with a balance of powers it does nothing to disprove the ultimate truth. Collectivism increases the chances of individual success.

Con does contend the different species of animals, though this misses the mark as I argued For humans specifically. We are fundamentally social animals. I even cited anthropologist Paula Grey, to which con never responds. Thus we see this argument standing and provides support to my burden of proof.

III. Collectivism is a more objective version of Individualism

I argued Individualism posits that everyone should place paramount ethical value on their own interests. However, this only takes into account the subjective viewpoint of each individual. From an objective point of view, all humans beings are fundamentally the same, and no one person is inherently superior to another. Therefore, *every* individual's interests have equal value; intellectual honesty requires that if I value my own interests, then I also have to value everyone else's just as much -- and it is this concept which forms the basis for collectivism. In other words, Collectivism is essentially just an objective version of Individualism, effectively rendering it to be the more rational philosophy. This is rationally intuitive. Though, in hind sight winning this argument does not ultimately help fill my burden.

Summary of my (Pro’s) arguments: I demonstrated a net harm to individualism and a positive benefit to collectivism, thus meeting my burden in this debate.

Conclusion of Debate:

Thank you to my opponent for his time and thoughts. It has become clear that pro’s burden is met, con’s is not. The framework of Utility clearly supports collectivism over individualism and as my opponent accepted that framework, he loses.

Vote Pro.


famousdebater

Con

Thank you Kasmic for this debate!


Compassion


I have provided the argument that collectivists are more compassionate. My opponent’s only rebuttal is that collectivists MIGHT not bomb in the scenario provided. My opponent must defend collectivism as a whole not just some collectivists. This is evident by the burdens analysis.


My opponent also objects that it is irrelevant under the framework provided (the framework of utilitarianism). As utilitarianism has already been defined as the belief in doing what is best for the majority we can see how my opponent’s argument is flawed without having to actually refute it. Compassion directly coincides with framework. My opponent’s objection is based on a false premise.


Success Of Individualistic Societies


I provided a map to show the success of individualistic societies. The only source that my opponent objects to is the source for the map. The problem is that I only used this source for the map regarding individualism. My opponent agrees that the definition of individualism in that source is close to the definition of individualism provided in the debate. It is not to be expected that the source is going to define individualism as the exact same definition that is stated in the debate however the comparable definition means that the map still stands. How it defines collectivism is irrelevant since I only used it to demonstrate individualistic success. I further expanded upon this contention with other sources which my opponent concedes.


Metaphysics


I began by introducing an argument regarding human contingency and how there is no innate human contingency on each other. My opponent re-states his John Stuart Mill quote. This is evidently an insufficient rebuttal due to the fact that it is merely a quote, an appeal to authority. My argument had an explanation, his did not. A quote is not a rebuttal on its own. It can only be used in support of a rebuttal.


The Harm ‘Individualism has negative social repercussions in practice’


My opponent attempted to show that individualism has negative social repercussions in practice (as is made evident by the contention heading). I demonstrated that the case solely rested on assertion. The argument is invalidated because of this.


Collectivism Increases The Chances Of Individual Success


My opponent argues that collectivism ultimately fulfills the goal of individualism - creating individual success. I raise multiple issues with this contention which cannot be dismissed. I refute by showing the different species of animals and the fact that minority will lose their say. Regardless of whether the contention objective is met, this is a large mitigation and presents problems that cannot and should not be overlooked.


Collectivism is a More Objective Version than Individualism


My opponent refers to the subjectivity in individualism however the objection that I made was that the people’s opinions may be subjective but the ideology itself is objective. The subjectivity involved in the people’s decision is irrelevant. We aren’t discussing whether people’s decisions are objective or subjective we are talking about where the ideology is objective or subjective which is very different to the claims that my opponent raises in the initial contention.


Summary


It is clear that I have fulfilled my burden and that my opponent hasn’t. My opponent makes multiple indirect claims that are irrelevant to the debate and to my contentions. The rebuttals made my opponent are vague, indirect and are ultimately insufficient to affirm collectivism. This leads us to the outcome that individualism is affirmed, the resolution is negated and that you ought to vote Con. Thank you Kasmic, once again, for a great debate!
Debate Round No. 4
210 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by BAM1979 5 months ago
BAM1979
To argue for "collectivism over individualism" is to deny the existence of human rights and morality. To declare that you're immoral is honest and THAT should be 'preferred,' certainly.
Suggesting that others ought to be immoral as well, is to argue against your own existence.
Posted by MatthewMoran 5 months ago
MatthewMoran
I have two criticism of the debate.

A 'collective' is a category of same things. If individuals have ethical requirements, then the collective is just the sum total of *individual* ethical requirements. For it to be one collective as opposed to many, everyone must have an equal requirement to one another within the collective. To say a collective has a ethical obligation that an individual does not, is equivalent to saying that a group of trees have one or more characteristics that each individual tree do not themselves have.

Ethically paramount is an inappropriate statement for objective ethics. To analogize how you are using that phrase in this context, it is as if you were asking "are polar bears biologically paramount to brown bears?" or "is empirical evidence paramount to logical consistency?". Paramount is a matter of opinion, not of objective standards. Objective ethics, and the scientific method, are relegated to judgement on the basis of empirical evidence and logical consistency. Neither is 'paramount' to the other, as they are both necessary but not sufficient standards to prove a scientific or ethical theory. And neither is one ethical requirement paramount to another if they are both equally supported by reason and evidence. For example, we can argue murder and rape are immoral. But unless there is an objective standard, it is not paramount to not rape rather than not steal.

I hope that helps!
Posted by Starfleet 6 months ago
Starfleet
If republics, like the U.S, post-imperialist UK, and others like that are any indication of which is better, collectivism or individualism, I will be so bold as to say that both are needed to create a society that creates the best quality of life possible for as many of its citizens as possible. I see individualism as the foundation upon which collectivism is build upon. What I mean by this is that in order for people to see the value of contributing to the greater good of their communities, they need to be able to make their own decisions, and see how they affect everyone around them. Via the consequences of those actions, they will see that their actions affect everyone around them to a certain degree, and hopefully when they see those consequences, they will see the value of not only living their own lives, but also the benefit that contributing to the betterment of their community
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
Though, not sure what about me in particular would be undeserving..
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
If you are trying to say this debate is not worth reading... I would agree. If you are saying I am not an influential member in this community I would agree with that as well.
Posted by kasmic 7 months ago
kasmic
??? not sure what you mean by that.
Posted by Beginner 7 months ago
Beginner
To think that Kasmic would be one of the ones to be immortalized on this site by a glitch. Unfair. :(
Posted by Max.Wallace 7 months ago
Max.Wallace
Collectivism's end result is massive consumption.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Leugen9001 1 year ago
Leugen9001
kasmicfamousdebater
Who won the debate:--
Reasons for voting decision: This vote is going to go towards Pro, but will not be awarded until I write a RFD.