The Instigator
famousdebater
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Robkwoods
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Individualism Vs Collectivism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
famousdebater
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/22/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,133 times Debate No: 84212
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (40)
Votes (2)

 

famousdebater

Pro

Full Resolution: On balance, Individualism is preferable to collectivism.


== 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, forfeiting, etc.


5. Accepting the debate is automatic acceptance to all rules, definitions and the burdens.


6. This is for Robkwoods, if anybody else accepts then they automatically forfeit all points to me.

Let the games begin!
Robkwoods

Con

Let's do this! I look forward to a exciting debate.
Debate Round No. 1
famousdebater

Pro

Introduction


In this round I will provide my opening arguments and will use the following round for rebuttals. I hope that my opponent and I will learn more about this topic from the debate. I look forward to the case for collectivism. Thank you again for accepting, and I will now present my case for individualism.

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].


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.


Conclusion

I have demonstrated through strong and reliable evidence that individualism is the preferable ideology and I hope to see a strong case from my opponent too. Once again, thank you for your acceptance and I eagerly await your constructive case for collectivism.


Sources


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

[2] http://www2.eur.nl...

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

[4] http://www.eupedia.com...-(vs-Collectivism)

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

[6] http://eml.berkeley.edu...

[7] https://www.theobjectivestandard.com...

Robkwoods

Con

This was in the opening statement.

Pro must show that Collectivism is preferable to Individualism

Con must show that Individualism is preferable to Collectivism.

Am I missing something? You just made my argument for me.
Debate Round No. 2
famousdebater

Pro

You agreed to the resolution: On balance, Individualism is preferable to collectivism.

That was in relation to the burdens.

The resolution is what we should be arguing, the burdens are what we must prove.
Robkwoods

Con

Robkwoods forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
famousdebater

Pro

Sorry about the confusion above. My opponent agreed to provide a case for Collectivism and failed to do so. My case still stands and my opponent has broken rule #6. Vote Pro!
Robkwoods

Con

Vote Pro! haha.

My sincerest apologies to everyone and FAmOus! I thought and thought about how collectivism could be preferrable to individualism, and came up with nothing.
Debate Round No. 4
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
Case For Collectivism: http://www.debate.org...

Just for future reference you can look at this debate for some Pro - Collectivism ideas.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
@Taj - That was a mistake on my behalf. Me and my opponent were discussing it prior to the debate in a PM. Apparently my opponent misunderstood my explanation of my position in the debate.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
@Taj - That was a mistake on my behalf. Me and my opponent were discussing it prior to the debate in a PM. Apparently my opponent misunderstood my explanation of my position in the debate.
Posted by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
Pro must show that Collectivism is preferable to Individualism? I'm confused now. Shouldn't you be arguing for Collectivism then?
Posted by Robkwoods 1 year ago
Robkwoods
Maybe, but I found a stronger correlation with illiteracy than with skin color. So maybe, IQ is negatively effected by illiteracy.
Posted by Wild.Grape 1 year ago
Wild.Grape
IQ has nothing to do with ability to read. In its essence, IQ tests your ability to search and find patters. whether or not your task is explained via symbols, or words, is irrelevant.

" The other possibilities were entertained, their foundation just wasn't strong enough."
None of those possibilities as well as analysis of their foundation was presented, therefore I have no reason to assume that other possibilities were entertained, but found with no enough strong.

Also, I read how he said that there is strong evidence suggesting that individualism is the root to wealth and economic benefits, and I replied to that by saying that all of that supposed evidence can very well be false cause fallacy.
Posted by Robkwoods 1 year ago
Robkwoods
"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"

The strongest correlation lies with economic success. The other possibilities were entertained, their foundation just wasn't strong enough.

The two aren't really analagous. Most blacks were illerate and had low IQ scores. There were alot of whites who were illerate and had low IQ scores. Therefore illerate people are intellectualy inferior.
Posted by Wild.Grape 1 year ago
Wild.Grape
I did read your arguments. Your arguments regarding economical failure of collectivist countries might very well be "false cause" fallacy. You have a group of countries, all of which are economically "poor", and they all have one common trait, so you draw a conclusion that this trait must therefore be a cause. That can very well be wrong assertion. That would be like saying that since all black people, in 1800, scored low IQ scores, means that black race is intellectually inferior (because being black is perceived "common trait" among all subjects and thus assumed to be the cause). Other possible explanations are not even entertained. You have no proved that collectivism, as a economical system, is economically inefficient.

And even if you did, your own personal values come into play when you're assuming that economical prosperity outweighs other, more spiritual factors (for example, high sense of brotherhood).

Heck, you are assuming before-hand that economical prosperity is a good thing. There are anti-consumerism, minimalism, zen buddhism, stoicism and many other philosophical beliefs whose supporters could very well value economical prosperity way lower than you do.

Also, you are arguing that individualism is better in general (not just economically) which is subjective claim. I personally see no reason to debate about something, which at its very core and essence is merely subjective opinion.

As you pointed out in your first comment, not everything is subjective. Economically success, for example, is not, but in this particular case you didnt even prove that.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
Almost any debatable topic is the debaters opinion. I believe that euthanasia should be legalised. That is my opinion yet it is still a very interesting topic to debate. Just because something is your opinion that does not mean that it is pointless to debate.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
I must contest here. A debate on green vs red is subjective. Individualism and collectivism are not. Individualism is economically successful and objectively preferable ( read my arguments).
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Hayd 1 year ago
Hayd
famousdebaterRobkwoods
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Since it was the select winner system, we are to judge based on arguments, not conduct. Con did not make any arguments, all of Pro's arguments were dropped, thus Pro's side had the most impact, thus Pro wins.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
famousdebaterRobkwoods
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: FF by Con