The Instigator
UchihaMadara
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
lannan13
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

On balance, Collectivism is preferable to Individualism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
UchihaMadara
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,340 times Debate No: 64544
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (91)
Votes (4)

 

UchihaMadara

Pro

1. First round for acceptance

2. No new arguments in the final round

3. This debate should be impossible to accept. Finding a way to accept without permission will result in an automatic loss for Con. If you would like to accept, please say so in the comments section, and I will challenge you when I feel like it.

4. 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.

5. The definition of "preferable" is up for debate, but Con may not make the argument that there is no objective framework for deciding which philosophy is preferable.

6. Burden of Proof is shared. I must show the Collectivism is preferable to Individualism, and Con must show that Individualism is preferable to Collectivism.

Good luck, Con!
lannan13

Con

I accept this debate and look forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
UchihaMadara

Pro

Indeed, we shall do this.
I will be using rationality as the main criterion for evaluating which philosophy is preferable, so the resolution can basically be re-stated as "belief in collectivism is more rational than belief in individualism". My case revolves around 3 independently functioning reasons for why this resolution is true.


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 refer to "valuing the interests of society", we are really just saying that we are 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, collectivism ensures that any given individual is more likely to have their interests protected than not. Thus, theoretically, collectivism increases the probability of individual prosperity.

However, this is not only demonstrable in theory; we can see empirical examples of this holding true in practice as well. Just take a look at nature; we can observe numerous different types of animals which voluntarily choose to live in large groups-- wolves, elephants, lions, chimpanzees, 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 such '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, as it ensures them a greater chance of their survival and thus given them more time to pass on their genes. The completely impartial, purely utility-centered mechanism of natural selection clearly indicates that the collectivist lifestyle is beneficial to individuals.

Rationality mandates that if we are attempting to choose between two ideas, and if one of the ideas encompasses the goals of the other idea, then we must favor that one all-encompassing idea. In this case, that is collectivism, with its maximization of the probability of individual success. My next argument further supports this by contending that individualism in practice is detrimental to collective success (and therefore detrimental individual success as well, since the collective is composed of individuals).


Individualism has negative social repercussions in practice

Whenever we observe individualism being implemented in society, we always see with it an accompanying 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 entirely egalitarian, with the social bonds between family members holding together large clans in which every individual was cared for and provided with an equal distribution of resources; conflict between clans was also minimal by virtue of social bonds between clans developed through inter-marriage and trade [1]. 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 and social stratification became the centerpieces of human societies [2]. From that point onwards, human history has been notably more violent, with wars, slavery, tension between classes, and crime becoming commonplace.

This trend has continued throughout history, with events motivated by the pursuit of individual interests always resulting in a society which is worse off than before. This is most notably visible in the French Revolution, with the bourgeoisie and their desire for greater personal liberties 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). Signs of social decay are far more prevalent in urban centers than rural areas, with rates of violent crime and poverty levels being 3 to 4 times higher in cities than on the countryside [3]. Individualism simply does not work out in practice, as it attempts to simultaneously promote everyone's conflicting self-interests at once, which inevitably leads to tension, violence, and the degeneration of the social fabric that bonds people together. Thus, collectivism should be preferred by default.


Individualism lacks a valid ethical justification

From the definitions of Individualism and Collectivism for this debate, we can assume that morality exists to preserve human interests, which are usually centered around the avoidance of suffering and the obtaining of happiness. Both Collectivism and Individualism aim to accomplish this common goal of ethics, only differing in whose interests are valued more and in what manner. Individualism posits that everyone should value their own interests above everyone else's, while Collectivism posits that everyone should value everyone's interests equally (thus leading us to the conclusion that preserving the maximum possible number of people's interests the ethical choice).

The problem with individualism is in its lack of warrants. I will go ahead and demonstrate why the most common justification of it, that of psychological egoism, is invalid. Even if it is true that human beings are innately selfish and thus subjectively value their own interests over those of others, that doesn't necessarily mean that they *should* do that. To use psychological egoism as a justification for individualism is to commit an example of is/ought fallacy-- a form of non-sequitur in which one falsely assumes that because something *is* done a certain way, it *ought* to be done that way. The default mindset of human beings does not necessarily serve as a valid criteria for morality.

Another problem with this justification of Individualism is that it has its basis completely in the subjective nature of human experience. If we evaluate it from a more distant perspective, we see that no one human being is objectively superior to another, and so it is only reasonable that we value all of their interests equally, which essentially leads us to the conclusion of collectivism's soundness. Thus, collectivism more objectively accounts for human interests than individualism, and it just has a much stronger ethical basis than individualism in general, effectively rendering it to be the more rational philosophy.


Three independently functioning reasons to prefer collectivism over individualism have been presented.
The resolution is affirmed!

And with that, I eagerly await Con's constructive case :D

[1] http://www.cavemenworld.com...
[2] http://www.d.umn.edu...
[3] http://law.jrank.org...
lannan13

Con

Contention 1: Humans are selfish.
I shall first prove how humans are selfish and wouldn't really be able to function in a collective society, but would rather only be able to fit into an individualistic society.

Sigmund Freud has stated that humans are selfishly aggressive. Let me give you an example. Say you're walking down the street and you see a homeless man begging for change. You give the man change. You feel good knowing that now he has money to get some food into his stomach, but Freud has agrued that this was only done, because you want to save the genes of the human race and you want it to continue. Also that you now get a feel good feeling and if you didn't you would feel guilty and ashamed. You could have easily done it just so you can feel good about yourself. Here he is quoted.

"I have found little that is 'good' about human beings on the whole. In my experience most of them are trash, no matter whether they publicly subscribe to this or that ethical doctrine or to none at all. That is something that you cannot say aloud, or perhaps even think."

Thomas Hobbes has also shown that humanity, by nature, is rotten. That we will rape and pillage everything unless we have a threat. This of course being laws and punishment. Otherwise we would end up in chaos and anarchy. (http://www.iep.utm.edu...) I added the raping and pillaging parts as I was, once again, speaking about the Human Nature. http://oregonstate.edu...) (Hobbes has stated that human nature is poor, nasty, brutish, and short. This is how we argued that we have governments via the Social Contract Theory. For an example I would give up my right to kill Pro and Pro would, in turn, give up his right to kill me. If he were to denies it and kill me and say, "Meh, one less Ginger," the government would punish him. See we don't violate the law, because of either religion or pure fear out of the government taking away our rights or the death penalty. (http://philosophypages.com...)

“one, the postulate of human greed by which each man insists upon his own private use of common property; the other, the postulate of natural reason, by which each man strives to avoid violent death” (De Cive, Epistle Dedicatory).

We can see here above that simply we go to avoid death and we all know that one of the leading fears is death. Why do we fear death? What will happen to our families when we die? How will I be remembered? Could I have done better? What's next? Am I going to heaven or hell? These are all questions that we ponder when it comes to the afterlife. We simply fear the unknown.

Contention 2: Individualism and the hard work.

There is no greater arguer of individualism than Alexis de Tocqueville who defines Individualism as fallows (yes I still accept Pro's definition, but this is part of my argument):

“a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself." (Translation by Lawrence, George (1969). Perennial Classics. Quotations are from Volume II, Part 2, Chapter 2-4. Page 506)

He later argues in his novel that America (in the 1800s) is great for it's individualism as we are willing to risk all of our personal fortunes and earning to take a chance in buisness or the great wilderness of the American fronteer. Unlike Europe at the time where people only past down land to the oldest in the family and that was it, in the US people took chances and defied society's discouragement to take chances to better the economy and better the world as expected by you in a democratic society.

As social equality spreads there are more and more people who, though neither rich nor powerful enough to have much hold over others, have gained and kept enough wealth and enough understanding to look after their own needs. Such folk owe no man anything and hardly expect anything from anybody. They form the habit of thinking of themselves in isolation and imagine their whole destiny is in their own hands” (Same source as above page 508).

Tocqueville argues that this is necessary to be individualistic in order to maintain an independence and not being able to have to expect society to have to support you Ralph Waldo Emmerson agrees with this theory in his essay Self-Reliance, where he argues that it is the upmost importance that one must live by their own instint, because it is important that one stays independent. He also goes on to argue that one growth is dettermined by their independence from society and that one's own abilities to choose for one's self and make your own decissions make it important.

Debate Round No. 2
UchihaMadara

Pro

Thanks to Lannan for his argument!


R1) Humans are Selfish


Firstly, this line of argumentation succumbs to both of the pre-emptive objections I put forth last round in the 'ethical justification' section: just because humans *are* selfish doesn't mean they *should* be selfish, and if we take into account the observation that no one human being is objectively superior to another, we see that we must value all of their self-interests equally (i.e. collectivism) rather than resort to a system which is completely based in the subjective whims of humanity (i.e. individualism). Either one of these objections serve to knock out individualism's ethical basis, and thus its philosophical soundness as a whole.

I can also cross-apply my first & second arguments, here. If collectivism leads to a higher chance of individualistic success, and individualism often leads to a more dangerous environment for the individuals themselves, then it is in every individual's best interests to form and live in a collectivist society. So even if psychological egoism is true, collectivism is preferable.

The most outstanding problem, however, is that there is no reason to believe that humans are actually inherently selfish. As Con has presented it, psychological egoism is merely a hypothesis, substantiated only by conjecture and a few appeals to authority (Freud & Hobbes). There is a significant difference between conclusively demonstrating that selfishness is the primary motivator of all human actions and speculating that selfishness *could* plausibly serve as a motivator for many human actions. Given the extent of egoism's absolutist claims, Con needs to do the former, yet he has only done the latter. Moreover, there are some human actions which cannot reasonably be explained as being selfishly motivated. Consider the following example:

"Private McGinnis, of Knox, Pa., was killed in a Baghdad neighborhood on Dec. 4, 2006, when a grenade was thrown into the gunner"s hatch of the Humvee in which he was riding... Private McGinnis had enough time to jump out and save himself but instead dropped into the hatch and covered the grenade with his own body, absorbing the fragments. He was killed instantly. All four of his fellow soldiers were saved." [1]. To suggest that this action was selfishly motivated is simply absurd; there was virtually nothing that the self-sacrificing soldier had to gain from losing his life. Postmortem honor gives him no tangible benefits (because he's too dead to enjoy it), and considering the extreme pressure and time constraints present in his situation, it is highly unlikely that he had the leisure to utilize such foresight in making his decision. Hundreds and thousands of self-sacrifices such as this have been committed throughout history, and each and every one completely defies egoism, instead indicating that humans do have an intrinsic sense of empathy which motivates altruistic actions.


R2) Individualism and the hard work


The point of Pro's argument here is a bit unclear. He seems to be relying on the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville to try demonstrating that the individualistic values of the early United States are what made it successful. In other words, it's a case study of sorts. However, looking over his argument, we don't actually see any real attempt being made to negate the resolution-- it neither serves to attack collectivism nor to promote individualism.

For example, Con presented Tocqueville's definition of individualism: "'a calm and considered feeling which disposes each citizen to isolate himself from the mass of his fellows and withdraw into the circle of family and friends; with this little society formed to his taste, he gladly leaves the greater society to look after itself.'" However, this definition of individualism doesn't really contradict collectivism at all. As long as the individual is still willing to take measures to benefit the collective when necessary, the individual is perfectly free to form a 'little society' of his own for the purposes of providing himself and his loved ones with greater personal satisfaction. Introversion doesn't imply individualism.

Con goes on to praise the merits of early American citizens: "in the US people took chances and defied society's discouragement to take chances to better the economy and better the world as expected by you in a democratic society." Yet again, this doesn't reject collectivism or support individualism. If anything, it only supports collectivism, with its mentions of how citizens are supposed to 'better the economy and better the world.' Moreover, democracy is inherently collectivist because it seeks to take into account the will of the majority-- it values the best interests of society as a whole.

The only part where he even vaguely attempts to support individualism is in his final paragraph ("Tocqueville argues... decissions make it important"). However, that entire paragraph is nothing more than a series of unsubstantiated ideological claims which already assume that individualistic ideals are valuable, and are backed up by nothing more than appeals to authority (Tocqueville & Emerson). Moreover, his Tocqueville quotation only relates to people who are *already* wealthy and self-sufficient. Obviously, in the real world, the majority of people are not fortunate enough to live in such a state of prosperity, so that whole line of argumentation is inapplicable and should be dismissed.


CONCLUSION

Con's attempt to justify individualism from psychological egoism simply has too many holes in it for us to accept it; not only can all three of my opening arguments be cross-applied to favor collectivism, but psychological egoism is also very likely to be outright false. Con's second case (not really sure what else to call it...) can scarcely even be considered an argument, as it barely does anything to negate the resolution, and the few places where it does attempt to do so are plagued with bare assertions and circular logic.

The resolution remains affirmed.


[1] http://www.nytimes.com...;

lannan13

Con

Contention 1: Collectivism



My opponents bring up the thoery of utilitarianism where the needs of the many outweight the needs of the few. There are many times in history that we have seen that the needs of the majority have led to terrible things. My opponent's justification of the majority over the minority can be used to justify slavery as it could better the economy and that the masters in the nation outnumber the slaves. While in the Triangle Trade days, slavery was justified by saving them from the terrible living conditions, converting them to Christianity, and bettering the economy and benefitting even the slaves to not doing it and harming multiple people. (http://tylerquillin.wordpress.com...) It has also been used to argue genocide from NAZI Germany to Extreme Radical Islam.



Anotherf thing here is that under a collectivist society there is no motivation for an individual to be strong, to be healthy, to actually work hard, to provide for one's self, and/or be beneificial to society. Why is this you may ask? You have no motivation, because the system will provide for you no matter what and we would be creating a free rider problem. A free rider problem is where no one contributes to society and only flies by and lives off of the effect of others. This is one of the things that has a greater chance of occuring in a collectivist society than an individualistic society.


Contention 2: Individualism


Now for your attack on individualism, why in the world do we need a community? Yes, the chaos may cause the death of several people, but the fact is that why isn't that a bad thing? Everyman for himself isn't such a bad society and in a default situation we would laspes back into an individualistic society.


My opponent's attack on me is based on the assumption that we need a community. The theory we need a community is based on nothing. We do not need a community in the first place, Unless the individual is more prepared to help and work harder than the person next to him he would need


You obviously cannot expect a babby, a senior citizen, or (excuse my terminology here) a "Special" person cannot be expected to be fully functional and be able to further society for the resources. What would happen here if we had overpopulation on Earth under collectivism. As I said you need to get the most amount of resources from, but without motivation you won't be able to get anything. You can expect people to be equally individualistic you cannot expect people to be equally collectivist. People fall back on the individualism as the default due to the motivation under every situation.



When is out for themselves then they can help, but under collectivism you are only out there to help for others and not yourself as you expect others to help you out, but under a collectivist society we have the free rider problem and that's more people doing nothing than most things, because you have no motivation. Today there is 45 million people bellow the poverty line in the world. (http://www.census.gov...)



I also showed how Tocqueville's definition, but when we apply both we can see that both Individualiams and Collectivism are quite similiar. In Individualism those are thinking for themselves and better society by their success. In a Collective society people try to better society as a whole by bettering others. We can see that the definitions are quite similiar, but the fact is that in an individualistic society people are motivated and that we are not affected by the Free Rider Problem, because we do not have to rely on others. My opponent also states that the US is a democracy and thus a collective society, but it is the Capialist individualistic view point of many Americans that has prevented this nation from turning into Socialist in the mid-1900s or even fascist in the 1930's. He also states that Tocqueville's quotes only apply to wealthy, but they apply to the risk takers in America who are motivated to take the risk in order to make a profit.



Contention 3: Humans are selfish.



There have been many examples in history where a Collectivist society has sprung up, but only to fall due to Power corrupting it's leaders such as the USSR. IF there was a true collectivist society then it would be a grassroots deomocracy and there is none currently. THis is where the actions of the government, every single law, is voted upon by the average citizen and that represents a collective society while the US can be an individualistic society due to the Corporations giving massive amounts of money to give to cannidates and then they make the decissions, while a majority of the national laws are created by these people and not the country. WHose to say that a Senator from New York has the same interests and knowledge as per say a Senator from Alaska. It doesn't and a bill that perhaps highers the US gas prices may be introduced by the New Yorker since they don't drive a ton of cars so they don't understand the repercusions, but it will raise food prices as a result.


My opponent argues that the Marine’s acts were selfless, but he failed to counter may Freud argument showing that he did this to save the genes of more people so the human race could continue and that those genes can still exist.

Debate Round No. 3
UchihaMadara

Pro

Thanks for the debate, Lannan.

I am thoroughly perplexed by Con's organization of his rebuttal round, as he has completely changed up the structure of my argument, with random points being placed under the wrong contentions, all of the headers' names being different, and parts of his counter-rebuttals being mixed in with his rebuttals. I will attempt to sift through it all and address the relevant points he brings up...

1. Collectivism and Slavery

This is simply based in a misunderstanding of collectivism's utilitarian ethical justification. Utilitarian calculations aren't based on just the *number* of people benefited by an action; they also take into account the societal effects of considering the action generally permissible (i.e. most people would not want to live in a society in which they can legally be enslaved), as well as the disparity in the amounts of utility gained/lost by the involved persons (i.e. the slaves gain more happiness from being allowed to be free than the 'masters' do from the economic benefits of slavery). Thus, Con's claim that collectivism justifies slavery is patently false.

2. "Motivation"

This point wholly relies on conflating collectivism with communism. Communism is a failed attempt at implementing one person's (false) view of what is best for the collective. In reality, collectivism does allow for a productive capitalistic society-- it simply obligates individuals to ensure that they make minimal sacrifices for the sake of the collective's well-being when necessary. Thus, all of Con's attempts to dismiss collectivism on the basis that communist societies have failed are irrelevant and should be dismissed. And besides that, Con ignores the fact that a hypothetical system which actually allows for all of people's needs to be fulfilled without hard work wouldn't necessarily bad; rather, it would be considered a basis for utopia.

3. Humans need Communities

Firstly, none of my arguments rely on the premise that human beings need communities; both of my practical arguments were focused on showing that collectivism benefits individuals more than individualism does. And even if my argument *was* based on such a premise, it wouldn't really be unwarranted because humans *are* social animals-- they have evolved to be live in collectivist communities (i.e. families, clans, tribes, etc), thriving on such lifestyles for eons before individualism took root in human societies. "...humans are not just biological creatures. We are also social creatures, the most social on earth. The ways we deal with each other, from personal to international relationships, can have as much an influence on our behavior as our instinctive reactions."(http://public.wsu.edu...)

4. Individualism benefits Society

Con consistently states that the goal of individualism is to "better society" through the success of individuals. However, this misconstrues the definition of individualism, and is quite contradictory to the rest of his case. The definition of individualism clearly states that the *interests of the individuals* are ethically paramount; there is no mention anywhere of 'bettering society'-- that addendum is simply a post-hoc rationalization of individualistic beliefs to make them more consistent with our ethical intuitions. Moreover, it goes against Con's own argument from psychological egoism-- if all humans are selfish, then their only motivation for achieving success is self-interest, rather than some hidden desire to "better society".

5. Psychological Egoism

Interestingly enough, in attempting to defend his theory that all humans are selfish, Con inadvertently concedes that collectivism would lead to a more prosperous society, stating that "IF there was a true collectivist society then it would be a grassroots deomocracy". That aside, his defense is inadequate. The reason why truly collectivist societies don't seem to exist in the modern world is not because humans are innately selfish, but rather because of how deeply individualism has already taken root with its corruption of leaders and empowerment of the wealthy. I showed in my opening argument why the default state of human kind is collectivist; given that and the counter-examples I presented last round, it is implausible that humans are innately selfish. As for Con's Freudian argument abut how all altruistic human acts could be motivated by a desire to pass on genes, I already addressed it last round-- all such hypotheses are speculative at best, and laughable at worst. Asserting that something *could* be true does not demonstrate that it *is* true.

CONCLUSION

I have offered three cases in favor of the resolution:

1) Collectivism increases the chances of individualistic success, so even if one favors individualism, they are automatically favoring collectivism as being the more rational position.

2) Individualism usually produces negative societal conditions which only serve to harm individual interests in the long run, thus rendering it to be a self-contradictory and inherently irrational philosophy.

3) Collectivism has a far superior ethical justification to Individualism, with the latter only being supported by is/ought fallacies and the subjectivity of human perception.

Any one of these cases is capable of affirming the resolution on its own, yet Con has not given a compelling rebuttal to even *one* of them, instead completely missing the mark with every one of his points due to misunderstandings of what exactly collectivism entails. Collectivism has been thoroughly demonstrated to be a preferable philosophy to Individualism; the resolution is fully affirmed. Vote Pro!
lannan13

Con


Thank you Pro for a great debate.


I apologize for the condensing of the arguments last round as I tried to consolidate arguments into an easy track able part, but it appears that I have done the opposite.


Contention 1: Slavery


I understand that utilitarianism is the greatest utility over the loss and slavery would meet that justification. (I’m not endorsing Slavery, but am just making this argument) You see we actually improved the lives of Africans by bringing them over here from Africa. The Slave trade took up place when tribal leaders would go to war and sell the defeated armies instead of killing them. So we firstly saved their lives. When we brought them over we gave them food, water, and housing. We also encouraged them to build a nuclear family on the plantation, though families were broken up often to build profit from sales. We also gave them a religion from their atheism or Muslim faith. The religion seemingly gave them a push to fight for freedom through their works as slave owners made promises if they met certain quotas that they would be free. The South also showed that the Slave in the South had it better than the freed black in the north by showing that in the north the freedman was poor, homeless, jobless, and starving, all things that slavery prevented. The North rejected them and it was obvious when the Civil Rights movement went north and the protests became violent. You can see that slavery is justified under utilitarianism and is a black spot that Pro is not willing to show.



Contention 2: Motivation


My opponent attacks my communism attack, but when we look to the example of FDR’s New Bill of Rights we can see otherwise. FDR was attempting to establish the US a collectivist welfare state, but he failed to see that if we had all that money coming in that we would need someone to actually supply the funds and was not pursued by President Truman because of this premise. (http://www.heritage.org...) You can see that we can apply this to the collectivist society that once again that we wouldn’t have the motivation to do anything except hold out our hand and ask for help while giving none back. My opponent dropped my free rider argument so I extend that across the board. He also dropped the Overpopulation argument so I extend that across showing that if there is overpopulation the collectivist society would require the most amount of minerals and would lead to an anti-utopian society much like The Unwind by Neil Shusterman or The Giver.



Contention 3: Communities



My opponent argues that his argument doesn’t require communities, but the point of collectivism is that you need a society to help better and have them in turn better you. Now my opponent states that we favor communities due to families and tribes, but in my definition that I had provided from Tocqueville in my 2nd round argument showed that individualism can occur when the person is secluded into families and/or a small group of friends which my opponent’s argument thus goes into my favor here stating that humanity prefers Individualistic type societies. This argument is key to this debate, because without communities there can be no one to help better and in turn you can’t be bettered as you are relying on a Collectivist Society which does not exist for you.



Contention 4: Individualism benefits society



The definition states that the needs of the individual should be considered an ethnic paramount and my argument applies that for say a business owner starts a new business in a seeking selfish gains of money incentives only. He in turn creates several jobs, GDP, and helps provide a certain new (or old) product to the market for consumers to purchase thus creating stock in which Wall Street can invest in and they would also help the business as the Wall Street investors would also be getting a gain. You can see that even by a selfish motive of just creating wealth by starting a business you in turn create a massive amount of stimulace for the economy to grow and you help the society better itself thanks to your desire to risk it all for whatever purpose that you desire.



Contention 5: Egoism


My opponent states that the reason that there is no collectivist societies is because individualism took its selfish roots, but one can see that the selfishness helped lead to the betterment of society. People invent several things for a monetary profit and in turn better society. Whether it would be Edison’s invention lab that came forth with the light bulb, the telephone, the railroad, the industrialization of the US, or even the internet. US is one of the world’s greatest economic powerhouses and would not be so if a British engineer had come to the US to sell the ideas and turn the US into an Industrial giant. So we can see that the all humans are selfish that people will prefer Individualism and we can see that over history the humans have bettered their society through collectivism.



Thank you and please vote Con!


Debate Round No. 4
91 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
I'm not really seeing how that's possible... how was Marx even vaguely individualistic? XD
He supported quite literally stealing property from the wealthy...
I'll read up on the Soroush guy to see how egoistic collectivism would work lol
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
18Karl
@Lannan

The contention that humans are selfish is a total lie. Humans are born naturally more altruistic, and it is the nature of society that allows human to be selfish.
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
18Karl
@Uchy

The concept of psychological egoism is not related in anyway to individualism. Psychological individualism is psychological egoism, but there are also altruistic individualists, and egoistic collectivists. An example of the latter could be Karl Marx, whose ideals were egoistic yet collectivistic. An example of the former could be the whole religion of Islam, as interpreted by Abdolkarim Soroush. The Shia faith could be considered altruistic individualistic in nature!
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
What can I say? I'm exhaustive... Or is it exhausting? :P
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I was going to read this and vote.... And then I saw whiteflame's RFD and thought... Can't top that sht...
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
True, but they're related....
Posted by 18Karl 2 years ago
18Karl
HEY UCHY, I FOUND OUT SOMETHING:

Egoism =/= Individualism
Posted by Soul.Purge 2 years ago
Soul.Purge
Ok, I will show you how it's done.

Contention 1: Humans are selfish.
Does not follow. I found no piece of information ,in your comment, from which it follows that humans are greedy. (besides natural survival instincts)

Contention 2: Individualism and the hard work.
Again, does not follow. How does working for good of majority (thus for your own good because you, most likely, are part of majority) equals less hard work? Independance? So there are no independent workers who happen to work hard? Argument rejected.

Contention 1: Collectivism
You only prove that morals are subjective and change over time. Were you born 2000 years ago, you would, most likely, be for the slavery since majority were. Saying that action x should not be done because it is currently immoral is quiet frankly dumb. I would even say that its appeal to emotions fallacy. Provide us with logical, rational arguments against collectivism. Do not play on our morals, which change all the time.

Contention 2: Individualism
We evolved tribes, cities and countries exactly because its easier to survive in group. If there was no need to gather in groups, then buildings in which we live would be scattered uniformly across region. But they are not, they are clumped together instead. This directly suggests that humans, in general, believe that living in groups will raise survival chance.

'unless the individual is more prepared to help and work harder than the person next to him'
you are assuming that there cant and wont be any regulations regarding quality and speed of work. That's foolish.

', but without motivation you won't be able to get anything. '
again, how do you conclude that working for good of majority instead of personal gain will result in lowered motivation. You are, most likely, part of majority, therefore when you work for good of majority, you essentially work for your own good.

Contention 3: Humans are selfish.
Humans are rewarded for being selfish so obviously th
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
Thanks for all the feedback, whiteflame! :D
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
RFD (Pt. 1):

So it appears that this debate ends up getting somewhat confused by the end, and that's mainly due to altered definitions. It still panned out to an interesting debate, but this starts confounding the debate in R2, and remains a gulf between Pro's and Con's arguments throughout the remainder.

I'll do a round-by-round evaluation.

R2:

Pro -

In general, the case looks good. Your second contention, due to the numerous pieces of support you provide, is easily your strongest. The first seems to function off of a basic set of assumptions that, thankfully for you, were never challenged. The idea that it's evoluntarily advantageous for organisms to voluntarily choose to live in large groups is true to a degree, but it wouldn't have taken many examples from Con to show that there are numerous organisms that don't live in large groups and get along very well all the same. Depending on the organism, there can be some demonstrable advantages to having fewer members in the same place. I think this contention could have been a lot better if you'd focused on the ways that human societies function instead " there are plenty of reasons why humans choose to live in substantial societies that don't really exist with other organisms. Nonetheless, as I say, this assumption isn't challenged, so it stands.

As for the third contention, I generally dislike pre-rebuttal. Savvy opponents will look to this and tailor their arguments to do one of two things: either completely avoid the issue, or address this rebuttal within their case by spending a lot of time on the core issue (in this case, psychological egoism). You don't want to be telegraphing your response ahead of time because they can make sure you wasted your time doing so. Con didn't do that, instead offering up a position that pretty firmly bit this rebuttal, but you can't and shouldn't expect others to do the same.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.
Vote Placed by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I was asked by Iannan to vote on this debate. On a side note, both the concepts of collectivism and individualism combine in modern society. Indeed it seems the "debate" is typically where the preferred balance is. That stated, this debate pits the two at odds with each other comparing "on balance" which is preferred. With that in mind... Pro argues in round two that collectivism increases the chances of individual success. "And since an individual is statistically more likely to part of the majority than the minority, collectivism ensures that any given individual is more likely to have their interests protected than not. Thus, theoretically, collectivism increases the probability of individual prosperity." This is, to me, a very convincing argument. Also by the end of the debate it seems to have hardly been addressed by Con. As such it seems to me to stand at the end of the debate. Overall I found Pro's arguments more convincing.
Vote Placed by Max.Wallace 2 years ago
Max.Wallace
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I will revote, after I have fully read the debate.
Vote Placed by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
UchihaMadaralannan13Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments