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Re: the collective ?



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In a message dated 8/23/00 4:27:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Cprakash@goplay.com writes:

<< There is no collective mind. there is no collective body. There is no 
 collective wish or desire because only an individual has desires, 
 wishes. when 9 out of 10 individuals have a similar opinion, we say - 
 society has an opinion. I personally don't think society can have an 
 opinion. A society is little more than the individuals who compose 
 it.and when it becomes something more than that, its time to repair 
 it to restore our individual rights again.>>

Hmm... although from a philosophical perspective I'm succulently drawn to 
argue in favor of a universal consciousness and a collective mind, I will 
refrain at this time from making such a claim.  To address this issue is a 
more enigmatic way, I would agree with you that there isn't a collective mind 
like the Borg in Startrek.  But nevertheless every human being has some basic 
necessities.  Defined by modern psychology (and even some old hindu texts); 
the Maslowian pyramid of needs are common to any human being.  Food, Water, 
Safety, Comfort... are all common human desires, needed to sustain life.  
Hence I think a society - a collection of Individuals, which exists to serve 
the welfare of individuals - must address these basic needs before it can 
address other specific needs of any one individual.
 
<< the ecosystem argument - good one, but tell me any case where 
 the "ecosystem" is hurt ? what happens is that individual plants and 
 animals die - in large numbers perhaps, but nevertheless, the deaths 
 are individual.
  >>

Even if I concede that society is an abstraction... I find it pediatric to 
prove the numerous times when entire societies have been destroyed and not 
simply individuals.  Mass atrocities not only affect many individuals that 
make up a society but also destroy the fundamentals of societies, either it 
be the destruction of forests by tribal native americans or relocation of 
masses by the british. 

An action of one creature, or one group of creatures, have resulted in 
disturbing the balance of entire ecosystems and destruction of many parts of 
community.  Industrialism of mankind has already played a major role in the 
destruction of many rain-forests.  Destruction of the ozone layer has further 
led to the continous decay and destruction of the entire biosphere, of which 
man himself is a part and slowly but surely livelihoods of man himself is 
getting destroyed, through rapid increase in skin  and other cancers, and 
through increase in virile diseases.  If we examine the root of all this evil 
it has been the alienation of man from nature and his false beliefs in 
existing only for himself without respect for the interdependency of the 
ecosystem.  Ultimately the safeguards of society must return man to his 
natural state and must address the concerns of all in the "ecosystem" and not 
simply individual desires.

Peace,

Naveen


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