Thursday, January 15, 2009

Phenomenological Argument On The Nature Of The Individual

I [apparently] wrote this October 13, 2006:
I have a theory, among others, about the nature of human kindness.

Most of my theories revolve around the principle of negation. That is to say, we find truth, or what is right, through the recognition and interpretation of the transcendence of our social sensibility.

I posit my argument on the platform of destructed and re-constructed natures of the objective individuals (or society as a whole).

Observe now, what I observe; 1) I drive in my car, a person wants to change lanes, I let them get over, they wave in the manner of gratitude. 2) I hold the door open for someone, and they say thank you in the manner of gratitude.

Those two empirical points delimit the parameters of the theory; human kindness used to be innate, but now, that kindness has died [in a figurative sense]. What is to blame for this murder of virtue? Simply put, it is our progressive society.

What once used to be a whole is now a split of a split of a split. society is not a whole; it is a summation of "ones", or "individuals". We no longer began to care for anyone but ourselves. Our selfishness took over, and we were doomed to be that way for our entire lives.

However, with death comes life. The virtue of human kindness may have died, but that doesn't mean a new sort of virtue wasn't born in its place. I base this conclusion on the fact that people thank us for doing good things. The person waved to me for letting them change lanes; the person thanked me for holding the door open for them. if human kindness was vested in us, and eternal, then these common salutations would no longer be necessary. Every act would be for the sake of kindness. we would not take anything for granted, because we know that we would return the favor in kind.

However, once again, we observe, through negation, that human kindness is dead, and has to be reborn within the individual. It is the individual's sole responsibility for this rebirth.

Accordingly, the very fact that we must show thanks for peoples' actions indicates that kindness is dead, and we are all doing our part to see it live and thrive again, if not for the very first time.


  1. If we were a highly evolved society, I agree that every action that was performed would be for the sake of kindness and we would automatically be

    'treating strangers
    as our other half,
    where nothing was too much
    for the well-being of another
    and selfishness was forgotten,
    a thing of the past.'
    (from my book 'Family and More - Enemies or Friends?')

    and perhaps in such a society, as kindness would be a natural way of being, the words 'thank you' would no longer be needed. It is an interesting point that you make, and whilst I don't agree that kindness is 'dead' (rather lying 'dormant',) I do agree that it is the individual's responsibility to cultivate kindness as a way of being.

    Helena Harper

  2. I beg to differ. Today's society is just as kind (probably more so) than these that preceded it. We just express our kindness in different ways that remove us from the beneficiary of our kindness. We pay higher taxes for a limited welfare state that provides assistance to these who needed it. Our society gives millions in charitable donations. We have less discrimination on basis of ethnicity and other factors than a more collectivist society (a small town for example). A more individualistic society is no less kind than a collectivist one. Its just that in an individualistic society, kindness is impersonal, where as in a collectivist society kindness is ONLY personal.

  3. Hmm. I find both of [your] points to be rather interesting. Let me point out that that was something that I wrote a few years ago, and my opinions have most definitely changed with regards to the human being and its condition(s).

    @Ivan, I agree that we have advanced as a society, and as a people; I wasn't trying to argue otherwise.