Recent ethical questions brought this to my forefront.

Consider: Are we individuals to be used, directed, educated and shaped to a certain pattern by society and government; or does society exist for the sake of the individual to express itself?

asked 14 Jan '11, 13:27

jim%2010's gravatar image

jim 10

If we believe that we're to be used, directed, educated and shaped to a certain pattern by society and government, that is exactly what we will experience. Only when we become aware of this limiting belief within us, can we begin to break free from it and become the person we were born to be - free to express our unique individuality while, concurrently, contributing in a positive and uplifting way to the society in which we live.


answered 14 Jan '11, 15:39

Michaela's gravatar image


Society is an instrument of humanity. As a society we must meet the standards of each other and in return we are given rights to our spoil. One mans labor is another mans rest.


answered 14 Jan '11, 14:16

Constantine's gravatar image


From 1607-1978 the Office of Education was housed within the Department of the Interior, a Federal Cabinet established to advance American culture. In 1979 Jimmy Carter removed the Office of Education from the control of the Interior and created a new Federal Cabinet, Department of Education. Some say Carter did this--as a lame duck President--as his way of saying "thanks" to the NEA, whose support helped sweep him into office.

The goals of education are now and have always been the advancement of American culture, workforce and citizenship--it has never been the intention of the education system to promote the individual over the interests of the many. Thomas Jefferson considered himself America's first School Master and urged America to embrace as protocol emphasizing public over private wealth--Jefferson was a Socialist and Elitist in that he felt the rich should pay for public services to ensure a better life experience for everyone. Jefferson wanted the rich to pay for our schools since they were the clear benefactor--not the individual.

Profession William James, best known as the Father of Modern-day Psychology, urged teachers to spend much of their time observing students--especially those immigrant and non-native American students--in order that they may offer tracking recommendations. Public schools since the 1920s have embraced the Fordism model--get the students on the Public Education Assembly Line--move them quickly through that line. If we observe a potential problem--a student who might slow that line down--we will pull that student off the line, throw them away.

You want to be treated like an individual, like you matter, like you count? Go to a private school, write them a big tuition check--you might not be taught by certified teachers who follow State curriculum standards but you can be sure of one thing, your experience will be like the drive-thru lane at Burger King: Yes, you can have it your way. After all, it is YOUR dime.

Public school, that's my money, jack--and I need you to finish high school with the skills necessary to become an active citizen who understands their duties and responsibilities as an American citizen.

(This is not how I feel personally, but as an Education Professor myself, I can guarantee that each word is true, sadly.)


answered 24 Mar '11, 01:43

jmw's gravatar image


what a good question .

it's true we need a society with a framework within which we hopefully all have the freedom to express ourselves .

in practice things are a lot more complicated ...


answered 14 Jan '11, 14:52

blubird%20two's gravatar image

blubird two

Good question Dude:

Of course society exists for the sake of the individual to express him/her self.

But, that premise will ONLY work, IF, there are LAWS that prohibit one person's free expression from interfering with another person's free expression.

Freedom under law is the ethical ideal.

Freedom without responsibility is an illusion.

That's why I say it's NOT easy.

Thanks for asking.


answered 14 Jan '11, 17:35

The%20Prophet's gravatar image

The Prophet

society exists because there is/are more than one of us.
social structures particulary governments exist because man does not yet understand how to make proper decisions without negatively impacting the rights of others.
not to implicate that the governments we live under are always just and /or fair


answered 15 Jan '11, 02:09

fred's gravatar image


The self exist for the self not society, however for the self to benefit the self must benefit from society. For the self to benefit from society, the self has to benefit society.

This a capitol ideal, if you need money for living, you create a service for people to pay you money for having. We'll say you create a business that benefits society in a way that society flocks to your door. You have created something to improve life for others, a good example of this is the DuPont corporation they have existed very many years creating products that most of us use today still. They have become very wealthy doing this, so as they became wealthy they as well contributed to the betterment of society and this has improved their own well being and standing.

So when we work on improving our selves we need to find a way to bring in what we need and to bring in what we need we must find a way to attract to us what we need, people pay for service or products so the way to get people to pay us is to have something to be paid for.

In other words when we become value creators for others we benefit from that as well as we should benefit of course.

We do even better if we let ourselves be lead by God in what way can we be the most beneficial to the value added to society.


answered 15 Jan '11, 16:21

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

I just read a quote today, I don't remember who said it. It went something like this, "Don't worry about what the world needs, do what makes you come alive, what the world needs is people who have come alive." Something to that affect any way. Just thought I would share it here.

(05 Apr '11, 23:09) Fairy Princess

Yes we affect the whole, when we change we change the world. Michael Jackson, "If you want to make the world a better place. Take a look at your self and make a change."

(06 Apr '11, 04:29) Wade Casaldi

I have alway felt society try to make me an instrument, I'm still fighting the good fight. My individuality, my knowing thyself and my lack of fear is to be my path.


answered 24 Mar '11, 07:32

you's gravatar image



Fighting brings you more to fight and more people to fight with you

(24 Mar '11, 07:58) Stingray

Point taken. I think better for me to say struggling. Fighting the good fight was more of a phrase than an actuality. But I agree. When I'm in non acceptance more fights come my way :) thank you sir :)

(24 Mar '11, 15:48) you

But I must add some times you have to fight. We can't let what the masses dictate how we should spend our money or who to vote for or what our kids should learn in school. Nothing wrong with fighting for what you believe in. And individuality has gone to the wayside. So in that sense I truly will continue the good fight. I am an individual and regardless what anyone says I'm doing my thing. And loving all and dislike a lot.

(24 Mar '11, 16:12) you
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