unTapped Topic: Have You a Herd?

Of late, the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand has resurfaced as a major influence on politics and ethics in the United States. Ayn Rand was an effective apologists for Individualism (or Libertarianism), wherein the individual is seen as more important than a group. According to Rand, collective groups had to trample on the liberties of an individual to survive, and were thus immoral. Rand said that individual happiness was life's 'moral objective.'

Much of Ms. Rand's philosophy resonates with Americans , who typically value personal liberty and personal property, while distrusting governments. Americans are suspicious of collective politcal philosophies like Communism and tend toward a libertarian perspective. But, some of the recent economic hardship has been blamed on Ayn Rand's economic philosophy.

Collectivism is the philosophical antithesis to Ayn Rand's individualism. Collectivism considers an interconnected group as the highest ethical priority. Sometimes, according to collectivism, we as individuals have to make sacrifices for the good of the group.

What do you think?

A few years ago, a tourist's YouTube video of an African Safari went viral on the internet. The video (below) has now been seen over 55 million times and has received news coverage from major networks all over the world.

The video depicts a pride of lions attacking a few water buffalo and carrying away a calf to feast on. But, the powerful lions are interrupted, not once but twice. The first interruption comes from a hungry crocodile, looking to steal the lions' prey. Soon after that distraction is dealt with, the lions are then interrupted by ... water buffalo! A whole huge herd returns to rescue their calf from the predators. It is an amazing display of the strength of numbers, and the power of courageous loyalty.

Morally/ethically, who do you root for or identify with in this video?

This video brings up several interesting questions:
  • how does this video illustrate the power of individualism, collectivism?
  • who was the victim in this video?
  • how were the hungry lions overpowered by the lowly water buffalo?

Join us at Short's Brewing this Thursday for a conversation about Individualism and Water Buffaloes!

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In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

Anything goes here. No matter where you are or who you are, we want to hear from you. Feel free to join in the conversation!

You can also join us in person, every Thursday night at Short's Brewing Company in Downtown Bellaire, MI.