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The voice of an individual

  1. May 14, 2004 #1
    This is something I often think about whenever public polls are conducted, or anything else that involves many people. For example, tomorrow there is a rally to oppose our government and I'm thinking if I should go. If 100,000 people show up, would it make a difference if I came? Usually the answer is "But what if all of those people thought like you", but I don't accept that as a real answer, because I fail to see how me going or not going can possibly influence those 100,000 other people. Every person will either come or not, but no one will think "Hmm, is Chen coming? Because if he isn't, I ain't going either!".
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2004 #2


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    My opinion on statements made purely to express conscience is that you do not make them for others, or for the effect they will have, you make them for yourself. You do not go to the rally to support or oppose your government, or to support the others who show up. You go there or stay away as a measure to yourself of your depth of feeling on the matter.

    Ironically, when I know with great confidence how I feel about an issue, and know I have fulfilled my societal duties toward that belief, I don't bother with any kind of demonstrations. It is only when I have been ambivalent that I feel I must dedicate myself to a cause.

    Going to a rally is like jumping into a cold pool all at once to get used to the temperature. If you're already used to the temperature, why bother?

  4. May 14, 2004 #3
    My question was not actually specific about such allies, it was just an example. I might as well have used the example of elections.... 6 million votes, why should mine make a difference? Why should I even bother voting?
  5. May 14, 2004 #4
    Then I take it you do not believe in the butterfly effect? :surprise:
  6. May 14, 2004 #5
    Please explain the correlation between the butterfly effect (I assume you are speaking of Lorentz's idea rather than the movie) and this thread.
  7. May 14, 2004 #6


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    The connection between the butterfly effect and your wondering about going to the rally is of course that whichever you do, it could be the butterfly wing that causes the big storm down the way. Assuming that human history is at least partly chotic, any tiny cause could be amplified. You could be that cause.
  8. May 15, 2004 #7
    That's not really the point of this thread, though...
  9. May 15, 2004 #8
    I am sorry for my repeatation, I also know you know this much ..I just would like to talk about the case you just gave in your Original post.

    You were making so many 'if_ies' and that would turn your clauses to be unreal conditions.
    An individual doesnot mean anything to the whole community, but the whole community is created by many individuals...I say "many" because no individual can live without his/her community or her partners, nextdoor friends etc...or build himself a castle. But since that relationship always and always comes into existence to sustain the culture, and civilization, etc, each individual must have his/her responsibilities to do something for the community.
    Plus, it also depends on many different situations, you can say you wont go for that poll, and you can even do it, stay home and watch tv, who cares ?
    If tommorow, my white rabit gets sick and unfortunately dies, will the whole world die then ? But the fact is that it will be me who will be really sad about it. It is just a really "normal relationship" between me and my pet, it means nothing, not big problem at all. But what if we take into consideration something much bigger, more important ?
    "Bigger, Important" in this case should be thought in a general way, and for all, not for one. The main problem is that we dont usually think about this without ourself. It is hard to it conversely....
    I cant do it because its me who can't do it and thats my problem which might also cause troubles to other people. Like my little Shay-the sick white rabit-it is her own problem that makes me really sad if she 's gone.
    However and again that is also my own problem, because she is mine, and that is our relationship...you also have your own ones and we are creating our society...So, go for that poll, because people do, you must do. It is true that no one thinks the same way as you think, only what you do must be the same as what people do....in some cases, in its own sense...
    Last edited: May 15, 2004
  10. May 16, 2004 #9
    The thing is you don't do it for anybody else, you do it for yourself. If it's something you believe it, you do it. Regardless of how many or how little, or if you're the only person that does it. Just be you. Don't worry about anybody else or what they're doing.
  11. May 16, 2004 #10
    now, i do not believe you can sffect social change just by thinking about it. i believe there must be subsequent action.

    also, this is the philosophy forum. i also believe that when you make the conscious decision to attend, you send out a telepathic message and add metaphysical energy to the event. perhaps recruiting more participants that are in tune with you and your consciousness.

    the event is not only within the physical experience. there are many, many levels of communication.

    love and peace,
    olde drunk
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