The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#21  Postby tuco » May 15, 2012 9:05 am

Saim wrote:
tuco wrote:

Cosmopolitanism is the view that

a) one's primary moral obligations are directed to all human beings (regardless of geographical or cultural distance), and
b) political arrangements should faithfully reflect this universal moral obligation (in the form of supra-statist arrangements that take precedence over nation-states).



same source. How many true cosmopolitans there are? Just one, and she died on a cross .. I guess.

I think lots of people would agree with that. :ask:


Question is whether those people do, in fact, act on such view, hence true cosmopolitans. Though it is a bit off topic and I admit the guilt.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#22  Postby Saim » May 15, 2012 9:52 am

tuco wrote:
Saim wrote:
tuco wrote:

Cosmopolitanism is the view that

a) one's primary moral obligations are directed to all human beings (regardless of geographical or cultural distance), and
b) political arrangements should faithfully reflect this universal moral obligation (in the form of supra-statist arrangements that take precedence over nation-states).



same source. How many true cosmopolitans there are? Just one, and she died on a cross .. I guess.

I think lots of people would agree with that. :ask:


Question is whether those people do, in fact, act on such view, hence true cosmopolitans. Though it is a bit off topic and I admit the guilt.

How would you quantify "acting" on such a view?

And should we have the same standard for other belief systems? Are only nationalists that "act" on their nationalism "true nationalists".

(I would consider myself "cosmopolitan" or "internationalist", by the way.)
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#23  Postby tuco » May 15, 2012 10:30 am

Well, I would like to consider myself a good person too, but there could issues with consistency (trueness) when looked upon closely. While the side note was a joke, we could certainly debate what it means to be true anything, or what primary moral obligations are and how can we tell if they are directed to anyone or not. That is beyond the scope of this thread I feel. If you are a cosmopolitan fine with me, though I would not say the issue in question, the Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism, is binary and neither are nationalists.

Practical example: I have zero problems buying local wine from a microwinery? for a number of reasons which could fulfil conditions for nationalistic tendencies while I could instead spend my money on Fair Trade or send them to charity. One could argue that my primary moral obligations are directed towards myself in this case. In this sense, true would probably mean radical.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#24  Postby Saim » May 15, 2012 11:02 am

The thing is cosmopolitanism isn't a 'moral obligation', it's an ideological/philosophical position. If you believe that the individual has a greater obligation to humanity as a whole than to their nation or ethnicity, if you want to get rid of border controls, if you want the world's governments to increasingly integrate, then I suppose you're in some sense an "internationalist". Whether or not you still have some subconscious preferences for your nation or ethnicity - as an internationalist you may have them, but you'd still think of it as a bad thing.

Please tell me if I've misunderstood what you're trying to get across here.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#25  Postby Phil75231 » May 20, 2012 2:21 am

davidpatricklawyer wrote:Is it rational to be committed to one's own country above all else,


Strictly speaking, no; although you can substitute any group type for "your country" - even humanity, or even sentient beings (anticipating any future discovery of ET here) and it wouldn't be any more rational. (actually, I find it irrational to be devoted to life above all else as well. Even the act/sentiment of devotion itself is likely irrational, too).

davidpatricklawyer wrote:... and is it rational to think that your upbringing is the "correct" way?


Rational and correct are two different things.

The Ptolemeic model of the solar system, including its model of celestial spheres on which the planets were supposedly attached, was rational. However, later observational evidence showed the model to be incorrect. So too was the 19th century notion of "ether" pervading the universe, which supposedly transmitted light waves (on the grounds that air was the medium for sound waves, water was the medium for..well..water waves, so light must have a medium to carry it too). That also was disproven by the Michaelson-Morely Experiment. Similarly, it was rational at the time of the trial (1980s, before our present DNA analysis techniques) to suppose the accused did commit "the rape", even by the lights of the cliched fair and impartial juries.

As you can see, rational argument are not immune to assumptions based on ignorance. There's always the possibility our presently-accepted models are wrong.

davidpatricklawyer wrote: Is it rational to be loyal to one's family simply due to the bias that they themselves instilled in you?


It does have its own rationale, but one based on a bias. Again, rational does not mean correct. Example of a rational argument that is wrong.

1. New Orleans is in Wisconsin.
2. Therefore, if I'm in New Orleans, then I'm in Wisconsin.
3. I'm in New Orleans.
4. Therefore, I'm in Wisconsin.

This is rational in that the conclusions flow directly from the claim. However, the obvious problem is that the claim is wrong. Therefore, the conclusion is factually wrong despite it being the logically correct conclusion of the premises.

Likewise, merely assuming loyalty to one's family can lead to some rational conclusions but not necessarily correct ones.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#26  Postby DanDare » May 25, 2012 3:05 am

People commit to generalised grab bags that fit their purpose. A nation or a family is a collective that can produce a more or less good environment for you. However any such general ting will have bits you don't like or disagree with. Also they change over time and could become something that you would consider wholly wrong. Gradual change may bring you along with it and you fail to realise what you are supporting without stopping and reviewing.

There are some that would suggest this has happened to the US, others would disagree.

A grouping that you support and are a nominal member of is also likely to be something that you have some power to influence. On the other hand being a member of a group can also be restrictive, giving you more freedom to act on the group from outside.

To me this is the biggest danger of nationalism or tribalism is that it is lazy and you can fail to see the reality of what you are supporting.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#27  Postby Sinde » Oct 31, 2012 3:37 am

davidpatricklawyer wrote:So taking the idea of saving lives and furthering that discussion:

Your in a building that's on fire there are two closets, one you know has your four children in it, the other 8 children whom you don't know. Is it rational to want to save your own children even though it costs more lives? You make it out alive no matter which closet you open.


It is of course rational to pick your children if your society is geared towards making them feel indebted to you so that they can be useful to you in your old age-hell even when you're young. Also, society expects you to pick your children and you might face difficulties if you don't.

I guess the same argument could be made on a national scale, though as someone says it breeds laziness and stubbornness.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#28  Postby Gallstones » Oct 31, 2012 7:14 am

What the fuck are somebody else's eight kids doing in my closet?
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#29  Postby Minimolas » Nov 24, 2012 8:36 am

I don't see what's irrational about patriotism, at least not the definition. Isn't patriotism when you love your country because you genuinely love it with reasoning? Isn't nationalism more so the blind loyalty to a country due to being born/living there?
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#30  Postby hoopy frood » Dec 06, 2012 3:00 am

Minimolas wrote:I don't see what's irrational about patriotism, at least not the definition. Isn't patriotism when you love your country because you genuinely love it with reasoning? Isn't nationalism more so the blind loyalty to a country due to being born/living there?



Nice post. There's lots of forms and levels of patriotism. Some of the most popular forms tend to be the shallowest and, proverbially, the last refuge of scoundrels. Other, higher forms of patriotism are available, and infinitely more worthy.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#31  Postby hoopy frood » Dec 06, 2012 3:05 am

I should have added that I see nationalism as merely another name or expression for and of patriotic sentiment as opposed to a political doctrine.

Nationalism, like patriotism, is not a dirty word in my dictionary.
I don’t think we’re for anything, we’re just products of evolution. You can say “Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose,” but I’m anticipating a good lunch.

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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#32  Postby Shantanu » Dec 06, 2012 9:12 am

When I see nationalistic or patriotic people I see the expression of
(1) divisions in the world community which does not see the common cause of humanity living on a single planet;
(2) an emotional viewpoint that implicitly supposes that there is nothing that can be improved in the country that one lives in.
(3) the idea of cultural supremacy.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#33  Postby mindhack » Dec 06, 2012 12:50 pm

hoopy frood wrote:I should have added that I see nationalism as merely another name or expression for and of patriotic sentiment as opposed to a political doctrine.

Nationalism, like patriotism, is not a dirty word in my dictionary.

That's remarkable. I suppose it's a cultural thing. here in the Netherlands nationalism is generally considered a dirty word. Patriotism isn't really used at all, but chauvinism is and again with negative connotations.

The Dutch equivalent of patriotism with positive connotations is vaderlandsliefde, or "love for the fatherland".

funny differences. :)
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#34  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 07, 2013 4:45 pm

davidpatricklawyer wrote:Is it rational to be committed to one's own country above all else, and is it rational to think that your upbringing is the "correct" way? Is it rational to be loyal to one's family simply due to the bias that they themselves instilled in you?


No.

/thread
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#35  Postby Gallstones » Jan 07, 2013 5:16 pm

It may not be rational but it may be advantageous, in which case it would be rational.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#36  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 07, 2013 5:38 pm

Gallstones wrote:It may not be rational but it may be advantageous, in which case it would be rational.


It can be advantageous without being rational, because rational pertains to employing reason. The advantages might be temporary or even illusory, or damaging in a wider context that a rational consideration might discover.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#37  Postby Panderos » Jan 07, 2013 5:54 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Gallstones wrote:It may not be rational but it may be advantageous, in which case it would be rational.

It can be advantageous without being rational, because rational pertains to employing reason. The advantages might be temporary or even illusory, or damaging in a wider context that a rational consideration might discover.

If I'm hungry and I eat and apple, is that rational (eating the apple), even if I don't employ reason? Would people say I acted irrationally?
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#38  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 07, 2013 5:56 pm

Panderos wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Gallstones wrote:It may not be rational but it may be advantageous, in which case it would be rational.

It can be advantageous without being rational, because rational pertains to employing reason. The advantages might be temporary or even illusory, or damaging in a wider context that a rational consideration might discover.

If I'm hungry and I eat and apple, is that rational (eating the apple), even if I don't employ reason? Would people say I acted irrationally?


If you didn't possess a brain capable of reasoning, it would be a-rational.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#39  Postby Gallstones » Jan 07, 2013 6:48 pm

I reason that choosing advantage is rational regardless.
Choosing other than advantage is either altruistic or foolish.
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Re: The Rationality of Patriotism and Ethnocentrism

#40  Postby Spearthrower » Jan 07, 2013 7:08 pm

Gallstones wrote:I reason that choosing advantage is rational regardless.
Choosing other than advantage is either altruistic or foolish.


But you only get to do that because you have the capacity to reason.

Further, there are numerous scenarios where you'd employ your reason to delay or forgo advantage now for greater or different future advantage.
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