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Individuality Is A Myth

By Edited May 6, 2015 1 8


When you were a young child you were full of ambition and curiosity in the world.  You would pursue things that interested you. Overtime throughout your life you come to a point where you feel that you are an individual. You are someone who can make choices on your own accord because you have free will and individuality. What If we told you that was not true? What if we told you that individuality does not exist? That you are not an individual and you are not capable of free thinking.

Individuality is a myth. In essence if you were TRULY an individual it would mean that you can think freely without external influences. This is impossible. Everyone has had external influences throughout their entire life ever since they were a baby. Throughout your upbringing you are conditioned to repeat information. One example of this is when your parents always say “Who loves you more than anyone else?” And of course the child replies “mommy” or “daddy”. These children are conditioned to reflect what they have been taught and exposed to.

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If you were born and raised as a Nazi in Germany during WWII, you become a nazi. You wave the flag and salute Hitler. Go over to the southern states and you will find that many people speak with a southern accent, completely incapable of escaping their conditioning. If you go to an artist he may draw a picture that looks “unique” or “creative”, something that only an individual of his kind can produce. It does not make that person an individual. Creativity simply means taken known elements and utilizing them in unique ways. So, if you have enough exposure to different types of drawings then you have a wider range of creativity.

So where does individuality exist? It the grand scheme of things it becomes difficult to accept that you are not an individual, but merely an accumulation of life experiences and conditioning. People appear to be individual because not everyone is alike. Individuality does not make people different, it is the life experiences that create the dividing personalities. Every word that comes out of your mouth and every thought that flows through your head has been taught or exposed to you in some capacity, meaning that you are not TRULY an individual.

We reflect our culture, so when someone ask you to think for yourself, you can’t. You can only think in relation to the amount of information you have been given.

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Nov 22, 2011 5:13pm
In the Grand scheme of things, we can not be completely Individual because we have to fit in somewhere. If we do not do this, we are against society and as such are perceived as Sociopaths.
We can all have our own level of Individualism however, most people just do not realise how important it is, until it is taken away. A child pushed in to the Hitler youth and still sees the morality in hiding a Jew would be Individual enough for me.
Nov 22, 2011 5:56pm
Thank you for your insight!

What makes people individual is their past experience, which is impossible to 100% replicate the intricacies and details of past events that shape a person.
Nov 22, 2011 6:01pm
I'll go ahead and disagree! :)
The dictionary says that Individuality is the aggregate of qualities and characteristics that distinguish one person or thing from others. We each have those characteristics due to external influences.
I think it would have been better if you had in the beginning stated what you believed individuality to mean. You said,
"In essence if you were TRULY an individual it would mean that you can think freely without external influences."
Where are you getting this definition from?
Nov 22, 2011 9:00pm
Im glad someone has taken the time to look deeper into this subject and come with a different conclusion. This definition does not come from any particular book or website. The problem here is we are using a language that is hundreds of years old, therefore there are issues that arrive when presenting an idea, the main one being is there are many different ways of interpreting a word. This is known as semantics. With the definition I presented I believe I have a good bases for my argument. Thanks for taking the time to read it and critically analyze it.
Nov 23, 2011 9:53am
We're all products of our environments, and that includes everything from social pressures to genetics to the way the sun is creating glare on our monitor right now to the chemicals released into our systems during the digestion of that granola bar we grabbed for breakfast on the way to work this morning. Since there are no conditions where we could expect this combination of influences to be identical for any two people, individuality is clearly not a myth.

Free will, however, is total bunk. :)
Nov 24, 2011 1:49am
Brilliant analysis -- and spot on. Individuality is a bioligical fact as our DNA shows (though I do like your granola-fueled rant). Free will, as you pointed out, is the lie.
Nov 23, 2011 2:48pm
As animals, we have evolved to live and function in a group environment This works better for the hunter/gatherers that we are. Individuality equals non-conformity, which is to be actively discouraged in a group living environment.
Nov 27, 2011 10:32pm
This is a very interesting article. You're right to an extent, but not completely. Individuality does exist, not in the extreme way you've defined it, but it does exist nonetheless. People have their own opinions, feelings, ideas, etc. There are those who aren't very individual, but there are those who are. If individuality didn't exist, we would have a Borg collective.
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