It does appear that the concept of an individual having rights and dignity appeared in the West out of Christianity. (Though it’s also very possible that the West killed people who had that concept through colonization. We can’t know, since Europeans did not extend their thinking to non-Europeans until recently.)

It’s demonstrable that the liberal impulse toward realizing wide-spread flourishing has led to some very ugly collectivization schemes. However, the conservative impulse to live and let live doesn’t allow a good many people to live very well.

It may be impossible for larger human groupings to achieve both individualism and collective well-being. Not many nations — if any — have succeeded, anyway.

Written by

Poet, Senior Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, a Humanist congregation. Amazon author's page amazon.com/author/davidbreeden

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