What do the following people have in common?
It’s quite a list. Give up? They all see groups where only
individuals actually exist. They think the actions of an individual are a
reflection of others based on some superficial connection between them.
Consider the sports fan; perhaps he likes the New York Yankees. The Yankees win
a game and the fan is happy. Why? Do the abilities of a group of professional
athletes mirror the fan’s abilities? Do the athletes represent him in a
meaningful way? Are the players even from
Consider the woman. Are the nude models in a magazine a
reflection of her as an individual? Consider the racist. Is he correct in
saying that the actions of one individual with a certain skin color reflect the
disposition of other individuals with that skin color? Consider the teacher. Is
she praising the accomplishments of the inventors as individuals, or is she
trying to apply their accomplishments to black people as a group? Consider the
patriots that do the same thing: a German man that is proud of the music of
Beethoven, a Chinese man that is proud that the compass was invented in
The final three scenarios are similar to the others. Does an albino character in a movie reflect other albinos? Does one individual deserve to go to college more because another individual went also? Do some individuals deserve benefits over others because the government has decided that an arbitrary grouping of individuals is not well-represented in an industry? Such examples are common in today’s world. People need to recognize that commonalities among people such as shared genetics or shared locations are only superficial connections, and that it is fallacious to group people to such things and treat them as having shared minds. We are all individuals.
(Of course, you can still get with your friends and cheer those sports teams. Just be careful about how you think people represent each other.)