Thoughtful conformists argue that it is foolish to risk oneís well being by championing a controversial idea that provokes social upheaval, revolution, or civil war. They believe that no mere opinion is worth dying for. Whether because they fear schisms or because they are simply unwilling or unable to think for themselves, conformists adopt whatever beliefs the majority of those around them happen to hold.
"For as that stone which by the asperity and irregularity of figure takes more room from others than itself fills, and for the hardness cannot be easily made plain, and thereby hinders the building, is by the builders cast away as unprofitable and troublesome, so also a man that by asperity of nature will strive to retain those things which to himself are superfluous and to others necessary, and for the stubbornness of his passions cannot be corrected, is to be left or cast out of society as cumbersome thereunto." Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Part I, Chapter 15
[Mutually exclusive with Wealth]
Those who adhere to this ideal believe that cultivating oneís inner life should take precedence over interacting with the outside world. The contemplative revere those who withdraw from the world and lead a life of meditation and reflection. Their lack of concern for what goes on around them means that they rarely complain about government policies, social conditions, or the economy, but by the same token neither do they devote much time and energy to improving these things.
[Mutually exclusive with Contemplation]
According to this ideal, nothing is more important than material well-being. It holds that the economically successful live the best possible lives, not only because they can afford to live opulently, but also because they create value for society, and in so doing demonstrate superior intelligence and discipline. By celebrating the untrammeled pursuit of the almighty AU, this ideal leads many of its adherents to engage in shady deals in order to acquire riches.
As believers in cooperation see things, weíre all in this together, so we should all pitch in and do our fair share of whatever needs to be done. Their public-spirited willingness to assist others helps them establish friendly and productive relations with their neighbors. Since teamwork is of paramount importance to them, they are willing to play down differences of opinion, or even make ideological concessions, in the interests of harmony.
[Mutually exclusive with Homogeneity]
Advocates of diversity believe that one should always draw on the widest and most varied pool of talent possible. They claim that reaching out to others with abilities and viewpoints that differ from their own results in a cross-pollination of ideas that promotes economic and scientific progress. Moreover, they argue that an organization with a diverse staff will be more flexible and effective than one that has personnel with uniform capacities and only a few predictable strategies available to it.
[Mutually exclusive with Diversity and Tolerance]
Adherents of this ideal are convinced that a society whose members do not share a common background and way of life is doomed to devolve into an anarchic jumble of quarreling factions. In the interests of social cohesion, they oppose allowing anyone different from themselves into mainstream society. For this reason, an ethos that stresses homogeneity is unlikely to spread to members of races different from that of its original adherents.
[Mutually exclusive with Homogeneity]
The tolerant deny that any one point of view allows one to see the whole truth. Their sense of their own fallibility makes them hesitant about forcefully proclaiming their own beliefs, even to themselves. However, their openness to other ways of seeing the world helps them find common ground with their neighbors, even ones with very different outlooks on life.
[Mutually exclusive with Manifest Destiny/Territorial]
Isolationists believe that diplomacy rarely serves their empireís vital interests, and fear becoming entangled in the affairs of foreign governments. As they see things, in signing trade agreements and the like an empire benefits foreigners at the expense of its own citizens. They prefer to stay home and focus on domestic issues, and become restive if they feel the government is not doing so as well.
9e. Manifest Destiny/Territorial
[Mutually exclusive with Isolationism and Justice/Rights]
Those who subscribe to this ideal believe that their empire should propagate itself as widely as possible, due to the inherent superiority of its population, ethos, and/or system of government. They support the colonization of new worlds (with or without government sponsorship), which helps spread the most perfect society to all corners of the galaxy. Furthermore, they feel it is only right that their empire take over or merge with rival governments so that its enlightened rule can benefit other, less capable peoples.
[Mutually exclusive with Homogeneity and Isolationism]
Those who subscribe to this ideal fight against injustice wherever they find it, basing their crusade on the idea that all intelligent beings have certain fundamental rights. They are implacable foes of forced labor and other practices that they see as failures to respect basic rights. They consider governments that violate these rights to be illegitimate, and support their removal, by force if necessary. However, even in times of war they refuse to countenance violating the rights of their opponents.
[Mutually exclusive with Justice/Rights]
Those who pursue this ideal hope to achieve a society free of crime and subversion. They eagerly assist the security forces by providing information about suspected lawbreakers, traitors, and spies. They are not overly concerned when members of the security forces bend the rules or infringe on individual freedoms, as long as they see such measures as necessary in order to apprehend wrongdoers and protect law-abiding citizens. Naturally, they fiercely oppose any initiatives they see as soft on crime.
[Mutually exclusive with Exclusive]
An evangelical ethos stresses the importance of gaining new converts. Since converts are often more enthusiastic about their new way of life than those born into it, evangelists find that success in attracting new believers tends to be a self-perpetuating phenomenon.
[Mutually exclusive with Evangelical]
An ethos that idealizes exclusivity accepts new converts only if they have special qualities. What these special qualities are will vary, but some examples might be high intelligence, belonging to a particular occupation or social class, or being related to other adherents.
NEXT IN RELIGION: "Ideals: Parts 11 to 16"
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