Autonomy Vs Individualism Essay

438 Words2 Pages
The personal conflict between upholding ones claim for personal autonomy and coinciding to the wider communities expectations is something that those living in a free western society might struggle to comprehend. As a result of this battle of wills, tensions subsequently and inevitably arise between these two factions. We find that tensions arise between individual autonomy and the obligation to conform to community expectations are as a result of clashing of incompatible moral and ethical principles. Personal freedom of choice and beliefs, rights, and the desire to be accepted are the main causes of these tensions. These opposing principles can be categorised as communitarianism and individualism. Communitarianism is the principle that emphasises…show more content…
283) this radical new direction of thinking, is the earliest historical period of universally accepted discourse from the overruling premise that the universe is ruled by an omnipotent God. Prior to this dramatic shift in thought, ‘knowledge’ was what you were told and one believed it because it was universally accepted as the single truth. However, with the introduction of the ‘Gutenberg printing press’ in the 15th century, knowledge was available to the entire world and therefore opinions changed as knowledge became apparent. This knowledge provided people with enough fibre to start thinking for themselves and “ourselves determine what is right” (Botton, p. 23). This shift in thought process is one example of the tensions between the individual and the expectations of the community. Now that individuals had the resources to think for themselves they could create their own opinions and therefore live their life in a way which coincided with these new found beliefs and opinions. Ultimately, they could become selfish and live only for themselves, which goes against the principles that make up a
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