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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023Author

Let me explain how I understand group judgmentalism - and groups of human beings in general.

Whenever we judge people by their group instead of individually we are wrong to do so. The reason is because people in groups are not all the same. Therefore, we are not judging based on truth. More typically, we are judging based on stereotypes of people in the group. Group judgmentalism is always wrong no matter how the group is put together.

We are going to put people in groups, but it is the judging part that is harmful. "All white people are racist" is a group judgment that is itself racist - and cannot possibly be truth. Group judgmentalism is never good for society or human relations.

We also cannot judge groups of people when they are members of the group of their own free will.

Let's take something like a group of Christians. Are they all good people or bad people based on their group? No one could possibly say with certainty one way or another. It is almost certain that there are good and bad people in every group therefore a group judgment that all Christians are bad is wrong - even though they chose to be Christians.

Group judgmentalism of individuals is wrong - period. Judge every individual by their unique individual character and not by any group characteristic.

Lastly, it is important to remember that group judgmentalism in this context only applies to individuals in the group, not the group entity itself. A group as an entity is also not defined completely by a minority of members of the group since every group of human beings will have bad people in it. Groups are defined by the primary purpose of the group.

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Jul 18, 2023·edited Jul 18, 2023Author

To avoid confusion it may also be helpful to emphasize that this is an ethical individualism theory, not a group theory. When "group judgmentalism" is mentioned, it is not about judging the group entity itself, but the individuals in the group. Groups should be thought of as collections of unique individuals and therefore the individuals in the group should be judged only by their individual character.

The group should be judged by the purpose of the group. If the group is composed of Nazi party members - then it is a bad group. This still does not mean that every individual in the group is bad since Oskar Schindler was a Nazi party member and yet saved thousands of Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Maybe another article called "Ethical Groupism Theory" would be about how we should judge groups of human beings. Again, the judgment would only be based on the group entity, not all of the individual human beings in the group. The individuals in the group should only be judged by Ethical Individualism Theory or EIT.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

EIT embodies the moral clarity required to develop and sustain a culture of liberty, where liberty is freedom to excel and to prevail consistent with reverence for life.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

An ethnically outlook so important yet so obvious, it’s sad that we have to keep relearning it over and over: “not recognizing the uniqueness of every human being is the first step in dehumanizing them. Seeing them only as a member of a group will deny their individuality, and too often leads to denigration and/or demonization.”

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

I really enjoyed your article. Your outlook would be extremely beneficial, not only in the business world, but for dealing with people in general life.

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

I agree with this approach in individual encounters with people. From my experience, people are different when they are alone and should be treated as such until they prove themselves otherwise. I also think that when people are in groups, they behave differently and should be approached carefully based on said group. However, they must choose to identify with said group in a real way. I'm not going to say all liberal leftists are Marxists just because the loudest members are and refuse to speak to any of them because of those members. The reason for this is that maybe they aren't all Marxists but are unaware of some ideas being pushed or maybe they are young and idealistic and will change when something happens in their life. I refuse to throw away everyone in a group just because the media tells me these are bad people. Some are, some aren't. And, until I speak to them individually, how will I know? There's a fine line is my meaning.

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Jul 18, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

I was raised in a fairly religious household, but have been agnostic for 40 years. Your approach seems like a somewhat humanist version of “we are all equal in the eyes of God”, “We are all God’s children”, etc, that I was taught (and still believe, sans the God part). It seems philosophically and morally obvious to me. Things like the Golden Rule naturally flow from this.

As greater numbers of people have not been raised in a religion, it seems they have not been exposed to these precepts and their follow-ons like the GR. They substitute equality of outcomes for equal human worth.

I also believe that many of the stereotypical religious scolds of old are now the Woke etc scolds of today. Only worse with the ability of social media for the to organize and amp each other up. They set themselves up as judge and jury, and social executioner.

My mom used to say “Hate the sin. Love the sinner”. There’s a natural restraint in that. After all, how can you love someone and seek to destroy them too.

Also forgotten is the “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”. Woke etc solve this by demanding utter conformity and participation in punishing apostates. It shows you are without sin, so are free to cast virtual stones. It’s all the worst aspects of religions dressed up as compassion and “protecting the most vulnerable”.

It’s extremely enticing and intoxicating for many people.

Good luck with your project. We need it.

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

Great post!

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Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

An excellent understanding of how we need to relate to each other. Thank you.

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Jul 27, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

Rabbi, excellent sentiments, well-argued, badly needed. I apologize in advance if this seems trivial, but my aim is only to strengthen your ideas. Usually a theory is intended to explain a phenomenon, and to be a good one it must be well-grounded in a given discipline. I think what you're saying would be better presented as a philosophy, particularly since it is prescriptive. Also, it is a philosophy that has a strong defense in existent social science theory, particularly in the concept of cultural relativity as espoused and demonstrated by Franz Boas and his students. I also see echoes of it in the prescient and insightful social analysis presented by Freud in Civilization and Its Discontents. Freud may have gotten plenty wrong when it came to universal human nature and sex, but he was a keen observer of his own cultural milieu. He understood that the more love we have with our in-group, the more we vilify the "other." He demonstrated the negative power of strongly identifying with our labels. Cultural relativity helps us understand the mutual exclusivity of moral systems and cultural norms. It also teaches that ethnocentrism, prejudice, and xenophobia are universal human traits--not simply the destiny of one "bad" group or another. Recognizing we all have the same capacities for "good" or "evil" is a force for humility, solidarity, and compassion. It's also how we can debunk claims of "historical trauma," a fallacy that is rooted in the same thinking (Social Darwinism) that presaged eugenics. Sadly, even though these ideas were discredited in the 19th century, they are making a come back--this time as a way to extend and cement group victimhood identity to the point where it is the chief defining feature of the group. This also extends the potential platform for grievance. This kind of thinking will lead to war between groups who are sure of their moral superiority based on their victimhood credentials in what basically amounts to a modern expression of ethnocentrism. Your philosophy helps us see and disengage from these highly corrosive thoughts and behaviors.

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EIT could use more development to address difficult trade-offs. How would it answer these questions: 1. Does equal value mean equal pay? 2. Do you give equal consideration to the rights of people who live very far away? 3. Relatives vs friends vs acquaintances vs strangers? And so on.

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Jul 17, 2023·edited Jul 17, 2023Liked by Rabbi Russell McAlmond

Thank you for your article! Perhaps you know that Rudolf Steiner coined the term Ethical Individualist in the early 1900's in his book, "The Philosophy of Freedom." He imagined a time when people would be motivated to be ethical as a part of their inner development, not coerced through outer societal or religious motivations. There is a website: philosophyoffreedom.com where you can see videos and articles on his work.

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Another branch of philosophy is epistemology. I have an epistemological idea that may complement EIT. My Maxim is, “Everyone is mostly wrong about everything, always.”

This is not meant to be negative but to only recognize how limited we are as individuals in knowing. Our perceptions are faulty. Our reasoning is faulty. We all develop explanations for how and why things are. But, our explanations are likely wrong especially if developed in isolation.

It also recognizes that we know the world through unique perspectives and unique ways of examining things. By recognizing my own limitations I can be more open and even eager to listen to others because they can help me see beyond my limitations. Of course they may be wrong too, but through the interchange of ideas and challenges of positions, the little bit that may be true will remain.

We need each other to better see the world.

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“EIT considers all people to be equal in status as humans. In other words, no one has more value than another, and everyone deserves equality of respect simply by their existing as a multi-faceted individual. This is not a moral judgment, but a consideration of the value of every human life.”

This is rubbish. And it’s a moral judgement. And a bad one. It makes sense though that you are presenting your theory to businesses, because so much business is about marketing bullshit. Bud Light might really appreciate the bullshit.

Respect (and “value”), in some sense,

is a scarce commodity. Part of the reason we cannot in fact apply equal respect to everyone is because we do not have unlimited time or resources. Or if a person were to actually dole out equal respect to everyone, it would be so diluted as to be itself unworthy of respect.

I wonder if Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism would show some respect to me by publishing something I could write in response to your post explaining why your theory is unworthy of respect. Or whether it would be intolerant of my disrespect of bullshit ethical theories that appear like they could be tailor made for corporate pr campaigns.

“ Judaism is founded on two pillars, one of which is to “Love Your Neighbor.” My interpretation of the word “love” in this instruction is “respect.” Becoming a rabbi helped me to understand this as a universal approach to human relations.”

What “pillars” were Moses striding when he was allegedly commanded by the god of Judaism to have his marauding army murder all the Canaanite men, boys, and women who had children or were pregnant, and enslave the women who were virgins? If we read the Torah honestly, Judaism was founded on genocide, military subjugation, spiritual terrorism, and racial tribalism. “Love” in the Torah (and the Christian New Testament) is just gaslighting. Did you learn that while becoming a rabbi?

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