The Individual Vs The Group Essay Research

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The Individual Vs. The Group Essay, Research Paper THE INDIVIDUAL VS. THE GROUP The United States of America is considered a free country. It was founded on religious freedom, and the freedom of the individual that humanity deserves. We may be considered a free country but in reality we are many times not so free. We seem, in many ways, to have lost the individual freedoms that we were promised as a nation, or were we missing them from the start? Since the country was founded it has lacked the individual freedom on which it was built. Most laws that invade our freedom were made because people did not agree with certain actions made by some others, such as prostitution, or they thought that God did not want people doing certain things such as being a homosexual. If someone?s

actions do not infringe on another?s rights, such as suicide, then why should others care? Who has the right to tell people how to run their lives? Nobody can tell anybody else that they do not have the right to do certain things just because they are harming themselves or because somebody else would not do it. Democracy developed in this country after years of Britain infringing on our rights. We wanted the freedom to do what we wanted with out persecution, which at the time basically had to do with religion. Now it is as if out own government which was built on freedom wishes to oppress us by taking away freedoms that we should rightfully have. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were both classic American writers who believed strongly in the individuals rights. Emerson

partly discovered and partly invented his religion, Transcendentalism. He left the Unitarian church and created his new religion where he felt God through nature. Transcendentalism was based on traits that had always been held most dearly amongst the American frontier society, self reliance and individualism. Thoreau stood up for the individual rights he though he had when he refused to pay his poll tax. The tax was going towards the Mexican War which Thoreau was against. By trying to stand up for his beliefs, Thoreau was put in jail until a friend paid the tax for him. Unfortunately these traits of the individual, many times, have no outlet because the government decides to make our decisions for us, and tell us what is ?bad? for us and therefore illegal. ?No law can be sacred

to me but that of my nature.? Even in Emerson?s time there were laws that restricted individualism. When was it decided that people could not make their own moral decisions, and that laws needed to be made to help them? Emerson, one of the greatest all time American writers, a very respected man, said these things: ?Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members.? ?My life is for itself and not for a spectacle.? Truer words have never been spoken; why then is society so bent on watching everything every one does? It is as if they think people are children who do not know what is best for themselves. Women can be arrested, in some states, for buying sexually stimulating devices. How is the individual expected to grow as a person with out making

his/her own decisions and not having a government or society telling them what to do? It is every person?s God given right to make his own decisions on what they do to themselves. Smoking cigarettes is becoming a crime. You cannot smoke in any public building, unless it is a bar, throughout the united states, and taxes on cigarettes are becoming very high to discourage smoking. Smoking marijuana already is a crime. It was legal up until the late 1920?s or early 30?s and now there are very strict laws against it, when it is really not more harmful than cigarettes or alcohol. Speaking of that, drinking alcohol was a crime in the twenties until finally the government had to give in to the public demand for the drug; that is one occasion where the people were able to win back one of