I've never ever, even since I was a small child, understood the idea that we're supposed to have some special reverence for people who were born in our own country. I simply can't figure out any way that patriotism is any better than racism. It seems to me to be nothing more than discrimination. I also find it a bit ironic that the whole supposed theme of christianity is brotherly love, yet it seems that the more christian a person is, the more they are likely to be patriotic. Am I missing something? Is there an aspect of patriotism that is in fact morally noble?
not sure why you would think that someone who is proud of the country they live in necessarily thinks that the citizens of all other countries have no reason to be patriotic when it comes to their country or indeed why a person could not be proud of the country they live in while admitting that their country isn't perfect, having problems in certain areas that other countries excel in.
seems like it's far more accurate to describe patriotism and xenophobia as sitting on a spectrum with simple patriotism- pride in ones country with the ability to recognize that citizens of other countries have reason to be proud of their country- being at the near side of the spectrum and xenophobia being at the far side.
no, i don't think one is a nice word for the other.
do you deny that we're able to spot when someone has crossed a boundary from innocuous patriotism to something more pernicious on the spectrum as i described it?
anyway, that we might have difficulty drawing boundaries doesn't mean that the two words mean the same thing or that patriotism is automatically discrimination, wouldn't you agree?
“Patriotism is the belief your country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is not xenophobia, although xenophobic people will often use patriotism or god to further their agenda or spread their fears. The reason these seem so connected, in my lay opinion, is because they often all rely on in-group versus out-group mentalities. Religion, race, and patriotism all rely on putting the emphasis on those within. Often, an easy way to do that and promote group cohesion is by vilifying those without.
I think there are plenty of examples of noble patriotism. The problem is that the label "Patriot" has been hijacked by these other forces that fly fear and hate as their flag. But that is not the only way to be patriotic.
With one exception: I don't think noble patriotism is any more noble than doing something noble for any other people or group of people; it's all part of being a social animal as part of a group, of acting altruistically.
That's what I don't get. Why are you proud of something you are not responsible for? It's no one's merit that they've been born in a country or another. I understand being happy to have been born in one of the most civilized corners of the world, but to actually be proud of this... I really don't get it. It's like being proud that you're tall. Maybe I'm missing something.