I don't get what patriotism means. The dictionary says it is the love and devotion for one's own country. I love my country and all other countries. I don't believe in sacrificing anything in the name of the nation. I care for my country because what happens there affects me and my family. Does that mean I am not patriotic?
As Humpty Dumpty says in Through The Looking Glass, "When I use a word it means just what I want it to mean". That's especially true of a word like "patriotism".
This is not a site about ethics or politics, so it's not appropriate to go into every nuance; it's enough to say that when one person uses the word, they may have different connotations in mind to when another uses it. Or, the same person may mean slightly different things from one occasion they use the word to another.
Often in political discourse, patriotism is portrayed as an unquestionably virtuous thing. To be "unpatriotic" is portrayed as something bad.
Resist this. The word describes a set of beliefs. It's up to the individual whether or not those beliefs are virtuous.
Consider your definition of patriotism. It is a good one:
Patriotism means allegiance to, or love of, a single country. Loving all countries doesn't make one a lesser person (maybe it makes one a greater person?), but it is not consistent with being a patriot.
You care for your country's well-being because it directly effects you and your family. That makes sense, and is consistent with patriotism, in my opinion. It is a logical, honest sentiment-- as good a reason as any to love your country.
I guess the issue of patriotism comes into play if there were ever a need to sacrifice something in the name of the nation (as a necessity for taking care of yourself and your family).
According to dictionary.com, a patriot is:
Do you defend your country with devotion? You aren't willing to sacrifice anything for it. You also don't seem to love your own country significantly more than other countries:
So by the facts as you've presented them, you aren't patriotic. Your (self-interested) appreciation for your country:
is the same sort of care people give Earth. We love it because it sustains us. Do we pursue Earth-centric policies over, say, Mars, purely because "our planet is better"? No. Do we offer to lay down our lives to defend Earth against Mars? No. We might if damaging the lifeless Red Planet would help the humans on Earth, but that's not patriotism.
protected by RegDwighт♦ Aug 17 '12 at 11:50
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