Do you think loyalty to your country more important than loyalty to your family? and Why (with example)?Do you think loyalty to your country more important than loyalty to your family? and Why...

Do you think loyalty to your country more important than loyalty to your family? and Why (with example)?

Do you think loyalty to your country more important than loyalty to your family? and Why (with example)?

Expert Answers
ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If one has a family--more specifically children then most definitely loyalty to family should come first. In older times, sons went to war, and while this is difficult enough for parents to face, it was the choice of the son to go. (Until the draft that is.) Now, however, fathers and mothers are enlisting in the armed forces or the National Guard and leaving their children at home. Thank God for patriotic individuals, but I can't believe that the price some children pay through the death of their parent(s) is worth the benefits received from the service of the individuals before their death. I truly believe that once people decide to have children the need of the child supersedes other needs. Consequently, loyalty to family is more important.

There will be those who speak about the important examples about standing up for what's right and making the world safer for the sake of children, but I can't help but think that living mothers and fathers would be far better teachers of life lessons than dead soldiers.There will always be people willing to fight and come to the defense of one's country, but no one else can ever replace the mother, father, son, daughter, grandfather, grandmother.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Loyalty needs first to be applied to oneself.  An individual believes and supports his or her own actions and beliefs, and if these are not consistent with what the individual wants, that person must change them.  Beyond the individual's scope of existence, those persons that are close, family and/or friends, by definition have that individual's loyalty.  If not, one leaves his or her family and finds new friends.  The next sphere is the extended community that that individual inhabits.  Being loyal to that means supporting its endeavors, and if that can't be done, convincing the community to change, or leaving that community.  So loyalty is a chain of interaction beginning with oneself, one's family, one's community, one's world.  These aren't in conflict; each stems from the other.  However, if the outside world is acting in a manner that violates an individual's sense of loyalty, that person must remain loyal to him or herself first.  Without that, the rest is meaningless.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a question that evokes a great deal of responses, as have been noted in previous discussions.  I have a tendency to think of the Sartrean dilemma of his student.  The student was a member of the French Resistance and was committed to his particular fight against the Nazis.  If he leaves to join the resistance and fight, he stands for his country.  Yet, if he leaves, he will be abandoning his sick mother.  He has loyalty to his mother and realizes the implications of leaving her.  The student is poised in an almost impossible situation, to which Sartre responds to the student:  "Choose."  Indeed, the question of which element garners the most loyalty lies on a particular choice of individuals.  Indeed, there are moments when there is both elements converge and there need not be a choice, but in the event there is a choice, individuals develop their own sense of criteria and standards upon which choices are made.

scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with Post #10--the type of country in which one lives certainly plays a major factor in where somebody's loyalties should lie.

In response to the other posts, my husband currently serves in the armed forces, has been to Iraq twice, and will soon be headed to Afghanistan.  My perspective on this is that by being deployed he is not choosing between me and our country but rather because of his loyalty to me and wanting to ensure that our family and other families of our country can live in safety, he serves willingly.  Yes, this is a personal decision for each person (unless one lives in a country which has a compulsory military), but it does not have to be a choice between the two if the values of both are the same.  I also look at someone's going to war for a just cause as an opportunity for that person to help further other families' loyalty to one another and perhaps to a better country in the future.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The trouble is in telling which wars are necessary and which wars are warmongering, wouldn't you say?

My dad was born in 1936 in the Philippines, which means he was 5 when the Japanese invaded.  For his sake, I'm glad that American men decided to go fight because his life would surely not have been as good as it has been if the Japanese had continued to rule the Philippines in the heavy-handed manner that they began with.

I'm sure a lot of Jews would be happy that someone eventually fought Hitler before he could complete his genocide.

Now, if German and Japanese men had taken their families first things would have been great.  But since they didn't, I'm glad Americans (including my maternal grandfather) responded in kind.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mariam212 -- it seems that you are now asking a new question in post 6.  It looks to me like you're now asking about how people change when they come to a new country.  Is that what you mean?

If so, I think any country can succeed in changing people's loyalties because people who leave their mother country are usually in some way less attached to that country in the first place.

My father came to the US in 1960 and has become thoroughly Americanized (except his accent).  But I'm not sure that this is because of loyalty to a country so much as it is by osmosis -- if you live among people, you come to take on some of their characteristics.

Is this what you're asking?

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First of all, I think that the two need not come into conflict in most cases.

However, I would say that historically it would have been disastrous if loyalty to family had trumped loyalty to country.  This can be seen most clearly in the case of wars.

When men (and now women) are called to the armed services in time of war, it is surely bad for their families.  They lose touch with their families for long periods of time and may, of course, even die or be maimed in the war.

Therefore, it would be better for their families if they would not go to war.  But if all men chose to do that, wars would be lost.

So that is, at least, one opinion.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think maybe something important has been left out here and that is loyalty to oneself. In making any important decision, we have to honor our own basic principles and sense of identity because we have to live with the decisions we make. Maybe that's what Sarte was suggesting when he said, "Choose." In order to choose, we must determine who we are and what we most believe.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Loyalty to family versus loyalty to the country - a very difficult decision.

In principle, an honest person with integrity is not expected to cause harm to complete country to secure benefit for self or for ones family. However this principle can be misused. However if, in name of loyalty to nation, large sections of society is forced to hurt personal and family welfare in their day to day life rather than in exceptional circumstances, then something is wrong with the country. After all the country exists for its people. In a country that causes widespread harm to its people, the people need to to take a hard look and judge if the country is moving in the right direction, and if necessary work to give a new direction to the country rather than just sacrifice their family in name of loyalty to the country.

mariam212 | Student

But, how the rules and laws of the country affect or change people traditions?

Do the people change their tradition because they loyal to their county?

Which county succeed on changing people’s loyalty?


kc4u | Student

Obviously one's loyalty to one's family is something more palpable and immediate than one's loyalty to one's country. Primarily each one of us lives in a family, with his/her brothers & sisters, under the care and protection of his/her parents and elders. Since we get a lot from our family, we are primarily bound by the family-bond, and our loyalty to our families must be inviolable. Country is definitely something remoter than family, more conceptual than having an everyday reality. There is nothing wrong if any individual is more loyal to his/her country than to his/her family. Even we tend to label such a person as a great patriot; we often worship him/her as an idol. But in my view, neglect of family loyalties for the sake of the loyalties toward the country cannot be appreciated as a general principle. If loyalty to the country means dying in the frontlines, that should be looked upon as an alibi for war-mongering.That apart, if a person is not loyal enough to his/her near ones in the smaller space of the family, it is seldom likely that he/she would be self-sacrificing for the country or the nation.

Don't forget that in Dante's 'Divina Commedia' the persons who betrayed their friends were sent to deeper layers of hell than the people who betrayed their countries.

Hope I shall not be misunderstood by the patriots.