According to Max Scheler there are three underlying propositions as to the nature of community. The first principle says that man does not live a communal life with other finite spirits from pure accident or de facto. The spiritual and personal community of man exists in its own right and has its own origin.
We are all part of a community and we strive for belongingness. We know that there exists an â€˜otherâ€™ or perhaps different individual persons existing apart from his own self. There exists an understanding that others are present even without the proof of knowing through the senses.
The second proposition indicates that we all have an awareness of our organic membership in a universal community of spiritual beings, one which we cannot disregard. We have at the center of our souls an urgent need and limitless pressure of spirit to transcend in thought, and aspire beyond in loving desire, not only our solitary, naked self but every one of which we belong. This implies in effect an urge to regard every actual community in its turn as the â€œorganâ€ of a still broader, more comprehensive, and higher community of spirits.
We already have an awareness that we exist and that others also exist. We all form a community either knowingly or unknowingly. We are part of it. But we are just individuals who have wishes for perfection and for belonging. We seek to be part of a community that we are already a part of in the grander scale. Perhaps we are searching to find a place or a specific community with a common interest as ourselves and that which we feel we truly belong to that set.
We know where we are but due to human nature we seek for knowledge as to what the future holds especially in the past. In knowing the past, the future might not be uncertain. There are theories of our origin but whatever theory it might be it all comes down to the existence and powers of a supreme being (God).
Yes, we do believe God or a supreme being that is more than what we might comprehend without even being able to be sure of its existence through the evidence brought upon by our senses. We long for perfection but it is said that we cannot find it in this earth but just in the idea of communion of love and spirit with an infinite spiritual person who at the same time is the origin, the founder and sovereign Lord of all possible spiritual communities as of all communities on earth. There is also a supreme kind of love of God, which we already feel and possess before we have a clear intellectual conception of the Supreme Being.
The third proposition is the principle of religious and moral reciprocity or moral solidarity. Each individual (likewise every comparatively restricted community) is also responsible to God â€“ as originally as for self â€“ for everything of moral bearing in the character of the precedings of the larger corporate selves of which he is an integral part. Each and every one of us, then, is co-responsible for the collective guilt and active merit which accrue to his community as a unit and integer, not an â€œaggregateâ€ of the individuals called its â€œmembersâ€.
In all our belief and in our religion, our actions are dictated. We do things or in some cases not do things just because we believe or think that we might not be able to enter the â€˜Kingdom of Godâ€™. We act according to what we are led to believe that pleases or displeases God. We have the urge and faith of believing in him and so we would always want to please him. But survival in life makes us go against what we believe are to be his wishes. When this happens, even when we are not directly involved in the situation, since being a part of the universal community it should be in our mindset to at least have a conscience and at least care for the situation in other places that we might not be directly involved in.
An example of this co-responsibility is the November 2009 US Presidential Elections. When you think about it we really shouldnâ€™t have a care of even be involved in them since we are not part of the matter. They have their own community who cares and are directly affected by it. But since I have mentioned before that we are part of the community in a grander scale, or the universal community, we should be able to at least become aware of the situation, acknowledge it and perhaps react to it in a way because we are co-responsible.
Another example of this would be during calamities. Especially in China, who have experienced a lot of devastation naturally like the earthquakes and floods that laid waste the lives of many people. This third principle says that we should feel ourselves truly co-responsible in all guilt. Even when we are not directly affected by it or that it has not happened to us here in our place, we should be able to at least share the burden of caring for the people and at least feel guilty somehow for what has happened.
Each one of us has been a partner in an immensity of actions good and bad, things of which he has and can have no inkling of, but for which he has nevertheless stands co-responsible before God. We are all connected whether we like it or not, we are all responsible whether we like it or not, and we should care whether we like it or not.