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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If there's an NHS or a UBI (or any other TLA) that you benefit from, then it seems to me that there's a moral obligation to pay a fair share of the cost, which justifies the government in levying a charge on you for that purpose.

The element of coercion lies in not allowing people to opt out, to make their own private arrangements instead. The moral issue is not in taxing members of the scheme, it's in forcing people to be members.

The practical impossibility of opting out of the criminal justice system is a reason for not considering this an issue in the case of funding the police.

This is simply a failure of imagination. It would not be at all impossible to opt out of the criminal justice system - many societies have had classes of people who were not expected to follow the criminal law, and were not entitled to benefit from its protections. In England they were called "outlaws".

This wasn't usually a status people chose, of course. It was imposed as a punishment. However, there's no practical reason why it should be impossible for a society to allow a criminal law opt-out as a choice, as its demonstrably not impossible for a society to prescribe it as a consequence of other behaviour.


I guess the real difference is that while you can see why a rich person would benefit (in a rather short-sighted way) from opting out of a health system, you don't see that they would benefit from declaring themselves to be outside the criminal law or from permitting large numbers of a restless poor doing so. But it would clearly not be impossible to provide for this, it would merely be something that you (and I) see as undesirable as a way of organising society.

Since you reject desirability of outcome as being sufficient justification for coercive taxation for other purposes, allowing it for this one seems to me to be inconsistent with your declared principles.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Kwesi
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ISTM that the focus on coercion misses the point. All governments coerce, even though the mailed fist is often enclosed in velvet. There is always the threat of fines, imprisonment or other penalties for disobedience in all political systems, including democracies. The issue is not one of coercion but of legitimacy and consent: the extend to which citizens consent to be ruled in a certain way and to recognise decisions that have been taken command obedience. In liberal democracies process takes precedence over content, a politics or means rather than ends, or a politics where means are perhaps the most important end. That does not mean that legislation so produced will be uniformly welcomed, taxation policies are almost invariably controversial for obvious reasons, and may even be considered by some to be immoral. Morality and the moral right to to coerce rests in the nature of the process.

Russ’ gripe is with the politics of means, a dominant characteristic of liberal democratic political systems, because its rule is insufficiently concerned with ends, which is why his criticisms of liberal-progressives as being concerned with ends seems so misplaced and baffling. His concern is with the enforcement of natural rights, which at times he seems to confuse with natural law, that have been abridged. For him, the processes, the means, are unfavourably judged because they have produced immoral ends. His objection to those social progressives who he sees as placing an inordinate emphasis on ends is not an objection to their means but their ends.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:

What I think is odd is that you seem to want to define reasoning like this as "progressive", when it's so clearly mainstream, and most self-identifying conservatives (who generally say that individual work should be rewarded) would agree with it, or identify "progressive" by your definition as being opposed to Christianity, when it seems to me that Karl could say this sort of thing from practically any pulpit in the English-speaking world and have it received as utterly uncontroversial.

You're right that I'm struggling to distinguish what is characteristic of the social progressive mindset from positions that are more mainstream.

And also getting sidetracked into putting forward my own, possibly idiosyncratic, view of the world.

But it's not that I'm labelling Karl as s-p.

It's that - as far as I can tell - those who self-identify as social progressive - Karl included - see their view as the obvious outworking of goodwill to their fellow human beings, and are thus unaware of their own assumptions.

For example, Leorning Cniht suggested poor urban black kids as an example of a disadvantaged group, and no-one has answered the question as to what is the s-p approach to them.

Seems like to someone within the mindset the answer is "To care about them" and that's too obvious to be worth saying ?

Whereas from outside of the mindset, one might venture an answer as follows.

Poor urban black kids suffer from multiple difficulties.

Some are to do with their own choices. A toxic subculture of drugs and gang violence. A local environment that's degraded because they've vandalised it.

Some are to do with the parents. That too many kids grow up in homes without books, homes without fathers, and homes where good English is never spoken.

And some are to do with the attitudes of the non-black population. Racial prejudice in various forms, and a lack of interest among politicians.

Seems like the characteristic s-p approach is to emphasise the third group of factors at the expense of the other two. Because sympathy with the victims is important.

Would you agree ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
You're right that I'm struggling to distinguish what is characteristic of the social progressive mindset from positions that are more mainstream.

This is your empirical mistake: that you see yourself as mainstream.

There are far, far more people (not just on this thread, but in your own country, in mine, and across the world) who think like everyone on this thread barring you.

You've had our position in all its various nuances and flavours explained to you, over and over again, and you, in your minority of one, have been singularly unable to articulate your position, over and above "what's best for Russ".

You are not mainstream.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
When you say you want to be able to opt out of the social safety net, you are wanting to opt out after those cards have already been played and you've seen that you're holding a winning hand.
Not saying I want to opt out. Saying that not letting people opt out is coercion and coercion is a bad thing.
What about free riding? Is that a bad thing? Most of the coercive nature of taxation is to prevent free riding (i.e. benefitting from a system without contributing).

To take the example of a national health system, what would "opting out" look like? Most beneficiaries of such systems have benefitted from it literally from the moment they were born. At what point can they decide to opt out? And can they opt back in again? This seems an invitation to free riding.

Or take the example of military expenditures. Whatever benefit is derived from funding an army, a navy, a system of ICBMs, or whatever is enjoyed by anyone living within the territorial limits of the state maintaining this military. How, exactly, does one opt out of that?

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mousethief

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What's wrong with coercion? St. Paul sure seemed to like it.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kwesi
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quote:
Russ: For example, Leorning Cniht suggested poor urban black kids as an example of a disadvantaged group, and no-one has answered the question as to what is the s-p approach to them.

Seems like to someone within the mindset the answer is "To care about them" and that's too obvious to be worth saying ?

Whereas from outside of the mindset, one might venture an answer as follows.

Poor urban black kids suffer from multiple difficulties.

Some are to do with their own choices. A toxic subculture of drugs and gang violence. A local environment that's degraded because they've vandalised it.

Some are to do with the parents. That too many kids grow up in homes without books, homes without fathers, and homes where good English is never spoken.

And some are to do with the attitudes of the non-black population. Racial prejudice in various forms, and a lack of interest among politicians.

Seems like the characteristic s-p approach is to emphasise the third group of factors at the expense of the other two. Because sympathy with the victims is important.

Russ, I find your position increasingly difficult to comprehend. I don't think most social progressives would demur from most of the observations you credit to those outside the mindset. As Doc Tor indicated, social progressive views are much more mainstream than you seem to recognise. Social reformers tend to be much more informed, analytically more sophisticated, and more hard-headed than you seem to appreciate. The opposite mindset, one would suggest, is to blame the disadvantaged for their own problems and unwillingness to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

To take the example of a national health system, what would "opting out" look like? Most beneficiaries of such systems have benefitted from it literally from the moment they were born. At what point can they decide to opt out? And can they opt back in again? This seems an invitation to free riding.

Not to mention ancillary benefits like herd immunity, the economic benefits brought from the fact that one is living in a country where people are generally healthy, and able to both work and consume, that the associated regulation of health care means there is a range of health care treatments and procedures that are known to work, that the large subsequent market for healthcare means that companies have an incentive to develop drugs for this market and so on
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Crœsos
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There has been a fairly consistent theme since the OP. Russ' position seems to boil down to making the case that it's stupid to have sympathy or compassion towards anyone.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I think he's right that there is a common thread, which is a sympathy with those classes of people deemed to be "under-privileged".

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Because people can talk from their disinterested moral intuition or they can talk from their perceived self-interest and their partisan sympathies and their attachment to their own culture's way of doing things.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't see anything wrong with that if you can formulate that "damage" as an impartial rule that applies equally to everyone regardless of where your sympathies lie.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't think that's part of the social progressive mindset that we're talking about at all.

Not only because it's economic rather than social. But mainlt because this mindset sees "workers" as a group who are traditionally disadvantaged (relative to the owners of land and capital) and are therefore Victims to be sympathised with and their interests supported.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If your position is that there is a specific anti-competitive practice which is having the effect of depressing wages, then it seems to me that you have a theory and not just a prejudice, a philosophical basis and not just a sympathy.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If people make decisions on sympathy rather than reason, then engaging their sympathies seems logical. Who's going to sympathize with Universal Megacorp ?

Considering the case when the employer is your neighbour and the employee is also your neighbour - the human-scale business - is an attenpt to bypass differential sympathies and focus on general principles.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Changing the rules to benefit those you sympathize with (and disbenefit those you don't) is the way of bias. That's the approach I'm arguing against.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Right and wrong do not depend on whether you sympathize with someone. That's corruption.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
So the charge I'm making against social progressivism is that it confuses sympathy for a group of people (heart) with a moral understanding (mind) in their favour. The confusion you've just demonstrated.

I'm suggesting that you can't construct an understanding of morality that follows those sympathies without failing the test of moral universalism, of the impartiality of natural law.

And today's entry:

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seems like the characteristic s-p approach is to emphasise the third group of factors at the expense of the other two. Because sympathy with the victims is important.

Sometimes he veers off course though, and argues that it's only stupid to have sympathy for people Russ doesn't have compassion for, or to not have compassion for anyone Russ does have "sympathy" for.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
One of those is a general lack of sympathy with business; a tendency to think profit a dirty word that is synonymous with exploitation; a tendency to think that employing someone involves obligations beyond paying a fair day's wage for a fair day's work, & to sympathize always with the employee against the employer.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
From the comments so far the problem with that seems to be entirely that social progressives sympathize with labourers in a way that they don't sympathize with landlords and bankers. Not sure about governments...

So here we are, 16 pages in, with no more insight into what's so terrible about "the social-progressive mindset" than repeated assurances from Russ that compassion is stupid and you shouldn't have "sympathy" for anyone. Especially not if they've been the victim of some kind of horrific abuse or suffered some terrible tragedy. That seems an awful lot of pixels devoted to a fairly simple point.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Golden Key
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Russ--

When you get a chance, would you please answer this? Thx.

quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Russ--

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There's evidence that a more equal society is less stressful for everyone in the society regardless of one's wealth level, and therefore a more equal society is a good.

If you feel that way then it's a good for you. If I feel differently then it may not be a good for me. I may be one of those people who buys lottery tickets that make one person a lot richer and a lot of people a little poorer. Because it's good to dream. I may prefer a city with hovels and palaces to a city of terraced suburbia.

And which would you be living in, Russ? Hovel or palace? And why?


--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
You're right that I'm struggling to distinguish what is characteristic of the social progressive mindset from positions that are more mainstream.

There may be a reason for that.

quote:
For example, Leorning Cniht suggested poor urban black kids as an example of a disadvantaged group, and no-one has answered the question as to what is the s-p approach to them.
Again, you speak as if social-progressives are a unified political party with a single approach.

quote:
Seems like the characteristic s-p approach is to emphasise the third group of factors at the expense of the other two. Because sympathy with the victims is important.
I don't know that one emphasises one group of factors because of sympathy. One does owe it to people to believe the truth about them, and therefore not to believe falsehoods about them especially falsehoods motivated by a lack of charity, the easy speeches that comfort cruel men.

If you're talking about the choices that the people in any group make you first of all need to make sure that you have the evidence that a wide number of people in the group are making those choices. And then if it turns out that so many people are making bad choices you might need to ask why so many people in a group make bad choices. That suggests that they don't have good choices on offer. That leads us back to three.

Similarly, in talking about the parents. I wonder whether or not you include factors like poor provision of schools, the parents having jobs that require them to be away from home more than a five-day week to make a living: do those fall under your category two or your category three? Because I'd think most social-progressives would think that those kinds of things can hardly help.

Perhaps the difference is that non-social-progressives jump to blaming other people's misfortunes on their own choices, and don't ask any further questions, because they don't want to know the answers?

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Russ--

When you get a chance, would you please answer this? Thx.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I may prefer a city with hovels and palaces to a city of terraced suburbia.

And which would you be living in, Russ? Hovel or palace? And why?
I'd expect that a city with hovels and palaces would also have dwellings in between - don't think I buy into the binary split between haves and have-nots.

And as an aside, looking at wealth as a continuous distribution, it's the case that - apart from a very few people at the extremes - there's loads of people richer and loads of people poorer than any typical individual. So it's no big deal.

And I envisage myself in-between. But maybe that's dodging the question and you want me to make a binary choice ?

I'm conventional enough. Other things being equal, I'd prefer the palace.

But if everyone has to clean their own dwelling, maybe there's something to be said for appreciating the beauty of the palace from the outside and then going home to one's own one-room hovel ?

And sharing a hovel with someone you care for may be a better choice than marrying whoever lives in the palace. There's more to life than material wealth.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And I envisage myself in-between. But maybe that's dodging the question and you want me to make a binary choice ?

I'm conventional enough. Other things being equal, I'd prefer the palace.

But if everyone has to clean their own dwelling, maybe there's something to be said for appreciating the beauty of the palace from the outside and then going home to one's own one-room hovel ?

And sharing a hovel with someone you care for may be a better choice than marrying whoever lives in the palace. There's more to life than material wealth.

Spoken like someone who's never missed a meal in his life. Those who emphasize the importance of keeping others in poverty never seem to envisage themselves enjoying the "benefits" of such austerity.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Russ' position seems to boil down to making the case that it's stupid to have sympathy or compassion towards anyone.

Not at all. It's good to have compassion for others, and for that to motivate acts of grace - supererogatory acts of kindness - towards them, within the space of actions that one has the moral right to perform.

The philosophical error that I'm arguing against is to suppose that the sympathized-with, or those acting on their behalf motivated by that sympathy, gain moral rights or are exempted from moral duties thereby.

The question "who is acting wrongfully in this situation?" cannot be reduced to "with whom do I sympathize in this situation? " and those who make this substitution are being led astray by their feelings, however good in themselves those feelings of compassion may be.

Not sure I can boil it down much more than that.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
you speak as if social-progressives are a unified political party with a single approach.

Not suggesting that they're anything as constructive as a party. But that they have a characteristic approach, yes.

It goes something like
- identify who are the victims
- sympathize with the victims
- dismiss any alternative as politically incorrect

quote:
One does owe it to people to believe the truth about them, and therefore not to believe falsehoods about them
This and your emphasis on evidence would be admirable if you applied it even-handedly to everyone.

But you seem happy enough to infer racism as a characteristic of the majority group, whilst demanding evidence that drugs and gangs are a factor for the minority group.

Bias and double standards all the way down...

quote:
I wonder whether or not you include factors like poor provision of schools, the parents having jobs that require them to be away from home more than a five-day week to make a living: do those fall under your category two or your category three?

Poor schools could be a result of the majority being unwilling to vote inner city schools the same level of resources as schools elsewhere. That would be category three.

Or it could relate to pupil behaviour issues, which would be another category, depending on the age at which you consider kids to be responsible for their own actions.

Long working hours are an issue for everyone; to the extent that there is a deliberate choice of the majority to impose longer hours for inner city black parents, that would be category three.

quote:
Perhaps the difference is that non-social-progressives jump to blaming other people's misfortunes on their own choices, and don't ask any further questions, because they don't want to know the answers?
This is back to the delusion that anyone who disagrees with you does so from lack of goodwill.

Whereas on the contrary, it's about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime...

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
Spoken like someone who's never missed a meal in his life.

Or ever been even temporarily disabled.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

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Jay-Emm
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Whereas on the contrary, it's about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime... [/QB]

Teach a man to fish and you feed the person who owns the fishing rights to the area for a lifetime.
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Kwesi
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quote:
Russ: Whereas on the contrary, it's [non-social progressivism] about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime...

But isn't that a perfectly sound social progressive position?

ISTM you are tilting at windmills.

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Russ--

When you get a chance, would you please answer this? Thx.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I may prefer a city with hovels and palaces to a city of terraced suburbia.

And which would you be living in, Russ? Hovel or palace? And why?
... I'm conventional enough. Other things being equal, I'd prefer the palace.

But if everyone has to clean their own dwelling, maybe there's something to be said for appreciating the beauty of the palace from the outside and then going home to one's own one-room hovel ?...

"I'd prefer the palace unless I have to do the housework." Really? That's your answer? You expect anyone to believe that? You expect anyone to believe you are trying to make a coherent moral argument if that's your response?

"Being a millionaire sounds great in principle, but it would be too hard to balance my chequebook." Yeah, that's what everybody says never.

But hey, if you really think that's true, please tell anybody who can't handle the responsibility of all that money to contact me asap to trade places.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
quote:
Russ: Whereas on the contrary, it's [non-social progressivism] about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime...

But isn't that a perfectly sound social progressive position?

ISTM you are tilting at windmills.

Both Social Progressives and Conservatives use the fishing metaphor. The first group does it to help and the other to avoid helping.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
you speak as if social-progressives are a unified political party with a single approach.

Not suggesting that they're anything as constructive as a party. But that they have a characteristic approach, yes.

It goes something like
- identify who are the victims
- sympathize with the victims
- dismiss any alternative as politically incorrect

So here you're endorsing the view that showing goodwill towards victims is characteristic of the social-progressive position.

Has anyone on this thread used the phrase 'politically incorrect' other than you?

quote:
quote:
One does owe it to people to believe the truth about them, and therefore not to believe falsehoods about them
This and your emphasis on evidence would be admirable if you applied it even-handedly to everyone.

But you seem happy enough to infer racism as a characteristic of the majority group, whilst demanding evidence that drugs and gangs are a factor for the minority group.

Bias and double standards all the way down...

'Bias' doesn't mean a position that you find uncomfortable or irksome.

quote:
quote:
Perhaps the difference is that non-social-progressives jump to blaming other people's misfortunes on their own choices, and don't ask any further questions, because they don't want to know the answers?
This is back to the delusion that anyone who disagrees with you does so from lack of goodwill.
You said above that showing goodwill towards victims is characteristically social-progressive; and by implication non-social-progressives withhold goodwill from people they consider victims. If it's a delusion you're sharing it.

quote:
Whereas on the contrary, it's about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime...
So if that is what social-progressives want to do, what is your objection to it? Are you saying that non-social-progressives don't want to understand the situation? or that they don't want to target assistance appropriately?

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Whereas from outside of the mindset, one might venture an answer as follows.

Poor urban black kids suffer from multiple difficulties.

Some are to do with their own choices. A toxic subculture of drugs and gang violence. A local environment that's degraded because they've vandalised it.

Some are to do with the parents. That too many kids grow up in homes without books, homes without fathers, and homes where good English is never spoken.

And some are to do with the attitudes of the non-black population. Racial prejudice in various forms, and a lack of interest among politicians.

Seems like the characteristic s-p approach is to emphasise the third group of factors at the expense of the other two. Because sympathy with the victims is important.

Would you agree ?

I don't know if I agree, because I still don't know whose attitudes you are taking about. Your OP set out a range of positions which at least overlap with many mainstream views, including some fairly right-wing mainstream views, and called these "progressive". Plenty of people on this thread who might not pick "social-progressive" as their self-identifier of choice have identified with the views that you appear to be attacking.

I have no idea, for example, whether you think I'm a social progressive. I tick at least 4 of the 5 boxes in the OP (while rejecting your commentary as being either fair or accurate) - internationalism ; not being a sexist or homophobic (I description I prefer to "gender-bending"); political correctness (if it means "basic politeness" rather than being anti-free speech); and anti-racism. I also think that businesses should be subject to law, so you might check the "anti-capitalist" box for me, making me 100% "social-progressive" according to your definition, even though I've never used that description for myself and would say that I'm Centrist or Liberal if pushed.


Do I agree that I would emphasise racial prejudice as a reason for racial disadvantage, over the shitty choices of black families? Sure - in the context of social policy anyway. Because that's the thing that wider society can try to fix, and fixing it makes it easier for disadvantaged people to make non-shitty choices, and see the benefits of making non-shitty choices.

Obviously in a personal context if I'm advising someone of any race, I'm going to emphasise their choices, not wider social problems, because in the personal context, their own choices are the things that they can do something about. That's a very different thing from supporting a political position that criticising the poor is the best way to help them.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Has anyone on this thread used the phrase 'politically incorrect' other than you?

Those who believe in the thing don't use those words to describe it.

quote:
You said above that showing goodwill towards victims is characteristically social-progressive;
No I didn't. Sympathy and goodwill are not the same thing.

If you have goodwill towards someone, you want them to take the medicine that will make them better. You want them to face up to their problems, shoulder their responsibilities and succeed. If you have sympathy you want to validate their feelings.

quote:
and by implication non-social-progressives withhold goodwill from people they consider victims.
Doesn't follow at all.

quote:
quote:
Whereas on the contrary, it's about understanding the situation and targeting assistance appropriately. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime...
So if that is what social-progressives want to do, what is your objection to it? Are you saying that non-social-progressives don't want to understand the situation? or that they don't want to target assistance appropriately?
The mindset I'm talking about is more concerned with the feelings of a man who doesn't know how to fish. Who rather than teach him, prefer to whinge instead about the high price of fishing rods. Who seem to feel compelled to locate the problem in other people, rather than in that individual's ignorance, because if you don't then that's blaming the victim.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No I didn't. Sympathy and goodwill are not the same thing.

If you have goodwill towards someone, you want them to take the medicine that will make them better. You want them to face up to their problems, shoulder their responsibilities and succeed. If you have sympathy you want to validate their feelings.

I see. So what exactly is your solution to being poor or being sick or being black in apartheid South Africa? Just tell them to try a bit harder?

quote:
The mindset I'm talking about is more concerned with the feelings of a man who doesn't know how to fish. Who rather than teach him, prefer to whinge instead about the high price of fishing rods. Who seem to feel compelled to locate the problem in other people, rather than in that individual's ignorance, because if you don't then that's blaming the victim.
Right. So who exactly is this mythical person who lives by water but doesn't know how to fish. There's a good chance he's a refugee from somewhere far from water. There is a good chance that he's been exploited, pushed around, and is at his lowest ebb. There is a good chance he actually could quite easily do his own fishing with rods if they weren't so flaming expensive.

Why, actually, shouldn't one ask questions about how the person got to be in that situation?

Your position is like having a government which is prepared to pay for an ambulance service but not streetlights. People keep getting mugged on the dark street, but you just keep shrugging your shoulders - because how they got to be in that position is beyond your moral roadmap, and you neither care to find out or are prepared to do anything about it.

Because, fuck, you're providing an ambulance service. What more could they want? Why aren't they grateful?

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arse

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No I didn't. Sympathy and goodwill are not the same thing.

If you have goodwill towards someone, you want them to take the medicine that will make them better. You want them to face up to their problems, shoulder their responsibilities and succeed. If you have sympathy you want to validate their feelings.

I see. So what exactly is your solution to being poor or being sick or being black in apartheid South Africa? Just tell them to try a bit harder?
And not care about them. Not caring about people is big with Russ, as far as I can tell from what he's said here. He seems to regard caring about others ("sympathy") as a moral failing.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Your OP set out a range of positions which at least overlap with many mainstream views, including some fairly right-wing mainstream views, and called these "progressive". Plenty of people on this thread who might not pick "social-progressive" as their self-identifier of choice have identified with the views that you appear to be attacking.

One of my questions was what words we should use to describe this mindset. I'm not wedded to "social-progressive" - for one thing it takes too long for me to one-finger type - and others seem to use this to mean someone who favours redistribution of wealth for social reasons. Kwesi came closest with a reference to "identity politics", but no-one's suggested a good alternative terminology.

On each of the 5 issues I mentioned in the OP, you could perhaps say that there is a spectrum of possible broadly-coherent viewpoints. So yes, overlap exists.

quote:
I have no idea, for example, whether you think I'm a social progressive. I tick at least 4 of the 5 boxes in the OP... ...internationalism ; not being a sexist or homophobic (I description I prefer to "gender-bending"); political correctness (if it means "basic politeness" rather than being anti-free speech); and anti-racism. I also think that businesses should be subject to law, so you might check the "anti-capitalist" box for me, making me 100% "social-progressive" according to your definition, even though I've never used that description for myself and would say that I'm Centrist or Liberal if pushed.
You're one of the most even-handed people posting on these boards, and I don't see you as displaying the s-p mindset.

You're saying that there is something in each of these positions - a good reason not to be a white supremacist, a 100% nationalist, a complete free-market capitalist, etc. And of course I agree and am none of those things.

I'm arguing for the notion of a framework of moral rights and duties that applies equally to everyone, against the notion that all religion and all ethics can be reduced to a bias in favour of whoever is deemed the disadvantaged party.

Against the partisanship in lieu of philosophy that appears to drive the more extreme positions on the anti-traditional side of those spectra.

quote:

Do I agree that I would emphasise racial prejudice as a reason for racial disadvantage, over the shitty choices of black families? Sure - in the context of social policy anyway. Because that's the thing that wider society can try to fix, and fixing it makes it easier for disadvantaged people to make non-shitty choices, and see the benefits of making non-shitty choices.

Obviously in a personal context if I'm advising someone of any race, I'm going to emphasise their choices, not wider social problems, because in the personal context, their own choices are the things that they can do something about.

You're saying that a political answer is appropriate to a question framed politically, and vice versa. Hard to argue against that. But why frame the question that way ?

Government - wider society acting collectively for the common good - has a role in funding and facilitating education, and education should lead to people making better choices. That may be a much more constructive answer.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Your OP set out a range of positions which at least overlap with many mainstream views, including some fairly right-wing mainstream views, and called these "progressive". Plenty of people on this thread who might not pick "social-progressive" as their self-identifier of choice have identified with the views that you appear to be attacking.

One of my questions was what words we should use to describe this mindset. I'm not wedded to "social-progressive" - for one thing it takes too long for me to one-finger type - and others seem to use this to mean someone who favours redistribution of wealth for social reasons.
Doesn't that make you a "social progressive", given your advocacy of a tax policy that redistributes wealth from workers to those who make their money through interest and speculation? A preference for those who earn their income from their existing wealth over those who earn their income through labor would seem to qualify as "social reasons".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Has anyone on this thread used the phrase 'politically incorrect' other than you?

Those who believe in the thing don't use those words to describe it.
In this case that would be because you're describing a caricature.

quote:
quote:
You said above that showing goodwill towards victims is characteristically social-progressive;
No I didn't. Sympathy and goodwill are not the same thing.

If you have goodwill towards someone, you want them to take the medicine that will make them better. You want them to face up to their problems, shoulder their responsibilities and succeed. If you have sympathy you want to validate their feelings.

Let's set aside the fact that you're using the English language in a non-standard way again. Goodwill: Kindly, friendly feelings or helpful attitude towards another person or other people; feelings of support or favour for, or an attitude of cooperation towards, a cause, scheme, etc.; benevolence, friendliness.
Sympathy: The quality or state of being thus affected by the suffering or sorrow of another; a feeling of compassion or commiseration.
In weakened sense: A favourable attitude of mind towards a party, cause, etc.; disposition to agree or approve.

So we might say that social-progressives think that everyone should shoulder their responsibilities to society; and the greater the power the greater their responsibilities, as Uncle Ben might say. And this is "goodwill". Whereas they refuse to validate the feeling that I'm alright Jack.
Anti-social-progressives think that responsibilities go along with problems, and not having problems means not having responsibility. With great power comes great irresponsibility.

'Goodwill' on your account is all about what you want the other person to do. There is something egoistic about focussing on whether or not the other person is shouldering their responsibilities. In standard English one would think that goodwill involves shouldering one's own responsibilities to the other person.

quote:
The mindset I'm talking about is more concerned with the feelings of a man who doesn't know how to fish. Who rather than teach him, prefer to whinge instead about the high price of fishing rods. Who seem to feel compelled to locate the problem in other people, rather than in that individual's ignorance, because if you don't then that's blaming the victim.
It's social-progressives who want to teach the man to fish. However, education costs money. How's that to be paid for? Any practical suggestion would require someone who already has money to pay for it, and you want firmly to argue that nobody with money already has any obligation or responsibility to do so.

It's odd what an impractical attitude you have to money. The price of fishing equipment doesn't matter because people might need fishing equipment to support themselves; it only matters if someone is so uncouth as to whinge about it.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm arguing for the notion of a framework of moral rights and duties that applies equally to everyone, against the notion that all religion and all ethics can be reduced to a bias in favour of whoever is deemed the disadvantaged party.

The problem is that you deny that any form of obligation to care for others forms part of those "universal moral rights and duties", and that you define any call for such care to be provided as "bias in favour of [those who need to be cared for]".

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

Government - wider society acting collectively for the common good - has a role in funding and facilitating education, and education should lead to people making better choices. That may be a much more constructive answer.

I think this is true, but that you overstate the role of formal education here. Mostly when people make choices, they choose from options that they are already familiar with - because they have friends, family, or other people they know who have previously made a similar choice.

Taking a leap into the unknown and making a choice nobody you know has previously made is a pretty big deal for most people. Compare, for example, the experiences of someone who comes from a family where university attendance is normal and expected with someone who is the first person on their street or in their family to enter higher education.

Your approach seems to be to say that both people have the same opportunities and the same freedom to make the same choices. I would say that whilst that might be true in a legalistic sense, the second person is likely to need rather more in the way of support and encouragement to be empowered to make those choices, and that therefore providing that support and encouragement is the right thing to do.

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Government - wider society acting collectively for the common good - has a role in funding and facilitating education, and education should lead to people making better choices. That may be a much more constructive answer.

I think this is true, but that you overstate the role of formal education here.
It should also be noted that publicly-funded education is a form of "redistribution of wealth for social reasons", something Russ considers to be very bad indeed in other contexts.

--------------------
Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
It should also be noted that publicly-funded education is a form of "redistribution of wealth for social reasons", something Russ considers to be very bad indeed in other contexts.

In a subsistence economy people who have learnt to fish can feed themselves - at least until such point as the fishing rate is unsustainable. But in a modern industrial economy it doesn't matter how much education you have; you need someone with money to pay you. And Russ is quite clear that no employer is under any obligation to provide anybody with a job or a sustainable living wage now matter how much they 'face their problems' or 'shoulder their responsibilities'.

It's also true that centrist politicians place a lot of faith in educating the workforce. The thought is that if there is a sufficient supply of educated workers jobs for them will appear. I am not sure that this actually matches up with the economic reality. From a Keynesian perspective all you might end up with after educating your workforce is highly educated unemployed people.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
The thought is that if there is a sufficient supply of educated workers jobs for them will appear.

Is bullshit. There are multiple countries that prove this thought wrong. Britain is one of them.
What happens is you get a glut in most fields, supply of qualified workers well exceeding possible jobs.
In America, it is worse. More jobs which don't require a degree to do are requiring a degree to get but the salary doesn't increase to pay for that degree.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
...
As a starting point, my first attempt at describing it was in terms of
doctrines of

- internationalism (migrants good, Brexit bad)

- gender-bending (anything goes so long as you don't speak in favour of traditional gender roles)

- political correctness (can't believe anyone voted for Trump; free speech as long as you don't say what we don't like)

- anti-capitalism (profit is bad, small business has no rights and unlimited liability)

- anti-racism (racism is a huge sin that the whole white race should atone for)
...

Yesterday, in the course of conversation with colleagues, I described some of the current political spectacles as "the last stand of the straight white man." Upon reflection, I think that is the theme that loosely links the elements of what Russ' is calling 'social progressivism':

internationalism - end of protectionism - competing freely with workers in other countries - recognition of foreign credentials - people from other countries immigrating and succesfully competing in the domestic economy - loss of domestic low-skill jobs for uneducated or unqualified men

gender-bending - the non-existence of an absolute male-female dichotomy naturally leads to questioning male authority and prescriptive sexual and gender roles

political correctness - respecting how other people identify and wish to be addressed, not simply applying a label to anyone who isn't a straight white male

anti-capitalism - the capitalist power structure is overwhelmingly male; women control 1% of the world's wealth; much of the capital of the so-called first world was accumulated by colonization and exploitation of other countires and peoples; purported concern for small businesses ignores the fact that they are the enterprises most vulnerable to no-holds-barred capitalism

anti-racism - an end to white privilege; leads to recognition and rectification of historical patterns of disadvantage for people of colour and others e.g. sexual minorities, people with disabilities

Obviously, those who have been playing with no opponents on a sloping field will be disturbed by any attempt to level the field or let other teams on to the field. They will consider it "unfair". They will think they are being made to "atone" for having won all those games so easily in the past. Now the referees are taking away their "rights" with those pesky rules about fouling other players.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
I described some of the current political spectacles as "the last stand of the straight white man." Upon reflection, I think that is the theme that loosely links the elements of what Russ' is calling 'social progressivism'

Thanks SM, great post. Couple of questions to start with:

So what would you call it ? The revolution against the hegemony of Straight White Males ?

quote:

They will think they are being made to "atone" for having won all those games so easily in the past...

It sounds like you're saying that any SWM living today inherits the guilt of all the bad things that SWMs have done in the past. That their membership of the previously-successful SWM "team" is primary, and any individual successes or failures that they may have are secondary. Is that what you believe ?

quote:

Now the referees are taking away their "rights" with those pesky rules about fouling other players.

To the extent that I've argued for an alternative to the s-p mindset, rules that apply to everyone are a big part of that alternative. So this bit rings less true than your other points.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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RdrEmCofE
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Is 'Social Progressive' or any other pigeon-holing group categorization EVER going to be an accurate description of human beings anyway?

Can we legitimately object to Russ's categorizing attempts on the grounds of impracticality?

Is it not a bit self righteous to label people and try to neatly define their personal philosophies, as if we do not neatly fit into any of other people's labelled pigeon-holes except the 'True Disciple' or 'Doctrinally impeccable' ones that we might like to see ourselves in.

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Love covers many sins. 1 Pet.4:8. God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not holding their sins against them; 2 Cor.5:19

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by RdrEmCofE:

Can we legitimately object to Russ's categorizing attempts on the grounds of impracticality?

Impractical, contradictory, fallacious; take your pick.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
It's odd what an impractical attitude you have to money.

This got me thinking about another oddity: Russ's attitude toward time. As in: it doesn't matter. There is no past, there is no future, there is only how Russ feels about the present.

"Coercion is immoral." But past coercion has led to grossly tilted playing fields, such as in the example Soror Magna gave about indigenous peoples being forced off their lands and are now, still, suffering the effects of that coercion.

But Russ's attitude is "O well, that was in the past, so it doesn't matter." Then we get the predictable Gish Gallop of 'SWM having to make amends for 1066 and all that.'

Past efforts at social progressiveness are also taken for granted. See flowchart below:

Did a socially progressive movement personally benefit Russ in his current life?
If YES -> it's a natural law, was bound to happen anyway
If NO -> it's misplaced and misapplied sympathy

This atemporal view extends to the future. The question "What will happen if we do X or Y?" - as in, real-world effects of ideas - are not seen as valid.

This point of view is extremely problematic. I have to run and take care of family stuff at the moment (O tempora!) but perhaps someone inclined can expand on this at greater length & with more clarity.

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:

"Coercion is immoral." But past coercion has led to grossly tilted playing fields, such as in the example Soror Magna gave about indigenous peoples being forced off their lands and are now, still, suffering the effects of that coercion.

If you perceive that people have been wronged by coercion in the past, should that not make you seek to avoid coercing others in future ? To try to act more morally than the people you believe to be wrong ?

Or do you really believe that the best thing to do is to start wronging people in the same group as the wrongdoers, to even the score between groups ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Thanks SM, great post. Couple of questions to start with:


That dog won't hunt.

quote:
quote:

They will think they are being made to "atone" for having won all those games so easily in the past...

It sounds like you're saying that any SWM living today inherits the guilt of all the bad things that SWMs have done in the past. That their membership of the previously-successful SWM "team" is primary, and any individual successes or failures that they may have are secondary. Is that what you believe ?
No, that's what they think. Probably because they're unable to read for fucking comprehension; no wonder they feel so threatened by the loss of privilege.

quote:
quote:

Now the referees are taking away their "rights" with those pesky rules about fouling other players.

To the extent that I've argued for an alternative to the s-p mindset, rules that apply to everyone are a big part of that alternative. So this bit rings less true than your other points.
I put "rights" is in quotes because was I actually referring to past privileges taken for granted. Russ has repeatedly argued on this thread for the "right" to refuse service to gay customers and the "right" to refuse to hire a black baker. While some form of "scare quotes" dates back to antiquity, they became much more common near the end of the 20th Century, so a reader from the 18th or 19th Century might not immediately recognize the intended distinction between "rights" and rights.

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If you perceive that people have been wronged by coercion in the past, should that not make you seek to avoid coercing others in future ? To try to act more morally than the people you believe to be wrong ?

"You stole our land!"
"Yeah. Soz about that."
"Give it back."
"You can't make us because that would be coercion and therefore wrong."

[Roll Eyes]

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

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Russ
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# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm arguing for the notion of a framework of moral rights and duties that applies equally to everyone, against the notion that all religion and all ethics can be reduced to a bias in favour of whoever is deemed the disadvantaged party.

The problem is that you deny that any form of obligation to care for others forms part of those "universal moral rights and duties", and that you define any call for such care to be provided as "bias in favour of [those who need to be cared for]".
You may call all you like for other people to care about the plight of whichever group has the benefit of your particular sympathies. There are no end of worthy causes.

That's not bias. It becomes bias if you start to assert that the particular group you care most about have extra moral rights or exemptions from moral duties. Which I don't recall you personally having done, by the way.

When I complain about double standards, I mean the sort of people who would be in favour of Catalan independence if it were a poor region but aren't because it's a rich region. Relatively speaking.

Or the people who object to white people having and acting on a preference for people of their own race but think it's fine for black people to have and act on a preference for people of their own race.

In short, the doctrine that victims can do no wrong.

If you want we can talk about where the boundary lies between those good deeds that you should do - moral duties - and those supererogatory good deeds - acts of grace - that are above and beyond what is morally required of you.

But that seems like a different issue from whether moral duties are universal.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3113 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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That poor man, all the straw pummelled out of him. Mere sentiment on my part, I know, but I feel for him.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17855 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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If all you're arguing against is people who subscribe to the theory that certain acts are OK when done by one group but not when done by another then I can agree with you. It's when you go on to define what you think the universal morality should be that we differ. For example:

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Or the people who object to white people having and acting on a preference for people of their own race but think it's fine for black people to have and act on a preference for people of their own race.

This statement is perfectly fair and correct in and of itself. Where we disagree is where you go on to say that everybody should be able to act on a preference for their own race and I go on to say that nobody should. I think you'll agree that's a fairly significant difference!

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30025 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:

"Coercion is immoral." But past coercion has led to grossly tilted playing fields, such as in the example Soror Magna gave about indigenous peoples being forced off their lands and are now, still, suffering the effects of that coercion.

If you perceive that people have been wronged by coercion in the past, should that not make you seek to avoid coercing others in future ? To try to act more morally than the people you believe to be wrong ?
As we have noted before, you're perfectly happy with coercion some of the time. For example, if a thief steals something you're happy to coerce them into giving it back. I'm pretty sure you're happy to coerce anyone who buys the item off the thief no questions asked.
If somebody signs a contract and then changes their mind you're happy to coerce them into fulfilling the contract.
In other words, you're happy to coerce people if you see them as being the beneficiaries of an injustice where you sympathise with the victim.

The point being that the rights and wrongs of an action do not depend solely upon the action divorced from history, context, and so on.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10494 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Where we disagree is where you go on to say that everybody should be able to act on a preference for their own race and I go on to say that nobody should.

I'd say that it depends. That if you're acting on behalf of the state, you have to serve everyone, act for the common good, and not let your preferences interfere with that.

If you're acting on behalf of your employer, you have to do what's best for the firm.

But if you're having a private party, you can invite who you want.

You really disagree with that ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3113 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'd say that it depends. That if you're acting on behalf of the state, you have to serve everyone, act for the common good, and not let your preferences interfere with that.

If you're acting on behalf of your employer, you have to do what's best for the firm.

This is an interesting and relatively recent understanding of moral duty. In earlier times it was popular to assert that you had a duty to do your best for your customers. According to more modern sensibilities, like Russ', "universal morality" dictates that if you can short-change or cheat your customers you should do it. If you can use racial stereotypes and prejudice to get away with it, you're morally obligated to do so.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10585 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Kwesi
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# 10274

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quote:
Russ: When I complain about double standards, I mean the sort of people who would be in favour of Catalan independence if it were a poor region but aren't because it's a rich region. Relatively speaking.

Or the people who object to white people having and acting on a preference for people of their own race but think it's fine for black people to have and act on a preference for people of their own race.

In short, the doctrine that victims can do no wrong.

The problem lies in defining the standard that is being applied. If the principle is the right of national self-determination then you have a strong point. If, however, independence is a means to achieve other ends then your criticism is less secure. For example, a region may be poor as a consequence of oppression by a malign central government, so that independence way be the best means of promoting its economic and social good. Catalonia, however, is a rich region seeking independence in order to relieve itself of its duty towards the common good of Spain. In which case it can be morally argued that its claims for independence deserve to be rejected or treated with great circumspection.

Similarly, your argument regarding discrimination by ethnic minorities in favour of their own race is less than straightforward where there is discrimination by the dominant ethnic group controlling most of the job opportunities in the economy. It seems to me perfectly justifiable for an ethnic group unfavourably treated in terms of employment opportunities by the dominant race, i.e. operating a system of job protectionism based on ethnicity, to respond in a similar manner. To my mind, however, it seems unreasonable to suggest that the discrimination exercised by the latter is in any way as reprehensible as that exercised by the former. Indeed, it is to be welcomed as promoting self-help and self-respect. It is not a question of double standards as you suggest, and has nothing remotely to do with a principle that the victim can do no wrong.

Posts: 1624 | From: South Ofankor | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
if a thief steals something you're happy to coerce them into giving it back.

Yes, in the simple case where the owner has a moral right to it and the thief doesn't.

quote:
I'm pretty sure you're happy to coerce anyone who buys the item off the thief no questions asked.
.

Yes if they bought it knowing fully that it was stolen; they're then an accessory to the crime. No if they bought it in innocence. "No questions asked" seems to denote a grey area in between ?

quote:

In other words, you're happy to coerce people if you see them as being the beneficiaries of an injustice where you sympathise with the victim.

No; sympathy has nothing to do with it.

If my best friend steals from my worst enemy, I'm conflicted. However much my heart may cheer her on, my head knows it's a wrongful act.

It's a recognition of a moral law outside oneself rather than sympathy from within oneself that justifies coercion in the exceptional circumstance of that moral law being broken.

I suggest to you that no healthy person wants to be coerced. It's always a doing unto others that which one would not have done to oneself.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 3113 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Where we disagree is where you go on to say that everybody should be able to act on a preference for their own race and I go on to say that nobody should.

I'd say that it depends. That if you're acting on behalf of the state, you have to serve everyone, act for the common good, and not let your preferences interfere with that.

If you're acting on behalf of your employer, you have to do what's best for the firm.

But if you're having a private party, you can invite who you want.

You really disagree with that ?

Hang on a second, weren't you the one who is "arguing for the notion of a framework of moral rights and duties that applies equally to everyone"? Surely "everyone" includes the government, those acting on behalf of an employer, and those acting in a private capacity?

So if racial discrimination is wrong, then it's wrong regardless of whether you're doing it in the name of your country, your employer or yourself. And if it's OK then it's OK regardless of whether you're doing it in the name of your country, your employer or yourself.

As you keep telling us, you can't have the same thing being right or wrong depending on who does it.

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 30025 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged



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