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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And that in order to make the case that any hirer is guilty of this wrong, it is necessary to show that the factor is in fact irrelevant for this particular job.

There is surely some incongruity in holding simultaneously that race never has any moral relevance and yet that it may be sometimes relevant to whether a candidate is best suited for a particular job.
I think also that the burden of proof in a civil court would lie with the person asserting that race was relevant to the job; it being asserted falsely far more often than truly (if ever truly).

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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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Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


Preferring another pub because of its traditional local ambience is a different intention.

I humbly apologise for all the times my presence, or that of any of my fellow ethnics, has destroyed the traditional local* ambience of your pub.


[Projectile]

*racist

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


Preferring another pub because of its traditional local ambience is a different intention.

I humbly apologise for all the times my presence, or that of any of my fellow ethnics, has destroyed the traditional local* ambience of your pub.


[Projectile]

*racist

Is this "local" enough?

--------------------
"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:


Preferring another pub because of its traditional local ambience is a different intention.

I humbly apologise for all the times my presence, or that of any of my fellow ethnics, has destroyed the traditional local* ambience of your pub.


[Projectile]

*racist

Is this "local" enough?
A local pub for local people?

--------------------
And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
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quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Why not set things up so everyone wins

Because "everyone wins" is just another way of saying "no-one wins".

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Why not set things up so everyone wins

Because "everyone wins" is just another way of saying "no-one wins".
Because winning inevitably involves beating someone else? If you have a surplus of tomatoes and your neighbour carrots then if you swap tomatoes for carrots nobody wins?

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Why not set things up so everyone wins

Because "everyone wins" is just another way of saying "no-one wins".
Good! No one gets to the top of the greasy pole, no one gets to lord it over anyone, no one gets gold whilst others eat shit.

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Love wins

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
We see straight through this alleged reasoning. It's racist.

You are mistaken.

The ethic I'm putting forward, as an alternative to social progressivism, is non-racist. People of every race have the same universal rights and duties.

However much you try twist the r-word so that it refers to actions you disapprove of but excludes those vaguely similar actions which you approve of, I suggest that it can only possibly cover topics related to race. And morality essentially isn't.

I think you're objecting that my account of morality is not anti-racist. It doesn't identify racism with evil.

And you're right. It ignores completely, denies the moral relevance of, the meta-narrative of the social progressives. The one that says Western civilisation is built entirely on the oppression of black people by white people, women by men, and gay people by straight people. The narrative that suggests that "collective justice" requires working to redistribute the status, wealth and power away from the straight white males.

It says instead that your moral duty, today and every other day, is to keep your promises, leave other people's stuff alone, refrain from assaulting your neighbour, no matter how annoying he or she may be.

And if, having done your duty - what you're morally obliged to do - you have some goodwill left over, then choosing to help other people, to create beauty, to try to be virtuous - brave and generous and wise and gentle and humble - may bring you closer to God.

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

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
We see straight through this alleged reasoning. It's racist.

You are mistaken.
No, really I'm not.

Non-racism, the sort which you appear to espouse, that allows people to choose not to serve, hire or otherwise interact with people of a different colour, is inherently and most definitely racist.

[ 29. January 2018, 20:54: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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Forward the New Republic

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
It says instead that your moral duty, today and every other day, is to keep your promises, leave other people's stuff alone, refrain from assaulting your neighbour, no matter how annoying he or she may be.

"Duty" seems to be an endlessly malleable term for Russ. For example, you'd think that New Orleans' segregationist school board was both "doing its duty" and "keeping its promises" when enforcing the racially discriminatory caste system enacted into law by Louisiana, but for some reason even Russ flinches back from that one, though he can't convincingly explain why.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
We see straight through this alleged reasoning. It's racist.

You are mistaken.
No, really I'm not.

Non-racism, the sort which you appear to espouse, that allows people to choose not to serve, hire or otherwise interact with people of a different colour, is inherently and most definitely racist.

This.

It's nothing to do with the law. It's nothing to do with complex definitions of morality. It's nothing to do with a meta-narrative of social justice. The position "I just don't actually like black people/Jews/Armenians/whatever" is racist and the end results are always evil.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
I humbly apologise for all the times my presence, or that of any of my fellow ethnics, has destroyed the traditional local ambience of your pub.

No apology needed, Erroneous. You have the same right to drink there as every other member of the public. And the same right to look in the door, decide that it's full of grumpy old men, and choose to drink elsewhere.

Surely you don't object that I extend to others the same right of choice ?

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

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No apology needed, Erroneous. You have the same right to drink there as every other member of the public. And the same right to look in the door, decide that it's full of grumpy old men, and choose to drink elsewhere.

Surely you don't object that I extend to others the same right of choice ?

Whose choice are you talking about? Surely the customer's right of choice is going to be severely limited if the barman exercises his freedom of choice to exclude him.

Your argument seems to be framed in a perfect world where everyone is a totally free agent, able to wander into any establishment they like and proprietors able to make any independent decision they like about serving them on any basis whatsoever.

That's no real society anywhere. Moreover, nobody wants to live in a society where you, Russ, insist that you should have some special moral right to make decisions about who you trade with simply on the basis of some daydream you have about what society should look like.

Everyone else can see that this is racist. Everyone else can see this has the roots of apartheid.

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arse

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
The position "I just don't actually like black people/Jews/Armenians/whatever" is racist and the end results are always evil.

Liking some people and not liking others is a fact of life, and is not of itself morally right or wrong.

If someone says that they don't actually like Armenians, seems to me there are 3 broad possibilities.

a) a reasoned dislike, e.g. based on supposed Armenian collective responsibility for something that they are supposed to have done

b) a non-rational dislike of the otherness of Armenians

c) a prejudice, an attribution to all Armenians of characteristics that only some (possibly only a small minority) actually possess. An essentially imagined dislike.

Reasoned argument that denies the validity of the notion of collective guilt may make some progress against those in group a).

Positive role-models in fiction and drama may influence those in group c).

Seems to me that such actions are desirable but not morally obligatory.

But b) we just have to live with.

Condemning people under the banner of "accepting people as they are" is just self-contradictory.

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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:
If someone says that they don't actually like Armenians, seems to me there are 3 broad possibilities.

a) a reasoned dislike, e.g. based on supposed Armenian collective responsibility for something that they are supposed to have done

b) a non-rational dislike of the otherness of Armenians

c) a prejudice, an attribution to all Armenians of characteristics that only some (possibly only a small minority) actually possess. An essentially imagined dislike.

I'm not sure I get the distinction between "[a]n essentially imagined dislike" and "a non-rational dislike". Aren't imagined dislikes by definition non-rational?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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This is pseudo-reasoning.

(a), (b) and (c) are racism. You're asking us to put up with (b), racism, while rejecting (a) and (c), which are also racism.

So what is it with you and racism, and why are you trying to find ways of justifying it to yourself, and others?

(x-posted with the other library head guy...)

[ 30. January 2018, 13:45: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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Forward the New Republic

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... I think you're objecting that my account of morality is not anti-racist. It doesn't identify racism with evil. ...


In other words, you don't think racism is evil.

Fair enough. You're entitled to that opinion. What you are not entitled to is to deny the FACT that in the real world, racism - and all the other -isms and -phobias - leads to evil acts.

You've decided that the only real evil acts are breaking a promise, messing with other people's stuff, or hitting someone. You're entitled to that opinion.

What you are not entitled to is to deny the FACT that in the real world, racism is used to justify evil acts. Racism says it's ok to break a promise for racist reasons (treaties with Indigenous peoples). Racism says it's ok to mess with people's stuff for racist reasons (colonization). Racism says it's ok to assault people for racist reasons (ethnic cleansing).

By their fruits.


ETA: But not "by" as in "beside" or "with" their fruits. No fruits allowed. Because Russ says it's ok to tell the fruits to go away and shop somewhere else.

[ 30. January 2018, 13:57: Message edited by: Soror Magna ]

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"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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mr cheesy
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Oh just read Hobbes' Leviathan already Russ.

Part of the foundational political philosophy of the place where you live is the idea that there is a horrible overpowering political monster at the centre of things.

You don't have to like person x, y and z. The leviathan doesn't give a monkeys who you do or don't like.

All the leviathan cares about (in this instance) is that everyone is treated fairly - not just equal opportunity abuse from the range of people who are lining up to give the scapegoat a kicking - but actual fairness.

As in "you WILL trade nicely with people even if you don't like them for any named stupid reason MWHAHAHAHA."

Because personal claims to the right to a personal opinion and moral peccadilloes don't work. Because Leviathan ain't listening.

That's the system. Deal with it.

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arse

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Because winning inevitably involves beating someone else?

Yes, obviously. That's what the word means.

quote:
If you have a surplus of tomatoes and your neighbour carrots then if you swap tomatoes for carrots nobody wins?
No, because in that scenario there is no contest to be won. You might as well say I "win" every time I do my weekly food shopping.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And you're right. It ignores completely, denies the moral relevance of, the meta-narrative of the social progressives. The one that says Western civilisation is built entirely on the oppression of black people by white people, women by men, and gay people by straight people. The narrative that suggests that "collective justice" requires working to redistribute the status, wealth and power away from the straight white males.

Or to put it another way, it asserts that the way the world is now is perfectly good and proper. That the white male dominance of politics, power and wealth is just the way things are, rather than the result of centuries of prejudice and oppression.

To refer back to a previous post of mine, you're saying that we should allow everyone to run the race freely from now on while completely ignoring the fact that some people have a massive head start because of what's happened earlier. I'm sure the fact that you're one of the ones with a head start has absolutely nothing to do with that, of course.

quote:
It says instead that your moral duty, today and every other day, is to keep your promises, leave other people's stuff alone, refrain from assaulting your neighbour, no matter how annoying he or she may be.
Basically, now that you've lied, stolen and murdered your way to the top you suddenly find it very important that nobody else ever lie, steal or murder.

Funnily enough, governments who come to power by way of revolution or coup also tend to suddenly discover that they detest the very idea of revolutions or coups. I wonder why that would be?

[ 30. January 2018, 14:34: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Leaf
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# 14169

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It is not at all surprising that the conversation is about liking/not liking. The philosophical sociopathy Russ is presenting can be summed up as "how I feel about things, right now, is right." It is emotion-based and disregards both past and future in order to focus on present feelings.

Liking/not liking is important for some things. It is not at all important when it comes to justice. Justice is about paying people what is owed to them, whether you like them or not.

I am sure Russ is puzzled why so many disparate groups come together under the heading of "social progressive." Why do they all like each other? They don't, necessarily. But they can see that injustice has caused others to suffer unjustly and unnecessarily. They don't have to like each other in order to think that they deserve justice.

Justice means hiring people based on relevant criteria and disregarding irrelevant criteria. When medical staff are hired based on their qualifications and not irrelevant criteria, there are complaints at first from those who whine that they don't like having a female doctor or a black nurse. It ruins the traditional ambience of the clinic! But most of the complainers figure out that it doesn't matter; their medical treatment progresses anyway, and the drugs or surgery work apart from irrelevant criteria. And people who have been held back unjustly from professional life find that their relevant qualifications can justly earn a living. Justice in hiring chips away at racism in society.

Russ's examples take no account of history or of future effects: what is likely to happen if we live his proposed system? In short, things get worse. Inequality and injustice grow until, most surprisingly to them, they start to affect people like Russ. "I never thought leopards would eat MY face!" sobs woman who voted for Leopards Eating People's Faces Party.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There is surely some incongruity in holding simultaneously that race never has any moral relevance and yet that it may be sometimes relevant to whether a candidate is best suited for a particular job.

It is not race as such that is morally relevant, but the relevance of the decision criteria to the job.

And there is a non-empty set of jobs (playing Shakespeare's Othello, bidding for contracts with a Council that has a policy of favouring ethnically-diverse teams) where race is relevant to performance in the job. Do you disagree ?

Don't think I'm suggesting anything conceptually difficult here.

quote:
I think also that the burden of proof in a civil court would lie with the person asserting that race was relevant to the job; it being asserted falsely far more often than truly (if ever truly).
That's what I find, er, incongruous. That you seem to want to count unfair discrimination as being a wrong - a crime against natural law - in the same way that thieving from someone or mugging someone is a wrong. But you don't want to count the accused as innocent until proven guilty.

Why bother with the niceties of a trial, if you're happy to accept that accusations are made truly far more often than falsely ?

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

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There is surely some incongruity in holding simultaneously that race never has any moral relevance and yet that it may be sometimes relevant to whether a candidate is best suited for a particular job.

It is not race as such that is morally relevant, but the relevance of the decision criteria to the job.

And there is a non-empty set of jobs (playing Shakespeare's Othello, bidding for contracts with a Council that has a policy of favouring ethnically-diverse teams) where race is relevant to performance in the job.

Given that you consider preparing baked goods to be within the bounds of that "racial discrimination is okay" set, I think you're willing to draw that boundary way more extensively than anyone else here.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
playing Shakespeare's Othello

It's like you've never heard of blackface.

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Forward the New Republic

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
playing Shakespeare's Othello

It's like you've never heard of blackface.
Patrick Stewart once played the role in ordinary stage makeup. Click through for details.

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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 Marvin the Martian:
Basically, now that you've lied, stolen and murdered your way to the top you suddenly find it very important that nobody else ever lie, steal or murder.

As a description of my life that is so far away from reality that nobody could possibly take it seriously.

And reveals that what you're really asking for is to be allowed to do a little bit of lying, stealing and murdering. Until you're just about as bad as the people you've a moral objection to. (But not more, of course. That wouldn't be fair...)

That's your idea of goodness ?

Brilliant move, Marvin. You've single-handedly discredited social progressivism in a way my plodding logic can only dream of.

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

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
There is surely some incongruity in holding simultaneously that race never has any moral relevance and yet that it may be sometimes relevant to whether a candidate is best suited for a particular job.

It is not race as such that is morally relevant, but the relevance of the decision criteria to the job.

And there is a non-empty set of jobs (playing Shakespeare's Othello, bidding for contracts with a Council that has a policy of favouring ethnically-diverse teams) where race is relevant to performance in the job. Do you disagree ?

Don't think I'm suggesting anything conceptually difficult here.

I don't think one can justify preventing white or east asian actors from playing Othello, or a policy of ethnically-diverse teams, except by allowing the present relevance of past injustice in ways you want to rule out. (For example, the justification for only hiring ethnically diverse teams is that ethnically homogenous teams are evidence of a hiring policy based on unjust criteria rather than based on merit alone.)

quote:
quote:
I think also that the burden of proof in a civil court would lie with the person asserting that race was relevant to the job; it being asserted falsely far more often than truly (if ever truly).
That's what I find, er, incongruous. That you seem to want to count unfair discrimination as being a wrong - a crime against natural law - in the same way that thieving from someone or mugging someone is a wrong. But you don't want to count the accused as innocent until proven guilty.

Why bother with the niceties of a trial, if you're happy to accept that accusations are made truly far more often than falsely ?

You want to count breaking a contract as a wrong in the same way that mugging someone is a wrong. Now suppose Plumbers Inc does a job for Mr Dodger, and Mr Dodger alleges that he handed over cash at the time and wasn't given a receipt. Plumbers Inc sue. Now in the UK Plumbers Inc just have to show the court on the balance of probabilities that they were not paid. They don't need to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. It's a civil court; not a criminal court.
Do you think that is unjust?

Innocent until proven guilty is the standard required to justify the state depriving someone of their freedom for criminal wrongs. It is not the standard required for lesser civil wrongs. Unfair discrimination is a civil wrong. You can't be sent to prison for it any more than you can be sent to prison for breach of contract.

Do you think that there's a right to be not considered racist until proven guilty? That believing someone is a racist on the balance of probabilities is a crime against natural law in the same way that mugging them is? Because if you don't think that there's such a right, where according to you is the wrong in it?

It's peculiar the way you think it's perfectly permissible to take an irrational dislike to someone because of their race; but disliking someone because of their opinions based on the rational assessment of evidence is a terrible offence.

No, I do not seem to want to count unfair discrimination as a crime against natural law. You want to believe that all moral wrongs are crimes in the same way as all other moral wrongs, and that therefore anything that is not an actual crime is not on those grounds a moral wrong at all. So that therefore someone trying to bring it about that someone goes bankrupt and starves to death is not acting in a way that is morally wrong if they do not breach any moral rights. (So Mr Potter in It's a Wonderful Life and Iago in Othello do nothing morally wrong.)
I do not accept that Procrustean reduction of all moral wrong to crimes. I do not think anyone else accepts that Procrustean reduction. In fact, I put it to you that the position is so counterintuitive that if your case against social-progressivism requires such a position that is sufficient to reject the case on that ground alone.

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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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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Basically, now that you've lied, stolen and murdered your way to the top you suddenly find it very important that nobody else ever lie, steal or murder.

As a description of my life that is so far away from reality that nobody could possibly take it seriously.

And reveals that what you're really asking for is to be allowed to do a little bit of lying, stealing and murdering. Until you're just about as bad as the people you've a moral objection to. (But not more, of course. That wouldn't be fair...)

That's your idea of goodness ?

Brilliant move, Marvin. You've single-handedly discredited social progressivism in a way my plodding logic can only dream of.

Russ, your comment is such an utter non sequitur that I'm at a loss to explain it in any other way than desperation.

If that's your 'translation' of Marvin's unambiguous statement, then okay... we have bigger problems here than you trying to smuggle racism in through the backdoor.

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Kwesi
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# 10274

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quote:
Dafyd: I don't think one can justify preventing white or east asian actors from playing Othello,
I quite agree. The case of Othello is a red-herring. The whole point about plays is that they are performed by hypocrites (actors),- as Hamlet says, "What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, that he should weep for her?"

Female roles were performed by males on the Elizabethan stage, and as far as I'm aware it is not de regeur that only Jews should play the part of Malvolio or, indeed, that the cast of Twelfth Night should be confined Italians. Of course, it would be instructive if a production of Twelfth Night was to have Jews performing all the characters because they would offer a distinctive interpretation of the play as, also, would be an all-Italian cast.

I would, however, suggest that to have a non-black actor "black-up" as if a participant in a "nigger minstrel show" (a la Laurence Olivier) to play Othello is not only racist in the contemporary world but acutely embarrassing and bad art.

As for Russ, if his conclusions lead to racism then there must be something fundamentally wrong with his premises.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
quote:
Dafyd: I don't think one can justify preventing white or east asian actors from playing Othello,
I quite agree. The case of Othello is a red-herring.
Just to be clear, you cut off my sentence at the qualifier. I was saying that I think that there's a good case for giving black actors priority when casting Othello; however, the case depends on considerations that Russ doesn't acknowledge.

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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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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Because winning inevitably involves beating someone else?

Yes, obviously. That's what the word means.

...

Yeah, but we also use "winning" in situations where the winner hasn't actually demonstrated more skill or whatnot. For example, the person who "wins" the lottery hasn't done anything different or better to "beat" all the other ticket buyers.

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"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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Kwesi
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# 10274

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quote:
Kwesi: as far as I'm aware it is not de regeur that only Jews should play the part of Malvolio or, indeed, that the cast of Twelfth Night should be confined Italians.
Utter embarrassment on my part! [Hot and Hormonal] [Hot and Hormonal] [Hot and Hormonal] I Meant to refer to Shylock and The Merchant of Venice.

quote:
Dafyd: I was saying that I think that there's a good case for giving black actors priority when casting Othello; however, the case depends on considerations that Russ doesn't acknowledge.
The problem for me is not that black actors have been excluded from playing Othello but that they have been excluded from roles representing white people. If a white person can play Othello then black actors can assume white roles.
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Jay-Emm
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# 11411

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That's kind of the problem, people who apply these 'fair and universal principles' tend to apply them rather selectively

"X is a better actor, he's played Hamlet, Romeo, and it's the character that really matters. We'd be just the same in Romeo&Juliet. It's Political Correctness gone Mad"

"We can't have a black Benvelio (in R&J), it would look wrong. Of course if it were a play like Othello. It's Political Correctness gone Mad"

Actually their skill at this is such that I think they'd manage to apply the same thing to Anthony&Cleopatra* for both arguments at once.

*ok, she was really Greek.

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Basically, now that you've lied, stolen and murdered your way to the top you suddenly find it very important that nobody else ever lie, steal or murder.

As a description of my life that is so far away from reality that nobody could possibly take it seriously.
Point well and truly missed.

But hey, let's run with it. Essentially what you're saying is there's no such thing as collective responsibility, only individual guilt or innocence. OK, there are a few problems with that in terms of how societies actually function but let's ignore them for the minute.

Even under the premise that only individual guilt or innocence exists, surely there must be some kind of moral obligation placed on the beneficiaries of a crime to forgo their share of the profits in order to restore the property to its rightful owner. For example, if a man steals some diamonds then gives them to his girlfriend the girlfriend would be obliged to return the diamonds to the rightful owner even if she knew nothing of the crime and believed they had been obtained lawfully. Would you agree?

In which case, can you not at least conceive of the possibility that you have been the beneficiary of crimes committed against others without ever being aware of the fact yourself? And that there may therefore be a moral obligation upon you to restore the benefits you have thusly gained to their rightful owners?

I know it gets a bit more tricky when we're talking about benefits and profits that are somewhat less tangible than diamonds - especially when it comes to what "restoring them to their rightful owners" means in practice - but can you at least recognise the possibility? Or are you going to double down on your "I didn't personally do anything wrong, so I shouldn't have to personally give anything up" stance?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I don't think one can justify preventing white or east asian actors from playing Othello

Why would I want to prevent anything of the sort ?

I'm suggesting that where casting a black or white actor or actress is relevant to what the producer is trying to do artistically, then there is no unfair discrimination involved in using race or gender as part of the casting decision. Othello black & everyone else white ? Fine. Vice versa ? Equally fine.

quote:
For example, the justification for only hiring ethnically diverse teams is that ethnically homogenous teams are evidence of a hiring policy based on unjust criteria rather than based on merit alone.
No, that would be an example of egalitarian prejudice. In Erroneous Monk's example, the justification for hiring ethnically diverse teams is because the client wants it and therefore ethnicity is relevant to the needs of the business.

quote:
Now suppose Plumbers Inc does a job for Mr Dodger, and Mr Dodger alleges that he handed over cash at the time and wasn't given a receipt. Plumbers Inc sue. Now in the UK Plumbers Inc just have to show the court on the balance of probabilities that they were not paid. They don't need to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. It's a civil court; not a criminal court.
Do you think that is unjust?

I think you're confusing the burden of proof with the standard of proof. The English tradition is that it is better that 10 guilty men go free than that one innocent is wrongly convicted. I don't see that factor of 10 as a God-given constant of the moral universe. It's a cultural thing. If the French tradition used a factor of 3, that doesn't make the French system of government immoral.

Innocent until proven guilty, on the other hand, is part of treating a person as a person.

Plumbers Inc have to prove their case about Mr Dodger, to whatever standard of proof applies. He doesn't have to prove his innocence - the burden of proof is on the person bringing the complaint. And the proof has to relate to him as an individual person. Generalities about other people of his age/profession/wealth/class/nationality etc won't do. That way lies prejudice.

quote:

Do you think that there's a right to be not considered racist until proven guilty?

Depends what you mean by "racist". If you use it in to mean something morally wrong, if "Dafyd the racist" carries the same sort of moral condemnation as "Dafyd the cheat", "Dafyd the bully", then yes, nobody should call you that without evidence. It's an assault on your good name.

If on the other hand, you use it to describe a facet of the human condition that we all share - such as suggesting that maybe we're all more comfortable with people like ourselves - then it's not slandering you to say that you're a bit racist just like everyone else.

quote:
It's peculiar the way you think it's perfectly permissible to take an irrational dislike to someone because of their race; but disliking someone because of their opinions based on the rational assessment of evidence is a terrible offence.
No. Once again, you are free to dislike whomever you will for whatever reason you will. As a private individual, you can act on those likes and dislikes in choosing whom you do or do not associate with. The moral imperative is firstly to respect the rights of each person - even those you dislike. And secondly, where you are acting in some official capacity (for the government, for your firm, on behalf of the Residents Association or the Tiddlywinks Club, whatever) you should fulfil your office impartially, keeping your private dislikes to yourself.

Where's the problem ?

quote:
[No, I do not seem to want to count unfair discrimination as a crime against natural law. You want to believe that all moral wrongs are crimes in the same way as all other moral wrongs, and that therefore anything that is not an actual crime is not on those grounds a moral wrong at all. So that therefore someone trying to bring it about that someone goes bankrupt and starves to death is not acting in a way that is morally wrong if they do not breach any moral rights.
I refer you to my earlier reply to Eliab, regarding intent.

I agree that morality involves both ends and means. Having a wrong intention - an evil end - is wrong even if the means are otherwise morally legitimate.

But conversely a good end - trying to make the world a better place - does not justify wrongful means. And that seems the more relevant temptation for social progressivism - to disregard the rights of others in pursuit of their political utopia.

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

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
The problem for me is not that black actors have been excluded from playing Othello but that they have been excluded from roles representing white people. If a white person can play Othello then black actors can assume white roles.

I see it differently.
It is that black (and other ethnic groups) actors have been excluded from playing any characters, even the ones written as black. And it isn't like Othello is the best role in Othello. None of Shakespeare's non-white people are the best. Intentionally.
Also, positing that flipping a switch and now anyone can play anyone is equality is incorrect because theatre is not equal.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I don't think one can justify preventing white or east asian actors from playing Othello

Why would I want to prevent anything of the sort ?

I'm suggesting that where casting a black or white actor or actress is relevant to what the producer is trying to do artistically, then there is no unfair discrimination involved in using race or gender as part of the casting decision. Othello black & everyone else white ? Fine. Vice versa ? Equally fine.

Up to a point. I think that my point about the history of interactions of different racial backgrounds still applies.

quote:
quote:
For example, the justification for only hiring ethnically diverse teams is that ethnically homogenous teams are evidence of a hiring policy based on unjust criteria rather than based on merit alone.
No, that would be an example of egalitarian prejudice. In Erroneous Monk's example, the justification for hiring ethnically diverse teams is because the client wants it and therefore ethnicity is relevant to the needs of the business.
Do you think that the business ought to be pandering to what the client wants if what the client wants is itself unjustified?

quote:
quote:
Now suppose Plumbers Inc does a job for Mr Dodger, and Mr Dodger alleges that he handed over cash at the time and wasn't given a receipt. Plumbers Inc sue. Now in the UK Plumbers Inc just have to show the court on the balance of probabilities that they were not paid. They don't need to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. It's a civil court; not a criminal court.
Do you think that is unjust?

I think you're confusing the burden of proof with the standard of proof.

Plumbers Inc have to prove their case about Mr Dodger, to whatever standard of proof applies. He doesn't have to prove his innocence - the burden of proof is on the person bringing the complaint. And the proof has to relate to him as an individual person. Generalities about other people of his age/profession/wealth/class/nationality etc won't do. That way lies prejudice.

So let's see. You're saying Plumbers Inc ought to believe that Mr Dodger is innocent until such time as they've proven him guilty. So are you saying that they should sue a man they believe to be innocent?
Your principle as stated leads to idiocy.

Burden of proof was perhaps an ill-judged phrase on my part. It depends on the way you look at something. If Plumbers Inc's accountant turns out to have put Plumbers Inc's investments into his own retirement fund is Plumbers Inc then required to rule out the possibility that the accountant viewed this as a sound business investment for his clients? Or does it merely have to show that this is prima facie evidence of embezzlement?
Likewise, if someone comes across their spouse locked in a passionate embrace with their best friend, is it up to them to establish that it really is what it looks like?

quote:
quote:

Do you think that there's a right to be not considered racist until proven guilty?

Depends what you mean by "racist". If you use it in to mean something morally wrong, if "Dafyd the racist" carries the same sort of moral condemnation as "Dafyd the cheat", "Dafyd the bully", then yes, nobody should call you that without evidence. It's an assault on your good name.
It is no doubt unkind to call someone a racist without evidence, but you don't think unkindness is itself a moral wrong. Do you think there is an actual right not to be called 'racist' so that calling someone 'racist' without proof is a moral wrong of the same sort as calling them a 'thief'?
So if Sarah Jane Wisdom calls someone a racist you are morally required to believe that she's justified unless you can prove otherwise? Otherwise, you'd be accusing her of the moral wrong of slander/libel? But then what happens to the person she called 'racist'?
I rather think your position is abusing the principle of innocent until proven guilty to the point at which it falls apart in a mass of contradictions.

quote:
quote:
It's peculiar the way you think it's perfectly permissible to take an irrational dislike to someone because of their race; but disliking someone because of their opinions based on the rational assessment of evidence is a terrible offence.
No. Once again, you are free to dislike whomever you will for whatever reason you will. As a private individual, you can act on those likes and dislikes in choosing whom you do or do not associate with. The moral imperative is firstly to respect the rights of each person - even those you dislike. And secondly, where you are acting in some official capacity (for the government, for your firm, on behalf of the Residents Association or the Tiddlywinks Club, whatever) you should fulfil your office impartially, keeping your private dislikes to yourself.

Where's the problem ?

I don't know. You're the one who is objecting that there's a problem when the cause of the dislike is a perception of unfair discrimination.

Of course the above is only not a problem if we accept your model. Most of us would say that while disliking someone on irrational grounds is hardly a crime or a breach of their rights, we would still be better people and all concerned would be better off and happier if we didn't do it.

quote:
quote:
You want to believe that all moral wrongs are crimes in the same way as all other moral wrongs, and that therefore anything that is not an actual crime is not on those grounds a moral wrong at all. So that therefore someone trying to bring it about that someone goes bankrupt and starves to death is not acting in a way that is morally wrong if they do not breach any moral rights.
I refer you to my earlier reply to Eliab, regarding intent.
Have you acknowledged the point that other people simply reject your model that all moral wrongs are crimes of the same type?

quote:
I agree that morality involves both ends and means. Having a wrong intention - an evil end - is wrong even if the means are otherwise morally legitimate.
You've said earlier that morality consists in respecting other people's rights and adhering to your promises. And that within those boundaries you are free to do or act on whatever motive you like.
Now you say that even if you intend to respect those boundaries you can have evil ends. That's a serious modification of the position. What on your morality as a boundary model makes an end evil? If your intention isn't to violate a right?

quote:
And that seems the more relevant temptation for social progressivism - to disregard the rights of others in pursuit of their political utopia.
Disregarding people's human rights is a moral wrong. Don't you think you have a moral obligation to believe social progressives innocent of it until proven guilty?

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

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
If someone says that they don't actually like Armenians, seems to me there are 3 broad possibilities.

a) a reasoned dislike, e.g. based on supposed Armenian collective responsibility for something that they are supposed to have done

b) a non-rational dislike of the otherness of Armenians

c) a prejudice, an attribution to all Armenians of characteristics that only some (possibly only a small minority) actually possess. An essentially imagined dislike.

I'm not sure I get the distinction between "[a]n essentially imagined dislike" and "a non-rational dislike". Aren't imagined dislikes by definition non-rational?
Prejudiced people are fine once you get to know them...

An irrational distaste, like a phobia - an irrational fear - doesn't necessarily disappear on closer acquaintance.

Whereas prejudice is arguably rational. If you lack the resources to gather the information to judge fairly, pre-judging may be an efficient strategy. A cost/quality trade-off.

--------------------
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:
Prejudiced people are fine once you get to know them...

Depends on if you're the target of that prejudice, I suppose. The Little Rock Nine knew pretty well which of their fellow students were spitting on them or yelling slurs at them, but I wouldn't call that "fine". Your mileage may vary, of course.

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
An irrational distaste, like a phobia - an irrational fear - doesn't necessarily disappear on closer acquaintance.

Whereas prejudice is arguably rational. If you lack the resources to gather the information to judge fairly, pre-judging may be an efficient strategy. A cost/quality trade-off.

Right. It's just a matter of "efficiency" to assume that African-Americans are ignorant near-savages who can't be trusted with a vote or that women are all morons who don't have the brainpower to work in IT. You also seem to have decided that "efficient" = "moral", which is fairly interesting for someone who usually complains about utilitarianism.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Racism says it's ok to break a promise for racist reasons (treaties with Indigenous peoples). Racism says it's ok to mess with people's stuff for racist reasons (colonization). Racism says it's ok to assault people for racist reasons (ethnic cleansing).

If by "racism" you mean the doctrine that it's OK to breach other people's rights if they are of a different race from you - which is what I think you're suggesting in the above - then I agree that that is a false doctrine that leads people to commit evil acts.

If by "anti-racism" I mean the doctrine that it's OK to breach other people's rights if that helps to bring about greater racial equality, can you agree with me that that is a false doctrine that leads people to evil acts ?

quote:
Russ says it's ok to tell the fruits to go away and shop somewhere else
No. Russ has said multiple times that if you have a business serving the public then you have to serve all the people who make up the public.

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

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think that my point about the history of interactions of different racial backgrounds still applies.

That does seem like an emerging theme of this discussion.

[QUOTE][qb]Do you think that the business ought to be pandering to what the client wants if what the client wants is itself unjustified?

A client's preference may be a personal whim or a corporate policy that lacks any justification. But they're paying the piper... On the other hand, if what the client wants crosses the line into a moral wrong, then no the business should not be party to it.

Which is where a clear distinction between personal political views (which you may have to set aside in your professional or official capacity) and moral imperatives (which you should never set aside) comes in.

quote:
You're saying Plumbers Inc ought to believe that Mr Dodger is innocent until such time as they've proven him guilty. So are you saying that they should sue a man they believe to be innocent?
The director of Plumbers Inc should review the testimony of the staff involved and prove to his own satisfaction that Mr Dodger is guilty before commencing legal action to try to prove it to the satisfaction of the court. Neither the director nor the court should start from a presumption of guilt.

quote:
Do you think there is an actual right not to be called 'racist' so that calling someone 'racist' without proof is a moral wrong of the same sort as calling them a 'thief'?
I don't think "racist" has an inherent meaning. I observe it used in different senses, all obviously related to the concept of race.

If you believe that "racism" refers to a moral wrong - a breach of someone's rights in the same way that thieving is a breach of someone's rights - then yes calling someone "racist" without proof is the same sort of slander as calling them "thief" without proof.

One minute racism is a serious moral wrong, the next it's an accusation that doesn't need proving. Just as one minute it's used as an explanation why an act is morally wrong, and the next you're defining it to exclude acts that you consider morally OK so it's a wrong-by-definition.

Seems like much talking at cross-purposes, suspicion and misunderstanding could be avoided if people could just pick a precise meaning and stick to it.


quote:
Most of us would say that while disliking someone on irrational grounds is hardly a crime or a breach of their rights, we would still be better people and all concerned would be better off and happier if we didn't do it.
Happier and better off without irrational likes and dislikes, probably.

Better people, no. We don't choose our likes and dislikes.

quote:
Don't you think you have a moral obligation to believe social progressives innocent of it until proven guilty?
Individual people, yes. If I've accused you (or Marvin or anyone else) personally of anything, without there being evidence in your words of it, I willingly apologise.

But a mindset, a wrong way of thinking, deserves no presumption of innocence.

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

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

Seems like much talking at cross-purposes, suspicion and misunderstanding could be avoided if people could just pick a precise meaning and stick to it.

So, your solution is "Oooh, I don't have the common sense a toddler has, so I shall continue to do things any one with that much sense would consider racist."?
Now, I'm not accusing you of being this way, but that is a fairly accurate summation of the POV you've outlined.

--------------------
I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Prejudiced people are fine once you get to know them...

That's the whole problem with your position in a nutshell.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Which is where a clear distinction between personal political views (which you may have to set aside in your professional or official capacity) and moral imperatives (which you should never set aside) comes in.

The problem is that you're defining racism as a "personal political view" whereas the rest of us define it (or more accurately avoiding it) as a "moral imperative".

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

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I don't think "racist" has an inherent meaning. I observe it used in different senses, all obviously related to the concept of race.

If you believe that "racism" refers to a moral wrong - a breach of someone's rights in the same way that thieving is a breach of someone's rights - then yes calling someone "racist" without proof is the same sort of slander as calling them "thief" without proof.

Of all your various apologia for segregation and racial discrimination, this semantic argument that all words can only have one very precise meaning seems the most obviously disingenuous. This is especially true when paired with your willingness to use the term "thief", despite the fact that it can and is often used in a wide variety of contexts, from someone who takes two pennies from the "Take A Penny" jar to armed brigands to con men to hackers who only reassign some ones and zeros. It's even sometimes applied to those who operate under cover of law, such as the "thieves" who stole people's homes by "retro-signing" mortgage documents. (Some will rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen.) The pretense that you can't wrap your head around using the term "racist" differently in different contexts despite being able to (presumably) do so for the term "thief" stretches credulity past the breaking point.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
most obviously disingenuous.

Kinda like that particular corpse is the most obviously dead?

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
You're saying Plumbers Inc ought to believe that Mr Dodger is innocent until such time as they've proven him guilty. So are you saying that they should sue a man they believe to be innocent?
The director of Plumbers Inc should review the testimony of the staff involved and prove to his own satisfaction that Mr Dodger is guilty before commencing legal action to try to prove it to the satisfaction of the court. Neither the director nor the court should start from a presumption of guilt.
Supposing the director having established to his own satisfaction that none of his staff have received the money, and trusting his staff, he now asks Mr Dodger if there is an innocent explanation. Mr Dodger tells him that the onus is on the director to prove that there is no innocent explanation, and it is not his, Mr Dodger's, responsibility to provide one, and that unless the director has proved that there isn't one the director should believe in Mr Dodger's innocence. Is this a reasonable response from Mr Dodger?

In a criminal court it is: Mr Dodger is entitled not to incriminate himself. But we are not talking here about a criminal court.

quote:
If you believe that "racism" refers to a moral wrong - a breach of someone's rights in the same way that thieving is a breach of someone's rights - then yes calling someone "racist" without proof is the same sort of slander as calling them "thief" without proof.
I mistyped in a hurry. I meant to ask whether you thought calling someone a racist is the same sort of moral wrong as thieving? (Or that calling someone a thief is the same sort of moral wrong as thieving?)

But you're here once more insisting on interpreting what other people say as if they accept the Procrustean bed of your own moral categories. Nobody else would say racism is a moral wrong in the way theft is a moral wrong, because racism is an attitude or belief, and theft is an action. In the same way, hatred or avarice are attitudes that are morally wrong. There aren't any circumstances in which avarice is morally good. But that doesn't mean that actions attributable to avarice are always morally wrong in themselves. They may range from murdering someone for the inheritance to merely refusing to split the bill in the restaurant.
If someone calls the CEO who paid himself a large bonus when the company was about to collapse under the weight of debt a 'greedy fat cat' are they breaching his rights?
Note that calling someone 'greedy' is different from calling them an 'embezzler'. ('Thief' has a slightly wider range of metaphorical uses.)

quote:
Just as one minute it's used as an explanation why an act is morally wrong, and the next you're defining it to exclude acts that you consider morally OK so it's a wrong-by-definition.
That's not an inconsistency. Many virtue or vice terms work in the same way.
Let's say someone, a dogmatic Kantian, says that you mustn't lie to the mafia about the location of their victim because it's dishonest. That explains why the act is wrong. But the definition of dishonesty includes moral wrongdoing: one can query it by saying that withholding information from people who will use the information for nefarious purposes is not morally wrong and therefore not dishonest.

quote:
Seems like much talking at cross-purposes, suspicion and misunderstanding could be avoided if people could just pick a precise meaning and stick to it.
Sadly, the world is not precise and therefore words with precise meanings are not much help in talking about it.

quote:
quote:
Most of us would say that while disliking someone on irrational grounds is hardly a crime or a breach of their rights, we would still be better people and all concerned would be better off and happier if we didn't do it.
Happier and better off without irrational likes and dislikes, probably.

Better people, no. We don't choose our likes and dislikes.

We don't choose our characters or personalities as if off the shelves of a supermarket either. We are not straightforwardly at the mercy of our likes and dislikes.

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

Posts: 10567 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
The problem is that you're defining racism as a "personal political view" whereas the rest of us define it (or more accurately avoiding it) as a "moral imperative".

You haven't defined it; I haven't defined it. The meaning of words is determined by common usage. And common usage is imprecise.

I've heard schoolteachers complain that ethnic minority students call it racism if any teacher not of their ethnicity tells them off for anything.

Yes, the problem is that some talk as if avoiding racism is a moral imperative. Whereas I'm saying that the term is used so broadly that it covers both acts that are morally wrong because they infringe the rights of others and acts that are not.

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

Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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The libertarian “ freedom” espoused by Russ is ultimately the freedom of privileged classes. If white heterosexual males are a privileged group in a society, and they prefer to only conduct commerce with other white heterosexual males, how do women, persons of color, LGBTQ people, exercise their freedom to participate equally in the marketplace? What about their desires and aspirations in this libertarian paradise?

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
What about their desires and aspirations in this libertarian paradise?

They get to choose which particular ditch they die in, as with all right-wing libertarian fantasies.

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Forward the New Republic

Posts: 9131 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged



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