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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And it's racism if you're wrong to do it. And you're wrong to do it if you act from your own feelings of animosity or hostility. Or if you breach his moral rights by so doing.

Racism is not a synonym for hatred.
The article talks about racism as being an intellectual belief in the inferiority of other races.

That is a not-unreasonable and not-uncommon usage of the word.

Such a belief - like the belief that the earth is flat - was relatively common in some cultures in the past, but the scientific consensus today is that it is false.

Holding in good faith false beliefs is clearly not good, not desirable. But it is not morally wrong. Just as getting less than full marks in an exam is a failing but it is not a moral failing.

So we have some arguing that moral wrongness is part of the definition of racism, and now you're apparently arguing that racism isn't morally wrong at all.

Can you begin to see why race & racism does not provide a sound template for consideration of other questions ?

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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
Martin60
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# 368

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Wrong.
Morally wrong.
Morally, psychopathically bankrupt.

[ 11. February 2018, 13:53: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I'm not sure anyone seriously thinks that "honestly-held" views are morally neutral. Fairly obviously it depends on what those beliefs are and the impacts of them on others.

Anti-Semitism in 1930s Germany wasn't considered a moral failing. And yet the mass acquiescence to the bullshit that insists one set of people are inferior to another had obvious and tragic effects.

Today you're not going to get far in Germany with the glorification of ideas that were government policy in the 1930s. It isn't just a moral failing, it's a criminal act.

It strikes me that the really telling thing about racism is that it is based on lies. It doesn't take a lot of investigation, thought and analysis to realise that racist ideas hold no water. The "honest" person cannot continue with racist ideas when faced with the truth.

About the only defence is ignorance. Much of the time this ignorance is wilful and therefore also a moral failing.

Like many of those who survived the war in Germany and realised the extent of the state-sponsored evil racist delusional bullshit that they'd accepted, "honest" people wake up and realise that even being deluded is no excuse for the miriad of everyday racist actions that led to the Holocaust.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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And I'm fairly sure Russ believes that some ideas honestly held by other people are moral failings.

I'm sure he wouldn't think that a political opponent seeking to increase taxes and red-tape for small businessmen were morally neutral.

And that's the rub here: Russ doesn't like having to think beyond his narrow parameters of things that affect him and seeks to dismiss or deflect anything that he has determined shouldn't really matter to anyone else.

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arse

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
[QUOTE]3. Watching this TV drama didn't make you feel hostility to disabled people in general, but you seem to be worried that it will affect other lesser mortals that way.

I see. So now I'm not allowed to consider the impacts on certain minorities of stereotypes in popular media.

Of course you're allowed to think about and talk about stereotypes. Your experience is what it is. If you're aware that your feelings about some group of people have been changed by media stereotyping, then sharing that awareness with us is highly relevant to the conversation. I just had the sense - perhaps wrongly - that you want us to credit you with having a point of view that hasn't been suggested to you by the various media you read/watch/listen to, but are unwilling to credit others with the same power of independent thought.

quote:
here is your problem right there: you simply don't accept the notion of "punching down" because you are so comfortable and privileged that you don't see the effects are disproportionate on minorities.
"Punching up" is ISTM, part of the virtue of chivalry.

If you're on a situation where punching someone is wrong of itself (and you might think that covers quite a lot of life) then whether a particular punch is up down or sideways is moot - you shouldn't do it.

The question only arises where punching is morally legitimate, where nobody - because rights are universal - has a moral right not to be punched.

In that situation, a chivalrous boxer might politely decline to spar with someone weaker. Just as a chivalrous comedian might waive his right to tell jokes at the expense of someone who has recently suffered in some way.

Your problem seems to be that you want to make rules compelling people to exercise virtue towards minorities. If you try to build an entire ethic around "punching up", you end up either excusing moral wrongs against people you perceive to have more power/status/wealth, or else denying people their moral rights against people you perceive to have less.

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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
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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You've literally just said that racism isn't necessarily a moral failing and that stereotypes about people in power is a moral failing equal in moral importance to stereotypes about minorities.

What.ever.

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arse

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Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Holding in good faith false beliefs is clearly not good, not desirable. But it is not morally wrong. Just as getting less than full marks in an exam is a failing but it is not a moral failing.

So we have some arguing that moral wrongness is part of the definition of racism, and now you're apparently arguing that racism isn't morally wrong at all.

Once again this seems at odds with your position on school segregation. Here you're arguing that it's morally acceptable to send black students to inferior schools if the school board sincerely believes that it would be a waste of scarce educational resources on what they believe to be inferior intellects, while elsewhere you've claimed integration is "morally . . . the right thing to do". I'm getting the impression that your permissive attitude towards racism is mostly just thrashing around to find acceptable justifications for prejudice.

To take a more contemporary example, Fox News recently published an editorial bemoaning the fact that less of the U.S. Winter Olympic team was white and straight than had been the case in past Winter Olympics. It was eventually taken down when it was pointed out how racist and homophobic it was (though it seems like nothing is ever truly gone on the internet, if you want to read the original).

Fox News senior editor John Moody seems to take it as a given that straight, white athletes are inherently better at winter sports than athletes who aren't white or aren't straight. Hence the only explanation for the current "darker, gayer, different" composition of U.S. team is a system of "quotas for race, religion or sexuality". He doesn't bother to cite any specific athletes whose place on the team would be better filled by a straight, white competitor, because apparently the superiority of such a competitor is self-evident to Moody so no example or citation is necessary.

Is it "immoral" for Moody to believe this? Would it be "immoral" for the the U.S. Olympic Committee to believe this? If the answers to these two questions are different, why the difference?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

Fox News senior editor John Moody seems to take it as a given that straight, white athletes are inherently better at winter sports than athletes who aren't white or aren't straight.

Well, snow is white and skis are straight, so it Just Makes Sense.
His Jackie Robinson example is hilarious. Totally misses the true point of JR’s story; that black people weren’t given the opportunity because of what they were instead of lack of talent.Robinson showed that was wrong, just as the current US Olympic team are doing.
But really, Moody’s post allowed Fox to play to their base and the removal lets them pretend they are not.

[ 12. February 2018, 16:59: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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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
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Russ:
[qb] Here you're arguing that it's morally acceptable to send black students to inferior schools if the school board sincerely believes that it would be a waste of scarce educational resources on what they believe to be inferior intellects, while elsewhere you've claimed integration is "morally . . . the right thing to do".

No on both counts.

That the sincere holding of a mistaken belief is not of itself morally wrong does not mean that acting on that belief is automatically morally OK.

We do wrong when we fail in our moral duties. (I'm suggesting that this is the same thing as transgressing against the moral rights of others - sometimes it's more natural in English to talk of one rather than the other - rights or duties. But that's not the main point here).

As Dafyd reminded us, we also do wrong when we act from evil intent.

Two ways to do wrong.

On integration, I think you're misquoting me. For government to serve the whole of the people is morally the right thing to do, not to de-segregate as such.

Because I think parents have the right to choose - within the options available to them - what is best for their children. Which includes home-schooling. Or same-sex schools. Or faith schools. Which rules out any right or duty of integration as such.

Would this island be a better place without faith schools ? I think so. Do I have the right to enforce that opinion on other people ? No.

Maybe what's lacking in the SP mindset is that sense of other people having the right to make choices that one doesn't approve of ?

quote:

To take a more contemporary example, Fox News recently published an editorial bemoaning the fact that less of the U.S. Winter Olympic team was white and straight than had been the case in past Winter Olympics.

My reading of that link is that what it's bemoaning is that to so many commentators the blackness/whiteness of the team is the important issue, rather than their sporting prowess.

Not having the time (or to be honest, the interest) to plough through US media coverage, I've no idea if that's a fair comment or ridiculously overstated. But I'm seeing freedom of speech in action, rather than anything morally wrong.

Because you asked...

Seems to me that one of the factors underlying the oft-noted polarisation of US political life is the tendency to blur morality and politics. Opponents become not just wrong but evil. The religious right do it, and in a different way the social-progressives do it.

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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
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
On integration, I think you're misquoting me. For government to serve the whole of the people is morally the right thing to do, not to de-segregate as such.

Because I think parents have the right to choose - within the options available to them - what is best for their children.

In a lot of cases that's not possible. Ruby Bridges and her parents want Ruby to attend William Frantz Elementary School along with her white age-peers. Most of the white parents of Ruby's age-peers want their kids to go to an all white public school, which William Frantz Elementary will no longer be if Ruby attends classes there. Exactly how does the government give everyone their choice here?

And you're still avoiding the question. If it's morally okay for a school board to believe that different races require different levels of education, why is it not morally okay for them to act on that belief?

quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Maybe what's lacking in the SP mindset is that sense of other people having the right to make choices that one doesn't approve of ?

Out of curiosity does this include neglect? Some parents are indifferent to educating their children at all. Heck, some parents are indifferent to feeding their kids enough. Is there any point at which you'd consider the state justified in considering the welfare of children to be more important than the wishes of their parents?

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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 Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Maybe what's lacking in the SP mindset is that sense of other people having the right to make choices that one doesn't approve of ?

Out of curiosity does this include neglect? Some parents are indifferent to educating their children at all
I'm arguing that you should distinguish actions of which you disapprove from (the smaller set of) actions which are morally wrong.

So what you're asking is which category parental neglect falls into. Is it a breach of moral duty ? Or merely (in one's humble opinion) a Bad Thing ?

I tend to the view that parents do have a particular moral duty to care for their children, and that that duty of care includes education. I imagine you'd agree.

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

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Why would anyone disapprove of something if they didn't think it was morally wrong?

Examples Russ. What do you disapprove of but don't think is morally wrong? Why do you then disapprove of it?

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Why would anyone disapprove of something if they didn't think it was morally wrong?

I don't think this as an abstract idea is so weird. I disapprove of high-heels but I don't think wearing them is a moral failing. I do rather despair of living in a culture which not only finds them as desirable, but in many circumstances essential.

But I struggle to understand how this can apply to racism. It is apparently to say that national/community behaviours that lead to discrimination are bad - but that an individual who believes in a racist ideology, providing they are doing it in "good faith" (whatever that means) are not necessarily commuting a moral failing.

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arse

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Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
But I struggle to understand how this can apply to racism.

It's all of a piece with Russ' general thesis that racism is something about which honest, well-intentioned people can disagree. As opposed to thinking it's something that is clearly and unambiguously wrong, like the rest of us.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I'm arguing that you should distinguish actions of which you disapprove from (the smaller set of) actions which are morally wrong.

I asked before whether you think that all actions that you consider morally wrong should be illegal?
Should the law enforce your opinions about morality?

quote:
So what you're asking is which category parental neglect falls into. Is it a breach of moral duty ? Or merely (in one's humble opinion) a Bad Thing ?

I tend to the view that parents do have a particular moral duty to care for their children, and that that duty of care includes education. I imagine you'd agree.

This isn't consistent with your previously stated position.
To recap your position: according to you an action is morally wrong if it is an action that breaches someone else's rights (and neglecting to meet a need does not breach someone's rights), or if it breaks a promise. You don't allow a third option
Failing to care for one's children is not a breach of rights unless it's possible to breach rights by inaction - which you don't allow, and it's not a breach of a promise.
Furthermore, the duty to care for children is an imperfect duty and you don't allow that there are such things.
So you do have to allow that it's possible to breach rights by inaction, and/or that there are imperfect duties - in which case your contention that the supposed duty to relieve need or poverty can't be a moral duty falls apart.

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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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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Why would anyone disapprove of something if they didn't think it was morally wrong?

Examples Russ. What do you disapprove of but don't think is morally wrong? Why do you then disapprove of it?

I disapprove of smoking. Because I judge that the pleasure gained thereby is not worth the risk (of addiction, and of serious long-term physical harm to the body of the smoker).

But - provided that nobody else has to inhale the smoke - I can't say it's morally wrong to do so. Those trade-offs of risk and reward are sonething individuals have the moral right to judge for themselves.

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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
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It's all of a piece with Russ' general thesis that racism is something...

You've not got it yet.

Racism isn't a thing at all.

"Racism" is a word which people use to mean different things.

Some use it to mean racial hatred. Which is morally wrong. (Just like non-racial hatred).

Some like Mr Cheesy use it to mean a belief in inherent superiority of some races over others. Which I understand to be empirically false. But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.

Some like Leorning Cnicht use it to mean wrongful discrimination on grounds of race. Which includes moral wrongness as part of the definition.

Some use it to mean anything which acts to the disadvantage of racial minorities. Which includes both wrong and non-wrong acts.

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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
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Racism isn't a thing at all.

"Racism" is a word which people use to mean different things.

How many English words have just one definition? You used the word "mean" in the previous post despite the fact that it can be defined as "stingy" or "mathematical average" or "cruel" or "lowly", and yet most of us can somehow understand you're using it in the sense of "conveys information".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
... But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.
....

Puh-leez. Belief is a choice. Surely that was mentioned at your baptism or confirmation?

Harming other people is immoral. Harming other people as a result of a stupid and/or sincerely-held belief is still immoral.

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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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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
"Racism" is a word which people use to mean different things.

The OED definition, which I've alluded to before now:
quote:
A belief that one’s own racial or ethnic group is superior, or that other such groups represent a threat to one's cultural identity, racial integrity, or economic well-being; (also) a belief that the members of different racial or ethnic groups possess specific characteristics, abilities, or qualities, which can be compared and evaluated. Hence: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against people of other racial or ethnic groups (or, more widely, of other nationalities), esp. based on such beliefs.
That seems to cover all the bases in one definition.
You'll note that the OED is using belief as the handle for the bundle, but it doesn't seek to unpack the bundle; the reason being that situations in which you get the belief without the antagonism or the antagonism without prejudice are really quite rare.
If you wanted to be really pedantic and analytic you could untease all the different aspects, but largely that serves only the purpose of the gish-gallop.
"Yes, they hold false beliefs but that's not morally wrong unless they're discriminating based on them."
"Yes, they're discriminating, but that's not morally wrong unless it's based on antagonism."
"Yes, they're antagonistic, but that's not morally wrong unless it's violating their rights."
"It can't be violating their rights if it's based on true beliefs."

quote:
Some like Mr Cheesy use it to mean a belief in inherent superiority of some races over others. Which I understand to be empirically false. But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.
Just a few posts back you said that an action is still morally wrong even if the belief it is based on is held in good faith.

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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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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It's all of a piece with Russ' general thesis that racism is something...

You've not got it yet.

Racism isn't a thing at all.

"Racism" is a word which people use to mean different things.

Some use it to mean racial hatred. Which is morally wrong. (Just like non-racial hatred).

Some like Mr Cheesy use it to mean a belief in inherent superiority of some races over others. Which I understand to be empirically false. But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.

Some like Leorning Cnicht use it to mean wrongful discrimination on grounds of race. Which includes moral wrongness as part of the definition.

Some use it to mean anything which acts to the disadvantage of racial minorities. Which includes both wrong and non-wrong acts.

OK then Russ, what do you take racism to mean?

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

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 24276 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

Some like Mr Cheesy use it to mean a belief in inherent superiority of some races over others.

I'm not sure I do believe that nor did I say it. My position is that it is possible to believe in some things does not necessarily inevitably lead to discrimination of an individual.

But I don't think racism is one of those things. I don't think it is possible to believe in racial superiority and then somehow not do moral wrong to the other.

quote:
Which I understand to be empirically false.
Empirically false?! Why would you claim that?

quote:
But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.
It absolutely can when it is the type of belief that inevitably hurts others. Like racism.

quote:

Some like Leorning Cnicht use it to mean wrongful discrimination on grounds of race. Which includes moral wrongness as part of the definition.

Some use it to mean anything which acts to the disadvantage of racial minorities. Which includes both wrong and non-wrong acts.

How is something that acts against a weaker minority somehow not-wrong? Wtf are you talking about?

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arse

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Leaf
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# 14169

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
belief isn't a choice

Obviously this is false. The words education, conversion, and persuasion would not exist if it were true.

What I find interesting are the categories that Russ is trying to exclude from his system, which I think of as gifts of the Enlightenment. Categories such as reasonable ("what would a reasonable person do?"), evidence, and harm. He is also trying to exclude any time other than the present - so that history is not a source of learning, nor may one attempt to predict future outcomes if his theoretical system is acted out.

All one is left with are one's individual feelings in the moment as a basis for morality, and whether one is able to convince oneself of the sincerity of those feelings.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Leaf:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
belief isn't a choice

Obviously this is false. The words education, conversion, and persuasion would not exist if it were true.
Don't follow your logic here.

If you believe something, then it strikes you as true. So you can be educated/persuaded into a different belief only by exposure to evidence.

If belief were a choice then you could get people to change their beliefs just by asking them nicely. Are you suggesting that is effective ?

(Although the degree to which one protects one's current belief-set by not listening to evidence can be a choice).

quote:
What I find interesting are the categories that Russ is trying to exclude from his system, which I think of as gifts of the Enlightenment. Categories such as reasonable ("what would a reasonable person do?"), evidence, and harm.
I fear that increasing polarisation is rapidly diminishing any consensus on what "reasonable" consists of.

Evidence is good. Don't think I've said anything against evidence.

Literal harm - physical harm, harm to an individual's property or reputation - have I not been arguing that these are moral wrongs ?

But if every setback to the way you think things should be becomes a "harm", then avoiding harm becomes carte blanche to impose your ideas on other people.

quote:
He is also trying to exclude any time other than the present...
The only time you can ever act morally is in the present. And moral truths are unchanging.

quote:
...that history is not a source of learning...
Of course you should learn from the wisdom accumulated in the past. It's called tradition.

quote:
...nor may one attempt to predict future outcomes
Of course you can. But avoiding a future outcome you disapprove of does not justify breaching the moral rights of others now.

quote:
All one is left with are one's individual feelings in the moment as a basis for morality, and whether one is able to convince oneself of the sincerity of those feelings.
No, you're supposed to have principles that you apply equally to those that you do and don't feel for at any particular moment.

I don't doubt your sincerity. Only your ability to think straight.

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

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
It's all of a piece with Russ' general thesis that racism is something...

You've not got it yet.

Racism isn't a thing at all.

"Racism" is a word which people use to mean different things.

Some use it to mean racial hatred. Which is morally wrong. (Just like non-racial hatred).

Some like Mr Cheesy use it to mean a belief in inherent superiority of some races over others. Which I understand to be empirically false. But belief isn't a choice and therefore cannot be morally wrong.

Some like Leorning Cnicht use it to mean wrongful discrimination on grounds of race. Which includes moral wrongness as part of the definition.

Some use it to mean anything which acts to the disadvantage of racial minorities. Which includes both wrong and non-wrong acts.

OK then Russ, what do you take racism to mean?
C'mon Russ, an answer please. No flannelling. I'm not going to give you an opportunity to equivocate.
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Golden Key
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Kwesi--

quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:

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.
The hit musical "Hamilton" has done just that. (This link is to "Hamilton's America" (PBS), a show about the making of the musical, with many video clips from it. People of color (almost all African Americans) play almost all of the parts--Founding Fathers, their wives, etc. And it *works*.

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Curiosity killed ...

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A lot of theatre I see in London has colour blind casting, so black actors playing a range of roles. The one that did make me have to think was a black actor playing the brother of a white actor - as I had to keep reminding myself they were brothers.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Don't follow your logic here.

If you believe something, then it strikes you as true. So you can be educated/persuaded into a different belief only by exposure to evidence.

If belief were a choice then you could get people to change their beliefs just by asking them nicely. Are you suggesting that is effective ?


A child who naively thinks that people who look different must be inferior may be not be making a choice. I suppose there might be some adults (living in caves, in island etc with no exposure to anyone else) who have no reason to think anything else.

But everyone else - which must be more than 99.9% of the global adult population - must be aware that other humans who look different are not actually inferior. The ideology doesn't make any sense if it is actually true - if a minority group has an inferior intellect and ability etc, then it is hard to see how they can be any threat to the "master race".

Hence how much effort it takes to prove to yourself that you are superior: you have to dehumanise the other. You have to deprive them of education, rights, housing etc. You have to make the playing field slope against them. You have to take the upper hand by using a power differential against them.

And then believing in a racist ideology certainly is a choice. You choose not to accept what your eyes tell you - that there is no way to justify your privilege and that if other minority groups had had the opportunities you had then they'd have done what you've done. Or, more commonly, you have to choose to scapegoat a minority because of the shitty life experience you have rather than the true source of the problem: the powerful and establishment who have got fat and want to deflect attention away from what they've done to you and onto a minority.

Either way, believing this bullshit is a choice.

[ 16. February 2018, 09:21: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
All one is left with are one's individual feelings in the moment as a basis for morality, and whether one is able to convince oneself of the sincerity of those feelings.
No, you're supposed to have principles that you apply equally to those that you do and don't feel for at any particular moment.
You're missing Leaf's point.
How do you know that what you think are your principles are really principles rather than your feelings? That you think something is permitted because principles allow it and not because you feel you'd like it to be allowed?

If you don't allow consideration of past situations or future consequences into your reasoning about what your principles ought to be, all you're left with is your feelings.

quote:
I don't doubt your sincerity. Only your ability to think straight.
So Leaf touched a nerve then.

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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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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
OK then Russ, what do you take racism to mean?

I'm not saying that there is a true meaning and that people misuse the word to mean other things.

I'm saying that people use it to mean different things which have different moral significance.

Dafyd has illustrated this - the OED quote covers at least 6 different meanings:
1) The belief that ethnic groups can have characteristics or qualities
2) The value judgment that some ethnic groups are inferior to others
3) Feeling threatened by other ethnic groups
4) Discrimination - treating people differently according to their ethnicity
5) Prejudice - pre-judging what people are like on the basis of their ethnicity
6) Antagonism - hostility to people of other races.

Any one of those usages seems reasonable to me.

But a belief or act that is racist in one of those senses does not thereby acquire the moral wrongness of racism in any of the other senses.

We've talked about discrimination and how that is not inherently wrong but can be wrong where there's a moral duty not to judge on irrelevant criteria.

But that says nothing about the innocence or wrongness of the acts or beliefs referenced by the other five meanings of the word. You could reasonably argue that antagonism is always bad, for example.

I don't know how to make it any clearer than that.

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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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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

But a belief or act that is racist in one of those senses does not thereby acquire the moral wrongness of racism in any of the other senses.

What a load of shite. First the definitions are fairly clearly different ways of describing the same thing. Second no "acquiring" is necessary - each is a moral wrong anyway.

quote:


We've talked about discrimination and how that is not inherently wrong but can be wrong where there's a moral duty not to judge on irrelevant criteria.

But that says nothing about the innocence or wrongness of the acts or beliefs referenced by the other five meanings of the word. You could reasonably argue that antagonism is always bad, for example.

I don't know how to make it any clearer than that.

Show me anyone else on this thread who has agreed with you that negative discrimination of a minority racial group is not inherently wrong.

The point that you seem to want to keep coming back to is the idea that negatively discriminating against historically privileged white people is somehow morally equivalent to discriminating against black people.

It isn't. Privileging a discriminated minority over a majority population that has historically held most of the money and power - and has been terrorising the minority for hundreds of years - is not racism.

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arse

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
First the definitions are fairly clearly different ways of describing the same thing.

No. There is no thing. There are a range of human behaviours to which you ascribe particular significance when they are directed towards minority ethnic groups.

So I can only conclude that it is not the behaviours that you think are wrong, but the direction.

quote:
Second no "acquiring" is necessary - each is a moral wrong anyway.
From the other things you say, I think you mean wrong when directed towards racial minorities and not otherwise. Or should I read this sentence literally ?

In other words you don't believe in a universal moral code that applies equally to everyone. You believe in privileging the groups you sympathize with. Special pleading. Double standards.

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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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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
No. There is no thing. There are a range of human behaviours to which you ascribe particular significance when they are directed towards minority ethnic groups.

So I can only conclude that it is not the behaviours that you think are wrong, but the direction.


Think whatever you like. Your thinking doesn't change by one iota the experience of discrimination felt by those from a minority who experience continual racism. Those actions may well amount to little when anyone else experiences them - that doesn't change the fact that they're part-and-parcel of the thing that is racism.

A black person in 1960s America who continuously experiences negativity and conscious/unconscious barriers that make their lives shitty is experiencing racism.

One can take one of those things in isolation, for example that they had to use separate drinking fountains and bathrooms and claim "ah-ha, yes, but white people also had to experience separate faclities[/i].." and that conveniently missed the point that the facilities given to black people were really, really shit. It isn't about the individual action, it is about the whole reality of racism experienced by an exploited minority group in a majority culture which feels that it deserves the best stuff and kicks out whenever their privilege is challenged.

quote:
From the other things you say, I think you mean wrong when directed towards racial minorities and not otherwise. Or should I read this sentence literally ?

In other words you don't believe in a universal moral code that applies equally to everyone. You believe in privileging the groups you sympathize with. Special pleading. Double standards.

You can't have racial discrimination against a powerful, privileged and/or majority group. It is always directed negatively against a minority.

That's part of the definition.

[ 18. February 2018, 13:32: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Kwesi
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quote:
mr cheesy: Show me anyone else on this thread who has agreed with you that negative discrimination of a minority racial group is not inherently wrong.
Quite so, mr cheesy.

IMO, the basic question regarding Racialism is ontological, whether or not human beings are essentially the same or whether the human race can be divided into a series of races. The scientific evidence, especially that of biology and genetics, is that differences between, for example, black people and white people are infinitesimal compared to difference amongst black people and amongst white people. Racialism is a product of nurture, culture, not nature. Thus, the concept of races within the human race is objectively unsustainable, and to present Racialism as a neutral analytical tool is to compound a fallacy having dangerous social consequences.

Racialism is not, therefore, to be regarded as a value free way of understanding the world, but an ideology designed to justify the exploitation of one ethnic or national group by another. It’s origins lie shrouded in the mists of time, but its recent examples are inextricably linked to European colonialism. Amongst its manifestations have been a discussion as to whether black people had souls, the denial of ‘self-evident’ natural human rights by the founding fathers of the USA to sub-human slaves and native Americans, the infantilised depiction of native populations to justify colonial rule, ‘separate but equal’ justification for segregation in the USA, and ‘separate development’ in South Africa. None of this is to mention European anti-semitism and the murderous politics of the Balkans. Such negative outcomes are not the downside an otherwise enlightened Racialism but the purpose and nature of the beast.

I’m not at all sure what Russ thinks about all this, which is not helped by his refusal to answer the more pertinent questions of his interlocutors, much to their justified frustration. ISTM that he has had very little contact with non-white people and might be pleasantly surprised by exposure to a more multi-ethnic environment. If I have misjudged him, I apologise, as also for any unacceptable ad hominem remarks, but they are offered in mitigation rather than condemnation of his curious and eccentric stance.

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mr cheesy
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The simplest explanation is that Russ is running around in circles trying to claim that certain actions are or are not inherently morally wrong for one simple reason.

White privilege.

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arse

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
In other words you don't believe in a universal moral code that applies equally to everyone. You believe in privileging the groups you sympathize with. Special pleading. Double standards.

Yet again, no.

We see people who are discriminated against, and we want them to be treated the same as us. None of this is difficult to understand.

Sorry. I shall amend: none of this ought to be difficult to understand, but it somehow is because we've collectively explained it over and over again.

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Leaf
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Of course you should learn from the wisdom accumulated in the past. It's called tradition.

Let's have a closer look at this quick elision from history -> wisdom -> tradition. It is a fast and convenient transition, although in context it's understandable that you would attempt this particular rhetorical gallop. History is messy, complicated, sometimes ambiguous and often horrifying, while "tradition" has such a nice folksy ring to it and is accompanied by the connotation that it is something to be emulated.

My country has a tradition of oppressing First Nations people. That is not opinion; that is a historical fact. Hard numbers, such as the differing amounts spent on schools depending on whether they were for First Nations children or not, support that statement. Does that tradition mean that it was wise to do so? Is that a tradition we should continue to follow?

quote:
... you're supposed to have principles that you apply equally to those that you do and don't feel for at any particular moment.
This seems appealing because it is partly true, and yet it also lacks wisdom. For example: Why do we need judges? One would think it would be a simple matter to follow a grid of Conviction A merits Punishment A, Conviction B merits Punishment B, etc. But we have found, as a society, that it isn't that simple to disregard context - to take into consideration the history behind the offense and likely outcomes of different punishments.

quote:
I don't doubt your sincerity. Only your ability to think straight.
If you wish to continue to attack my abilities rather than my arguments, you can avail yourself of another venue.
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
In other words you don't believe in a universal moral code that applies equally to everyone. You believe in privileging the groups you sympathize with. Special pleading. Double standards.

If your argument holds neither do you hold a universal moral code. You think it's ok for someone to maximise their profit or their income. But not for them to do so when they have a monopoly on the market.
If it's wrong to treat antagonism directed at worse off or minority ethnic groups more seriously than antagonism directed at random members of the public, then it's wrong to treat maximising one's profit where one has a monopoly as more serious than maximising one's profit where there is no monopoly.
Racism is equivalent to a monopoly. If you refuse to use shops with staff from an ethnic minority you're working towards granting people not from that ethnic minority a monopoly on those jobs, and employers who will hire that ethnic minority a monopoly on that labour source. I've raised this point before more than once. You haven't addressed it.

quote:
But a belief or act that is racist in one of those senses does not thereby acquire the moral wrongness of racism in any of the other senses.

There are two problems that have already been mentioned.
The first is that a belief or act that is racist in one of those senses is frequently racist in more than one of those senses.
Another comes if you start arguing that if sense A doesn't acquire any moral wrongness from sense B, then sense A must be innocuous. And then when someone argues that sense A is not innocuous you argue that they must therefore be using the term in a sense where sense B is innocuous.
So that it looks as if you're trying to argue that an act must satisfy all the senses to be morally wrong, whereas elsewhere you argue that an act need only be wrong in one way to be morally wrong.
Which would be a case of special pleading.

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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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Kwesi
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quote:
Russ: 1) The belief that ethnic groups can have characteristics or qualities
2) The value judgment that some ethnic groups are inferior to others
3) Feeling threatened by other ethnic groups
4) Discrimination - treating people differently according to their ethnicity
5) Prejudice - pre-judging what people are like on the basis of their ethnicity
6) Antagonism - hostility to people of other races.

This taxonomy is quite bogus:

1) The belief that ethnic groups can have characteristics or qualities

This has nothing to do with racism. It simply states that empirically there are differences between ethnic groups, which is blindingly obvious.

3) Feeling threatened by other ethnic groups.

A distinction needs to be made between rational feelings and feelings which are irrational. Jews in Nazi Germany had every justification to feel threatened by non-Jewish Germans. It was an empirical fact and not racist. What was not justified was the belief than Jews were out to get Aryan Germans. That was manifestly not the case and could only be the product of racist sentiment.

(2), (4), (5) and (6) are not basically different because they are all manifestations of racism i.e. simply facets of the same sentiment. You would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that racists with one characteristic do not exhibit the others. The taxonomy is not designed to show the complexity of racism but sophistry to avoid confronting its hideous nature.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
You can't have racial discrimination against a powerful, privileged and/or majority group.

Of course you bloody can. An ISIS terrorist who wants to kill as many white westerners as possible for no other reason than because they're white westerners is being just as racist as the Klan.

Racism is equally morally wrong regardless of who does it (and to whom). The difference is that racist treatment of minority ethnicities by whites is far more prevalent and thus a more serious problem in society.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
You can't have racial discrimination against a powerful, privileged and/or majority group.

Of course you bloody can. An ISIS terrorist who wants to kill as many white westerners as possible for no other reason than because they're white westerners is being just as racist as the Klan.

Racism is equally morally wrong regardless of who does it (and to whom). The difference is that racist treatment of minority ethnicities by whites is far more prevalent and thus a more serious problem in society.

Islamic terrorism about culture, not race.
Racism is predjudice based on the perception of race. The problem is which kind is more prevelant, but the effect of a given form.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Of course you bloody can. An ISIS terrorist who wants to kill as many white westerners as possible for no other reason than because they're white westerners is being just as racist as the Klan.

IS is many things, but racist isn't one of them. Given that some of them are white, it is tricky to argue that they're racist against white people anyway.

quote:
Racism is equally morally wrong regardless of who does it (and to whom). The difference is that racist treatment of minority ethnicities by whites is far more prevalent and thus a more serious problem in society.
No.

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arse

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Doc Tor
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ISIS were very much an equal opportunities employer. They didn't care if you were black, white or brown, as long as you shared their murderous ideology.

(eta)

Actually, yes. I don't think it's a stretch to argue that it isn't on to hate someone just because of the colour of their skin/ethnic background, whatever or whoever is doing the hating.

[ 20. February 2018, 17:07: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Actually, yes. I don't think it's a stretch to argue that it isn't on to hate someone just because of the colour of their skin/ethnic background, whatever or whoever is doing the hating.

This is true. I think one also say that it's more excusable in someone who has been and is generally disadvantaged by the reverse, and also more excusable if the consequences for the people hated are less serious.
I've quoted Uncle Ben's maxim (With great power comes great responsibility) before on this thread.

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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
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I concur. I can (mostly) not suffer in any way from racism. My black/Asian/Arab friends, not so much.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I think one also say that it's more excusable in someone who has been and is generally disadvantaged by the reverse, and also more excusable if the consequences for the people hated are less serious.

I don’t like the term excusable in this context. I would say understandable instead.
I do not accept that any form of racism is good. Just less bad in direct effect, but it is all detrimental.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
ISIS were very much an equal opportunities employer. They didn't care if you were black, white or brown, as long as you shared their murderous ideology.

(eta)


Not to mention an equal opportunities terrorist. If you're not in line with their narrow ideology, then race, religion, nationality, age or sex made no difference: you are a target.

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Golden Key
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Sounds like the Klan.

--------------------
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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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I've quoted Uncle Ben's maxim (With great power comes great responsibility) before on this thread.

Uncle Ben from "Spiderman", right? Just for trivia: over here (US), that's a brand of boxed rice.

--------------------
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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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
IS is many things, but racist isn't one of them. Given that some of them are white, it is tricky to argue that they're racist against white people anyway.

Some police officers are black. Does that make it tricky to argue that the police are racist against black people?

Thought not.

quote:
quote:
Racism is equally morally wrong regardless of who does it (and to whom). The difference is that racist treatment of minority ethnicities by whites is far more prevalent and thus a more serious problem in society.
No.
As Doc said: Yes.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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