Friday, June 12, 2020

Great minds on wokeness


If you want to understand woke totalitarianism, I recommend reading Plato on democracy, Aristotle and Aquinas on envy, and Nietzsche on ressentiment.
  
Or you could just watch a few minutes of John Cleese, Seinfeld, South Park, and Family Guy.   (But do it soon, before it’s all removed.)

144 comments:

  1. I wonder how long until orthodox Christianity is declared insufficiently woke, which by today's standards means it needs to be shelved.

    I could see some radical leftist ripping my copy of Five Proofs from my hand, lighting it on fire, and screaming "death to the binary and logocentric!".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since Christ is the Logos, yeah, I’m Logocentric. And those opposed to the Logos are antichrist.

      Delete
    2. Err -- by what standard? Because by many standards, it has been declared so many times.

      (See, this is the advantage of the Ministry of Truth. It too was retroactive, but it was at least CENTRALIZED.)

      Delete
    3. "I wonder how long until orthodox Christianity is declared insufficiently woke, which by today's standards means it needs to be shelved."

      I think Christianity has been "un-woke" for at least 20 years now... (to be generous, the more realistic view would be since the sexual revolution in the late 60s)

      Delete
  2. Conservatives are internally contradictory. They think equality is not a cardinal virtue, so it's fine to have an unequal society. Then they create this society. But then they write laws making it illegal to be homeless, even though that is a logical consequence of not valuing equality, which means by contrapositive they want an equal society. So they want a society that is equal and inequal at the same time in the same sense.

    But liberals are insane because they have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lost count of the fallacies and falsehoods contained in that comment about 3 lines in.
      Could you number them next time, please, BalancedTryteOperators? Thank you.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm. . . I'm not "equal" to Halle Berry (she's richer and better looking), but neither of us are homeless. But since we aren't "equal", then one of us must be homeless . . .

      Delete
    3. Hmmm... I'm not "equal" to Halle Berry (she's richer and better looking), but neither of us are homeless. But since we aren't "equal", then one of us must be homeless...

      Nonstandard definition of "Superb (adj.)" used for the rest of this comment. The state of being better in every way compared to another.

      Complete equality is bad because we don't want everyone to be exactly the same. But that is not why conservatives annoy me so greatly (it's not hatred or a holier-than-thou perspective that "they're evil"). What annoys me is that their envisioned society reflects superbness and they have superbness as a core value.

      Here's an example from St. Aquinas, whom I consider to be a strong political conservative. He had traditional Aristotelian belief that men were superb to women except for motherhood and outside of motherhood women had nothing to offer. Many conservatives reflect this belief by how they idolize women for giving birth (one wants to say they're obsessed over women for having "the holy hole" that gives birth to life while they treat other men so badly for having only "the dirty one"), being a mother, and how they get outraged over abortion. I hold the official Catholic teaching that abortion is evil and I find the way conservatives treat abortion to be really deranged. There's no understanding of how vulnerable a women feels that a man can make her body twist and turn against her will and suffer no consequences for this. It absolutely should not have the same guilt as murder because murder is freely committed while women get abortions because how the man's organ can do things to a woman's body that, outside of birth control and abortion, she is completely powerless over.

      Delete
    4. Ick. I briefly considered replying to this, but even trying to consider it makes my mind feel slimy and gross.

      Delete
    5. Wow. We went from inequality being the cause of homelessness, to "supurbness", to the holy hand grenade, to abortion, to Tide Pods all in just a few paragraphs. This must be a really, really big deal!

      Delete
    6. @T N philosophers define nonstandard definitions all the time. There's nothing wrong with it as long as you announce to everyone beforehand what you're doing.

      And this is about conservative values generally speaking, so of course I'll touch many subjects.

      Delete
    7. Oh, Ok. It's all so clear now.

      Delete
    8. Standard definition or no, I've never met any conservative (neither the US version of conservative nor the European version) that has held "superbness as a core value" - unless, of course, you use a non-standard definiton of

      {core value} =DEF {not a value at all or an extremely unimportant value}.

      Assuming both your definition of superb is used and what you claim about what St. Thomas held is not utterly wrong, contrary to what you try to imply St. Thomas did not teach that men are superb to women, if - as you claim - he held that at least in one respect woman are better than men. That is because not being better in at least one respect does not meet the definitions standard of being better in every way.

      The rest of your comment is equally insightful, so forgive me if I don't engage any further.

      Delete
    9. Assuming both your definition of superb is used and what you claim about what St. Thomas held is not utterly wrong, contrary to what you try to imply St. Thomas did not teach that men are superb to women, if - as you claim - he held that at least in one respect woman are better than men. That is because not being better in at least one respect does not meet the definitions standard of being better in every way.

      Yes, technically you're correct. The set of things women do better than men is not an empty set but rather a set of measure zero.

      Delete
    10. It would be helpful if you kept the discussion on point - discussing five topics at once inevitably leads to "firefighting" behavior, meaning that no agreement can be reached because as soon as your interlocutor has addressed one concern, the discussion inevitably jumps to another unrelated topic before any conclusion or agreement can be reached.

      As to your actual points, what's wrong with having an unequal society? Some people use "equal" to mean "fair", but that strikes me as foolish. For example, if a man works harder than another or takes on a harder and riskier job, and therefore earns more money, the two are not being treated "equally", but they are being treated fairly. Inequality is only unjust where no relevant differences exist, or where the differences are not great enough or significant enough to justify the degree of inequality.

      Delete
    11. There's no understanding of how vulnerable a women feels that a man can make her body twist and turn against her will and suffer no consequences for this. It absolutely should not have the same guilt as murder because murder is freely committed while women get abortions because how the man's organ can do things to a woman's body that, outside of birth control and abortion, she is completely powerless over.

      I would think that the whether or not abortion should be considered equal to murder depends on whether or not an innocent human being is deliberately killed or not. Every unborn child is far more vulnerable than than any adult woman; right now each one is in a position where their life can be taken for literally no reason or moral justification. Now, if the unborn are, as you moderns say and lack the qualities that make them essentially human, then there's nothing wrong with this. If however, the unborn are truly human then there has literally never been a worse atrocity committed in the entirety of human history than the legalization of abortion. We as pro-life conservatives believe that human life begins at conception, and therefore, based on this stand must, if we are to be consistent, follow this logic where it leads and recoil at the horror of systematized murder. Its not that we aren't horrified by rape or the exploitation of women; I have never met a pro-lifer or conservative who isn't; its just that no amount of evil inflicted on anyone can ever justify that person inflicting even the smallest iota of evil on an innocent. At best, all one's sufferings can do is make them less culpable.

      Balanced,
      Note that I haven't made any attempt to strawman the pro-choice/liberal/modern position above. You can disagree with us, but labeling us deranged is absurd based on the evidence you brought up above.

      Delete
    12. @BalancedTryteOperators

      Conservatives are internally contradictory. They think equality is not a cardinal virtue, so it's fine to have an unequal society. Then they create this society. But then they write laws making it illegal to be homeless, even though that is a logical consequence of not valuing equality, which means by contrapositive they want an equal society. So they want a society that is equal and inequal at the same time in the same sense.

      Two problems here:

      First, you don't explain how the existence of homeless people is a logical consequence of rejecting egalitarianism. As Christ said "the poor will always be with you."

      Second, conservatives don't make it illegal to be homeless, at least not on purpose. You could argue that, due to bad economics, they end up making it illegal to be homeless, but that's a bit of a stretch. Most conservatives are in favor of free market economics in order to lower the cost of living, including the cost of getting a home. They hope by getting rid of regulations around housing, it'll lower home prices and allow poor people to buy homes. Even if they are wrong, it'd be uncharitable to say they want to make being homeless illegal.

      Overall, I think your deranged strawman of conservatism is an excellent example of why the Left has a reputation of being irrational. You furthermore compound it by segueing to talking about abortion, of all things.

      Delete
    13. I would think that the whether or not abortion should be considered equal to murder depends on whether or not an innocent human being is deliberately killed or not.

      1. Simplifying matters to a main point is not admissible in a philosophical discussion.

      2. "Deliberately" is the magic word. Murderers do their acts freely while women have an abortion because it's the only way to resist the sovereignty that all men have over their bodies by the power of their seed.

      Its not that we aren't horrified by rape or the exploitation of women; I have never met a pro-lifer or conservative who isn't.

      By equalizing women who commit abortion with the freely committed deeds of serial killers you are not horrified by the exploitation of women because you believe that it is not worth even the smallest reduction of the culpability of their guilt.

      Overall, I think your deranged strawman of conservatism is an excellent example of why the Left has a reputation of being irrational.

      Why not apply the Socratic method on me if you're so certain that I'm insightless?

      Delete
    14. A Socratic dialogue requires two people to cooperate with each other in good faith. Nothing I see from you entails that you could do that, but perhaps you could prove me wrong by demonstrating why rejecting egalitarianism logically necessitates that people will be homeless.

      Delete
    15. @Mister Geocon not having equality as a value logically means that any distribution of wealth--that is, any GINI coefficient between 0 and 1--is fine. It is not the case that rejecting equality as a core value means that most people will become homeless, but it does mean that you will accept the kind of extreme income distributions that make homelessness a necessary way of living for many people (homes require a baseline value of wealth you see). If that is not the case, then that means you reject some income distributions as too extreme which means you have very weakly a little bit of equality as a core value.

      Delete
    16. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 13, 2020 at 5:39 PM

      There is a lot wrong here.
      In the way you apparently define it, equality obviously is not a value. Justice is.
      Without going into too much detail, justice means suum cuique tribuere and that includes, for Western conservatives at least, to give what every human can expect by virtue of being human, an image of the Creator.
      So, you see, rejecting your concept of "equality" as a value does not logically imply anything like the dystopian world you picture where the proletariat barely is able to provide for the most basic necessities. In fact, the kind of equality that the left in general champions, that wants equal outcomes even when that is clearly unjust, leads to just such societies. Take a look at the Soviet Union or Venezuela. It is true that apart from those that are more equal than others everyone in those societies tends to be equal in destitution. But destitution it is, not the worker's paradise promised.

      Delete
    17. In the way you apparently define it, equality obviously is not a value. Justice is.

      To me I visualize justice as a cowboy having a showdown on Main Street ready to shoot the bandit. Or I visualize and audiate it as some man in a Greek chiton with a balance in his hand pouring salt on another man's hand saying in a Shakespearean voice "HERE ARE YOUR JUST WAGES FOR YOUR MOST HEARTY SERVICE." This seemed to me like an issue of equality not justice.

      What do you make of this verse in Paul's letter regarding equality as a core value? "as it is written: 'The one who gathered much did not have too much.'" (Two Corinthians 8:15)

      But destitution it is, not the worker's paradise promised.

      Communism was about the workers owning the means of production in communis without having to have a slice of their labor's surplus value going to the man who had an idea and privilege to own a land, building, and equiptment. That's why it was billed as "the worker's paradise." For the same reason a world without fleas would be a dog's paradise or an elk without ticks an elk's paradise.

      "From each according to their ability to each according to their need," or "there's like no money man we can just run on good vibes," from what I understand about communism, doesn't really fit in this framework. It's supposed to be a system without capital not "friendship is magic let's go go go rally our works together there's no I in team." Someone who labored more would be wealthier in a communist economy.

      Delete
    18. Someone who labored more would be wealthier in a communist economy.

      Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao would all violently disagree with that. You are supposed to labour as much as you can (‘from each according to his ability’) and have no right to any surplus that you produce (‘to each according to his need’, sc. only enough to meet his needs, no matter how much work he does).

      Delete
    19. It absolutely should not have the same guilt as murder because murder is freely committed while women get abortions because how the man's organ can do things to a woman's body that, outside of birth control and abortion, she is completely powerless over.

      Rape is already against the law. Absent rape, a woman has complete power over ‘how the man’s organ can do things to a woman’s body’. If she refuses consent, no pregnancy occurs. If pregnancy does occur (again, absent rape), it is the result of the woman’s own choice and not of some mystic power that men possess over her.

      Delete
    20. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 14, 2020 at 8:25 AM

      A couple of thoughts on @BTO

      • if you think that "justice" as Western culture generally understands it is more aptly named "equality" (you'd be wrong, but) your accusation that conservatives don't have "equality" as a value collapses, because according to your nomenclature we actually share the value "equality" we simply use different names for the same concept.

      • the Apostle is not talking about "equality as a value". He is asking Christians to do a work of charity, and reminds us that God provided the Israelites with enough Manna to survive the fourty years in the desert.

      • while I think your description of what communism means suffers some fatal flaws the point was that where the left's version of equality is implemented in a society the result of that is economic destruction and relative and/or absolute poverty. The words and promises used to lure people into that trap tend to promise not the bread lines (Bernie Sanders thinks those are "a good thing", and yet he doesn't promise "if you vote for me as President I will bring the beneficial bread lines to the United States of America so you can profit from this good thing.").

      • You just said that "the surplus" goes to the worker, and at the same time "(s)omeone who labored more would be wealthier in a communist economy". That is an actual contradiction, because you can only preserve labor in its fruits, which are by definition not Labor but (generally) Capital. But Capital cannot be "private" which means that who labored more could not be wealthier in principle. Of course, in reality, there are the ones that are "more equal" to quote George Orwell who will be effectively wealthier.

      Delete
    21. 1. Simplifying matters to a main point is not admissible in a philosophical discussion.

      Why isn't it? You seem to believe that I understand murder in a strictly legal way. When I say murder, I mean the intentional, unjust killing of an innocent person. I would assert that this is always wrong, under any circumstance. Thus, matters of topics like rape, incest, etc, might have a bearing on how we ought to respond to a particular murder they have precisely NO bearing on whether or not a particular act IS a murder or not.

      2. "Deliberately" is the magic word. Murderers do their acts freely while women have an abortion because it's the only way to resist the sovereignty that all men have over their bodies by the power of their seed.

      I very clearly believe that forced abortions are a horrific evil and what you have said here leads me to believe you feel the same. If a woman isn't coerced by other people into having an abortion, then she is deliberately killing her own child. Ergo, unless you want to argue that the unborn are not actually people (which is the ONLY consistent way to argue for abortion while still preserving egalitarianism) the only logically consistent conclusion is that she has just committed a murder. As for the topic of free acts, if I were to kill a child to prevent myself from starving, for example, that would still constitute a murder. Even if it were the only conceivable way for me to survive. I would argue that one who kills another out of desperation is less culpable for a murder than, just to pull random example... a serial killer who slaughters people for fun.

      By equalizing women who commit abortion with the freely committed deeds of serial killers you are not horrified by the exploitation of women because you believe that it is not worth even the smallest reduction of the culpability of their guilt.

      First of all, that is literally the opposite of what I said, which was "At best, all one's sufferings can do is make them less culpable;" I do believe that the damages a rape victim suffers reduce her culpability for murdering her child. If you're going to put words in other people's mouths I'd recommend in the future that you not do so in a place where there is a refutation of your assertion literally five lines above.

      Second, by definition, there is no such thing as a justified murder. As soon as you admit a, that an unborn child is in fact a person, b, that an unborn child is incapable of being guilty of any wrong to another person c, that intentionally killing someone who is incapable of being guilty of any wrong is always unjustified, and d, that murder is the unjustified killing of an innocent person, it follows logically that the woman who aborts her child has committed a murder. Regardless of how we choose to treat any particular case, to do anything otherwise is irrational. Murder is always wrong. A serial killer does an evil thing for an evil reason. A mother who aborts her child does an evil thing for a good reason. The ends can make you less culpable, but when the means are evil, they can never justify them.

      You can dispute any of the above premises, but b-d are not really seriously disputed in our society. Therefore, if you want to argue a, I'm all ears.

      Delete
    22. A clarification since I forgot to log into google: this line should read as follows:

      Regardless of how we choose to treat any particular case, to pretend that no evil has been committed period, if the reasoning above is sound would be irrational.

      Delete
    23. As soon as you admit a, that an unborn child is in fact a person, b, that an unborn child is incapable of being guilty of any wrong to another person c, that intentionally killing someone who is incapable of being guilty of any wrong is always unjustified, and d, that murder is the unjustified killing of an innocent person, it follows logically that the woman who aborts her child has committed a murder.

      Your logic would lead to a 16-year-old girl who can't endure the twisting, turning, and transformation of pregnancy being treated by the criminal justice system the same as Jeffrey Dahmer, the EAR/ONS, or David Berkowitz.

      Delete
    24. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 14, 2020 at 1:53 PM

      "Your logic would lead to a 16-year-old girl (…) being treated (…) the same as (…)" you complain, to my surprise.
      Aren't you the person who argued that anything less would be "internally contradictory" (and lead to illegal homelessness)?

      Delete
    25. Did you miss the part where Casual Thomist says that "At best, all one's sufferings can do is make them less culpable"? I really don't think that he's arguing that someone who gets an abortion is equal to a serial killer, or that their actions should be treated equally.

      Delete
    26. @KC&CO I don't get your point. What are you trying to say?

      @Anonymous

      I really don't think that he's arguing that someone who gets an abortion is equal to a serial killer, or that their actions should be treated equally.

      Thank you. This is why I don't like the language "abortion is murder" because it equalizes women who abort to serial killers. "Abortion is taking life nobody has the right to take" is less inflammatory, less equivocal, and more truthful.

      Delete
    27. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 14, 2020 at 9:58 PM

      "@KC&CO I don't get your point. What are you trying to say?"

      One quite fatal flaw of your concept of "equality" is that you don't tell us what exactly is meant to be equal. As the term is usually used by the left (and I use this as a baseline to determine what you might mean, as your original point was that "conservatives" are "internally contradictory" because they don't think "equality" is a "cardinal virtue" and make homelessness illegal) results, not opportunities, ought to be "equal." You also seemed to hold that justice is more a question of equality.

      Keeping that in mind, I would have expected you to be pleased with that hypothetical young woman being treated equally. After all, looking at what people did cannot really justify different results, according, again, to the standard model of "equality" the left proposes.

      I admit, explaining sarcasm can be a bit tedious, so sorry about that.

      As many have pointed out already, just punishment takes the culpability of the culprit into account. Of course, on another, more fundamental level, the criminal justice system is supposed to treat everyone "the same", applying the law equally.

      Delete
    28. Thank you. This is why I don't like the language "abortion is murder" because it equalizes women who abort to serial killers. "Abortion is taking life nobody has the right to take" is less inflammatory, less equivocal, and more truthful.

      That is the definition of murder, I'd argue. Therefore, if abortion is the taking of a life that no one has the right to take, abortion is murder. As everyone else has already indicated above, the justice system certainly shouldn't treat a woman in the situations you have described the same as a serial killer, and there might even be enough hardship involved to argue mitigating circumstances all the way. Still, if my logic holds, abortion is murder, and hence there is no inconsistency in the position. This is a blog dedicated to philosophy, and murder is a term with a philosophical connotation. I don't see a reason not to call a thing what that thing is.

      Delete
    29. Casual Thomist,

      While I'm sure the notion of abortion as self-defense is not widely held around here (and I don't really want to have that debate in this thread), I am curious if you would also describe killing in self-defense as murder, in a philosophical sense.

      Delete
  3. But Ed is correct in saying SJW's are criminals. Social justice is a crime financed by the pain of the accused.

    ReplyDelete
  4. One of the latest terms of abuse is TERF (trans exclusionary radical feminist) as applied to J. K. Rowling and others who think that biological sex is real. They also apply the c**t word to her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They also apply the c**t word to her.

      No I don't think she read Kant.

      Delete
    2. Tim Finlay,
      It's really more about insisting on a simplistic notion of biological sex being inadequate, as opposed to what is "real" or not.

      As for using insults, I see them from people who support the simplistic model as frequently as from those who appose it.

      Delete
    3. At the absolute minimum, biological sex is a necessary component for being a man or woman. Biological essentialism has been argued for by very respectable and forceful arguments and comports with the common sense of the vast majority of humanity throughout history.

      Delete
    4. Human beings come in two flavors: there is the type that impregnate another, and there is the type that can be impregnated by others.

      Delete
    5. Cantus,
      I have yet to see a construction of biological essentialism that 1) has only two sexes, and 2) unambiguously sorts every biological person into one of these two sexes.

      So, if you meant "biological sex is a necessary component" in the sense that every person has one of the numerous sexes (probably over a dozen, when all is said and done), sure. If you meant to restrict biological sex to two sexes, then biology itself defies you.

      Delete
    6. T N,

      I'm sure you didn't mean to add to the pain of the unwillingly infertile by saying they are not human. I also hope that you don't want to add to the shame and discrimination that people who do not fit the typical presentations of sex.

      Delete
    7. @One Brow

      What do you think about Alex Byrne construction of biological essencialism?

      "Forget Money’s many sex-related categories — what are the sexes?

      The answer has been known since the 19th century. As Simone de Beauvoir puts it in The Second Sex (the founding text of modern feminism), the sexes “are basically defined by the gametes they produce.” Specifically, females produce large gametes (reproductive cells), and males produce small ones. (Since there are no species with a third intermediate gamete size, there are only two sexes.¹) A glance at the huge variety of females and males across the animal and vegetable kingdoms will confirm that there is nothing else the sexes can be. For instance, the equation female=XX is confused for a fundamental reason having nothing to do with human chromosomal variation: females of numerous species either have different sex chromosomes (as in birds) or else no sex chromosomes at all (as in some reptiles). The XX/XY system is merely the mechanism by which placental mammals like humans typically become female and male; other animals and plants use different means to achieve the same end result."

      https://arcdigital.media/is-sex-binary-16bec97d161e

      He does see it in a kinda aristotelic way, as you can see on the rest. Edward did write in this post and another one from Byrne.

      Delete
    8. Talmud,

      What of people that produce no gametes? While I agree that they this is a small percent of the population, your description makes them neither male nor female.

      Delete
    9. This is a bit like arguing that diabetics aren't human because humans produce insulin and diabetics don't.

      As an example, consider that some mental illnesses (e.g. borderline personality disorder) are often diagnosed by identifying, for example, only 5 out of 7 traits in a person. There will always be people with BPD who don't have the traits that most people with BPD have, but that doesn't necessarily mean they have some different disorder. There may even be some with only 4 out of 7 but who we would agree suffers from BPD. And so on.

      Similarly, gender (like any category) is "pointed at" or indicated by all kinds of material (i.e. observable or sensible) things: chromosomes, gentalia, gametes, and so on. But that a person deviates in some way from one of these (e.g. produces no gametes) does not mean they can't reliably said to fit in one of the categories. I'm not sure any category exists for which a specific sensible instance can be unambiguously said to fit. To use Ed's stock example, any triangle you draw is always going to have some minute imperfection.

      In other words, this is an epistemological problem, not an ontological one.

      Delete
    10. The pain of the unwillingly infertile couple actually proves this point, because they understand that they deviate in some way from the category they belong to. That the deviation is unwilling adds to the grief since they did nothing to deserve it. They want to do a thing they should to be able to do by nature of who they are. The existence of the gender category is the only thing that adds legitimacy to their grief.

      This grief actually makes no sense if there is no reason for them to think they ought to be able to have children by nature of being man and woman. If the gender category is non-existent, then the problem with the couple is not that they are infertile but that they expected to be fertile by nature of who they are.

      I think telling the couple that it's their fault for expecting fertility would add far more to their pain.

      Delete
    11. @One Brow

      Thi was responded by other posters, but ctually, Alex also did respond to that question immediately after the part i quoted before:

      "There is a complication. Females and males might not produce gametes for a variety of reasons. A baby boy is male, despite the fact that sperm production is far in his future (or even if he dies in infancy), and a post-menopausal woman does not cease to be female simply because she no longer produces viable eggs. Female worker honeybees are usually incapable of producing eggs because their ovarian development has been inhibited by chemicals secreted by the queen. (In one species of bee, the female workers are all permanently sterile, even in queenless colonies.)
      In the light of these examples, it is more accurate (albeit not completely accurate) to say that females are the ones who have advanced some distance down the developmental pathway that results in the production of large gametes — ovarian differentiation has occurred, at least to some extent. Similarly, males are the ones who have advanced some distance down the developmental pathway that results in the production of small gametes. Definitions in biology are never perfectly precise, and these are no exception. Still, they give us some traction in examining whether there are any humans who are neither female nor male. (It is not in dispute that some non-human organisms are neither female nor male, and that some — hermaphrodites — are both.)"

      As you can see, is a pretty aristotelian answer, as Feser noted in is post on Byrne. Being female is having a nature that is directed to the production of large gamets and being a male is having the nature that is directed to the production of smaller gamets, even if both can fail to happen because of problems.

      Sure, you can deny that this aristotelian view is true, but them is no surprise that you can't say there are two sexes, since there would not be any, just a bunch of particles doing their thing.

      Delete
    12. Talmid,
      Definitions in biology are never perfectly precise, and these are no exception. Still, they give us some traction in examining whether there are any humans who are neither female nor male.

      No one is trying to take away the clear sexuality of the large majority of people, so of course there is a lot of traction in the usefulness of a binary system. However, my point is that this usefulness is not total, and any system I have seen suggested winds up incomplete or defies common sense.

      One easily understandable example are people with an XY karyotype and complete androgen insensitivity. They typically form immature sperm cells, but also all the external feature of females (including genitalia), in rare cases including uteri. They are classified female at birth, and usually grow like women, live like women, and act like women in every way you would consider feminine. Would you tell me they are really men because they make incomplete sperm? If you would, do you see how that defies common sense?

      Life is beautiful, mysterious, and unfathomably complex, and that includes human development. Trying to fit everything into two categories is going to fail, because biology will always defy you.

      Sure, you can deny that this aristotelian view is true, but them is no surprise that you can't say there are two sexes, since there would not be any, just a bunch of particles doing their thing.

      Why is it all or nothing here? That serves no constructive purpose, it only limits your thinking.

      Delete
    13. @One Brow

      I mean, what your example shows is that sometimes we have epistemological problems, everyone agrees. I don't know much about this particular condition you mentioned, but it seems we should just bite the bullet and say "Yep, that is a man". Common sense, at least on our time, disagree, but saying there are a lot of diferent sexes would be strange in, like, every society i can think of, so you do agree with me that sometimes common sense is just wrong.

      "Why is it all or nothing here? That serves no constructive purpose, it only limits your thinking."

      What is a constructive purpose?

      Delete
    14. Talmid,

      Anyone can choose to perform arbitrary categorization, and if you acknowledge that this can defy common sense, I offer no further argument on that point.

      The constructive purpose, for me, would be to allow people to flourish and express their reality, rather than to keep their genuine nature hidden.

      Delete
  5. We were at university together. Her Bachelors was in English but I think she did read Kant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, cool, that's really awesome. But I was making a pun joke: Kant's name given the proper German pronunciation sounds like....

      Delete
  6. Ed,

    Do you have any broadly Ur-platonist (to hark back to that previous post) source recommendations that deal with the woke movement?

    I'm generally looking for secondary sources like yourself that take Aristotle and Aquinas and explain them well and show how it fits with the way we think today.

    Anyone in the thomist tradition today giving a thomistic perspective?

    Im a fan of your blog posts on the transgender issue and how it interacted with others.

    ReplyDelete
  7. BTW, family guy or south park? Which one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both are obscene, blasphemous shows, in spite of whatever clever send-ups they might have of modern leftist sensibilities.

      Delete
  8. Ed this would have been at the very least a good time, to write something about the metaphysics or philosophy of racism. Instead your stuck on woke this woke that. How is this not idolatry of a political party on your part that every time an issue comes up your stuck with buttressing the latest talking points of your preferred political party?

    You so enamored with one party that you can't help other see what's wrong with the other. You might not be as crass and shrill as Mark Shea, but you certainly aren't any different in substance. You're Blind to injustice, yet leading others Blindly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dames,

      Could you expand on what you mean by blindness to injustice? What do you see as injustice and how are people blind to it?

      Delete
    2. this would have been at the very least a good time, to write something about the metaphysics or philosophy of racism

      Not a bad suggestion. But that would require more than the two minutes or so I had available for blogging yesterday.

      Instead your stuck on woke this woke that. How is this not idolatry of a political party on your part

      So, concern about a nascent Red Guard is now a "partisan" issue? What the hell party do you belong to, the Young Maoists? And are Taibbi, Sullivan, Greenwald, Rowling, et al. suddenly all Republicans?

      Delete
  9. There’s all this “institutional racism” everywhere—it’s just dripping off the walls, I guess. But the mere suggestion that someone, somewhere may have failed to disavow racism vociferously enough and senators, political leaders, military leaders, international corporations, the Twittersphere, everyone rushes in to be the first to kowtow, and grovel, and whip themselves with chains to show their lack of “racism”. We’re allowing mass destruction, insurrection, the dissolution of law enforcement; we’re even editing the dictionary! All to show how non-racist we are, but still there’s this “institutional racism” everywhere that we just can’t get rid of.

    Or maybe this is all just a ruse for something else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But the mere suggestion that someone, somewhere may have failed to disavow racism vociferously enough and senators, political leaders, military leaders, international corporations, the Twittersphere, everyone rushes in to be the first to kowtow, and grovel, and whip themselves with chains to show their lack of “racism”. We’re allowing mass destruction, insurrection, the dissolution of law enforcement; we’re even editing the dictionary! All to show how non-racist we are, but still there’s this “institutional racism” everywhere that we just can’t get rid of.

      When it comes to collective suffering the Jews got nothing on American Trump supporters.

      Delete
    2. Balanced,
      J. K. Rowling is not a Trump supporter; she can't stand Trump. She is left wing on most issues. But that is not enough to stop the ultra-left from attacking her and using the c**t word on her. You yourself admitted to using a c**t joke at her expense. YOU HAVE NO MORAL CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER ON THIS ISSUE.

      Delete
    3. @Tim I made it at Kant's expense, not Rowling.

      Delete
    4. I suggest you think twice before mocking the concept of institutional racism as MLK and Malcolm X discussed it during the Civil Rights Era and brought attention to its existence. As people who actually experienced racism unlike you, I think they are better to talk about it than you ever will.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous,

      You think you know things about me that you could not know.

      It is not the civil rights era anymore.

      Every political and cultural institution in the developed world is falling all over itself to disavow racism, and you think this proves institutional racism.

      Oh, ok.

      Delete
    6. If you really think we've gotten over institutional racism or made much progress from the Civil Rights Era, today then I don't know what to say. The children of MLK, and Malcolm X would disagree as well as people like John Lewis who actually took part in the movement. You must be one of those people who thinks all racism ended with the Civil Rights era which is an elementary school understanding of the Civil Rights Era and racism.

      Delete
    7. I agree with one thing in your post, you "don't know what to say."

      Delete
  10. Dr. Feser,

    The sorts of fever dreams that say these sorts of clips would be taken down are well beneath you.

    However, I do enjoy the way, in particular, Cleese makes of point of saying that it's not about what you believe, but what that belief allows you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Fever dreams."

      The Critical Social Justice types are getting rid of Gone With the Wind and pretty much every cultural artifact they can find that offends them. Have you not heard of "cancel culture"?

      Delete
    2. ..
      they can find that offends them.


      This is reframing the matter as a purely subjective judgment instead of asking whether there are objective reasons why SJW's do not want to show Gone with the Wind or Song of the South.

      Delete
    3. OneBrow,
      I remember when John Cleese wrote that piece for the SDP (Social Democrat Party), a left of center party. He has now stated his worries about Political Correctness because these types feel that he is not left enough. Seinfeld is no right winger either but he won't perform on college campuses anymore because of the hostility from the left, not from the right.
      These are not "fever dreams."

      Delete
    4. asking whether there are objective reasons why SJW's do not want to show Gone with the Wind or Song of the South.

      Perhaps you had first better ask whether there are objective reasons why SJWs should be appointed censors over the rest of us. They do not merely wish not to show those films; they wish them not to be shown, ever.

      Delete
    5. Mister Geocon/Tim Finlay/Tom Simon,

      I assume that we agree with the notion that subscribers to services can choose where to spend their money, and that these services are free to select their content accordingly?

      So, while I understand that you don't like the current decisions such providers make, very few people have forgotten all of the cancellations that conservatives have inflicted on us over the past century of mass media. For decades, there were no portrayals of black people as role models, nor gay people, nor transsexuals. The conservatives cancelled out these artistic expressions much more thoroughly than anything you are experiencing today. So, it's hard for me to feel sympathy toward your desire to re-live the "good old days" where black people were all portrayed as simpletons, slaves, sex workers, or criminals. Times have changed, and if you really want to see Gone with the Wind, you are still more than free to direct your dollars to a service that will provide, rather than whine about a service that will not.

      I mean, think about the over-developed sense of entitlement it takes to say that HBO Max is doing you wrong by not showing a movie you want to see. It's attitudes like that which cause others to wonder if you see the world as revolving around you.

      Delete
    6. One Brow,

      So, because "we" have censored things in the past, we "deserve it"? (presuming for the sake of argument that your characterisation of conservative behavior is correct). Is that the argument you're making? Would you laugh at claims of wrongdoing if HBO pulled a pro-trans movie over pressure from Christians?

      Delete
    7. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 14, 2020 at 10:53 AM

      One Brow is at it again. Incapable of good faith debate he provides this gem as the capstone of his "argument":

      "I mean, think about the over-developed sense of entitlement it takes to say that HBO Max is doing you wrong by not showing a movie you want to see."


      Nobody said anything remotely like that, as nobody has claimed that the leftist SJW mob is the provider in question. It is a nice strawman, though.

      However, since you introduced that strawman, let's examine if your argument against it actually is convincing, shall we?
      Unsurprisingly, it is not, because whether "HBO Max is doing you wrong by not showing a movie you want to see" depends not on One Brow's feelings but on the contractual obligation HBO Max has entered in. In order to make this as easily understood as possible: suppose the contract says HBO Max provides certain on-demand programming that includes, at all times, "Gone With the Wind". For the benefit of One Brow I probably ought to spell it out: not showing the movie would be breach of contract which in turn would be "doing you wrong by not showing a movie you want to see." It is unlikely that the contractual obligation is that clear cut but there is no way to decide the question without actually looking at the respective contractual obligations.


      You even fail at knocking down the flimsy strawman you set up to be knocked down, One Brow. That is quite something, even for you.

      By the way, why do you take issue with Gone With the Wind in the first place? Is it because you think Hattie McDaniel's performance wasn't worthy of winning an Academy Award?

      Delete
    8. Cantus,
      So, because "we" have censored things in the past, we "deserve it"?

      It's not a question of "deserts", but rather, a statement that I find the complaints to somewhat hypocritical.

      (presuming for the sake of argument that your characterisation of conservative behavior is correct).

      If you really want to avoid presuming, I have few examples off the top of my head.

      Would you laugh at claims of wrongdoing if HBO pulled a pro-trans movie over pressure from Christians?

      I would support a boycott of HBO. I don't expect HBO to cater to me, and if they act in a way I dislike, I can refuse to support them with my money, as I do for many current establishments.

      Delete
    9. Keep Calm and Carry On,
      One Brow is at it again. Incapable of good faith debate

      I have yet to see you engage in a direct discussion of a point at hand. So, I'm not too worried about your opinion of "good faith".

      he provides this gem as the capstone of his "argument":

      "I mean, think about the over-developed sense of entitlement it takes to say that HBO Max is doing you wrong by not showing a movie you want to see."

      Nobody said anything remotely like that,


      Here's a great example of you taking obvious hyperbole and calling it argument. That's "good faith"?

      I can't explain your lack of ability to see what is plainly meant by terms like "cancel culture" and "censors". While it certainly doesn't add up to a hyperbolic "doing you wrong", it does indicate that they feel entitled to have HBO Max program for them.

      ... as nobody has claimed that the leftist SJW mob is the provider in question.

      Since I referred directly to HBO Max as the provider, this phrase is useless, distractive, and unfounded. Is this what you consider "good faith debate"? If so, I would gladly forego saying things that are udu.

      It is unlikely that the contractual obligation is that clear cut but there is no way to decide the question without actually looking at the respective contractual obligations.

      I agree that it's unlikely HBO max has any contractual obligations toward subscribers regarding specific movies from more than 80 years ago, unlikely to the point I am happy to assume none exist. This would be another udu point.

      By the way, why do you take issue with Gone With the Wind in the first place?

      I don't recall saying that I did take issue with the movie. So, that's another udu point. That said, the portrayal of slavery in a positive light is more than sufficient for me to take issue with the movie, and I think the final decision of HBO Max seems a good choice.

      Is it because you think Hattie McDaniel's performance wasn't worthy of winning an Academy Award?

      Since I have no training as an actor and little skill, I have no basis for judging the worthiness of McDaniel's performance, although I recognize and appreciate the historical significance of her winning.

      So,, out of all things I could have objected to, why pick this one? More udu reasons?

      I wonder if I should bring up this comment every time you accuse me of sophism or bad faith. That would probably be petty, so I won't.

      Delete
    10. Keep Calm and Carry OnJune 16, 2020 at 1:20 PM

      @One Brow,
      this is really painful.
      I didn't mistake your hyperbolic insult for a valid argument, hence the scare quotes.
      I don't think even you missed the point of the rhetorical question…

      Delete
    11. Keep Calm and Carry On,

      It was not my intention to insult anyone (I'm not sure why "overdeveloped sense of entitlement" is even an insult, frankly), but I will try to be more careful in my word selection.

      Delete
  11. Yea, these sorts of posts are better suited to a twitter account than this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What, every post has to be an essay? Are you worried I'm going to run out of pixels and had better save them up for something important?

      Plus, you couldn't drag me on to Twitter. That's the sleep of reason, producing monsters.

      Delete
    2. I agree regarding Twitter, and feel the same about Facebook.

      Delete
    3. Aren't people on Twitter ...

      Twits?

      Delete
  12. Doubting InquirerJune 13, 2020 at 8:50 PM

    I know this is off-topic, but I have an urgent inquiry regarding the faith. I'm strongly considering becoming a Catholic because it or Eastern Orthodoxy make the best sense. I know that I am required to assent to all the dogmas of the Church, and I am willing to try. But what happens if I have some doubts about a particular dogma, like eternal damnation. Can I assent to this whilst having some doubts on my mind that I push aside with the trust that whatever happens, God will always act for the best? I'm worried that this is too passive and allow too much scope for the possible mistakeness of the dogma?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dogma may not be clear to you at the start but may become so later. Is this part of the "leap of faith" needed: to trust in God's grace in revealing Himself to us, at times of His choosing, appropriate to what we can grasp? If so, persist.

      Delete
    2. Doubting InquirerJune 14, 2020 at 3:25 AM

      Thanks. I'm pulled between Catholicism and Orthodoxy, but I can't come to any solid conclusion on issues like Papal Infallibility. I have no desire to debate them and would be quite happy to become a member of the Catholic Church and passively obedient, trusting that God will show me the way, even if that isn't in this life. Is that okay?

      Delete
    3. Doubting InquirerJune 14, 2020 at 3:36 AM

      I suppose that the problem is that it isn't just a matter of failing to understand, as having a lack of reason to accept certain dogmas or even reasons/hopes against them. I don't wish to indulge this part of me that seems not to assent, and I fully realise that God will always do what is best. But I am worried this isn't enough: I must constantly battle with myself to come to a whole-hearted overthrow of doubts, instead of a passive trust that God will reveal all in time, even if not in this world.

      Delete
    4. It helps to distinguish between "doubts" and "difficulties". A difficulty is an issue about which (a) you don't currently have an explanation, but (b) you are confident an explanation exists - at least in God's mind if nowhere else. A doubt is a matter in which in your own mind you waver between "A is true" and "A is not true" and you cannot settle on one.

      Christianity, as the usual teaching goes, entails faith, which is (in itself) an unwavering belief: "assurance of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). Our faith is, in one sense, faith in God as a general adherence to Him; in another sense, it is belief in specific propositions that express our adherence to God in discrete ways. Both aspects are included in the faith. This assurance exceeds the kind of intellectual semi-rest we have in a well-justified opinion, because (in part) it's moving force comes from God moving the will to assent, to adhere, with assurance. But God will not do so against a person's will NOT to believe. A person of faith may encounter a number of difficulties, and will admit that "I don't have an explanation" about each of them, but still doesn't doubt that there IS an explanation for each one of them. Thus he holds his mind in abeyance about where the answer lies that settles the difficulty, instead of holding his mind in abeyance about whether there is an adequate answer to settle the difficulty.

      Thus the virtue of faith is found (in part) in the habits that allow one to admit to having a difficulty and yet not allowing that lack of a settled answer to result in a settled idea that "maybe there ISN'T an answer after all." I have run into people who seem unable to accept, in their own mind, any sort of unsettledness: as soon as someone proposes a question about which the answer might be either X or Y, they run off and adhere to one of them because they can't stand just plain NOT HAVING an opinion, even if that opinion rests on no information. This is not the mental framework of a person of faith.

      Delete
  13. This is unbelievable, I never thought how much Plato is right about democracy ... Democracy is the power of the people. But the people quickly get tired of it, politics turns into a routine. The most prominent places are occupied by the “drones” existing at the expense of the rich; they pose as defenders of the people. One of them rises more than others.

    ReplyDelete

  14. As a Black man with secular leanings but with a non materialistic metaphysics, that tilts Aristotelian it is very hard to find blogs on the internet that are both conducive to your metaphysical thinking and politics. I'm disappointed with every conservative I follow ( and I only follow those who talk primarily on issues of metaphysics; the specifically political are terrible). You all refuse, simply refuse, to understand Black lives or systematic racism and are content with facile talk of SJWs and the like. Every bit as facile as the reductionist materialist interlocutors you some times have on here. You flex your Christianity in service of hostility. You flex your Christianity to deny manifest inequality and social reality. It's maddening.

    Blacks have had broad based equality *legally* for 52 years, 52 years. If you people think institutional racism ended with the Civil Rights movement, I guess you also believe there were no liquor sales during Prohibition. You all have the necessary skill to think yourself out of your prejudices but are so enthralled with culture wars, you cannot. Feser, disappointingly, is just like the rest of you.

    Let me end with this: I do not care about these movies. Watch them, it matters little to me. Black people don't spend their days giving two sh*ts about the innumerable offensive nonsense that passes for entertainment. At times like this though, these are mere small acts of decency, nothing more. Very small acts of solidarity which changes nothing about your lives. It's an acknowledgement that these movies perpetuate a harmful myth. It's an ask to be more conscientious, not some Gestapo like erosion of your rights...to unthinkingly offend people just as American as you who happen to be Black.

    You can still spew ignorant nonsense about Black people in general, deny racism exists, and decry 'social justice warriors' ( that Christians are the ones primarily using this in a derogatory sense is of the greatest irony) till your dying days. But you maybe called out, which, I guess is too much for you all: the sense that you can't offend w/o any accountability whatsoever. That is apparently worth more than Black lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whether you are black or only pretend to be in order to more effectively insult and troll, you have no more insight than any other individual into racism.
      While you don't say so explicitly the fact that you adduce your pigmentation in your very first sentence betrays your racist assumptions.
      Let's assume that "as a white man" I'm incapable of really understanding why I'm a racist while you "as a black man" can. How dare you tell me about my lived experience "as a white man"? You cannot have any more insight about that than "a white man" can have insight into the "lived experience as a black man".
      Humans are not that different from one another, empathy is not like asking what it is like to be a bat, after all.

      If I identify, for purposes of this discussion, as black, am I still incurably racist?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,
      Whether you are black or only pretend to be in order to more effectively insult and troll, you have no more insight than any other individual into racism.

      that's like saying people who have a 20-lb weight tied to the top of their head have no more insight into the weight than people who see it from across the room.

      Just recently, almost every one in here was affirming how important qualia were for understanding. Now, you're discounting the qualia of racism.

      While you don't say so explicitly the fact that you adduce your pigmentation in your very first sentence betrays your racist assumptions.

      The racist assumption here is in saying that one's race has no bearing on the understanding of racism.

      Let's assume that "as a white man" I'm incapable of really understanding why I'm a racist while you "as a black man" can. How dare you tell me about my lived experience "as a white man"? You cannot have any more insight about that than "a white man" can have insight into the "lived experience as a black man".

      Well, except for all the books, tales, movies, televisions shows, comic strips, jokes between high school kids, etc. that we hear and see every single day, and which overwhelmingly present the world as experienced by white people.

      Humans are not that different from one another, empathy is not like asking what it is like to be a bat, after all.

      Yet, your response to Wretched is devoid of empathy for his pleas, instead responding with denial and dismissal of his experience.

      If I identify, for purposes of this discussion, as black, am I still incurably racist?

      I don't see any reason that would change.

      Delete
    3. Wretched,

      When you make generalizations about what blacks think or experience, you are ignoring that many blacks (such as Larry Elder, Brandon Tatum, Lawrence Jones, Candace Owen, the Hodge twins, Colion Noir, and many more) disagree with much of what you claim is the experience and opinion of all blacks.

      “Institutional” or “structural” racism means there are laws that disadvantage one race over another. Since blacks are represented in all levels of government, any such law would be challenged quickly. Ergo, the legal system in the U.S. is not structurally racist unless you can show that some law applies unequally to one race as opposed to another. Furthermore, the United States eliminated slavery when it has existed for all human history even up to today.

      In the private sector, merely mention that something is "racist" and major corporations will bend over backward to disavow racism. Hardly the act of an "oppressor".

      Conversely, if “institutional racism” just means that some people think and/or say mean things, then that simply applies to everyone without exception.

      No reasonable person would deny that many blacks are disadvantage because of the past, but distinguishing between advantaged and disadvantaged groups based on skin color is erroneous: the son of an unemployed Kentucky coal miner is not somehow advantaged over Sasha Obama because of his skin color. Furthermore, not all blacks are descended from slaves, some blacks owned and traded slaves, and many whites fought to free slaves.

      Delete
    4. That last part isn't quite true, T N. Sasha Obama will obviously have professional opportunities that the son of an unemployed coal miner (or virtually anyone who isn't royalty) couldn't hope to aspire to, but she's more likely to get harassed by a police officer who doesn't recognize her.

      It's useful to distinguish between the sort of disadvantages that are linked to socioeconomic class, where racial minorities suffer primarily because they're more likely to be in poverty, and the ones that actually are connected directly to race. A fair amount can be collapsed into class, but not everything: it doesn't matter how rich or famous you are if you get shot because someone assumes you're a criminal, after all.

      As far as the issue of systemic racism goes, the laws themselves are not racist, but we do unfortunately see discrepancies in the ways they are applied, particularly in sentencing. This has been a major issue in the legal debate over capital punishment, for example, since a black person has a significantly higher chance of being sentenced to death than a white person does. That is usually what people mean by the term "systemic racism."

      Delete
    5. Once again you're showing an elementary school understanding of racism TN. Tell me have you ready any contemporary scholars on institutional racism such as Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, or Cornel West? Just because black people are in all levels of the government doesn't mean institutional racist laws can't exist. You're assumption makes it like the second black people in authority see a law and are like change it, and it's changed, when everyone knows that's not how the system works at all. Black people are a minority in the government and forms of authority and having them there doesn't magically mean institutional racism will vanish. Did black people in positions of authority during the times of slavery mean that slavery wasn't racist or went away just like that?

      Yeah you want laws that are unequal. Look at the Crack/Cocaine penalty, stop and frisk laws, mandatory minimums, etc. Also the US didn't end slavery. Look at modern day prison labour. Hell look at the 13th amendment. There's a documentary called the 13th which you should watch.

      Those people you cite don't represent black people or their experience accurately. Rather they are tokens used to spout nonsense that supports people like you and to dismiss claims of racism. It's like claiming that black people who supported their masters during slavery (as Malcolm X called them, the House Negro) accurately represented the experience of black people during slavery.

      White privilege doesn't mean that white people don't struggle or every white person is better than a black person. It just means that you're skin colour isn't a reason to why you struggle and gives you benefits that are not afforded to black people.

      And what point are you trying to make about slavery? Your points don't change the fact that slavery was a racist institution as a whole that held black people as a collective were inhuman and inferior to whites and most black people today in America are descended from slaves which shaped the general experience and conditions of black Americans to today. It's like bringing up there were Jewish Nazis. Doesn't change the fact that Nazism is an ideology that holds the Jews are inferior and worthy of extermination as a whole. And with regards to your "whites fought to free slaves" comment it is true, but that doesn't change the fact that slavery in general was upheld by white people collectively and supported white supremacy. Also many people use this claim to paint a white saviour perspective on slavery and erase the agency of black people in ending it, so don't go this route.

      It's clear you have a LOT to learn about this topic, so please stop commenting as you're just saying ignorant offensive things.

      Delete
    6. Hypatia,

      Harvard economist Roland Fryer’s 2016 study affirms that blacks and Hispanics are “more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police” but “on the most extreme use of force –officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences”. If that is what you mean by “more likely to get harassed by a police officer”, ok, but I’m not sure how successful we’re going to be at determining that these events are predominately race based rather than status based (I think we probably agree for the most part). No reasonable person would deny that some number of officers are racists or that better police training is a good thing, but it’s hard to see how emotional mobs demanding the abolition of the police is a step in the right direction.

      A 2019 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that when factoring in violent crime rates by race, blacks are less likely to be shot by the police than whites. I would ask you to substantiate your claim that people are getting “shot because someone assumes you’re a criminal”. Would you argue that police are murdering blacks with impunity? What evidence is there for that?

      You agree that the laws are not racist but are applied unequally. I’m not sure how successful we’ll be at determining that with any accuracy given the political agendas in play (perhaps we can), but anecdotally, when celebrities, legislators, international corporations, and every major social institution you can think of are rushing to prostrate themselves at the altars of racial correctness, the narrative that there’s all this naked racism around seems hard to substantiate. “Wretched”, above, stated right away that he is black. Obviously, he did this because he is signaling that his opinion is superior. I don’t think it’s inaccurate to call this a form of black privilege.

      I think our cultural discussion completely leaves out the fact that blacks killing blacks is a much greater problem and how black fatherlessness is likely the reason for this; we just keep blaming police.

      Delete
    7. AKC (anonymous),

      I read as far as the first insult, then I fell asleep. Sorry.

      Delete
    8. Nice to see you have no interest in a serious discussion. Then again it probably was too much for you to handle anyway. BTW regarding the black fatherlessness. It's a myth

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/10/the-dangerous-myth-of-the-missing-black-father/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-nYUUhigTU

      So is the "black on black crime threat" myth:

      https://www.phillytrib.com/commentary/michaelcoard/coard-no-such-thing-as-black-on-black-crime/article_fbeb06e3-b5c2-5782-9de0-2580aa73497f.html

      Also refutations of your shooting claims:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3LbZEQW_58

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

      Again you're just victim blaming black people to deny the racism they face. I can't believe you actually tried to talk about "black privilege". You're parodying and embarrassing yourself.

      Delete
    9. That is an impressive array of reliable sources, running the gamut from the Bezos Post (engaged in fact-checking
      Obama it would seem) to Al-Jazeera, well known for its liberal values and tolerance for LGBTQ+ lifestyles.
      As for the one source that is not suspect you show a surprising lack of nuance that is so richly present when you by proxy try to explain away the problem of the destruction of the family in the black community.
      I'll give you a hint: if instead of lumping justified and unjustified shootings together you look at unjustified shootings the numbers change significantly and do not support your racist narrative.

      Anonymous 2

      Delete
    10. AKC,

      Yep, that's it. A serious discussion is too much for me to handle. Nailed it!

      Delete
    11. T N,
      In the private sector, merely mention that something is "racist" and major corporations will bend over backward to disavow racism. Hardly the act of an "oppressor".

      You lack a memory of corporate behavior over the last 50 years and perspective on their behavior. For year, while it was profitable, corporations swept any accusations of racism under the rug and continued on with racist business practices. More recently, corporations are more receptive to changing their racist practices because they will make less money keeping them rather than losing them. Corporations aren't bending over backwards, they are adjusting to the market.

      No reasonable person would deny that many blacks are disadvantage because of the past, but distinguishing between advantaged and disadvantaged groups based on skin color is erroneous: the son of an unemployed Kentucky coal miner is not somehow advantaged over Sasha Obama because of his skin color.

      Had you said "overall", you would have been correct here. Unfortunately, you could not limit yourself to that, iunstead pulling "somehow". There are many ways the white son of the coal miner is advantaged over Sasha Obama. Hypatia mentioned police, but not not include the better treatment the coal miner's son would receive from teachers, baristas, store clerks, bureaucrats, real estate agents, coworkers, and many, many more. Institutions are made of people, and as long as that is true, the faults in people become the faults of institutions.

      Furthermore, not all blacks are descended from slaves, some blacks owned and traded slaves, and many whites fought to free slaves.

      Very few Americans alive today have been slaves. Slavery matters not because of it's direct impact, but because the cultural attitudes and customs that it helped build have persisted from generation to generation, to the point that recent black immigrants are still, today, dealing with these cultural road blocks.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous,
      That is an impressive array of reliable sources,

      Definitely on a different level than the Washington Examiner, right?

      Delete
    13. Hello TN,

      I agree with you that abolishing the police is unlikely to be a step in the right direction. I've only seen one real argument in favor of that approach, and it was so couched in Marxist ideology that it made me more nervous than anything else. But yes, with the term "harassment," I was referring to unnecessary police oversight in general, which would include use of force. I don't care if people want to use the word "privilege" or not, but there needs to be some recognition that black people (and other minorities) will run into problems that white people won't, that women will run into problems that men won't, and so forth and so on. (Note: I think that identity politics just sets the hierarchical pyramid of who oppresses whom on its head and traps people into overly simplistic analyses, but it's not possible to address issues if people refuse to accept that the issues exist at all.) So yes, Sasha Obama can be expected to face specific problems that a white coal miner's son would not. It seems to me that this is just a fact.

      Regarding people getting shot because they are viewed as criminals, I wasn't specifically thinking about police violence, but rather of some of the "stand your ground" situations in which even private citizens can use lethal force in a disproportionate manner. There's evidence both that they're more likely to prevail in court if the victim is black, and that white people who use such defenses are less likely to face penalties than black people: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/27/517109271/stand-your-ground-laws-complicate-matters-for-black-gun-owners

      As far as disparities in the legal system goes, what I am talking about isn't really anecdotal. It's evidentiary, since there have been a number of studies on this (see, for example: https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=127081). For the issue of racial disparity in marijuana related arrests that Anon mentioned, see studies such as this one: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2561263/

      I don't think the fact that these issues exist is partisan--there are conservatives out there who are into civil rights work, and they are fantastic. I just wish there were more engagement, since at this point I think we need less complaints about identity politics and more alternatives to it.

      As for Wretched's comments, I didn't get the impression that he thinks that his opinion is superior. I thought he was just trying to explain why he was frustrated and angry. I can sympathize, since if you're metaphysically traditional but politically left wing, you're going to get burned sooner or later. It happens to me over issues like sexual harassment, since that's another one where conservatives can get too focused on criticizing left wing social theory to remember that there's actually a problem. I enjoy posts like this one, since I'm fully aware that the left is a totalitarian mess, but it really isn't always fun to be the only one in a conversation who has to worry about always coming across as perfectly reasonable to avoid being labeled a lunatic left-winger engaging in virtue signaling.

      Delete
    14. @One Brow:

      I specifically mentioned policing (and other situations like "stand your ground" encounters where race is most immediately visible) because in a number of contexts, class actually might trump race. Teachers and coworkers could definitely be expected to favor Sasha Obama over a working class white man, simply because of who she is. With baristas, store clerks, and other more anonymous situations, I think it's much harder to make that analysis, and it will also depend on what region someone is in. A poor southern man with a noticeable accent is likely to run into more prejudice than a higher class black woman in the Northeast and presumably the West Coast as well. If he's perceived as being an Evangelical, it will be even worse. Racism is real, but I'm very cautious of erasing classism, since I think it's much more invisible as it is.

      Delete
    15. Hypatia,

      I agree with you on the effects of classism, and I certainly would not want to down-play it. I agree teachers and co-workers who knew who Sasha Obama is would favor her due to celebrity status, but those who did not would not.

      I find your statement about prejudice in the Northeast and West Coast curious. Is that based on any studies, or just your general impression?

      Delete
    16. @One Brow

      Mostly general impression from being neck-deep in progressivism. I started noticing all sorts of cultural tensions and prejudices that I hadn't before when I converted to Christianity, since if you're a secular liberal, that means falling from the top rung on the ladder to the bottom rung. Hard not to notice some of the "microaggressions," for lack of a better word, if you've been taught to pick up on them in the first place. I'm religious left, so am usually socially acceptable, but I'm enough of a social theorist that it's been fascinating to see other ways in which privilege can play out in a specific society. And I've noticed the way that southern Evangelicals in particular are fair game when it comes to mocking social groups based on classist stereotypes... it was always present to some degree because of North-South tensions, but I think has gotten worse in the past four years. I can't speak to the West Coast, but if anything, it's more progressive than the Northeast, so I would expect similar sorts of implicit biases to develop there as well.

      I haven't looked for any studies on it, but I've come across articles before, like this one: https://www.chronicle.com/article/What-s-Wrong-With-Being-From/243510

      Re: teachers and coworkers only favoring Sasha Obama if they knew who she was, I still think that depends on where you are. I'm used to left-wing intelligentsia, and while there's still internalized racism, I think people are more likely to be able to surmount it than they are other forms of prejudice where they're less self-aware.

      Delete
    17. Hypatia,

      Fair enough. Thanks for the discussion. No doubt preconceived conclusions and confirmation bias plays a large role in how most people approach this question.

      Regarding “unnecessary police oversight”, I’m sure there is some degree of truth to the claim that some cops are just out to get blacks, but (I’m sure you agree) concrete determinations are not as easy as a cursory look at statistics. Black males are more likely to be pulled over by police, but they are also much more likely to die in single car crashes (which are obviously not due to race). This could mean they engage in more dangerous behaviors (DUI, reckless driving, etc.) that put them in contact with police.

      I suppose it’s true that women will “run into problems that men won’t”. But the opposite case can be easily made as well: sometimes men face hardships that women don’t (such as when a male is passed over in preference for a woman because of her looks, for example). But, agreed, the “good-ol-boy” club is what it is.

      I don’t really have an opinion on “stand your ground” laws, but I see the points on both sides—it’s complicated. I note that the article you cite does possess a noticeable bias: “the way that, especially, African-American men are treated when they're armed”. I’m not so sure about the truth of that statement—I tend to be very polite to people who are armed. Just doing a google search, one quickly finds that easy conclusions are hard to come by with plausible arguments on both sides.

      The other links you provided require more attention.

      I’d just say (and I think you’d agree) that the issue is more complex than what is allowed by platitudes and slogans. The factors are multicausal and complicated. But I must stress that the most glaring problem is the lack of willingness on the part of our society to discuss the problems of black fatherlessness and the causes of black on black crime.

      Delete
    18. You can't seriously think that black people are pulled over for "being reckless". Stop trying to use any excuse in the book to avoid the obvious racism at play. Black people are pulled over more even when they aren't doing anything. Please read this link before commenting again and revealing your ignorance:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/07/17/what-data-on-20-million-traffic-stops-can-tell-us-about-driving-while-black/

      I will highlight this for you:

      "African Americans are much more likely to be searched after a stop than white drivers, but less likely to be found with drugs, guns, alcohol or other forms of contraband after discretionary searches. "

      Tell me what does it say.

      Also stop trying to victim blame black people for their own problems and blame them for their struggles. I already linked you sources which refute the black fatherlessness myth and black on black crime discourse. Actually engage in them before responding again. It seems you are wilfully ignoring evidence which goes against your narrative to hold the belief that black people are inherently inferior which is no different than people who blamed black people for why they are slaves except they used biology to "justify" this "belief" and you just substitute culture. If you're not interested in a real discussion and are willing to take the experience and struggles of African-Americans seriously then just stop as everything you say is rooted in ignorance and is offensive. It's like you have some kind of Hegelian like idea that black people cannot possibly be serious sources of their own experiences and struggles and are not worth listening to.

      Delete
    19. @Anonymous,

      I understand that you are angry, but could you please tone it down? You can't expect us to have anything resembling a reasonable or productive discussion if you act pricklier than a particularly perturbed porcupine. Now to the actual point:

      I read your article about black fatherhood, and I wasn't impressed. It did *not* deny or refute the facts about black fatherlessness, it instead tried to argue (unconvincingly in my opinion) that it doesn't matter. The author seems to be convinced that it is somehow offensive to regard growing up with both biological parents as ideal, but the facts of the matter is that it simply is the ideal way of growing up. It doesn't guarantee safety or happiness or comfort or good morals, but it helps greatly with those things. In olden times it would have also included the extended family (and still does in some parts of the world), which is another thing our industrialised world has cost us. I quote from the article here:

      ""If black children were raised in an environment that focused not on bemoaning their lack of fathers but on filling their lives with the nurturing love we all need to thrive, what difference would an absent father make?""

      This paragraph stunned me the most - where on Earth does he think this love is going to come from? A loving father is a CRUCIAL part of that loving environment - he can't simply be replaced by the community, though a supportive community can help. But even the best community cannot do everything a father should do, what nature intended fathers (of every race) to do.

      Delete
    20. I wouldn't be so angry if TN actually bothered to do some research and actually take the experience of African-Americans seriously instead of dismissing it and making inaccurate, offensive statements

      I think you missed the point of the article. The article is basically pointing out how the talk of the 'absent black father' acts like this is the only issue that African-Americans face and if it was solved all of their problems would magically go away which takes away from the structural racism, and socio-economic disadvantages that African-Americans face which are the real sources of many of their problems and it also solely places the blames on black men for why their communities are struggling.


      Also here's another link which refutes these points

      https://www.chicagoreporter.com/breaking-myths-about-black-fatherhood-this-fathers-day/

      Delete
    21. Anonymoous,

      I agree that it isn't the sole determining factor in stuff like crime rates, absolutely. However, it is still a big deal and does make a substantial difference. If, tomorrow, 100% of black families were somehow magically made whole, their problems would not all disappear, but it would be an improvement overall. Furthermore, I have never seen anyone claim that this is the only issue, or place the sole blame on black men. All I've seen is people claim that it's a significant issue that shouldn't be discounted. We can talk about poverty, police reform, etc, but we shouldn't leave fatherlessness out of the discussion either. And for reference, while these rates are lower among whites, it's still a serious issue among them too, what with the huge divorce rate. ANY culture that abandons the sanctity of marriage is doing evil and destined for corruption, no matter the skin color of the people who make up that culture. In Western Europe, where I live, we also have people like this, the "Chavs" of Britain for instance, disaffected youths who in quite a few respects are disadvantaged in the way that black people are in America.

      In addition, your second article debunks some specific stastics (the "70% of black households are fatherless" idea), but does not deny the basic underlying idea, namely that fatherlessness is still significantly higher among black populations than among other racial groups (though not from a race angle, obviously - my point is that this kind of situation can just as easily happen to white people given the correct circumstances).

      Delete
    22. The second link I said:

      "Furthermore, whether living in the same home or not, black fathers are the most involved of all primary recorded race and ethnic groups."

      The issue is not as big as people make it compared to the systemic discrimination and socio-economic barriers black people face and trying to put them on par is not true. Hell, one of the reasons for the father issues is the mass incarceration of black men due to the inequality in the Criminal Justice System. If you want to fix the father issue then you have to address systemic racism and socio-economic disadvantages. How can black families be whole if the system literally helps rip them apart. The father issues is not a cause but a symptom and is a distraction from the real structural racism black people face.

      Delete
    23. Hi TN,

      I would agree that concrete determinations are more difficult than just looking at the stats, but a lot of the anecdotal evidence on this issue is very ugly, both in terms of people who did nothing wrong at all except be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and stories like that Buffalo police officer who was fired for trying to stop another officer from assaulting a suspect. If even other officers aren't able to step in when stuff like this happens without risking their jobs, it's pretty clear to me that the problem goes a lot deeper than being misleading statistics. Where there's this much smoke, there's almost certainly fire.

      As far as the gender issue goes, I do actually agree that women are in some ways advantaged--I think we have an easier time often when it comes to social interactions, for example, probably because of having to deal with less pressure. Being chosen for a position because of your looks I wouldn't consider an advantage, though, since at best, your competence is always going to be questioned, and at worst, that could lead to sexual harassment. Some people would no doubt take advantage of that sort of dynamic, but I don't see how it could ever be anything but toxic for everyone involved.

      As for "stand your ground" laws, I believe that the problem is the impression that seeing an armed black man makes upon police officers--there have obviously been some terrible situations where the police automatically thought that someone had a weapon and used lethal force when there was in reality no weapon. That makes the Second Amendment issues really tricky, since it's a de facto restriction on who actually is allowed to freely bear arms. My initial point was just that in places with a strong gun culture, it isn't just the police who you have to worry about shooting you (and getting away with it because they can claim they thought they were in danger). I believe in gun rights, but the racial issues surrounding them are difficult.

      Anyway, yeah, I agree that a lot of this is very complicated. I have concerns with focusing on things like single parenthood, though, since we've never successfully approached the economic issues that lead to broken families in the first place. I'm also more of a gender than a race person, which means I'm aware of some of the work done by black feminists, who point to things like abuse suffered by black women, who are the only possible target for men who feel like the world is out to get them. If the choice is between a broken family and subjecting someone to a lifetime of domestic abuse (and still ending up with a broken family), the first has got to be preferable.

      Delete
    24. Hypatia,

      So all we have to do is fix poverty. No problem! ha, ha

      Speaking of that (and the rest of these issues as well), thinking about what we do collectively as a society is one aspect, but what is often left out is personal choice. We can’t discuss people as if they’re chess pieces we move on a board (not saying you are). There are more and more black public figures who are speaking out against narratives widely held in the black community that they say (and I think rightly so) are destructive—I’ve listed many of them above in this thread.

      After searching this topic on google yesterday, my Youtube feed recommended a video by Coleman Hughes. He is an opinion writer at Quillette who is deep into these issues and has a lot to say. I’m going to listen to an interview he did with Dave Rubin later today.

      Delete
    25. TN, again stop talking out of thin air. These are not "destructive narratives". These are the truths about the systemic racism and discrimination that black people face. Have you bothered to actually read the works of Malcolm X, MLK, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, John Lewis, etc. You
      only call them "destructive" because they highlight how racism is still an issue in America and "destroy" your vision of what America is and the notion that black people are to blame for their problems. These black "public figures" are sellouts who are mouth pieces for racism and conservatives. They are literally what Malcolm X would call the House Negro. Stop blaming black people for their problems. You just want to hold on to the belief are inherently inferior and try to talk about "culture" to disguise this. I wouldn't be surprised if you believed that black people have inherently low IQ's (you probably do). Actually educate yourself or shut up. And by educate yourself I don't meant listening to people who just regurgitate what you want to hear and reinforce your belief in black inferiority.

      Delete
    26. Hypatia,

      Thank you for the link and the perspective. I have lived in the Midwest for as far back as my memory goes, and things are a little different around here.

      Delete
    27. T N,
      After searching this topic on google yesterday, my Youtube feed recommended a video by Coleman Hughes. He is an opinion writer at Quillette who is deep into these issues and has a lot to say. I’m going to listen to an interview he did with Dave Rubin later today.

      If you seek out black conservative intellectuals, you can certainly find them, and because they are sought out, many of them do quite well. However, the very seeking out of them, such as the selection process that Quillette and similar organizations use, guarantees that you will be getting a narrow, limited, carefully cultivated expression from the black community. When you subjugate any group, there will always be members of that group who choose to diminish or deny the subjugation; this does not make the subjugation unreal.

      Delete
    28. @One Brow
      If I identify, for purposes of this discussion, as black, am I still incurably racist?
      I don't see any reason that would change.


      Let me take you through it.
      I'm black, ergo not white. Because I'm not white I cannot have "white privilege", and this leaves only my prejudice in place. But prejudice without the power that "white privilege" grants is not racism which is "prejudice plus power". Since I am not racist on account of lacking power, I am no longer incurably racist. In fact, without "white privilege" I cannot ever be racist at all. QED.

      That you don't affirm this is hate speech and literally violence. You have shown that you are a racist and a hater. You need to be banned from this comment section at once.


      Here's hoping a little application of leftist logic might be ridiculous enough to get through to some of the defenders of the SJW mob. However this is a very small hope.

      Delete
    29. Anonymous,
      Let me take you through it.

      Thank you for the attempt. Perhaps you can understand why it fails.

      I'm black, ergo not white. Because I'm not white I cannot have "white privilege", and this leaves only my prejudice in place.

      Correct.

      But prejudice without the power that "white privilege" grants is not racism which is "prejudice plus power".

      As long you you tap into the power society exerts against non-white people, you are tapping into the racism, even if you do not benefit from the privilege is offers. People of all skin colors can be racist to people of similar and different skin colors. In particular, black people can, and often do, act in a racist fashion toward other black people.

      That you don't affirm this is hate speech and literally violence.

      Since you have so greatly misunderstand how racism works, naturally I don't take this assessment seriously.

      Delete
    30. @One Brow

      In particular, black people can, and often do, act in a racist fashion toward other black people.

      Let's call this a twisted attempt to avoid saying that some racists are racist with respect to their own race. To actually put this vacuous notion into words would likely result in cognitive dissonance that would be too great even for the seasoned master of sophistry we're dealing with here.

      Be that as it may. The meaning of "racism" as used by the "progressive" left is a prime example of naked Humpty Dumpty-ism. By redefining meaning ad hoc the left abuses the warning of Orwell's 1984 as a manual on how to establish their ideal society...

      Since you have so greatly misunderstand how racism works, naturally I don't take this assessment seriously.

      You're halfway there. Not taking a parody to be literally true is the first step. The next step, more important than the first, would be to try and understand the hidden meaning is. Try it. You'll be surprised, One Brow.

      Delete
    31. Hi TN,

      I agree with you that personal choice is often left out. That's a source of constant frustration for me, since I think the determnistic tendencies of modern left-wing thought are a bit of a Marxist legacy, and it's a dangerous, disempowering sort of reductionism. At the same time, personal choice is often limited in at least a practical sense by circumstances, so I don't think the larger society can say, "Oh, personal responsibility is paramount" without being complicit in some of the problems that people actually face. No man is an island, after all, and it's easy to bring the whole weight of systemic inequalities against someone and then blame them for not being able to overcome them.

      I'm not familiar with Coleman Hughes, though a little bit of research shows that he's contributed to publications like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well, has spoken out in favor of criminal justice reform and affordable healthcare, and has testified before a House subcommittee. I can't really tell whether he's a conservative or a liberal who just opposes reparations, since black conservatives who are into this issue can be difficult to pin down. (I have a friend who is a black conservative feminist--she's a bit to my right, but as concerned about this stuff as the left-wing activists I know.) I assume he'll be a useful perspective, but I'd recommend paying attention to as many people as possible on this topic to get as broad a view as you can.

      [reposted since I can't seem to edit.]

      Delete
    32. Hypatia,

      Agreed. Everyone is some mixture of personal choice and external circumstance. We all have an obligation to be the best version of ourselves regardless of our circumstance, but that doesn’t mean resignation to unjust circumstances—just the opposite, in fact. I think today there is far too much emphasis on action for action’s sake alone; as if the only value is changing everything all the time: corporate mottos, university mission statements, and the like are all full of tiresome platitudes about “empowering others to initiate change . . . blah, blah, blah”. It’s not that that is necessarily bad, it’s just usually phony virtue signaling.

      I think Marxism is a number of serious errors—not the least of which is the reduction of human nature to the economic and reducing history to nothing but conflict. But that’s for another time.

      Today, I listened to Hughes interviewed by Dave Rubin and I commend him for being a very nuanced and subtle thinker for his age—a rare trait for his generation I’m sorry to say. I find him a nice change from Ta-Nehisi Coates, but that’s another subject too.

      Thanks for the discussion. I’ll be out for several days now I think.

      Delete
    33. In particular, black people can, and often do, act in a racist fashion toward other black people.

      Let's call this a twisted attempt to avoid saying that some racists are racist with respect to their own race.


      I thought I said that rather directly. I'm not sure how you see it as "twisted".

      To actually put this vacuous notion into words would likely result in cognitive dissonance that would be too great even for the seasoned master of sophistry we're dealing with here.

      I see. It's because you are persisting in using a convenient and ignorant notion of what racism is and how it works. Being a social force, racism is something that can be, and is, used by anyone. What is colorism in the black community, if not an expression of racism?

      Be that as it may. The meaning of "racism" as used by the "progressive" left is a prime example of naked Humpty Dumpty-ism.

      Certainly, different people agree on exactly what the term should mean, as happens with many other words in the English language as used by leftists, rightists, moderates, and anyone else. I'm not surprised that you would take a common phenomenon and attribute it to a particular group you dislike, your selection bias has always operated with impunity.

      You're halfway there. Not taking a parody to be literally true is the first step. The next step, more important than the first, would be to try and understand the hidden meaning is.

      Sorry, but I'm frankly very bad at hidden meanings, and always have been. I lack some sort of imaginative capacity. I don't create good stories, I was a terrible Dungeon Master, my memories are not filled in, and hidden meanings or other subtle points can fly right by me. If there is a point you want to illustrate to me, you'll have to be more direct.

      Delete
    34. (1) "You act in a way that can be perceived as racist."
      (2) "You are a racist".

      Do you see the difference? If you do, you can figure out what can be perceived as twisted in your saying "that rather directly".

      Delete
    35. Anonymous,
      (1) "You act in a way that can be perceived as racist."
      (2) "You are a racist".

      Do you see the difference? If you do, you can figure out what can be perceived as twisted in your saying "that rather directly".


      I don't think of racism as a property of a person. It's a type of behavior that people do or do not engage in. We all learn racist tendencies from the racist culture we grow up in. To the degree that "racist" means something as a descriptor of a person, it means that person buys into the racist teachings more freely and exhibits racist behaviors more frequently than non-racists. It's a question of degree.

      So, I see the difference between those two statements as one of degree, not kind, and don't see one as a twisted version of the other.

      Delete
  15. One Brow outs itself as a racist troll. Surprise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yawn. Typical right-wing tactic of taking one own's mud and slinging it wildly. I'm sure you are very convinced by it.

      Delete

  16. "Black Lives Matter: A Thomist defense."

    Is this something Feser could use his considerable analytical mind to write? And w/o a bunch of 'Black people brought this on themselves' or "All Lives Matter" qualifiers that is the staple of conservative commentary? That would be unique. Ed owes me nothing at all but a large part of the continual issue in this country is the refusal to confront and deal with casual, everyday, thoughtless racism. Look at the initial responses to my first comment.

    Some valiant allies have taken these folk to task ( thank you) but the first accused me of faking my race for anonymous internet likes in the woke olympics ( or some such) - breathtakingly insulting and ignorant but unsurprising. The second, TN, and others, like clockwork, trot out Black conservatives and immediately brings out the trope of Black pathology, as if, by taint of our skin color we are genetically and/or culturally predisposed to crime. A racist worldview impervious to facts because it determines how the facts are viewed in the first place. Notice how any refutation of the myths of Black pathology only leads to a hunt for ever more, finer grained statistics that prove it ( it just *can't be* that Black people aren't uniquely predisposed).

    It would be great if, instead of a wink and nod to these people, something serious was actually discussed.

    PSA: We don't need patronizing counseling about 'responsibility.' When do we talk about individual responsibility? With individuals, like everyone else. Individuals don't exist without society and the sociological conditions that underpin it. On those social issues that impacts individuals, we talk about the conditions that need to change. Again, like everyone else. The over prescription of drugs is not just an individual issue, which is why people rightly demand accountability from drug companies and doctors on this subject.

    Institutional racism is a fact and a societal issue that affects Black people- it manifests itself in a multitude of ways, the most obvious right now, in the over policing and criminalization of Black people. 400 years of legal, violent, societal subjugation did not just evaporate with 52 years of *on the books* equality.

    Nearly all Black farmers didn't lose their farms because we're genetically or culturally incompetent; they lost it because of racism. Black people aren't still experiencing "firsts" in many areas because prior to them we were inferior. Jackie Robinson wasn't the first Black man capable of baseball. There is no good abductive reason to skip over the actual history and socioeconomic context of Black people in this country to fixate on crime or whatever pathology you invent as somehow defining of us. It is a racist way of thinking.

    And it'd be in step in the right direction to continually challenge it, not tacitly solicit this commentary ( read *any* discussion that laments 'wokeness' and how quickly conservatives reveal themselves).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once again Wretched calls for people to be "judged by the color of their skin" – disgusting.

      Delete
    2. Wretched calls for a dialog, and then tells us that his is the only valid opinion.

      Delete
    3. TN once agains shows his inability actually unwillingness to take the experiences of black people seriously and continues to humiliate himself.

      Delete
    4. T N,
      Wretched calls for a dialog, and then tells us that his is the only valid opinion.

      The presence of racism has been measured in a variety of ways by a variety of people. To call it's existence "opinion" is like calling evolution "opinion".

      Delete
    5. @Wretched,

      It really isn't just conservatives who have a problem with 'wokeness.' I only have an outside view of a group like BLM, so can't comment on it, but I've seen ideology and rhetoric used so often in feminist circles to silence anyone who disagrees, I'm sick of it. I think conservatives should focus more on their own issues, or at least offer constructive criticism instead of just throwing stones in glass houses, but it may well be the case that everyone is better at seeing their opponents' blindspots than their own.

      That said, I would also be pretty interested in a nuanced Thomistic approach to race that takes the experience of black people seriously. I'm familiar with Thomistic approaches to feminism, like Edith Stein's, or attacks on capitalism, like Alasdair MacIntyre's, but race relations in specific I've never seen and wouldn't really know where to look. I'm not convinced that natural law is a good guide to these sorts of complex social issues--frankly, Aristotelianism makes me nervous in general specifically because of the way it has been traditionally used to uphold rather than dismantle social hierarchies. I suspect you could focus on the ways in which racism prevents people from growing in virtue as morally autonomous agents and ultimately harms social cohesion. The result would still be a fairly conservative analysis, though.

      Delete
    6. Hypatia,

      I think the trajectory of Edith Stein's thought is found in the corpus of John Paul II. I'm not a critic of Phenomenology as are most analytic philosophers; quite the opposite actually. But it can't manufacture what isn't there, or make fallacies not fallacies. For example, Wretched's claim that anyone on this thread argued that blacks are genetically disposed to commit crimes (no one made such a claim, and I certainly didn't). Or One Brow's question begging reply to my argument against systematic racism in the Freddie Grey case by merely assuming it to be true. When the discussion starts from these premises, the deck is stacked from the start. Why can't the discussion start from different premises without all the conversation stoppers?

      Delete

    7. T N,
      For example, Wretched's claim that anyone on this thread argued that blacks are genetically disposed to commit crimes (no one made such a claim, and I certainly didn't). Or One Brow's question begging reply to my argument against systematic racism in the Freddie Grey case by merely assuming it to be true.

      I don't believe it was in this thread, but off the top of my head Mister Geocon has made claims about disposition. Referring to systemic racism as being present or not in a single case is like focusing on whether or not a particular rocket flew through an atmosphere.

      Why can't the discussion start from different premises without all the conversation stoppers?

      If we don't start from reality, we don't go to realistic places.

      Delete
    8. Hi TN,

      I tend to treat blogs like this as a conservative "safe space," so to speak, so I feel like I've relinquished the right to start breathing fire if I come here. Sometimes that means letting myself get kicked in the face (though admittedly less often than I'd expected), but I'm not the one getting kicked in the face this time. I can't tell Wretched not to be angry--I think he has every right to be. If I read his initial comment correctly, he's upset to see conservatives focused on criticizing identity politics rather than actually constructively discussing race in a time of crisis. I think that's a legitimate criticism, and that the initial anonymous response to him was pretty ugly.

      I also think that you've been treated badly throughout this whole conversation. Your initial error was to use a handful of black conservatives to build what I assume you thought was a more nuanced picture of the views of the black community instead of engaging with what the person in front of you (Wretched) was saying. I've been quiet on this issue for personal reasons, but I'll share them since the role reversal involved might help you understand the problem a bit better: I'm a left wing feminist with a somewhat more traditional approach to sexual ethics, so what I have to worry about is liberal rather than conservative men parading "what other women think" to try to invalidate my views. I have a zero tolerance policy for this sort of thing, but I'm also uncomfortable with the way that conservative men will sometimes leverage these sorts of internal debates for rhetorical value. Something similar is going on here--there are legitimate debates going on within the black community, and I think it's important to be aware of the fact that this sort of ideological diversity does exist, but Wretched himself almost certainly already knows about this. I do think that white progressives need to be reminded that there is a significant conservative presence in the black community, and that referring to them as "sell-outs" is just another form of colonialism, but Wretched himself doesn't need to be educated on "what other black people think." His experiences are as authentic as anyone else's, and he is the one asking for dialogue right now. Understand that he is angry, and try to talk with him, not at him.

      Beyond that, does Edith Stein not count as a Thomist? I thought she was just a continental rather than analytic Thomist. I lean more continental myself, so while I find the precision of the analytic side of philosophy of religion really useful, at the end of the day I tend to gravitate back in the opposite direction. I'm not a Thomist, so if I were to attempt some sort of theological approach to something like racial tensions, I'd probably ground it in Augustine instead (or go straight for the Prophets), but it should be possible to get a good analysis off the ground.

      Delete
  17. @ First Anonymous

    "Wretched is racist for calling conservatives racist". Really? That's what you're going for? That doesn't even make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A search for your quote reveals that nobody but you said anything remotely like this. Maybe you want to become a CNN propagandist when you grow up and have to practice deeply dishonest debate tactics?

      Delete
  18. Question the narrative, get assaulted.

    When Freddie Grey died: the U.S. president was black; the Attorney General of the U.S. was black; the Mayor of Baltimore was black; the Baltimore city council was entirely Democrat and mostly black; half the cops arrested were black; the judge that acquitted the defendants was black; the chief of police was black; the assistant chief of police was black.

    Yet despite most of the relevant people involved being black and/or Democrat, Freddie Grey died of “systemic racism”. These examples can be multiplied at length (Michael Brown same situation), but none of that matters . . . just because.

    Many blacks (whom I’ve named above) say that it’s time to change the discussion. But they are “sell outs”, and “Uncle Toms”. Question the narrative, get assaulted.

    ReplyDelete
  19. T N,
    Yet despite most of the relevant people involved being black and/or Democrat, Freddie Grey died of “systemic racism”. These examples can be multiplied at length (Michael Brown same situation), but none of that matters . . . just because.

    Do you really think cultural forces can be turned on a dime?

    ReplyDelete
  20. God bless DR ANUGE for his marvelous work in my life, I was diagnosed of HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS since 2010 and I was taking my medications, I wasn't satisfied i needed to get the HERPES out of my system, I searched about some possible cure for HERPES i saw a comment about Dr ANUGE , how he cured HERPES with his herbal medicine, I contacted him and he guided me. I asked for solutions, he started the remedy for my health, he sent me the medicine within 3days. I took the medicine as prescribed by him and 2weeks later i was cured from HERPES contact him via email dranuge@gmail.com once again thanks to you Dr ANUGE. cure the flowing virus, contact his email or add him on whatsapp 2348164866838
    He also told me that he can cure the following diseases:
    cancer cure
    diabetes cure
    ringing ear
    herpes cure
    warts cure
    HPV cure
    HIV/AIDS cure
    get your ex back
    pregnancy herbal medicine
    prostate enlargement
    Hepatitis

    ReplyDelete