Examples would be: Characterizing as racist “microaggressions” behaviors that in fact are either perfectly innocuous or at worst just ordinary rudeness; condemning some economic outcome as a racist “inequity” despite there being no empirical evidence whatsoever that it is due to racism; condemning as “transphobic” recognition of the commonsense and scientific fact that sex is binary; condemning as “racist” the view that public policy should be color-blind and that racial discrimination is wrong whatever the race of the persons being discriminated against; condemning as “antigay” the view that it is not appropriate for grade schools to address matters of sexuality in the classroom without parental consent; and so on.
If you’re thinking “Wait, what’s wrong with any of that?,” you’re probably woke and should seek help, because these are deeply irrational attitudes. My book All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory explains what is wrong with much that presents itself as “antiracist” but is in fact nothing of the kind. (You will find much of the book useful even if you are not Catholic, because the argumentation is largely of a philosophical and social scientific nature rather than a theological nature.)
By characterizing wokeness as paranoid and delusional I am not flinging terms of abuse, but describing real psychological features of the woke attitude. In their book The Coddling of the American Mind (which I say a bit about in my own book), Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt note that the frame of mind encouraged by woke ideas (Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, “Social Justice Warrior” rhetoric and the like) is very similar to a mindset that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy identifies as a major cause of psychological disorders.
Features of this mindset include emotional reasoning, or letting our feelings determine how we interpret reality rather than letting reality determine whether our feelings are the appropriate ones; catastrophizing, or focusing obsessively on the imagined worst possible outcome rather than on what the evidence shows are more likely outcomes; overgeneralizing, or jumping to sweeping conclusions on the basis of one or a few incidents; dichotomous thinking, or seeing things in either-or terms when a more sober analysis would reveal more possibilities; mind reading, or jumping to conclusions about what other people are thinking; labeling, or slapping a simplistic description on some person or phenomenon that papers over its complexity; negative filtering and discounting positives, or looking only for confirming evidence for some pessimistic assumption while denying or downplaying confirming evidence that things are not in fact so bad; and blaming, or focusing on others as the sources of one’s negative feelings rather than taking responsibility for them oneself.
Obviously, the more thoroughly one is prone to these habits of thought, the more likely one is to see the world in excessively negative terms and to be miserable as a result. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy thus aims to help patients identify these bad mental habits and to counteract them. But “wokeness” positively encourages all of these cognitive distortions. For example, it teaches emotional reasoning insofar as it pits personal “narratives” of oppression against the ideals of rationality and objectivity, and insofar as it makes the subjective reactions of offended people the measure of whether they are victims of “microaggressions.” It encourages blaming by treating accusations about microaggressions and other grievances as if they can never reasonably be regarded as stemming from oversensitivity or paranoia on the part of the person offended. It indulges in negative filtering and discounting positives insofar as it arbitrarily defines terms like “racism,” “sexism,” “transphobia,” “homophobia,” and the like so broadly that anything can be made to count as racist, sexist, transphobic, or homophobic, even what would historically have been regarded as paradigmatically egalitarian policies (such as color-blind or race-neutral policies, and opposition to all racial discrimination). In the same way, it engages in labeling, by ignoring all the complex causes of disparities and the different motives behind various actions and policies, and simply slapping descriptions like “racist,” “sexist,” etc. on them. It promotes dichotomous thinking insofar as it insists that one either agrees with woke ideas or ought to be dismissed as “racist,” “transphobic,” etc. It exhibits catastrophizing in that it insists that anything short of implementing the most extreme of woke policy recommendations will leave us with an unjust society that has made little if any real progress. It encourages mind reading by imputing “racism,” “bigotry,” “hate,” “implicit bias,” “white fragility,” and other such attitudes to all critics, even in the absence of any objective evidence for these attributions. It overgeneralizes by treating any particular case of a real or perceived injustice as if it amounted to confirmation of the entire woke worldview.
In short, woke ideas positively encourage paranoid habits of mind which are analogous to those exhibited by people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. Looking at the world through woke lenses leads one to see oppression and injustice even where they do not exist, to feel strongly aggrieved at this imagined oppression and injustice, and then to treat the narrative of grievance that results as if it were confirming evidence of the reality of the imagined oppression and injustice.
The psychological factors underlying wokeness account for two characteristics of the woke that are very familiar to anyone who has ever dealt with them, but might seem incongruous. On the one hand, wokesters are extremely confident of their view of the world, thinking it so obviously correct that they cannot understand how anyone could possibly disagree with it. Yet at the same time, they seem almost constitutionally incapable of calm and rational engagement with critics. They invariably attack the critic rather than the claims and arguments the critic raises. Imagine a person suffering from the paranoid delusion that everyone is out to get him. Because he massively over-interprets other people’s behavior – reading malign motivations into the most innocuous remarks and actions – he thinks that the evidence that everyone is out to get him is overwhelming, even though in fact it is extremely slight at best. But at the same time, precisely for that reason, he finds it impossible calmly and rationally to discuss the matter with anyone who disagrees with him. “It’s so obvious! If you can’t see it, you must be crazy! In fact, you must be part of the conspiracy too!” You might say that that such a paranoid delusional person thinks he’s become “woke” to the reality that everyone is out to get him, when in fact he’s lost in fantasy. Think of Russell Crowe’s portrayal of John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind – seeing plots and conspirators everywhere, including even places where literally no one exists.
The difference between wokeness and other forms of delusional paranoia is that the wokester’s delusions and paranoia reflect what I referred to above as a hyper-egalitarian view of the world. Notice that I am not saying that all forms of egalitarianism are bad. On the contrary, as I argue in All One in Christ, because human beings of all races have the same nature, they have the same basic rights and dignity. Hence it would, for example, be unjust for a government to protect the lives, liberties, and property rights of citizens of one race while not doing the same for citizens of other races. This would be a clear case of an unjust inequity.
What I am calling hyper-egalitarian is the tendency to suspect all inequalities of being per se unjust – for example, to suppose that if 10% of the population of a country is of a certain race yet less than 10% of the stockbrokers in that country are of that race, this amounts to a “racist” inequity that cannot be given an innocent explanation and must somehow be eliminated by governmental policy. (Think of Ibram X. Kendi’s famous remark: “When I see racial disparities, I see racism.”) Again, imagine Russell Crowe’s performance in A Beautiful Mind, but suppose that instead of seeing hidden messages, Soviet plots, and fellow spies everywhere, he saw racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. everywhere and divided the world into the “bigots” who aimed to uphold this system of “intersectional” “oppression,” and the “allies” working together with him to subvert it. The delusion seems frighteningly real, but in fact is held in place by circular reasoning and ad hominem attacks on anyone who tries to convince him otherwise.
To be sure, I am not saying that all wokesters are as insane as the Russell Crowe character. Nor are all wokesters even as shrill as the stereotypical online Social Justice Warrior or Twitter mob. Like other forms of delusional paranoia, wokeness comes in degrees. But if you think that views like Critical Race Theory, Gender Theory, etc. are so obviously correct that no decent and well-informed person could possibly object to them, and find it at least difficult calmly and rationally to engage with anyone who thinks otherwise, you are woke. And precisely because you find it difficult calmly and rationally to entertain the possibility that you are wrong, your attitude is paradigmatically irrational.
Countering disinformation about Critical Race Theory
“Diversity, equity, and inclusion”: Good, bad, or indifferent?
The Gnostic heresy’s political successors
Woke Ideology Is a Psychological Disorder
All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory
Good article. The only thing I might add is that just as the woke sees or exaggerate injustice where it does not exist or barely exists, their solution to these perceived problems of repressive tolerance, or discrimination against those they view as oppressors, instead of treating the actual causes and problems that led to the disparities, tends to create new injustice where it previously did not exist.ReplyDelete
I don't think CBT is a successful program for reteaching the mind to think logically. What alternatives do you gents recommend for gaining logical thinking?ReplyDelete
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy practiced by clinical psychologists for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and other kinds of mental illness.Delete
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by uncharitable people." - Dr. Sigmund Freud (apocryphal)
@Anon: CBT has been shown to be ineffective on its own for a variety of issues, but it does have a role in the therapist's toolboxDelete
I can't help but feeling like Dr. Feser is missing the mark a bitch here. I don't think anything he said is *wrong* per se, but the way it seems to me, the defining characteristic of wokeness isn't merely the viewpoint that Dr. Feser presented in his definition, but the insistence that every aspect of society be oriented towards correcting those perceived injustices.ReplyDelete
Maybe that's intended to be covered in the "hyperfixation" part, but I think it bears pointing out that we really started caring about things being woke when we started to see areas of society that did not normally take an explicit stand on social issues (sports leagues, video game companies, etc) start to emphasize such perceived social injustices that were entirely unrelated to their particular domains and often at odds with the majority views of their audience demographics.
IMO, this is by far the worst effect of wokeness because it robs society of opportunities to bond over non-political topics. When political causes permeate every facet of society, you never have an opportunity to connect with a person that you disagree with politically. Low stakes things like sports or other entertainment ought to be avenues that allow you to build bridges with the people who don't see eye to eye with you on politics, but you can't have that when politics dominate all those areas as well. You literally never get opportunities to view those with whom you disagree politically as anything other than your enemies, and that's really toxic to political discourse.
Ha, I think you meant to type "a bit here"! ;)Delete
Oof. Yeah. Definitely an unfortunate typo lolDelete
Freudian slip? Were you feeling like coming here to bit for awhile? Or perhaps it crossed your mind that the OP was just bit..ing?
Woke used to be a good word and a good thing to aspire to. But, the pendulum has swung too far, as pendulums sometimes do. The revolutionaries have become reflections of the the very constructs they sought to overturn, as revolutionaries sometimes do.
It seems clear that a great many people on my side of aisle don't know how to take yes for an answer, and lacking the genuine social injustices of the prior generation to fight, seem to have convinced themselves of largely imaginary injustices to fight.
In my generation racism was legal, I mean, racial minorities could be and were excluded and very seriously oppressed in very real ways, and if you did not understand that at that time you needed to wake up to reality.
Women, homosexuals, and others were similarly subjected to routine and very serious bigotry and even assault that went unbelieved or simply uncared about, and if you did not understand how wrong that was you were a complete ass who we all needed to wake up, fast, like, right now.
But then, people did start to wake up, laws were changed, and slowly, attitudes changed.
Our nation got woke up, in no small part because a somewhat rag tag movement of social revolutionaries were screaming at them to wake up, wake up to the injustices that were deeply embedded against everybody not a white male in the USA.
Woke used to be a good word.
But, it's not all bad on my side of the aisle, Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other so-called New Atheists are (or were) very much opposed to the New Woke excesses. That is because we strongly convinced atheists are first and foremost rationalists, and for reasons generally well described in the OP, the current New Woke is largely irrational.
OBTW, we can all welcome Joy Baher to the pushback, in her case against leftist book banning, which infantilizes as opposed to educates our children.
If it took a Nixon to go to China perhaps it takes a Joy Baher to call out the left on the banning of classics.
Sometimes I just want to grab somebody by the shoulders and say "hey, kids, the war is over, we won, just go home and enjoy the victory, it was for everybody, both sides won".
But then I realize, all is not yet won, there is still religion :-)
"Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali"
At least these ultra leftists have names, unlike you. Trashing people, like Christopher Hitchens' intellectually light weight and dishonest attempt to "cancel" Mother Teresa of Calcutta in your war on "religion" is good stuff? How about your own superstition?
"we strongly convinced atheists are first and foremost rationalists"
Atheism is not rational unless circular thinking is rational, which it is not. Atheism like yours can be logical (a computer operating over internal, correct, logic operations can be nevertheless caught in an endless loop) but it is not rational. It has been correctly described as "The Last Superstition".
From previous “not-even-an-armchair-philosopher”.
Woke was a self-aggrandizing term, once largely used by secular humanists, to refer to themselves, similar to the way atheists use terms like “freethinker” or “rationalists”. And for the record, the ideas the woke have been peddling really haven’t changed at all since then. They’ve just become mainstream. But because the ideas are so bad and so visible and so extremely easy to ridicule, they’ve realized their only recourse is to turn the moniker they created and which is now haunting them into some sort of vague slight concocted by their tormentors.
But this is sort of par for the course for “your side”, if you want to call it that. As is establishing “your side” as one who has always fought on the right side of everything. As is deciding, without even a hint of sarcasm or self-awareness, that “your side” has the market cornered on rationality (or would have, if not for the “New Woke” who came along and ruined it all). As is “your side” decrying racism at the same time as asserting how deeply embedded injustices preclude and are the fruits of all white men. These and many of the other behaviors “your side” exhibits are not those of rational actors. Are you aware of the symptoms of NPD?
One of the biggest issues I attribute to the woke is that they clearly think everyone who disagrees with them necessarily and diametrically opposes the causes they believe in. But “my side’s” problem with the woke isn’t with their causes per se: it’s with their absurd, narcissistic trust in their own intellects, despite proving time and time again how utterly incapable they are at interpreting data/history, diagnosing root causes, and solving the world’s problems. It’s with them cloaking their first-world angst or “western privilege” in false virtue. It’s with their dishonesty. And, it’s especially with their sophomoric, intentional ignoring or amplifying of whatever case or cause célèbre gives them them the freedom to continue to be angry at or even hate specific persons or groups of people, namely God and the religious.
I should be loath to offer advice on how to be a more convincing atheist, but I’m not. (E.g., using occasional self-deprecation builds trust; and asking probing questions is far more efficient and often more effective at sowing doubt in your audience than attempting to build your case.) And the reason I’m not is because you don’t pose any danger of helping gain a victory over religion. About the best you can hope to achieve is a face made at an uncharitable or off-target response to one of your insipid comments.
"using occasional self-deprecation builds trust; and asking probing questions"
Sorry, I missed where you followed your own advice.
Care to start over in the manner you advised me to follow?
"Sorry, I missed where you followed your own advice.
Care to start over in the manner you advised me to follow?"
He mocks your method, whereby you seem to think your chilling and irrational attack on Christianity can be made "friendly" by following your threat with a smiley.
Okay. Here we go.
I’ve done virtually nothing to help make the world a better place. I’ve always been a selfish, inadequate human being. If hell is real and sin is the way to get there, I should consider it a just punishment for all that I’ve done and continue to do.
I’m also an idiot. I know next to nothing, and there’s a lot that I don’t (and may never) fully understand.
And you’re 100% correct about my conduct. I gave you advice on how to be a more persuasive atheist – advice that could be used by virtually anyone wanting to persuade another to consider or at least respect their point of view – and nowhere in my post did I follow that same advice.
I could go on and on, but since I’ve already established that I’m a prick, it’s time for some probing questions.
1. Do you know what a tu quoque type response is? And what difference would it have made for you if I had followed my own advice? Are you more open to considering my opinions now that I am? Or is this too little too late, and your request was more of a rhetorical one?
2. Do you agree that a person referring to themself and anyone who happens to agree with them as “woke” is a bit smug? Or do you see how aligning yourself with those on your “side of the aisle” whom you consider purely “rationalist” and faultless of the obtrusive excesses of the “New Woke” comes across as similarly complacent? Or do you yet recognize how imagining yourself as the herald of victory over every sweeping positive social change in the past century or so while at the same time distancing yourself from any and all negative consequences or new/unremitting social issues might come across to others as a tad too self-congratulatory? Do you notice how the sum of your ramblings, and how you personally factor into them, is suspiciously neat?
3. Since you claim to be a rationalist, and therefore that you draw on available knowledge (rather than conviction) to form your opinions, can you provide the data which showed you that “strongly convinced atheists are first and foremost rationalists”, i.e., that they naturally or via some known process dismiss all prejudgments, superstitions, or other types of opinions that can proceed from irrational attitudes or psychological impulses? Or, since you claim to have this extraordinary knack for rationality AND consider the defeat of religion to be a step in the right direction, can you provide the data which proved to you that this goal was rationally justifiable, e.g., provided that X = “societally harmful outcomes” and that X can be rationally defined (without leaning on quasi-religious precepts like homosexual relationships are net societally beneficial because love is love) that a) religious adherents cause X, b) that the relationship between religion and X is causal and c) that the erosion of religion eliminates or reverses X? (I’m no scientist, but that seems like a reasonable set of hypotheses.)
4. And finally, do you think it’s fair to say that in commenting on this board you continually demonstrate a willingness to come to a better understanding of the philosophy of religion or to seek common ground or agreement with people you otherwise disagree with regarding what’s true? Or do you think it’s more fair to say that you come here feeling that you’re pretty well adjusted, learned & basically in the right, and therefore are here to teach rather than to learn?
"I’ve already established that I’m a prick"
They say confession is good for the soul.
"1. Do you know what a tu quoque type response is?"
Yes, it is a logical fallacy I did not commit because I did not assert you were wrong by virtue of not following your own advice.
I merely invited you to employ a methodology of communication absent your prior displayed hypocrisy.
"2. Do you agree that a person referring to themself and anyone who happens to agree with them as “woke” is a bit smug?"
"whom you consider purely “rationalist” and faultless"
"at the same time distancing yourself from any and all negative consequences or new/unremitting social issues"
"Do you notice how the sum of your ramblings, and how you personally factor into them, is suspiciously neat?"
I do endeavor to write neatly. If you find that suspicious than is on you. Would you trust me if I wrote sloppily?
"that they naturally or via some known process dismiss all prejudgments, superstitions, or other types of opinions that can proceed from irrational attitudes or psychological impulses?"
Strawman. An "ist" is one who endeavors toward some goal or methodology or process or ideal, not one who achieves perfection of process or attainment.
"can you provide the data which proved to you that this goal was rationally justifiable"
Yes, I can identify the false premises and logical fallacies in every argument for the existence of god on offer, that is, arguments commonly expressed.
I value sound arguments, that is, my personal sensibilities hold in high esteem arguments that are sound, and hold in low regard arguments that are unsound. In my personal sensibilities that is an overwhelmingly positive justification for the "defeat" of religion.
"provided that X = “societally harmful outcomes”"
Outcomes can have importance, but that is not my primary justification for seeking the "defeat" of religion.
On the subject of outcomes more generally, I do not accept that inequality of outcomes necessarily proves inequality of opportunity.
"without leaning on quasi-religious precepts like homosexual relationships are net societally beneficial because love is love"
Ok, I won't make that assertion.
P-a) religious adherents cause X,
P-b) that the relationship between religion and X is causal and
C-c) that the erosion of religion eliminates or reverses X?
I realize you said these were a set of hypotheses, so perhaps it is unfair to use c as a conclusion, but just supposing somebody were to make that argument...
In that case such an argument would suffer from the fallacy of denying the antecedent, which is actually the fallacy of concluding the negation of the consequent having denied the antecedent.
If r then X
therefore not X
That is a logically fallacious argument because there could be other logical pathways to X even in the absence of r.
However, humanity does not progress on logical arguments alone.
If r = fundamentalist Islam
If X = women forced to wear the burka
Then, in general reduction of Islamic fundamentalism is likely to be accompanied by a reduction of forced burka wearing.
If it can be shown that r is the major driver of X then it is likely that a reduction in r will reduce the frequency of X.
If r = drunk driving
If X = traffic collisions
Then reducing r can reasonably be anticipated to reduce X.
"Or do you think it’s more fair to say that you come here feeling that you’re pretty well adjusted, learned & basically in the right, and therefore are here to teach rather than to learn?"
Learning makes me a better teacher. For example on another thread a subject was Scotus, who I knew little about. One of the posters here kindly provided some links to his works. Reading those links and other sources I learned details of Scotus's arguments.
Having learned some of the arguments I was able to identify some unsound premises and therefore teach how the argument fails, which is by far the most important thing to learn about arguments for the existence of god, that all such arguments on offer fail.
"that all such arguments, [for the existence of God], on offer fail"
Well this isn't very careful, because that an argument for the existence of God might fail does not prove that God does not exist, nor have you heard them all so it does not follow that "all such arguments fail". But most important is that choosing freely to assume the existence of God does not lead to any contradiction except with a prior assumption that God does not exist. That assumption leads to your irrational circular logic that invalidly concludes that God does not exist.
This is the logic that you humorously and continually display, and by further insisting, with the free choice you have been given, that there is no choice ("no need" and other wishful or emotional additional premises), you are not now even capable of understanding that your circular argument is wrong. 🤣
Ignoring the science that says science cannot make accurate predictions is not a correct argument from science that God does not exist. It is a merely sloppy and careless way to falsely conclude your silly desire. 🤣
Pray for the light to expand your understanding. Prayer is the way out of your otherwise hopeless circularity. 😏
But perhaps you have already been graced with sufficient light to be able to doubt your apparent belief that God does not exist. It is easy to see your avoidance of absolute assertion by the use of expressions like "merely invited", "endeavor", "personal", "commonly", "strawman", "won't make that assertion", "it is unfair", "likely", "such".
Anyway, you are not a good teacher. You are aligned with chilling and dangerous attacks on religion that encourages violent repression and denies freedom of choice. Therefore …
again I warn all to beware this, at worst, hatred motivated, careering nut, who threatens religion.
Having learned some of the arguments I was able to identify some unsound premises and therefore teach how the argument fails,
On that other thread you argured that straight lines are circles, that velocity is the same as force and that batteries do not contain electrons, not to mention that inanimate objects move themselves (which even dogs percieve as false). What is the title of the course you teach? "Why Pluto Was Wrong?"
"it is a logical fallacy I did not commit because I did not assert you were wrong by virtue of not following your own advice"
Oh, I see.
Then I must not have committed a strawman, because I did not assert you were wrong by virtue of my misrepresentation of your unquestionably lofty opinion regarding “we strongly convinced atheists”. I merely invited you to consider the complacency you displayed by declaring your group “first and foremost rationalists”. See what I did there?
Let’s say I admit to stretching the meaning of what you said. And therefore please do me a favor and replace “purely rationalist” with “more than anything rationalist” or “devoted rationalists” or even just “rationalists”, and see whether what I was argueing is altered by my misrepresentation.
And BTW, do you count yourself among strongly convinced atheists whose rationality is or could be compromised by wishful thinking, mental disorder, etc.? After all, if you’ll only admit to having speculated on reasonable grounds, it hardly counts as admitting to being somewhat irrational, and therefore I can stand by what I said.
Can you point out a single instance where you personally implicate yourself in a negative consequence or new/unremitting social issue? If so, I’ll gladly retract this. In your post you used pronouns like “they”, “themselves” and “you” while referring to the implicated, and only used a personal pronoun while discussing atheists whom you say opposed the excesses. I don’t see the strawman.
Unless you’re nitpicking about “any and all”. If so, do as you did previously and replace “any and all…” with “all of the… you mention” and see what it does. Nothing. At best you could accuse me of exaggerating. But I personally don’t believe I am. I sincerely feel that you’re the type of person who thinks they’re batting 1.000 in terms of being on the “right side of history”.
“I do endeavor to write neatly. If you find that suspicious than is on you. Would you trust me if I wrote sloppily?”
You’re conspicuously missing the point of the word “neat” in my conclusion. I’m sorry, but I thought I was being quite clear. I believe you suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. The neatness refers to how everything you say tends to perfect your persona while denigrating others. Hence my recommendation to try self-deprecation. I actually thought it might help force you to self-reflect, and perhaps start to chip away at the monument you’ve been building to replace God.
“Strawman. An "ist" is one who endeavors…”
I thought my inclusion of “some known process” made that an available option. Processes aren’t exclusively natural. Furthermore, the word “dismiss” can qualify either as a requisite achievement or quality to which one can refer for proper judgement. You’re really starting to split hairs.
“Yes, I can identify the false premises and logical fallacies in every argument for the existence of god…”
Wow! Achievement unlocked! So, is this claim based on having heard every argument and having soundly defeated it already? Or is it an assurance that you’re able to confidently draw out of some general rule of thumb? Either way, un-freaking-believable. You did it. You S.O.B, you actually did it!
“… In my personal sensibilities that is an overwhelmingly positive justification for the "defeat" of religion.”
I can’t help but notice how closely this resembles the worst sort of dogma or superstition. You’ve merely substituted powers of authority or a rabbit’s foot with the powers of your own personal feelings. Impressive. Most other atheists simply cry “science!” when they can’t justify an irrational conclusion.
“Outcomes can have importance, but that is not my primary justification for seeking the "defeat" of religion.”
Fine. I never said it was. I used outcomes as an example. But pray tell, what would your primary justification be? I mean, as a former atheist I’m pretty sure I know what it is, but let’s hear you out.
“On the subject of outcomes more generally, I do not accept that inequality of outcomes necessarily proves inequality of opportunity.”
Yay! Common ground. Maybe we can build on it?
[Sciency mumbo jumbo]
C’mon dude. I have a high school education. But as far as I can tell, you briefly detoured into showing how an argument I wasn’t making would be fallacious, and then went on to show how, at best, the reduction of any causal r might reduce one of its effects X. This is a simplistic waste of space.
[Your last two paragraphs]
Will you permit me an eye roll? It looks as if you’re attempting to pass off confirmation bias as scholarship here. So far you haven’t shown me a crumb of evidence or even a lick of common sense, and yet you want to assure me that you’re here simply for a fresh supply of inexpensive fodder to feed your students? What a buch of baloney.
Look. I’m really not hoping to be mean here. What I want to do is break down just one of the barriers that prevents you from accepting a single religious proposition without assuming your usual role. Someone did it for me about 20 years ago and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.
Will you surprise me? Or will you continue doing that thing you do?
"You are aligned with chilling and dangerous attacks on religion that encourages violent repression and denies freedom of choice. Therefore …Delete
again I warn all to beware this, at worst, hatred motivated, careering nut, who threatens religion."
"Wokeness is a paranoid delusional hyper-egalitarian mindset that tends to see oppression and injustice where they do not exist or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist."
Is there a special term for a paranoid delusional hyper-religious mindset that tends to see religious oppression and religious injustice where they do not exist or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist?
Perhaps Christian Persecution Derangment Syndrome? Well, if so, that is rather cumbersome. I mean, if we are going to give labels to particular sorts of paranoid delusional mindsets it would be handy to have a nice snappy short one for the hyper-religious sort.
How about "god delusion"?
"Then I must not have committed a strawman, because I did not assert you were wrong ... See what I did there?"
Yes, you had originally attributed to me views I did not express and do not hold, which is inherently an instance of a strawman.
"Let’s say I admit to stretching the meaning of what you said."
If you continue on this pattern of confessions your soul will continue to improve, it may be said.
"And BTW, do you count yourself among strongly convinced atheists whose rationality is or could be compromised by wishful thinking, mental disorder, etc.?"
Clearly I am not the crazy one, rather, every other person on Earth is crazy. JK.
One of the principles scientifically minded people generally follow is that we are all potentially susceptible to all the human shortcomings, errors of judgement, distorted senses, confirmation bias, and all the rest.
"Can you point out a single instance where you personally implicate yourself in a negative consequence or new/unremitting social issue?"
I think we went a little too far with the free love thing, not that I think it was or is morally wrong, but having unprotected sex with multiple partners simply is a pathogen transmission mechanism.
"I believe you suffer from narcissistic personality disorder."
Gee thanks a lot for the free diagnosis, Dr. Internet Freud, but it is worth what I paid for it.
"the monument you’ve been building to replace God."
Why would I need anything to replace nothing? Makes no sense. Again, your internet psychoanalysis is worth spit.
"You’re really starting to split hairs."
Thank you, I can be a stickler for making sense.
"So, is this claim based on having heard every argument and having soundly defeated it already?"
On offer, yes, there just are not that many in general circulation.
"Or is it an assurance that you’re able to confidently draw out of some general rule of thumb?"
They all suffer from at least one of a fairly small set of potential defects, such as false notions of causality, wrong ideas about infinity, confusion between ontological versus logical possibilities, the incoherence of combinations of properties, lack of added explanatory value, and various logical fallacies.
For each slight re-arrangement of argument it is a fairly simple matter to identify the false premises and/or logical fallacies employed.
"Either way, un-freaking-believable."
Not really so difficult, the set of arguments on offer and the set of of their basic defects comprise two fairly small sets.
"You’ve merely substituted powers of authority or a rabbit’s foot with the powers of your own personal feelings."
You used the word "justification". Justifications are personal judgements.
"But as far as I can tell, you briefly detoured into showing how an argument I wasn’t making would be fallacious,"
Yes, that was me just having a bit of fun.
"yet you want to assure me that you’re here simply for a fresh supply of inexpensive fodder to feed your students?"
I don't usually say much about personal motivations because they are not independently verifiable. You said some things about learning versus teaching, which is a part of what I do here, not intended to be comprehensive.
"What I want to do is break down just one of the barriers that prevents you from accepting a single religious proposition without assuming your usual role."
Any particular single religious proposition?
"Will you surprise me? Or will you continue doing that thing you do?"
Are you suggesting I should do what I don't do? Sorry, I don't do that :-)
Oh, wait, I see, you think I should do new things, do different things in the future as opposed to what I have done in the past. Well, I suppose, maybe, one never knows, but it has been a very long time since I have seen a fundamentally new religious proposition, so it seems highly unlikely anybody is going to propose a new one that makes any more sense than all the old ones.
But by all means, give it a go.
Your comments about "woke" do not help you one bit 😀.
Since you think you can and have proven that God does not exist, although no such proof has been offered here, your false "knowledge" that God does not exist needs explanation. It is not hard to find one. It stems from your prior certainty about what you believe, which does not allow any other conclusion to be made without self-contradiction. This confines your thought to a tight circle from which only doubt as to your initial certainty allows any hope of escape.
That is pretty easy to understand 😀.
You have only ignored demonstrations that you have failed in your "proofs" and have not at all dealt with the hypothesis that "God exists" contradicts nothing but the assumption you make that "God does not exist", and reason does not work where the simple argument "you have contradicted me therefore you are wrong and I am right" is anything but a delusional parody of thought.
Yet you insistently stand on your false and circular "proofs", cutely summed up to Terrier in the funny but meaningless question, "why would I need anything to replace nothing?"
Ok then. If nothing is in your head, you need to replace it. 🤣
Priests, nuns, and churches are attacked, murdered, and destroyed every day. Dismissing this (your usual empty form of argument) by singing out "paranoia" does not convert God haters into safe and trustworthy people. It is just more circularity in which your promotion of God hatred cannot promote God hatred because … "nothing".
So, what causes the uncertain future that science formally asserts of sensible matter in quantum mechanics to become a particular present?
Something does. "There are no causes" is just running and hiding from pretty strong evidence of the existence of this Something, obviously motivated by the desire to stay in your tight circle of irrational logic.
Got anything other than dismissing by ignoring and running?
The cause, beneath measurable detection, we call "God".
The "nothing!" that you assert as your answer is literally "in your head". You are obsessed with "nothing" in the face of solid scientific evidence that there is Something.
So what causes the particular present to be?
Since violent God haters exist and are encouraged in their violence against religion and against freedom of choice by the likes of you, I again warn all:
All! Beware this, at worst, hatred motivated, careering nut, who threatens religion and freedom.
It is quite hilarious that your argument, thanks to your respinse to Terrier, has collapsed into "nothing therefore nothing therefore I am right!🤣"
Thanks for the good joke in all your seriousness 😀.
Look at how I spelled "response" as "respinse" in my last message to you. Pretty funny joke huh?
Oh darn, nobody's laughing. I gues I'm just not nearly as good at joking as you are😀.
Good analysis, as always, although I think this is incomplete.ReplyDelete
For instance, I agree with some woke points, and disagree with others. Those I agree with, in particular the scientific basis for the acceptance of the reality of transexuality, and some aspects of intersectionality, I discuss rationally with no issues. In fact, I wouldn't even know what it is like to be emotional about such topics, it just isn't in my nature. As such, I'm not woke according this post's definition of wokeness.
On the flip side, my aligning with the woke crowd on those two topics and, more generally, with many aspects of 3rd-wave feminism, even if it doesn't qualify as woke behavior proper (I suppose this blog's reader would simply view me as being confused and/or in error), still in some measures "clusters" me closer to the woke crowd than to, say, the mainstream progressive one, and evidently quite far away from the conservative camp.
I wonder what would be a proper term to designate this position, of being unemotionally, only rationally, aligned adjacently to the woke camp as defined here? Any suggestions?
@Alexander, “scientific basis” does not translate into “acceptance.” There might be a scientific basis for theft, but that doesn't mean we should accept or approve of it. And even if we accept it, there's a world of difference between that and your vanilla cross-dresser who wants access to women's restrooms and locker rooms for free looks. Why should the overwhelming number of genuine women have their privacy rights violated for every pervert who's considered a woman on the mere claim that he is one?Delete
Without a fuller understanding of which aspects of intersectionality and 3rd wave feminism you align yourself with it would be hard to say. One possible label for your camp is "progressive" (as the term is currently used).Delete
Which aspects of third wave feminism and intersectionality do you align yourself with?
@Anonymous: I see 3rd wave feminism as a course correction on 2nd wave.Delete
2nd wave feminism was (is) heavily inspired on Marx's attempt to completely deny the natural basis of gender differences, under the notion gender roles are pure social constructs devoid of any basis on material reality, and therefore a form of oppression of men over women.
3rd wave feminism rejects that denial of natural gender differences. For 3rd wavers, gender differences are real, and grounded on biology. The major difference from how conservatives understand those differences and grounding are on the depth of the knowledge involved.
Conservatives ground their understanding on 3 key areas:
a) The obvious, visible morphological differences between male and female bodies, reproductive abilities, organs present or absent from bodies etc.;
b) Basic genetic models of sexuality, basically the X/Y chromosomal distinction, as discovered in 1905;
c) And, for religious conservatives in particular, certain assumptions on the nature and operation of supernatural aspects of human beings.
3rd wave feminism takes into account much more recent studies on the differences between genders, in particular morphological differences in brain connectomes marking brains as male-shaped or female-shaped, and how these brain shapes sometimes are mismatched with their corresponding body morphologies, leading to literal, physical cases of female-shaped brains, with female cognitive operations and female body mappings (motor and sensory cortical homunculus) in male bodies, and the other way around, male-shaped brain in female bodies, plus the resulting psychological mismatch that results from these mismatched body shapes.
This course correction taking recent biological discoveries, as well as acceptance of inherent gender differences, is what led 3rd wave feminism to become accepting of transsexuality, contrary to 2nd wave feminism, which saw (sees) transsexuals as enemies, their very presumed existence a denial of 2nd wave's incorrect belief on the reality of inherent biological gender differences.
This also leads to another point of 3rd wave feminism I agree with, which is the belief there are indeed biological-grounded differences in social roles between male-brained and female-brained individuals. However, these cannot be properly known without first making sure the baseline political and economic conditions are such that those natural differences may show themselves as such, rather than being confused with those that exist due to education and life conditions inducing more differences than those (aka, first nature gender differences as distinct from second nature gender differences).
(And, on the point of the spiritual interpretation of such aspects, those can be made fit with different assumptions about the supernatural aspects of human beings.)
That, in a nutshell, are my agreements with 3rd wave feminism. My disagreements stem from its reliance on Postmodernist modes of thinking, with which I disagree, as I don't see Postmodernism as conducive to any constructive work, being, as it is, purely destructive.
In regards to intersectionality, I see it in terms of a distinction I personally make between someone pointing the existence of a problem, and that same someone suggesting solutions for those problems. That is to say, I see the problems intersectionalists notice and describe as reflective of something real, even if not literally as they themselves describe and frame such problems, and even if I don't think the solutions they propose to make sense.
This attitude I apply to everything, mind. When conservatives point problems they perceive in something, my attitude is also to consider these problems real, even if not literally as expressed and framed by conservatives.
In my ideal world, all sides would sit down, present the problems they perceive, be taken seriously by all other sides, and everyone would try and find an arrangement of social institutions that tried to minimize the total quantity of problems, rather than regarding only their own perceived problems as real, and the problems others perceive as non-existent.
@Bill: Complementing my reply to Anonymous above (or below, Blogger is sometimes a little confusing), I'd say your worry is a valid one, taken in abstract. In practice there have been studies on the risks involved, and while they aren't non-zero, they're small compared to the risks male-to-female transsexual individuals have of being physically harmed when using male restrooms. In a well-adjusted society the decision on which way to go in this specific matter would take both metrics and define a policy designed to minimize the total harm done to all the involved.Delete
That said, my own preference would be for a policy of requiring three restrooms: a male-only, a female-only, and a single occupant one for others. This may be somewhat burdensome to property owners, but it isn't that much different from when, for example, single-sex schools were turned into mixed-sex ones, requiring similar adaptations to their facilities.
Either way, I think this is a very small problem that doesn't deserve even a fraction of the attention it receives in the media. The impression I have is that politicians from both sides like to keep this on the spotlight because it serves as an easy distraction from actually relevant matters. People keep heatedly discussing this, and neglect to focus on everything else that's much more important.
PS: I noticed two typos in my replies above. I guess my meaning is clear in context, but here are the two corrections:Delete
a) "2nd wave's incorrect belief" to "2nd wave's incorrect disbelief";
b) "while they aren't non-zero" to "while they are non-zero".
@Alexander, thanks for your reply. I never raised any concern about violence. I specifically mentioned privacy, which used to be a hallmark of liberalism. Although the threat of violence is a concern, please recall that separate restrooms were created to protect privacy rights, not to oppress women. The solution is not to violate the privacy rights of the vast majority of biological females by granting any Tom, Dick, or Harry access to personal spaces just because they identify as female. And contrary to your dismissal, this is a valid concern across the country.Delete
For those with medically diagnosed biological abnormalities, they can get a doctor's certificate and be “accepted” accordingly. The answer isn't to claim to be whatever you want so you can go wherever you want. For as long as they've existed, men have been trying to get into areas reserved for women. From hidden cameras, two-way mirrors, cross-dressing and drilling holes in walls, even crawling into wide enough duct spaces, some fellas will do anything for a peek. And now, we have this insane policy that allows those same men to waltz openly into places with a waive of their “I'm a female” badge. Or, they can hang out in all-gender locker rooms and restrooms to get their jollies. All this for a handful of abnormalities? I think not.
@Alexander Gieg, thanks for the lengthy and well-explained reply. I would think that "progressive" or "woke-adjacent" (as you suggested in your OP) would be the best label for your camp. Or, better yet, avoid camps altogether; you seem to be an independent thinker.Delete
@Bill: Ah, understood. Yes, I agree that the most appropriate way is having a doctor diagnostic in hands. Merely saying one is this or that shouldn't be enough, for the reasons you delineate.Delete
I'd add a minor caveat. A full gender dysphoria diagnostic allowing the person to obtain a gender reassignment surgery requires, as far as I remember, living as the opposite gender for a full year. As such, I'd include as an acceptable document a medical statement the person is engaged in the year-long pre-treatment for the surgery.
And, evidently, all of this is dependent upon the law not negatively interfering with medical knowledge and practice, but rather giving the medical professional associations liberty to determine procedures and full legal support to their recommendations, otherwise things enter into a catch-22, almost Kafkian, situation.
@Anonymous: Indeed. I had excellent conservative and progressive teachers, and thus have a good grasp of how both sides argument, and what they focus on, as well as agreements and disagreements on specific positions with each. I suppose most of my agreements fall on the progressive side, but several are definitely at odds with it, and some align with neither, so there's that too. :-)Delete
3rd wave feminism takes into account much more recent studies on the differences between genders, in particular morphological differences in brain connectomes marking brains as male-shaped or female-shaped, and how these brain shapes sometimes are mismatched with their corresponding body morphologies,Delete
I am not a doctor, but I have had a technical job for decades, and I have had to learn to read medical journals for parts of my job. When I read the above, my first thought was "much more recent studies" very likely means it is not yet fully settled or accepted in science yet. Sure enough: just on the first page of a google search, I get an article from 2013 by Madhura Ingalhalikar, et al, saying:
In all supratentorial regions, males had greater within-hemispheric connectivity, as well as enhanced modularity and transitivity, whereas between-hemispheric connectivity and cross-module participation predominated in females.
and then a 2019 article by Jiang Xin, et al, saying:
Nevertheless, existing studies are yet to provide consistent results on exploring the difference of brain structure between men and women. Ingalhalikar et al. (2014) argued that the men have greater intra-hemispheric connection via the corpus callosum while women have greater interhemispheric connectivity. However, other studies reported no significant gender difference in brain structure (Raz et al., 2001; Salat et al., 2005). A recent critical opinion article suggested that more research is needed to investigate whether men and women really have different brain structures (Joel and Tarrasch, 2014).
And then this from 2021 by Lise Eliot, et. al.:
With the explosion of neuroimaging, differences between male and female brains have been exhaustively analyzed. Here we synthesize three decades of human MRI and postmortem data, emphasizing meta-analyses and other large studies, which collectively reveal few reliable sex/gender differences and a history of unreplicated claims. Males’ brains are larger than females’ from birth, stabilizing around 11 % in adults. This size difference accounts for other reproducible findings: higher white/gray matter ratio, intra- versus interhemispheric connectivity, and regional cortical and subcortical volumes in males. But when structural and lateralization differences are present independent of size, sex/gender explains only about 1% of total variance. Connectome differences and multivariate sex/gender prediction are largely based on brain size, and perform poorly across diverse populations. Task-based fMRI has especially failed to find reproducible activation differences between men and women in verbal, spatial or emotion processing due to high rates of false discovery. Overall, male/female brain differences appear trivial and population-specific. The human brain is not “sexually dimorphic.”
Finally, this one provides an appropriate layer of caution:
By analyzing the connectome of just a small part of the fly brain — the central complex, which plays an important role in navigation — Dr. Jayaraman and his colleagues identified dozens of new neuron types and pinpointed neural circuits that appear to help flies make their way through the world. The work could ultimately help provide insight into how all kinds of animal brains, including our own, process a flood of sensory information and translate it into appropriate action.
"Could ultimately" means we have a long ways to go. I don't think we are yet in a position to say that the work being done now with "connectomes" and neural imaging is anything like settled science, and urge caution in drawing conclusions as important as required for transgender social matters. In particular, even the authors of the first study above, claiming a strong set of results, still established considerable ranges of phenomena for males and females, with overlaps among individuals on specific characteristics. We know this well from obvious morphological attributes: men are taller than women, even though plenty of men are smaller than 5' 8", and plenty of women are taller.Delete
Just as importantly, drawing conclusions for changing major societal arrangements from a (possibility) that there are people who have a female body but a male "connectome" is fraught with difficulty: at an obvious level, WHO IS TO SAY which one (the body or the connectome) is more important for X purpose, and who again for an aggregate of X1, X2, X3 purposes that may have different individual answers? Who decides whether there must be only one answer rather than multiple: "for X1 purpose, this person is better off being considered male, but for X2 purpose, female"? Who decides whether the very fact of there being a dichotomy represents a disorder or not? These are all issues that probably cannot even be addressed usefully as if they needed solutions or that there must be definite solutions, even before the science is settled that "shows" a definite problem to begin with.
Recently, we had three major banks fail due to foolish policies. Far right politicians are now bellowing the real cause of these failures was bank wokeness. Republicam Mike Crapo headed the GOP effort to eliminate the banking safeguards put in place after the real estate derivatives of 2008. Signed into law by Trump.
Now we keep having train derailments nation wide. Again, right wing politicians put the blame on woke policies, not the GOP's successful effort to kill railroad safety policies.
Wokeness is the new right wing. Total BS with an agenda. political boogyman. Bad old Democrats want y9u to get vaccinated and wear a mask in public spaces? Wokism destroying American freedoms? Really!
A quick google for right wing attempts to blame big bank failures and train wrecks will show you what this Woke panic is really about. Right winged nonsense with a bad agenda.
In fact, the collapse of SVB was caused by a series of events beginning with the investment of most of their balance sheet in short term fixed income securities at low interest rates combined with a high concentration of deposits from tech startups. This was hunky dory for a while but then 2 things happened. The Fed could no longer hold interest rates down due to raging inflation caused by the idiotic infusion of trillions of dollars into the economy by the government, and the drying up of Venture Cap investment due to a slow economy. This meant that the depositors had to spend cash on hand rather than additional VC investments and so were withdrawing large amounts of money from SVB. This forced the bank to sell assets to cover the withdrawals while the rising interest rates meant that the bank's assets were worth less and less and so they had to sell more and more. Then the word went out to a favored few from VC firms that the bank was unstable and the run was on. Not at all different from what happened in 1929, really. The wokeness comes in when you learn that the acting Chief Risk Officer at the bank was more concerned with LGBT causes than with the soundness of the balance sheet.Delete
Can your usual partisan nonsense.
@Bill L: DEI policies (diversity, equity, inclusion) are common across the financial system, they weren't exclusive of SVB. In fact, several studies over the last several years have shown that DEI policies measurably increase profits, which is why banks adopt it, as can be seen in the first link below. Wasn't that the case and banks would have dropped the practice irrespective of PR.Delete
Rather, the reason SVB and other banks do risky operations such as this is the belief they'll get government bailouts. Generally this is a valid assumption, especially when they all start breaking together, as happened in 2008, so banks include this in their risk calculations and act accordingly. SVB's error was in doing it more than the others and breaking ahead of time, which in turn is prompting government to look deeper into these practices. So the other banks who were all doing similar stuff are now having to take a step back.
For the actual historical background on why and how banks behave this way, and connections to SVB's behavior, check the second link.
Mr G. You are back!Delete
After the 2008 meltdown, strong programs were enacted to rein in banker foolishness. The bankers and GOP hated that. And fought to deregulate these banks. Senator Mike Crapo lead a GOP committee to deregulate the banks. And the GOP passed it. Trump signed it. And many banks went hog wild and forgot the lessons of the past. Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank. All went under do to their abject incompetence. Senator Elizabeth Warren and many experts predicted exactly this would happen. It did right on schedule
No, it had nothing to do with wokeness which is merely a right wing myth to deflect blame from GOP and banker greed and incompetence.
A big spreader of this BS has been everybody's favorite Fox News goofball, Tucker Carlson.
Janet Yeltson has vowed no money for bank bailouts. By blaming these bank failures on wokeness the culprits hope to convince enough people it was not banker greed and incompetence, and that these poor bankers deserve a big government bailout.
@ Bill L
"The wokeness comes in when you learn that the acting Chief Risk Officer at the bank was more concerned with LGBT causes than with the soundness of the balance sheet."
The lack of wokeness was when bankers started making the same stupid mistakes after Trump and
The GOP deregulated the banks.
Google short sellers, banks. The short sellers, those who understood the principles of sound banking and could do math, bet big money on the obvious failures sure to come. These short sellers profited by $3.2 billion dollars.
It was not wokeness that destroyed these banks. It was inability to learn from past failures, an inability to do math.
It's good to see you Mr. G!Delete
I've been having this conversation more and more lately. The left are constantly accusing opponents of being unable to define these terms.
You probably know the issue came up on Wednesday when Bethany Mandel stumbled over the definition of "woke" when appearing as a guest on "Rising". She finally did say, "It is sort of the understanding that we need to totally reimagine and redo society in order to create hierarchies of oppression."
In a segment on MSNBC, Alex Wagner ridiculed Mandel's stumbling but ignored Mandel's off-the-cuff definition which is basically correct. Wagner also made the outrageous claim that "so far the only person to actually define what woke actually is is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis." (I don't know if she's that ignorant or if she's just that comfortable with lying.) Regardless, Wagner cited Taryn Fenske, DeSantis's communications director: woke is a "slang term for activism…progressive activism." Wagner added part of DeSantis's general counsel's (Ryan Newman) definition: woke is "the belief that there are systemic injustices in our society and the need to address them."
And therein lies the problem with short definitions of complex terms. The 'woke' MSNBC personality ignored the fact that Ryan Newman and DeSantis believe those systemic injustices are largely imaginary. So she ridiculed the watered-down definition, "which sounds right, maybe even sort of sensible? Maybe that's why the anti-woke movement has such a hard time with it."
But of course she's cherry-picked what we anti-woke actually say and, instead, created a straw man. She did that even when she just aired a better and less woke-friendly definition made by the stumbling Alex Wagner.
In a conversation I defined woke as follows:
Wokeness is a political framework. It imagines it and it alone knows what "social justice" is. It filters reality through the lens of oppressed and oppressor. The supposed oppressed are POC, some women or those who deviate from sexual norms. It is vehemently anti-white and usually anti-Western. It's become an umbrella term encompassing all sorts of leftist agendas including BLM, CRT, radical feminism, trans activism, fat activism, 'white privilege', so-called 'equity', decolonization etc. It refuses to believe inequality of outcome could possibly be explained by cultural failures or personal biological deficiencies. So it creates a boogeyman out of the 'oppressors' -- the 'oppressors' normally being white males. With the 'oppressors' being sufficiently dehumanized, woke adherents feel justified in their own discriminatory practices, outright bigotry and hate. Wokeness is so certain of its own moral rightness it will listen to no debate on its tenets and will try to silence anyone who disagrees. Bottom line, wokeness is an activist ideology of hate and self-delusion.
Nobody should fall into the trap of making short, bumper-sticker definitions of these political terms.
"Wokeness is a paranoid delusional hyper-egalitarian mindset that tends to see oppression and injustice where they do not exist or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist".ReplyDelete
This is actually so accurate that if Wuellner was still around he should include it in the Dictionary of Scholastic Philosophy.
Btw, amazing post, Ed!
It occurs to me as highly ironic that the same people screaming "gotcha!" at any difficulties to define "woke" given their demonstrable lack of being able to define the word "woman."ReplyDelete
One of these words has existed in every human language of human history, the other was created in the last 10ish years. Which word do you expect to be easier to define?
Stones, glass houses, some assembly required.
I tend to regard some terms as well-meant variations on previous usages. Reading the term 'woke' for the first time, my impression was something like : oh, a new, cryptic term for social awareness---coined for fast times and a society uninterested in long winded explanations. See what I mean? I lost you after the first half-dozen words. Then, as time passed quickly and interests, preferences and motives subsumed original intention, people basrardized the term. After such alterations occurred, intention was erased. Soon, no one knew what the word originally meant. Happens a lot.ReplyDelete
Within the context of a Freirean "pedagogy of revolution" cultivating psychological instability is a feature, not a bug.ReplyDelete
That is, though still coming from an overall Marxist view of progress, instead of detailed, constant instruction in the the tenets per se (think Leninist Russia or Maoist China), Freire's insight--if we want to call it that--was that if you educated people into an encompassing psychological revulsion at the world as it is, they would revolt and destroy the existing institutions without having to have a detailed theory as to why or what comes next.
The "work" of constant revolution would become available on the cheap, as it were.
Excellent article. I would add that the emotional reasoning that comes from the woke crowd usually if not always fits the definition of "fundamentalism" provided by Eric Voegelin, that is, reasoning that comes from words and the feeling these words generate (anything goes here, "racism", "equality", "structural", etc) instead of using words that actually describe a given sociological reality. Not only this explains their sociopathic approach to argument, it also explains the emotional instability one often finds in their ranks. When one disconnects from reality - by essentially not being able or willing to describe it - neurosis is sure to follow.ReplyDelete
"Oppression or injustice where they do not exist" is rather subjective. I have lived in the Deep Red South (Ala Ga, and Ms) all my 73 years. I was a "troublemaker" growing up. I asked my dad why there were separate water fountains for white and "colored " people. He said that it had always been that way. I would anger him and all good white folks by drinking out of the "colored" water fountain. My grandmother had a black maid who had a beautiful older daughter who taught me how to kiss. We would walk around Union Springs, Ala holding hands. People would stare at us, called me a "nigger lover" and I just flipped them off and kept walking. My grandfather was Chief of Police so no one bothered me. He did tell me to "behave" myself. My uncle would get drunk and beat up his wife, but she had to take it because back then, in small Southern towns, men didn't get charged with domestic violence. That's the way it was there until the 1970s when things began to change. But you see, even though I hadn't heard of the word "woke," I was a "woke" kid way before my time.ReplyDelete
I doubt that anyone on this forum would argue that oppression and injustice did not exist in the US in the past. So, by Prof. Fesser's definition of "woke", the fact that you perceived oppression and injustice at a time and place where it existed does not indicate that you were a woke kid.Delete
Oppression and injustice still exist in my Deep Red South. It is just not as open and blatant as it was decades ago. And now the governor of my state and it's Republican legislature want to whitewash our past.
@Anonymous at 5:13 PMDelete
(I am the Anonymous to whom you replied)
I too live in the deep south (albeit in a highly diverse suburb of a large city). Honesty, I don't see much or any systemic oppression or injustice any more, either in my community or nationwide, albeit there are obviously some individuals who still hold to bigoted views. What are some examples of the oppression and injustice that you observe?
Much of the trouble of the current debate is that it centers around generalities that are difficult to address or discuss rather than specifics.
Houston TX. ain't the small cities of AL GA and MS. It's a different way of life here. Whites can't legally let blacks be 'separate but equal" as they did when I was young. Many fine, educated, well meaning , Christian whites thought that was best for society.Delete
When they couldn't maintain that separation
they moved away and separated themselves from black folk. And now it's woke to let young people today know about the past and what was done.
@Anonymous at 4:54 PMDelete
Ironic that you would mention "separate but equal" as an example of a current injustice. I agree that segregation is bad. But, at the current time, it is the woke/progressive side pushing for segregation. Several progressive colleges have separate graduation ceremonies for different racial groups, several have dorms dedicated to specific racial groups, and there is even now a separate black national anthem.
I agree with you that "separate but equal" is a bad idea, but it is a bad idea being pushed by the woke camp.
Your only other response was a suggestion that it was woke to "let young people today know about the past and what was done".
As far as I know, none of the republican initiatives prevent in any way an objective teaching of slavery, conflicts with the indigenous population, Jim Crow, or anything of that sort. Basically they are intended to prevent teaching to K-12 students of dubious and ideologically loaded material.
"Honesty, I don't see much or any systemic oppression or injustice any more, either in my community or nationwide, albeit there are obviously some individuals who still hold to bigoted views."
I agree. I graduated high school in Lewisville, Texas in 1972. The school was integrated with a small black population. I saw no signs of racial bigotry while I was there. I was an athlete and got a four year scholarship to North Texas. That's where I first saw obvious racial tension. But black athletes were just as bigoted as whites. I learned that racial bigotry -- "white supremacy" or "black supremacy" -- were not necessarily a big concern. We could still play friendly games of pool together. We could still root for each other. We could still have friendly conversations. The most tension involved what radio station we listened to. So a white guy didn't want to be stuck in the black van and have to listen to hours of Barry White, and a black guy didn't want to be stuck on the white van and listen to hours of Elton John. We separated voluntarily due to culture, not race. Since then I've always looked with suspicion on the claim that racism is the boogeyman it's made out to be. I've doubted racism is a big factor in one-on-one, personal interactions. In the end most of us want the best for people we know personally. We have different preferences and that's okay.
By your definition I would argue a fairly large amount modern day conservatives are woke. They complain about the oppression around the 2020 election, anti-white racism, Christian oppression, etc. I would argue all of these supposed inequities either don't exist or are greatly exaggerated. I don't think your definition is adequate.ReplyDelete
No such word exists in the English dictionary. Please try to re-define your question. Signed Google and the internet generally.
Origins: "How woke went from black to bad"ReplyDelete
I endorse what Screwtape Jenkins said. By your definition, a fairly large number of modern conservatives are "woke." They complain about how they are victimized. Victimized by people who argue that producers of surplus value should be able to determine how that surplus value is allocated. Or something.ReplyDelete
Some people may want to try to bring a Catholic monarchy or the equivalent into political power in the USA or in some other country. Many of us who love freedom will oppose such an attempt. Cant about who is or is not "woke" is a distraction. The ground point is whether we have a state in which prevails: 1) freedom of conscience; 2) Catholic doctrine and precept.
Screwtape and ficino,ReplyDelete
You're forgetting that "hyper-egalitarian" is part of the proposed definition, and that would not apply to the people you're describing. You may or may not be able to make the case that they have some characteristics in common, but what I'm trying to capture in the definition is a specifically left-wing phenomenon.
I don't know what you mean by hyper-egalitarian if you think the people on the right don't fit the term. I think the people who complain about the election are being egalitarian - they think their votes should count and they believe they weren't. I think people who complain about reverse racism and Christian oppression are being egalitarian - they want to be treated equally to minorities or Non-Christians and they believe they aren't.Delete
Honestly, when you spoke about emotional reasoning, the image that jumped into my mind was an election denier. If you take the specific references to left-wing politics out of it, this article perfectly describes the state of mind of the election denier, or the climate change denier, or the person who thinks the covid vaccine is more dangerous than the disease. What your describing is an irrational malady common to the fringes of both the left and right wing. It's just when this malady appears on the left you call it "woke," and when it happens on the right we just call it "Trumpism."
The irrationality itself is the real problem in our politics - the problem is that people both left and right are in rebellion against the notion of objective truth. The "do your own research" conservatives are just as guilty of this as the "live your truth" liberals.
@Screwtape Jenkins Perhaps those who complain about the election are being egalitarian, but they are not being hyper-egalitarian. After all, few on either the left or the right would deny that everyone's vote should count. The contentious point made by those complaining is that their votes were not counted.Delete
The hyper-egalitarian claim made by the woke camp is that any difference in outcome (e.g. any wealth discrepancy, any income discrepancy, etc.) is an injustice. This claim is not well supported by either evidence or argumentation, and in fact good arguments exist against the claim.
This is why the election complainers are not hyper egalitarian but the woke camp is.
(Note that I am not endorsing the arguments of the election complainers, I am just denying that their arguments are not hyper-egalitarian.)
"What you're describing is an irrational malady common to the fringes of both the left and right wing. It's just when this malady appears on the left you call it 'woke,' and when it happens on the right we just call it 'Trumpism.'"
I agree there is an abundance of irrationality on both left and right. But there are big differences between 'Trumpism' and 'wokeness'.
There are few if any education entry points into Trumpism. It's not part of a college curriculum. It's not part of the mindset in freshmen orientation. There are no forbidden words or mandatory pronouns. There is no equivalent of the Evergreen fiasco from Trumpster students. Trumpism has almost no influence in education, regardless of the outcry about DeSantis's policies or textbook fights in Texas. These are minor adjustments.
Likewise in companies. There is no equivalent to DEI hiring for Trumpism. There is no 'diversity' guideline for Trump groupies. There is no company policy that's 'inclusive' of Trumpsters. (You might find an unspoken policy in that Pillow Guy's company, but there are very few of these flakes.) There is no seminar or training to make employees sensitive to the feelings of Trumpsters, or to cultivate Trumpster empathy. Nobody worries about 'microaggression' toward a Trump groupie. It's more likely encouraged.
Likewise in the culture. There is no serious challenge from Trumpism in movies, TV, or novels. You won't see "sensitivity readers" look for ways a novel might offend Trumpsters. Culturally, Trumpism is a drop in the bucket in its influence. If we look at the culture honestly, there is no doubt that Trump and his groupies may slow the direction ever so slightly but they are powerless to move it toward their worldview. Broadly, conservatives (though I hesitate to call Trumpsters conservatives) have failed to make significant headway culturally.
Trumpism is more dangerous short-term to our political system. But wokeness is a much greater long term danger to our country and Western Civilization. Wokeness will fail only because they push things too far. Even their own kind will start to question the ideology. I think we're already seeing signs of that.
I don't know of any politician or scholar who believes that literally any disparity in outcome for any reason is an injustice. So I don't know of anyone who would meet this mysterious criteria of "hyper-egalitarian." That phrase is in as much need of definition as the term it is being deployed to define.
Either this definition is so broad as to be applicable to everyone, or it relies on a complete strawman. Either way, we don't have a good definition for woke.
(And by the way, I would concede that the inability to define woke is as big a problem for people who identify as woke as it is for the people who attack wokeness. I think both sides are muddle-headed, and are wasting time and oxygen on a stupid culture war that is more about a dislike of people who are culturally dissimilar to them than it is about anything substantive.)
I agree there is no university system devoted to Trumpism. By the same token, there is no major news network or talk radio empire devoted to wokeness.
I just have to scratch my head when you claim there is no support for Trumpism on TV - you mean other than the three 24-hour news channels entirely devoted to it?!
How about an entire social media platform not only dedicated to Trump but owned by him? How about the youtube empires of Stephen Crowder, Ben Shapiro, Gavin McInnes, etc?
And tell me - what television channels or shows are woke as opposed to just left-leaning? And this is the problem of the inability to define wokeness. It just ends up meaning anything to the left of you that makes you uncomfortable.
And there are definitely forbidden words and/or concepts within Trumpism: Happy Holidays, anti-abortion advocates, President Joe Biden. (That last one was a joke, but just barely.)
Wokeism and Trumpism are different in the kinds of stupidity they endorse but equal in the degree, in my opinion.
You're all being ridiculous.
@Screwtape at 7:30 AM (I am the Anonymous to whom you replied)Delete
And yet disparities of income are often offered by woke individuals as "proof" of injustice with no explanation of exactly what level of disparity would be required to constitute an injustice and no explanation of why such disparities are an injustice.
I agree that the whole woke debate is unfortunate and I wish that it did not exist. The problem is that if those opposed to wokeness decide to sit out the debate then wokeness will proceed unimpeded. As Edmund Burke once said, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing".
"And yet disparities of income are often offered by woke individuals as "proof" of injustice with no explanation of exactly what level of disparity would be required to constitute an injustice and no explanation of why such disparities are an injustice."
Give me an example of someone doing this, because I've never seen anyone do it.
What I have seen is left-leaning people say that, for example, when a woman of equal qualifications does the same job as a man, she should earn equal pay. I don't think it should be necessary to explain why a woman not receiving equal pay under that circumstance would be an injustice.
Or to take another example, I've heard them say that the inequality in wealth between African American families and white families are unjust *to the extent* that those inequalities are caused by systemic racism. And it being that generating wealth takes decades, there is ample evidence that these inequalities are to a very large extent the result of past systemic racism. As I mentioned to another poster, much white wealth in America is due to home ownership. Thanks to their being denied access to the Homestead Act, being systematically discriminated against with the FHA, redlining practices with the banks, etc, African Americans have been systematically excluded from home ownership for hundreds of years, and that is a big reason why they have lower levels of home ownership and, consequently, wealth, today.
The work of explaining why these disparities are unjust has been done, it's just that many unengaged conservative critics simply haven't bothered to do the reading. And at the risk of repeating myself, I will again say that all of this predates the concept of wokeness by several generations. So we still don't have a good definition of what constitutes wokeness.
This was my sentence: "There is no serious challenge from Trumpism in movies, TV, or novels."
I was talking about entertainment (fiction) programming, not political programming. Although I don't watch Fox, I hear Fox has largely turned on Trump in preference to DeSantis. Fox's love affair with Trump was like a one-night-stand in all its sleazy details.
Meanwhile CNN and MSNBC were vehemently anti-Trump. CBS, ABC, and NBC were also anti-Trump. Trump's only major safe haven was Fox and talk radio. So there was stiff opposition to Trumpism from news and pundits. IOW, there was balance. Trumpism was both worshiped and condemned, and probably condemned far more than not.
Trump's Truth Social is a failure.
Trump recent CPAC was a failure.
Trumpism had a shelf life of a maximum of 8 years but he didn't even reach that before rot set in. He was an insidious influence but he's a has-been.
Regardless, that's all political coverage. It's election cycle stuff. It's the junk food of our culture. The real culture, the culture I'm speaking of, dwarfs politics.
Where is Trumpism found in any of our artistic cultural output? Output that will last? Where is the artistic opposition to wokeness in any medium? That's what I'm asking.
"And tell me - what television channels or shows are woke as opposed to just left-leaning?"
Virtually every one of them. Virtually every commercial too. A naive observer could watch TV and conclude the US population was over 50% black. They might conclude every American was best buddies with a gay person. They could conclude every American cannot get through a day without help from some representative of a 'diversity' group. That observer could rightly ask, "What is all this talk of economic disparity about? Blacks apparently fill every good job out there and at great numbers -- in way higher numbers than their 13% of the population would justify." The same economic question could be asked about women.
"And there are definitely forbidden words and/or concepts within Trumpism"
Well, that's not Trumpism but I agree with you somewhat. The difference is that 'conservatives' don't control the cultural establishment in a way that could have any real effect. They are heckling from the cheap seats.
"A naive observer could watch TV and conclude the US population was over 50% black". It's the same here in the UK. According to the 2021 census the black population is 4%, but you'd never know it from watching TV. It seems more like 20%. They're very often in positions of authority, and historical dramas even though the percentage of blacks in those times was virtually nil. But there isn't really diversity because although the percentage of asians in the UK is more than double that of blacks at 9.4%, they are comparatively rarely seen on TV, presumably because they aren't "oppressed" to the same extent.Delete
@screwtape at 4:19 PMDelete
So we still don't have a good definition of what constitutes wokeness.
I think prof. Feser’s definition is just fine, particularly with (another) anonymous’ s addition: together with “the insistence that every aspect of society be oriented towards correcting those perceived injustices”.
Now, on to your specific comments:
> Give me an example of someone doing this, because I've never seen anyone do it.
If you have never seen the claim made that income or wealth inequality is evidence of injustice, without qualification of what level in inequality would constitute an injustice, or without an explanation of why such an inequality would constitute an injustice, I have no words, except “I don’t believe you”. This is particularly true in popular (non-academic) communication. But, wokeness is as much a popular phenomenon as it is an academic phenomenon. I apologize, but I am not going to waste my time looking for specific references.
> What I have seen is left-leaning people say that, for example, when a woman of equal qualifications does the same job as a man, she should earn equal pay. I don't think it should be necessary to explain why a woman not receiving equal pay under that circumstance would be an injustice.
Most of the studies of the “income gap” have focused on aggregate studies. When you look at specific fields, the income gap disappears or in some cases is inverted. For example, if you look at engineers in the starting range (ages 22-35) of the career, women engineers do as well (salary-wise) or better than men. Do you know of any studies that show that woman of equal qualifications doing the same job as a men receive lower pay? If so, please provide them. Also, the aggregate “income gap” between men and women can largely be explained by a small percentage of high-income men – CEOs, senior partners in law firms, commissioned sales persons, etc. There is a larger pay gap between such high earners (men or women) and the average person (man or woman) on the street than there is between men and women in aggregate.
> Or to take another example, I've heard them say that the inequality in wealth between African American families and white families are unjust *to the extent* that those inequalities are caused by systemic racism.
Yes, that is the question – to what extent is the wealth gap between African American families and white families due to systemic racism? That is a difficult question, but the answer is usually provided quite glibly by the woke camp. In reality we’ve had over a generation of awareness of past injustices, an elimination of those injustices, and programs to mitigate the effects of those injustices. No single variate analysis will yield the answer to this question.In my view, although past injustices certainly occurred, we have largely or entirely eradicated unequal treatment from western societies’ systems. What is your view?
I am obviously not saying that every single person who identifies as woke gives an exhaustive explanation of systemic inequality every time they make a public statement. I'm saying that there are no public officials who say that the causes of the inequality are unknown or mysterious. The point is, the leftist theories on the causes of inequality are well-established and well-articulated. There are oceans and oceans of books, articles, research papers, studies, etc, to substantiate the position. Again, that most people here are largely ignorant of the work is hardly due to "wokeness," but to the fact that you - like most people - live in an ideological bubble.
Believe me, as a liberal, I might have even less patience for a 20-something liberal college graduate going on television making grandiose claims about "The Patriarchy" that they can't in any way substantiate. But those people aren't any more representative of liberalism or "the left" in general than a MAGA-hat wearing election denier is representative of all conservatism.
My plea is that we recognize that things haven't really changed that much. Most people, left and right, are still sane. It's just the media - particuarly social media - amplifies the voices of the most crass people in the room because it helps their bottom line. And it causes me great despair that even very intelligent, very good people can be susceptible to this. Your liberal neighbors do not want to break into your house and turn all your children into trans, CRT Marxist-Socialists. They probably just want Nationalized Health care and some gun reform. Likewise, I know most conservatives aren't QAnon cultists. They just want lower taxes and a secure border. We have to stop letting the worst people in our country make us hate each other.
To all the people saying that Black actors are overrepresented on television, that is demonstrably false.Delete
You can google this, but white actors have consistently constituted around 70% of actors in commercials in America for the past decade or so, despite the fact that they are only 59% of the population. Meanwhile Black actors have constituted around 15% of the actors in commercials over the same time period, which is pretty much exactly proportional to their population. If anything, Whites are overrepresented in commercials and always have been.
There is one arguably woke saying that I wholeheartedly agree with - "If you're used to being privileged, equality feels like oppression." You guys are used to commercials being almost entirely white, so proportionate casting seems oppressive to you. That's the only explanation I can see, because the numbers are there and have been consistent.
That you have a problem seeing people of color in authority is something you have to work out with our God.
@Screwtape - I agree with you regarding commercials - by golly if I see a black couple enjoying an Ooni pizza oven on TV I'm just as likely to buy it as if I see a white couple. What matters to me is the pizza, not the race of the people enjoying it. People of all races can enjoy a pizza cooked over a wood fire! Same with mobile telephone service - I really don't care the race of the pitchman (or pitchwoman) - I just want mobile service with an inexpensive rate!Delete
Regarding your comments about inequality, not so much - the institutional barriers to financial success based on race and gender that existed in the 50's and 60's simply no longer exist. Once you can show me a multivariate analysis that accounts for all possible causes of income disparities that still shows a significant differential due primarily to race or gender, get back with me.
Ed, I've read "All One in Christ" even though I'm not a Catholic, and only nominally a Christian. It's a wonderful book, but I'm wondering whether it would have reached a wider audience if it had been titled simply : "A Critique of Critical Race Theory". Perhaps you could (self) publish a non-denominational version? The more people who see this nonsense for what it is, the better.ReplyDelete
Its Antiwhite. Thats all you need to say. Conservatives will always lose. Fancy words, no substance.ReplyDelete
"Wokeness is a paranoid delusional hyper-egalitarian mindset that tends to see oppression and injustice where they do not exist or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist."ReplyDelete
I'd say that "tends to see" should be "insists (and depends) on seeing" and that "egalitarian" has its Orwellian meaning: "All humans are equal, but some humans are more equal than others."
At best, the woke want blacks to be privileged over whites, Muslims over Christians, transgenders over the sane, etc, etc. At worst, they want to enslave the latter groups to the former groups.
And wokeness is delusional in the same sense as communism: some of the woke may think they want a fair and equal world, but that's not what the ideology is designed to bring about and not what the woke elite want.
In recent years we have seen Jim Crow seeping into this nation. GOP voter
I note that just this week, Flor
Woke is a word weaponizing right wing bigotry.DeSantis banishing Rosa Parks to the Orwellian memory hole is what this boogyman of "woke" stands for now.
WCBida mandated the history of Rosa Parks be removed from Florida history text books. Parks most notably stood up for her rights, was arrested, but started a movement to stand up for black American rights that played an important role in the battle against Jim Crow. Naturally, DeSantas in his loudly proclaimed war against wokeness did not want students realize that one could fight things like segregation, Jim Crow oppression.
In recent years, we have seen the Jim Crow garbage creeping back into America. Extreme gerrymandering. Voter caging, harassment, discouragement and more. Attempts to make it harder to register to vote, attemps to attack vote by mail, early voting and more.
Thus we get things like America United. It is free speech for wealthy oligarchs to through unlim8ted money at favored politicians. But not free speech to give a bottle of water to a thirsty voter in a long line at a Georgia voting site.
Once you concede that "racism" exists, its just a matter of degree. Who is to say what is or what is not racist? Since its a fake word, anything is racist. Conservatives like Dr Feser, gullible, and determined to impress lefty, are the problem, not lefty.ReplyDelete
This post, with the definition, examples, and analysis, is extremely helpful. Thank you for your work on this. I hope that it continues as it is desperately needed right now. It would be useful for the restoration of sanity in our society if every politician of good will read your work.ReplyDelete
"3rd wave feminism takes into account much more recent studies on the differences between genders, in particular morphological differences in brain connectomes marking brains as male-shaped or female-shaped, and how these brain shapes sometimes are mismatched with their corresponding body morphologies, leading to literal, physical cases of female-shaped brains, with female cognitive operations and female body mappings (motor and sensory cortical homunculus) in male bodies, and the other way around, male-shaped brain in female bodies, plus the resulting psychological mismatch that results from these mismatched body shapes."ReplyDelete
This can be recognized while also recognizing that this is an abnormality and contrary to nature as the very distinctions presuppose that the male mind is naturally or normally fitted to the male body and the female mind is naturally fitted to the female body. This can be disrupted and studies should look into what causes such disruption between the mind and the body.
For example, the mind of boy might be terribly misshapen because he is treated *as if* he were a girl by an influential person or persons around him. That would cause terrible mental damage to a child that would be reflected in a tension between his intellect and his body. This is also possible if a society as a whole begins to act as if one's identity might be completely decoupled from one's body as if we are souls trapped in a body. That sort of damage is now widespread in our society as gender dysphoria is exploding among teenage girls who are being confused into thinking that their identity is determined solely by their will and imagination and that their bodies are not a part of who they are. In this, bad philosophy is making for bad psychology and, ultimately, psychological disorder.
The brain is not the mind.Delete
a) "This can be recognized while also recognizing that this is an abnormality and contrary to nature (...)"
That's a possible approach indeed, and certainly the one preferred by conservatives in general, and Neo-Scholastic ones in particular, but as usual things aren't so clear cut. Three complications are:
* The fact transsexuality in particular has been detected as having a strong genetic basis.
This has been identified by studying twins who were separated when very young, raised separately ignoring the existence of the other, and in which one is transsexual. In these cases, the other twin had about 25% chance of also being transsexual, which is several orders of magnitude more than one would expect was transsexuality caused by environmental factors alone, such as by the way they were raised. The genes associated with this tendency are being studied (maybe they've already been identified, I'm not sure), and over time may allow an early genetic diagnose for the potential for developing transsexuality.
This statistic doesn't account for those who don't develop it, so some environmental factors are likely also involved that trigger its development in some possessors of the relevant genes but not in others.
* The fact homosexuality and transsexuality appear in other species, and that, from among those species in which they occur, in several their natural purpose has been observed.
That purpose, interestingly enough, was the adoption of the offspring of parents who either abandoned them or, more frequently, were killed by predators. That is, since homosexual and transsexual individuals don't themselves reproduce, they direct their paternal and/or maternal instincts so that in aggregate they help the survival of their group and, more generally, that of their species.
* And the fact the ratio of transsexuals among the general population is increasing.
The old studies I found on this, from several decades ago, identified a ratio of 1 in 100,000 cases. More recent studies have shown it to have increased to 1 in 20,000, and then 1 in 10,000. And nowadays it's roughly at 1 in 300, though this number includes more cases than those with strict gender dysphoria, so the actual ratio is probably in between these last two numbers.
These suggest to me humanity, qua animal species, has a natural place and function for its LGBT+ members. That the potential for birth of LGBT+ individuals in a human population is likely an intrinsic trait of the species, one that mostly stays dormant but, when the proper conditions trigger its emergence, lead to an increase in the proportion of LGBT+ individuals in those populations -- probably followed, at a later date, by a decrease when those conditions cease being active.
If that's indeed the case, then it'd be fit for Neo-Scholastic thinking to expand its teleological arguments to encompass not one, but two possible natural end goals for human beings (I'd suggest calling these "first order natural teleology" and "second order natural teleology"), in addition to the supernatural one, making three. And, evidently, to properly draw the proper lines connecting those individual who were born into and are following the second order natural end goal of a human life with the supernatural goal.
@Michael Copas: (continuing...)Delete
b) "This can be disrupted and studies should look into what causes such disruption between the mind and the body."
Agreed. It's possible, in light of my first and third complications above, that the increase in proportion of LGBT+ individuals among the entire population, while natural, is being triggered by false signals as a result of, well, extensive messing with the environment.
For an example of this kind of effect, a few decades ago it was identified that lead paint cause people living in houses painted with it to become violent. Lead paint was cheaper than unleaded paint, so it was used mostly by poor people, particularly black people, whose neighborhoods were overwhelmingly painted with lead paint. The resulting increased violence among blacks was interpreted by those looking from without (and who didn't paint their houses with lead paint) as a deep moral failure, rather than as an environmental issue. When the actual physical reason was discovered, lead paint forbidden, and removed, the level of violence diminished.
Something similar might maybe be causing the increase in the ratio of LGBT+ births (and something else, or maybe the same, in the increase in autistic births etc.), rather than this being a natural effect of teleologies intrinsic to the human species, so investigating if that's the case could be worthy the effort.
c) "For example, the mind of boy might be terribly misshapen because he is treated *as if* he were a girl by an influential person or persons around him."
Yes. This has already happened, as I imagine you're thinking of some well known cases. I hope cases such as those are likely to become much rarer, or even non-existent, once reliable genetic and brain scanning techniques to detect transsexuality mature and become widespread. On the flip side, I hope those don't lead transphobic would-be parents to practice preventive abortion of transsexual fetuses.
d) "This is also possible if a society as a whole begins to act as if one's identity might be completely decoupled from one's body as if we are souls trapped in a body."
Well, the entire point of the proper, full recognition of transsexuality is for the fact it's a full corporeal phenomena, not imagination, and much less an accident, but an integral aspect of one's own substantiality. Evidently, that doesn't preclude someone from incorrectly imagining they're in this situation, and in these cases it's obviously a good thing to help the person overcome that delusion. But it's important to distinguish these cases of, let's call them "pseudo-transsexuality", from the real deal, otherwise one may err in the opposite direction and similarly hurt the innocent under the belied they're doing a good.
"Three complications are:
* The fact transsexuality in particular has been detected as having a strong genetic basis."
First, as you note, these studies do not exclude the influence of environmental factors. A control is impossible in this sort of data analysis.
Second, even if transgenderism had a largely genetic component, that does nothing to refute the assertion that it is also contrary to nature. Alcoholism has a genetic component and it too is contrary to nature.
"The fact homosexuality and transsexuality appear in other species, and that, from among those species in which they occur, in several their natural purpose has been observed.
That purpose, interestingly enough, was the adoption of the offspring of parents who either abandoned them or, more frequently, were killed by predators. That is, since homosexual and transsexual individuals don't themselves reproduce, they direct their paternal and/or maternal instincts so that in aggregate they help the survival of their group and, more generally, that of their species."
Two males monkeys or dogs (or whatever) caring for younger animals of the same species who lack parents is not a sign of "homosexuality". To read caring for orphaned animals as "homosexual" is a massive reading into the data something that is not there.
If, however, you are also pointing to sexual acts with the same sex that would of course point toward the existence of same sex acts among other animals, but would do nothing to create a necessary correlation between this with caring for orphaned members of the same species. That correlation is simply another act of reading into the data foregone conclusions. In other words, there is nothing natural about same sex acts even if it happens to be accompanied by another thing that happens to be good (caring for orphaned animals of the same species).
I will respond to the longer final point when I have a bit more time.
These suggest to me humanity, qua animal species, has a natural place and function for its LGBT+ members.Delete
That's not how science works. If it were true that the human genome had modeled itself to reflect environmental conditions that favored some individuals having homosexual tendencies, or some individuals having trans tendencies (importantly, these are NOT the same trait and therefore there is no reason to lump them as connected to the same favoring conditions), this could only be established on the basis of very long term studies of survival of populations with different rates of such individuals. That is, over many thousands of years. We have nothing like such long term studies. Without that, all we can do is conjecture that the trait shows up in the genome because it harbors an advantage. It is just as possible that over thousands of years, it will be proven to be disadvantageous. That's the trick with evolutionary change: you can't tell if something is going to be beneficial on a wide scale over a long term, except by observing on a wide scale over a long term. The fact the trait has shown up does nothing to say, one way the other. Nor can you say, from the mere fact that a trait has existed for some time, whether it was beneficial for some past environmental condition that no longer holds, or that it is beneficial for a condition that still applies to current populations. Maybe the trait is on its way out (taking the long view) because it no longer provides an advantage, but it does so slowly.
There are many, many species that can get cancer. This does not imply that there must be genes that make us prone to cancer that "must have provided some favorable advantage in the far past, which then got passed down to all the animals which now can get cancer."
Fox News 13, Tampa Bay, Florida
During the testimony, Warren's attorney, Jean-Jacques Cabou asked those within DeSantis' administration what "woke" meant to them.
The governor's general counsel, Ryan Newman, said, in general, it means "the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them." He added that DeSantis doesn't believe there are systemic injustices in the country, reports Florida Politics.
DeSantas proudly calls Florida "Where woke goes to die".
"The governor's general counsel, Ryan Newman, said, in general, it means "the belief there are systemic injustices in American society and the need to address them." He added that DeSantis doesn't believe there are systemic injustices in the country, reports Florida Politics."Delete
Well, if DeSantis says that, then it must be true, and if you disagree with him, you are woke!
And Newman was absolutely correct. The key word there is "systematic." Of course injustices are sometimes perpetrated by individuals against other individuals. But there is no "system" that programmatically excluded or oppressed any particular group. There wad at one time. Jim Crow and segregation were a set of laws that systematically excluded and oppressed black people in the American South. Those laws were dismantled over half a century ago. The "system" as it currently exists is expressly designed to undo the exclusion and oppression that took place under Jim Crow and segregation, and the informal system of exclusion in the North and prevent their recurrence. That doesn't mean discrimination no longer ever happens, but it happens in individual cases, and far from being designed as a "system," it is a violation of every expressed principle of the "system." DeSantis is correct that wokeness is the paranoid delusion that there exists some invisible, subterranean "system" of exclusion and oppression that must be destroyed in order to usher in the millennium.Delete
"Excluded" and "oppressed" in my second sentence should obviously be present tense. And "wad at one time" should obviously be "was at one time." The price I pay for typing on a phone with fat fingers.Delete
You're only right if the system has to be intentional and overt in its injustice. What about systems that create injustice unintentionally? Are we supposed to do nothing about them?
For example, in America, our public education is funded by local property taxes. This has the effect that the children of people who live in rich neighborhoods will go to excellent schools, and the children of those who live in poor neighborhoods will go to schools that are underfunded. This in term constitutes a system that perpetuates these inequalities. The children of the rich receive quality educations that allow the to perpetuate their wealth, and the children of the poor receive subpar educations that perpetuate their poverty. And the cycle continues.
Now let's say for the sake of argument that no one intentionally designed the system of funding schools through local property taxes to disadvantage poor children. It still disadvantages them, and does so systematically.
And even in your world where only individual injustice exists, if enough individuals in a single field perpetuate these injustices, the effects can still be systematic. If the banking system is filled with enough loan officers who all believe Black people are bad loan candidates, then the banking system will be de facto systematically racist.
Again, the stuff I'm saying is not even remotely "woke," this is common sense center-left policy and theory that has been with us for decades. That this is being classified as "woke" is yet further proof, if we needed any, that it is a meaningless term. It is simply deployed to shut down legitimate social critiques from the left without having to actually critically respond to the points that have been raised.
So, Fred, why does DeSantis want to" cancel"Delete
books that tell the ugly truth about centuries of racism in this country?
You’re assuming facts not in evidence. I live in Florida. DeSantis has precisely no desire to “cancel” books that teach about racism in America. The books he wants to exclude from elementary schools are mostly age inappropriate sex books. In fact, DeSantis tricked a hostile press into supporting his argument by showing illustrations from a book he actually found in an elementary school library in Florida. The media streaming the press conference had to shut down its stream due to violations of their explicit content rules.Delete
And Florida statute 1003.42(2)(h) plainly states, “(2)Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historic accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:
(h)The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society.”
You’ve been watching too much MSNBC.
@Anonymous at 7:52 PMDelete
As far as I know, none of the republican initiatives prevent in any way an objective teaching of slavery, conflicts with the indigenous population, Jim Crow, or anything of that sort. Basically they are intended to prevent teaching to K-12 students of dubious and ideologically loaded material.
Screwtape Jenkins, you're being disingenuous. Sure, there is a sense in which your poverty example could be called "systematic," but it is one thing to say "Poverty exists and disadvantages the poor." No one calls that "woke." It is entirely different to say, "People of color are poor because of an invisible subterranean "system" of white supremacy. The solution is to redistribute wealth from the illicit beneficiaries of that system to its victims." That's woke. Note the delusional paranoia, the reduction of poverty to a single factor, the unquestioning faith that radical solutions are both necessary and desirable.Delete
I'm sure you'll tell me, "Oh that doesn't exist. It's just a right-wing fantasy." Well, I wouldn't exactly call Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ibrahim X. Kendi, Beverly DiAngelo, Kimberle Crenshaw, et. al. right-wing fantasists.
"(...) wokeness is the paranoid delusion that there exists some invisible, subterranean 'system' of exclusion and oppression that must be destroyed."
I don't doubt there are woke people, particularly the less knowledgeable militants, who interpret things in an overtly literal way and thing of it in these very terms. But generally what progressive intellectuals mean when they talk about a system isn't something like a shadowy conspiracy that works behind the scenes trying to make life miserable for others.
The problem is fundamentally one of attribution. When someone does statistics and determine that "the average A does P, the average B does Q, so the average A is N% more/less R than the average B", the intention is to understand, and maybe alter, complex surface phenomena that emerges from social interactions. It *isn't* intended to mean that all individual A members are N% more/less R than all individual B members. But the, er, "average street-level militant" doesn't grasp (or doesn't want to grasp) such subtleties, and what he or she hears is exactly this. The end result is, evidently, "Check your privileges!!!" levels of ugly.
Be as it may, it's important to distinguish between these two level of discourse, the proper and the improper, and discuss them as distinct, as one of them involves actual analysis of real phenomena, even if the other is but a set of fallacies.
Are believing Christian are under attack and/or a persecuted minority in America examples of "wokeness?"ReplyDelete
Wokeness is the logical consequence of the Enlightenment: its reductio ad absurdum.ReplyDelete
If I believe my grandma is a car, giving her gasoline to drink is a logical consequence. From absurd premises, you get to insane consequences by applying valid logic.
From the absurdity of believing freedom, progress and equality are the highest good, you derive wokeness.
If all men are equal, the fact that some group of people perform worse can only be explained because of discrimination. Since the differences do not disappear when laws are made equal, the discrimination has to be subtle and unconscious. The road to paranoia is well established.
Progressives are similar to religious sects that predicted the end of the world and it didn't happen. They predicted that, after the laws would become equal, a non-discriminatory paradise on earth would happen. But this was a failed prediction Now they want to make sense of the non-arrival of the parousia by increasing their faith and looking for scapegoats
But conservative, who are liberals two weeks later, believe all this junk too. Look at how anyone talked about blacks 100 years ago, and NO ONE believed they were equal to whites. No one beleived women were equal to men. The problem is not lefty, lefty will always be insane, the problem is conservatives like Dr Feser, who think the races are interchangeable too. Once you believe in a lie, all the consequences are there. Its just a matter of time. Its really true what they say about the origins of the term "left and right". Conservatives believe in all the same stuff. They just want to go a little slower.Delete
"Wokeness is the logical consequence of the Enlightenment: its reductio ad absurdum."
I'd like to see you work from Kant's understanding of Enlightenment:
"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) 'Have the courage to use your own understanding,' is therefore the motto of the enlightenment."
"Wokeness is a paranoid delusional hyper-egalitarian mindset that tends to see oppression and injustice where they do not exist or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist."
IMO, wokeness is a rejection of the Enlightenment. Wokeness has much more in common with Puritanism -- it's a postmodern Puritanism.
"If all men are equal, the fact that some group of people perform worse can only be explained because of discrimination."
Or by two centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow. Or by decades of housing discrimination and banking discrimination. Or by decades of giving white people and only white people access to benefits like the GI Bill, the Homestead Act, Farming Subsidies, etc.
From absurdly unfair systems you get absurdly unfair outcomes.
No one is saying that current day inequalities are *entirely* due to these things, but to say these things play no role in current inequalities is equally absurd.
Liberals are not just saying "things are unequal so there must be an unseen injustice somewhere." Left-leaning cultural critics are completely capable of pointing out iron-clad specifics of how and where and why these disparities developed, and they have been doing this for decades before anyone ever heard of the term "woke."
@Anonymous. Agreed. This is why the right always loses. Because it accepts the absurd premises, but it does not want to accept the last logical consequence until it does. The real right is duty (the opposite to freedom), hierarchy (the opposite to equality) and tradition (the opposite to progress ). That is, the minimum for a healthy, sustainable society. A real right has not existed in the West after World War II. We only have outdated versions of the Left.Delete
"how and where and why these disparities developed, "Delete
Yes. Systemic racism and whiteness. How convincing
@Don. This is a straw man. I have explained in my first comment how wokeness derives from the Enlightenment. I never said that wokeness derives from a paragraph by Kant.Delete
Puritanism begat the Enlightenment, which begat wokeness. When you say that wokeness looks like Puritanism and not the Enlightenment, you are making a distinction without a difference
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"I have explained in my first comment how wokeness derives from the Enlightenment."
This is your attempt at explanation: "From the absurdity of believing freedom, progress and equality are the highest good, you derive wokeness."
Who in the Enlightenment believed equality of outcome was the highest good? Maybe Rousseau, but he didn't speak for all. Who believed freedom was the highest good rather than, say, a necessary condition before an individual could achieve a highest good as he understood it? You have made a strong assertion. You must show all of the diverse Enlightenment opinion through history determined wokeness, and determined wokeness to the exclusion of all diversity of political opinion we see today.
You seem to scoff at freedom. What are you going to replace it with? Surely not tyranny. So what offends you about freedom and why do you associate wokeness with progress toward freedom? I think you mentioned duty. I could argue wokeness is based on duty -- a duty and moral obligation to uplift the supposed oppressed. Regardless, you make big assumptions. I wouldn't call wokeness a quest for freedom or progress. I would call it a quest for conformity through arbitrary rules. Surely you don't deny technological progress. I suppose you mean social progress. "Progressive" is a misnomer. If "progressives" are woke, their wokeness is not progress. It's degenerative.
The Enlightenment was concerned with liberating the individual. Wokeness is concerned with "equity" of groups. I see no likeness. There is tension between the two. I am a believer in Enlightenment values. I reject wokeness. I'm not going to wake up tomorrow as a social justice warrior. Yet you assert there is a deterministic flow from liberated individual to equitable groups. Please show this deterministic cause and effect through history. Please show it in me -- wokeness as my unfortunate, miserable natural end. I know you will not be able to do this because it is not there.
"If all men are equal, the fact that some group of people perform worse can only be explained because of discrimination."
You imply Enlightenment philosophers could not see differences among groups. I suggest you read up on Kant's assessment of blacks. It's ironic that these men in our past are being erased from history because of their politically incorrect views on race or sex, yet you want to play like they had no such views, really. It is all a misunderstanding. They were closet wokesters, actually.
"I never said that wokeness derives from a paragraph by Kant."
You must prove more than that. You must prove wokeness *necessarily* derives from that paragraph by Kant. You must also prove it *necessarily* derives from Locke's Two Treatises of Government, Newton's Physics, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, through Friedrich Hayek's Road to Serfdom, etc...
Puritanism did not produce the Enlightenment except, possibly, as a reaction against it.
I agree progressives are similar to religious sects. They and 'conservatives' are disenchanted with Enlightenment values because those values did not result in their separate versions of paradise. You accuse progressives of looking for a scapegoat. I agree there too. But I say that scapegoat is the Enlightenment itself -- the very thing you say created them, their foundation. The reasoning is all too weird.
"Or by decades of giving white people and only white people access to benefits like the GI Bill, the Homestead Act, Farming Subsidies, etc."
Blacks benefited from both the GI Bill and farming subsidies. Your claim is too strong. You might argue the GI Bill and farming subsidies favored whites, but they did not exclude blacks. The Homestead Act of 1862? My family didn't benefit from it or any of the later ones. The actual benefit of those acts is hotly contested. One thing is sure -- it was no land giveaway to large masses of white citizens.
"Liberals are not just saying 'things are unequal so there must be an unseen injustice somewhere.'"
Liberals -- true liberals -- maybe not. There aren't many true liberals remaining. Leftists certainly do say, "things are unequal so there must be an unseen injustice somewhere." That is the only explanation they will accept. I agree left-leaning cultural critics pointing to specifics of how and where and why these disparities developed. But are those convincing? Are they causes or rather effects? Are they insurmountable obstacles? The problem with the left (or any ideologue) is that when they find an answer that suits their purpose they stop looking.
"Look at how anyone talked about blacks 100 years ago, and NO ONE believed they were equal to whites."
Look at how anyone talked about blacks 500 years ago, and no one believed they were different from whites in any meaningful way. Modern racism is the grandfather of 18th century Progressivism, brought about by the then so-called New Biology. It was developed in direct opposition of traditional Western beliefs about the equality of all men before God.
But if you want to see an actual earlier form of quasi-racial discrimination, I suggest you look back not 500, but about 1800 years. Back then North-European barbarian tribes were looked at with horror by the civilized South, and their blonde hair stereotyped as a clear sign of inferiority on all aspects. It took centuries, and the full Christianization of all the Germanic tribes, for this negative view to change, and then reverse.
Are you willing to go back with that, and consider blonde-haired Caucasians of Germanic ascent an inferior race to the much superior Mediterranean races? Or is this one somehow invalid because reasons?
"The real right is duty (the opposite to freedom), hierarchy (the opposite to equality) and tradition (the opposite to progress)."
These are all accidental. The ground rule should be truth. Duty in name of truth, if and when truth demands duty. Hierarchy to better advance truth, if and when truth needs hierarchy to be advanced. And Tradition as long as it is truthful and serves truth.
Case in point, Christianity broke all manners of duties, hierarchies and traditions as it spread: religious sacrificial and familial duties, political and religious authorities, civic, religious and cultural traditions. The list is long.
Besides, one interesting aspect in how defenders of strong hierarchies, by which they usually mean strong hereditary monarchies, tend to ignore 1 Samuel 8, in which the system of government defended isn't monarchy, but judgment: an alternating mix of strong duty/hierarchy/authority in war times *only*, with quasi-anarchy during peaceful times.
That alone strongly suggests none of those three factors is valuable by itself, but only conditionally. It depends on what they're directed towards, when, and how.
The real right is duty (the opposite to freedom), hierarchy (the opposite to equality) and tradition (the opposite to progress ). That is, the minimum for a healthy, sustainable society. A real right has not existed in the West after World War II. We only have outdated versions of the Left.Delete
I agree with Alexander G that these are not the essence of conservatism properly stated. I don't think he quite explained the reason, though. Conservatism is not for "duty", but for meeting duties as well as being blessed by gifts. It is not for "hierarchy" as such, but for properly aligned hierarchies, and against improper ones. And it is not "for tradition" blindly and absolutely (which A.G. correctly pointed out), it is for tradition as a default setting, a PRESUMPTION against certain kinds of change, but a rebuttable presumption that can be overcome by the right sort of evidence / reason.
To explain the latter 2 points. God created the world with various hierarchies of good embedded in it, in virtue of the natures of the beings he created. He expressed that truth in Genesis, by pointing out that the plants and animals are man's to order, for his good. However, man is not at the apex of created things, angels are. Conservatism supports human social hierarchies that have been established consonant with natural relation of beings, their natures, and their roles in the created economy. However, properly speaking, human authority exists as a service to the people ruled, not as a privilege or benefit. So hierarchies that glorify a leader at the expense of the welfare of the people are not sound hierarchies, and should not be favored by true conservatives.
Man is a social being, and man lives in society by forming hundreds and even thousands of customs. It is impossible to live (peaceably) side by side with many without customs to smooth the edges and corners of interaction. Customs are also the framework of virtues, i.e. human habits of excellence, for habits come from repeated action. Thus customs bear important and essential value for human flourishing. For this reason, customs are to be generally upheld, unless the (unavoidable, inherent) detriment to breaking a custom is less evil than the evils resulting from leaving the custom in place. This is how the default position in favor of tradition is rebuttable. (And tradition is not against the changes implied in organic growth, which is implicit in a harmonious society succeeding.)
It is not true that there has been no real conservatism in the world since WWII. What is true is that several partially defective versions of conservatism have been vying for dominance on the right, along with those holding the real conservatism. The most vocal variants of political conservatism fall short of true conservatism in one way or another, and for the most part true conservatives have not had the strong hand. It doesn't mean they aren't out there.
As a cautionary tale, though, there are quite a few politically naive babes-in-the-woods who have foolishly imagined that because Trump won the the White House as a Republican, he must be "right" or "conservative". Nothing could be further from the truth: Trump was a Democrat and a (moderate) liberal all his life long, and sought election as a Democrat in earlier times. Furthermore, in his entire 2016 campaign, he never tried to pretend that he "had an awakening" by which he shift from being liberal to conservative. The reality is that the Democratic party moved much farther leftward, while he stayed put, thus finding himself rightwards of most Dems merely by accident.
The whole woke phenomenon is just another carefully fenced-in pasture that the American people are allowed to graze in. Each "side" gets heroes and villains and outrages which are used to farm votes, donations, and to safely disperse genuine political will into irrelevancies.ReplyDelete
I like "weaponized political correctness" as a pithy definition of wokeness.ReplyDelete
This is a good postReplyDelete
I do think however there seems to be a wokeness-like phenomenon on the conservative aisle with regards to President Trump, this idea that he is the "only one" and anyone who dares to speak against him is a deluded leftist etc. Trump had his strengths and he did have some political accomplishments. But it seems like the time is come to move on from him. It was always clear that this man never really actually cared about any issue, they were only important as vote banks to him. The jabs he took at the pro life community were shameful, he was never really a fan of traditional marriage to begin with. The way he is bringing down promising candidates and anyone who threatens to steal his thunder. It's just wrong.
It's very likely that Trump will win the republican nomination, bu if a better candidate has to have any chance, it will require a concerted effort from all conservative influencers from commentators to lawyers to philosophers to religious figures, basically anyone with a prominent voice. The message has to be clear that we may have been bereft of better options before but that definitely isn't the case, a generational talent like Ron DeSantis won't be easy to find again. If everyone could rally for Trump, they could rally for De Santis as well, but it will require effort, small things like trying to convince your neighbours, friends, it may not reflect in the polls but it will reflect in the votes, that small split second where a seed of doubt planted way back may cause someone to pick De Santis over Trump. If we are any different then the woke adherents especially with regards to their most fatal error which is the complete denial of reality, we will make this happens, otherwise it seems like conservatism will be doomed to Trumpism forever.
I wouldn’t call that “wokeness” in any real sense of the word, that’s just a good old-fashioned cult of personality.Delete
To be fair tho, I did say "wokeness-like". And I mentioned the aspects in which they converge i.e reality denying, I could elaborate further by pointing out other similar aspects like constant reliance on twitter , primary mode of argument is trolls or memes. I mean take the troller in chief himself for example.My guy has responded to Ron De Santis by insinuating that he is a gay pedophile. And it's not surprising because he is Trump. Ofcourse he is gonna act that way, it's on us to choose better.Delete
I’d be interested to hear Dr. Feser’s thoughts on psychoanalytic figures, e.g. Lacan, etc. Is there much practicality and/or evidence for that kind of therapy (or philosophy) or is it just pretentious psychobabble? It seems to lack the objective & evidence-based qualities of CBT.ReplyDelete
There is something true about looking for archetypes in fiction. That is a type of psychoanalysis I can support.Delete
What exactly are “archetypes” in psychoanalysis? Are they the same thing as “universals” (to use metaphysical language)?Delete
@Adam Fitzgerald Good question. Archetypes are like the "base elements" of thought and personality, so they are somewhat similar to universals. Except it is easier to reify archetypes into characters.Delete
Daleks (from Doctor Who), for instance, represent an archetype. Naruto represents another archetype. Sherlock Holmes (or his modern incarnation Gregory House) represents yet another. Satan is also another archetype (who is represented in modern media by Dr. Eggman). There are many more, but these are just a sampling.
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A degree of catastrophizing is good (if not in excess), because you have to consider Low Probability High Impact prospects.ReplyDelete
I have to say you've hit the nail on the head. Thanks for your insightful and illuminating post.
By the way, I enjoyed reading your review of Thomas Ward’s "Ordered by Love: An Introduction to John Duns Scotus." I thought it was a very fair-minded article. Cheers.
"By characterizing wokeness as paranoid and delusional I am not flinging terms of abuse, but describing real psychological features of the woke attitude."
Likewise regarding the god delusion.
"During a recent interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, famed atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins declared, "there are two sexes, and that’s all there is to it."
He added that LGBTQ activists looking to discredit the reality of two biological sexes are pushing "utter nonsense."
Dawkins further noted that those going after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her commitment to the reality of two sexes are "bullies.""
Be it the god delusion or the woke delusion, we strongly convinced atheists of the "new" variety call out irrationality wherever and from whomever, without fear or favor.
Calling Thomistic views delusional is not a term of abuse, but describing a real psychological feature of the religious attitude.
"Likewise regarding the god delusion."
Ah, your convenient but false "inverse" argument. False because you must ignore that science itself does not support what you seek to prove. 😀
"we strongly convinced atheists of the 'new' variety call out irrationality wherever and from whomever, without fear or favor"
Well then you must call out yourself because ignoring that science itself contradicts your "proof" that science explains all is quite irrational. _Something_ that is not science explains how an uncertain future evolves into a solid present. It is logical but irrational to assume your conclusion when your assumption ignores what science demonstrates. But we know that arguing in a circle from a false premise is always possible. Even a computer, always following logical operations, can get stuck in an endless loop. That's where you are - stuck in an endless loop, but at least it is possible for you to break out yourself by making a free will choice to make a better assumption. I note, however, that your current occupation in the endless loop requires you to believe that you do not even have free will 😀.
I hope that all who think you might be making sense realize that your "sense" implies that they do not at all have free will or choice.
The _something_ that explains what makes the choices that, according to science itself, are not explained by science, we call God.
"Calling Thomistic views delusional is not a term of abuse, but describing a real psychological feature of the religious attitude."
Back to your irrational hatred of Aquinas, huh? And here it boils down to "the religious attitude", which is such a broad denunciation that it could denounce anything. But it at least shows you at your irrational, hatred motivated, worst.
All! - beware this careering nut! 🤣
"your irrational hatred of Aquinas"
"you at your irrational, hatred motivated, worst."
"All! - beware this careering nut!"
"paranoid and delusional"
"tends to see oppression and injustice where they do not exist"
"or greatly to exaggerate them where they do exist"
"characterizing ... as paranoid and delusional I am not flinging terms of abuse, but describing real psychological features"
The god delusion can range from mild paranoid rhetoric to suicidal violence, depending on which god delusions one suffers from.
Despite your unconvincing woke comments, you do suffer from a "God delusion", and that delusion is that there is no good reason to think that God exists. Your delusion ranges across the spectrum, expressing at different times, mild paranoid rhetoric, to chilling suggestions of violence, as desperately clinging to a single point of view and depicting "religion" as an enemy to be eliminated does indeed alarmingly suggest violent war on religion, and on my freedom of choice and that of others.
You maintain your delusion by ignoring all evidence that comes from science that you are wrong. You thinking is circular, which can be completely logical, as in:
Assuming A, then A->A->A->A … and on and on. Since this process of your choice will never consider, without choosing to break out, the alternative B, for which there is good evidence, your logic deductions are merely circular and are therefore irrational.
You career in whatever direction you see as being required to avoid B.
So again I warn all to beware this, at worst, hatred motivated, careering nut, who threatens religion.
"CRT does not attribute racism to white people as individuals or even to entire groups of people. Simply put, critical race theory states that U.S. social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race" Well said.ReplyDelete
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One alternative to defining "wokeness" is to give an example of it so that others can evaluate whether that example is delusional, paranoid etc. I offer this example of a lecture given earlier this year entitled,ReplyDelete
"Undergraduate mathematics education as a white cisheteropatriarchal space and opportunities for structural disruption to advance queer of color justice." You can look up the abstract of the lecture very easily and decide for yourself how to evaluate it.
Thanks for that reference. I agree examples are the best way to define wokeness. Critics point to examples all the time. So it's not honest for woke apologists to imply critics don't understand what they're talking about.
I found one of Leyva's papers, "Undergraduate Latin queer students’ intersectionality of mathematics experiences: A Borderlands perspective." This is a great example of wokeness, its paranoia and delusions and its attack on rationality. It never seems to cross their minds that just maybe the vast majority of their haloed in-group don't have the right stuff.
I'm late to the party here, and so I might not get an array of answers, but I find it interesting that some of our regular liberals visitors in the thread here are adamant that they don't see a difference between wokeness and what liberals have apparently always been advocating for. But once someone understands that CRT and wokeness is explicitly hostile to many liberal doctrines of formal equality before the law, e.g. racial color blindness, and epistemological objectivity, even in the hard sciences, the power of human reason, etc., it's clear they're competing ideologies and have distinct incompatibilities. However, I'm curious as to why our resident liberals have convinced themselves otherwise.ReplyDelete
Is it because:
1) Modern liberalism is largely indebted to Rawls and shares his ethical intuitions and distrust of inequality as such, thus making them unwitting easy to prey to CRT and woke claims about disparate impact and inequality between racial groups as prima facie evidence of racism and oppression?
2) Or is it social contagion and careerist self-interest in our technocratic oligarchical order that they inhabit? Accepting woke claims is a way to buoy social status and way to seem enlightened and virtuous in a socio/political order of progressive liberalism whose ideological, professional, and moral capital is equated with and justified by expertise. CRT's and wokeism's professed expertise is in implicit racism and unmasking hidden domination in the mundane. So there's plenty of professional and ideological motivation to keep their expertise up-to-date, so to speak, to just see woke as what liberalism has always been about, not realizing they've drifted further and further to left where they're no longer liberal in the substantive sense.
What do you all think?
I'm replying late to this, and am too tired to give a substantive reply, but start by reading these:Delete
http://www.lmschairman.org/2014/04/the-eich-affair-why-conservatives-are.html (and follow through to Part 2 etc)
Then I'd suggest going to read the works of Zippy Catholic (RIP).
Liberalism of all varieties -- be it classical Lockeanism, libertarianism, left-liberalism or woke-ism -- is inherently illogical and self-contradictory, because it pretends not to make any substantive 'value-claims', or to have any vision of the 'good life'. But it does: it can't be otherwise. From a contradiction, anything follows. Woke-ism follows from left-liberalism, which in turn follows from classical liberalism.
The article I linked to goes into a bit more detail, and Zippy goes into a lot more.
There is a ton more to say, and escaping the liberal mind-virus (which stops one from seeing that classical liberalism will inevitably descend into something like woke-ism) requires daily effort, but I suggest checking the links above.
There are as many different (disordered) daughters of the basic liberalism of the early "Enlightenment" (read: Endarkenment) period, which can claim to be merely "liberalism" but are in reality diverse theories. That they all stem from one evil root source at least in part does not preclude that they also add in diverse other elements not contained per se in that early liberalism, and which diverse other elements are mutually incompatible. Thus it is wrong to assume that because all of the movements of leftism in the modern era a "liberal", that all of them were equally the NECESSARY outflow of the errors of the early liberalism. There are plenty of contingent new errors added to the old to form the newer variants of leftism. Thus while they (relatively) true daughters of early liberalism, it is not the case that one could have predicted with certainty all of the variants to come into force.Delete
Similar things can be said philosophically of nominalism, from which a whole host of downstream errors have been born: that they owe something to nominalism does not preclude that they are, in fact, distinct from each other AND mutually incompatible with each other.
I am not so much saying that there are no differences between wokism and traditional liberalism. I'm saying:
1) That none of the attempts here to define those differences are convincing or successful, and
2) That there has been a concept creep amongst most conservatives, such that they have taken to calling anything to the left of them "woke," thus depriving the term of any unique meaning.
Even the more accurate definition you attempt here is I think conflating a lot of different strands of liberalism. (My working life has been in academia and in Hollywood, so I've been around these folks quite a bit, haha. I can see many different species where you see one family.)
First of all, I don't think traditional liberals, particularly Black intellectuals, have ever advocated for the kind of racial color blindness that conservatives try to erroneously attribute to MLK. MLK advocated for race-based programs to remedy inequality, and didn't see any contradiction between advocating for such programs and for pushing for a world where race wasn't a factor in a person's life. He - like most Black intellectuals - saw race-based programs as a way to achieve a society where race was no longer a predictor of a person's success of failure. So this isn't a case of wokeness going back on an old liberal tenet, it's the case of them taking up a cause Black liberals have long championed.
And I would say that, following Jordan Peterson, you are making the critical mistake of conflating wokies with postmodernists who deny the hard sciences, objectivity, etc. Most postmodernists are woke, but most woke people are not postmodernists. I would argue you wouldn't have found a lot of people who deny the hard sciences at a BLM rally. (I'm not saying they are crusaders for the hard sciences either; I'm just saying that isn't an issue in those circles.) I am Black, and an awful lot of wokeness surrounds Black issues, so that might be why I'm sensitive to a lot of these charges. But suffice it to say that even wokeness is not monolithic. You will not find a lot of patience for the idea that there are a thousand genders in the Blacker corners of wokeness, and there is a lot of outright hostility for third-wave feminism in those same spaces. (Dave Chappelle is pretty representative of those spaces, and IMO that's a big reason why lots of people wanted to cancel him. They didn't want him exposing those fissures between Black people - who have always been fairly socially conservative - and the rest of the liberal continuum.)
So what I see here is people trying to define a movement from the outside using the caricatures that float up to them from social media and conservative news sources.
The big failing of everyone who has tried to define wokeism here is that you've missed the main thing separating traditional liberals from wokies - free speech. The main weapons of the woke, in my opinion are cancellation and deplatforming. Woke people tend to favor non-rational methods of persuasion - they think it's okay to win by just making it too socially costly to oppose them. They say hate speech isn't free speech. This is where the line is drawn to me, and any attempt to define wokeness that ignores this aspect is severely lacking. I support maybe 85% of the causes that woke people advocate for, but I am 100% opposed to trying to using the kind of non-rational coercion many of them advocate to achieve them.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
Once we get out of the murder all the Canaanites parts of the OT, we get into the prophets and commands of God via his prophets to care for widows, orphans and the poor.
Here we see the true roots of wokeness. See Matthew 25. "That that you do not do to the least of these, you do not do to me."
If we take the concept that God sends us prophets to speak to us on behalf of God seriously, to be woke is to be Godly. See again Matthew 25.
Woke is a duty.
Woke is not "care for widows, orphans and the poor." If you want to address woke critics you'll have to address the concept as we use it. There are plenty of examples of that. So I would say the appropriate biblical response to your post is Exodus 20:16.ReplyDelete
Where is this image from?ReplyDelete