What Does "Politically Correct" Mean?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by spidergoat, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    If concern for other people's feelings was really the issue, then supporters of 'political correctness' wouldn't be so quick and eager to insult, flame and caricaturize those who disagree with them. Those heretics are supposedly all 'racists', 'bigots' and 'assholes'. It apparently doesn't matter the least bit if those labels are false and hurtful, as long as they are deemed 'politically correct'.

    I think that most of the talk about empathy, compassion and tact is just rhetorical.

    In real life, much like the Stalinists in the 1930's, the motivation is to stack the deck, so that adherents of one kind of political view have freedom to say virtually anything, while those who disagree are forced into silence.

    That directly contradicts the liberal ideal of free-speech and free-inquiry. Its prevalence in universities these days is a major contributor to the almost total collapse and implosion of the academic humanities in the last generation.

    Luckily the natural sciences have managed to remain less politicized, and still remain more open and intellectually vigorous. (By and large, though it's hard to say how long it will last.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Concern for other people's feelings is called courtesy.
    Avoidance of terms that discriminate against groups that are disadvantaged or discriminated against is political correctness.
    No, they're not. I reserve the term "racist" for people who are racists, for example.
    Of course it matters.
     
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  5. mtf Banned Banned

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    And how do you determine who is a racist?
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Racists are people who believe that most or all members of a race share characteristics that are specific to that race. These characteristics are usually negative (i.e. they're stupid or lazy, they can't be bothered to obey the law etc.) You determine this by listening to what they say, reading what they write and observing what they do. The latter is the most important.
     
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  8. mtf Banned Banned

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    Zero-tolerance policies tend to be brutal and do the very same they so vehemently condemn.
    Like I've been saying all along, there seems to be an evolutionary advantage to such behavior, however hypocritical it may otherwise be.

    Absolutely. I get the chills when someone starts talking about how they don't want to hurt my feelings, or when a sentence begins with "With all due respect ..." -- you can be sure that something utterly insulting will follow.

    An opinion is an expensive thing to have ...

    But maybe it is this liberal ideal of free-speech and free-inquiry that is inappropriate -- inappropriate in a world plagued by aging, illness, death, and separation, burning with the fires of greed, anger, and delusion.

    You didn't like it in the past when I referred to Buddhist suttas that deal with and justify various restrictions of speech, e.g.:
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an05/an05.165.than.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.042.than.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.067.than.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.070.than.html
    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.069.than.html

    And yet we can see, on a daily basis, that considerations and instructions given in those suttas are right.

    We could also just turn to the old adage -- "Don't discuss politics and religion in polite society." Add philosophy to the other two, too.
     
  9. mtf Banned Banned

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    No, I mean how much time and attention are you willing to pay to a person in order to determine whether they are racist -- or whether they are just having a bad day or maybe you have misheard or misinterpreted something --?

    As you've seen in that thread on misogyny -- how quickly several people were lumped into the category of misogynists, without actually being so.
     
  10. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    With all due respect, you have serious problems with petty crap in these threads.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Depends. Sometimes it is very clear through their words and actions. A statement like "Well, you have to admit that blacks have a tendency to be criminals" makes it trivial to detect racism. Sometimes it's not so clear, and I'm not willing to spend the time to determine it.
     
  12. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Precisely. Thank you.
     
  13. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly. With the possible exception of those rumored to have eidetic memory, the finite brain has to have its shortcuts when it comes to interpreting / understanding (identifying) those areas of knowledge and existence which we don't have have expert status or life experience in. That often means fewer categories for slotting the encountered details / features under and hovering around at the upper level of an unfamiliar concept where the meaning is blurry and general, rather than digging and analyzing deep into the particular elements and relationships of its internal structure.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    In point-of-fact, this is far too specific.

    Racism does not necessarily require the racist to think anything negative at all. Racism is, without equivocation, simply the defining or categorizing of a person's or persons' traits based on their race.

    There is a thread floating about where a member commented that black girls, generally, have nicer personalities. It was meant as a compliment (they had honest intentions). But it is nonetheless racist.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Having a bad day, or other adversity, won't cause an egalitarian to turn to racism. It wouldn't occur to them, any more than 'he's wearing a purple shirt, he must be lazy' might.

    Adversity will tend to bring to light the hidden traits of someone who is, internally, racist.

    It is under such pressure that one often sees an opponent's true self.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Correct. That's why I said they are USUALLY negative. Strictly speaking they don't have to be.
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    "Political correctness" in the sense here is indeed largely a US thing.
    There remains all the same distinctions in the reality that was labeled by those terms. If your vocabulary has become confused and meaningless, so that you can no longer discuss the reality at hand, that would be a matter for intellectual care and effort. Or as Confucius - who had more to say about actual politics than the Buddha - put it: "The first thing is the rectification of names".
    The notion that PC is about hurt feelings is Fox News level "conservative" bs.
    As we see with the dominance of wingnut talk radio and corporate authoritarian TV, as they frame the issues and vocabulary for the entire arena of public discourse.
    I missed that event. Maybe I was focused on the non-academic humanities - which are which?
     
  18. mtf Banned Banned

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    And yet under pressure, people will say and do all kinds of things; stressful situations are not a reliable test of character. And since (extremely) stressful situations are rare, you're generally likely witness a person in one, maybe two such situations per year. There is the possibility that after a stressful situation and an emotional outburst, the person will change their outlook and behavior -- but you wouldn't see that if you assess them on a one-time occurence and broke up with them afterwards.


    So. There should also be such a thing as philosophism. And -- oh, the joy -- humanism! Eh.
     
  19. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Were any of you around in the deep south (US) in the fifties and early sixties? Nobody with a cross burned in your uncle's lawn one night?

    Sit down.
     
  20. mtf Banned Banned

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    And so we can infer that people who exhibit black-and-white, all-or-nothing, now-or-never thinking, are not in a state suitable to have a discussion with them.

    Would Plato or Socrates discuss things on a forum like this? I think not.
     
  21. mtf Banned Banned

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    Nowadays, there are more and more subtle, more and more sophisticated forms of abuse, but have similarly grave consequences as the more blatant forms.
    For example, people are losing their jobs over what appear to be politically correct trivialities.
     
  22. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    PC appears to be connected to female perfectionism. When women get dress to go out, there are a lot of details that need to be addressed, in very exacting ways. There are lotions and potions, then there is hair, makeup, color combinations based on season, proper shoes and accessories, etc. Guys don't care that much about all these details. It may be different with feminized men. This is PC is a nutshell. The women are empathizing and projecting insecurity. They are then trying to dress up culture, with an ensemble of exacting talking points, to appease the fear.

    What I think should happen is one should be able to opt out of PC, if you are a man. Or one can choose to play along, if that floats your boat. One should be allowed to be true to their nature and not forced to be fake. If the ladies like these things, this is fine. I want to be crude and honest; sweat pants and messed up hair, instead of one of the pretty clone actors on the stage.

    Superficial changes do not always equate to parallel changes on the inside. We become worse off, the more rules of dress. There was far less turmoil before the PC tried to cloth and make-up culture. Now the young people can't cope and need safe zones away from free speech. This shows something inside is getting broken by this fad. We would all be better off if everyone could cope with anything said.
     
  23. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, no shit.

    It's like you almost understand, like your head is almost outside of your own asshole.

    It's not about offense, it's about systemic racism and sexism, and other systemic problems. People attack "PC" in order to try to get away with promoting these systemic problems or to avoid having to deal with them responsibly.
     

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