Why is diversity seen as a good thing?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Scaramouche, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Innominate Why? Registered Senior Member

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    I don't think it's possible to say anything is universally good or bad, especially something as subjective as diversity. There are so many other factors involved with a community besides the cultures it's made of.
     
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  3. Emil Valued Senior Member

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    Because exist possibility to choice.
    Are also people who are too lazy to choose or think.
     
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  5. Tolerant Registered Member

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    Maybe I'm on the wrong forum, but I'm really surprised that no one here has said anything remotely intelligent regarding this complex and multifaceted issue. To my mind the real issue is that no one seems to distinguish between different types of diversity. Racial, cultural, economic, and religious diversity are all very different things - some work, some don't. This is compounded by the fact that some groups are inherently incompatible. At the most basic level consider this - what happens when when not everyone in a community fails to agree that disposing of trash in public areas is unacceptable. Some cultures simply have different ideas about waste disposal. It is not a universal human value - very few things are. What happens when one family disposes its trash in public areas? Another complains, disputes and conflicts develop, no one is happy. Expand this to a more serious issue, like religious diversity and you have a problem that people will and do die over. The modern American concept of diversity is inherently flawed because it assumes that everyone wants to get along and live together blissfully. This is not the case, especially with regard to issues like religion, where some faiths adamantly deny the concept of diversity and are highly intolerant of other faiths or the lack thereof. I like Thai and Ethiopian food as much as the next guy, but I certainly don't want my government run like those of Thailand and Ethiopia. However here is one important difference. Those Thai and Ethiopian restauranteurs are here running those businesses because they have bought into the ideals of Americanism. More power to them. But there are many cultures living in America that do not. For whatever reason they feel disempowered. They have developed a "F&$! You, fight the man" mentality. They have in essence embraced a counterculture that is actively opposed to the established legal paradigm. What happens when your childhood idols are guys who just got out of jail or who blow themselves up in suicide attacks? Nothing good. In the end true diversity is hard to achieve and inherently unnatural. Effective cultures and highly homogenous - at least in terms of values. If you don't believe me stand on escalator in Tokyo.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Could have something to do with the your resurrection of a discussion that has been dead for three years. Many of those members have left, perhaps being replaced with more "intelligent" ones.

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    This is a place of science, but we do considerably better with the hard sciences like physics and astronomy, than we do with the soft sciences like anthropology and psychology. Most of our members are too young (chronologically or emotionally or both) to tackle a topic like this. It's a minefield.

    Actually their children generally do. The Melting Pot works.

    This is the whole point. If your culture is structured so that a particular immigrant population sticks together in their own neighborhoods with their own shops, then of course their great-grandchildren will still speak the ancestral language, practice the customs, and consider themselves Minoans (or whatever) first and Americans a distant second. But if they are welcomed into the general population, half of their children will speak only English, they'll love pizza and baseball, and they'll hang out with (and fall in love with) kids whose parents came from Thailand, Gabon, Peru and Chicago.

    Throughout history, the Jews have always been identified as one of the most clannish ethnic groups on earth. By distancing themselves from the host community and sticking to the old ways, they've encouraged discrimination ranging from second-class citizenship to slavery to outright annihilation. But here in America (for psychological, historical and cultural reasons that need their own discussion in order to do them justice) the Jews have been treated better than in any other country in history except China. In China they were so welcome that they simply blended in with the local population and vanished as an ethnic group.

    Today's Jewish elders are afraid of the same thing happening in America. The younger generation is not interested in Zionism, feels sorry for the Palestinians, goes to Reform synagogues (if any), eats hot dogs and forgets what little Hebrew they learned for their bar mitzvah. They hang out with, date and marry Americans from other cultures. The elders worry that in a couple of generations there will be no Jewish community in America. Ironically, they regard assimilation as the biggest threat to their community. They don't understand (or perhaps don't care) that we all are enriched by the absorption of the ideas, motifs, music, etc. of other cultures.

    We just celebrated Memorial Day, a solemn day when we're supposed to be paying tribute to all the American soldiers who died in our wars (most of which, lately, have been wars of opportunity rather than existential crises), by drinking lots of Mexican beer and buying lots of Chinese products in Wal-Mart.

    Diversity works. Although sometimes it works in very mysterious ways.

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    I agree, religion is the shittiest idea that the human race ever had. But occasional unbalanced assholes like the Tsarnaevs and that captain at Fort Hood notwithstanding, religious intolerance in America is a pale shadow of its counterpart in many other countries--not to mention many other eras. Perhaps you're younger than me; the Holocaust happened in my lifetime! And don't forget the Inquisition and the Crusades.

    You don't seem to understand that the Thais and Ethiopians don't want that either. That's why they came here in the first place!

    The percentage of immigrants who come to America for the purpose of changing it into a despotic medieval theocracy is too small to measure! That's why they left the despotic medieval theocracies they were living in: as imperfect as our democracy is, it's a hell of a lot better than what they had at home.

    Oh yeah? Can you please name three examples? And don't pick on the first-generation immigrants. I'm talking about their children, the Americans among them. And don't pick on some tiny Stone Age group like the Hmong where boys simply kidnap the girls they want to marry. Everybody knows about them, and they are not at all typical of immigrant communities.

    Huh? You're describing the Afro-American community in the 1960s! These people were born here, fifth- or sixth- or seventh-generation Americans. They didn't just "feel" disempowered, they were disempowered! They were not allowed to use our drinking fountains or sit in the front seats of our buses, and their children had their own separate schools that were shockingly inferior.

    Sure, we get a few immigrants now and then from Middle Eastern countries who hate America and kill a few dozen of us. But put it in perspective: Our own people, with their fucking goddamned guns, kill thirty thousand of us every year! That's more than are killed in road accidents!

    On the average, terrorists kill about the same number of Americans as lightning and bee stings combined. More of us are killed by falling furniture!

    But that's how cultures stagnate, and Japan is a perfect example of a stagnant, moribund culture!

    A culture has to grow, and the best way is a good healthy dose of immigration. England has been absorbing foreign cultures for 2000 years (and was even conquered and occupied by three of them: the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Norman French), and look at how strong and proud those people are.
     
  8. Tolerant Registered Member

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    Thanks for responding to me. I admit to not even noticing that the conversation was several years old. On some points, I have to disagree with you in that you are assuming that assimilation is the goal and I don't think it can or should be. As a society we've moved well past the melting pot ideal into an era of multiculturalism. The idea of assimilation assumes that the dominant culture is so inherently 'right' (or just dominant) that other cultures will naturally be absorbed into it over time. That may happen on occasion, but it has not happened in general, especially when religious and racial divides are exceptionally pronounced and compounded by economic issues.

    I am sure you were joking, but diversity has nothing to do with the commercial products of other cultures. Even extremely homogeneous cultures, like Japan or 18th century England, can have love affairs with the products of other cultures. Its natural curiosity and exoticism at its best, nevertheless, issues associated with multiple cultures living in the same space are not really being addressed by Corona or General Tsao.

    Regarding: "You don't seem to understand that the Thais and Ethiopians don't want that either. That's why they came here in the first place!" I understand that very well. However, those that are here, that own restaurants, that are generally prospering, are not the multitudes left behind. Rather they are the ones who by virtue of economic advantage, education, or other factors chose to embrace the values of another culture - even while honoring their own. For example, I went to college with tons of Pakistanis. We were good friends, got drunk together, laughed, partied, cried together. None of these guys are going to be joining the Taliban anytime soon. Why, because even though they were from another culture, their education, social, and economic position has made them more compatible with western culture that than of Northern Waziristan.

    "Oh yeah? Can you please name three examples?" Certainly - but I won't know you know why.

    "Huh? You're describing the Afro-American community in the 1960s!" The quote was from the 60s, yes, but I am talking about my neighbors down the hall and across the street. I am talking about guys who hang out in front of my building blasting loud music all night because they don't buy into the paradigm of respecting neighbors. I'm talking about the people in my building, who have been here for 30 years, live under rent control, and think throwing their trash in the lobby is ok. I'm talking about local kids who watch their older brothers become drug dealers, buy fancy cars, and go to jail, only to get out looking tougher, stronger, and meaner than ever. Yes, I am talking about real issues that happen today - and I am not talking about racial groups, although it is only too easy to stereotype.

    "Sure, we get a few immigrants now and then from Middle Eastern countries who hate America and kill a few dozen of us. But put it in perspective: Our own people, with their fucking goddamned guns, kill thirty thousand of us every year! That's more than are killed in road accidents!" Again, what type of diversity are you actually talking about? Because I am referring to the concept in a overarching sense. I am not really even talking about America, though I've used it as an example. The same could be applied to any culture. It could be applied to the multitudes of foreigners living in Thailand or the Philippines. It can be applied to any place where population diversity exists. I would argue that the whole gun issue is about too much diversity. This time its a diversity not defined by race but by morals and values. Because there are no clear hallmarks, no obvious race or religion in play, it isn't always clear. But the fact is, if everyone agreed that guns are wrong, these problems wouldn't exist. I would also argue the opposite, if everyone had guns and knew how to use them, these problems wouldn't exist. You can have it either way, but not both ways. Diversity is the problem.

    "Japan is a perfect example of a stagnant, moribund culture!" Seriously, have you been to Japan? I have used it repeatedly as an example, so I understand the attack, bu it is in not way a stagnant moribund' culture. Perhaps you are thinking of Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate? Pre-Perry? In fact, modern Japan is most likely among the most exciting and dynamic cultures on Earth today. Japan does grow through exposure to other cultures, but is does so only by assimilating choice aspects of other cultures into its own value system. For example, Japan did not invent comics, but they sure as hell ran with them.
     
  9. rr6 Banned Banned

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    GEcko Clones( non-diverstity All Females )

    Bio-diversity = sex and that should be reason enough for most seek to out and encourage biodiversity...

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    ...imho

    There is at least one species of Gecko and I've since heard many biologicals that make exact clone copies of themselves without sex i.e. no male is involved. I've heard there is some weak evidence that has some speculating some Kamoto Dragons can do this.

    The problem with not having diversity is the exactly cloned complex animals are more prone to a single diesease that can come in and wipe out the whole community if not the whole species.

    With biodiversity it is harder for one detrimental germ/bacteria/virus to wipe out a whole group/comunity/species.

    r6
     
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This is probably a factor in the survival of our species. Our closest relatives, the two species of gorilla and the two species of chimpanzee, form tight clans that practice incest.

    We, on the other hand, are programmed by our DNA to be instinctively attracted to people who look much different from us, and therefore are probably not closely related. This is due to the Westermarck Effect. Westermarck observed that children who grow up together seldom choose each other as spouses when they reach reproductive age--if they have a choice. This is true even if they're not actually blood relatives, but only foster siblings, or even just kibbutz-mates in the communes in Israel.

    How many of us regard people whose appearance is quite different from ours as "exotic" and "sexy"? I sure do!
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Bio diversity allows evolution to occur. From the variety a few are better adapted than others. The failures die and disappear, the successes live on to pass their superior genes to their offspring.

    There are species which have no diversity at all, such as the silvery salamander. It uses a male (from another species of salamander) only for the mating ritual but the eggs rejects all male sperm as the female already has a double strand of DNA and cannot accommodate another strand. As a consequence every silvery salamander is female and an exact clone of its mother and the small surviving population is highly vulnerable. In fact it has reached an evolutionary dead end. This is why it is an endangered species and well protected.

    http://arborwiki.org/Silvery_Salamander
     
  12. ananymousse Banned Banned

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    Endangered species? It's a crossbred like the liger (male lion female tiger) or a donkey (horse and mule). They could all die out and you could recreate the completely female species by mating the separate species again. It's not like a true endangered species which does not have the two other divergent specimens.
     
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    apparently you have not understood anything I wrote or linked to. This species is not sterile. They do mate, but the female rejects the male sperm, thus no male DNA is passed on and all offspring are only from the DNA of the female, thus all offspring is female and identical to the mother including its strengths and weaknesses. It has no ability to produce variety and therefore is at an evolutionary dead end and must be protected or natural causes will eradicate this species. When they were discovered there were only a few dozen individuals, all female and all identical to their mother.

    There are other species like that, remnants of genetic accidents that limits its evolutionary ability. A failed genetic experiment of nature, lucky enough to escape extinction, so far.
     
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Biologically diversity is good because it increase the range of mutations that can be use to adapt and evolve, for example a population lacking diversity could all be killed off by single plague, as none would have a chance of being resistant or immune.

    Diversity culturally is a good thing for the same reason: thinking differently can help prevent a society from locking on to bad ideas and collapsing.If we all thought the same our society would be stale and prone to catastrophic damage from our mutual errors. Of course there is always a percentage of people that think their way of life and "thinking" is superior if not perfect, these people are not always white males.
     
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I agree, as with anything in nature, the term evolution identifies the mechanism by which nature can "test" and "select" a successful variant for its strengths and adaptability. Only variety can bring about "variants" and thus variety is essential for the process of evolution in a dynamic ecosystem.

    Mutations are not evolutionary except in the broadest sense. Mutations are true "accidents" caused during conception and mytosis.

    Watch this little Ted film describing the sub molecular functions at work just to make a cell (all cells) ready for division

    http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_berry_animations_of_unseeable_biology.html

    This is a truly profound graphic representation of the trillions upon trillions of actions occurring at all times in our bodies at the sub molecular level.
     
  16. ananymousse Banned Banned

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    Perhaps I just needed some elaboration. Apologies truly, but isn't it kind of counterintuitive to evolution to design a maternal species incapable of producing male offspring? As if it is destined for failure. Perhaps at some point along the line the species may begin to produce male offspring of its own accord, but the completely maternal aspects of this wreak of failure on more than one account. I'm sorry to say.
     
  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    aah and what does that have to do with this thread?

    Evolution does not have intuition or design, it makes mistakes just like any other blind lunatic running at random blindly through a hilly park trying to find the deepest craves to wallow in (This is the nice way to describe the mathematical implementation of evolution as an analogy)
     
  18. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    @Anan --

    Nope, especially given that sexual reproduction isn't(to my knowledge) the norm for life on this planet.
     
  19. ananymousse Banned Banned

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    @ electric and Arioch

    If sex is the best thing about biodiversity why are there so many racists? IMO it is just a mindset that hides vulnerability behind supremacy and is reciprocated by sex education in society as a whole. Why do we have to inform an animal to mate or not and hide it behind illogical reasons. Like fear and punishment over the facts of responsibility.
     
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    I don't understand what your saying, what does sex have to do with racism?
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    It was probably a mutation (perhaps an error in copying DNA) creating a sub variety with little chance of long term survival. And mutations are part of the evolutionary process although by unusual means such as accidental damage to DNA.
     
  22. Arioch Valued Senior Member

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    @Anan --

    Because intelligence intelligence isn't required for survival? :shrug:
     
  23. ananymousse Banned Banned

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    :facepalm:
     

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