Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hurt and Offended

The chancellor of Cal chimes in condemning the horrific actions of the College Neo-Nazis.
The Principles of Community are not about political positions. They require a consciousness of the potential effect of words or deeds on others: a positive intent not to hurt, offend, or denigrate others while expressing a reasoned position. Regardless what policies or practices one advocates, careful consideration is needed on how to express those opinions. The issue is not whether one thinks an action is satirical or inoffensive, the issue is whether community members will be intentionally – or unintentionally – hurt or demeaned by that action. The same applies to the way we interact with each other, whether academically, professionally, or socially.
In other words, if people of the correct political positions (and especially those in protected groups) are in anyway offended or hurt by incorrect political positions then there is a problem.  We live in a world where offense must be limited at all costs because what matters most are feelings.  Humans are emotional beings, therefore emotions (and feelings) take precedence over logic and empiricism.  Truth claims must be evaluated holistically rather than objectively in order to minimize inevitable suffering. Take for example Paul Gilroy (having read his books for class, I have concluded that he is an atrocious writer) who made this statement in response to the flagrantly offensive blog entry posted by his colleague, Satoshi Kanazawa.
If he announces that he thinks sub-Saharan Africans are less intelligent than other people, what happens when they arrive in his classroom?
 The idea that races differ in innate intelligence is deeply disturbing to Mr. Gilroy who presumes that such statistical abstractions will hurt the precious feelings of the sub-Saharan Africans who arrive in his classroom.  Perhaps Mr. Gilroy underestimates the intelligence of black students, maybe they are smart enough to be able to understand statistics without having their feelings hurt.  I provide here an outline of the correct rational  though process.

Truth claim is put forth.  Is it offensive to victim groups or even suggests the notion of inherent inequality (which is a subset of offensiveness since inequality is offensive)?  If yes, then automatically presume that such a claim is de facto invalid because the progressive nature of truth requires it to be non-offensive and equal in nature (or at the very least, offensive to victim groups) and then employ apologetic reasoning to defend the position .  We are working in a framework where perfection of humanity (the ultimate truth) and love (Jesus is Love) must be maximized.

Isn't the world a great place to live in?

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