Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ethics

I was talking to a sociology professor acquaintance of mine, who also has been diagnosed with Asperger's (interesting combination). She was discussing the process of getting an experiment approved by her institution. I am always interested to hear different iterations of ethical codes, so I started asking her about the sociological approach to ethics, which is apparently very different from the psychological approach and is abhorrent to anthropologists. She told me that sociologists have a bad reputation from studies like Tuskegee syphilis experiment (arguably not even a sociological experiment) and the Milgram experiment.

To me the Milgram experiment is just good science. Get some ordinary person via a classified ad, put them in a room, instruct them to torture a third person, and see how far they are willing to go, based solely on the "authority" of the person conducting the experiment.

The sociologist acquaintance of mine thought that the Milgram experiment is harmful to test subjects because people want to believe that they are a good person, not someone who is capable of doing horrific things, and the test deprives them of that belief. I told her that the experiment did society a favor by forcing at least some of its members to face hard facts, i.e. almost anyone is capable of the world's worst horrors, if only put in the right situation. My argument was that if we fail to understand our capabilities for evil as well as for good, than we are doomed to repeat the atrocities of yesteryear. We agreed to disagree about this point.

Later in the conversation, however, she began talking about how she uses her charisma and the structure of the class to get her students to realize that they are racist, that they have knee-jerk reactions unsupported by any evidence, and that the logical conclusions of their positions would be tenets that they would be unwilling to acknowledge as their own, despite being the root of their misinformed views. Of course I support her manipulating her students to the point of shaking the very foundations of their beliefs, but I did mention to her that I thought it was a little hypocritical that on the one hand she thought it was "unethical" to expose experiment subjects to the realization that they too could be torturers given the right circumstances, but she was willing to basically tell her students that their belief systems were completely flawed. People in her classes cry when they realize how small-minded they have been. How is this any different than the Milgram experiment, I asked? Because if it is different, it seems to only be a matter of degree of harm, not type.

When I finally got her to realize my point, she gave me a look as if she were going to cry too and started asking me if I believe in the "soul" and why would I be asking all of these questions. I felt bad for having let the mask slip (apparently, although I thought we were just having a reasonable discussion). I tried unsuccessfully to backtrack saying things like your students arguably impliedly consent to this treatment by signing up for your class (no they don't, the class is required, she is the only one who teaches it), or for going to university in the first place (can you really be said to consent to being the mental plaything of your professors by going to university?). I woke up the next day to a very long email (Asperger's) going into aspie detail with sentences like this "When we assess the consequences of policies or laws or teaching philosophies that are driven by normative and evaluative ideological considerations, the assessment can be shifted from 'right' or 'wrong' to 'functional' or 'dysfunctional'" and "And of course, one could argue that by making assessments on the basis of what is functional/dysfunctional for society (vs. individuals), we are also saying, as a normative/evaluative issue, that the well-being of society is more important than giving effect to the norms and values of sub-groups in society. This is especially (ethically) problematic in that what is functional for society may actually serve to further marginalize vulnerable minority groups (antithetical to certain democratic values), but if the society is not healthy, then the rest becomes moot (maybe)." And then she basically went on to say that society values critical thinking skills, so jacking with her student's minds is fine, ethically speaking.

I think this is illustrative of the true point of systems of ethics, which is -- let's agree on some random value system that we'll call "common" or "normal" and either enforce it past the point of bearing any resemblance to what it was meant to accomplish in the first place or ignore it whenever it is convenient. If the end is always going to justify the means, what is the point of even discussing the ethics of the process?

226 comments:

  1. This reminds me of the documentary A Class Divded.

    "One day in 1968, Jane Elliott, a teacher in a small, all-white Iowa town, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups and gave them a daring lesson in discrimination."

    Worth watching, highly recommended.

    I don't understand why people would complain about the pain of learning something about themselves for longer than it takes to realize that it maybe the cause of their pain has done them good. Pain is often an indicator of growth.

    Hell, lots of stuff that folks see as worth doing or going through causes pain. Going to the dentist, getting plastic surgery, going through puberty, braces, pointe shoes, learning to play guitar, having children, losing your virginity.

    What, is it different when the pain is emotional rather than physical? Bosh. I mean, isn't that what happens in therapy? Most people go by choice. They know they have to face stuff that will probably cause pain, right? What about stage fright? Asking girls out? Getting a job? Etc etc?

    No pain, no gain, right?

    So fuck this aspie lady's whole 'making personal sacrifices for the good of society' bullshit. It's good for the individual, too, unless they are whiny weaklings who prefer to live in the cage someone made for them when they were 10.

    I think this is illustrative of the true point of systems of ethics, which is -- let's agree on some random value system that we'll call "common" or "normal" and either enforce it past the point of bearing any resemblance to what it was meant to accomplish in the first place or ignore it whenever it is convenient. If the end is always going to justify the means, what is the point of even discussing the ethics of the process?

    This is the precisely the endpoint that I seem to come to quite often with regards to ethics and morals. And politics.

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  2. I'd also like to point out that most of Milgram's test subjects were grateful for their experience, and many of them actually wanted to join him in his work, as the wiki page says. So, clearly the pain was worth it.

    The Tuskegee experiment is an entirely different category, though. They justified their cruelty by using test subjects who were deemed as inherently 'lesser' by society, like rats, and there was nothing for the subjects or the experimenters to learn about themselves or society except for the experience of watching their family and lovers die off without knowing why, the confusion of dementia, and what it's like to die a painful, useless and preventable death.

    I don't even get how that is called a sociological or ethical experiment, anyway. It was purely medical. I don't understand why it was even mentioned in this blog post. I suppose ME was trying to touch on some of the ethical aspects of non-ethics based science, but he didn't really go anywhere with it.

    I guess, though, that it leads to the question of whether an experiment that causes pain and also provides no potential benefit to the subject is worth the price. If it's worth treating one segment of the population like rats for the 'greater good'.

    I dunno, ask Hitler.

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  3. I hope I'm not going against you too much Medusa, but sociology > psychology. Today I can say I am glad M.E. went through the trouble for the points highlighted. Some psycho can sit behind closed doors and conjure opinions you can't hope to challenge for the next ten years, or you can focus on a group of people in the real, in the now, and receive instant gratification.

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  4. Not quite sure what you are trying to say, Anon.

    I don't understand your sweeping statement that sociology is better than psychology, because you can't really have one without the other.

    And they are both just as useful to the sociopath.

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  5. M.E., I find these unconsciously held contradictions in people’s closely held belief systems fascinating. It’s a fault line that can be exploited. The aspie professor ostensibly wrote her missive to you, but of course she was really writing to herself. You upset her apple cart by revealing a previously repressed bit of dissonance within her psyche. I’d even bet that what you touched on is connected to something deeper, some truth about herself that she wishes to avoid facing. Like I said, that kind of knowledge can be useful down the road.

    what is the point of even discussing the ethics of the process?

    Exactly. Their moral and ethical conundrums are part and parcel of the dull game they like to play with themselves. They have debates, they convene panels, they structure much of their entertainment even, around ethical disagreements. “Is it right? Is it wrong? Oh whatever shall we do to find out? What about my conscience… blah, blah, blah.” Who cares? Expedience and efficiency are what counts when it comes to creating a desired result, not empty discussions about ethics. Focus on what you get, find out what you need to do to get it, then do it. Not complicated in the slightest.

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  6. Medusa said, If it's worth treating one segment of the population like rats for the 'greater good'.

    I dunno, ask Hitler.


    Breaking Godwin’s Law so early in this thread, I agree Medusa. People often invoke Hitler and the Nazi regime as the epitome of evil. But really, and this is based on my admittedly scant knowledge, I think Hitler believed he was in fact acting for the greater good when he attempted his ‘Final Solution’. He really believed that the Jews were evil and that they had to be eradicated for the betterment of his nation and maybe even for the world. Hitler isn’t an example of evil; he’s an example of what happens when you believe your own bullshit unquestioningly, of what happens when you deify your ideology.

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  7. Daniel Birdick said....
    The aspie professor ostensibly wrote her missive to you, but of course she was really writing to herself. You upset her apple cart by revealing a previously repressed bit of dissonance within her psyche. I’d even bet that what you touched on is connected to something deeper, some truth about herself that she wishes to avoid facing.


    exactly

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  8. What I meant was, the psychology was already present. Look at the way she won her class over via the article provided? Why, they were ready to trade themselves for her in tears. To me, that's a greater manipulation. In the light provided: Psychology = 1 v 1 Sociology = 1 v many. Also in the light provided, 1 v 1 presented the socio removing his mask (whoops).

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  10. Ethics is a moot point in my head if it needs to be established past the point of common right and wrong. Anything else is simply moral flexibility for the sake convenience. Just a bunch of excuses.

    I understand the plight, though, especially in the name of research and progression. When it comes to those important subjects, if you want to take care of business, throw ethics out the window. It didn't belong inside in the first place.

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  11. The teacher is very defensive in her letter. Theirs a wealth of shit in there that I would exploit her with if I was you. I do like her cause though. The states is a pit of racism.

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  12. UKan you watch too much CNN.

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  13. I've been to the states. The amount of racism surprised me and that's coming from someone that has to deal with the brits. It seems mostly against africans and mexicans. I heard people throw around the n word a lot and they made racist comments and jokes frequently.

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  14. So from your perspective, racism is inherent in citizens of the U.S.? Don't get me wrong, I live here and I don't like them either. What I look at, more than what is wanted to seem obvious, is "why".

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  15. What about the black president? 2 black secrataries of state? The Hispanic senator from FL?

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  16. Yeah, I found the same thing when I went to the states. I can't deny that theres also alot of racism here in England as well. It's mainley targited at Asians over here. I think it's the same everywhere though, especially in western countries.

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  17. Kudos if you can answer WHY racism exists in our countries.

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  18. er, our competitive biology.
    in short.
    it exists everywhere actually. xenophobia i mean.

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  19. I thought this was a sociopath blog~

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  20. don't always like to state the obvious but the question was asked and i like to oblige.

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  21. Ty P-Mod (your racist name). Although I don't really buy into the article itself much, I will say it IS because of convenience. If you hadn't spoken yourself I was going to ask specifically that you enlighten the blog outside the realm of blanket terms like xenophobia, which is also a definition constructed from "convenience". While I marvel at a self-proclaimed sociopath's inability to see such things I will admit that perhaps I don't alliterate enough to attract a real answer. And to think I thought it was our vision that made us quote unquote simply not care.

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  22. I'm confused. Is lacking empathy supposed to make me racist?

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  23. On another note, I fail to see to what "While I marvel at a self-proclaimed sociopath's inability to see such things" refers. Did my seven words really convey some sort of blindness?

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  24. Anon10:43, racism is yet another one of those ambiguous terms that mean different things to different people and that is used interchangeably with other terms such as discrimination and prejudice. (Kinda like sociopath/psychopath, come to think of it.) Within the context of this thread and your question, I’d define racism as a belief in the superiority of one’s group on the basis of race. I’d define racial discrimination as those policies that actively exclude minorities from exercising and enjoying the same rights, freedoms and privileges that the majority group takes for granted. As you can see, this distinction answers your question. Whole swaths of the US population, including minorities, probably hold racist beliefs, but as a society, the country has made strides in reducing (though not eliminating) racially discriminatory social practices.

    So it’s perfectly acceptable, in certain groups, to call black people niggers (racism). It’s not acceptable to pass a law saying blacks can’t be president or Hispanics can’t be senators on the basis of race (racial discrimination).

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  25. Nothing was so much directed at you, unless you're unable to fathom someone like us making it to the top of the world. It'd be a self inflicted insult to wonder why everyone's being manipulated.

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  27. Do you mean white people or sociopaths, anon?~

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  28. Daniel by pure coincidence you touched my old argument (Psychopath vs Sociopath).

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  29. to anon at 11.17

    'If you hadn't spoken yourself I was going to ask specifically that you enlighten the blog outside the realm of blanket terms like xenophobia, which is also a definition constructed from "convenience". While I marvel at a self-proclaimed sociopath's inability to see such things I will admit that perhaps I don't alliterate enough to attract a real answer. And to think I thought it was our vision that made us quote unquote simply not care.'


    was this addressing me?

    i'm not a socio if that puts your mind at ease.

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  30. lol now you're just making me laugh PM. <3

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  31. No, that particular part was addressed to PM. My "astonishment" was addressed to anyone blind, non-discriminant (non-racist even). I was counting on him to understand what I was getting at, and I believe he did.

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  32. the aspie woman was really just trying to justify her position - not communicating a truth she had arrived at. i love getting people tangled in their internal contradictions. the milgram exp was essentially a thought exp played out because if you just put it to someone "what would you do if..." you would not get the truth. with psychology you must do the actual experiment and so there was no logical ethical difference between what the professor did and what milgram did.

    one thing that i see validated every day is that 99% of the time people have an opinion first and then look for arguments to justify it, rather than looking at arguments on both sides and then arriving at an opinion.

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  33. so, racism is a decoy. make them the enemy lest you lot become the enemy.
    and make yourselves the 'hero' in the process.

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  34. I agree with Mr. Birdick somewhat, and PMS somewhat. However to answer the question about why racism exists the answer is in your history books. The practice of segregation was just barely removed from your lawbooks. Your parents probably remember the days of Jim Crow. When discrimination is systematic it becomes instilled in your children. The father passes it to son sort of thing. As far as whether racism is existant in every race is a cop out. It is not imposed on everyone else, nor does it even matter. If every single black person in your country hated white people it would do nothing being that they are the minority. If you want to see what happends when every white person in the states hates a minority just look here . How bout a occupation hating the conquered .
    As Mr. Birdick stated, which little people know, is that racism is a act of racial superiorty. That statement seems like it gets you off the hook, but it doesn't. The fact that Obama came into office does not either, considering the conservitive backlack that has followed.
    There is no master plan or conspiracy. The reason racism exists is a mentality from the days of imperialism. Whether it will fade or not in your country depends on if you come back as strong as the right wing just did about Obama. Whether it will continue in mine is dependent on the ballot or the bullet. However I feel reverse racism is a oxy moron. How can someone be racist against someone trying to dominate them.

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  35. Food for thought.

    Just getting off work now and I'll be weighing in shortly.

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  36. I grew up in a state with a very low minority population, and I think that kept me from being notably racist. Race never came up as an issue, so those things were never instilled in me.

    It's a bit like wild animal behavior. If a population of animals has never encountered humans, their first encounter will not be one of fear, just curiosity.

    I have a few black friends now that I've been out in the wider world, but they and I usually agree that there are black people (the ones I know are Jamaican and Bajan, so they prefer that to "African-American"), and then there are niggers; the former being smart, proud, effective people, and the latter being dumb, loud wastes of space.

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  37. Cops getting what they deserve

    Yes, i just learned how to link things.

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  38. I'm glad you did. I always enjoy your links.

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  39. No one is equal. Ever, Someone some where is always better, racism is merely a joint effort by those who believe they are better. No need to make it into some huge debate.

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  40. I love the one where the cops are beating that guy 4 on 1 and the entire stadium jumps the cops.

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  41. I love the bit where the ref unleashes hell on the groups of cops. Priceless.

    SOM: We're not talking about general equality. Obviously there is always someone better. We're talking about the specific case of racism which is not individualist, but institutional. Do try to keep up.

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  42. Some Other Me, we are talking about racial superiory not individual superiorty. If you don't have an opinion than shut your fucking mouth so you don't look stupid.

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  43. UKan PMS Combo WopperNovember 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    And you beat me

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  44. Though I think I said it better :)

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  45. QUAD POST AGAIN!!!!

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  46. Continue then o faithful keyboard warriors.

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  47. You only think yours was better because you got another opportunity to tell someone to shut their fucking mouth. :P

    THERE'S. ALWAYS. SOMEONE. BETTER! :'(

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  48. God damn American TV... makes us all look like we have some stupid drawl.

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  49. Pig squeeling for his life while being gunned down by a vietnam veteran

    I think this one is the best one yet. Two thumbs up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PSE-EBKPls&has_verified=1

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  50. I love the title. "NO REASON FOR THIS TO HAPPEN". lol

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  51. Clearly cops are not well-trained with their sidearms. No wonder they're so ineffective.

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  52. Again, I liked my title better :) It does sound very much like squeeling wouldnt you say?

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  53. There's really no other word for that sound. :)

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  54. Ha ha that pretty much sums it up Medusa.

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  55. The aspie professor ostensibly wrote her missive to you, but of course she was really writing to herself. You upset her apple cart by revealing a previously repressed bit of dissonance within her psyche.

    Interesting how Ms. Aspie was guilty of the very thing she was trying to expose in her students: cognitive dissonance.

    I think Hitler believed he was in fact acting for the greater good when he attempted his ‘Final Solution’. He really believed that the Jews were evil and that they had to be eradicated for the betterment of his nation and maybe even for the world.

    Not so sure about this. There's plenty of evidence that he was jealous of the Jews for a variety of social and personal reasons. Like I said before, anger = fear. He felt threatened, so he figured out how to exploit the prejudices of others for his own benefit and revenge.

    It's possible that after a while he did begin to believe his own bullshit to a certain extent, but I dunno.

    I have a few black friends now that I've been out in the wider world, but they and I usually agree that there are black people ..., and then there are niggers; the former being smart, proud, effective people, and the latter being dumb, loud wastes of space.

    Uh, effective people and wastes of space are included in every race.

    In terms of semantics, these 'niggers' you speak of, and the fact that they are named as such, are products of history.

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  56. I know that, Medusa. I was only referring to the case of black people, specifically. Did anything I say suggest otherwise?

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  57. You can call it racism if you like, but we now call Hitler a fascist.

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  58. PMS, the fact that you and your friends adhere to this semantic ontology doesn't really help things.

    It's a kind of racism and segregation in and of itself, regardless of intent. It separates black 'dumb, loud wastes of space' from the rest of the 'dumb, loud wastes of space'.

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  59. Jesus, Medusa. Touchy much? You mean you don't have words you use to describe subsets of humanity quickly and conveniently? You don't stereotype ever. It must be awfully windy up there on your high horse.~

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  60. Has anyone here ever seen someone die? I have..I know it's off topic but I'm curious how people deal with it. We talked about it today in one of my nursing classes and it amazes me that some students were appauled by the idea of seeing that. DUH..go back to business classes. We saw a training video with a woman who came into the ER shot in the head. I saw my father die but he had cancer and just laid back and died. Injuries from violent acts may not sit with me well. Don't know yet.

    Grace

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  61. She's too golden, P-Mod. Besides, we're not really racist. Also she stole my Hitler talking points from me :/ Either way the whole racism thing is a joke. Fascism is closer to what UKan viewed here on his journey overseas. Not entirely, but close enough to pin the tail blindfolded.

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  62. To finish my point (I have class, so I'll be away for a bit), if intent doesn't matter, we shouldn't use any ethnically relevant words. By your logic, it's inappropriate to call people from Asia Asian because it separates "Asian people" from the rest of the "people". We have language so we can differentiate between different sets of objects. That's the whole point.

    To highlight the emptiness of your argument, if I used the word "orange" in place of "nigger", would you be equally offended by my differentiation between "black people" and "oranges"?

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  63. I got two African American women mixed up the other day. I felt like a piece of shit. Horrible. But the one laughed about it...the other DID NOT.

    Grace

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  64. By your logic, it's inappropriate to call people from Asia Asian because it separates "Asian people" from the rest of the "people".

    "Asian" denotes geographic location. Or at least ancestral geographic location. It doesn't make any sort of judgement based on biology.

    "Nigger", obviously does.

    PMS, this is your own cognitive dissonance, and that's how it's relevant to this topic. See how defensive you got?

    I understand how this may seem like arguing semantics, but it's actually deeper than that.

    This remind me of this metal show I went to see the a couple of weeks ago. The frontperson/guitarist was a woman. She dressed like your typical male metalhead, played like your typical male metalhead. I have no problem with that, and she was good at what she did. But when she became frustrated by the lackadaisical audience, she said to them, "We didn't come all the way from L.A. for this pussy-ass shit!"

    Now, I understand that she was simply trying to say she was annoyed by the introverted and comatose audience, but what she didn't realize was that she revealed her own self-hatred by saying that.

    Seeing as that she has a pussy and all.

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  65. wtg P-Mod, between your understanding of linguistics and Medusa's documenting of Hitler's "racism" I think we've managed to debunk the whole thing. Does anyone still believe in racism? We can work on you too.

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  66. I guess you can indeed call it fascism, as the people that use such terms as 'nigger' and 'pussy' in the sense that PMS and the metalhead woman and others use them usually don't realize how much their language has been dictated by "The Man", regardless of intent, regardless of whether those who use such language are racist or sexist or self-hating or not.

    Interesting behavior for a linguist such as PMS.

    It's sociological rather than psychological at this point in history.

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  67. An even bigger "wtg" to Medusa for scratching more than just the surface. I guess it takes balls to get the job done these days. <3

    To differ slightly, I too share the view of most everyone being a waste of space regardless of race but due to lack of inner substance, not racism or any "ism".

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  68. Besides, we were all socialist racist freemasons at one point anyway.

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  69. Lol.

    I will never tire of that.

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  70. Wow I must have skimmed that comment. PMS you lost a lot of respect in my eyes. Some are black and some are niggers? I have a black friend? Ha ha. You are almost typical. I wonder why they never say there are white people and then there are honkys.

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  71. Ammy certainly doesn't take the bait very well though :(

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  72. Postmodern SociopathNovember 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Some black people act like whites, and some are niggers

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  73. Some oranges are round, and some are octagonal.

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  74. Lol.

    Some female metalheads act like males, and some are pussies.

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  75. Some female metalheads have a pussy, and some have both genitals. (I think that's where the self-hatred spawns: confusion)

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  76. Again I will post this comic, as I see the same LOGIC FORCE FIELD around PMS.

    This was made by a male, by the way.

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  77. Said male is probably a victim of the same confusion I mentioned minutes ago.

    Ok, I'm kidding.

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  78. Jesus you guys just jump on people. Why does anyone say anything!!!

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  79. UKan, wtg. That femanist doctor was predisposed to spot a double standard when she sees one. Are you trying to say that's where P-Mod gets his?

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  80. Lol, Ukan.

    I think it's funny that people think Dr. Laura was fired (in the guise of 'retiring') because she said the word 'nigger' and not simply because she's an idiot.

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  81. Anonymous do you think I would answer a question that you have formed the answer within the question itself?
    LoL: Dr. Laura = Feminist Doctor
    Reality: Dr. Laura = Racist Conservitive Talk Show Host
    If you think she is spotting a double standard you are a idiot. Her disposition towards blacks is shown immediately when she finds out the caller is black. She doesnt skip a beat and just attacks her.

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  82. You take the bait so well UKan :) I suppose in P-Mod's absence the responsiblity was my own. I can't wait until he sees what you've just written on a sociopath blog.

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  83. Right...And what exactly was the trap?

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  84. "I can't wait until he sees what you've just written on a sociopath blog."

    What the fuck are you talking about?

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  85. I think he is saying that anyone who responds to his retarded comments is equally as dumb as he is. I'm afraid that's false logic.

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  86. Your key words are paradigm and sociopath, but I get my kicks from others explaining it to you for me.

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  87. Heh, that muppet just did the exact same thing PMS did.

    Anon usually has a good point, by the way, it's just sometimes hard to understand it in the cryptic way that it's written.

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  88. And yet I'm so easily charmed by those who understand what's encrypted.

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  89. You are two steps ahead without bothering to elucidate the steps you choose to skip in your replies.

    The figuring out of the in-between steps is like Einstein's Riddle.

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  90. Cryptic. Ha ha. The cryptic trap was set and I have fallen for it! You are the same as anyone else who has said something stupid in here. You come back with: I was fooling you all. This was my plan from the beginning.
    It's cryptic for: I'm a total fool, let me try to save face

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  91. babies are racist too if they are not nurtured in a mixed race environment - showing preference for people the same colour as they are used to as early as 3 months old. humans have evolved to be tribal and what is a more obvious tag of what tribe you belong to as skin colour?
    there will always be racism of some kind and it makes the world a more interesting place. who wants everyone to be reasonable and agree with everyone else and always be fair!? yawn...

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  92. This entire thread proves my point on why your country will not evolve.

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  93. if this is the same anon who talked about racism as a convenience without explaining in what way then i'm with you there medusa.

    considering i'm diametrically opposite to the socio i've not had any trouble following any arguments, mainly cos they were explained pretty well.

    but this anon seems to think he's the illuminati.

    note: this is an educational blog anon.

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  94. "That femanist doctor was predisposed to spot a double standard when she sees one." = sarcastic. In other words, how Dr. Laura sees herself.

    "I can't wait until he sees what you've just written on a sociopath blog." = You, Ukan, missed the sarcasm and took the bait.

    Same way PMS, and sometimes myself, take your and other anon's bait.

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  95. I could exist as dense as UKan would prefer and still have faith that a frequent user could figure such a riddle out if they so choose as I am quite certain they should exist beyond both key words. Oh shit, did I manage a hint?

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  96. note: this is an educational blog anon.

    Heh. If you think it stops there, you are sorely mistaken.

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  97. I follow it up. That's what bait is. Intentional. Not I got UK to take me serious on a text conversation.

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  98. I do however, doubt that it was intentional bait. It just worked out that way.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Now its a riddle. Please continue your plan as I am obviously helpess

    ReplyDelete
  100. The plan: post, see if you corroborate, take it from there.

    ReplyDelete
  101. To prove what? That I mistakenly thought you had a opinion?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Actually it was more of a test for people who talk like they have a trained eye. I'm not interested in you, I'm interested in them. But it is always nice to have someonem fawning suspicious of my plan :)

    ReplyDelete
  103. Now its a test. Ha ha. I'm sure. And what will you do with these super hereos you gather anonymous?

    ReplyDelete
  104. That's the question I asked Zwang or whatever his name is yesterday.

    ReplyDelete
  105. That's the sound of someone looking like a idiot

    ReplyDelete
  106. Lol, the drama.

    It pleases me to no end that everything I say is so meaningful to everyone. Always nice to have fans.~

    ReplyDelete
  107. I don't understand where the competition between posters on this blog originates.
    What is the contest? Someone, please explain.
    Then, what is the prize if you are the winner?

    ReplyDelete
  108. You win a award for being a muppet you wanker

    ReplyDelete
  109. Someone said it last week. You get to be Muppet Pastor.

    ReplyDelete
  110. what is the prize if you are the winner?


    Use your imagination.

    ReplyDelete
  111. anon

    the clue is in the title of this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  112. On the linguistic issue, since my competency is in question, I will say this:

    Etymologically, "nigger" comes, ultimately, from the Latin niger, meaning black. The only offensive quality comes from people insisting that it's offensive. Hell, until Americans got ahold of it, it applied to anyone with dark skin.

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  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  114. PMS, I'm pretty sure we all know the entomology of the word 'nigger'.

    However, taking the word back a half a millennium is cop-out. And I hardly think you simply mean the color 'black' when you use the word with your token buddies.

    Might as well start using 'thee' and 'thus' and 'thy' and 'fundament'.

    FAIL.

    ReplyDelete
  115. In regards to the States, I doubt segregation/territorial racism will ever truly fade, because there is simply too much America to go around. It's something that I don't think most foreigners, or even citizens can appreciate unless they have extensively traveled the States. Hell, there are pockets of 'civilization' where just being the wrong type of White can get you in deep trouble.

    This also doesn't just apply to races, but other types of minorities. An acquaintance of mine, younger than me, didn't come out of the closet in his hometown. He waited until he moved to an actual city about twenty miles south. The reason? Several openly homosexual students straight up disappeared, Missing Persons disappeared, if you catch my drift.

    America is so split into varied microcosms of society and ways of life, that I seriously doubt there will ever be a sweeping change to this type of discrimination. It's not based on superiority, sometimes, but often it is hatred.

    On a lighter note though, there are several locations I've lived at where racism is usually a non issue in regards to so-called 'normal living'.

    ReplyDelete
  116. er, entymology.

    Irony, that. Almost.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Put it back in the deck, Medusa. Your white guilt is cloying.

    ReplyDelete
  118. NTP brings me to the next point I wanted to bring up.

    The US is founded on and fueled by the fight for civil liberties. Without it we are nothing. Without it there is no focus.

    Now that we have a black president, for all intents and purposes the 'race' issue is somewhat passé as a talking point, which is why we have moved our focus onto gays.

    I am amused by this recent media and political interest in bullying and DADT. People have always been depressed and suicidal as a result of bullying, DADT was a bit of a forgotten issue until recently. Suddenly it's a big huge national issue because gay rights is the cause du jour and a couple of gay kids killed themselves (as if that hasn't happen five million times before for a variety of reasons) and the media has decided to take advantage of it.

    One civil right movement at a time, I guess, until infinity. Or until people find more reasons to discriminate, which they most certainly will.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Not to triple post, but why are my black friends token? Should I use a different word for them just because they're black?~ Is friend not an appropriate label for a non-business associate that I hang out with, invite to dinner, and generally chum about with?

    You'd think whites weren't allowed to mix with them or something.~

    ReplyDelete
  120. Medusa,

    I don't recall what you do for a living but you could always apply for a position at your local newspaper..op-ed section. You're good at getting your point across. I'm sure you could think of a cartoon senario to back it up too.

    Grace

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  121. PMS, I'm not saying your friends are token or that you see them that way, but you speak of them as if they are.

    Grace, thank you. Too bad newspapers are on their way out.

    I was planning to wait until I was 40 to attempt to write for public consumption, or at least until I'm sure that I know what I am talking about.

    I guess that's the same reason why you're not supposed to read the Kabbalah until you're 40.

    ReplyDelete
  122. I didn't mean to portray them that way, Medusa. Apologies. It was an anecdote which I thought was appropriate to the situation, and apparently it was blown out of proportion.

    If you really want to get offended with me, get offended with something interesting, like my support of eugenics.~

    ReplyDelete
  123. I'm not offended, PMS. Just holding up a mirror.

    I understand the reason for bringing up your anecdote, but it's really the same thing as the whole "I have a black/gay/muslim friend, therefore it's not possible that I am racist" argument. Weak.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Any black man that lets you call people the N word IS a token. I would beat the shit out of you if you used that one near me.
    70% of prisoners in the United Snakes is Non-White. I find it funny that white people think racism is over in Amerikkka when it's only beginning. Obama only served to polarize the ruling class, as he has set in motion every right wing fascist in the country (look at the Tea Party).
    Medusa you conveniently back down when white guilt is thrust upon you, only to fall back to crying about the homosexuals who are conviently majority white. Now the white man is oppressed in Amerikka? Come on people. You people are wack.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Dr. Laura SchlessingerNovember 10, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    You are hyper-sensitive

    ReplyDelete
  126. I wasn't particularly suggesting that having such friends prevents me from being racist. I was trying to illustrate a shared cultural dichotomy in terminology, but I suppose I should have been clearer.

    My main argument for "I'm not particularly racist" is that I wasn't exposed to such prejudices in my formative years, so I'm, for lack of a better word, naïve to the reasoning behind racism. I don't particularly get why anyone would judge someone's worth based on anything other than their measurable merit. ~shrug~

    Also, lol, Son of Sam is a character.

    ReplyDelete
  127. I wasn't particularly suggesting that having such friends prevents me from being racist.

    Obviously it don't.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I don't particularly get why anyone would judge someone's worth based on anything other than their measurable merit.

    Possibly due to near-dogmatic, regurgitated hate speech, reinforced by the observation of negative stereotypes. It comes to a point where the people of X race that aren't fulfilling those negative stereotypes become the exception instead of the norm, due to expectations deeply ingrained.

    ReplyDelete
  129. Your well-reasoned argument has changed my life forever, SoS. I won' neva be go'n back ta mah evil ways, no sah!~

    ReplyDelete
  130. Are you black UKan?

    ReplyDelete
  131. @Postmodern Sociopath:

    Off-topic: I picked up a box of Nat Sherman Black & Golds. Best damn (and most expensive) cigarettes I've ever had. Is there a particular type of Nat Sherman you recommend after I inevitably kill this pack, way too fast.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I'm a fan of the MCDs and the Hint of Mint (actually, they may just be called Hint, now that using "Mint" means you're targeting children).

    ReplyDelete
  133. Medusa you conveniently back down when white guilt is thrust upon you, only to fall back to crying about the homosexuals who are conviently majority white.

    To repeat my response to the first time 'white guilt' was mentioned: I cannot believe the assumptions being made.

    ReplyDelete
  134. In my case, I was just using it to prod. You'll always just be a Gorgon to me, dear. :)

    ReplyDelete
  135. This is getting out of hand

    ReplyDelete
  136. The etymology of mulatto is questionable at best.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Did it, Medusa? The etymology of words is fascinating. I looked up "honky", it came from the afro-american slang "hunky", short for Hungarian and first became derogatory when used it to describe unskilled factory worker, many of whom apparently were Hungarian?

    ReplyDelete
  138. Another cry baby about racism. If you are worthy to be great you will become great. I'm tired of listening to these racist rants against white people and men. Women are treated equal look at hilary and the rest of the women in office. Look at obama. Still now they use it as a podium to cry about special issues. Get a grip

    ReplyDelete
  139. Not questionable at all.

    'mulatto' comes straight from 'mule', a hybrid of a donkey and a horse.

    A hybrid.

    Any ass can figure that out.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Didn't know about that honky thing. Interesting.

    I told should have, though, given certain... things.

    ReplyDelete
  141. No need to get snippy, Medusa. Simply bringing up that there are other supported etymologies, and that the official status is disputed.

    ReplyDelete
  142. "Cracker" was used derogatorily to describe poor white southerners in the usa who cracked their corn crop by hand because they were too poor to take it to the mill.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Heh. Not so much snippy as not willing to pass up a good opportunity to throw in an apropos ass joke, PMS.

    ReplyDelete
  144. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  145. Ooh, you've cut me to the quick.~

    I've been looking up all the creative slurs they have for white people in other languages. English-speaking racists are really uncreative by comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  146. List of ethnic slurs.

    'Cheese-eating surrender monkey' is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  147. How great is this sentence?

    "From the perceived proclivity of the French to surrender"

    ReplyDelete
  148. Anon: Exceptionally so, as on generally has a proclivity for something, rather than a proclivity to something, at least as that sentence is structured.

    ReplyDelete
  149. As always in these matters, perfection is my aim, and dickishness is my rifle. :D

    ReplyDelete
  150. I had to actually drive around to find a place near my residence that even sells Nat Sherman. I guess I lucked out. The place I eventually found sold the MCDs for $7, only a buck more than my American Spirits.

    What does interest me is this. There doesn't seem to be a universal racist term that ticks White people off. There's plenty of culture-centric ones, but no word that packs a punch. No 'N' word, if you will.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Well, it helps that no huge populations of white people have been enslaved or subjected to genocide in recent memory, I imagine.~

    ReplyDelete
  152. I've been surprised for a long time now that there hasn't yet been a railing against 'white trash', 'cracker', 'honkey', 'redneck' and the like.

    I suppose it's coming soon, though. Probably right about the time that Hispanics become the majority population.

    And we wonder why the recent push towards closing the borders. Watch that issue pop up again just as soon as the gay-bullying thing dies down.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Medusa,

    Your ideas are now Medusa..why wait? Things haven't changed much in this country when it comes to racism. We have become more advanced/sophisticated in the way we communicate the same feelings and ideas and that's covers up the rawness of it all because people can't talk down and dirty anymore. We have to be socially correct about it. We just manipulate our ideas and feeling to convey the same thing. It's all about fear and protecting the very thing that holds us back. Like UK said...we will never grow into the reality of PEOPLE and our diversities, we hammer the nail in our own coffins so to speak just so we can remain the same. Ben Franklin said “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
    I wasn't raised in home where we said nigger either. I said it once because I didn't know what it meant and my father backhanded me across the mouth.
    If blacks want to call themselves niggers then that's on them. But the mature respectful blacks don't do it. Whites say stupid stuff to each other all the time. Cracker, white trash, just making the color distinction there, but trash is trash.
    And the inner city schools not far from where I live have a teacher student ratio of 1:55. How are these kids, most black and Hispanic, going to ever learn anything in that environment and where are there parents to help them? So when my kid grows up and gets a decent job, he will be contributing to the welfare system that those kids from the inner city will live off of. It’s just a vicious circle.

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  154. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1vH2rjUshk

    ReplyDelete
  155. The bit that I find funny are people who are anti-immigration, i.e., keep all the Mexicans from takin' our jerbs, but are also pro-deregulation, i.e., let corporations outsource everything imaginable.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Grace, I guess it's a question of medium.

    Which for me right now is music, which is, unfortunately or not, age and image dependent.

    I can be old and ugly and still write or blog or write holograms in the sky, and it won't have much of an effect on who my audience is.

    Music is a bit more difficult to maneuver, though I do see that changing.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Digressing to your comment above:

    "I don't particularly get why anyone would judge someone's worth based on anything other than their measurable merit."

    Although I understand why, not even as a child/young adult did I ever subscribe to something contradictory to this statement. I understood why others did, and played along in some cases, but it was never something I could actually sell myself on, racism/minority hate. I didn't "get it". Looking back, and seeing that I even kept company and participated in such foolish circles is probably the closest thing to regret I can conjure. At the very least, I look back and realize just how stupid it was, and it angers me. Being a recluse would have been a better choice.

    I wonder, are there any bona fide racist sociopaths? And if so, are they the minority, or the majority?

    ReplyDelete
  158. I'd also like to add, MCDs are amazing. I adore pretty much everything about it.

    ReplyDelete
  159. lol @ eugenics.

    I see UKan was able to sleep well in my absence. My sociology experiment was a success.

    P-Mod, southpark IS my world view.

    ReplyDelete
  160. PostmodernSociopath said,

    "perfection is my aim, and dickishness is my rifle."

    T-Shirt!!!

    ReplyDelete
  161. Right off I would say I agree with you (M.E.) in that it certainly is best, and good, to provide means by which people can learn about their own nature, and specifically in this case, about some of the ugly sides to their nature.

    But because of the ethical perspective, I can't say for sure that I believe people will actually learn even when confronted in such a direct way as in the Milgram Experiment.


    I have written a little more in-depth reply to your post at my blog. - Everybody are welcome, of course!...

    ReplyDelete
  162. Medusa:

    "Of course, I got no reply."

    Look again.

    I'm probably the last to comment in the thread as I only read it just now(1*), so it's easy to find.

    (1*) - That means I didn't hang around to read the comments that came after mine just then. I left and came back later, that seems somehow more proficient in terms of time management. But think what you will, lady. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  163. Anonymous:

    "I don't understand where the competition between posters on this blog originates.
    What is the contest? Someone, please explain.
    Then, what is the prize if you are the winner?"

    How about: The winner will feel good about him/herself because s/he "won"!

    Very human, very normal, nothing strange about it whatsoever.


    NotMe:

    "anon

    the clue is in the title of this blog."

    Hehe..


    Son of Sam:

    "I would beat the shit out of you if you used that one near me"

    Yet I've heard from time to time black people call each other "niggah" (or "nigger"), and then it's suddenly no longer offensive. That is racism. Black folk are no less racist than whites or other races. Racist phrases such as "nigger" usually says more about the one using it than about the one he uses it about.

    Personally I generally avoid using racist terminology altogether, but there can be those rare situations where it's the one thing that'll help you achieve what you are trying to achieve. It's just never from a racist perspective I would use it, I truly see no logic in being racist.

    Racism is for 'mediocre' people and for those in power to control the public.

    ReplyDelete
  164. Waq maybe should read all the comments before stepping into shit. We already established what racism means. How is a black person refering to his friend as nigga racist? You don't understand black culture at all. Nor do you care to.
    I find it strange that the only complaint white people have against blacks is THIS. That they cant call us nigger anymore. WOW. I have quite a few complaints against white amerikkka believe me. One of them being the fact that every white person has one token black friend that is never around (Convienently) and seems to think that they can now call blacks niggers. Then you say that it means ignorant and that you call everyone a nigger who is ignorant. I know all the excuses you use.
    Dont worry about what black people call each other it's none of your business. You think you can now tell black people how to refer to each other. Ok, yes massah. Now that you wanna stop calling me a nigger and you expect us to follow suit. Wrong. We flipped that word over, and white people are steady mad about it. White's cant use nigger. If you want to know why try slavery, genocide, and rape of our people.

    ReplyDelete
  165. I wonder how the Sicilians felt about the Moors.

    ReplyDelete
  166. Son of Sam,

    since your comment is the last containing reference to something I wrote about, I must assume it is meant for me.

    Before you jump to conclusions it would help you if you asked people what they mean ... that is, if you want to learn something and not just be confirmed and strengthened in your prejudices.

    So okay, I'll give you a chance and answer...


    For me the question is not whether or not others have established what they think (or think they know), about racism or about anything else. It is about my input, my comment to a discussion risen from the content of an article written by the blog-keeper.

    Unless the blog-keeper state otherwise, I assume they are interested in hearing people's thoughts, meanings, views, questions, and suggestions on answers, to the topics they write about. I can't take for granted that M.E. is content with a handful of readers agreeing on a view they believe to be an establishment, but that opinions and thoughts of others will continually be welcomed in spite of what others have written.

    You ask:
    "How is a black person refering to his friend as nigga racist?"

    I can't answer that. But I can tell you what I meant when I wrote that one black person agreeing with another black person calling him a nigga, but thinking a white person doing the same thing is offensive, is thinking in racist terms.

    My statement that many black people are just as racist as many white people (and other colors of people), is not specifically linked to the sentence about blacks saying nigga to blacks, it's something I have observed from specific and general details.

    Then you go on to give a statement about what I don't understand, and your guess is a lucky hit, ..it is correct:

    "You don't understand black culture.."

    ..and that is why it has my interest. I have black friends (and friends of people of other colors), and I've noticed there're differences in how sensitive a topic racism is to them depending on what kind of social environment they grew up in. I have noticed that to some of the most unlucky (socially speaking) racism has caused a lot of pain and damage, and that gives me a reason to find out more about it, if for nothing else then because I want to help and support those I consider to be mine (and they need not be 'mine' in the sense of family, I can care just as much for others!).

    ..though, as you can see:

    "..at all."

    ..is not quite in bull's eye. Risky thing that - guessing about people you know nothing about!

    ..But then you blew it:

    "Nor do you care to."

    Say what!?
    If it wasn't because this is the first time you address me like this, I wouldn't even bother to give you a response.
    But I'm assuming this blog attract people with a somewhat decent level of intelligence and an apt mind, with eagerness towards learning new stuff whenever possible. And I know from experience that we can all be somewhat defensively aggressive at times, especially when we don't know what to expect from others.

    In a forum like this one it really isn't easy to know what to expect, I'll give you that!, and that is why I choose to respond in a constructive manner.

    Petty bickering is so boring. Can't we get all what we want of that sort of thing elsewhere?
    I mean, why bring it into the one place where we might be able to talk about things we can't discuss elsewhere?

    Some may argue that "it's in the blood", "sociopaths can't do otherwise, they have to resort to childish bickering", etc. Well I happen to know otherwise!

    Maybe it's really just about the "successful sociopaths" versus the "unsuccessful sociopaths", who can't change their behavior, and who must be childish no matter what, where, or why.

    ReplyDelete
  167. Son of Sam,

    "We already established what racism means."

    I don't see what you establishing a meaning of a term has to do with me and my personal views on the topic.

    "How is a black person refering to his friend as nigga racist?"

    I don't know the answer to that. Where did you hear someone claim this?

    My statement is this: If a black person agrees with another black person calling him nigga, but think it offensive if a white person does the same thing, he is thinking in racist terms - that means he is influenced by racist thinking, even if he's not aware of it.

    I made another statement that I stick to: There are just as many blacks who are racists as there are whites and other colors of people who are racist.


    "You don't understand black culture.."

    You are correct about this, and it is part of my reason to want to learn more about it. I have several black friends (and friends of people of other colors), and wanting to be able to support and maybe help them out if need be, is my main reason for having become interested in the first place.

    It may sound strange, but I actually grew up in one of the world's most racist states/countries, and though I'm very light skinned, my ethnicity is visible, so you might say I've had it as close to me as I could possibly have. Yet, there are differences in how racism comes out even between cities and parts of a city. If you grow up in the suburbs it is often hard to address or even say the word 'racism' because it's such a taboo. But it's there! Oh yes, it's there!!

    I continue my response below..

    ReplyDelete
  168. Son of Sam,


    I have decided to leave the rest of my reply at another URL (my blog). It doesn't fit in here, so please click my name (Zhawq) if you want to see the rest of what I wrote.

    I'm interested in seeing if we can reach a decent level of communication. That is what really says something about a person, much more than having been diagnosed as a psychopath in the past (if anyone should know that, it's me)

    ReplyDelete
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  176. What if the end doesn't justify the means?

    ReplyDelete
  177. If the end is always going to justify the means, what is the point of even discussing the ethics of the process?

    The end has to justify the means statistically. For example in terms of making use of waste, aborted embryos being used for experimentation, statistically will be useful as it might better the lives of the living. So the odds are either zero (no use) or greater. I don't understand all the arguments about racism. Racism is innate due to humans evolving in small directly related tribes. We live in society where we have to hide innate negative feelings towards those who are unrelated, weaker etc. Most people are stupid and need to be protected from the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  178. What's wrong with the word 'Nigger'?

    Niggers come from Nigeria. What exactly is the problem here?

    Are people ashamed of their own home provinces now?

    I guess I would feel the same if my country was such a shithole.

    I feel no shame in being called an 'European'.
    Likewise, Africans have no reason to feel ashamed of being called 'Niggers'.

    ReplyDelete
  179. again, and with great insight i think, ME is pointing out the blind, uncritical cultural reflex in which a social mass (or mob) has adopted a hierarchy in which one perceived social harm may be graver than another. and that is essentially illogical casuistry - if critical thinking is then a departure from such intuitive assumptions what metric should a critical theory adopt? is it impossible to adequately rank harm within a sociological context? i think so, and think that's ME's point. hm.

    ReplyDelete

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