With recent controversy over the objective and means of PC-culture, I think it’s time to try to understand the philosophies at play here. As somebody who has trouble making sense of the cultural moment, I’m inviting anybody to ask themselves these questions in forming a clear, consistent vision over how the world ought-to-be in their eyes.
I do this (which I view as the Socratic Method) with utmost sincerity and respect, because I think they are a prerequisite to any useful discussion.
- What constitutes a protected group? Some obvious examples may include: race, gender, and the disabled. But what about low physical attractiveness, low class, religious groups, hair color, neurodiversity, age, and all other categories? On what logical basis can one decide whether a trait is a protected group or not (e.g. do they actually need to be a minority? what if men started making less than women, would the social just cause try to reverse this and after how long?)- Follow up: If you stipulated that past oppression was relevant, please clarify how past oppression is to be measured (i.e. Half of the Jewish population was wiped out, does this make them a more protected group than another group? Are there levels?). Also please clarify how long you believe past-oppression is relevant for, and is it only past oppression in the US, or across all of history, or does it even go further back into evolution?
- For what careers should protected groups have an equal per-capita representation? We’ve seen a lot of tension about engineering, and there’s definitely a desire to get different protect groups into the presidency, but I sense no hurry to try to gender-balance auto-mechanics. What is the philosophy at play here? Do only protected groups deserve equal representation or are there cases where underrepresented unprotected groups deserve equal representation?
- Do you believe your social justice agenda is: A) Objectively fair, B) Subjectively fair, C) Fair isn’t the question ?
- Which of these statements should be punishable? Why? Is it the employers discretion?
– “Statistically cats have lower IQs than people on average”
– “Statistically, women are shorter than men on average”
– “Statistically, Asians have a higher IQ than whites on average”
– “Statistically, women are worse at basketball than men on average, because they are shorter on average”
– “Statistically, people with down syndrome have lower IQs on average”
– “Perhaps the reason we haven’t had a president with down syndrome isn’t because of systemic bias, but because statistically people with down syndrome are less qualified on average”
- Should left-leaning political statements and right-leaning political statements be equally punishable at work?
- Who gets to define who’s a “victim?” Who gets to define what’s “offensive?” Why have I not been included in this process?
- If I presented evidence of a group that was more oppressed than blacks and women (yet no less competent), would you consider it a mistake on your part that you hadn’t been advocating for that group?
- Should people who change their identification to join a minority group (e.g. become female, black, jewish) merit equal protection, greater protection, or lesser protection?
- If a remark may hurt somebody’s feelings, but is true, and relevant, is it protected? What is the philosophy over what is safe to say? Who came up with this philosophy, was it written anywhere, and why didn’t I get input? Is it fundamentally different to say something that is offends members of a protected group versus members of a non-protected-group?
- How would you recommend we coexist if I completely disagreed with the groups you identified as protected groups, but with complete sincerity and having put a lot of thought and research into it?
- If we took a majority vote, and your answers on all of these questions were found to be incredibly unpopular, would that make you question your beliefs? If not, on what basis do you hope to convince those who disagree with you?
- Is guilt, social pressure, and reducing work safety a fair way to drive social progress? If somebody has a contradictory notion of social progress to you, is it okay if they use guilt, social pressure, and reducing your work safety as a means to drive their agenda?
I bring up these questions because I see a lot of negative reaction to how the world is. But what is harder is presenting a superior alternative.