Are there dangerous ideas?

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This topic contains 360 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 2 days, 12 hours ago.

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  • #32935

    Unseen
    Participant

    I understand that black males are 3.5 times more likely than white males to die from police violence. I don’t have the stats to hand to show this but here is a well conducted study on the topic. Is treating police violence as a public health issue a dangerous idea?

    I’m not going to take one side or the other but…have you listened to Sam Harris’s spiel yet?

    Anyway, if as seems the case cops kill blacks at a higher rate than whites, there are non-racist possible explanations such as cops have way more encounters with black criminals than white. I have no statistics to back that up, but I anticipate that argument being made. If so, that would distort the stats in a way creating a possibly false appearance of a bias of some sort.

    #32936

    Unseen
    Participant

    I think many people see slavery reparations as a dangerous idea for several reasons. They would say, first, that it will further divide an already pathologically-divided country along racial lines. Second, who would qualify? only blacks who can trace their ancestry back to slavery, or would it include blacks who immigrated well after slavery? Third, where does it end? Native American reparations? Women’s reparations? LGBTQ reparations? Anybody with a grievance against straight white American males?

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #32938

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Slave reparations-a dangerous idea. Or at least a tricky idea. Admitting past atrocities produces guilt. It distorts and diminishes the mythology of patriotism. For some that is cool but for others it is unbearable. The people who did the unspeakable are long since dead. But the unspeakable contributed to the conditions of systemic racism. Giving reparations will cause resentment among some whites. Therefore it will lead to further division. Is it more sensible to use available funds to create business or educational opportunities for disadvantaged?

    #32939

    Unseen
    Participant

    Slave reparations-a dangerous idea. Or at least a tricky idea. Admitting past atrocities produces guilt. It distorts and diminishes the mythology of patriotism. For some that is cool but for others it is unbearable. The people who did the unspeakable are long since dead. But the unspeakable contributed to the conditions of systemic racism. Giving reparations will cause resentment among some whites. Therefore it will lead to further division. Is it more sensible to use available funds to create business or educational opportunities for disadvantaged?

    Yes. Many whites, who also experienced discrimination upon their arrival from Ireland, Italy, Eastern Europe and other places will say “Why should I have to be punished for something my people had no part in?” And on the other side, what about late-arriving blacks with no slavery heritage?

    It would be a clusterfuck.

    #32940

    Unseen
    Participant

    BTW, Harris is not without his critiques. This article, for example.

    and this video of a discussion led by the recently deceased Michael Brooks:

    #32941

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I was not familiar with the host, Michael Brooks but he just died. So no face-off between Harris and Brooks. That show was nonsense. They mischaracterized so many of his positions and it felt to me like they had some animus against Harris-wasn’t just a critique of his podcast. I notice they made some reference to Hitchens-“at least Hitchens…So perhaps they are anti-atheist.

    #32942

    Davis
    Moderator

    You said:

    And now BLM movement does not want to hear that the cops kill blacks at greater rate is false. But it is false.

    It wasn’t clear if this was an extension of Sam Harris’s ideas or your own commentary so if you were just paraphrasing something by Harris then I appologise.

    Re: Unseen

    No I don’t think that any idea should be heavily discouraged unless they directly contribute towards criminal behaviour or the systematic oppression of people. However in an academic setting I don’t think any single idea or topic should be off the table if it is going to be discussed critically.

    #32943

    Ivy
    Participant

    Of course some ideas are dangerous. Look at the world around us right now. Is that not obvious?

    #32944

    Unseen
    Participant

    The most dangerous idea of all may be that there are dangerous ideas.

    Aren’t many and maybe most ideas some people think of as dangerous actually just uncomfortable things to talk about? If someone says blacks are more naturally athletic than whites or Asians, that’s something most people wouldn’t want to talk about…other than racists, of course. However, an idea isn’t ipso facto false simply because a racist believes or proposes it. Right?

    I think many people would say that ideas people believe that they can’t prove are dangerous. Or that that’s a dangerous way of thinking  If so, wouldn’t that make evolution a dangerous idea? There is no conclusive proof of evolution. There isn’t even an indirect proof the way we accept the Theory of Relativity as proven. Rather, it’s just accepted based on a preponderance of evidence (it’s basically just the best theory going that explains stuff).

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #32946

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Ideas are only dangerous because of how flawed we humans are. The free marketplace of ideas does not work because we do not work. We need to curtail some speech because of how flawed we are.

    Undoubtedly an idea is not ipso facto false because of the proponent.

    #32947

    Ivy
    Participant

    I think I’ll go jump off a cliff today to see if I survive.”

    (Dangerous idea)

    There is something to be said for good old fashioned common sense.

    something the people in the US seem to be severely lacking these days

    #32948

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think I’ll go jump off a cliff today to see if I survive.”

    That’s not just a dangerous idea, that’s a stupid idea.

    Is there any dangerous knowledge?

    I think the pressure to seek knowledge, or truth, or to reason, is driven by the pressure to thrive.  We need truth or knowledge in order to function more optimally.

    #32955

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think that one “dangerous idea” is that of Peter Singer: that terminally ill children, in a lot of pain, should be euthenised on utilitarian grounds of reducing overall suffering.  This sounds fine on paper, perhaps, or in the head of someone without normal human feelings.  But I think it’s dangerous because it cheapens human life overall.  Disabled rights groups get upset about this, and I don’t blame them.  His view of “person” is very narrow, and apparently doesn’t include all human beings.

    #32956

    Davis
    Moderator

    I don’t think that terminally ill anyone (children or adults) should be euthanized against their will (that is crazy) but they most certainly be allowed to die with dignity if they wish (their parents desire to extend their suffering for their own reasons be damned). To expect someone to continue suffering is what cheapens life.

    #32957

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I can agree with you to some extent.

    Peter Singer says,

    I use the term “person” to refer to a being who is capable of anticipating the future, of having wants and desires for the future.

    In other words, someone without mental capacity is not a person.  This is the part that cheapens human life.

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