Racism is evil.

Strafio
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Racism is evil.

This might seem controversial to some but then considering where I'm posting this there's a good chance many of you will see this the same way I do.
I've picked up this social atmosphere where racism is a taboo, and instant 'no no', that it's evil incarnate... I might be just imagining things and attacking a strawman of my own imagination here... but anyway... Smiling

Racism isn't evil as such... just a li'l retarded is all...
Racism, as I understand it, is treating/thinking of someone differently based on racial/cultural prejudice. So this would include 'positive' racism as well. It's pretty much the same as any other prejudice except for the history surrounding it.

So the problems with prejudice?
Well, it's pre-judging - making decisions on things you don't really know about.
When you first see someone you don't know anything about them so your mind will try and make guesses based on stereotypes that fit this first impression. These guesses can sometimes be accurate but often you can often infer details that aren't there.
Pre-judging would be the crime of reading too much into this 'gut instinct' based on stereotyping and relying too much on it rather than trying to understand the person as they really are.

So racism is basic ignorance really...
Still not desirable, but evil? That goes too far.
It's seen as morally wrong to make 'racist jokes' or have 'racist thoughts'.
There's some 'racist jokes' that might be nasty but it won't be the 'racism' in them that's the problem. (I'll explain later)

Some say that the holocaust is the effect of racism but I'll disagree.
I'd split the holocaust into two parts; how Hitler chose his enemies and how Hitler dealt with his enemies.

Hitler had various ways of chosing enemies. Some would've been people he personally hated, others would be he political opponents (naturally), and others were the result of his prejudices (gays, blacks, Jews, gypsies etc.)
Then we have how Hitler dealt with his enemies - persecution and holocaust.
The method of choosing enemies is where the racism was.
Had there been no persecution/holocaust then there wouldn't be any real evil in this... Hitler would've been your average idiot who had problems with people for no real reason.
The method of dealing with enemies is where the evil was.
Would it have been less evil if he'd restricted himself to murdering political opponents?

This isn't saying "Racism isn't evil, it's alright! Let's all be racist."
It's more of a looking at what racism really is.
'Racist' seems to have become a dirty word by which no one wants to be labelled as so they'll just deny their racism being racism... the current "thou shalt not be an evil racist" atmosphere floating around just encourages people to be less honest to themselves about it.

Take the KKK, they're currently saying "we're not evil, we don't hate minorities, we just think that we should be separated from them..."
Their approach is to present an image of racism that isn't evil or malicious that people can see isn't really that 'nasty'... most people's reaction is to call it a 'cover' to gain popularity and that the KKK will be nasty the first chance it gets. I think it would be even better to say, "well they're not being nasty or malicious, they're not evil as such, they're just a bit silly with these weird beliefs about 'race' and stuff... so paint them the same way we paint other lunatics, like ones who believe that flowers have feelings or..." you know... Smiling

So a rational diagnosis of 'racism is evil' or have I missed something?
I understand why it was a necessary attitude to break some seriously nasty racial prejudices from about 30-50 years ago but surely we're ready to look at it more honestly now?


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I can understand - basically

I can understand - basically the beliefs that lead up to racism are incorrect. Rather than being evil, it's like believing the Earth is flat.

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I wouldn't say racism is

I wouldn't say racism is evil I would say that racism is an unreasonale position to hold.


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Racism is an often useful

Racism is an often useful defense mechanism. For those of us who do not live in high-class neighborhoods or universities (not me), and encounter a disproportionately large number of minorities who are poor/criminal, presupposing the behavior of individuals based on skin color is pragmatic. It is my view that one should not be afraid to hold presumptions based on skin color, but they should be tentative, and judgement should be based on the actions of the individual. By the way, race is a very useful marker for determining a tentative likelihood for many diseases.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


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Evil is an action carried

Evil is an action carried out with malicious intent. Evil could also be described as malevalent behavior toward another. I do believe that by the time we are adults, we know the difference between good and bad behavior. When someone is being racist, they are choosing to take that road. This action in my opinion is wrong. Evil? Maybe. If a person is denied any benefits because of this decision then I would say yes- very malicious indeed.
Racism orginally was the belief that people differ in their intelligence due to the race they belonged to. We now know that people aren't better or worse for their race, so when this belief is still used today, it is with ill intent. Evil may sound like a strong word but racism is what it is. I myself can not wait until the day we all can appreciate the climatically colored people of the world the same way we apprectiate dialects, eye colors, hair colors, etc.


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Racism isn't necessary ill

Racism isn't necessary ill intent though.
There's the obvious 'positive' racism.
You always see comedy shows where well meaning people are accidently racist.
There's 'racist fear' where you don't mean ill on someone but are just scared of them because their racial characteristics in you.

So when you have ill intent towards a race, it's the ill intent that's evil while the racial side, your method/rule for directing this ill intent, is silly/irrational.


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Strafio wrote: So when you

Strafio wrote:

So when you have ill intent towards a race, it's the ill intent that's evil while the racial side, your method/rule for directing this ill intent, is silly/irrational.

Agreed.


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Strafio wrote:So when you

Strafio wrote:
So when you have ill intent towards a race, it's the ill intent that's evil while the racial side, your method/rule for directing this ill intent, is silly/irrational.

Refusing to take into account patterns of behavior in relation to skin color is potentially dangerous. It is neither silly nor irrational; it is justified by past experience.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


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Racism is bread by ignorance

Racism is bread by ignorance and fear and indoctinated stereotypes. Not ALL racist stereotypes are bad - for example the view of the Asian math genius or the view of the African star athelete. Granted such positives are often accompaniened by corresponding detriments - i.e. Africans are gifted phyicallly, but lack intellect or Asians are smart, but lack in the physical department.

In the end, no, holding such views are certainly not evil, and at times are not even entirely without merit - for example it wouldn't be racist to comment in a matter of fact way on a native African's resitance to malaria, it's genetically demonstrable.

"Evil" or more accurately biggotry and discrimination only arise in spite of and after the fact of minor differences, and unfortunately, most of this is based solely on skin color.

What breaks this down, what destroys these stereotypes, is knowledge, education.

I've posted on this in the past:

All humans are fundamentally the same. We all come from a common ancestor; we all share a common genetic history. One of the oldest criticisms of evolutionary theory has always been that such a theory is racist, or could be used to justify racism; however to the contrary evolution tells us that we all come from the same place, from the same ancestor – we are all very distant cousins of one another (1) and have been interbreeding with one another since the dawn of the species (and even before that if you want to get really technical). What’s more, the related field of genetics has shown that at our very core, our DNA, is fundamentally the same across our entire species and that we all came from the same place – Africa around 60,000 years ago (2).

Even more importantly, genetic studies have shown that human genetic diversity is more pronounced between individuals of the same population than between different populations or even continents (4), (5). In fact, it has been known for quite some time that human genetic variation lies largely between individuals within populations, rather than between populations or even between continents. Genetic studies have confirmed this using classical genetic makers to the point that we know that the apportionment of genetic diversity lies 88 to 90% among individuals within populations and 10 to 12% among different populations (6). I use the term population here rather than race, because biologically speaking, at least IMO, race simply does not exist in homo sapiens. In other words, genetically speaking, Africans and Asians are more similar to one another as groups than any two individual Asians are to one another or any two Africans are to on another.

The reasons for this lack of genetic variance between populations, races and continents are many; DNA bottlenecks and near extinctions of our species (7), the fact that we are a relatively young species, the fact that we are historically nomadic and intermixing species, but the empirical evidence speaks for itself – we are much more similar to one another than most would imagine and most of our differences really are only skin deep. It is clear that the “races” do not differ genetically in any significant way. Thus it is unreasonable to assume that certain “races” of people would be more genetically predisposed to certain behaviors than other “races”, even if it could be shown that genetic predispositions to behaviors like violence even exist in a conclusive demonstrable capacity – no conclusive evidence exists, that I am aware of, that determinant genetic specific behaviors exist, let alone that they are quantifiable or measurable.

Now there are branches of science that do seek to explain behavior in evolutionary ways. Evolutionary psychology seeks to offer explanations of adaptive human cognitive behaviors in light of evolution biology, by primarily focusing on psychological behavior in the scope of natural selection: quite simply these scientists look for and attempt to explain psychological behavior that gets one’s genes passed on (get you laid ). Behaviors such as kin-selection (9), altruism (10), capture-bonding and aversions to incest are all well documented as behaviors that aid in getting one’s genes passed on. Thus in light of evolution and natural selection these psychological behaviors make perfect sense. I personally am unaware of any studies which suggest that inherently violent individuals are more successful breeders. Surely, a measured degree of aggression in individuals has obvious advantages, but I don’t think any evolutionary psychologist would make the argument that inherently violent individuals are more successful.

As flawed scientifically and antithetical to the empirical evidence as it is, arguing that certain races have a genetic propensity toward violence or other behaviors or skills becomes even more ridiculous when one tries to assert that a certain people’s historical culture influences genetics. This smacks of Lamarkism, the idea that traits acquired during one’s lifetime are passed on to future generations, and was abandoned by biology well over 100 years ago. An individual’s culture and environment do not affect their genes directly, thus it is a complete non-sequitor to say that an individual in a war-like culture will have violence seeking genes (again if such genes even exist).

In the end, it cannot be shown that races even exist in a biological sense, let alone that certain races have certain genetic behavioral tendencies. What’s more, it cannot be shown beyond reasonable doubt that genetic tendencies toward behaviors like violence even exist in a quantifiable capacity separate from cultural, pre-natal, and environmental factors. So there you have it; we are all essentially the same genetically speaking, yet we remain individuals - for it is within individuals and not races that the genetic spice of life really lies.

(1) Dawkins, Richard. “River out of Eden” ch.2

(2) Cavalli-Sforza, L. L.(1998). The DNA revolution in population genetics. Trends in Genetics. 14(Feb.), p. 60-65.

(3) Wise, C., Sraml, M., Rubinsztein, D., Easteal. S. 1997. Comparative Nuclear and Mitochondrial Genome Diversity in Humans and Chimpanzees. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14:707-716.

(4) Jorde, L., Rogers, A., Bamshad, M., Watkins, W.S., Krakowiak, P., Sung, S., Kere, J., Harpending, H. April 1997. Microsatellite Diversity and the Demographic History of Modern Humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 94:3100-3103.

(5) Bowcock. A.M., Ruiz-Linares, A., Tomfohrde, J., Minch, E., Kidd, J.R., Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. 1994. High resolution of human evolutionary trees with polymorphic microsatellites. Nature 368:455-457.

(6) Lewontin, R. C. 1972. The apportionment of human diversity. Evolutionary Biology 6:381-398. Cited in Ref. 35.

(7) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/neanderthals/mtdna.html

(8 ) Fehr, Ernst and Simon Gächter, 2002. Altruistic punishment in humans. Nature 415: 137-140.

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Strafio
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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Strafio wrote:
So when you have ill intent towards a race, it's the ill intent that's evil while the racial side, your method/rule for directing this ill intent, is silly/irrational.

Refusing to take into account patterns of behavior in relation to skin color is potentially dangerous. It is neither silly nor irrational; it is justified by past experience.


This is a little bit different to what I meant by ill intent.
Making judgements on people who pass you by, (perhaps on their age, their attitude, the clothes they're wearing etc) and perhaps making a decision to cross the street... I think that's kind of what you mean.
These aren't rational as accurate judgements but rational as 'play it safe' judgements.

Trusting your instincts in social situations is different to making a political ideology out of prejudice misconceptions.


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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Racism is an often useful defense mechanism. For those of us who do not live in high-class neighborhoods or universities (not me), and encounter a disproportionately large number of minorities who are poor/criminal, presupposing the behavior of individuals based on skin color is pragmatic. It is my view that one should not be afraid to hold presumptions based on skin color, but they should be tentative, and judgement should be based on the actions of the individual. By the way, race is a very useful marker for determining a tentative likelihood for many diseases.

Maybe I am the one lost in the semantics, but I believe we are discussing prejudices. Racism refers to a race feeling its inherently superior than an other. This to me is an unreasonable and ultimately an untenable position to hold. However I do believe certain prejudices exist that provide utility. We are wired to hold prejudices whether we are aware of them or not, I believe the implicit association test is used to show how we hold particular prejudices subconciously.


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Yellow_Number_Five, Excellent

Yellow_Number_Five,

Excellent read. I've always read alot of your post pertaining to race on IG. Especially when you laid the smackdown on various stormfront trolls.


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Prejudice is unreasonable.

Prejudice is unreasonable. Individuals are to be judged on their actions and ideas.


Strafio
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Thanks for the replies. Kind

Thanks for the replies.
Kind of what I was expecting from this forum.
I'll be posting it in a couple of others too.
It'll be interesting to see what responses I get from these other places.


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I don't agree. I think it is

I don't agree. I think it is evil.

But then, I'll probably be called PC for saying that. They say everyone has some prejudice, and maybe that is true, but these days it's becoming more fashionable to be so than not.

Sad


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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Racism is an often useful defense mechanism. For those of us who do not live in high-class neighborhoods or universities (not me), and encounter a disproportionately large number of minorities who are poor/criminal, presupposing the behavior of individuals based on skin color is pragmatic. It is my view that one should not be afraid to hold presumptions based on skin color, but they should be tentative, and judgement should be based on the actions of the individual. By the way, race is a very useful marker for determining a tentative likelihood for many diseases.

+1.

I judge people by race, but I'm very quick to throw those judgements away if I see evidence that those judgements are wrong. I also think that if people did not want to be stereotyped, they should stop trying so damn hard to match the stereotype. I generally factor in their clothes and speech also, those three things together have given me an extremely reliable indicator of what people are like.

And yes, it is a from of racism. Racism is discrimination by race.

I see racism as sorta like judging a car by it's body lines. It's easy to tell whether a car is probably fast or slow, powerful or weak, having computerized or mechanical controls, and even says something about the owner. Of course some idiots will find a way to make a slow car look like a street racer or something, so you have to be ready to abandon those judgements with any contrary evidence. But there's nothing wrong with doing that to cars, it doesn't change the act just because you do it to people.

It's not good nor evil, so anyone who says otherwise should probably have to demonstrate why it is good or evil before saying it is and being taken seriously.


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Zhwazi wrote: +1. I judge

Zhwazi wrote:

+1.

I judge people by race, but I'm very quick to throw those judgements away if I see evidence that those judgements are wrong. I also think that if people did not want to be stereotyped, they should stop trying so damn hard to match the stereotype. I generally factor in their clothes and speech also, those three things together have given me an extremely reliable indicator of what people are like.

And yes, it is a from of racism. Racism is discrimination by race.

I see racism as sorta like judging a car by it's body lines. It's easy to tell whether a car is probably fast or slow, powerful or weak, having computerized or mechanical controls, and even says something about the owner. Of course some idiots will find a way to make a slow car look like a street racer or something, so you have to be ready to abandon those judgements with any contrary evidence. But there's nothing wrong with doing that to cars, it doesn't change the act just because you do it to people.

It's not good nor evil, so anyone who says otherwise should probably have to demonstrate why it is good or evil before saying it is and being taken seriously.

rac·ism Pronunciation (rszm)
n.
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Your definition above is not referring to racism but to stereotypes. Not necessarily the same thing. Stereotype doesn't mean someone is better than another because of their race.

Quote:
Racism is discrimination by race.

It is the belief of superiority of a race over another, as well.

A stereotype is for example, I can't dance because I'm white. (Which happens to be true. Not the because "I'm white" part but because of the "I can't dance" part). But racism for example is when a bunch of white people think they have to kill brown people for whatever reason. Racism is what happens when a black person goes to the store to buy bandaids and there are none that match her skin.


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Quote:It is the belief of

Quote:
It is the belief of superiority of a race over another, as well.

Total superiority is unlikely. However, superiority in certain aspects, most definitely.

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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
Quote:
It is the belief of superiority of a race over another, as well.

Total superiority is unlikely. However, superiority in certain aspects, most definitely.


Can you give me an example please?


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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
rac·ism Pronunciation (rszm)
n.
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Eh...that kinda includes race as a factor of stereotyping.


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Quote:2. Discrimination or

Quote:
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.
Eh...that kinda includes race as a factor of stereotyping.

Yeah, I agree. In fact, that's precisely what I mean. Race, not culture, clothes, slang, etc. is what is being discriminated. The part I was focusing on was where you said:
Zhwazi wrote:
I judge people by race, but I'm very quick to throw those judgements away if I see evidence that those judgements are wrong. I also think that if people did not want to be stereotyped, they should stop trying so damn hard to match the stereotype. I generally factor in their clothes and speech also, those three things together have given me an extremely reliable indicator of what people are like.

I just think that this sounds like a different definition than racism. Does it mean you are "discriminating" or "prejudging" them based on their race only? Or is it because of their clothes, speech as well? I guess I stereotype when I see the clothes and speech more than the skincolor. That's why I see a flaw in judging people by race alone.

Quote:
It's not good nor evil, so anyone who says otherwise should probably have to demonstrate why it is good or evil before saying it is and being taken seriously.

Racism is NOT good. Evil? Like I said before, if it denies someone based on that alone, then, what else would it be. Allow me to demonstrate how it could be considered evil. http://www.american-pictures.com/english/racism/frequent.htm


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What is evil on that link is

What is evil on that link is not the racism, but the use of force to impose racism. The use of force except in defense, reguardless of whether it's for racist or sadistic or whatever motivation, is what is evil. That the force was justified by racism is irrelevant.

For example, denying service to blacks is not using force, it's exerting property rights. I have a right to not serve whoever I want in any business I own, reguardless of the reason. It's not evil, it's just inconvenient for both me (lost revenue) and the victim.

If it's possible for a community of blacks to be just as discriminatory and racist against whites as a community of whites is to do to blacks, it couldn't really be called oppression so much as de-facto segregation. As long as all the interaction is a decline to interact, it's voluntary on everyone's part and there's nothing evil about it. If there's black mobs lynching whites and white mobs lynching blacks, that's different, because the lynched don't have a choice to say "No thanks, I don't wanna be lynched."

Racism itself, is not evil.


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Zhwazi wrote:What is evil on

Zhwazi wrote:
What is evil on that link is not the racism, but the use of force to impose racism.
And what is the reason they are using force? Look, you can try to twist what it means to be racist, whether it is good or not. But a lot of people would be better off if it didn't exist.


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The reason they are using

The reason they are using force is irrelevant beyond the question of defense. I might want a new car. There's nothing evil about it. If I steal a new car, that's what makes it evil. It's the agression, not the reason, that creates evil.

And it cannot be said that people would be better off if racism did not exist because welfare, or how "well off" someone is, is all in their head, and you can't measure it to compare whether people would be happier with or without it. Some blacks are quite happy hating whites, just as some conservatives are quite happy hating illegal immigrants. You could say they're just addicted to the strong feelings that the opposing race brings out in the racist, but that improves their welfare, otherwise they wouldn't keep doing it.

It's actions of aggression that are what's wrong, not the reason behind it.


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Zhwazi wrote:The reason they

Zhwazi wrote:
The reason they are using force is irrelevant beyond the question of defense. I might want a new car. There's nothing evil about it. If I steal a new car, that's what makes it evil. It's the agression, not the reason, that creates evil.

And it cannot be said that people would be better off if racism did not exist because welfare, or how "well off" someone is, is all in their head, and you can't measure it to compare whether people would be happier with or without it. Some blacks are quite happy hating whites, just as some conservatives are quite happy hating illegal immigrants. You could say they're just addicted to the strong feelings that the opposing race brings out in the racist, but that improves their welfare, otherwise they wouldn't keep doing it.

It's actions of aggression that are what's wrong, not the reason behind it.

I think I'm done here. Wanting a car=hating a race:stealing a car=killing a human? We simply disagree and that's okay. Have a nice day.


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Well what's more important,

Well what's more important, what you did, or what you were thinking when you did it?


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Watch the whole video if

Watch the whole video if possible.
If not then just fast forward to minute 8:00

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0FI82DOuxE

Crazy, Ignorant, or Lying?

I'll post some evidence concerning my pick Wednesday.

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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
Insidium Profundis wrote:
Quote:
It is the belief of superiority of a race over another, as well.

Total superiority is unlikely. However, superiority in certain aspects, most definitely.


Can you give me an example please?

Certainly. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, score 15 IQ points above average. Also, there are obvious genetic differences between human populations: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9258970/

Quote:
Lahn and colleagues examined two genes, named microcephalin and ASPM, that are connected to brain size. If those genes don’t work, babies are born with severely small brains, called microcephaly.

Those criticisms are particularly important, Collins said, because Lahn’s testing did find geographic differences in populations harboring the gene variants today. They were less common in sub-Saharan African populations, for example.

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I vote paranoid idiot.

I vote paranoid idiot. Sounds like the black version of the CFR/Trilateralist/Bilderburgers/Masons/illuminati/etc bullshit of the conspiracy theorists (a different kind of paranoid idiot).

There's nothing inherently wrong with being a paranoid idiot. It's only wrong when you start forcing others to submit to your paranoid idiotic beliefs.


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Insidium Profundis

Insidium Profundis wrote:
MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
Insidium Profundis wrote:
Quote:
It is the belief of superiority of a race over another, as well.

Total superiority is unlikely. However, superiority in certain aspects, most definitely.


Can you give me an example please?

Certainly. Ashkenazi Jews, for example, score 15 IQ points above average. Also, there are obvious genetic differences between human populations: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9258970/

Quote:
Lahn and colleagues examined two genes, named microcephalin and ASPM, that are connected to brain size. If those genes don’t work, babies are born with severely small brains, called microcephaly.

Those criticisms are particularly important, Collins said, because Lahn’s testing did find geographic differences in populations harboring the gene variants today. They were less common in sub-Saharan African populations, for example.

Ok. I just wanted to see if you were gonna say something like blacks are better at B-ball or Asians are smarter in math. Thanks.
Smiling


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We are now getting into the

We are now getting into the murky politically incorrect territory that is eugenics. There is no conclusive evidence that I thus far have seen that states that one race is predisposed to a higher intelligence over another. There has been alot of speculation and studies but nothing definitive. In regards to the Ashkenazi Jews, the idea itself is very controversial and while some of the research has been intriguing, alot more work needs to be done to support this hypothesis. Even the article above cautions jumping to conclusions.

Quote:

That the genetic changes have anything to do with brain size or intelligence “is totally unproven and potentially dangerous territory to get into with such sketchy data,” stressed Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Nature vs. Nurture, it's still up for debate. I personally lean towards nurture. Not to digress too far, maybe we should look into why the idea of a race being superior to another is evil. I think that is really the meat of the discussion here.


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melchisedec wrote:We are now

melchisedec wrote:
We are now getting into the murky politically incorrect territory that is eugenics. There is no conclusive evidence that I thus far have seen that states that one race is predisposed to a higher intelligence over another. There has been alot of speculation and studies but nothing definitive. In regards to the Ashkenazi Jews, the idea itself is very controversial and while some of the research has been intriguing, alot more work needs to be done to support this hypothesis. Even the article above cautions jumping to conclusions.

Quote:

That the genetic changes have anything to do with brain size or intelligence “is totally unproven and potentially dangerous territory to get into with such sketchy data,” stressed Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Nature vs. Nurture, it's still up for debate. I personally lean towards nurture. Not to digress too far, maybe we should look into why the idea of a race being superior to another is evil. I think that is really the meat of the discussion here.

The article above is very cautious for the very reason that eugenics and potential genetic differences in capability between races are very charged topics. It is far easier to bend the truth and suggest that certain implications of genetic research do not exist while sating the politically correct crowd than to do otherwise. Just think about what happens to the funding of a scientist if he says that his research can imply genetic differences between races, particularly in relation to intelligence.

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


Zhwazi
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melchisedec wrote:maybe we

melchisedec wrote:
maybe we should look into why the idea of a race being superior to another is evil. I think that is really the meat of the discussion here.

Ideas cannot, by their nature, be evil. Only actions can be evil.
The greatest good carried out with the worst intentions is no less good.
The greatest evil carried out with the best intentions is no less evil.
The greatest good carried out the the best intentions is no more good.
The greatest evil carried out with the worst intentions is no more evil.


Skyknight
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I think labeling anything

I think labeling anything evil is of debatable value. Evil is a word prominent in religion. I see it as the imposition of one group or individual's moral values on everyone else. Perhaps I am alone in thinking that every individual works out their own morals as they grow up, we all have different ideas on what is right and wrong. Basically my point is that evil is a subjective view, and should not be used like a scientific label.

As for racism, we naturally some up the world around us based on all the information we have gleaned as we go through life. All prejudice is based on ignorance, it is making assumptions based on limited and sometimes flawed information in ignorance of the rest, we are all ignorant so unless we are all evil then it cannot be the prejudice itself that is evil. If your only experience of black people was seeing them portrayed on television as criminals, then you could not be called evil for thinking that. However if you had met many perfectly nice intelligent black people and still chose to believe your original prejudice over the information at hand, that becomes certainly wrong if not evil.

Zhwazi wrote:

The greatest good carried out with the worst intentions is no less good.
The greatest evil carried out with the best intentions is no less evil.
The greatest good carried out the the best intentions is no more good.
The greatest evil carried out with the worst intentions is no more evil.

I can see the truth in your statement but would like to ask you a question.
Assuming we both agree that "murder" is evil, then according to your statement, if we consider someone who kills someone who asks them to kill them because they are in severe pain and are unable to commit suicide (Pretty v UK [2002])according to UK law at least and I believe in US law as well, this would be considered murder. Should the intentions of the perpetrator ever be taken into account when classifying an action evil?

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


Zhwazi
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Skyknight wrote:Zhwazi

Skyknight wrote:
Zhwazi wrote:

The greatest good carried out with the worst intentions is no less good.
The greatest evil carried out with the best intentions is no less evil.
The greatest good carried out the the best intentions is no more good.
The greatest evil carried out with the worst intentions is no more evil.

I can see the truth in your statement but would like to ask you a question.
Assuming we both agree that "murder" is evil, then according to your statement, if we consider someone who kills someone who asks them to kill them because they are in severe pain and are unable to commit suicide (Pretty v UK [2002])according to UK law at least and I believe in US law as well, this would be considered murder. Should the intentions of the perpetrator ever be taken into account when classifying an action evil?


That would be different because the "victim" volunteered for the murder. Suicide-by-proxy is not murder anymore than dropping your 16 year old car off at a scrapyard and not asking for payment is theft, or doing something nice for someone is slavery. By my book, "Evil" is involuntary initiation of force. Anything voluntary is not evil (suicide by proxy), anything defensive is not evil (killing an attacker), and anything not involving force is not evil (most actions).


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I saw that hole in my

I saw that hole in my argument when i put it forward, but I couldn't find a way to word what I meant. Would you not say that self defence could be good intentions, and therefore the result could be evil.
For example, is it more evil for someone to shoot another person with no motive, than it is for someone to shoot another person in self defence, where that person had pulled a gun on you first?
As a law student, where in the criminal justice system, the intent of the defendant is one of the major pillars of the law. I find it hard to say that the intent of the person has no bearing on how evil something is. Perhaps it is the situation rather than the thoughts of the perpetrator that matters when it comes to classifying something as evil. Can an accident be evil?

Oh and thanks for picking that argument apart it deserved no less :$ Though I think it was worth posting because your response has helped clarify in my mind what i think.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


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Skyknight wrote:I saw that

Skyknight wrote:
I saw that hole in my argument when i put it forward, but I couldn't find a way to word what I meant. Would you not say that self defence could be good intentions, and therefore the result could be evil.

That isn't a question of intentions. What is evil is "Initiation of force". Because self-defense is retaliatory and defensive, it's not evil. If you thought that you were defending yourself and you shot someone innocent, you still shot someone and owe them restitution.

Quote:
For example, is it more evil for someone to shoot another person with no motive, than it is for someone to shoot another person in self defence, where that person had pulled a gun on you first?

That is not a question of motivation. That is a question of who is initiating force.

Quote:
As a law student, where in the criminal justice system, the intent of the defendant is one of the major pillars of the law.

The present law system is a bad joke. Read "Adventures in Legal Land" by Marc Stevens.

Quote:
I find it hard to say that the intent of the person has no bearing on how evil something is.

It's not the intention that makes an act evil, but the act that makes it evil.

Quote:
Perhaps it is the situation rather than the thoughts of the perpetrator that matters when it comes to classifying something as evil.

That's what I think.

Quote:
Can an accident be evil?

Yes. You can accidentally initiate force against someone, for example, by shooting at an attacker and hitting someone else.


Skyknight
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Ok so it is the act when put

Ok so it is the act when put into the context of the situation in which it was done, that can constitute evil?

I think we would both agree that it is not simply the act with no context that is evil. The act of taking a life, can in some circumstances, as in the Diane Pretty case I mentioned earlier, be a compassionate act and should not be labeled evil. In order to decide if it is evil you must look at the situation in which the act took place. My point is where do you draw the line between the situation and the thoughts of those involved? The thoughts of those involved often contribute heavily to the situation. If you label an accident evil, arent you taking that act out of context to some extent, you talk about who initiated the force, does there have to be force for something to be evil? Can an omission to act be evil?
I am sure you will have excellent answers to these questions, I am interested to know your views, because you seem to be able to see this issue from a very different view point than my own.

It's called football, not soccer, seriously, it was called football before the USA ever existed. So don't you dare call it that.
(aluminium)


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Skyknight wrote:Ok so it is

Skyknight wrote:
Ok so it is the act when put into the context of the situation in which it was done, that can constitute evil?

The determining factors are whether it is voluntary or involuntary and whether it is initiation or retalitation/defense. It's only evil if it is involuntary and initiation. Voluntary acts are not evil, retaliation is not evil.

Quote:
My point is where do you draw the line between the situation and the thoughts of those involved?

The thoughts are relevant only so far as they cause action. Thoughts do not change the good or bad of an act itself.

Quote:
If you label an accident evil, arent you taking that act out of context to some extent, you talk about who initiated the force, does there have to be force for something to be evil? Can an omission to act be evil?

Failure to act can be evil if there was an obligation to act. Unless there is an obligation to act voluntarily accepted by the individual obliged to act, then "charging" someone for failure to act would be an initiation of force. For example, if I have a contract with some off-duty cops (seeing as while on-duty, they have no obligation to protect anybody), where if I pay them to protect my little shop, and if the alarm goes off, the cops show up and arrest anyone stealing stuff in the middle of the night, we both have a reciporical obligation. I pay them, they show up. If I don't pay them, they are not obligated to show up. If they do show up and I don't pay them, that's initiation of force by depriving someone of property created by contract. If they don't show up, I am not obligated to pay them. If I pay them and they don't show up, then they're depriving me of property created by contract. Theft, being an act of aggression/involuntary initiation of force, is evil.
If, for example, I'm suddenly in control of a bus with defunct brakes, the driver is passed out or whatever, and there's two pedestrians in my lane directly ahead, and one person on the adjacent lane, where inaction kills two and action kills one, I have no obligation to change lanes. And if the two are homeless bums passed out drunk in the street and the one in the other lane is the Queen of England, then who do I choose to sacrifice? The Queen for two bums, or two bums for the Queen?

Inaction, even when inaction causes additional damage, cannot be evil unless a voluntarily accepted obligation to act was created.


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Who was that that wrote "All

Who was that that wrote "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."


Zhwazi
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Edmund Burke.

Edmund Burke.


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So following Zhwazi and

So following Zhwazi and Skyknight's arguments, perhaps this clears things up:

When we judge an action or event, we judge how 'good' or 'bad' it is by the harm/good it causes.
When we judge a person, we judge them by their intentions - the actions/events they wish to happen.

So a good person might do evil actions by accident (e.g. giving someone cyanide, thinking it was medicine) and an evil person might do good actions by accident (giving someone medicine, thinking it was cyanide)?


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Well summed up.

Well summed up.


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In a sense that's true, in

In a sense that's true, in another sense it's not. Someone that does good with evil intent is evil, and someone that does evil with good intent is still evil. This is judging the person, not the act itself. I would take both acts and intentions into account when judging a person.


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I can't imagine that being

I can't imagine that being possible.
I can see how 'good intentions' isn't enough for someone to be a good person. I mean, they can still be a 'bad person' by 'lacking' good. E.g. not want to hurt people but not making an effort to ensure this.

Evil though... surely that's purely down to malicious intentions?


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No. If good intentions are

No. If good intentions are motivating evil, those good intentions might just be evil themselves. Someone might have "good intentions" trying to convert people to Christianity by killing nonbelievers...that act is evil, and that person is evil, their intentions do not change the facts.


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Not really. The good

Not really.
The good intentions behind Christian conversion would be salvation from hell and eternal bliss in heaven. i.e. the good intentions would be wanting the best for the person involved.
It's a matter of ignorance that their way of trying to work these good intentions (i.e. do what was good for a person if a false fact was true) turned out to be a clumsy mistake.

It's an example of someone who wanted to do good but went the wrong way about it through ignorance. All you'd have to do is show them that their methods didn't get their desired results and show them a way that did then their actions would be good.
A clear difference between someone with 'evil' or 'malicious' intentions who aren't making a mistake but intentionally causing harm.


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I believe that this topic

I believe that this topic has changed from the question if racism is evil to evil intentions vs. good intentions. Racism is not evil per se when you keep to your self. But if someone is burning crosses on your front lawn or the government is allowing crack to be dispersed in your neighborhood because of the color of your skin then racism is the underlying cause of these actions. It evolves to another form of evil.
So, I think racism is evil in degrees. OK, my dad for example. He is alright with most people but does not want to see interracial marriage. He also thinks Mexicans are taking all the jobs. I think this is not a healthy mindset, but evil? No. That's a very low degree of evil. Name calling to their face would be a degree higher. When I was @ 7 years old I lived in Middletown, OH. My mother was driving me to the mall and there were about 3 Ku Klux Klan directing traffic and behind them, I saw a black mother and her two children handcuffed and bent over the guard rail. I asked my mom what was going on and she just said to ignore it. I couldn't stop looking and made eye contact with the black woman. I could see the sadness, there. I never thought they were less than human but apparently anyone driving by that day did and not one person protested as far as I knew. (Still to this day, I don't know how that happened or why it was allowed). So, while this wasn't a high degree lynching on the front lawn, it is definitely up there.


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If I use the argument from

If I use the argument from the original topic:

The fact that a family of people was treated like that, being handcuffed to a rail, was discraceful. However, was the evil the way they were treated or the reason why it was them.
I think the problem with my argument is that it assumes that these guys were going to pick on someone and that the racism was just their method of picking whom. Realistically, these guys might never have wanted to pick on anyone had they not come across some black people so their racist beliefs were motivators of evil.
So my original topic likely oversimplified the issue somewhat.

Although I think my argument works for the 'mild racism' that it was trying to defend as 'not evil', like the "mexicans take all the jobs" idea your dad had.


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Racism is evil.

Quote:
I judge people by race, but I'm very quick to throw those judgements away if I see evidence that those judgements are wrong. I also think that if people did not want to be stereotyped, they should stop trying so damn hard to match the stereotype. I generally factor in their clothes and speech also, those three things together have given me an extremely reliable indicator of what people are like.

I also go under the presumption that race may help judge a person. I have always been under the impression that in most cases, blacks are less inspired to become well educated than whites (perhaps because of Affirmative Action), and I do have factual evidence that, in a local school district the statistics on the school report card suggested the average white performed almost one and a half what the average black performed academically. However, I would not suggest that whites are superior in any form to blacks, rather that many black families and communities do not emphasize an educational motive. But I have been surprised by blacks whom are educated; I personally admire these few who will step out of the crowd to excel.

I have to admit your point on the races not trying intentionally to create a sterotype, I find I can relate to. There was a girl in my Njrotc class who seemed to be the best example of the Southern Black woman. She asked the same questions over and over again, and often got confused. She was failing the grand majority of her classes. She also talked entirely too fast and had to go to the bathroom twice a block.
After she did a run over short distances, or essentially anything that she did not want to do she would say, "O lawd, this is gon' kill me!". I noticed in several cases she would say, "Once I get home, I'ma take me a nap" In one case she stated that "Once I get home, I'ma eat me some fried chiacken with hawt sauce, an some watermelon."

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't. ~George Bernard Shaw