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Thread: White privilege

  1. #951
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    Re: White privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    Understand, my argument about your claim was two-fold. First, I argued that your appeal to a consensus in sociology was unfounded. You still have not even begun to address this rebuttal.
    Actually, I'm not the one who made that claim, though I do think there is a pretty good consensus on the existence of white privilege.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    Second, I noted it was an appeal to popularity. I explained why, even if such a consensus existed, that your argument was based on this logical fallacy.
    Appealing to a consensus among experts is not an appeal to popularity, because the appeal to consensus among experts is not a claim that because some view is popular, it is true. Rather, it is a claim that the people in the best epistemic position to know the truth have carefully examined the available evidence, spent years debating it and looking for flaws, and have found few enough that they commit to that view. That's a very different kind of argument. I hasten to add that it's an inductive argument, not a deductive argument. It's entirely possible for experts to be wrong. But it's foolish to bet that they're wrong without a good reason to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    In science, arguing that something is true because there is a supposed consensus is meaningless. At one time, there was a scientific consensus that the earth was flat, that the sun rotated around the earth, and that black people were mentally inferior to white people.
    All true. See above.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    Consensus does not make your claim stronger.
    Oh, I think it does. You're mistaking the fact that such an argument cannot guarantee the truth of its conclusion for the claim that such an argument imparts no force at all. Again, I freely admit that experts can be wrong about something. They can all be wrong. But I'll take expert reasoning about something in their wheelhouse over non-experts just not liking the results of expert reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    If there is any sociologist who disagrees with the premise of white privilege, then we are forced to contend with the question of why. Simply noting that most sociologists believe X does not make X true. I do not misunderstand the fallacy. Rather, you have attempted to create a straw man by reducing my argument and ignoring the actual premises I've laid out.
    If your conclusion is the bolded (or rather, if the obvious relevant instantiation is your conclusion), then I agree...I merely say that you should not stop there. Anyway, where is this argument you've posted?

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    Re: White privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    Actually, I'm not the one who made that claim, though I do think there is a pretty good consensus on the existence of white privilege.



    Appealing to a consensus among experts is not an appeal to popularity, because the appeal to consensus among experts is not a claim that because some view is popular, it is true. Rather, it is a claim that the people in the best epistemic position to know the truth have carefully examined the available evidence, spent years debating it and looking for flaws, and have found few enough that they commit to that view. That's a very different kind of argument. I hasten to add that it's an inductive argument, not a deductive argument. It's entirely possible for experts to be wrong. But it's foolish to bet that they're wrong without a good reason to do so.



    All true. See above.



    Oh, I think it does. You're mistaking the fact that such an argument cannot guarantee the truth of its conclusion for the claim that such an argument imparts no force at all. Again, I freely admit that experts can be wrong about something. They can all be wrong. But I'll take expert reasoning about something in their wheelhouse over non-experts just not liking the results of expert reasoning.



    If your conclusion is the bolded (or rather, if the obvious relevant instantiation is your conclusion), then I agree...I merely say that you should not stop there. Anyway, where is this argument you've posted?
    Post #865. Here I am arguing that using the argument that white privilege is accepted among most sociologists is flawed. I am further arguing that using the concept of consensus is not only unfounded, but not useful. My premise is that the pool of scientists who call themselves sociologists are flawed/biased and their statements amount to nothing more than opinion. This is why I believe ad populum is appropriate. It is far different than noting that the consensus in the physics community believes that gravity is real since bias is unlikely to play a role in their consensus.

  3. #953
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    Re: White privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by ibelsd
    Here I am arguing that using the argument that white privilege is accepted among most sociologists is flawed. I am further arguing that using the concept of consensus is not only unfounded, but not useful. My premise is that the pool of scientists who call themselves sociologists are flawed/biased and their statements amount to nothing more than opinion. This is why I believe ad populum is appropriate. It is far different than noting that the consensus in the physics community believes that gravity is real since bias is unlikely to play a role in their consensus.
    OK, that still wouldn't be ad populum, exactly, but it's at least potentially a good criticism. I went ahead and read the paper you linked, and then one of the papers offered for criticism in that paper. The authors you cite write:

    consider the decisions they defined as unethical: not formally taking a female colleague's side in her sexual harassment complaint against her subordinate (given little information about the case), and a worker placing the well-being of his or her company above unspecified harms to the environment attributed to the company's operations.
    It seems to me like that's a pretty bad description of the study being criticized. The "sexual harrassment" case is actually pretty clearly defined in the paper: a female manager made some minor error, and a male subordinate wrote in a memo that "women do not have what it takes to manage effectively." Subjects were informed that the CEO of the company sided with the male subordinate, so taking the side of the female manager might be personally costly.

    The "environmental damage" case is even more clear. The production process of a product a company produces creates a toxic by-product. The waste is stored illegally in containers that degrade too quickly, resulting in ground water contamination. The subject was asked whether the containers should be upgraded, which would be expensive, or whether production should be moved to Argentina, where regulations are less strict. The subject is aware that wherever the current containers are, it will result in health problems for thousands of people drinking the contaminated water.

    Both of those cases seem pretty clear to me, but that's not the really relevant point. All of the subjects were not merely tasked with making a decision; they also had to describe their reasoning and narrate how they came to their decision. They had to describe and rank various factors in their decision making. Then, two judges who were unaware of any information about the subjects examined the documents subjects produced and ranked them in terms of being more or less ethical. Each judge ranked each document independently, and then scores were compared for consistency.

    Anyway, the authors of the paper you cite question whether there's bias in the judgment of whether a particular decision is ethical or unethical. I disagree--it seems downright unethical to knowingly contaminate groundwater with chemicals that are known to cause health problems to save some money. That's not a matter of "liberal bias," if you think it would be OK to do that, you're basically evil. Similarly, there is no liberal bias in evaluating the statement "women just don't have what it takes to be effective managers." If you agree with that statement, and especially if you choose to agree because it will earn you brownie points, again, you're basically evil. In this case, however, it wasn't the decisions just as such that were being ranked, but the reasoning process that arrived at those decisions. If the subject wrote something like "I'm going to sanction the move to Argentina because I it's just not important to me whether some Argentinian village dies of cancer, as long as I can get a big bonus," that was judged to be unethical. But someone who wrote "I would sanction the move to Argentina, but with the money saved, would purchase the better containers that would prevent contamination," that was judged to be more ethical.

    It looks to me like the paper you posted can be criticized on several other grounds, but I'll stop there for now.

  4. #954
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    Re: White privilege

    Quote Originally Posted by calamity View Post
    I didn't say I oppose AA. I was only pointing out that AA does put the white guy at a disadvantage. Hence the idea of white privilege does not necessarily apply to all whites since it is sometimes an actual disadvantage to be white.
    Again you fail to see the big picture.

    First, you tried to equate economic privilege with racial privilege. That's a fail. Now, you want to equate the inconvenience of a white person with the oppression of white people as a group.

    First, you need to understand that economic and racial privilege are two seperate things. Now, you need to understand that AA does not oppress whites as a group.

    Lastly, you need to understand that it does not disadvantage whites. AA serves two purposes (one leading directly to the next):

    1. We must correct for resource availability in a student's accomplishments.
    2. We must find the best and brightest for our universities and a student that has done more with less is the better student. Someone earning a 3.5 living in luxury is not as smart as someone earning a 2.5 living in a ghetto.

    Side note: diversity has value and it could be added as (3.) above.


    To review:

    AA does not oppress whites as a group. AA does not disadvantage whites, it makes an even playing field to evaluate student accomplishment and therefor value. Whites need to stop crying victim and accept that they must compete on an even playing field - too bad, we're adjusting for white and economic privilege. If some crybaby whites don't like an even playing field, who cares?
    Last edited by ecofarm; Today at 05:19 PM.

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