essays/posts on a variety of flavorful topics

Here’s the Wesley Smith’s article:

secondhand smoke

Below is the comment I left:

Nautilus April 14th, 2012 | 11:02 pm

(NOTE:  I’ve made  a few changes and shortened the following essay/comment since I published it on Secondhand Smoke as a comment.)

Let’s look at this another way.  If you and I were 100 percent sure that the various races are the same in all significant ways then the ultimate outcome of that would be us not talking about racial differences.  Any such differences would be superficial, and so what would be the point?

Now let’s assume that we were to feel 100 percent sure of the opposite:  there exist, in fact, group average differences on matters such as intelligence, criminal behavior, athletic ability, etc.

What should the ultimate outcome of this second postulate be?  Should we, then, talk about group differences?

I would argue that we shouldn’t for the simple fact that it wouldn’t be a loving thing to do.  (Allow me to hasten to add that I’m not advocating that a legal mechanism be put in place here.  Truth-Love-Beauty.  Our talk should be influenced by love, but I disagree with laws which serve to limit the expression of explanations or ideas–even those with which I disagree.)

Race is so deeply intertwined with a person’s identity that the suggestion that another’s group is below par (whether in being law abiding or in athletics or whatever) is simply going to be taken as a personal affront–even if one were to qualify such a statement by saying something such as:  But, of course, individuals within any group can be brilliant, highly athletic, etc.

So in the first case we wouldn’t talk about racial differences, and in the second case we shouldn’t talk about racial differences.  The outcome:  People who want to exhibit love will not be talking about the possible specifics of group racial differences.

Truth, Love, Beauty:  Three important virtues.  The possibility of the existence of non-superficial racial differences would pits truth against beauty–what’s true wouldn’t be beautiful.  Truth and beauty should be reconciled through love.

How to overcome possible conflicts of interest?

In a nutshell:  We have to be more understanding of the Other, whoever the other is.

I believe we should strive to create a society in which a victimization/envy mentality is not emphasized.  We should focus on bonafide examples of racism and try to abolish those as opposed to focusing on the diffuse, “it’s everywhere” variety of racism.

That being said, we also shouldn’t over-emphasize worldly achievements:  And think about it:  Isn’t it also simply better for individuals to live in a society which values humility?

I’d like to see the SAT abolished.  Do we really need “elite” universities?  Wouldn’t a typical state school be good enough?  This might be shocking to some people, but plenty of top-contributing scientists have received their education at state universities or non-Ivy private universities.

Humility for everyone all around:  That would go a long way toward making the world a better place, no matter if group racial differences exist or not.


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