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  1. I'm opening this thread to discuss the political philosophy regarding how and what is the underlying nature and causes of what we determine is or is not behaviors that discriminate in a derogatory way. In particular, I'm personally offended by the way our system is tackling real problems of abuses that occur to people by using an even worse type of discrimination that targets select other peoples in a type of vengeance that only enhances more problems than it solves. I am using the issues surrounding our Aboriginals here in Canada with an opposing contrast to the Caucasians here without any personal intent to signify favor for any one group or the other. I happen to be Caucasian but do NOT speak to defend any REAL discrimination that occurs by any Caucasian any more than by an Aboriginal. I believe that this abuse is a universal problem that occurs everywhere yet the 'solutions' to overcome them always tend to distract us from what I believe is the sincere and logical causes of discrimination among ALL people everywhere. So this discussion is inclusive of most world peoples everywhere. Let's begin by introducing the 'problem' which we are commonly trying to address. What appears to be the problem is that certain group or groups of people based on some identifiable genetic inheritance seems to be targeted by one or more groups somewhere at some times by some or all others in a derogatory way that defeats the success of individuals based in this. If you or others agree who are reading this, please mention this in your response to assure that we at least agree to this much up front. To help clarify, I am not saying who or which groups are the cause or the recipients of the abuses as I am defaulting to assume this is a function of all people with concerns to the group identities. If we can at least agree to the problem first as a most generic condition, we can try to move forward to see if we can resolve it. I will begin with my own belief of the cause and effects with my proposed means to repair the problem. Causes and Efffects (1) Evolution itself commands that any individual interprets what is 'good' or 'bad' based on their initial experiences in life to assign what these values to adapt to their local environment. This means that when we only assign any values based on our initial self-derived needs or interests from early childhood on. Once 'assigned' they are often at least partially hardwired to assure a means to instinctively react to real dangers and to determine which things we can trust. For example, much of our 'moral' values derive from a hardwired program that has a variable form that seeks the environment to assign whether what it experiences is 'favorable' or not to what it presumes is consistent. These occur through windows or periods of time where the brain is developing to both test the worthiness of experience to save brain space for it or to ignore it so that the space can be used for other things. A cat, for instance, is born without sight during the initial month whereupon a period of time is necessary to 'test' whether the brain should allocate memory space for that sensor or to use it for other things. While not technically a 'value' in the way we think of morals, the purpose is no different. If the cat for whatever reason has an eye that does not work or is blinded in this period, the window testing the area of the brain where sight is assigned only stays open for a month or so after its initiation. Should that part of the brain receive no data during that period, it reassigns it to some other window for testing, like hearing, so that it can optimize that space in the brain rather than feed it when it has no use. This is a type of pruning of environmental 'values'. In the same way, we have initial windows that open to seek what we will or will not "favor". It is NOT based on a predetermined idea of pleasure and pain as these too are 'values' which get assigned. For instance, if your window opens to determine how to interpret a cut on your skin through the pressure sensors that get affected in such a case, you may have a case where insufficient information is being active during this period OR another set of events are traumatizing (overwhelming) this window's expectation to assign value of skin sensors. A flu or some other sickness, for instance, during this window may be affecting your brain that occupies attention at the time. But because of this, if the window should close in this period, the assignment for the brain may interpret ANY strong sensation of the skin as at least more worthy of assigning value even if it is NOT a survival trait. You may be 'cut' to bleed the brain due to Meningitis in this window, a 'good' or survival factor, which your brain then assigns as a 'good' sensation. But this assignment may then accidentally assign the sensation of being cut as a 'good' feeling even though it is objectively not with respect to the possibility of getting infected. There are a few 'diseases' like this. For instance, leprosy, is one kind of misassignment to the value of what should be 'pain'. The lack of it in such people makes them unable to sense when or where they get injured and so it affects them with dire consequences. This is also the kind of thing that occurs with most moral values as well. For the purposes of this argument, I specifically think that these type of assignments are what initiates the bonding values we associate with close family and environmental groups we experience with a tendency to bias more favor for and against external ones. These do not mean that one necessarily favors their own. If you experience assignments that go against through trauma, you may find even bonding to similar apparent stimuli as 'bad' or even just 'indifferent'. (2) Because of the above, assigning who or what we favor forces us to 'discriminate' between those we deem safe and 'good' as opposed to unsafe and 'bad'. There is likely much variation to include many degrees in between including the middle position of 'indifference'. So from the individual, we judge what is 'good' for us is what is 'good'. Because those we associate with as next in line as essential in our environment, we assign values to the people and things next in significant proximity to 'favor'. Then, we extend this to weaker and weaker associations the further out we go. Obviously, this causes us to tend to favor our ethnic group or culture in better ways when or where these things are most productive to our survival. However, survival itself is a matter of degrees too. Even if one gets assigned values that are not necessarily destructive as some disease which affects our capacity to be healthy, sometimes the very assignments we receive early on are also lost soon after we develop them. For instance, most babies have limited needs in the beginning. As such, even a struggling and relatively poor mother may be able to nourish the baby sufficiently in windows of development to be assigned values which are productive to survival. But if and when that baby grows and begins to require more nutrients of reality from its environment it lacks, the hard wiring they received could create real problems. As such, even if our initial experiences make us healthy, the very assignments we hard wire can also backfire on us where we then experience another stage of life that lacks or goes against those values we learned. That is, if you appropriately acquired the assignment to feel pain when hungry, such an assignment if permanently hard-wired can create a worse condition for another period when or where you lack food later. As such, the hunger acts to make one suffer. This of course is a normal means to entice our consciousness to seek the environment in order to survive. Yet it also makes us suffer without it. So this cause creates the means to most people everywhere to feel the 'value' of pain and suffering as much as it does to the pleasures and comforts that most of us equate with. Where we suffer early on can thus conflict with the environment we are in as we still develop further values which turn against ourselves as individuals as well as to our groups. We might then tend to feel 'favor' for what others may appear to have which we value externally and begin to interpret how discrimination affects us differently based on what appears to be true, which is most evident in our outward appearances. (3) We begin to interpret the larger representations of our own identities and the corresponding virtues of their comforts as opposed to sufferings as dividing lines between ourselves and others based on external appearances, including behaviors. So if many of your own 'kind' appear to suffer in some way, AND others do not to an equally admirable degree, you seek justification for this. Since these are often about statistical averages we induce upon experience, it will always tend to be the extremes we see which help us interpret what we favor most over which we don't. If you are of a suffering group, you only see your own group as suffering as the furthest extension of oneself and see the out-group who represents the most prosperous as the representative group taking in all the benefits. The simplest is based on race and ethnicity. Notice though that the 'cause' here can err in significant but imbalanced ways. For one, while one extreme to you is your own group with positive certainty, the out-group with the strongest symbolic representative of the virtues you believe your group lacks, will be stereotyped as if the whole of the other group is equally in similar prosperity by contrast. In an opposite way, the more 'prosperous' group will NOT necessarily see their in-group as a whole as prosperous because they themselves are potentially suffering too. They may 'see' the same group of people as the others objectively prosperous but cannot logically include themselves if they too are suffering even for being a part of that supposed 'favored' group. To them, their perception feels stuck between two general classes simply because they are a 'minority' within the prosperous group. In contrast, the ones prosperous in the objectively determined group by statistics may also interpret themselves as being fortunate as a whole, even where in error. Summary example: Assume 10% Race/ethnicity group A is suffering while 90% of A is prospering. Then assume 90% of group B is suffering while 10% of their race/ethnicity in the same group B is prospering. The Majority of both groups tend to steal the best and worst of each group and is generated by the 90% in each but never by the whole. Yet stereotyping is most strongest on both extremes and so the assumption if adjustments are to be made by both extremes will be to trade 'favors' between those majorities in both to keep them at peace, if it should exist. (4) The last point means that we now have a concern to resolve any problems by appealing to balancing fairness to attend to the majority. Yet this ignores two other minorities in each group. The 10% of B who are prospering won't complain because while they may be in the minority of those prospering, they do not actually suffer the consequences of it and so stay silent. In contrast, the 10% of A who suffer in the class who normally prospers, has an even more opposing need to complain as they get targeted as being of the class who DOES prosper by statistics yet more appropriately fit in with the same group B of the 90% who DO suffer as well. As such, the very ones who suffer as a common class, we might define as C, such that they are the 10% of group A + the 90% of group B, are pitted most strongly against one another without justice. The ones who prosper consisting of the 90% of group A + the 10% of group B, say group D, are then most apparently the least who consequentially suffer from any proposed changes that either favor or disfavor their group. So this last point is where I see the causes meet the effects that get distorted to be about race and ethnicity in a false logical concern. Yet this tends to create a never-ending cycle of abuses because it doesn't recognize that the way we classify the issue IS the end cause in a chain that begins in our nature as animals. It is irrational thinking if we sincerely believe there is some common moral significance to fairness. If 'fairness' is not a concern by focusing on our innately genetic predisposition (our genetic inheritances), then the only thing any resolution will remain concerned about will take the extremes as they both believe in tackling things BASED on genetic and evolutionary factors. My suggested solution: Although this should be obvious from the above, we reclassify the sincere issues based on our less natural but more 'humane' ideal of altruism based on real conditions as individuals and not on statistical majorities of those who are most suffering as opposed to those who are most prospering. It is these extremes who are commanding the problem. AND, they are both targeting the minority of the supposed prosperous group who also represent a minority but get ignored by all sides. All it does is to make those minorities potentially become the next 'terrorists' as the ones in those minor-minor sufferers are demonized most universally as well as being isolated more intensely. I believe this is what our problem is with the Middle East. The minority of the minority in the Muslim-Arabic groups are demonized by those like Israel most significantly who represent the strongest and most prosperous group by extreme contrasts. They both act with a fervor to stand strong for themselves as a strictly defined group and command the way all means to possibly resolve them. And to outsiders looking in who prosper, we interpret the way the 'prosperity' of the Israelis to act without such obvious direct violence but through exclusion as non-problematic as if they aren't doing anything wrong. And then we see the most violating acts through the desperate 'terrorism' by those in the Arabic community as MORE responsible to ALL the problems. What ends up happening is that we interpret the strongest extremes of the ones who suffer as the most villainous creators of all the problems while the majority of the ones who are targeted for being of the 'prosperous' class escape culpability no matter what their actual responsibility to the causes are. For Canada, the Caucasian Male is deemed to be the largest plurality of those benefiting in society. But no matter what kind of arrangements are made to overcome it, only those in that class who most benefit are also the ones most likely to both escape the liability AND actually appear as 'friends' to the largest plurality on the bottom. It is in there interest to do this as they most FAVOR their own and so equally believe that the ones who are on the opposite spectrum are losing because they do not by contrast for the same reason. Thus they are both the sincere racists when they appeal to favoring CULTURE as the definitive measure of all mankind. And yet, this creates just another group beyond both who are non-CULTURALLY related to either but become the next extreme group that either MUST conform by forming associations with others who suffer like them and become a NEW CULT, ...OR accept themselves as measly sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in another future cultural war. Notice that there is a kind of Trinity here? Extreme group A and B are culturally opposing with their economy until the losing group makes a big enough force that both negotiate to favor each culture in exclusion of a third, group C who lack cultural connection but are forced to become one. The group D is an indifferent group and so participates only by standing back to observe C appear to 'terrorize', allowing group B, who suffer by statistics to gain because of group A, who last belonged to a previous C in the past. The cycle is endless until we intellectually realize this.
  2. I guess they weren't willing to spread it for free. In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences. Link
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