Neither side cites any study to prove equality or distinction between the intelligence of races or folks from different parts of the globe. Any attempt at measuring such a thing strikes me as futile: too many people and too subjective a definition. Would you give a math test? Questions on pattern recognition? What could a man be tried with in a convenient amount of time that would sum up his intelligence? So none of the people quoted in this article has reason to come to a conclusion about intelligence.
Beyond the words, what actions are proposed? James talks about engineering a society in which stupidity and ugliness are "cured". In the simplest, boyish fantasy I'll admit, "golly it'd be nice if every girl was some type of pretty and not an ugly woman or stupid man in sight". But how would such a proposed state be reached? The implication seems to be eugenics. Neutering of undesirables, "cleansing" of populations, limitations on the children (if any) allowed, ect. None of these are good practices. Think on the evil in saying "you're ugly, no kids for you". An alternative is to allow genetic experimentation so there is an option of appearence modification. However revolting a female reading this posting may find the idea of gene therapy to look better or altering the genes of offspring to mold a more desirable appearence I'm sure if such things are offered and work, women who haven't tried them, seeing other women succeed them in attractiveness, would adopt such practices as readily as hair-combing, make-up, shaving, jewelry, breast implants, plastic surgery, etc. And why not? Options of self-modification like tattoos and piercings are good but no one should be forced to adopt a societal standard of aesthetics. (I temper that absolute with clothes as an exception yet a clothed body has not been damaged or permanently altered). Such a proposed eugenics program is more wicked than the government that tells girls they must attend its schools and death to their babies should they interfere.
Back to race...James claim about Africa doesn't provide us a proposal to evaluate. If Africans can't be dealt with equally b/c of innate stupidity then....what? What alternative does James propose to the current dealings or methods of dealing between western and African countries/people? None is mentioned in the article to complete the picture of his intentions. Maybe he's too stupid to've thought of one. So James is a mystery.
His opponents say 'it just goes to show...' and want 'legal action'. Then James should be arrested for saying black people are dumber than other people? How does confinement to a cell follow, rationally, as a punishment for insulting a race? Should he be fined? No punishment makes sense. What wrong has he done? His belief may be wrong but that doesn't mean he has done wrong. Men are not punishable for thoughts because you can't know a man's thoughts. You can know a man's words but why should he be punished for these? A saying, like a lying advertisement, can cause harm. The only harm immediately apparent in James words are hurt feelings. Because feelings can not be measured a punishment equal to them can not be knowingly given. The plasticity of emotions precludes them from considerations of justice. It is just when a man's act directly harms his neighbor and an equal measure of harm is returned to the damager. Where a stolen item can not be replaced at the whim of the robbed man his happy state can be: it is his will.
Both James and some of his opponents are wrong. Each of them wants the state to oppress a group of people out of dreams for their societal ideal. One wants pretty women but that doesn't justify eugenics and one wants no racism but that doesn't justify censorship.
Thursday, May 1, 2008