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Barriers to equal opportunity in education


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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

So you are saying denying a group of people opportunities is inherently the same as trying to provide them with the same opportunity as everyone else?

Having a system that results in lower life expectancy in some folks is inherently as bad as one that tries to improve the outcome for vulnerable folks? Sorry I fail to follow that argument.

As to MigL i would like to echo Zapatos'argument that AA are correction mechanism, especially as other more fundamental issues may never be resolved. And again we cannot just assume symmetry when it does not exist.

Assume, for example a system of apartheid, but with equal distribution of power. Folks may behave badly to each other but inherently there is no reason to assume that one group wouldbe suppressed. If folks were racist in a system with equal power distribution, the outcome wouldn't require AA or similar measures. People would be dicks but again likely no systematic disenfranchisement. It is only when we add historic elements and power imbalance where we create an inherently unfair system, which we need to address.

No. 

I am saying they are not the same thing.

I am saying putting a value on human conditions is wrong. The human condition is , what it is.  But its only one thing. You can only measure the human condition from a human perspective. Not enforce  your own perspectives on humanity because a few chosen  truths are seen as universal. 

Diversity is not universal. Its not equal. It is environment.

I would say identity is a point of reference. Quantification of environment is not possible with out entropy, 

Quantification is a belief, not a fact. And becomes a point of reference. because environment is potential and to measure it is to limit potential to measures..We each have our own point of reference that is our perception and our Identity. We are  the measure of our  human identity.

Beyond that  all is environment. Each person and organisation, colour and sex, class and preference. Its all environment unless we are presenting our perspective from another  point.i.e if were speaking as an M.D. or in the purpose of one. Group cultures work to provide  reference point or perspective to specific characteristics, purpose or locality in relation to the whole. Much like gene selection.

Culture is not stable to measure, and able to evolve both at once.

You won't get equality until you recognise and accept its truth. Equally.

 

if we oppose privilege we are in opposition to privilege. Where do we draw the line of what that will mean as long we continue to measure it??

it requires an opposition to meet. So an equal and opposite reaction. Polarisation. Equal only in conflict,  but never the collective point of reference that human race implies.

 

If we want to see more of some thing out there, responsibility says We should put more of it out there to be seen.

Not  take it from its remaining sources  and throw it into the wind. We might as well do that as throw it at a relative of the real problems. We are going to miss and  can't predict the results. thats not effective ecology.

Edited by naitche
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What are some of the barriers to providing equal opportunity to every one, within academia? Seeing a lot of ignorant and entitled posting lately, which doesn't even make a point to address this.

Oh absolutely I'd agree with that. I experienced it myself, except it was my mother that left. I was 5 and she walked out on us and was gone for awhile. That being said; she was still a lot more prese

! Moderator Note Vague generalizations disguised as slurs towards a group of people are against our rules. This sort of thinking has been debunked MANY times over, much like crea

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9 hours ago, MSC said:

As for the scenario wherein two students, once compared and all things being equal besides race, that would require similar financial background, same age, same gender, same grades, both clinically able, both presenting themselves the same way with the same aptitudes and writing the same essay as each other, saying the same things in their interview, evoking the same feelings in staff and faculty who meet them, both not legacy students...

You are falling into the same trap here.
What do age, gender and clinical ability have to do with education ?
I don't think you want to introduce gender, age and disability discrimination into the equation too.
The goal is that even financial situation should not matter, and the only criteria should be academic standing ( grades ) and attitude.

8 hours ago, naitche said:

if we oppose privilege we are in opposition to privilege. Where do we draw the line of what that will mean as long we continue to measure it??

That is my point exactly. If we continue to measure race ( ? ), gender, age or even clinical ability, human nature being what it is, the result will be discrimination/sorting according to all those extra criteria which should have no bearing on whether you get an education or not .

 

edit
Sorry, I previously said that would be my last post on the topic.
I lied.

Edited by MigL
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24 minutes ago, MigL said:

You are falling into the same trap here.
What do age, gender and clinical ability have to do with education ?
I don't think you want to introduce gender, age and disability discrimination into the equation too.
The goal is that even financial situation should not matter, and the only criteria should be academic standing ( grades ) and attitude.

No, I'm describing holistic review and how affirmative action works. I'm falling into no trap. However your definition of racism and prejudice seem to be becoming a bit of a logic trap for you. You were the one who mentioned an imaginary scenario between two similar students who's only difference was race, I'm simply telling you that no such students exist because of the amount of things that are looked at in a holistic review admissions process.

Well then if it's only to be based on academic standing, then that puts the advantage squarely back into the hands of the wealthy. Since they get more resources, extracurriculars etc than anyone else and are more likely to have stronger grades than those from the poorest families because of this. 

I thought you wanted to fix the vehicle? Not ignore that it needs realignment and allow it to keep veering off to the right?

I also took the time to write a lot more than that but you're ignoring half of what I say then picking out little bits as if they are all I've said. Not cool.

34 minutes ago, MigL said:

That is my point exactly. If we continue to measure race ( ? ), gender, age or even clinical ability, human nature being what it is, the result will be discrimination/sorting according to all those extra criteria which should have no bearing on whether you get an education or not .

No, they should have no bearing on whether you get an education or not. Yet the prejudiced keep on taking these things into account to deny an education to many people. This happens in places where affirmative action is a joke, like Scotland. 

But according to you we're not allowed to fix it by acknowledging handicaps or differences in any way. The playing field is massively uneven

I think this will be my last comment because I am starting to feel like you are misunderstanding and misrepresenting what I say and are trying to convince us that somehow our efforts to not discriminate are going to lead to prejudice. Who's prejudice? Will affirmative action make white people more prejudicial to black people? If so, that is weak minded and ignorant of them to do so. Just because affirmative action makes people feel a certain way, does not mean those feelings aren't justified.

Produce evidence that affirmative action leads to unjustified discrimination of majority privileged groups. Until then, your feelings towards it are unjustified. There is no reverse racism going on. What does seem to be going on, is that certain groups of people get upset when you try to help other groups or right past wrongs. 

MigL, before you respond, please look up the concept of epistemic responsibility. If you think you are putting your point across poorly then it's best you try and refrain from commenting as it is dangerous to leave certain arguments lying around for people to misunderstand. Right now though, the people your arguments mirror, are the prejudiced. I'm sorry. 

 

 

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On 11/29/2020 at 10:47 AM, zapatos said:

Let's say your parents had four children, two boys and two girls, and only gave an allowance to the boys even though all did their chores. If the parents finally realized the error of their ways and decided to only give allowance to the girls until they are all caught up, would you call that sexism?

I thought this was the best analogy, and I'd love to hear MigL address it. It's too good a point to pass up.

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57 minutes ago, MigL said:

The goal is that even financial situation should not matter, and the only criteria should be academic standing ( grades ) and attitude.

And that is a big fallacy right here. Grades correlate with academic success, but not nearly as good as, say income. School districts explain more of the variation in grades than individual difference. I.e. grading is not an objective measure of performance, but rather select for folks who can afford the best preparation and schools. So if you use scores, you are in fact using a proxy for income (what you explicitly said you did not want to do). This, again is a failure of the system which creates in us the the belief that we are fair, while having a system in place that decidedly is not.

I will note the graduate level however, things get shaken up a bit. I have found that scores are not a great indicator of individual performance anymore. 

 

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

The goal is that even financial situation should not matter, and the only criteria should be academic standing ( grades ) and attitude.

 

Your attitude baffles me. You admit that the treatment of blacks was unfair but absolutely refuse the efforts in place to make things right, claiming it is the people who are trying to fix the problem who are the racists. Very reminiscent of Trump's playbook.

This is part of the reason liberals toss out the word "racist" and conservatives say "Who? Me?"

 

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Seriously Zap ???

You guys pick and choose snippets of my posts to attack, without taking them in context of the rest of the post, and MSC has the balls to accuse me of doing that ?
What is wrong with the sentence above ?
That when all is equal ( the goal ), the only consideration should be grades and attitude ?

Go ahead and call me racist; you've already accused me of using Trump's playbook.
If the mechanism ( sorting according to race ) used to combat racism is the exact same mechanism ( again sorting according to race ) that created it in the first place, you are going to have problems. I am suggesting that mechanism is flawed; not suggesting racism does not exist. I am also suggesting you are further polarizing race relations, but I would expect nothing less of Americans.
That's out of Trump's playbook too, isn't it Zap ?

I'm out.

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I don’t think this needs to be so tense. I read the comment from Zap to be “I don’t understand what you’re saying. I want to. I think the left sometimes struggles to understand stuff like this too and that’s usually when they accuse the right of racism.”

That’s different than “you’re being racist, MigL.”

You're not being racist, but you might be taking things more personally than intended. ✌️

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6 minutes ago, MigL said:

That when all is equal ( the goal ), the only consideration should be grades and attitude ?

The problem is that all is NOT equal, and you are fighting against the effort that is devised to make it equal

 

7 minutes ago, MigL said:

Go ahead and call me racist; you've already accused me of using Trump's playbook.

I didn't call you racist.

You are the one who said liberals have ruined that word by throwing it about so easily. I'm pointing out why liberals do so.

If one fights against racism, then that person is (probably) not racist. If you are neutral in the fight then who knows what you are. But when you fight the effort to repair the effects of racism, one has to expect that people are going to question their motives.

You are calling the effort to repair the effects of racism racist. You don't see that as reminiscent of Trump?

14 minutes ago, MigL said:

I am also suggesting you are further polarizing race relation

Yes, that is also out of Trump's playbook. He doesn't want to antagonize white supremacists because that will only make them more angry at blacks. I don't see the point of not fighting for the oppressed just because it might piss off the oppressors.

 

17 minutes ago, MigL said:

I am suggesting that mechanism is flawed; not suggesting racism does not exist.

Then it is a good thing no one has said you are suggesting racism does not exist. What I am saying is that you are fighting the effort fix the problems caused by racism with your reasoning being that the effort itself is racist and might piss off the racists.

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45 minutes ago, MigL said:

You guys pick and choose snippets of my posts to attack, without taking them in context of the rest of the post, and MSC has the balls to accuse me of doing that ?

I did not intend for what I said to be a straight up accusation, but a suggestion that you aren't using language effectively enough to portray what I'm sure to you feels like a good point to raise. I'm not directly attacking what you say, I'm assuming you are indeed arguing in good faith but that explaining what we are misunderstanding about your points thus far are probably creating more misunderstandings. 

Ethical debates are not easy, it's important to understand that it may seem like we are both only taking snippets of what the other is saying and ignoring the rest. In your defense I write a lot and it takes me a long time to write my responses. In the end people do kind of have to wade through and grab only a paragraph or two. 

From my perspective, because you're arguing from an obscure and hard to follow definition of racism and prejudice I have to focus on that, I'm not dismissing the rest of what you are saying. I just can't follow it without figuring out how your use of these words are being utilised within the context of the full conversation back to the OP. 

The best way to describe this misunderstanding I think, is to say that we are on the same game board, but one of us is playing checkers and the other is playing chess (I know INow, more chess talk, sue me!)

Now, a few comments back, I made an attempt to illustrate that it is entirely possible to be acting on a prejudice without being racist. This is due to us all having biases. Implicit and explicit. By implicit I mean they can be unbeknownst to a person. We all here when it comes to racial bias, fall within the implicit bias camp. Meaning, not racist but we do have the capacity to delude ourselves when we think we are speaking from a place of care for a different racial group.

Hell, Albert Schweitzer was potentially one of the most progressively minded people of his time when it came to racial disparities, but even he was paternalistic and called black people the younger siblings of white people. Still familial, but overly paternal. Implictly biased.

No one here feels you are a racist MigL. On the contrary, I think you are extremely intelligent and beneficially progressive. Like me, you are human though, which means like me, you can be either wrong about something or not explaining yourself well. I do also like that although ethics and philosophy aren't your AOE, you do contribute to the discussions and hold your own. 

Let me ask you something, and this is something I'd really appreciate your focus on. Are all forms of discrimination wrong? Just what you believe and we won't judge you. I'll even come right out and say no. I don't think all forms of discrimination are wrong.

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On 11/30/2020 at 3:20 AM, MSC said:

Even where higher education is subsidised or "free" like in Scotland, there are only so many places on every course offered by colleges and universities. Of those courses, not all of them are universally inclusive in setting, format, method, philosophy or individual staffing choices. 

 

 

 

 

Reading through this thread it seems to me to be a discussion between North Americans about the system in the US.

I can't see the relevence of this comment about Scotland, which is so short as to be  misleading about Scottish education.

What exactly did you mean please ?

Edited by studiot
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2 hours ago, MSC said:

Also, I'm sorry I upset you MigL.

No apology necessary; I'm fairly thick-skinned.
I just found it galling that you would complain about something which you also do.

2 hours ago, MSC said:

I just can't follow it without figuring out how your use of these words are being utilised within the context of the full conversation back to the OP. 

Do you mean like this ...

2 hours ago, MSC said:

Are all forms of discrimination wrong? ... I don't think all forms of discrimination are wrong.

Just what exactly do you think 'discriminate' means ?

dis·crim·i·nate
/dəˈskriməˌnāt/
verb
  1. 1.
    recognize a distinction; differentiate.

Discrimination is simply the act of sorting according to some criterion.
I think that we can all agree that discriminating, or sorting, according to the criterion of 'race' is wrong as it has led to oppression, slavery and genocide.
Even worse, there are no actual 'races', but the one; it is essentially sorting according to distinguishing features, that has caused all these problems.

Yet you guys feel it is still OK, because you're using it for 'good'.

 

edit
I miss the Physics forum where words are strictly defined, and meanings are not colored by the subjective life experiences of the user

Edited by MigL
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2 hours ago, studiot said:

Reading through this thread it seems to me to be a discussion between North Americans about the system in the US.

I can't see the relevence of this comment about Scotland, which is so short as to be  misleading about Scottish education.

What exactly did you mean please ?

A fair observation and I don't want to mislead people about how education works in Scotland and how it is different from England. The devolution of powers from Westminster to Hollyrood (The Scottish Parliament) powers over how education works in Scotland. In the past few decades, this has led to many rapid and different changes in law and policy. Up to and including numerous changes to grading, certification and unit names. These rapid changes left many of my generation in the middle of some of the most confusing and at times blatantly experimental education decisions. For starters, it was decided somewhere, without our consent that our specific year would sit our English standard grade exam, a year early. With no explanation. 

Now, Scotland offers a great deal, but offers it poorly if that makes sense. Education is free, bursaries with no obligation to repay are attainable. You can get an undergrad degree without spending a penny of your own money on your education. It is not perfect however, now I can only relay 2nd hand knowledge about a handful of Scottish higher education facilities and first hand knowledge about 3. Up to and including relevant statistics on the student body makeup and pass rate for 1 (although I could probably find the same information for most Scottish schools easily enough). 

I have been a student representative in highschool and college. Most of the students who needed my help, were old, disabled, black, poor, gay and there was even an addict. This was more so in college. I was doing all of this, even though I was homeless and couch surfing at this time. 

The sheer amount of not just alienation and discrimination but complete lack of responsibility in some of the staff was just shocking to me. Lines of communication were terrible, one person would promise to help a student only to be told by management later that they were not to, applying for funding took a long time and was removed from individuals just for attending a funeral they had informed their tutors and admin about. Faculty were often jaded, resentful and pessimistic. Due to the fact that the drop out rates were so high among those demographics because the admin seemed to just make their jobs harder.

Then there is the SQA, they handle qualifications and certifications, sending out the holo signed certificates, degrees and diplomas etc. Absolute cluster fuck, priorities for them seem to be hard to pin down. Getting in contact with them is difficult but at times people have been left after sitting through college exams and courses to have nothing to show for it at the end. 

That all being said and so I'm not talking generally about all Scottish Schools, I can only relay my mine and others experiences within associates level courses and colleges. That and I'm emotionally close to the situation there to be completely free of bias so take what I say with a grain of salt as mine and others experiences of a few schools and may or may not apply to most of the others. 

Now, my intent with this discussion isn't to single out and focus on the US. It is to look at education holistically, how it operates in different places and what the pros and cons are of different approaches. I'm a cosmopolitan after all. Sometimes that will mean talking about the US Federally subsidised education and state differences. Sometimes I'll mention Scandinavian growth models. In the end, I can only talk about what people herr want to talk about. So far it's predominantly US centric but I have tried to steer the conversation a little bit at times.

The thread is about barriers, not a barrier. 

I'm glad you asked about Scotland though :) I would be open to hearing about how it might work in other places. I know nothing about Asian education or the differences between Asian demographies. Same with Africa, although I hear some good things about Australia in terms of philosophy departments at least. Peter Singer for example is brilliant in my honest opinion. Maybe MigL could describe his College experience in Canada too and how it differs from now?

That all being said I am limited in how much I can provide to the discussion and know less about educational science, ethics and philosophy than others. 

 

 

14 minutes ago, MigL said:

No apology necessary; I'm fairly thick-skinned.
I just found it galling that you would complain about something which you also do.

Do you mean like this ...

Just what exactly do you think 'discriminate' means ?

dis·crim·i·nate
/dəˈskriməˌnāt/
verb
  1. 1.
    recognize a distinction; differentiate.

Discrimination is simply the act of sorting according to some criterion.
I think that we can all agree that discriminating, or sorting, according to the criterion of 'race' is wrong as it has led to oppression, slavery and genocide.
Even worse, there are no actual 'races', but the one; it is essentially sorting according to distinguishing features, that has caused all these problems.

Yet you guys feel it is still OK, because you're using it for 'good'.

I didn't say I cannot sometimes fall into a hypocrite hole. 

That is the definition described to the letter that I was referring too. Blind men can't fly planes, pedos can't work around kids or not be monitered heavily in or outside prison, racists ought not to be in positions of authority when it comes to make admission decisions. Some are though, just like there are heavily biased people in those positions of authority.

I agree with the sentiment that we are all the same human race, with differences in features that only really define our physical appearance, not our character. In an ideal world there would be no requirements in place that we consider ethnic demographies at all when it comes to these sorts of things. Unfortunately, prejudiced people do not play by the rules and can still make their way into these positions of authority. How do we counteract the misalignment with multiple individual drivers? That's why people who are willing to act as agents of affirmative action, to counteract the effects of their more subversive colleagues in the same field, are currently a requirement in some places that seem to be battlegrounds of racial tension, like the ivy league schools. 

Ultimately we share the belief that education should leave no one behind. We disagree with the modal quality of that shared value.

Now, I'm willing to bet that for some schools in certain places, being managed by certain people, affirmative action is not a required policy. This means one of your ideals is possible within certain contexts. 

However, some places cannot legally function without out affirmative action policies due to management differences of a different set of certain individual people. Meaning in some places, without affirmative action, your ideal is not possible and the only way to get closer to it, is currently through affirmative action.

However let's ask the question; what would be better than affirmative action in advancing equality of opportunity within schools at all levels for all demographics?

 

Come on Boffins Sketch.

This is me right now haha hope this lightens the mood here somewhat and gives people a laugh. 

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43 minutes ago, MSC said:

A fair observation and I don't want to mislead people about how education works in Scotland and how it is different from England. The devolution of powers from Westminster to Hollyrood (The Scottish Parliament) powers over how education works in Scotland. In the past few decades, this has led to many rapid and different changes in law and policy. Up to and including numerous changes to grading, certification and unit names.

Education structures in Scotland have never been the same as in England.
Holyrood was established on 12 May 1999. So it has been barely two decades.

It is all too easy to expand and generalise to support a view, but this is Science site and we are supposed to discuss the subject in a scientific manner, not an expansive one.

43 minutes ago, MSC said:

Up to and including numerous changes to grading, certification and unit names. These rapid changes left many of my generation in the middle of some of the most confusing and at times blatantly experimental education decisions. For starters, it was decided somewhere, without our consent that our specific year would sit our English standard grade exam, a year early. With no explanation. 

Now, Scotland offers a great deal, but offers it poorly if that makes sense. Education is free, bursaries with no obligation to repay are attainable. You can get an undergrad degree without spending a penny of your own money on your education. It is not perfect however, now I can only relay 2nd hand knowledge about a handful of Scottish higher education facilities and first hand knowledge about 3. Up to and including relevant statistics on the student body makeup and pass rate for 1 (although I could probably find the same information for most Scottish schools easily enough). 

I am not clear if you are saying you attended school in Scotland, but surely you would know that it is disingenuous to suggest that degrees of any sort incur zero cost in Scotland.

Some folks (mostly Scots) have their fees paid.

This also used to be the case in England until greedy bursers and governments made them amongst the most expensive in the world.

FYI, the structures in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, are hugely different, both from each other and from those in the UK.

Edit

43 minutes ago, MSC said:

However let's ask the question; what would be better than affirmative action in advancing equality of opportunity within schools at all levels for all demographics?

 

I think you are asking the wrong question here.

Consider this

Which do you prefer equality of opportunity or equality of result ?

You cannot have both, but you can make some adjustment to the balance between them.
How to achieve a fair balance is the ethical dimemma.

Edited by studiot
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1 hour ago, MigL said:

Discrimination is simply the act of sorting according to some criterion.
I think that we can all agree that discriminating, or sorting, according to the criterion of 'race' is wrong as it has led to oppression, slavery and genocide.
Even worse, there are no actual 'races', but the one; it is essentially sorting according to distinguishing features, that has caused all these problems.

Yet you guys feel it is still OK, because you're using it for 'good'.

It is OK because it identifies those who are impacted. It makes no sense to say blacks were hurt but we cannot help them because they are black and therefore we cannot identify them.

If only the  black people in my neighborhood were exposed to a disease, do I also have to treat all of the white people just so that I'm not sorting according to race?

If we applied your logic to tornados the insurance companies would not have to pay anyone with a claim because that would require us to sort based on the criterion of 'damage'. It is self evident that the criteria you use is the one that identifies who is impacted, whether that is damaged homes or race.

You said previously that is was okay if it was used for good (see below). Now you are saying it is not okay. Did I miss something?

Quote

...all the programs and institutions that you mentioned ( except for medical studies on black men, which recognises that some of these group traits have health consequences ), Zap, would be racist, as they use race as the sole criteria.

 

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1 hour ago, studiot said:

Education structures in Scotland have never been the same as in England.
Holyrood was established on 12 May 1999. So it has been barely two decades.

It is all too easy to expand and generalise to support a view, but this is Science site and we are supposed to discuss the subject in a scientific manner, not an expansive one.

So in what way is it wrong that I said "over the last few decades"? Are you not being a bit overly pedantic?

I am aware that this is a science site, however this is also within the ethics section of that site. If I am limited to only discussing science, moral psychology aside, then you're effectively asking me to put a muzzle on certain meta-ethical modalities and methodologies. I am a cosmopolitan ethicist. That requires expansive use of logic in order to relay myself as clearly as I can. However I suffer from diarrhea of the mouth at times so probably don't do myself any favours when I at times get lazy and become less precise than I mean to be. Forgive me. 

So long as people don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when I inevitably make mistakes. We are all here voluntarily and there have even been times where I've commented in this thread while having a beer or two. 

1 hour ago, studiot said:

am not clear if you are saying you attended school in Scotland, but surely you would know that it is disingenuous to suggest that degrees of any sort incur zero cost in Scotland.

Some folks (mostly Scots) have their fees paid.

It would have been disingenuous if my argument and details hadn't been more nuanced than that. I specifically meant zero costs for mostly Scottish applicants. Obviously there is always a cost to be paid by someone for resources and man hours. However there is something to be said with how some colleges spend their funding and manage it. But I suppose you can say that anywhere. Oh and yes, I attended Scottish schools, primary, secondary and college. As I said before I was a student representative in two of those schools. 

1 hour ago, studiot said:

 

I think you are asking the wrong question here.

Consider this

Which do you prefer equality of opportunity or equality of result ?

You cannot have both, but you can make some adjustment to the balance between them.
How to achieve a fair balance is the ethical dimemma

In the ideal world, both. At our stage of moral development? I'd settle for the former... For now. 

I agree that right now, world as it is, impossible. 

I don't know if I'd say equality of result is impossible or possible. It certainly seems that way. I am glad you talked about equity, meaning fairness. For all my talk of equality, I feel it lies in how we apply fairness. 

Why I say I don't know if it is impossible, is just accounting for different criteria to meet the required educational milestones across different fields and occupations. I'm also accounting for futures where advances in educational psychology, medicine or evolutionary changes to the human physiology might make a world of equal opportunity and lets say scaled consistency in result if not equality which is silly when talking about result. I'll admit to that no problem.

It is an ethical conundrum to be sure, I wouldn't say it is a dilemma as we aren't being forced to choose between two options. 

Ultimately the biggest issue with ethics, is that scientific experiments in that field are costly to carry out. Law is the closest we have to something which can present as experiments in ethics. Sometimes a government will decide to test out UBI or free housing but it takes time and money to do that. Moral psychology and neuropsychology are potentially on the verges of breakthroughs, if they can sort out the reproducibility problem and funding/priority issues.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

If we applied your logic to tornados the insurance companies would not have to pay anyone with a claim because that would require us to sort based on the criterion of 'damage'. It is self evident that the criteria you use is the one that identifies who is impacted, whether that is damaged homes or race.

To add to that, and to repeat a question that I do not feel has been adequately answered: why is using one criterion (e.g. race) inherently bad, if it leads to a more favourable outcome (say better health or education), whereas another one (e.g. test scores) are inherently good, if they lead to disparity and benefitting the wealthy?

In other words, what is the basis to assume that certain factors are inherently bad, if not the outcomes that they cause? 

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2 hours ago, CharonY said:

To add to that, and to repeat a question that I do not feel has been adequately answered: why is using one criterion (e.g. race) inherently bad, if it leads to a more favourable outcome (say better health or education), whereas another one (e.g. test scores) are inherently good, if they lead to disparity and benefitting the wealthy?

In other words, what is the basis to assume that certain factors are inherently bad, if not the outcomes that they cause? 

I'd like to hear an answer to this question too. 

It seems like MigL is making a deontological claim that the consequences of racism and affirmative action do not matter in determining whether or not taking certain aspects of a persons background into consideration is wrong. Basing a decision on a single factor is always bad, no matter the outcome, seems to be the claim. However we can make the same claims about only taking into account grades since they can in some respects be more of an abstraction for income disparities. 

In comparison, the consensus amongst others is based on consequentialist arguments, that outline that until the prejudiced have less power and control over bringing about harmful consequences for disadvantaged and neglected peoples, there has to be an affirmative action reaction to that as it's natural foil. 

To put the consequentialist position more clearly, if there was no affirmative action, it would not make racism disappear. Until Racism and other forms of negating actions through prejudicial discrimination cease, we cannot avoid the negative consequences of them. Which means we have to pragmatically counteract or we enter into a state of moral devolution as everyone runs away with their prejudices and biases completely unchecked.

As INow pointed out earlier with the Popper intolerance paradox, to not attempt to counteract intolerance with intolerance, would be the death of tolerance. If there is no deterrent for harmful and self-harmful intolerance, then it won't ever stop and will make things worse. 

5 hours ago, MigL said:

edit
I miss the Physics forum where words are strictly defined, and meanings are not colored by the subjective life experiences of the user

Wittgenstein would probably argue that the meanings of words are colored by the context they are used in. Not subjective life experiences. There are also definitions to words in ethics which have a consensus on what certain words should be taken to mean in certain contexts. At least, that is what later Wittgenstein would probably say.

I'd also argue that there are words in physics, or interpretations of quantum mechanics, that are defined as coloured by the subjective experiences of the observer. The Copenhagen interpretation is one. That would be delving a little bit to deeply into the philosophy of language for this particular thread though. 

I'd also add that we all seem to be arguing for different moral objectivist viewpoints. 

On that front, I've had a realisation that the position you ought to be arguing from when it comes to affirmative action; is not to deem it as racist, but to describe what the cons or shortcomings of it are. Making people in majority and privileged groups feel alienated is definitely a con. As that could indeed cause individuals who had no racial animosity to cry foul and start to develop said animosity. That anyone should feel left out of education, is hard to swallow, that anyone should feel alienated by actions that are meant to bring more of us together, is saddening. 

In the end though, the type of learning environment I want, is one that has the world in it. I want to be amongst all different kinds of people from all different backgrounds. That way I am exposed to more learning. I'd find a school extremely boring and tense if there was any type of racial clique in the majority unless you're literally in a place where there is no other ethnic demographic living there, places like that are fast becoming rarer in this internationally connected world and generations upon generations of mixing and moving across the planet. I think our survival as a species depends on diversity of thought, which you can't really have with only one type of people. 

I probably will keep on commenting about this because I could go on and on as more people reply and share their thoughts. I appreciate everyone's continued engagement with this thread, despite the negative vibes I was putting out when I wrote the OP. Sincerely.

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17 hours ago, zapatos said:

You said previously that is was okay if it was used for good (see below). Now you are saying it is not okay. Did I miss something?

Quote

...all the programs and institutions that you mentioned ( except for medical studies on black men, which recognises that some of these group traits have health consequences ), Zap, would be racist, as they use race as the sole criteria.

It is no stretch that genetic markers that are responsible for differing traits of certain groups are also related to inheritable diseases.
The amount of melanin ( skin pigmentation ) of some Italians is greater than some people who identify as Black.
I myself. get my moles  checked out whenever I visit my doctor.
I have previously stated that the Emancipation Proclamation did not identify Blacks, but slaves.
While the Underground Railroad had many participants who were not Black, and, sought an end to oppression and slavery.

So while those programs/laws/ efforts identified a station in life ( for lack of a better term ), or a genetic marker that leads to a certain trait, they are not explicitly 'racial'.
It is only when we generalize, and attribute that station in life ( slavery ), and those traits ( high concentration of melanin ), to a separate 'race', that the trouble begins.

I can see the immediate benefits of putting 'racial discrimination' to 'good' use.
But remain of the opinion that a mechanism for sorting according to 'race', is inherently flawed, whether used for 'good' or 'bad'.
Just over 100 years ago the Residential School system in Canada was thought to be a 'good' way to assimilate Native Canadians into Canadian society, and instead of living on Reservations, be productive members of society. It is now considered a huge flop, which abused/damaged a lot of lives, and far from being 'good', is now considered criminal       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system .
What is 'good' or 'bad' today, may not be so tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

It is no stretch that genetic markers that are responsible for differing traits of certain groups are also related to inheritable diseases.
The amount of melanin ( skin pigmentation ) of some Italians is greater than some people who identify as Black.
I myself. get my moles  checked out whenever I visit my doctor.
I have previously stated that the Emancipation Proclamation did not identify Blacks, but slaves.
While the Underground Railroad had many participants who were not Black, and, sought an end to oppression and slavery.

So while those programs/laws/ efforts identified a station in life ( for lack of a better term ), or a genetic marker that leads to a certain trait, they are not explicitly 'racial'.
It is only when we generalize, and attribute that station in life ( slavery ), and those traits ( high concentration of melanin ), to a separate 'race', that the trouble begins.

I can see the immediate benefits of putting 'racial discrimination' to 'good' use.
But remain of the opinion that a mechanism for sorting according to 'race', is inherently flawed, whether used for 'good' or 'bad'.
Just over 100 years ago the Residential School system in Canada was thought to be a 'good' way to assimilate Native Canadians into Canadian society, and instead of living on Reservations, be productive members of society. It is now considered a huge flop, which abused/damaged a lot of lives, and far from being 'good', is now considered criminal       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system .
What is 'good' or 'bad' today, may not be so tomorrow.

I agree that the emancipation proclamation did not identify blacks. However, the XV amendment does. 

Quote

AMENDMENT XV - Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude--

Section 2.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

This is just one example of an amendment that specifically mentions race in relation to a previous condition of servitude. 

The XIII amendment also gives congress the power to enforce the article, which led to the later legislation of XV. 

It's also important to note, that just because XIII does not state "black slaves" it does not change the fact that in the USA there was no legal trade of white slaves. Therefore XIII was the counter to the legal slave trade within the US, which was entirely based on race. The reason the black slave trade was viewed as legal, is because black people were viewed as not human and therefore had no human rights like white people do. XIII was essentially about classing them as human and ending the practice of slavery because it was against their rights as humans and citizens of the US. 

The piece you shared about the Canadian land residential school system is really interesting. An example of where the road to ruin is indeed a good intention.

I don't know if I would say affirmative action is consequentially the same, too soon to tell. Ultimately the goal of affirmative action is to reach a balance where it is no longer required in some places. That being said, I can see how it can be used by some to just tip the favour away from one group to another. If that is going to happen, it probably won't for a long time and hopefully when things are at a point where they are more equitable for all involved, the brakes can be put on and equilibrium can be maintained via a minor adjustment or two here and there. Regular servicing in your vehicle analogy.

As it is, we can't stop people taking race and other things into account in the negative, individually or collectively, so what makes you think we can stop it happening in the positive? If racism is rampant and hard to stamp out, won't the true be the same of it's counters and foils?

Is this neutrality or apathy?

 

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30 minutes ago, MSC said:

I agree that the emancipation proclamation did not identify blacks. However, the XV amendment does. 

It mentions race.

30 minutes ago, MSC said:

This is just one example of an amendment that specifically mentions race in relation to a previous condition of servitude. 

It says “or” so race and servitude are not actually connected in the amendment.

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, swansont said:

It mentions race.

No, it does not. The XV amendment was the first to explicitly mention slavery and race in the same amendment, the connection I was referring to. The XIII does not mention race at all.

Quote

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the United States, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy (the Southern secessionist states) that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union (United States) military victory.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom

The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the USA. The XIII Amendment did. Here is the text for that:

Quote

AMENDMENT XIII

Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Note: A portion of Article IV, section 2, of the Constitution was superseded by the 13th amendment.

Section 1.

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

No mention of race until the 15th amendment.

So I don't understand your criticism. But hey, maybe you can find a mention of race within the original EP document? Here it is.

emancipation-01a-l.jpg

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

Just over 100 years ago the Residential School system in Canada was thought to be a 'good' way to assimilate Native Canadians into Canadian society, and instead of living on Reservations, be productive members of society. It is now considered a huge flop, which abused/damaged a lot of lives, and far from being 'good', is now considered criminal       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system .
What is 'good' or 'bad' today, may not be so tomorrow.

And I ask again, was it based because it recognized race or was it bad because it had colonial assumptions and the resulting outcome? I am not familiar with the laws surrounding residential schools, but would it have been better if the system did not explicitly mentioned First Nation children, but only targeted children in certain areas, which just happened to be inhabited by First Nation communities?

So again, should we evaluate policies solely based on their mechanisms or shouldn't we take the outcome into account?

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On 11/28/2020 at 2:35 AM, MSC said:

Secondly, whether their are greater or smaller degrees of differences between people is besides the point, who decides what variant is more valuable than another?

You have implicitly decided. It seems like many "progressives" have decided that morphological differences related to skin color and skull structure, i.e. the outward physical indicators of race, supersede all other others when ensuring equal opportunity.

Your focus on outward morphological differences is wrong headed. The morphological differences which are responsible for differences in achievement are most likely found within the neurological system. If those differences are passed down in conjunction with and therefore correlated with outward morphological differences then the problem is not with the outward differences, but with the neurological system.

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