Is the academy award committee unfair to black actors?

General philosophy message board for Discussion and debate on other philosophical issues not directly related to veganism. Metaphysics, religion, theist vs. atheist debates, politics, general science discussion, etc.
User avatar
EquALLity
I am God
Posts: 3000
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:31 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: United States of Canada

Re: Is the academy award committee unfair to black actors?

Post by EquALLity » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:01 pm

Volenta wrote:- I really don't take Pat Condell seriously on this issue (or maybe actually never really, see also the topic about him)
Yes, I've seen that topic. My views on Pat Condell have changed since I created the topic on Israel.

As I read over the conversation, I pretty much agree with what brimstone was saying at the moment.
Volenta wrote:Don't agree that the situation is complicated though, it actually pretty straight-forward compared to many other conflicts (like Syria; now that is an absolute mess). Also, I think he falls into this trap:
Really? I think it's pretty complicated. I don't think we really know where Netanyahu stands on many parts of this conflict, what to do about it, and I think it's hard to determine what's true/false/justified/unjustified etc..
Volenta wrote:Even if Israel was completely secular (which it isn't), that wouldn't make much of a difference whether there methods and occupation are justified. The conflict is ultimately much more about territory than it is about religion.
I think it's largely fueled by religious hatred (the Hamas charter speaks against Jews).
"I am not a Marxist." -Karl Marx

User avatar
Volenta
Master in Training
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 5:13 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Volenta » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:42 am

EquALLity wrote:Yes, I've seen that topic. My views on Pat Condell have changed since I created the topic on Israel.

As I read over the conversation, I pretty much agree with what brimstone was saying at the moment.
Have your views also changed regarding the position you held in the opening post?
EquALLity wrote:Really? I think it's pretty complicated.
I think the main reason people think it's complicated is because it's supposedly a dispute going back centuries. This is just false though, it's all pretty recent (it's mainly orthodox Jews would like you to think it isn't). Of course there are many details to be known about the conflict, but they general outline of what is going on and who is involved is are very clear.
EquALLity wrote:I don't think we really know where Netanyahu stands on many parts of this conflict,
Details on Netanyahu are not really that interesting. We generally know where he stands. The fact that some months ago he tried to blame the holocaust on Palestinians says a lot for me. But more relevantly, you can tell a lot by what Israel is exactly doing, and what it is not doing (but maybe should be doing). Operation Protective Edge was under his term, and it was a brutal disaster.
EquALLity wrote:what to do about it, and I think it's hard to determine what's true/false/justified/unjustified etc..
Well, I don't know about that. A good place to start would be international law. I don't think it should be followed as an absolute authority, but it will work most of the time. And on the main issue under international law is very clear: the occupation of the West Bank is illegal and should be ended.

I think if the U.S. would stop supporting Israel unconditionally and join the international consensus really on solving the issue, things might get much clearer for most people (and some actual solving could be done, since Israel is highly depended on support from the U.S.). There is a lot of misinformation going around, which make it seem like it's a hard to understand conflict while it really isn't. But aside from some historical disputes (most of them agreed upon now by serious historians), most of the facts are actually known. Instead of getting your information from mainstream U.S. media outlets, go take a look at reports from organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International presenting the actual facts.
EquALLity wrote:I think it's largely fueled by religious hatred (the Hamas charter speaks against Jews).
So the question is: is it religion fueling the desire for territorial control and maybe even the will to ethnically cleanse, or is it a territorial dispute fueling people to develop a stronger religious fanaticism?

In answering the question, it is useful to look at the history. Antisemitism is a relatively recent phenomenon in the Arab world. Ironically, it has always been a western problem, only recently found a way into the Arab world. With the founding of Israel and the conflicts that followed, it has increased a lot there. This is also where most of the sentiment comes from, from (especially young) Muslims in the west. Many Jews used to live in the Middle East in relative peace really, now lots of them have migrated to Israel and elsewhere.

Then take a look at the origins and rise of popularity of Hamas. It was after the failings of the PLO (lots of corruption and nepotism), that people sought for something else. Hamas was a hardline organization where people at least could rely on (even secularists supporting them). People will seek for something radical if there is no hope and perspective for change.

Of course there is much more to discuss, but at least this gives some indication why I think it is much more a territorial dispute leading to religious fanaticism, than the other way around.

knot
Master in Training
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:34 pm

Post by knot » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:51 pm

Argh... wouldn't have expected the extreme right-wing Israel being defended on this forum, from people claiming to come up for oppressed groups.
Cows, chickens and pigs are good people. Palestinians would murder me for being an atheist
First, show me any evidence for the claim that Hamas is using human shields.
This guy admits it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ6S0-o3uFI
You can call Hamas a terrorist organization, then at least be consistent and admit Israel is a terrorist state when they target civilians, including children. Or else, define the word 'terrorism'. I doubt you can make a general definition that excludes Israeli actions.
My views on this are going to be a copy-paste of what Sam Harris has said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX-UPcrejHc
Also, you seem to use Hamas and 'the Palestinians' interchangeably. Most Palestinians are not part of Hamas.
If they don't want to be associated with a terrorist organization, they shouldn't have democratically elected one to represent them
Lastly, conflating antisemitism with criticism of Israel is ludicrous. EquALLity was asking about antisemitism, and you start talking about left-wingers on Israel-Palestine. This is making damaging associations for no good reason. I agree completely with what EquALLity said here:
I don't believe I did, but if it came out like that it wasn't what I meant. I was just talking about how The Young Turks always make a false equivalence between Jewish and Islamic culture when the two are light-years apart
Now that statement is actually discriminatory.
But not incorrect?

User avatar
Volenta
Master in Training
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 5:13 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Volenta » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:19 pm

knot wrote:
Argh... wouldn't have expected the extreme right-wing Israel being defended on this forum, from people claiming to come up for oppressed groups.
Cows, chickens and pigs are good people. Palestinians would murder me for being an atheist
This is seriously your response? Whether they will murder you or not for being atheist is completely irrelavant to the question whether the occupation, siege, control over resources (as fundamental as water), and military operations of Israel should be defended or not. You're seriously lacking a moral compass if you think the fact that some people would like to kill you, makes you morally permissible to do violent things to them yourself.
knot wrote:This guy admits it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ6S0-o3uFI
The reason that the usage of humans as shields is illegal is because we are concerned about civilian casualties. This video you linked is about civilians who are trying to defend their homes from getting destroyed. If you are so sensitive about Palestinian civilians getting harmed, then you probably agree with me that those homes are not legitimate targets for Israel to attack in the first place. Now, granted, this guy should not have urged people to do this, but this is different from Hamas actually using human shields.
knot wrote:
You can call Hamas a terrorist organization, then at least be consistent and admit Israel is a terrorist state when they target civilians, including children. Or else, define the word 'terrorism'. I doubt you can make a general definition that excludes Israeli actions.
My views on this are going to be a copy-paste of what Sam Harris has said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX-UPcrejHc
So you're not going to take on the challenge? Too bad.

And I'm not going to write a full response to Harris' take (because although it started out good, there is much in there that's bad, some of it really bad), that is asking too much. You can quote something if you like.
knot wrote:If they don't want to be associated with a terrorist organization, they shouldn't have democratically elected one to represent them
I was trying to make clear that Hamas isn't all there is to talk about when talking about the Palestinian side. I was not talking about association, I was talking about conflation.
knot wrote:I was just talking about how The Young Turks always make a false equivalence between Jewish and Islamic culture when the two are light-years apart
I'm confused now, were/are you talking about Israel or Jews? This is a important distinction.

Judaism and Islam have a lot in common in fact; lots of stories, very similar doctrinal morality and prescriptions. In fact, Islam has build upon much of the bible. And regarding the culture surrounding it: there is also many similarity in their architecture, food, and so on. Now it obviously succeeded in becoming a unique religion, but to claim they are 'light-years apart' is obviously false.
knot wrote:But not incorrect?
Yes. Criticizing Israel is not 'anti-Jewish'. Some people doing it might actually be antisemitic, but this is in no way inherent. Regarding rock throwing and suicide bombing: this says a lot about the divide in power and equipment between Israel and Palestine. The usage of these facts, namely to demonize Palestinians (not just Hamas), is misplaced.

User avatar
EquALLity
I am God
Posts: 3000
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:31 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: United States of Canada

Post by EquALLity » Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:36 pm

Volenta wrote:Have your views also changed regarding the position you held in the opening post?
Not really, no. I disagree with the need for a Jewish State, though.
Volenta wrote:I think the main reason people think it's complicated is because it's supposedly a dispute going back centuries. This is just false though, it's all pretty recent (it's mainly orthodox Jews would like you to think it isn't). Of course there are many details to be known about the conflict, but they general outline of what is going on and who is involved is are very clear.
I wasn't under the impression it went back centuries.
Volenta wrote:Details on Netanyahu are not really that interesting. We generally know where he stands.
Do we? He's flip-flopped a lot about a two state solution etc..
Volenta wrote:The fact that some months ago he tried to blame the holocaust on Palestinians says a lot for me.
He did? O_O
Volenta wrote:But more relevantly, you can tell a lot by what Israel is exactly doing, and what it is not doing (but maybe should be doing). Operation Protective Edge was under his term, and it was a brutal disaster.
Oh? What's that?
Volenta wrote:And on the main issue under international law is very clear: the occupation of the West Bank is illegal and should be ended.
Alright, Israel is clearly not innocent. But do you think that the violence would stop if Israel ended the occupation?
Volenta wrote:I think if the U.S. would stop supporting Israel unconditionally and join the international consensus really on solving the issue, things might get much clearer for most people (and some actual solving could be done, since Israel is highly depended on support from the U.S.). There is a lot of misinformation going around, which make it seem like it's a hard to understand conflict while it really isn't. But aside from some historical disputes (most of them agreed upon now by serious historians), most of the facts are actually known. Instead of getting your information from mainstream U.S. media outlets, go take a look at reports from organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International presenting the actual facts.
I don't watch the mainstream media often, and I'm aware of its bias.

I'll check out the reports later and tell you what I think.

What side do you support in this? None?
Volenta wrote:So the question is: is it religion fueling the desire for territorial control and maybe even the will to ethnically cleanse, or is it a territorial dispute fueling people to develop a stronger religious fanaticism?
Well, the Koran promotes violence against Jewish people.

Even if you're right, though, and it's a territorial issue fueling religious fanaticism, now we have religious fanaticism and we have to work from there. The religious fanaticism doesn't seem like it would go away if Israel ended the occupation, seeing as Hamas speaks against Jews.
Volenta wrote:only recently found a way into the Arab world
That's not really true- the Koran promotes violence against Jews.
Volenta wrote:Then take a look at the origins and rise of popularity of Hamas. It was after the failings of the PLO (lots of corruption and nepotism), that people sought for something else. Hamas was a hardline organization where people at least could rely on (even secularists supporting them). People will seek for something radical if there is no hope and perspective for change.
Interesting, I don't know much about the rise of Hamas.
"I am not a Marxist." -Karl Marx

User avatar
EquALLity
I am God
Posts: 3000
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:31 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan
Location: United States of Canada

Post by EquALLity » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:31 pm

knot wrote:No
Then it's not really relevant.
knot wrote:I'm generalizing and speaking in relative terms, like all people do in conversation. Some generalizations are fair, and some are not.
Exactly, and that's a very unreasonable generalization, because it states that being against the Israeli government is anti-Semetic.

The Israeli government is a Jewish state that contains a population dominated by Jews, but it is still invalid to use it interchangeably with Jew, and to say that by extension any criticism is anti-Semetic.

It's like saying that criticism of England (not even the English- the English government) is anti-Christian, because England is a Christian state.

Just so you know, I'm not biased about this. I'm overall pro-Israel in that conflict, because even though it has a lot of problems, it is still IMO the lesser of two evils.
knot wrote:I'm just going to assume that the police have been lying about it.
That is not an assumption. I'm pretty sure the police can tell the difference between a white and obviously black person.
knot wrote:Even then, how does that prove they're racist?
It demonstrates that they are aware they over-investigate black people (or they wouldn't have to lie about it).
knot wrote:They probably hate having to investigate more blacks than whites
They don't have to disproportionately investigate black people.
knot wrote:because they know the liberal media will bash them and portray them as racist assholes for it
What liberal media? The mainstream media isn't liberal. Are the cops watching TYT? :P
knot wrote:But the racial "bias" in the war on drugs has completely logical explanations. See this: https://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/usa/Rcedrg00-05.htm
"The marked racial disparities in drug arrests did not reflect racial differences in violations of drug laws prohibiting possession and sale of illicit drugs. Statistical as well as anecdotal evidence indicate drug possession and drug selling cut across all racial, socio-economic and geographic lines. Yet because drug law enforcement resources have been concentrated in low-income, predominantly minority urban areas, drug offending whites have been disproportionately free from arrest compared to blacks."
Seems to support what I'm saying.
knot wrote:So the police should be equally worried about little girls and 300 lb men with swastikas tatooed on their forehead? You have to be good at making educated guesses as a police officer, i.e. stereotyping people
Ok,

"I don't want to live in a country where it's encouraged that police stereotype any group."
...Within the bounds of reason. :P

Remember what I said on the other topic about unintended consequences? By discriminating against groups, you fuel anger, which leads to more trouble.
knot wrote:Maybe from individuals, but I don't see any good evidence that there is institutionalized racism
It's not a maybe from individuals. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/upsho ... rance.html
knot wrote:I don't know that much about the symbolism of the flag, but it doesn't seem to mean the same thing for all people. Far from it, actually http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-the-c ... lag-racist
That site is not a legitimate source for a real answer on what that flag represents. It's just random people on the Internet.

It's a flag that represents racial hatred. Everything about the Confederacy was racial hatred. They were literally at war for the right to own slaves.
knot wrote:I'm not saying the police don't ever misuse their power, but there are a lot of ways to decrease your risk of getting shot when dealing with the police, especially if you live in a neighbourhood with a lot of violent criminals
What about just standing around minding your own business? It doesn't seem to be good enough.
knot wrote:Wtf? :_D
You think that if black people are systematically discriminated against that it somehow makes you guilty.

Maybe you don't, but I've encountered people with similar ideas before.
knot wrote:Read the report I posted earlier in this post
What part of that is about repeat offenses?
knot wrote:Statistically, they're more likely to be either gang members or terrorists, so the police have good reason to be more suspicious of them. Different people have different privileges. White redneck NRA members get to openly protest with their guns out, and black people get to exploit a bottomless well of white guilt whenever something doesn't go their way (case in point: the Oscars)
Domestically, Muslims are not more likely to be terrorists than right-wingers. We barely investigate and report on right-wing terrorism.
I wonder why the mainstream media never talks about right-wing terrorism, and never stops fear-mongering about Muslims. It's a mystery.

As for black people, do you have statistics about that?
I think it's probably a poverty and lack of education thing.
"I am not a Marxist." -Karl Marx

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9391
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri May 06, 2016 4:54 am

Wow, I didn't even look at this thread until now. Maybe it should be split up and merged into other conversations, and the TYT part should become its own thread?

Jebus and Knot are right about the academy award; it's silly. Looks like Hispanics are technically underrepresented, black actors statistically aren't. Neither of these would likely surprising though, since for whatever reason minorities are probably less likely to go into acting. Kind of like women in STEM: I don't think the problem is at the award level. But acting doesn't matter much so I don't think this is a "problem" that needs to be fixed. I wouldn't care if all actors were Chinese; as long as they make interesting movies, that's fine.

EquALLity is right about Israel -- that's Zionism, not Judaism in general -- Knot is right about institutional racism probably not being a thing. Knot may be making the same mistake elsewhere in conflating Extremist Islamism and Isam in general.
IF it's OK to judge all Muslims by extremists, then it's OK to judge Jews by Zionists too, and this is not any less appropriate. There are some seriously crazy Zionists out there, Islam doesn't have a monopoly on bad ideas, Jewish scripture is rich in hate and violence too, it's just that most Jews ignore it (some Zionists make a career out of it, though). If you attack Muslims on the basis of Islamism, you have to defend Jews on the basis of Zionism, and that's a much more difficult argument (you can't always have the home team advantage).

Volenta makes a great point about the politics of Israel, but I still think it's complicated -- not politically, but because of the differences between Israel and the Palestinian resistance. It's a monster created BY Israel, but it's still a monster, so it's very hard to sympathize with (it's not much easier to sympathize with Israel, since they're breaking international law at every turn).
If Israel were secular, I don't think the "settlements" would be that controversial: the local population wouldn't care so much about being annexed into a democratic state with infrastructure investment and a strong military to protect them. What they more likely care about is being turned into a Jewish state, and the theocratic aspects of the Israeli government are inexcusable which is why I can't support them. Either way, the local population should really be voting on it; annexing people against their wills is not usually very wise, and kicking them out is even worse.

In short, as I said elsewhere, it's a shit sandwich, and I'd rather stay out of it than take a bite.

Knot is right about TYT, they have serious issues (Although I don't know where they got their name). I don't always agree with Sam Harris, but the way they treated him and then doubled down on the rhetoric after the interview was inexcusable. They're too extreme and polarizing, that's politically unhealthy, and watching them will make it harder for their audience to understand the other side to arguments. They're like the Fox news of the left.

Watch the Rubin Report instead. https://www.youtube.com/user/RubinReport

I think I covered everything.
Should this thread be split up?

User avatar
Volenta
Master in Training
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 5:13 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Volenta » Fri May 06, 2016 7:39 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:Volenta makes a great point about the politics of Israel, but I still think it's complicated -- not politically, but because of the differences between Israel and the Palestinian resistance.
I don't think it's useful to discuss the amount of complexity of the conflict, so I'll leave it there.
brimstoneSalad wrote:It's a monster created BY Israel, but it's still a monster, so it's very hard to sympathize with (it's not much easier to sympathize with Israel, since they're breaking international law at every turn).
That's a reasonable position to hold. I'm really not that interested in whether to sympathize or not though (I understand both positions), only in a solution. That also kind of answers EquALLity's question (which I'm sorry to say I didn't make time for) which side I support; I don't like to think in these pro- and anti- terms. Just get to a solution because the suffering is continuing (especially in Gaza), and talk about the specific rights and wrongs of both sides. brimstoneSalad is right that the reasonable discussion is about who is a bit worse. I do think it is Israel at this point in time though (brimstoneSalad seems to be leaning in the other way), since the proportions are now so extremely out of balance. Take the 2014 conflict with Operation Protective Edge (which EquALLity's asked about; notice the proportions between soldiers and civilians as well):
- 2,205 Palestinians killed, including at least 1,483 civilians, of whom 521 are children and 283 are women.
- 71 Israelis killed, including 66 soldiers, a security coordinator and four civilians. One foreign national civilian was also killed in Israel.
Source: http://www.ochaopt.org/content.aspx?id=1010361
brimstoneSalad wrote:If Israel were secular, I don't think the "settlements" would be that controversial: the local population wouldn't care so much about being annexed into a democratic state with infrastructure investment and a strong military to protect them. What they more likely care about is being turned into a Jewish state, and the theocratic aspects of the Israeli government are inexcusable which is why I can't support them. Either way, the local population should really be voting on it; annexing people against their wills is not usually very wise, and kicking them out is even worse.
I think the settlements are problematic either way. The Palestinians want a right to self-determination, which is a reasonable thing. If Israel were secular, the one-state solution would be easier to implement though, which thus would have been better situation to be in.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Watch the Rubin Report instead. https://www.youtube.com/user/RubinReport
I watched it quite a few times now. I like the constructive discussion style and advocacy of reason and free speech, but whoah, these guests... Is it me or is it mostly right-wingers (and the bad ones among them: pro-lifers, climate skeptics, randroids)? I have no problem with having right-wingers on the show, but because of the amount I'm starting to think it is not a liberal show. I highly doubt whether Rubin is really on the left as he claims he is. And in line with the Israel-discussion, his views on Israel are clearly standard U.S. right-wing and thus troubling.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Should this thread be split up?
Fine by me.

User avatar
brimstoneSalad
neither stone nor salad
Posts: 9391
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 9:20 am
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by brimstoneSalad » Fri May 06, 2016 10:56 pm

Volenta wrote: That's a reasonable position to hold. I'm really not that interested in whether to sympathize or not though (I understand both positions), only in a solution.
I can definitely understand that, and I'd much rather talk about solutions than who is right or wrong. Unfortunately, ego tends to dictate that whoever is more in the wrong has to change: it's a problem.
Volenta wrote: I do think it is Israel at this point in time though (brimstoneSalad seems to be leaning in the other way), since the proportions are now so extremely out of balance. Take the 2014 conflict with Operation Protective Edge (which EquALLity's asked about; notice the proportions between soldiers and civilians as well):
- 2,205 Palestinians killed, including at least 1,483 civilians, of whom 521 are children and 283 are women.
- 71 Israelis killed, including 66 soldiers, a security coordinator and four civilians. One foreign national civilian was also killed in Israel.
Source: http://www.ochaopt.org/content.aspx?id=1010361
This in itself is more complex. Civilians on the Israeli side are being protected, far from the conflict. To use the opposition's rhetoric, the civilians on the Palestinian side are like "human shields": not literally, but because the terrorists are hiding among the general civilian population to make it harder to hit them.

Both sides are wrong: those who do no evacuate civilians, but hide among them, and those who attack anyway despite the presence of civilians. And to go further, Israel kind of started it with all of the settlements.

The reason Israel is "winning" is simply because it is stronger and more advanced.
Sam Harris' thought experiment seems relevant here: if the Palestinians were in the same position, would they do worse?
If the terrorists were handed perfect weapons, how would they use them? How would the Israelis use them?

I disagree with Harris there somewhat: I think one of the reasons these people have become so brutal is because they are overpowered, cornered, and feel forced into it (they justify their actions based on those of the opposition). I'm not as sure that the Palestinians would be much worse if the situations were reversed, or the Israelis much better.

If they would, though, then that's relevant. Because I don't believe this is an issue of "rights", but rather overall consequences, seeing a slightly less evil civilization flourish over a more evil one is the lesser evil (slightly).
Of course there are better solutions than that, like making peace, and promoting trade and intellectual exchange -- but how likely is that, as long as we have the religious right in the U.S. supporting Israel to fulfill their religious prophecies for the end times? This isn't policy based on reason or civility.
Volenta wrote: I think the settlements are problematic either way. The Palestinians want a right to self-determination, which is a reasonable thing.
Children want the right to eat candy for dinner, is that reasonable? ;)
The Palestinians are not necessarily educated or liberal enough to create a government that really serves their interests (of course this is debatable, but I don't assume it's the case).
Even a Jewish Israel may ultimately be better for them, but on ideological grounds I can understand why they would never accept it (much more so than the rejection of a secular state that doesn't make them second class citizens).
Volenta wrote: I watched it quite a few times now. I like the constructive discussion style and advocacy of reason and free speech, but whoah, these guests... Is it me or is it mostly right-wingers (and the bad ones among them: pro-lifers, climate skeptics, randroids)?
I actually think it's more useful to have conversations like that. A lot of liberal shows end up as echo chambers. The randroid got nutty there at the end; I don't think Rubin buys it. It would be nice if he challenged them a little more, but he wants to make sure he can keep getting these guests and if he scares them off that's not useful.
Volenta wrote: And in line with the Israel-discussion, his views on Israel are clearly standard U.S. right-wing and thus troubling.
That's pretty solid across left and right in U.S. politics. I think he probably agrees more with Harris' views on that.

User avatar
Volenta
Master in Training
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 5:13 pm
Religion: None (Atheist)
Diet: Vegan

Post by Volenta » Sun May 08, 2016 9:09 am

brimstoneSalad wrote:This in itself is more complex. Civilians on the Israeli side are being protected, far from the conflict. To use the opposition's rhetoric, the civilians on the Palestinian side are like "human shields": not literally, but because the terrorists are hiding among the general civilian population to make it harder to hit them.

Both sides are wrong: those who do no evacuate civilians, but hide among them, and those who attack anyway despite the presence of civilians. And to go further, Israel kind of started it with all of the settlements.

The reason Israel is "winning" is simply because it is stronger and more advanced.
I think that's a fair analysis. It is exactly this strong inbalance in power that I was trying to address. The term 'war' might not even be accurately describing these situations any more.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Sam Harris' thought experiment seems relevant here: if the Palestinians were in the same position, would they do worse?
If the terrorists were handed perfect weapons, how would they use them? How would the Israelis use them?

I disagree with Harris there somewhat: I think one of the reasons these people have become so brutal is because they are overpowered, cornered, and feel forced into it (they justify their actions based on those of the opposition). I'm not as sure that the Palestinians would be much worse if the situations were reversed, or the Israelis much better.
I consider this thought experiment to be highly problematic. You already hinted at a part of the problem. The problem is you can't just change the military power/weapons without it's context. The conflict has a long history in which Palestinians did become more extreme by the years. Like you said, part of problem has to do with Israel being overpowered and the Palestians lacking in any meaningful prospects. The land was taken away from the Palestinians, and not the other way around. It is Israel who has the backing of the U.S. (which has the worlds biggest military power) and to some extend the west in general. To just leave out all these facts and more is giving you an extremely bad comparison. A fair comparison would be to reverse the whole history and other context is well. And in that case I don't think you can justify painting a picture of a peaceful Israel (instead of Palestine) in that case either. Indeed, it would be very similar.

I think Harris constructed this thought experiment because of the intuitive appeal it has to take away any sympathy for the Palestinians. It has no real value in thinking about the subject.
brimstoneSalad wrote:If they would, though, then that's relevant. Because I don't believe this is an issue of "rights", but rather overall consequences, seeing a slightly less evil civilization flourish over a more evil one is the lesser evil (slightly).
Sounds to me like your appealing to some kind of social justice. Even if I didn't think Harris' comparison experiment was faulty, I don't think there is a good philosophical argument to support your claim. I don't think there is any ground to just give less moral consideration to more evil people. This exceeds primitive moral intuition, so it's probably the more controversial claim to make, but I think it is nonetheless the correct one.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Children want the right to eat candy for dinner, is that reasonable? ;)
The Palestinians are not necessarily educated or liberal enough to create a government that really serves their interests (of course this is debatable, but I don't assume it's the case).
This might be true to some extent, but I don't think it would be a reason to be against it. Just because a democracy isn't liberal, doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. To get to a flourishing democracy, it takes time, lots of it, but you have to get started sometime. If you're not willing to start, you'll never get there. We tend to forget that the west has taken it's time as well (not really that long ago really on historical scale), which was also not without massive illiberal problems either. Legitimate counselling and diplomacy could help to get it progress faster. Another point to make is that an imperfect democracy will nonetheless be better than the current situation.
brimstoneSalad wrote:Even a Jewish Israel may ultimately be better for them, but on ideological grounds I can understand why they would never accept it (much more so than the rejection of a secular state that doesn't make them second class citizens).
I assume you're talking about an one-state solution here? This would also be a solution I'm also willing to support. But contrary to your claim, I think most Palestinians are ultimately, but also growingly more willing to support it -- certainly after decades of failing two-state solution negotiating. I think it's harder for Israel to support it, given the threat Israeli Jews see of them of becoming in the minority.
brimstoneSalad wrote:I actually think it's more useful to have conversations like that. A lot of liberal shows end up as echo chambers.
I think this is not only a problem of liberal shows, but a problem of shows in general. Maybe this is even somewhat inevitable. The Rubin Report is probably also attracting a particular type of viewers, and turning away others because of this guest selection.
brimstoneSalad wrote:That's pretty solid across left and right in U.S. politics. I think he probably agrees more with Harris' views on that.
Both true. But as I've stated earlier, I think Harris' views are problematic as well.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Red and 3 guests