RockoTDF wrote:I can't address an argument that is illogical.
His argument seemed illogical to you because you did not understand it. Nothing is expressed in a way perfectly clear to every reader. Nonetheless, it certainly was valid.
There was reasoning behind his argument, and you failed to debunk it other than call it illogical and ignore it. If the way he is going about making arguments is wrong, if it does not fit into your ideas of logic, then point out how and why his ideas of reasoning are wrong.
RockoTDF wrote:To say they are separate is also not logically consistent.
That's not true. Viewing other people as "equal" socially is a different idea than viewing them as "equal" logically. They are different ideas, different functions of your brain. This is another meaning of the word, basically. Actually, if you look it up in a dictionary, that becomes even more evident.
RockoTDF wrote:I really hope that the "you making an argument for social inequality" was a collective you and not an accusation.
Actually, that one was not collective. I did not mean it to be that biting, though. I apologize. It was an accusation, nonetheless, and one I endorse. It is true.
You do believe in social equality, I am pretty sure (you have not used those words specifically), but you also have beliefs contrary to social equality. No one is an exception in that, and I am not claiming that I am an exception either. In fact, in some regards, I am rather awful in that, I would say. I am working on it.
If I were to be clear, though, you would not be the strongest case of someone with beliefs contrary to social equality. Certainly, you aim for social equality.
I am just meaning to correct you in this case, and say that your belief is not ideally supportive of social equality.
RockoTDF wrote:If anthropologists have a problem with the social meaning of the words "equal" or "unequal" they should do as scientists do and make up their own terminology so that the lay public doesn't read their work (or read about their work) and get the wrong idea.
I was not talking about anthropologists actually, but just looking at the difference between these two arguments. (though Anthroprologists do use that social argument)
RockoTDF wrote:Ok, so why not say "no culture is superior or inferior, they are all different" which is how we discuss individual people, taste in art, or pretty much any other subjective quality?
That would be fine. Perhaps this is just a semantic argument, then. I suppose not entirely, though.
This is a long-standing definition of the word "equal," also, and I am not sure it needs to be changed. I guess it is somewhat confusing, however. Unfortunately for elucidation, it also may be important regardless.
RockoTDF wrote:I wasn't talking at all about intelligence across cultures. I'm talking about within cultures.
I meant to say that you were using intelligence difference within cultures as an analogy to examine cultural differences.
Basically, I was saying that you happened to use that analogy. More clearly, it may have just been a mistake or a lack of careful choice (we can't make careful choices all the time, though maybe that is just me), though not actually part of what you think. I still thought that it lead into a demonstration and sponsorship of a cognitive scheme that sponsors hierarchy of civilization.
RockoTDF wrote:Now you are just splitting hairs.
Sorry, the only point of that was a fine, minor correction. I should have made that clear.
Cultures should be viewed as equal because declaring them unequal leads to hierarchy and ultimately oppression.
RockoTDF wrote:Does declaring an individual to be more intelligent automatically create a hierarchy? Am I oppressing the janitors because I am a grad student? I understand the social problems caused by bad anthropology, but I don't think it is really ok to replace one bad way of doing science with another bad way of doing science.
Yes, it does. We take judgments of intelligence to mean that someone is lesser than us, or below us. It is included in the idea of intelligence, really. At the least, that is true for so many people that everyone will take someone using the idea of intelligence as meaning it in that sense. Basically, a new idea has to be created
Your actions in life are numerous. Someone who holds a viewpoint that sponsors a hierarchy with janitors as higher or lower than themselves will differ in their day-to-day interaction with janitors, how they respond to public initiatives to help out janitors in various ways. (like unionization. Or a political group or organization of janitors looking for donations) If you were someone's boss, you would make hiring decisions that differ depending on the prior job of the applicant. One may be less likely to vote for a politician who supports unions, or reforms of the hierarchy. One may change whether or not they decide to be friends with someone, because they are a janitor. It is also likely that if you ever talked with someone else about the issue, you would influence them towards your viewpoint. (you are part of the culture. You help to create and maintain it) Intelligence is a panacea of an idea for those defining hierarchy, because it is associated with so many things. Janitors are viewed as less intelligent, which is how that plays into this issue. Janitors in our society may be less intelligent, or even just act less intelligent, because they also fill the class roles themselves. It does not necessarily have to be that way, and is not in every culture. Janitors could even be seen as wise advisors who happen to work as sweeps. (they could sweep slowly, and think deeply) I suppose the limitation is that their time and focus is spent on tasks other than thinking, yet that is far from entirely excluding the possibility. (especially not when taking into account free time) I am tempted to say that it does limit it somewhat, though.
As for whether you oppress janitors, you do not by being a graduate student, though you might by holding certain viewpoints in combination with holding certain positions of power. Even without being in a position of particular power, being a citizen in many (or perhaps all, in some form or another) countries is a position with some degree of power in itself. If you never voted or talked to anyone about the issue at all, you would not be reinforcing the hierarchy.
You have inadvertently said that grad students are more intelligent than janitors, though. That reveals the hierarchy, and another way in which it manifests in you. Though maybe you did not actually mean that.
Hierarchy based on intelligence is not wrong, but it does exist. When it comes to cultures, though, the same kind of hierarchy is wholly inappropriate. That was my point. Hierarchies based on defining certain classes or jobs to be less intelligent or less worthy of consideration are definitely wrong.
Citizens that believe in cultural hierarchies will not protest invasions, intrusions, or exploitation of groups of people belonging to other cultures, or vote against politicians who support these kinds of actions.
To bring an idea here that I mentioned before (not in a reply to you), it is more about anthropology ethics than anthropology. Though, there is also the relation to evolution: evolution is not a ladder. In that way, it is also scientific. If you want to claim that anthropology is less of a science because of the ethics surrounding it, you should also claim that bioethics means that biology is less of a science.
Anthropology has also remained continuous despite a shift in ethics from extremely racist to more racially egalitarian. The idea that it is based on supporting PC is implausible based on that.
BioTube wrote:Define "social inequality". Railing against that phrase has caused far too much suffering.
I was specifying a case of social inequality. The case is summarized as imperialistic viewpoints that create hierarchies between nations.
It does not need to be called social inequality