Excellent lecture

I deplore victim and safety culture. Of all the issues facing us as a nation and culture, I think this one is one of the most destructive. This is an excellent mini-lecture by moral philosopher J. Haidt on the topic:

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Posted on May 16, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hmm…

    In all of what I’ve heard of this issue discussed publicly, there are failures to take certain matters into account, and a frequent elision of the difference between “safe space” as a term for fostering a (campus or other) culture in which people will not be harassed or abused for any particular aspect of their identity (which I think is good!), and an assumption that one cannot examine, discuss, or even mention things in the past, ideas, and so forth which might potentially worry a student (which I think is horrific and useless!). These aren’t the same things, and yet on both ends of this, that’s exactly what I see being suggested and (over-) reacted to…

    While I think this particular discussion of it was better than many I’ve seen/heard, the “fragility” issue tends to come up more with the “privileged majority” than not, i.e. if one discusses the realities of racism, then white people say they’re being discriminated against, or if one discusses heterosexism, then straight people say they’re being discriminated against…and, yes, if one discusses any non-Christian religion (including forms of polytheism) in any positive fashion, then Christians say that “you hate me!” and call their parents, etc. (The latter has happened to my colleague several times now.). When I was specifically discriminated against for being a polytheist, and I brought the incident up because it is a violation of school policies, I was initially told by Human Resources personnel to suck it up and my complaint wasn’t even registered, and that also happened when a harassing message was written on the hood of one of my student’s car because she is a polytheist, and nothing was done.

    I’m honestly more concerned with when rhetoric does not match reality, when a college has a policy of not tolerating harassment and such, and then it does when such incidents are brought to the attention of the relevant parties. Interpersonal harassment and abuse should not take place, and such an understanding should be a part of the agreement one signs on for in being a student or faculty member of a college. Difficult ideas in class and such, though, not being discussed, and the whole issue of trigger warnings, etc.? No, that’s something entirely different, and is something that needs to be understood better–i.e. when someone is talking about something in history (e.g. slavery, racism, a homophobic incident, etc.), it is not approving of the matter, or done to offend anyone, it is discussing something that needs to be known about rather than erased because it’s too painful. The things that are “too painful” do need to be discussed, and if someone has a hard time doing so because of something like PTSD, etc., then they can get help for that, etc.

    Anyway…it’s a lot more complex than I think most of the advocates on the various sides of this debate tend to make it sound. More gray matter in one’s anterior cingulate cortex would help. 😉

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