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 Post subject: Re: Sam Harris
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:09 am 
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What exactly is progressivism anyway? It's vague to the point of meaninglessness. Practically everyone on Earth is for progress in some form or another. Even reactionaries are pro-progress in a sense. It sounds like something someone would call themselves so they can declare everyone who disagrees with them is "anti-progress".

Even its history is a random assortment of policies from wildly different points on the political spectrum. It means whatever someone who claims the label wants it to mean.

Just be a liberal or a socialist or conservative, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Sam Harris
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:09 pm 
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run2death wrote:
People who value their own ill-informed view of culture over basic human rights aren't progressive.


Culturally relativistic views on what constitutes "basic rights" is a hallmark of modern progressive policy.

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 Post subject: Re: Sam Harris
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 5:22 pm 
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Bi_3 wrote:
From the NYT:

Quote:
Sam Harris says his moment came in 2006, at a conference at the Salk Institute with Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson and other prominent scientists. Mr. Harris said something that he thought was obvious on its face: Not all cultures are equally conducive to human flourishing. Some are superior to others.

“Until that time I had been criticizing religion, so the people who hated what I had to say were mostly on the right,” Mr. Harris said. “This was the first time I fully understood that I had an equivalent problem with the secular left.”

After his talk, in which he disparaged the Taliban, a biologist who would go on to serve on President Barack Obama’s Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues approached him. “I remember she said: ‘That’s just your opinion. How can you say that forcing women to wear burqas is wrong?’ But to me it’s just obvious that forcing women to live their lives inside bags is wrong. I gave her another example: What if we found a culture that was ritually blinding every third child? And she actually said, ‘It would depend on why they were doing it.’”


That’s pretty much sums up why I can’t take Progressive politics anymore.


I think there is a faction on the left that has essentially lost its way, for sure, and are motivated by ideology and "enlightenment" rather than reason. But I think labeling it "progressive politics" is wrong. There's clearly some progressives on this board and I doubt anyone knows someone in real life who would excuse blinding every 3rd child. Just like most conservative people we know in real life aren't that "most annoying guy at a Trump rally." Most people are just pretty normal and I think we all know that.

And on the Ezra/Harris debate, I think it is worth noting that Ezra was talking about The Bell Curve in the greater context of Murray's career. Sam Harris, as he admitted, had only read 2 of the books and didn't seem to be as familiar with him. I've listened to Sam and Ezra for years, and the argument that Harris feels maligned sometimes in the way Murray has been was true, and that it's something Sam can't see past. This is despite, as Ezra points out, Murray being part of the mainstream and influential, and Harris himself being mostly well respected with a large following. Sam is always either right or a victim of some kind of confusion/conflation. I don't like that, and think it sullies otherwise good work. I understand his view that this data is out there, we can talk about it, and that he doesn't want social policy to be guided by it. But I've yet to hear a good argument for what it should be used for, and therefore wonder what exactly the value of it is (which is why, I think, people question the motivation for looking for it).


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 Post subject: Re: Sam Harris
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:45 pm 
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I think you hit it spot on Rob. Harris has gotten far more defensive over the last few years and he seems utterly convinced (massive ego) that he can talk people into his views. It’s frustrating to listen to as someone who really respects his body of work.

The data on IQ? I think it should inform social policy on some level. We need to understand what we can do to the environment and school curricula to help address evenones unique brain function. If we cannot talk about, we cannot help equalize things. Someone once said “I’d rather have questions I can’t answer than answers I can’t question.” I think that’s where we on it.

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