The Instigator
3RU7AL
Pro (for)
The Contender
JacobStramandinoli
Con (against)

Objectivity promotes demonization.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 496 times Debate No: 100787
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

3RU7AL

Pro

Thank you for participating in this debate. I will be arguing in favor of the view that the concept of (detectable) objectivity promotes demonization.

In order to qualify for this challenge, you must have completed at least 1 debate.

Detectable - Able to be discovered or identified either directly or indirectly.
Objectivity - Utterly free of and existing independently from any possible subjective feelings, opinions and/or any prejudice; indisputable and seen identically by all possible observers; not subject to variation, change or interpretation.
Promotes - Lends support or actively encourages.
Demonization - Characterization of individuals or groups as irredeemably and purely evil, disingenuous, "fundamentally and incurably stupid and/or evil", or intellectually deaf and blind. A "black and white" "my way or the highway" point of view that casts all possible human participants as either "the good guys" or "the bad guys".

The rather bizarre Orwellian concept of "objectivity" has somehow managed to worm its way into our language. Practically everyone falsely believes (with unjustifiable confidence) that "objectivity" exists and is an unquestionable ideal-high-goal and more so that their own beliefs are "more objective" or "fair and balanced" than their detractors, and beyond that, all their detractors are either being disingenuous, "are fundamentally and incurably stupid and/or evil", or intellectually deaf and blind. Case closed. Let's all go back to our bubbles.

This premise about "objectivity" detailed above, allows people to pretend great atrocities are justified against "non believers" because "they deserve what they get". Side note: In order to properly justify such a hypothesis (like "they deserve what they get") would require significant and detailed philosophical exploration and conveniently, Wittgenstein has given the unstudied and others a glib excuse to categorically dismiss the entire pursuit of "philosophy" because it has been deemed "useless" (by one man). In other words, if you believe in a black and white world and "philosophy" muddies the waters, then "philosophy" is a "problem" and must be wrong, ex post-facto. This is an example of "affirming the consequent" (a logical fallacy) which basically means you are "closed minded" and only seek serious exploration of ideas that you believe are likely to reinforce your own pre-conceived ideas, technically known as prejudices.

And before you think I'm trying to single out one particular group of people, "godless secular liberal progressives" are just as guilty of this type of thinking as the other more obvious religious and political targets.

The simple fact that people (Trumpies are just one example) are able to very effectively dismiss and deflect all criticism by characterizing their detractors as "biased" proves how pervasive and insidious and anti-intellectual this ideal-high-goal of "objectivity" is. This specific technique is a combination of "false choice" and indirect "ad hominem" attack. In formal logic it is widely recognized as an illegitimate form of argument (logical fallacy). And yet, by all accounts "millions of people" think this qualifies as a plausible line of reasoning.

Now before you dismiss me as "a crack pot", I would like to point out that I do believe "a broad consensus" is a very good standard for "truth". And even Karl Popper admits, when pressed, that science isn't based on "objectivity" but rather on "a broad consensus" of "well qualified individuals", which in a lot of ways is nearly functionally identical, but with the key difference being that "a broad consensus" doesn't necessarily categorize detractors as either being disingenuous, "fundamentally and incurably stupid and/or evil", or intellectually deaf and blind. It at least leaves the door open to the idea that there may be some legitimate disagreement based on contrary evidence or other logical considerations without an automatic reflexive leap to pure demonization (terrorism is another good example of this).

Feel free to expand upon and/or challenge any of the arguments described above or add your own. I look forward to having a civil conversation regarding the topic at hand.
JacobStramandinoli

Con

Hi, also looking forwards to a civil discussion.

Diving right in. Given the definitions we are using I truly am struggling to see how objectivity could lead one to demonize people whatsoever, it seems to me that there is some confusion on your part between people believing themselves to be "Objectively" correct and the notion of Objective reality or truths.
Looking for Objective truths requires one to give up bias' and even shelve currently held beliefs for the sake of honest investigation, objectivity doesn't exist on a spectrum of some having more or less objective views than others, it is a category error to think of a viewpoint as having an attribute called "Objectivity".
In the spirit of honestly engaging as an interlocutor rather than reading a context into your words I would simply like to ask the following questions to clarify where exactly we disagree and what exactly you mean.

1.Do you believe there are objective truths that prescribe or necessarily entail that one group should demonize another?

2.Are you claiming that most individuals have a poor understanding of the concept of Objectivity and that the use of the word in our current modern lexicon leads to a propensity for Demonization?

3.Do you believe Objective reality is even a starting point? If not do you have any beliefs that function as absolutes for us to potentially converse within? I will put forward that I do believe in objective truths and if we disagree here I am not sure how any conversation can be had. I am willing to try but we need to be at least engaging within a similar enough worldview that we agree logical argument can disabuse us of mistaken opinions on either side of the conversation.

Or

1.Other? (if none of these questions apply to what you are getting at, may I have a succinct set of arguments or a premise that succinctly captures your meaning)

I don't think you are a crackpot but I would hope You and I can come to agreement that broad consensus by definition would exclude individuals who dissent or did not become qualified via the appropriate authority and instantaneously create another us and them category. Perhaps you put this measure forwards as the best available substitute not intending it as a perfect solution but a practical one? I would state that consensus is a very poor substitute for rational discourse when dealing with truth claims. If possible I would like to discuss this issue parallel to the questions as we have a limited amount of exchanges and tangling every one of our points into themselves immediately is liable to make a confusing read, also our views on what might be a better standard for arriving at conclusions may be contingent on whether we concede to one another on other points or what consensus we may reach independent of this view.
Debate Round No. 1
3RU7AL

Pro

Thank you for joining this debate. I appreciate your thoughtful approach to the topic.

It would seem difficult to extricate "people believing themselves to be 'Objectively' correct" from "the notion of 'Objective' reality or truths".

.

Anything deemed "objective" is instantly removed from know-ability. For example, if I suggest, or imagine that there may be some "objective" reality, yes, there might be, but that "reality" is now unknowable and in-fact unimaginable because I used the word "objective". Which makes it impervious to all subjective speculation. The same principle holds for "objective" truth. The very term "objective" is like a disintegrator ray. Anything you apply it to is ejected from any and all meaningful existence and is subsequently immune to any speculation of its possible nature or properties forever. This renders moot any argument about whether or not something like "objective" reality or "objective" truth might exist.

Yes, the problem is when people illogically believe that anything can simultaneously be "objective" and knowable. Or if they think that "objectivity" is a quantifiable property that they can have "more" or "less" of. Both of these are impossible.

Attempting to overcome your own implicit bias is a noble goal, but what you are truly searching for are undisputed, intersubjective facts. Any attempt to pursue "objectivity" is a fool's errand.

I agree with you that "objectivity doesn't exist on a spectrum of some having more or less objective views than others".

I also agree that "it is a category error to think of a viewpoint as having an attribute called 'Objectivity'".

(1) There are illogical beliefs that lay claim to the property being "objective" and as such, demand abject and unquestioning adherence on pain of demonization.

(2) Yes, I am "claiming that most individuals have a poor understanding of the concept of Objectivity and that the use of the word in our current modern lexicon leads to a propensity for Demonization."

(3) All human concepts are subjective and communication between individuals is facilitated by intersubjective undisputed facts. Our ability to hold a conversation is ample evidence that our subjective views overlap on at least some basic level.

(4) I might add here that some have suggested (in a sort of "tu quoque" allegation) that I am attempting to replace the concept of "objectivity" with logic, and that I am somehow "demonizing" anything that is not logical. The key difference here is that logic (IS) detectable (AND) measurable. While "objectivity" is not. And while some people may be offended when their belief is revealed to be illogical, that by itself fails to meet the standard of "demonization". Illogical does not equal "bad" or "evil" or "irredeemable" it simply suggests some revision may be required.

I agree that "us" and "them" categories may be fundamentally unavoidable. Let me just be clear that I am not making any attempt to dissolve all categories, just false dichotomies. A full discussion of "us" and "them" is probably better approached from the concept of "identity", which I will attempt to leave alone for now.

(A) Please explain why you propose that consensus is a "very poor substitute for rational discourse when dealing with truth claims". You seem to be suggesting that consensus is incompatible with "rational discourse" while I fail to find the two in any conflict.

Dissent itself is not necessarily demonized. Dissenting opinions have proved to be crucial to the proper functioning of the Supreme Court. Critique and dissent are the very foundation of good science. Dissent is vital to the very concept of durable integrity.

When open dissent is demonized and opinions are not subject to questions then conclusions become bloated and weak. This dogmatic approach breeds overconfidence and overconfidence leads to catastrophe.

I hope this answers some of your questions and I look forward to continuing this discussion in the next round.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by 3RU7AL 1 year ago
3RU7AL
Objectivity - Utterly free of and existing independently from any possible subjective feelings, opinions and/or any prejudice; indisputable and seen identically by all possible observers; not subject to variation, change or interpretation.
Posted by megatronnus 1 year ago
megatronnus
what do you mean by objectivity?
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