The Instigator
DanDrumm
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Racial classification for any purpose other than aesthetic differentiation is inherently wrong.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
DanDrumm
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 980 times Debate No: 24884
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

DanDrumm

Pro

All human individuals are the same species, that is a biological certainty. The FACT of evolution shows us that, if you go back far enough, all races converge into the same race too; racial monikers such as Caucasian, African-American, Asian etc. are incredibly socially harmful and only serve to segregate society, and in such an abhorrently shallow way! The worst fact of all is that the foundation for racial classification is incredibly flimsy, technically speaking.

Firstly, the aesthetic differences between us which comprise 'race' says no more about individuals than the genetically preordained size of their appendix or gall bladder; they just happen to be conspicuous differences between us as a result of being external, and so cause us, via an innate human need to categorise, to use it them to pigeon-hole each other.

Secondly, it is possible, if not likely, for somebody who appears visually to be 'Caucasian' to actually have a higher percentage of, let's say, 'Asian' descendants than 'Caucasian' ones. This is because the aesthetic distance between two races only a few generations. A particular lineage might have remained 'African' for 20 generations, breeding with only with people of the same race, It would still only take 5 generations of breeding with 'Caucasians' to arrive at an individual who is just as ‘Caucasian' as an individual who has had nothing but ‘Caucasian' genes for 25 generations. Mathematically speaking, in the context of this example, one person is only 20% ‘Caucasian', and the other 100%, yet they would be regarded as the same ‘Race' by our current superficial system. You see the futility of the whole thing?

Obviously it is acceptable for people to use race as a purely descriptive element - on a dating website or in a criminal investigation for instance - but to take it further than that, to suggest that superficial attributes have anything to say about the personality of the person that owns them, puts you in prejudice and discrimination territory, which I view as bad thing whether it positive (affirmative action) or negative (racism) discrimination.
InVinoVeritas

Con

So, if I come up with a single purpose for racial classification other than aesthetic differentiation that is NOT inherently wrong, then I win.

Here is my example:

A woman gets shot in the leg, and the shooter runs away. She calls the police station and informs them of the shooter's hair color and racially classifies him. The shooter was black, so she tells the operator that he is black. This enables the police officers in pursuit to effectively identify the shooter and apprehend him, because they have a piece of information about what the shooter looks like.

This is an example of a situation in which racial classification is positive and beneficial, and it is not directly related to "aesthetic differentiation."

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Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
DanDrumm

Pro

I'm afraid you may have misunderstood the term 'aesthetic differentiation', as the example you gave was a clear example of it. The woman was able to identify the assailant as black, thus differentiating him aesthetically from someone who is not black. I even said in my initial argument that criminal investigation is an example of when this impartial aesthetic differentiation would be used. I don't mean to cross a line here but I feel the value of a debate lies in the actual discussion; your avoidance of all of the issues raised in my initial argument, failure to properly consider/understand those points (I don't wish to prejudge, but since you used one of my own points to rebutt me from the other side what other assumption can I make?) and eagerness to proclaim yourself the winner kind of make me feel like you're not here to discuss. I'd love to be proven wrong though...
InVinoVeritas

Con

I think you don't know what the word "aesthetic" means. Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. [1] Outward appearance is not necessarily aesthetic...

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
DanDrumm

Pro

Right you are, I have used aesthetic in perhaps the popularised meaning as synonymous with 'pertaining to the visual'. I now know better. My mistake in this regard is only really a problem in the title, it's clear what I mean specifically by 'aesthtic differentiation' in the context of my opening argument none of which has been discussed thus far. I would ask you to respond with that small alteration (visual differentiation) in mind however we're on round 3 and this has become the least intellectual and most boring of debates, and that is one about the wording of the initial question. It's a shame because I genuinely wanted to discuss the issue, and I don't think that the problems with the question were preventative of that; It just seems a waste of everyone's time to end up discussing such things when we could have had some genuine discourse on the range of issues raised in my first argument.
InVinoVeritas

Con

Well, that's why definitions are an important part of a debate, so we don't have semantic pitfalls such as this one.

Oh, well. You can remake the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
*facepalm* at Hawking's vote... Seriously?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
DanDrummInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro defined "aesthetic" in R1 and said it explicitly included identification for criminal investigation. Con ultimately conceded. Other arguments might have been raised, but they were not.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
DanDrummInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Taking into account PRO's definition of aesthetic, and the common usage of the term, the general spirit of the debate, and the first round of the debate in which clarification has been made, the actual resolution makes sense. I'm still racking my brain to how the philosophy of art could plausibly hold relation to the meaning of the debate to begin with. Semantics debate, not really *a* debate.
Vote Placed by darkkermit 4 years ago
darkkermit
DanDrummInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: COn demonstrates an example of when you should use racial classification. PRO failed to define the word "aesthetic".