The Instigator
countzander
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
phantom
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Racial dating preferences are a form of racism.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,028 times Debate No: 61623
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

countzander

Pro

Preferring to date a person due to that person's race, either in whole or in part, is, I will argue, racist. It is racist to have racial dating preferences. I will argue that a person with such preferences is a racist.

Rules:

1. Citations are mandatory. When necessary, citations must be provided. For example, "People of mixed raced are usually unhealthy" or "Race doesn't exist in nature" would require citations.
Valid citations come from experts, usually academics, researchers, and other people who are qualified to speak on a subject. Non-expert blogs (Tumblr, LiveJournal, etc) and websites of unknown (random sites that come up during a Google search) or biased affiliation (Stormfront) are not valid. However, news sites, like Fox News and MSNBC, are valid. Wikis are not valid.

2. Avoid fallacious reasoning. Only valid arguments should be presented. No opinion without reasoning a citations to support.

3. Stay on topic. This is a debate on whether racial preferences are racist.

4. The first round is for introduction. The last round is for conclusions and summaries. Debate will take place during rounds 2-4.

5. The definition of racism will be taken from the Oxford English dictionary:

"The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races." [1]

6. You must accept these rules in order to debate. You must include "I, [your username], accept the rules outlined during round 1." at the top of your first response.

6.1. If you do not meet the rank criteron, you may request an exemption in the comments section.

---Citations---

1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
phantom

Con

I, phantom, accept the rules outlined during round 1.
Debate Round No. 1
countzander

Pro

By the definition presented, the belief that certain races are superior to others is racism. Do racial preferences satisfy the criteria for racism? Yes, they do.

1. Racial preferences assume the existance of race. In order to possess racial preferences, a person must first assume that humans can be categorized into races.

2. At least one of the races is considered more desirable than the others. This is racism. If all races were considered equal, there would be no way to have preferences. The existance of preference is an admission that at least one race is more desirable than the others. Therefore, it is admission that ome race is, either in whoe or in part, better than the others.
phantom

Con

By "equality" I will assume we mean that no race is inherently inferior or superior to any other in any way. Under this definition I fully acknowledge that going by reason and the pertaining social and scientific disciplines, there is no basis at all for believing any race unequal to another. We could even say races don't exist, as I'll mention further bellow.

As for those who have racial dating preferences, they are not assuming any superiority to any race. People like to date those they are sexually attracted to, and sexual attraction is a matter of subjective taste. Straight people don't usually date those of the same sex, and gay people don't usually date those of a different sex. They have a sexual preference. I hope my opponent would not call them sexist, but I see little different in his calling those with racial dating preferences racist. If Joe has a sexual preferences towards Asian women, he will prefer to date Asian women. When it comes to your chances of going on a date with Joe, your odds will be increased if you are Asian and a women, though Joe will probably also date women from most or all races. Perhaps Joe will even date men.

Everyone is less likely to date someone he/she is less attracted to and race plays a role in how attractive one person is to another. Does attraction assume superiority? No. Sexual attraction is a matter of subjective taste. It would be racist to believe certain ethnic groups were objectively better dating partners--and those who do are being racist, but few would. It is not racist for it to affect one's desire for dating partners. Sexual desire has nothing to do with any race or individual being superior to another. I find Alison Brie more attractive than Kerry Washington, but many 'disagree'. Neither preference is the right one. That's why it's called a "preference". Alison Brie's features better match my personal sexual preferences, partly due to race. I don't think her features are actually superior, they just happen to be to my liking.

Racial dating preferences do not satisfy the criteria for racism. By have a dating preference for one or a few races, people are merely exercising their sexual preference. Some have broad sexual preferences and some have narrow preferences. Some tend to be attracted more towards their own race, others to different races. In the end, it is all subjective, and subjectivity is entirely detached from notions of superiority and inferiority. Thus, racial dating preferences are not racist, they're just subjective preferences.

I would finally note that the term "race" is biologically obsolete[1], or a matter of semantics, but this fact does not have barring in this debate. I've used the term for conveniences' sake, but believing races exist, or being unaware of the science, or disagreeing on how we define "race" or categorize humans doesn't make one racist.

Back to Pro.

[1] http://wupa.wustl.edu...
Debate Round No. 2
countzander

Pro

I'll try to single out what seems to be Con's main points. They highlighted in bold.

"As for those who have racial dating preferences, they are not assuming any superiority to any race. People like to date those they are sexually attracted to, and sexual attraction is a matter of subjective taste."

The best rejoinder to this argument takes the form of modus tollens, a logically valid form: "If x, then y. Not y. Therefore not x." [1]

Let x be "Person is not a racist." Let y be "Person does not assume racial superiority."

Then

If x, then y.
"If a person is not a racist, then a person does not assume racial superiority."

If y is false, then x is necessarily false. I will attempt to show that y is false, and by so doing, I will negate x and refute Con's argument. I will argue that having racial preferences, which actually assume racially superiority, entail racism, via modus tollens.

Let me start with an analogy. Assume that there are two identical unlabelled bottles of water. The water and bottles look exactly alike. However, one bottle is fllled with Aquafina water, and the other is filled with Dasani water. Of course, it doesn't matter. Both brands are just municipal tap water. [2][3] So they have the same taste. Would a reasonable person prefer one water to the other? No. Water is equal to water. Dasani water is identical to Aquafina water. The waters are equal.
If a person said, "I prefer Dasani," does this person believe that the waters are equal? No. "The waters are equal" and "That water tastes better" are contradictory statements. He cannot claim to perceive the waters as equal and yet prefer one as more desirable. His preference demonstrates that one water tastes better. Thus, he actually does not believe in the equality of water. A person who did believe in water equality would say, "I don't care about the brand. Just give me one."

Likewise, individuals with racial preferences contradict themselves. "All races are equal" and "Some races are more desirable" are contradictory statements. If races are equal, then a person would have no racial preference. He would be attracted to some people without correlation to race. By having racial preferences, a person admits that he does not perceive races equally. In order to prefer one race to another, one race must seem more desirable. Hence, racial preferences entail inequality: Some races are more desirable than others; therefore, they are not actually considered equal.

So, by the preceding logic, racial preferences do assume racial superiority. Thus, y is negated: "Person does assume racial superiority." By modus tollens, x is consequentially negated: "Person is a racist."

I shall now address some of Con's supporting points.

"Straight people don't usually date those of the same sex, and gay people don't usually date those of a different sex. They have a sexual preference."

I will bite the bullet. Yes, sexual preferences are a form of sexism. If sexes were equal, people would have no preference. That fact that straight men prefer women entails that they do not consider women equal to men.

Nevertheless, I will add this. Sexual orientation is not analogous to sexual preference, though they are similar. Sexual orientation has evolutionary origins. People need to have straight sex in order to keep the species alive. [5] So it's understandable and acceptable that most people are heterosexual. Other forms of sexuality like homosexuality and asexuality are evolutionary aberrations. [3][4]
Furthermore, unlike sex, which exists in nature, race is biologically obsolete, as Con accurately pointed out. The concept is unsupported by biological evidence.

So, while sexual preferences are justified since they prevent human extinction, racial preferences are not. Race does not exist in nature, so racial preferences have little to do with evolutionary pressure.

"Everyone is less likely to date someone he/she is less attracted to and race plays a role in how attractive one person is to another."

This and Con's supporting statements are mostly positivist. This is not a normative discussion, but I'll quickly say that the observation which Con has made, ideally, should not be the case.

"By have a dating preference for one or a few races, people are merely exercising their sexual preference. ... Racial dating preferences are not racist, they're just subjective preferences."

I argued in my first response that these subjective preferences contradict the statement "All races are equal." I would like Con to answer this question in his next post: "If a person believes two things are equal, how can he perceive one as being more desirable?"

---Citations---
1. http://mathworld.wolfram.com...
2. https://www.aquafina.com...
3. http://www.economist.com...
4. http://books.google.com...
5. http://www.livescience.com...
phantom

Con

I feel quite unsatisfied in Pro's addressal of my premises. I thus wish to restate them.

1. Racial dating preferences are based on sexual preferences.
2. Sexual preferences, and thus racial dating preferences, are matters of subjective taste.
3. Subjective taste is entirely detached from any presumptions on superiority and inferiority.
C1: Racial dating preferences are entirely detached from any judgement on the superiority or inferiority of any race (just as sexual orientation does not entail sexism).
C2: Racial dating preferences are not racist.

The crux of the debate rests on P.2. Pro believes that by having racial dating preferences, you treat races unequally. His argument is quite easily dismantled. First, as agreed, "equality" means that no race is inherently inferior or superior to another. Pro uses the analogy of bottled water. If we prefer one bottled water over another, Pro says, we're treating them unequally. In the same way, he states that those with racial dating preferences treat people of different races as unequal. If they were equal, he says, a non-racist person would treat them the same. As stated, this is quite easily rebutted, and does not connect with my argument. It has never been contended by Pro that subjectivity cannot entail notions of superiority and inferiority, only personal taste. Since "equality" has to do with superiority and inferiority, any time we treat a race as no better or worse than any other, we're not being racist. Racial dating preferences are subjective, thus do not make any judgements on superiority, and thus, do not assume that races are unequal. The exception would be when someone actually believes his prefered race(s) is/are better than the others, factually speaking. But this is merely an exception and doesn't bring any dispute to my arguent.

To summarize, being racist means assuming that one or more races is inherently superior to the others. Notions of superioty are not within the bounds of subjective taste. Racial dating preferences are subjective taste. Therefore, racial dating preferences are not racist. No normal person who is sexually attracted to one race more than others would say that that race is actually superior. He'd acknowledge that it's just his personal preference, and others have their preferences. None are right or wrong. That's why they're called "preferences".

Pro even goes so far as to say pretty much everyone is sexist. I'm glad Pro is consistent--since I believe his argument entails this--but it's simply fallacious. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with inequality. That view point is wrong for pretty much the same reasons explained above. Moreover, if sexual preference entails sexism all straight people are sexist against their own sex, which is prima facie absurd.


Debate Round No. 3
countzander

Pro

1. Racial dating preferences are based on sexual preferences.

Agreed.

2. Sexual preferences, and thus racial dating preferences, are matters of subjective taste.

Agreed.

3. Subjective taste is entirely detached from any presumptions on superiority and inferiority.

This is false. A person cannot prefer something unless he values his preference more than he values his other options. What does it mean to have a preference? To have a preference is to have "a greater liking for one alternative over another or others." [1] If you like one thing more than another, do you consider them to be equal? Yes? Then why do you prefer one? Isn't it a contradiction to say, "These are equal, but one is more desiable than the other"? How can one be more desirable if you consider both to be equal? If they're equal, you shouldn't have a preference one way or the other.

Subjective taste are not detatched from presumptions of superiority and inferiority. The fact that one is more liked than the other...means that one is subjectively superior to the other. Otherwise, preference woldn't exist. How could it? If two things are perceived as being equal, there's nothing about one which makes it more desirable than the other.

From last time, I would like for Con to answer this question: ""If a person believes two things are equal, how can he perceive one as being more desirable?"

---citations---
1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
phantom

Con

"A person cannot prefer something unless he values his preference more than he values his other options."

This wholly depends on what you mean by "value". If by preferring, for example, Cadbury chocolate to Hershey's chocolate, I value Cadbury more than Hershey's in some way, than I agree. But whatever we mean by "value" here, it is not that Cadbury chocolate is superior to Hershey's. It simply means that Cadbury chocolate gives me more pleasure. My taste buds determine my preference. "Value" is a confusing word, and not one I would pick. By "equality" we agreed we were talking about notions of superiority. This type of preference has nothing to do with that. I don't believe that Cadbury chocolate is superior to Hershey's chocolate, since it's entirely subjective.

If I said I have a preference for Caucasians since they're the smartest or best dressed, than that would be racist. By saying they're smarter, I'm saying they're superior in some way. Furthermore, dress sense is subjective, so it's invalid to say a race is better at dressing than others. If I said Caucasians are more attractive, that would be racist as well. Sexual attraction is subjective, so there's no basis in calling a race better looking. If I said I tend to be more sexually attracted to Caucasians, that would not be racist since I'm just outlined my personal sexual preference.


"If you like one thing more than another, do you consider them to be equal? Yes? Then why do you prefer one? Isn't it a contradiction to say, "These are equal, but one is more desiable than the other"? How can one be more desirable if you consider both to be equal? If they're equal, you shouldn't have a preference one way or the other...If two things are perceived as being equal, there's nothing about one which makes it more desirable than the other."

Pro is clearly equivocating and has been doing so this entire debate. "Unequal" does not equate with "different". Races are different in appearance, yet equal, since "equality" in this debate only means that none is inherently superior or inferior to another in any way. People of different races generally look different, so we can say they're different in appearance. Being different in appearance does not equate to being unequal under the definition of "equal" that is always meant when discussing racism or sexism.

Also, I think Merriam Webster's definition is more suited than Pro's: "something that is liked or wanted more than another thing"
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

"Wanting" or "desiring" has more to do with what this debate is about. Sexual desire of certain racial features over others.

"The fact that one is more liked than the other...means that one is subjectively superior to the other."

"Subjectively superior" is not a remotely sensible concept. If something is subjective, than some will dislike it and others will like it. Subjective and superior do not go together.

"From last time, I would like for Con to answer this question: 'If a person believes two things are equal, how can he perceive one as being more desirable?'"

It's a simple matter of an equivocation fallacy, but Pro understands this. His argument is based on it.

Pro agrees that his argument entails anyone with a sexual orientation is sexist. This, and the fact that it entails all straight persons to be sexist against their own sex both make his case prima facie absurd.


Just as a note, things can be both partially objective and subjective. Taste in music, for example, is partially subjective and objective. For example, we could say classical music is objectively an impressive and intricate art form, and some love it partially for that reason. Still, those who recognize this might prefer rock for subjective reasons. Those who love Beethoven love him for his genius and because his music personally appeals to him, i.e. for objective and subjective reasons.
Debate Round No. 4
countzander

Pro

Last round, so I'll conclude my part. I remain unpersuaded my Con's counterarguments. It seems as if he focused on objective equality rather than subjective equality. While races are objectively equal, racism is subjective, not objective. I do not believe I equivocated.

Nevertheless, I had fun. Please vote!
phantom

Con

Thank you Pro for the debate. Racism is a touchy subject, but necessary to talk about.

As per the debate structure, I will only be summarizing and concluding this round. Viewers can look to the previous round to see my arguments and rebuttals in full.

The definition of racism accepted in this debate was "The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

"Equality" was accepted to mean that no race is inherently inferior or superior to any other in any way.

In a nut shell

We are both agreed that races, if that is a valid term, are inherently equal under the relevant definition. Pro, however, argues that having a dating preference for certain races treats races unequally. "If all races were considered equal, there would be no way to have preferences. The existence of preference is an admission that at least one race is more desirable than the others. Therefore, it is admission that ome race is, either in whoe or in part, better than the others" (From R2). I contend that the only difference between any race is visual, and that visual differences have nothing to do with the accepted definition of equality, i.e. visual characteristics do not pertain to notions of superiority and inferiority. It is a fact that races look different, and is not racist to admit this, since there's no valid concept of a superior visual features. Thus, races look different but are equal. Sexual preference is based partially on the visual appearance of persons. Straight females are more attracted to males, and gay males are more attracted to males (this isn't only based on appearance but it plays a great role). Furthermore, some people are most attracted to their own race, and others to different races, based on appearance. It follows that if someone is most attracted to people of a specific race, he has a dating preference for that race. However, since his preference is just a "preference" and treats races different only so far as how they look, it is not in any way racist. Being more attracted to some races over others is purely subjective, and doesn't assume that one race is inherently superior or inferior to another. Any person who believes a race to "look superior" is being racist, but those who recognize that their preference is just their preference, are not racist as they recognize the subjectivity of their preference. Sexual attraction towards some races more than others is not a sin, just as being straight or gay isn't.

Racial dating preferences have nothing to do with the inherent superiority or inferiority of any racist, and are therefore, not racist.



Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by mall 1 year ago
mall
Very good debate . Both sides made their points valid . It's actually a conundrum for me to decide with exceptions of the obvious scenarios that display prejudice of course. I would say remember what the definition of preference is and don't confuse it with exclusive interests.
Posted by phiLockeraptor 2 years ago
phiLockeraptor
Mmmmm. Pro seems to be heavy on the use of inductive reasoning (analogies). He also tries to being academia (Latin, technical logic) into what is essentially a social issue. While this wouldn't change a potential ed, I feel like this heavy-handed academia flies in e face of true change or purpose to debate. Just a thought.
Posted by countzander 2 years ago
countzander
@Garsot

You can compare news sources. If different news sources say the same thing, then they're probably right.
Posted by Garsot 2 years ago
Garsot
I like how Fox news and MSNBC are considered valid sources even though they are known to miscue facts and make up random stuff for entertainment and misguiding the public.
Posted by countzander 2 years ago
countzander
@Mister_Man
Pointing out physiological facts is not racism, unless they're cited as evidence to support a racially prejudiced argument, like "White people are inferior to other races because they can more easily develop sun-related skin cancer," or "White people are really ugly unless they tan."

@lannan13
*ought
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
*is
Posted by Mister_Man 2 years ago
Mister_Man
I would be happy to take the Con position, but the definition of racism is so vague that if I were to say "white people tan more than black people," I would be considered racist for pointing out a charateristic/trait that one race has over the other, and people could take that as me asserting that one race is superior to the other, whereas I'm simply pointing out an observation.

I could say I won't date black people because I don't like basketball. Is that a generalization of blacks? Absolutely. But did I anywhere act like I found black people to be inferior? No, I just said I don't like basketball.

It's kind of a tough topic to debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
countzanderphantomTied
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Reasons for voting decision: 162 days left in voting period. Besides, pro is inactive. Be patient, Phantom. I'll give my vote sooner or later. Remind me if you want a vote. :D