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Do you feel the benefits of "Political Correctness" outweigh the costs?

Asked by: simpleman
  • Yes. Although it depends on what you mean by "political correctness."

    There are plenty of people who don't want to take responsibility for the words that come out of their mouths. They say sexist, racist, and other insensitive things and then claim that everyone else has the problem--that everyone else is just being "PC."

    On the other hand, there are plenty of people who feel responsible for the way that their words affect other people. They don't bother to substitute modern labels for the old virtues.

    In a way, "PC" is something with no real benefit, because what "PC" really is, is the mislabeling of virtue with an insult phrase by people who don't want to be bothered by virtue.

    The reality of the matter is that if we are interested in virtue, then it's necessary that we accept the reality that we will have conversations about its limits. For instance, having a conversation about whether to use "he" or "she" in writing may be frustrating, but it's myopic to label the concern over the virtue merely "PC."

    There are annoying people, I am sure, who just relish the limits for the sake of having arguments and such. But we live in a society that is more virtuous with respect to inclusiveness and disapproval of discrimination. That's a benefit, and you don't get to have that virtue without having people who discuss it's limits.

    Remember, most people who complain about PC aren't complaining about frustrating moments discussing the use of pronouns. They're claiming that there should be no consequences for the fact that they don't care about the virtue of being responsive to how their words and actions affect other people.

  • No, it is difficult to be politically correct.

    It's difficult to be politically correct, which basically means speaking, thinking, and acting in such a way so as to not insult anyone who is different (different race, gender, etc.). In general, we all need to be sensitive and not say (or think) things that are discriminatory. But in some instances, political correctness is changing our language to be more complicated (postal worker instead of mailman, as just one example) and also making us feel paranoid that we may say something wrong. In many respects, trying to be politically correct makes us, as a society, nervous and on edge.

  • The cost is huge.

    The benefits are small. In my jurisdiction, certain people objected to the police reporting on the description of suspects by prima facia notation of skin color. The official reports would describe suspects by height and weight, and possibly by clothing, etc, but political correctness precluded any mention of race. Here became evident the problem. Is not the purpose of physical description of suspects to facilitate the rapid identification of the individual? Is not skin color one of the first physical descriptors one notes? Eventually, due to a decline in arrest ratios, the use of racial description was again put to use, and more suspects were apprehended. So there is one example where PC led to a decrease in effectiveness of a basic community safety function.

    Another example is the use of K9s .In certain situations, police dogs are one of the most effective law enforcement tools in existence. PC reduced their use for many years. Thankfully the folly of PC has been corrected, and K9s are being deployed more widely than ever.

    I await the PC crowd to attack these points for not being PC. However remember that it is not PC to say that I am not PC.


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