Here is a straightforward question:

Is ethnicity a forbidden topic?

That's it. An easy yes / no question. The reason I ask it is because in society generally there appears to be a unspoken negative pressure which causes people to reject the entire topic of ethnicity, as if someone somewhere decided that it is religiously superstitious to mention it and all who do should be punished. No questions asked.

There are plenty of challenging aspects in society which people can respectfully discuss and explore sensitively such as slavery, wars, and other topics. None of them are patrolled by a metaphorical thought police, protecting the boundary of those topics should someone curiously desire to investigate and understand the fullness of the human condition.

As well as self-development activism benefiting social independence (e.g. pick up, relationships & friendships), physiological independence (taking responsibility for ones body and health) the natural progression includes intellectual independence. This means the courage to investigate facts based on rationality and evidence, even if millions of people reject it as unpopular.

As we know with smoking and cancer, just because something is a popular trend, does not mean it is good for us to follow.

* If ethnicity were a forbidden topic, who in society tried to forbid it and for what reason?
* Is this helpful in the pursuit of knowledge?
* How does political correctness fit in to this dynamic?
* Is political correctness aiding debate or aiding censorship?
* Who invented political correctness?

I would be very interested in your thoughts.



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Thanks for your opinions, however I must point out that this is a discussion on society today, as I wrote: " in society generally" not the limited context of a forum as you assumed. The questions you raise seem not to clarify things but to add vagueness?

That depends on what one means by ethnicity

Hmmm. Is it so hard to contemplate?  Someone's genetic lineage, the very essence which makes them who they are, thanks to the ethnicity of their mum and dad.

The two last questions I don't think I can answer unless you define the terms for me.

There are no terms, it is up to you to decide whether political correctness helps people freely discuss ideas, or narrows avenues of discussion down to prescribed areas, beyond which are somehow "off limits" but nobody can explain why.

Many consider political correctness ideological censorship. Do you think it is a good idea to attack people who have a different opinion? If an idea were self-evidently nonsensical, then surely the best approach for contra-ideologists would be to let everyone hear it, which would prove it to be self-evidently nonsensical.

I do think that forum prioritizing of discussions, debates and information is somthing that is unavoidable

By priotitising, do you mean, censoring?  Surely the priority of attention to any particular debate is governed by demand and supply. If a topic is uninteresting to an audience then people abandon it through free will. If a topic is interesting and inspiring peoples curiosity to inspect the relevance of the dogma of the zeitgeist, then that same free will may cause demand and supply to prioritise such debate.


Thank you for possibly the most entertaining post of the day. I laughed out loud.

There is also no free will, not in any meningfull notion of the word.

OK my friend, please strip to your socks and sprint around the block 4 times. What? No?  What's that you say? YOU choose what you will and will not do? Oh, I guess every being on the planet does have free will after all.

There are as we all know no major difference in terms of DNA between humans.

I'd be interested in which page of the Encyclopedia of Unfounded Assumptions  that quote came from...   I guess you haven't read the book Red Queen then?   Could you please explain to sufferers of Hyperglycinemia with ketoacidosis and leukopenia and hundreds of other genetic conditions which are solely caused by differences in terms of DNA between humans, that their hereditary diseases and genetic birth defects do not exist. They are "as we all know" just imagining it.

There is of course a spectrum of cultural norms etc to be taken into account whenever making any sort of statement anywhere if you want to be heard and if you want your message to be considered rather than to offend. I believe in most cases it comes down not to the content of the message but to whether or not it is communicated with thoughtfully and with tact and respect so that, to give just one example, people of the ethnicity you may be referring to do not feel targeted and labeled simply because of their ethnicity.

Agreed, I heed your points about tact and respect Reese. The spectrum of cultural norms to which you refer as a justification for conforming to popular opinion however could be seen when viewed in the larger context of society as somewhat of a sociological Ludditism.

Is it not true that appeal to popularity is well known logical fallacy? While it is true that tact and respect are valuable, agreeing to all assumptions on the basis that not doing so would possibly hurt someone's feelings, could be seen as pandering to please "all the people, all the time". An impossible attainment and something which politicians are criticised for their lack of sincerity and chameleon behaviour in bending to please all the voters, making promises they can't keep and ultimately disappointing many. Think Obama's promise to bring the troops home as soon as he is elected.

Would the modern Western world have developed as it has succeeded to if the cultural norms of the day were defended as the height of human achievement? This logic of defending cultural norms and closing our eyes to other opinions, would serve as an excellent justification to restrict women from voting. Because that was the cultural norm not so long ago.  Thankfully, we gained the courage to overcome the innate resistance to change, and our collective sociological Ludditism witnessed by obedience to politically correct dogma at that time.

Well I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to try to please all the people all the time. It's just that there are a lot of great ideas and important truths that, despite their importance and value, only get heard and considered when presented in a way that disarms rather than offends. And then maybe in specific other cases perhaps it can be good to offend and make some noise.

But how can an important idea be achieved in a climate of dismissiveness when for example women may have said "we demand the vote" and the popular opinion of the day reacts with a knee-jerk and highly popular: "don't be so ridiculous, woman!" closed-mindedness?

Awareness is key and it doesn't happen over night. 4 years ago we were talking about threats to net neutrality and half of the audience thought we were  conspiracy theorists. The other half, however, considered what we were saying because unlike, for example, Alex Jones, we were mostly sticking to already hard to dispute facts and fighting the battles we knew we could win. Today we're talking about the exact same issues and they're now mainstream and considered extremely important.

Some great ideas gain traction and others are just way ahead of their time. Spreading awareness about the bundle theory of consciousness, how neuroscience supports it more and more and how this should shift our paradigm about the ego and identity is all pretty glorious in theory but we have to ask ourselves which battles we should fight at which points.

When I see people post 'crazy' conspiracy theories, whether they're about flying saucers or the world being run by lizard men, my first thought is not even "this is crazy". It's more: "even IF true, this is not going to fly right now, the world would not be receptive to this information yet". But there IS an evolution. Look at how the whole Internet is now up in arms about SOPA and PIPA. Key is fighting the battles that lead to more awareness, which in turn leads to perhaps even more important battles. Sometimes if you try to jump ahead in this path, you're suddenly considered a lunatic.

+100  :-D

I admire all cultures and I treat everyone equally.

Do you admire America's obesity rate and out of control diabeties rate caused by a culture of fast food and greed? Are all cultures equal?

Do you admire Lenin's methods of torturing and murdering countless millions of Russians when they took over Russia in 1917? Are all cultures equal?

Do you admire Rwanda's decision to solve it's arguments by hacking to death almost a million people? Are all cultures equal?

You can find people who make bad decisions all over our history in almost every culture.

I prefer to learn and study all sides of a culture, as they interest me (e.g. how people respect others in Japan). Would it make sense to now start talking about Pearl Harbor? Should I link every Japanese tourist I see to Pearl Harbor? Of course not. As that event will only teach me how 1 leader reacted in history. It won't teach me a thing about these new living beings who live almost 5 generations later.

Or how about Hitler, everybody knows he had anger issues. Germans find it very annoying to refer to Hitler when you're around them. As they feel no connection to Hitler in person.

I don't pre-judge. I take people for who they are, if they take me for who I am.

The only way to do that is by showing respect to people, then you often get respect back too. I'm not talking about extremists, youth clicks or gang members. I prefer a 1 on 1 situation with people who don't (pre-)judge.

More than ethnicity, i prefer the "Transcultural" concept.

why? Because even there are important genetic differences in terms of ethnicity, the culture from reference looks more important. For example, in USA you could find people from every ethnia in the world, but the chinesse from USA will think and behave different from the chinese people from China.

I think that in general, there area feelling of political uncorrectness talking about ethnicity. I think that the media, the propaganda, lead us to think that we are equals, but the truth is that we aren't. That's nothing bad about telling "Ey PJ, i'm different from u, but I'm still interested in what u have to say" rather than "U should think as I do, cause in that way, we will be better than the others" (this last remminds me some historical characters, creepy isn't it?).

If I'm not that lost in my previous thought, obviosly implies a deflection in the way of develop knowledge, about other and about us. Surelly I will make mystakes if I asume that u are equal to me, from thinking like me. The same will happen if I think that I'm equal to you. (for example, try to ask a coffee in any coffeeshop outside your country, even behaving as a local person).

I'm pretty sure, that the moral values like the "political correctness" shouldn't be inside the knowledge problem, sadly, that's impossible cause each one of us have a cultural and moral frame to behave, that guides our behavior. Even in science, the personal chriteria from the cientific, will guide the kind of results that his research will find.

About the "plitical correctness" I don't know but i think that should be developed as a social interaction product.

And i want to sare my opinion to te question of "Why does ethnicity have anything to do with self development?" made from Paladin:

If u take the ethnicity just as a biological frame, or a genetical information, well, that information will determinate some of your capabilities. Obviously, is just potential, same as physics, it'll depend on the ammount of work, the place that your capability will reach. It's pretty simmilar to WOW: It depends of the type of character the specialization that easilly you could reach. Could u use any character to do any specialization, obviously, but with some of them will be easier, with some of them will be harder.

If you take the ethnicity concept, as a biological and cultural frame, u'll find a new level of possibilities, because, if you don't know that your toughts, your values, even your feellings and the way to express them, depends of the cultural frame, then you are loosing one of the most important tasks that self development gives u, wich is: "how the education that i have received, affects my way to see and interact with the world".

As you can see, in both levels, I think that exist an intimate link between self-development and ethnical information (that's why in psychology, the human being is conceptualizated as an bio-psycho-social product, If you want to explain the human behavior, you can't forget one of those interactions if you want that your explanation come closer to the reality).

Cheers to everyone, take hughs from me! :D


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