Thursday, January 29, 2015

Discriminating is Always Bad, Right?

Umm, wrong.  You discriminate constantly, virtually every moment you're awake.  It's an absolutely necessary cognitive function that has huge survival value for humans.  But obviously, some discrimination is morally unacceptable; the trick is to understand when the act of discriminating is good or morally neutral, and when it's bad.  And that is the topic of philosopher Stephen Hicks's latest article at Every Joe.  Here's an excerpt that should entice you to click here and read the entire article (assuming you're a discriminating reader!):
So in our efforts to lessen irrational and unjust discrimination, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Saying, for example, that no one should never discriminate in the workplace or calling for the elimination of all discrimination is, at best, intellectual sloppiness. At worst, using discrimination as a blanket negative term undercuts our ability to make the distinctions we often need to make in law and in the workplace. (And in love, we might add: when dating most of us discriminate ruthlessly on the basis of sex.) We must discriminate, but we must discriminate properly, and for that we need clear standards for distinguishing rational from irrational discrimination.