30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • SlateStarCodex apparently believes that shame is an inappropriate tool to use in intellectual discussion LWMap/Varieties of Argumentation Experience.
      • Social shaming also isn’t an argument. It’s a demand for listeners to place someone outside the boundary of people who deserve to be heard; to classify them as so repugnant that arguing with them is only dignifying them.
    • He does make shaming seem terrible, but I am having difficulty seeing the problem. Some opinions are in fact out of bounds, and people who express them get shamed, shunned, and excluded. This is just a fact of life; a part of how human communities work, a basic truth of existence as moral beings.
    • Exactly what opinions are out of bounds can vary with the community and the times, of course. Right here and now racism is out of bounds. Or more precisely, there is an effort, which has been more or less successful, to declare it as such. This is quite a significant change from, say, 1957, where Willam Buckley could write:
    • The central question that whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race. It is not easy, and it is unpleasant, to adduce statistics evidencing the median cultural superiority of White over Negro : but it is a fact that obtrudes, one that cannot be hidden by ever-so-busy egalitarians and anthropologists.
    • Saying that today in most places will get you canceled, although Charles Murray is still going strong and there is some tolerance for such chin-stroking racism in certain quarters, including SlateStarCodex.
    • It's kind of interesting to take a few steps back and appreciate the way in which the rules and boundaries are changing. Politics is involved – the reason racism is taboo today is because the targets of racism have learned to make a stink about it, and successfully gained enough political clout that their opinions can't be ignored, as they were for the entire past of the country. They have successfully implemented the dreaded social shaming that Scott is denigrating.
    • One of the reasons Scott and his community have come under criticism is because (and I'm putting this in the most favorable light I can) they have refused to accept this taboo. His posts and community are full of the rhetoric of the racist right, often gussied up in forms that aim for respectability, such as "Human Biodiversity". Some of these people are obvious outright racists, but Scott does not present that way – he's just interested in objective facts, which may or may not support racist conclusions. All shame can do is make the process of arriving at objective truth harder.
    • This is not an obviously wrong position, I guess. If you have a retrograde epistemology that ignores the role of power in creating knowledge. If you ignore
    • Liberal theorists have long recognized the paradox of tolerance which notes that to preserve a tolerant society, you must be intolerant of viewpoints that are toxic to it. Shame is one way this is implemented; certain viewpoints are ruled out of bounds.
    • Still, shame in ordinary life is a negative emotion and most people probably suffer from an excess of it. It's hard to find defenders of shame as such, but here's one author:
      • Is Shame Necessary? |
        • Balancing group and self-interest has never been easy, yet human societies display a high level of cooperation. To attain that level, specialized traits had to evolve, including such emotions as shame. Shame is what is supposed to occur after an individual fails to cooperate with the group. Shame regulates social behavior and serves as a forewarning of punishment: conform or suffer the consequences. The earliest feelings of shame were likely over issues of waste management, greediness, and incompetence. Whereas guilt is evoked by an individual's standards, shame is the result of group standards. Therefore, shame, unlike guilt, is felt only in the context of other people. (emphasis added)
    • This sounds like a decent perspective. Shame and shaming should be considered as natural phenomenon; aspects of social thinking that can't be eliminated by Rationalist fiat. They are important aspects of how group boundaries get constructed and maintained.