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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:36 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
But.....can you imagine any serious university telling it's students it is inappropriate to say that stuff happened more than 6K years ago? That'd be ridiculous.


Imagine indeed.

Colleges & Universities That Believe or Teach Biblical Creation

Although I suppose the definition of "serious" could be debated.

In any case, if you use AD after your year number, you've no room to complain about Dreamtime.

ETA:
To clarify, in the academic discussion of how Australia was settled, I would refer to the actual historical dates. When talking to the Indigenous Australians or about them in non-academic context, I would have no problem saying that they believe that they have been there since the beginning, which they call Dreaming/s, and that they were the earliest human occupants as far as we know.

Re: invasion

Quote:
“the Ankh-Morpork Trespassers' Society was originally the Explorers' Society until Lord Vetinari forcibly insisted that most of the places 'discovered' by the society's members already had people in them, who were already trying to sell snakes to the newcomers.”
Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:22 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
In any case, if you use AD after your year number, you've no room to complain about Dreamtime.


This seems like a bizarre argument to me. Using BC/AD numbering is merely a method of counting years; it doesn't say anything about the origin of humans or where events happened. It would be no different to the Aborigines adopting their own method of counting years based on their own religion. But saying that indigenous Australians have been in Australia 'since the Dreaming/s or Dreamtime' does.

The fact that some universities teach creationism doesn't change anything in my view. They are just as wrong. And the University of New South Wales is holding itself out as a serious, secular institution.


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:53 pm 
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They are not teaching it as a scientific fact, they are explaining what a group of people believes. Why not let it slide? We don't get into an argument about historicity of Jesus and the actual likely date of his birth every time Christmas rolls around, and hardly anyone even knows why this is year 5776 by Hebrew calendar, so why is this such a BFD?

Assuming that this is an actual preference, which would be a whole different discussion.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:04 pm 
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The difference is that to my knowledge, nobody is saying that we should avoid referring to things that happened 5777+ years ago because doing so would be insensitive to Jews.

Also, academia often uses BCE/CE instead of AD/BC and it would be absurd for a secular university to call that insensitive to Christians.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:08 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Also, academia often uses BCE/CE instead of AD/BC and it would be absurd for a secular university to call that insensitive to Christians.


Because it isn't. It's still based on the Christian calendar. It's like renaming a Christmas party to a Holiday party. We all know it ain't for Hanukah. :P

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:50 am 
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Well, "of the Christian era" is maybe a bit more objective than "in the year of Our Lord." Though certainly both are West- and Eurocentric.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:43 am 
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Frelga wrote:
They are not teaching it as a scientific fact, they are explaining what a group of people believes. Why not let it slide?


Because while they're not teaching it as a scientific fact, they're certainly not just explaining what a group of people believe. They're saying that it is inappropriate to refer to certain scientific facts (or at the least very well-established theories) in academic writing where it clashes with what that group of people believe. That's the difference.


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:40 pm 
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And yet we give the same, and much more profound, allowances to the members of majority religion without thinking twice.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:26 pm 
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Yes. I wonder what would happen to our national dialogue if people started talking about Christian privilege in the United States.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:47 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Yes. I wonder what would happen to our national dialogue if people started talking about Christian privilege in the United States.

We flirt at the edges of that every year between Halloween and the New Year. Apparently just acknowledging that not everyone is celebrating the same holiday in December is too PC for some.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:34 am 
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Frelga wrote:
And yet we give the same, and much more profound, allowances to the members of majority religion without thinking twice.


Really? Guides to academic writing published by top-tier American universities advise students not to refer to human evolution or events happening more than six thousand years ago as this would be "inappropriate' given Christian religious beliefs?


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Oh, nothing so benign. Laws being passed to promote teaching creationist stance or criticizing the evolution theory in schools.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatio ... ted_States

"In the United States, the states of Texas, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Carolina, and Alabama require in their science standards that students "critically analyze key aspects of evolutionary theory," which was introduced after creationism lost the evolution debate.[1] Two other states, Louisiana and Mississippi, have adopted legislation allowing teachers and students to discuss scientific evidence critical of evolution.[1]"

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Those things both happen, but I don't think they're the same thing. One is somebody straight-out forcing their own beliefs on you, while the other is somebody forcing someone else's beliefs on you in the name of something like politeness. Both are absurd, but only the latter be called political correctness. And the former is at least rational.


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:06 pm 
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Rational how?

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Meaning that doing cruel/unkind/impolite/illegal/crazy things to further your own interests at least makes sense, even in cases where it is immoral.


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:29 pm 
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I would rephrase that as - if you believe something is true, it is rational to push for the truth to be taught.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:15 am 
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Except, yov, belief is not fact.

"I believe that immunization causes autism, so vaccinations must be banned, and this university/school adjust teaching policies to reflect this belief."

Where respect and consideration for others requires the convenient obliteration of fact, one has slipped onto dangerous ground.

I really dislike the term 'political correctness', by the way, because it is so often used by fearful minds to malign progressive thinking.

Something else that disturbs me very much is the 'Safe Spaces' idea, where one is obliged either to provide warnings where an issue may be a 'trigger' to trauma, or to provide a safe space so those who feel they may be 'triggered' can retreat (often to play with soft toys while snuggling into bean bags).

I understand that 'trigger warnings' may be very helpful for people who have been seriously traumatised by something, but I do think it can be extended to absurdity (don't mention 'food' because someone may have an eating disorder; don't mention 'gender' because someone may be questioning their gender identity; don't mention 'webs' because we have arachnophobes in the audience.) I think this can be used as a means of excluding things that may stand in the way of a particular ideology amassing attention or power, rather than being a positive way of dealing with true trauma.

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:16 am 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Meaning that doing cruel/unkind/impolite/illegal/crazy things to further your own interests at least makes sense, even in cases where it is immoral.


I'll give you "comprehensible" but that's not the same as "rational." Besides, how is it in anyone's interest to require that a science class teaches something that contradicts scientific evidence?

We also find it comprehensible when members of majority religion use their clout to push through laws on things as intimate as marriage and birth control. Yet when someone asks that a small, historically marginalized group be addressed in terms that they find respectful, it's somehow laughable. (Again, assuming that this is what they really prefer, because I am aware that it ain't necessarily so). Talk about privilege.

Impish, trigger warnings can get out of hand, yeah. On the other hand, they don't affect me in any way and they make other people happy, so whatevs.

I don't particularly like the term PC, either. In my day, we called it having manners. :P

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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:56 am 
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Dave_LF wrote:
Those things both happen, but I don't think they're the same thing. One is somebody straight-out forcing their own beliefs on you, while the other is somebody forcing someone else's beliefs on you in the name of something like politeness. Both are absurd, but only the latter be called political correctness. And the former is at least rational.


This. Plus the fact that I'm not sure if anyone actually asked an indigenous person if they were even offended in the first place.

Or, to expand more, the fact that absurd laws are passed promoting Christian-based creationism in schools does not make a guide to academic writing encouraging people not to state scientific facts where they conflict with non-Christian-based creationism any less absurd.

I also suspect that, if a university like MIT produced a guide which apparently encouraged people to avoid stating certain scientific views in the interest of not offending creationists, it would be met with criticism and ridicule. I do not see why the University of New South Wales not should get a pass for doing more or less the same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: When is PC too PC?
PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 11:18 am 
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I know that I have been posting in this thread rather a lot lately, but it seems that something new that I find baffling comes up at least fortnightly.

Like this incident, where the Manchester Police staged a training exercise around a mock suicide bombing. Specifically, they wrote that “the scenario for this exercise is based on a suicide attack by an extremist Daesh-style organisation and the scenario writers have centred the circumstances around previous similar attacks of this nature, mirroring details of past events to make the situation as real life as possible for all of those involved.”

Despite this, the Manchester police have subsequently apologised for the fact that the fake suicide bomber shouted “Allahu Akbar” before setting off his fake bomb. This came after criticism from community groups like:
“Please provide an explanation @gmpolice @RSutcliffeACC @amandacomms why the terrorist in #CTexercise was #Muslim and shouted Allah Akhbar.”
“This sort of thing panders to stereotypes and further divides us. It will increase anti-Muslim hate crime.”
Or, according to the Mayor, “It didn’t add anything to the event, but has the potential to undermine the great community relations we have in Greater Manchester.”

So we are in this weird situation where it is appropriate to train using a counter-terrorism scenario explicitly based on the style of suicide attacks carried out by Islamic extremists (as opposed to other types of mass violence, like large-scale shootings by lone shooters, which follow a different pattern) but not to in any way link the exercise to Islam. So for future counter-terrorism exercises in the UK, I assume the fake suicide bombers will need to think of less-divisive slogans to yell out.


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