Sunday, May 25, 2003
Ramki called me up the day before, because he was shocked that someone he's known for a while now appears to be a bigot and a boor. Apparently I had been misread, and after a tele-shouting session we agreed that the worst thing about me was just that I have poor essay-writing skills!
I just logged in to set the record straight, but I see Ramki's last post on the subject has already puts things into perspective.
Its worth touching on the role of GENERALIZATIONS in society, though (of which common prejudice is an example). Of course, my brief comment earlier was an observation, and not a moral argument in idealism. I expand here in the same vein.
In keeping with my lousy word-choice I had used the word "utility", which brings to the reader's mind the idea of a Utilitarian weightage of right and wrong in making particular decisions. As I said, that wasn't my idea. Whether in the sense of a general Rule, or of Act-based Utilitarianism, that logic always pertains to the PARTICULAR, and is about moral idealism anyway. My idea was to suggest that in the larger scheme of things, generalizations as a human psychological FACT can and do play a positive role in the social dynamics.
The general goal then, is to shape a general national culture based on good values, rather than shallowness and mediocrity. In the former case, social pressure on all component groups is to improve and tend toward those values; in the latter the tendency is toward the law of the jungle. In the former, the majority is prejudiced against all social behaviour that doesn't conform to a superior value-system; in the latter, prejudice is truly petty and vicious.
So prejudice does have a role to play in society. The effects of prejudice depend on these other variables. Prostitution does have a role to play in society, however ugly. The goal is to control prostitution, keep it where it belongs (in the sewer), and make sure it is not abused (as in young girls being forced into it), etc.
Just my 2 cents.
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