Thu, 12 Aug 1999 12:14:46 -0400
* Bradley M. Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
> > > But never forget that she would never be hired if she wasn't
> > > qualified. That's a very important point.
> > Does that really matter though? No employer wants to hire somebody
> > that isn't qualified, right?
> It does matter, because it's easy for those anti-AA to think that
> somehow society is "loosing out" on all the good people. Qualified
> people are still being put into place in all cases. It's important
> not to loose site of that.
Qualified people, yes. But the *most* qualified people? Possibly not.
> Every president ever in the USA has been a white male. Congress and
> the senate are not representative of the racial and gender makeup of
> the nation.
Should we start appointing all government officials, to insure
everyone is equally represented? How else could we guarantee equal
Why not just encourage everyone to vote? :-)
> Look how slowly the progress AA has made in the past 40 years!
So, if that is the case, what do you think the USA would be like
without the last 40 years of AA?
> > > However, to find out why white men need not be upset, check out
> > > Myth #5 at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/spn/affirm.htm
> > "Myth #5: A large percentage of White workers will lose out if
> > affirmative action is continued."
> > Does it really matter if its a large percentage or not? Why should
> > *one* family have to lose out?
> Because hordes of black families loose out every day. According
> to that URL, if we immediately were able to tip the scales to be
> even, less than 1%. That's so small compared to the amount of black
> families that are injured daily due to the inequities.
Definitely a utilitarian argument. :-) The small suffering of that
family is not equal to the suffering of the plurality of black
Argument works just fine, unless you're a a member of that one family.
> > > We might as well have it and work towards as equality, instead
> > > of standing still or moving backwards.
> > I view AA not as working "towards" equality. I see it as flipping
> > the situation around completely -- as punishment for past
> > inequities.
> It would only be punishment if we took unqualified non-whites over
> qualified white ones. That isn't the case.
> You could have lost the job to the black woman over a coin toss
> anyway. So, why is it wrong to give up a little bit of your
> privilege to help the greater good?
Utilitarian. (not arguing against utilitarian ethics)
Its not that I don't think this is a noble proposition. Problem
is, how do you go to a family and say "You've been given too many
advantages, so we're going to make job placement and advancement
harder on you."?
> > > I am trying to advocate what I believe is the most ethical
> > > thing to do. I respect that others don't have the same Kantian
> > > ethical code hierarchy as I. (Or, that they may be relativist or
> > > utilitarians, and not even Kantians).
> > Interesting. I always interpreted deontology as purely "good
> > will", not based on punishment or compensation.
> I am not sure what you mean here. In particular, I am not sure how
> it relates to the text you quote above it. Could you expand more?
"Kantian Ethical Hierachy" -- a duty-based ethical hierarchy, I
AA doesn't seem to necessarily follow Kantian ethics (a personal
I would think Kant would argue that there is a duty to treat people
equally *now*, not a duty to rectify inequities of the past.
Kant believed that duty should be done out of "good will", not because
of rewards or punishment or other consequences.
When I look at AA, I see a system rooted in both duty and punishment.
(  Yes, I know, you think AA just addresses the *now*, not the
Josh Baugher <email@example.com>