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Azrael Rand

The Case for Open Objectivism

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2 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

If not race what metric would you use?

Any biological differences between races is relatively insignificant, as far as behavior. There is more variation between individuals than between groups divided by race, partly because race is defined by perception of other people, not actually genetics. That's why it's easy to attribute cultural differences to biological differences, because it feels more intuitive. As far as I understand, geneticists don't use race, but they use it to the extent that race is a simplified way to discuss the way genes are distributed. I think the term is haplogroup. 

Haidt is a good psychologist I think by the way. But I don't think he argues for a tribal nature to mankind. Although he thinks people are primarily driven by emotion and use reason to justify their behavior after the fact, tribalism by his theory would result from a set of traits. It's not that we are tribal by nature, but tribalism can easily result from an interaction. 

2 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

culture of self-ownership

Well, self-ownership is something else, not actually anything to do with Objectivism. Individual rights are a different concept. 

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Azrael Rand,

I do not think tribalism is genetically based at all.  I'm not sure where you got that from.  In case I'm misunderstanding what you mean by tribalism, perhaps you should define it.

I'm not sure what sort of sociopolitical system you're advocating.  I do agree that forced-association laws should be repealed, out of respect for individual rights, and because they can exacerbate conflict between groups.

I suspect that black children raised by black parents would be affected, directly and indirectly, more by white racism than black children raised by white parents.  For your point about discrimination to hold up, you would have to show that this effect is not important.

It is hard to tell what impact a convenience sample has on a study because it's hard to tell just what sort of sample you're getting.  

There are multiple reasons why people vote as they do.  Welfare state policies would tend to appeal to poor people more than to people who are at least reasonably well off.  Blacks have poorer economic statistics than whites for reasons which I have already argued are historical, not genetic, so it is not surprising that a greater proportion of blacks than whites are seduced by the welfare state.  Also, the proportion of poor whites that vote Democrat is reduced by xenophobia and racism.

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14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Any biological differences between races is relatively insignificant, as far as behavior.

Has this statement been objectively proven to be true on a societal level? I understand that we won't know the answer for 100% sure until either side can show the other side genetic evidence but beyond that what is the rationale for this statement?

 

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Haidt is a good psychologist I think by the way. But I don't think he argues for a tribal nature to mankind. Although he thinks people are primarily driven by emotion and use reason to justify their behavior after the fact, tribalism by his theory would result from a set of traits. It's not that we are tribal by nature, but tribalism can easily result from an interaction.

Based on my understanding of reading his book he argues that humans are both innately selfish and tribal. On the behavioral side, which of the two we are more likely to display at any given time likely depends on the scenario / environment, the time permitted to make a decision (reflex action vs deliberate action) and how all of this interacts with our conscious and subconscious mind. That's me speaking, not necessarily Haidt. So our mindset could be individualistic or tribal depending on any number of factor including genetics.

 

14 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Well, self-ownership is something else, not actually anything to do with Objectivism. Individual rights are a different concept.

I use the term synonymous with free will or culture of free will which does relate to Objectivist ethics in that it's a component of an individuals rational self-interest.

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Doug Morris,

I would define it as behaviors or thoughts not in line with judging others based on their merits, content of character, and/or accomplishments. For example avoiding an interacting based on someone's race alone would be tribal in that sense. I guess it would be the same as the old definition of racist thoughts or behaviors before we started factoring in oppression and privilege into the equation.

As far as what society would look like, I think I posted this before but it would likely end up being a culturally and ethnically homogeneous society not exclusively organized around either ideology or race but an objective understanding of human nature.

As far as the means go, all I think you would need is to allow for freedom of association. From a moral perspective this is certainly the most humane way of allowing society to reorganize itself.

On the race and IQ argument I think both of us have done a good job of elaborating on our current positions. Until we get conclusive genetic evidence we won't have 100% certainty so I don't think absolute proof is something either of us should be shooting for. What we can do is to further explore the different shades of gray and to see to what extent they pass the test of reason and evidence. As previously stated, I do recommend checking out Stefan Molyneux's content for a more in-depth overview of the argument.

If you don't mind a game of Devil's Advocate, how would you have responded to me if I were a Black Supremacist Advocate and had made the claim that blacks had a naturally higher IQ than whites, not lower or equal, but that environmental factors were preventing the full expression of natural intelligence. What position would you have taken and what type of evidence would you have tried to present to make your case?

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1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

Has this statement been objectively proven to be true on a societal level?

I mean, I don't have specific studies to mention. Since I'm not an expert on the psychology of groups, I can't give you the specifics about race. But I can tell you that race is a perceptual attribute. When studies look at race, or race perception, they don't do genetic tests to see what racial category somebody falls into. They go by self-identification. In general, there are more differences between individuals than between biologically divided groups, at least behaviorally. Grab any two people, and they will be quite different - even if they are from the same group. If those two people are from the same racial group, there might be a little less variation in their differences, but that's all you could say. Psychologists don't visit other countries to account for genetic differences, they go to other countries to account for cultural differences and developmental differences. 

So, I guess you could say the rationale is the development of cognitive perspectives in psychology. We are able to attribute differences between races or cultures to developmental differences. Developmental, as in what kids learn as they develop into adults. Developmental psychology has a lot to say on why we end up as we do. People don't start as tribal, they learn how to be that way (there could be genetics that contribute to temperament or personality, but this leads indirectly to tribalism at best).

1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

Based on my understanding of reading his book he argues that humans are both innately selfish and tribal.

Maybe I'm not up-to-date enough on his ideas. But still, by your interpretation, he says that human nature is both selfish and tribal. I don't agree with him, though it should be clear that he doesn't argue for man as the "tribal animal". To be sure, there are some genetic factors, but the factors he talks about the most are ones like personality. He doesn't pin down why it happens, or how, because his work is more descriptive than anything. Again, it's been a while since I read his stuff.

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On 10/20/2018 at 9:12 PM, Azrael Rand said:

I'm not going to claim that it can be proven with a 100.00% accuracy, however when you look at a number of different data sets it creates what I would describe a preponderance of evidence; proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A good starting point would be to look up the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study.

1. If this topic interests you, read "The Gene Illusion" by Jay Joseph. I'm not supporting all his conclusions by recommending him. But, his book is a good starting point survey of various such research projects (albeit from an author with an opinion).

2. One of the big problems with science is the obsession with correlation coefficients. Not just in twin studies etc., but even more so in medical research on reactions to types of foods, etc. Consider that we can somehow  -- twin study or not -- actually find a 100% correlation between the IQ of a person and the IQ of their two biological parents. Without knowing other factors, this fact could give us anything between 0% and 100% predictability about a person's IQ...given that we know the parents' IQ. 

Chew on this a bit, because it is not an easy concept to understand with modern obsession with correlation coefficients.

3. Personally, I think it is plausible that genes have a correlation to some raw physical mental base on which "IQ" is based. Taking that hypothesis to "race" is confounding by using a fuzzy variable that gets fuzzier with every passing decade and will finally disappear in the west. Even so, it is still plausible that one will find a correlation using typical definitions. Nevertheless, what I find is that even if all the decent studies are true, the factor is not important compared to others. 

4. Personally, my mind goes to the question: what value/disvalue does this thing (whatever) bring me, and how can I profit from it, and protect against the downside. This  is -- as an individual first, not as a social engineer.
However, given the relative unimportance of heredity -- even assuming convincing correlations -- if we did want to perform social engineering, that improves IQ for "society" there are pretty easy ways to do so (not easy to get them through politically, lol... that's the rub).

5. There's an old thread on this topic here: 

 

4. I think it is plausible that 

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17 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

Has this statement been objectively proven to be true on a societal level? I understand that we won't know the answer for 100% sure until either side can show the other side genetic evidence but beyond that what is the rationale for this statement? 

Of course we know...because we know that the claim that blacks have an inferior intellect due to genetic differences, is arbitrary. It has no basis in reality.

That's what "not true" means. That's how we know there's no God, that's how we know there's not a porcelain elephant on the dark side of the Moon, etc., etc. ... when faced with an arbitrary claim, the rational response is to dismiss it, not to reserve judgement until we can go and check.

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If your hypothetical Black Supremacist posted, the burden would be on him or her to present evidence.  I could respond to any purported evidence based on what specifically it was.  Individual variation would still be more important than any statistical differences.

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On 10/23/2018 at 5:14 PM, Eiuol said:

I mean, I don't have specific studies to mention. Since I'm not an expert on the psychology of groups, I can't give you the specifics about race. But I can tell you that race is a perceptual attribute. When studies look at race, or race perception, they don't do genetic tests to see what racial category somebody falls into. They go by self-identification. In general, there are more differences between individuals than between biologically divided groups, at least behaviorally. Grab any two people, and they will be quite different - even if they are from the same group. If those two people are from the same racial group, there might be a little less variation in their differences, but that's all you could say. Psychologists don't visit other countries to account for genetic differences, they go to other countries to account for cultural differences and developmental differences.

Not sure that many scientists could secure state or private funding to perform research on a topic like genetic differences in IQ between races. Just from an IQ perspective depending on the groups you can have some stark differences where one group's median IQ would be considered borderline retarded based on Western standards and another group could be one standard deviation above the median white IQ. There are certainly differences between individuals but I don't think the blanket statement of differences are more pronounced between individuals as compared to groups is always accurate. Of course the question of why the values are what they are is an entirely separate debate. It would be interesting to have data to see if any other organs besides the brain were significantly underdeveloped in which case it would make for more of a case for environmental, health and nutrition factors as opposed to genetic differences. Also from a neutral perspective there's no apparent reason why there couldn't be significant genetic differences in IQ based on race, it's just that as a society we'd rather this weren't the case.

On 10/23/2018 at 5:14 PM, Eiuol said:

So, I guess you could say the rationale is the development of cognitive perspectives in psychology. We are able to attribute differences between races or cultures to developmental differences. Developmental, as in what kids learn as they develop into adults. Developmental psychology has a lot to say on why we end up as we do. People don't start as tribal, they learn how to be that way (there could be genetics that contribute to temperament or personality, but this leads indirectly to tribalism at best).

 

On 10/23/2018 at 5:14 PM, Eiuol said:

Maybe I'm not up-to-date enough on his ideas. But still, by your interpretation, he says that human nature is both selfish and tribal. I don't agree with him, though it should be clear that he doesn't argue for man as the "tribal animal". To be sure, there are some genetic factors, but the factors he talks about the most are ones like personality. He doesn't pin down why it happens, or how, because his work is more descriptive than anything. Again, it's been a while since I read his stuff.

My understanding of Haidt's work is that we are both selfish and groupish by nature. Environmental factors including culture can and do sway our mindset more in one of the two directions. As humans we are driven by incentives like any other animal. But I think it's unrealistic to completely suppress either tribalism or individualism. Looking at the West in it's current state I think it's a fair assessment that culturally robbing whites of all in-group preference has been a good idea.

@ softwareNerd,

Added the book to my reading list. Not sure if correlation coefficients are related to the frequent mistaking of correlation for causation but it's certainly a bias we need to be aware of. Since we don't have 100% certainty I have to be open to the truth being any number of potential causes, but from what I've seen I'm leaning towards genetics being a potentially major contributing factor to differences in IQ. Even if it wasn't, the discrepancies are what they are. To not at least consider these factors when looking at immigration policy is irrational and dangerous in my opinion.

On 10/24/2018 at 9:24 AM, Nicky said:

Of course we know...because we know that the claim that blacks have an inferior intellect due to genetic differences, is arbitrary. It has no basis in reality. 

How do we know that this claim is any more arbitrary than the statement that it isn't related to genetics. To my knowledge there isn't 100% conclusive proof on either side of the argument. Just because you're emotionally invested in one side of the argument doesn't automatically make it true. Doesn't make it false either but unproven is unproven.

On 10/24/2018 at 9:24 AM, Nicky said:

That's what "not true" means. That's how we know there's no God, that's how we know there's not a porcelain elephant on the dark side of the Moon, etc., etc. ... when faced with an arbitrary claim, the rational response is to dismiss it, not to reserve judgement until we can go and check. 

Where's your evidence? Yes it's natural to dismiss data outside of your common frame of reference, it's a protective mechanism, but that doesn't mean you're necessarily objectively correct in doing so.

On 10/24/2018 at 9:30 AM, Doug Morris said:

If your hypothetical Black Supremacist posted, the burden would be on him or her to present evidence.  I could respond to any purported evidence based on what specifically it was.  Individual variation would still be more important than any statistical differences.

Good point. Assuming you weren't interested in persuading this person to your side of the argument that's all that's required. As far as individual differences vs group differences I'd recommend looking up IQ distributions for different ethnic populations. There are certain groups that have median IQs that we would consider borderline retarded. Again we don't know for certain to what extent external factors are at play in creating these variances but that doesn't change the fact that these differences exist.

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40 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

more pronounced between individuals as compared to groups is always accurate

Then you are wrong. You may find general trends among any group of people, but to say that there are more differences between individuals than between groups is to say that when it comes to behavior, aggregate biological differences between groups don't explain well human behavior. Psychologist don't study this because it is a scientific dead-end. Environmental, health, and nutrition factors do a wildly better job at evaluating behavioral differences, that's why people study it.
 

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4 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

How do we know

I'm gonna stop you right there. There's no "we". You and I are not a team.

As for how I know things, I don't think you'd understand if I tried to explain it.

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22 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Then you are wrong. You may find general trends among any group of people, but to say that there are more differences between individuals than between groups is to say that when it comes to behavior, aggregate biological differences between groups don't explain well human behavior. Psychologist don't study this because it is a scientific dead-end. Environmental, health, and nutrition factors do a wildly better job at evaluating behavioral differences, that's why people study it.

My focus was squarely on IQ differences. The term human behavior is a very broad term and can be interpreted in any number of ways. Behavior is driven by internal and external factors. Intelligence is one such factor. Certain types of behaviors will likely have little to no correlation to IQ differences while other behaviors can be expected to vary based on differences in IQ and other factors. Based on what you're giving me here it's hard for me to reply with specifics.

19 hours ago, Nicky said:

As for how I know things, I don't think you'd understand if I tried to explain it.

If you have facts that disprove my assertions please list them.

If you don't have any data but a well reasoned argument I'd also be willing to listen to that.

But if it's something that can only be understood if both parties share the same feelings on a subject matter then I'm not sure how objective of a case it is to begin with.

Edited by Azrael Rand

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1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

Intelligence is one such factor. Certain types of behaviors will likely have little to no correlation to IQ differences while other behaviors can be expected to vary based on differences in IQ and other factors.

Right, and aggregate biological group categories do not account for behavioral differences. IQ is behavioral in the sense that you determine somebody's IQ from behavior on a test. It is not a biological construct. You'll definitely find correlations between IQ and race, but as I'm sure you know, correlation does not equal causation.

1 hour ago, Azrael Rand said:

If you don't have any data but a well reasoned argument I'd also be willing to listen to that.

Yeah, Nicky was rude, but his point was that you made an arbitrary assertion. You're basically saying "there could be differences due to race!" without a good reason. The reasons you have given aren't very good because they are easy to dismiss as wrong. Then you said something like "has anyone proven this to be true", as if the possibility your claims could be true is enough to take you seriously, or that we should treat your theory as equally plausible. Often in science, you can find one study to support any theory. The thing about science is that you use many studies and many ideas. 

The thing about developmental psychology especially is that the field has advanced significantly once people started paying less attention to biological genetic differences and more attention to how children are taught, the people around them, and possible intrinsic capacities that all people have regardless of race. These are the general ideas need to keep in mind, which demonstrate that "race realism" doesn't help anything. Eugenics scientists tried it; eugenics died away because the science sucked. 

Edited by Eiuol

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16 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

If you have facts that disprove my assertions please list them.

Is that what you made?  A mere assertion?  I think you know that no one is obligated to disprove a mere assertion.  There is an invisible pink elephant in my bedroom.  Can you disprove that assertion?  Should you have to?

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On 10/30/2018 at 10:55 AM, Craig24 said:

Is that what you made?  A mere assertion?  I think you know that no one is obligated to disprove a mere assertion.  There is an invisible pink elephant in my bedroom.  Can you disprove that assertion?  Should you have to?

How do you know that the elephant is pink if it's invisible? Does the elephant speak as well? If it can speak what makes you believe it's telling you the truth when it claims to be an invisible pink elephant? Or do you possess the ability to see that which others cannot see?

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

Right, and aggregate biological group categories do not account for behavioral differences.

What scientific evidence do you have to back this statement up? Alternatively what is the reasoning you used to arrive at this conclusion, other than looking at the study habits of psychologists which are subject to both human irrationality and subjective cultural incentive structures. Would it be rational to draw conclusions on the science of climate change based on the study habits of climate scientists?

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

The thing about developmental psychology especially is that the field has advanced significantly once people started paying less attention to biological genetic differences and more attention to how children are taught, the people around them, and possible intrinsic capacities that all people have regardless of race.

I agree that people are more likely to study variables that are easier to influence (nutrition, health care, education, objective child rearing) and pander to a dominant culture's moral leanings than to study variables that are hard to influence (multi-ethnic composition of a nation) and make people feel uncomfortable. As humans we like to pick the path of least resistance unless there's a strong enough counter-incentive including a strong sense of free will.

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

These are the general ideas need to keep in mind, which demonstrate that "race realism" doesn't help anything.

If you look at Japan you might come to the opposite conclusion.

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

Eugenics scientists tried it; eugenics died away because the science sucked. 

Eugenics failed because humans are led by emotions and not reason. An obsession on racial purity displaces a society's focus on other equally and/or more important factors. I'm not saying that race matters to the exclusion of all other factors. I'm not saying that race matters but that culture doesn't matter. I'm saying that based on my understanding of human nature both matter. Having an objective mix between culture and ethnic homogeneity appears to be the winning recipe. Objective reality appears to back this up as well if we looks at current day Japan or a majority white United States from years past. Neither are / were perfect, but they're objectively better than say today's USA or Brazil.

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

You're basically saying "there could be differences due to race!" without a good reason. 

You've got a point here in that I could have done a better job of explaining my reasoning; I will try to get the job done with this post.

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

The reasons you have given aren't very good because they are easy to dismiss as wrong.

I would make the case that emotional investment into a belief system, coupled with confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance are enough to make something "easy to dismiss" that doesn't align with one's current belief system. If you're an absolutist individualist then you're likely not going to have an open mind on a subject matter that would have collectivist implications; that's just human nature. Naturally the presence of bias doesn't provide or disprove either of our cases but it's something that has to be considered and accounted for.

On 10/29/2018 at 7:45 PM, Eiuol said:

Then you said something like "has anyone proven this to be true", as if the possibility your claims could be true is enough to take you seriously, or that we should treat your theory as equally plausible. Often in science, you can find one study to support any theory. The thing about science is that you use many studies and many ideas.  

I make this statement because the best way to disprove my case is if you can prove yours. If you can't prove your case then my case could be true. It' as simple as that. If neither side can prove their case then the best we can do, outside of conducting scientific studies (not in my current area of influence), is to look at what reality shows us and to see if we can make sense of the situation using reason followed by a peer review by an unbiased party.

What I can currently provide are my observations of reality and my reasoning:

Facts:

- There are different average IQ values between different ethnic groups.

- These differences aren't limited to one geographic area but persist if members of an ethnic group move from one area to another.

- Groups of mixed race composition have an average IQ range somewhere between the two original group's average IQ range.

- IQ values can vary quite significantly between individuals from retarded to normal to genius level.

- Traits other than intelligence vary between various ethnic groups.

- It is a fact that people are resistant to facts that contradict their belief system.

- Different environments put different evolutionary pressures on its inhabitants favoring certain traits over others.

- Correlation does not necessarily equal causation but it doesn't preclude it either.

Based on the list of facts above how can someone claim that:

- The case for significant genetic differences should be considered to be inferior compared to the commonly held belief by Western nations based on a shared sense of morality.

- It should be dismissed without proof even if prevailing beliefs cannot be substantiated.

- That nature can produce vastly different IQ values between individuals, yet that averages between different ethnic groups cannot be significantly different even if these groups have historically inhabited different environments with different evolutionary pressures.

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17 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

What scientific evidence do you have to back this statement up?

I didn't mention study habits, I mentioned the reasons psychologists study certain things. My scientific evidence is the studies that show that biological group categories do not account for behavioral differences. I don't know what more you want. Do you want me to go line by line in a study? I've already gone over with you what the statistics mean, how the analysis is done, prior evidence, decades of research, and the reasons science has advanced in psychology. 

I don't think you understand the whole thing about "explains more". When I say "explains more", I mean more theoretically viable. Random things throughout your life and every day can influence and affect your development, but many of these influences have such a tiny influence that it really doesn't mean anything. "Explains more" doesn't mean "the things easiest to explain". This is how statistics work, even the scientists who insist on race realism do statistics this way.

Basically, you seem stuck on the narrative that psychologists must be "afraid" of the truth and can't help but stick to the cultural zeitgeist. I see numerous assertions that all people are biased, all people are led by emotions, and dismissal of evidence because you insist that scientists aren't objective about this at all. There's nothing more to say, as soon as I give you evidence, you're just going to say it's biased or bad science. 

17 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

Based on the list of facts above how can someone claim that:

- The case for significant genetic differences should be considered to be inferior compared to the commonly held belief by Western nations based on a shared sense of morality.

Because you offered no evidence or way to distinguish between biological differences and nonbiological differences. But if you do push on the biological explanation heavily, you're trying to claim that humans are largely determined by biology and genetics (and environment) and have minimal free will. Okay, I guess, but you sound more like a behaviorist that fell into a coma in 1945 and just woke up today...  

17 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

That nature can produce vastly different IQ values between individuals, yet that averages between different ethnic groups cannot be significantly different

Actually, the variance among individuals doesn't imply anything about the difference of means between groups. These are different calculations. 

Anyway, you basically reject everything about Objectivism. You reject individual rights (probably in favor instead of some other kind of rights), you reject that reason is man's means of survival, implicitly suggest that we can't know reality because we are guided by emotion, reject the ways of doing reasoning (the whole thing about arbitrary claims), and implicitly reject even the aesthetic theory (you would reject the notion of Romanticism as an artistic ideal if you're at all consistent with what you've said about individualism). 

Edited by Eiuol

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On 10/30/2018 at 10:55 AM, Craig24 said:

Is that what you made?  A mere assertion?  I think you know that no one is obligated to disprove a mere assertion.  There is an invisible pink elephant in my bedroom.  Can you disprove that assertion?  Should you have to?

 

23 hours ago, Azrael Rand said:

How do you know that the elephant is pink if it's invisible? Does the elephant speak as well? If it can speak what makes you believe it's telling you the truth when it claims to be an invisible pink elephant? Or do you possess the ability to see that which others cannot see?

You are making my point for me.  Thanks.  

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On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

I didn't mention study habits, I mentioned the reasons psychologists study certain things. My scientific evidence is the studies that show that biological group categories do not account for behavioral differences. I don't know what more you want. Do you want me to go line by line in a study?

Providing a link to one such study so I can review what you've reviewed in the past would be good enough for me. At least this way I would understand where you're coming from. When I hear the blanket statement that biological group categories do not account for behavioral differences the first things that comes to mind are behavioral differences between males and females that are due to differences in genetics. So the statement you provided is therefore inaccurate at face value.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

Basically, you seem stuck on the narrative that psychologists must be "afraid" of the truth and can't help but stick to the cultural zeitgeist. I see numerous assertions that all people are biased, all people are led by emotions, and dismissal of evidence because you insist that scientists aren't objective about this at all.

As humans we are all led by certain needs. Ostracism, the submission of the individual to the group, works because we are social animals. You only need to make an example of one person and the rest will fall in line. The scientific community is not exempt from human nature.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

There's nothing more to say, as soon as I give you evidence, you're just going to say it's biased or bad science. 

Making a blanket statement that scientists don't study X, therefore X is not a factor, is not proof in my book based on the rationale I provided above. However dismissing the scientific process because bias exists is an irrational notion. The proper response to a data set that appears to be an illogical outlier isn't to dismiss it but to do one or more re-tests to validate the original findings. I'm not a relativist; rather I consider myself a realist. If you have data that proves your point by all means share it. If not for me then for the community as a whole.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

Because you offered no evidence or way to distinguish between biological differences and nonbiological differences. But if you do push on the biological explanation heavily, you're trying to claim that humans are largely determined by biology and genetics (and environment) and have minimal free will.

My stance on free will is that it exists but that it isn't absolute. In my opinion culture and one's mindset are the biggest contributing factors to one's ability to capitalize on the opportunities that reality presents us with.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

Actually, the variance among individuals doesn't imply anything about the difference of means between groups. These are different calculations. 

I agree. My point isn't to establish a causal link, rather it's to highlight the probability of equal outcomes in nature.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

Anyway, you basically reject everything about Objectivism.

I do not reject the premise of Objectivism, a philosophy for man on earth that embraces objective truths rather than dismissing them.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

You reject individual rights (probably in favor instead of some other kind of rights)

I support individual rights but not in the absolutist sense that Ayn Rand did. I do not believe in sacrificing truth in order to create a universal principle where none exists. Taking something that works for a certain set of applications and universalizing it to apply to other applications for "consistency" sake is something I reject. I do not believe that an individual has the right to acquire nuclear weapons as an extension of private property rights for instance.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

you reject that reason is man's means of survival

I believe that objective reality ought to serve as our guide rather than reason for reasons previously discussed (bias).

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

implicitly suggest that we can't know reality because we are guided by emotion

I'm not a relativist if that's what you're implying but the fact that we are led by emotion not reason has real life implications. All I'm saying is that sitting down to think isn't a guaranteed way to arrive at the truth 100% of the time. The scientific process is a better alternative.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

reject the ways of doing reasoning (the whole thing about arbitrary claims)

Can you expand on this one; not sure what this means.

On 11/1/2018 at 12:44 PM, Eiuol said:

and implicitly reject even the aesthetic theory (you would reject the notion of Romanticism as an artistic ideal if you're at all consistent with what you've said about individualism). 

So not only am I a racist but I also have bad taste in art. You like going for those low blows don't you. ;D

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42 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

dismissing the scientific process because bias exists is an irrational notion

Right, but my expectation here is that regardless of how good the evidence is, or regardless of what I say, you are going to claim bias about the science. Every time. I'm okay with providing some more studies if you want, but it seems that not only do I need to present new evidence, I need to explain how the science is done in the first place. For better or worse, I don't think you understand how psychologists do research - not if you agree with them, but if you know how it's done. This is far more work than I care to do in an Internet debate with one person. 

"Taking something that works for a certain set of applications and universalizing it to apply to other applications for "consistency" sake is something I reject"

And now I think you can understand why people think that you should reject a philosophy if it is inconsistent with reality. 

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2 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Right, but my expectation here is that regardless of how good the evidence is, or regardless of what I say, you are going to claim bias about the science. Every time. I'm okay with providing some more studies if you want, but it seems that not only do I need to present new evidence, I need to explain how the science is done in the first place. For better or worse, I don't think you understand how psychologists do research - not if you agree with them, but if you know how it's done. This is far more work than I care to do in an Internet debate with one person. 

Understand where you're coming from. Let me propose this, give me your best study and highlight the relevant data, or if that's not feasible, just tell me the study name, premise and conclusion of the study.

Do you at least agree with my premise of:

51 minutes ago, Azrael Rand said:

Making a blanket statement that scientists don't study X, therefore X is not a factor, is not proof in my book based on the rationale I provided above.

 

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It isn't proof, so it would be more accurate then to say "scientists don't study X anymore because..." instead of "scientists don't study X". But if you also study the reasons scientists don't study X, it can be evidence. In science, we usually talk about evidence, rather than strictly "proof". 
 

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On 10/28/2018 at 6:59 PM, Azrael Rand said:

Added the book to my reading list. Not sure if correlation coefficients are related to the frequent mistaking of correlation for causation but it's certainly a bias we need to be aware of. Since we don't have 100% certainty I have to be open to the truth being any number of potential causes, but from what I've seen I'm leaning towards genetics being a potentially major contributing factor to differences in IQ. 

No the correlation-causation thing is a different topic. The point here is that you might find actually causation, and yet it is unimportant. 

  • Imagine you can control most other factors, and find that the IQ of a kid is 80% correlated with the IQ of it's dad (let's assume) 
  • Imagine some biologist -- separately -- finds that IQ depends on a certain configuration of some part of the brain, and can be predicted with 99.9% accuracy from the metrics of that configuration
  • Imagine that there's a 95% correlation between that particular brain configuration of  kid and that of it's dad
  • So, in essence one has a mix of correlation and understood causation that is pretty strong
  • Imagine also that even though we aren't sure ... this causation is an actual fact
  • In other words: imagine that there is an actual causal factor that makes a kid's IQ extremely correlated with his dads, if all other factors are equal

This would not imply that the IQ of a dad is at all important in determining the IQ of the kid. It may be, or it may not be. If important goes from 0 to 100, it could be any place from 0 to 100. 

To put this another way: if the correlation backed by causation is near zero, then it's obviously not important. However, if the correlation backed by causation is near 100, the importance could range anywhere from zero to 100. 

 

On a separate issue: tribalism is not genetic: not in the way you use those two terms. You seem to use "genetic" to mean something specific to one's particular parent... in the sense that if something is genetic I might have inherited it and you may not... because we have different parents. Used in that sense, tribalism is  not genetic.

It could well be genetic in the proper use of the term: i.e. that is is influenced by something in our genes. But, that is a completely different concept.

Aside: People form tribes around all sorts of things... even silly things like the football team that was closest to their middle-school, or the floor they work on in a large corporate office. 

 

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If I acquire a nuclear weapon I am seriously endangering my neighbors and their property, to such an extent that I don't really have a right to do it.  It makes no difference if I paid good money for the nuke and am keeping it on my own property.

For further clarification, if I own a gun, this does not give me the right to use it in any way I see fit.  If I do something on my land that causes, or is likely to cause, harm on adjoining property, I am violating the rights of the owner of that property.   

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14 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

The point here is that you might find actually causation, and yet it is unimportant. 

As far as stats, they will never tell you causation. What you're thinking sounds more like they may find significant correlations, but significant does not mean important. Significant does not mean causal. What you're talking about is that a third factor could explain why the numbers correlate. The numbers might have nothing to do with each other even if their correlation is big and significant. 

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

As far as stats, they will never tell you causation. What you're thinking sounds more like they may find significant correlations, but significant does not mean important. Significant does not mean causal. What you're talking about is that a third factor could explain why the numbers correlate. The numbers might have nothing to do with each other even if their correlation is big and significant. 

No, it is not that a third factor explains why the two correlate. It is that a third factor, a "independent variable" with relatively low poisitve  correlation can trump the real extremely high correlation of a different "independent variable". 

  • Let X1, X2, X3,...Xn be independent variables, and let Y be the dependent variable.
  • Let's assume that there are no other independent variables.
  • And let's assume we can vary a single Xi while holding all other variables constant
  • With this, let's say we find a very low positive correlation between X1 and Y, but a very high positive correlation between Xn and Y

Under that scenario, X1 might still be the most important factor if we want to change Y.

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