Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


I spent so long writing this that I didn’t think of a title – Ryan

There are so many controversial topics out there, and oh so many that I am so strongly opinionated about but today for this post about logic I have decided that I’m going to get a little personal with the class. Of course I could have played it safe, but where’s the fun in that.

I would like to pre disclose, before digging myself into a hole so deep that I can’t see the sun, that the following opinions are not shared by me. I only wish to strengthen the opinions of other people by sharing such an unpopular (for so many obvious reasons) opinion and argument about a rather sensitive topic.

Not too long ago during a debate of sorts about political correctness in class I decided to play devil’s advocate, and to an extent I greatly regret doing so. Now, I in no way regret sharing the point of view that I did (I feel as if it lead the class down an interesting path that ended with some upset people but also some new wisdom shared throughout the class. Would it be crude to relate it to the break a few eggs to make an omelet idea?), however I do regret drawing a target the size of Texas on my back.

For those of you that weren’t in the class during block two on that one particular day here’s a little more context; we as a class had been talking about political correctness specifically through the lense of gender equality and LGBTQ+  opinions.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a feminist. That being said I believe just about any educated and caring human being should identify as a feminist, it’s just right. I strongly believe that any civil individual who doesn’t actively oppress female individuals should identify as a feminists, so long as it’s understood that females are actually human too. Anyone who does not respect female individuals and their rights should be labelled a sexist (Why does there need to be a middle ground? Either you do or you don’t….right?).

Seems kinda right to add this likeminded meme. First and last meme I'll ever post

Seems kinda right to add this likeminded meme. First and last meme I’ll ever post

However, I am also still straight, white and male and there’s not a whole lot I can or will do about that. I do feel the need to address the fact that an individual can actually identify as all of the above at one time.

Anyway, at some point during that particular part of our class conversation I decided to speak up. I remember taking pauses that felt like they lasted for minutes between each and every word as I did my best to verbally walk my way through a minefield without blowing off my own legs, as I tried to be politically correct as possible while I identified a potential flaw in the idea of political correctness itself that referred specifically to the gender and LGBTQ+ discrimination issues in the world.

I brought to attention the uncommon argument that a small few of the  ‘majority power’ people of the world believe. This very same minority of the majority are the people who (intentionally or unintentionally, I really don’t know) ruin the image of the rest of us straights, whites, and males. I can only speculate that this group are also the few remaining people still supporting the horrifying ideas and policies (calling them policies really feels like a stretch) of presidential candidate Donald Trump. If it’s not clear by my tone of writing when I bring him up, I am in no way a Trump supporter. That being said, for as long as I can remember I’ve been taught to look at all sides of an argument before making a stand. I can see why some people believe Trump is what America needs (I won’t go into any detail on this post, feel free to seek me out or comment if you’d like to hear more?) . I don’t agree with them but just by seeing their opinion I’ve made my own opinion of the matter stronger. The same goes for that one day in philosophy, and I hope that by saying what I did that I strengthened the view of others in the class as well.

I can’t remember word for word exactly what I said all those days ago but I can certainly point out the premises and conclusion I was trying to get across.

Premise: LGBTQ+/Gender/racial minorities can poke fun at or make fun of straight/male/whites as well as make fun of themselves.

Premise: True equality in the human race would mean each and every individual would be treated the same, regardless of any and all defining qualities, and have equal ability as well.

Premise: Straight/Male/Whites can not poke fun at or make fun of LGBTQ+/gender/racial minorities as well as make fun of themselves.

Conclusion: Therefore an ‘ideal’ equal world would mean that straight/male/whites should be able to poke fun at or make fun of LGBTQ+/gender/racial minorities.

Now It’s an oversimplified example of a much more expansive argument, basically as bare bones as can be. I’ve spent hours reading over and editing the premises and conclusion again and again yet I still feel as if it’s not nearly as complete as it should be for such a controversial opinion on such a controversial topic.

Again, this is NOT MY OPINION. I can however understand that it does have some argumentative merit. As it stands (in its barest possible form) above the argument presented is technically valid it’s when it comes to factual correctness that things get a little more complicated. Personally in my own circles I’ve found that the premises are actually sometimes factually accurate and correct, I cannot speak for other people, nor do I intend to, but from time to time my experiences with my own friends (a vast majority of whom do fit into at least one of the above stated ‘minorities’ or another and all of whom I love equally) have proved this to be fact. Not always, just occasionally. That’s likely not be the case in all circles though and it is unlikely that I’ll ever find any confirmed answer regarding whether or not it is.

Because of the arguments fickle factual correctness it is a stretch to consider it a sound argument, as a sound argument does need to be not only consistently valid but consistently factually correct as well, and the above argument is simply unreliable concerning the latter of the two requirements. No matter how many different methods of arguing are employed, the case should reflect the same outcome every time.

Now that we’ve gotten that solved, and after saying so many times that the above argument was not mine, I feel it’s a near necessity to actually share my own opinion on the sensitive subject. In all honesty it’s not entirely unique, in fact it only really has the minimal and minute difference of a single word. It is however an entirely different perspective because of the one small change. It was because of a great class conversation a few years ago with Mr. Jackson (way back in my Talons days) that actually lead me down my path to my very passionate and strong opinion.

I do not believe any minority group should be striving for equality (maybe such a sweeping generalization is too strong?), because after all equal is not actually synonymous with fair. Often times the two terms overlap but it needs to be said that they are not interchangeable.

Think about it this way; James and Jenny Doe are happily married and expecting child. They both have near identical desk jobs at some office building near their nice suburban home and are both being paid exactly the same. Jenny is fully aware that sooner or later she is going to have to take time off for maternity leave. James understands this and feels that he is entitled to equal time off (paternity leave if you will). This example is equal, they both get the same time off, but is it fair? No. It is an unrealistic expectation to believe a woman should still work while with child. It is unsafe for not only the child but the mother as well, and possibly coworkers as well. A man does not have to go through the whole nine months of physically supporting a child inside his body, therefore poor James Doe should not be entitled to equal time off in this situation.

Instead I propose and believe that every minority group, and for that matter every individual in the world, should be striving for equity. Equity is defined as the quality of being fair and impartial whereas equality is defined as the state of being equal or the same in all categories.

An equitable community would be one that does recognize individuality as well as individual strengths and weaknesses but also does not discriminate against anyone. Consider this for an example of equitability. Jack Doe (James and Jenny Doe’s son) is a 12th grade student in highschool who spends his free time playing rugby for his school. Jacob Doe is his 10th grade brother who is younger (Obviously), smaller and less experienced than his brother when it comes to the sport but beyond that more less the same. They have equal skill levels and because of that Jacob decides he wants to play on the senior team. Because he’s a good player despite his youth he’s allowed to. This upsets Jack who has recently been thinking that he’d like an easier time while playing the sport so Jack gets the idea to try and play down on the junior team. He’s confident that his experience as a senior, not to mention his larger size, will make his time in the junior team a lot easier for him. The coach thinks this is shady business and tells Jack he can’t play on the junior team. This is certainly not equal seeing as they both can’t change teams, but it is equitable (and fair) because it’s allowing a youthful skilled player a challenging opportunity among people of similar skill levels but refusing a sneaky senior player from using his experience as an unfair advantage over the junior teams.

Imagine it like this, using the circle method, some pretty colours, and my boundless artistic ability with MS Paint.

In philsophy-circlesthis particular case blue represents equity, red represents fairness, yellow represents equality, orange represents both fairness and equality, purple represents equity and equality, and lastly white represents all three. The only missing colour is green because something cannot be both equal and equitable without also being fair.

I feel that as a population we should be aiming for either the blue, purple or white areas of the diagram. Now I’m not sure if everyone will agree, or if anyone will for that matter, but regardless I don’t write this with the intent of swaying anyone and their ideals, instead I write this simply to share my own opinion in a way I feel that I wasn’t able to the first time around in class.

There’s so much more that needs to happen before we reach that utopian world of fairness and equity and I’m aware of that. I am also aware that there’s so much more I feel should be said but I also understand that I’m already running rather long and I would also like to save something for the comments. With that being said I will leave just one image that I feel accurately depicts the latter half of this specific post.


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