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Hetero- or Xenophobia, as Sign of Intellect Deficit

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 15 10:27 am
by synthetic
I'd start start my thoughts with a quick look at what is intellect and what is the practical interpretation of it - from what I could say is my point of view, but I find it to be too basic to be lowered to the level of a mere opinion.
I love the perhaps common elephant example as all kinds of monkey experiments and observations are overused and the resemblance is too obvious to fit the idea here; the elephant wants to reach a fruit high up on the tree but cannot reach it even with his trunk, so it eventually figures out that by stepping on a bench it can actually reach it and eat it - that without human supervised training.

Being able to find low cost, efficient solutions to problems or make improvements is the most basic sign of intelligence. Now, the angle I'd view it from is that of colony and social aspect. A single intelligent individual cannot accomplish anything of real impact of significance completely alone. While some points here could be turned into a philosophical debate, in practice that tends to be so in our civilization and on our planet. Even if you make a groundbreaking discovery, not sharing or passing it on renders it entirely useless, and in all likelihood its impossible for you to reap its benefits without using other people.
Now, another angle I'd consider is that of ethics. Indeed, it is possible to manipulate and use other people as tools, but I would point at the conflict here between clean results that intellect should provide, and the clear handicap such manipulation represents in the form of increasing amount of threats. While it could be seen as Risk vs Reward, I can't view unnecessary risks as particularly rewarding when better results could be achieved without unnecessary risks. Better results, no unnecessary risks - is that not the basics of practical intelligence?

So combining these two angles, and using pragmatic traits of intelligence as basis, one can conclude that to accomplish bigger things better, a person needs to cooperate with its species, not manipulate or hope to achieve more alone.

But here we already see a conflict between previously established reasoning and the impact of xenophobia. By being afraid or repulsed by potentially beneficial sources, we greatly limit our potential. The underlying reason for such reaction is very basic and easily understood: survival, fear. Being so primitive and something that exists in every person, it is sometimes manipulated by those wishing to gain control over you. An easy example would be Hitler's Germany both what regards xenophobia *and* promotion of single race - quite amazing work on two fronts, actually -, but pretty much every group that promotes violence against difference is using the same principle world wide. It is important to note that, following the trail of thought in this thread, it must be considered counter productive and thus unintelligent, even with the skill and extent of such crowd control considered. You can see it as being able to grab the biggest apple at the cost of loosing hundred other apples. It just is not practical.

To change the pace entirely, I'd like to state clearly that this is a problem. A problem not because racists are grumpy or just been raised "that way" and otherwise cool people. No, it is a problem because they are limited. We are able to identify intellect deficit in people with Down's syndrome, but for some reason we often tend to think that racists and xenophobes are just "bad people" or "jerks". No, they are handicapped or limited. Limitations can change but it can reach a point where such developed views have solidified and have become a handicap.

From another person's point of view, intelligence would deem them a potential hazard, even if *relatively* easily used. A person that has faulty reasoning may behave in unexpected and illogical ways and thus jeopardize your agenda, whatever it may be.. getting an apple off the tree. As such, it is a problem, an illness, and a very clear threat.

It is also not without irony that an intelligent person would be able to pick up on the differences and be repulsed by a xenophobe instinctively, thus display signs of such inherit "phobia". So these two people would not be different, but simply function at different levels of development.

So heres my quick look into xenophobia, step by step from practical point of view.

Re: Hetero- or Xenophobia, as Sign of Intellect Deficit

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 15 3:17 pm
by James
I think it's important to note the origin of lot of xenophobia is spawned by social memes. I'm often amused at some national rivalry that is fueled by hundred/thousand year feuds (e.g. stigma against Germany for WW2 or the bitterness shown between the British and French.)

Social influence (or conditioning) has left a mark on the past that generations that came after it still carry these thoughts. In multi-cultural countries or those that strive to be, a common trope with a lot of us are racist grandparents whom we often excuse that they lived in a different time than we did, and while our society is changing we've definitely had a mark left by our older peers and maybe even their ancestors on how we treat certain groups of people. In the case of conditioning it's kind of fucked up how California Asian communities receive such abuse (war and its propaganda being the origin) towards even the non-Japanese and sadly what is directed to the Vietnamese.

I don't think comparing racists/xenophobes to those mental deficiencies is the best of analogies but I believe you're correct that there's a limited perspective, reasoning or simply hatred for what they dislike. But bad experiences may have shaped this idealogy or can be a social thing like described previously. My favourite pet peeve are those blaming foreigners for 'stealing' jobs from others when some are doing cheap labour for even cheaper and they aren't blaming the employer or government for putting you into this position as it is ultimately their fault. I think a lot of people should be blaming those people in power instead of those who are racially and/or culturally different.


On a semi-related and offensive sidenote I want to talk about recent events.

I think Abrahamic/desert religions are fucking awful but Islam in particular worries me. I find that despite arguments for interpretations of the faith, there's something wrong. Even If you may happen to pin-point awful, fanatic actions done in the last 40 years were by crazy sects (whom are often dangerous, influencial minorities that truly aren't small at all,) it's pretty bad that Islam that it still represents its classic, Crusade-esqe state while Christianity and Judism don't. Sure there's bad eggs all around the globe like America's crazy Christian groups or militant Indo Buddists, there's just a big problem with Islam ideology. Actions demonstrated by these ideologies in the last 40 years has spawned a lot of stupid racism, leading to retaliation of those defending their faith, making more racist fascists from horrible events that ultimately fuels ground for the religious far-right and the racist catering far-right government parties. I feel there needs to be a modern, global re-form of ethics and removal of a lot of standards in Muslim faith as fuck me a lot of the shit said in old and new testaments for its father religions doesn't apply anymore nor is it believed by official heads of Faith.

Besides those dead and injured in recent French attacks, there's going to be and there's already collateral victims worldwide of muslim faith. Nationalist fascism is indeed rising in multiple countries (Sweden after the shootings rallied) and there's more supports for far-right Islamic celebrities and political groups.

But most of all I'm so unhappy that I can't talk against Religion online without some obnoxious twat calling me a Richard Dawkins fedora tipper. This is all thanks to stupid, militant atheists online including Richard Dawkins. Fuck this planet.


But on a lighter (higher?) note: ... ainst-isis

Re: Hetero- or Xenophobia, as Sign of Intellect Deficit

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 15 9:10 pm
by Psychotic
Without going into too much detail: Don't confuse ignorance with a lack of intellect.

Society is not stupid because it discriminates, it is ignorant because it does. Society consists of hundreds of thousands of very smart people, even the trolls you see online possess some intellect, but they are ignorant. Ignorance does not denote a lack of intelligence, it denotes a lack of wisdom and understanding. Do not confuse the two.

Re: Hetero- or Xenophobia, as Sign of Intellect Deficit

PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 15 4:36 am
by synthetic
Chronic ignorance (read lifelong, unchanging) is effectively same thing as lack of intellect, no matter how you choose to call it. Potential doesn't guarantee results and without results the potential does not matter.

I wholeheartedly agree with James regarding most of the points he raised, especially that of foreign labor and social conditioning. It is a shame that false/uneducated views take excessively long time to change. If your grandparent was a racist twit, you as the third generation will still be passing on some of that ignorance to your kids and they in turn to their offspring. While the amount passed on fluctuates statistically, and there no doubt are still families that view klansmanship as an important part of their lineage identity, as well as those that are so deeply ashamed that they consider part of their identity stigmatized.

It is also important not to mix up Comprehension and Training. Vast majority of the capable individuals in our society are Trained, especially the working and producing class that considers themselves above any white collars etc simply because they are the ones capable of creating felt and working mechanisms and items, completely regardless of who and how designed it. It reaches a point where I hear people suggest that schools and other education institutes should be closed and exist simply to waste valuable time that the newer generations could spend on something useful, such as making a bench to sit on.

We train our dogs but rarely consider them as intelligent conversational partners.. when it comes to other people for some reason that opinion changes and we suddenly begin to excuse them with concepts such as ignorance, laziness, or having other priorities/interests.

Comprehension lays groundwork for the potential (and selective practice) for *any* training, as well as providing the capacity to be considered an intelligent conversational partner.

I consider any form of religion to be essentially a story about Santa and his little helpers, soviet propaganda at least paired their santa with a hot chick. Because of that, I can entirely relate to Dawkins and other likeminded "atheists" who have difficulty controlling their emotions. It is very stressful to act as a kindergarten teacher, and any work with the religious adults likely should be limited exactly to those types of people: people who display great skill handling little children. People, myself included, who prefer to converse with more mature peers, are more likely to stir up trouble than solve the issue, I understand that well.

edit: more focused reply to Psychotic

The capacity to receive a training is a lower tier trait of intelligence that always relies on some degree of comprehension, for those that have tried to train anyone at all it should be particularly clear how frustrating it can be to attempt to instruct someone who doesn't understand anything at all. There is a large number of various animal species that can be trained.

Wisdom is the accumulated knowledge obtained through Comprehension and not Training. The latter would be Skill.

Understanding is synonymous with Comprehension.

By that logic, dolphins and elephants are just as intelligent; I would like to ask you in what significant ways have they contributed to the well-being of our species, besides - you know - just doing what they do?

The damage that some of our misguided fellow specimen do is in fact due to the very fact that *someone* has been able to train them to their preference, and because they lack that understanding and comprehension. An untrained (lacking any capability, basically) individual would be quite harmless and likely cannot tie his shoelaces. All kinds of propaganda represents a form of training/conditioning, with very clear results (take current RF, IS). Propagating awareness is directly against their interests.

Politicians are among those that use these basic instincts and needs of the population in order to gather support, where warleaders turn them into a weapon - again with excellent support ratings, ie Putin. In many countries you see borderline or clearly extremist parties gather more and more support, driven by the increasing problems with import-religion(s) and globalization.

Xenophobia thus represents a basic instinct that is or has been (all kinds of grand-generations examples) used as a tool in order to train the population for someone's personal gain, under the pretense of being for the good of the individual itself. The prosecution for being of foreign or "wrong" faith is a very clear sign of xenophobia, but interesting in a way that it defies logic (like most things religious) - an individual that looks like you, talks like you, lives next to you can become an alien element, a stranger.

I guess I can summarize my entire point behind this thread and my posts with this: just because you must take a shit, it doesn't mean you have to do it anywhere and any time, or especially onto anyone. We forgive children a lot, perhaps too much, but at this rate we don't have any adults left in the society! To a degree xenophobia is normal, just like the fear of heights, but being a xenophobe is abnormal and clinical - if we're to distinguish them from the children *at all*.

Re: Hetero- or Xenophobia, as Sign of Intellect Deficit

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 15 9:29 am
by synthetic
Lets take an individual X. Say he has an unpragmatic and a strictly non beneficial reaction to to a subject Y.

Now, considering that this benefit that the subject could yield would aid the individual X in some more or less obvious way, there may be couple very simple reasons why the reaction is negative.

Most likely the individual does not have the knowledge stored what regards the outcome and effect of the action. Missing something important or having it in critically small amounts is a deficit.
Another possibility that I suspect someone would want to argue for is that of knowing the outcome, having that amount of knowledge, but opting not to react upon the subject and manipulate the outcome for a clearly beneficial yield in such situation still denotes the deficit of some other piece of knowledge. Because some knowledge and-or experience exists that deals with this particular subject Y, then it is possible to indeed consider that amount sufficient and one will find the deficit in some other portion of the thinking pattern that drives the ability to function.
In effect, 'could but won't' yields the same results as 'can't because wouldn't', as such it is pointless to argue whether the reasoning deficit was voluntary and by choice or not. Stupidity is never voluntary; knowingly being in the wrong simply gives the false sense of control over your actions while the cause of such reasoning is beyond control, and were that control to be established, the first outcome would in turn change, because of the initial statement.