Limited Range of Notion
politically correct – NOUN – marked by or adhering to a typically progressive orthodoxy on issues involving especially race, gender, sexual affinity, or ecology. Abbreviation: PC, P.C. (dictionary.com)
Political Correctness (hereinafter PC), on its surface, proposes and often enforces a specific dogma for the society to use with a goal of being non-offensive and inclusive. This dogma includes accepting as first premises the following claims:
- There are no appropriate moral distinctions (one is morally right and another is morally wrong) between races, genders, sexual preferences, or ages, and lifestyle choices.
- All terminology should be non-gender specific unless absolutely required (which some would argue is never the case).
- All terminology should be used in such a way as to reduce or eliminate the possibility of members of minority groups feeling annoyed, irritated, or offended and feeling marginalized because of the word choice.
- All public and private institutions in the society should restructure their operations to eliminate any practices, policies, or procedures that make distinctions between people based on race, gender, sexual preference, age, or non-religious beliefs, or, in general, any lifestyle choices.
- All members of society should accept as normative (not abnormal or immoral) all beliefs, practices, lifestyle choices and not intellectually hold any judgmental mindsets against any person, with the exception of those that the PC purveyors deem as abnormal or morally unacceptable.
There are two underlying beliefs that serve as the philosophical basis for PC.
(1) The first is the Coherence Theory of Truth. For a fuller explanation of this theory as well as the other competing theories of truth, go to the “Truth & Systems of Thought Link under the Critical Thinking Tab at www.jimshaul.org.
For now, I will just tell you that the Coherence Theory is a theory in the area of Logic that claims that all truth is subjective, which means that if Person A (Adam) claims X to be the case (for example that Pluto is a planet), then it is true that X is the case for Person A. If Person B (Betty) claims that X is not the case (Pluto is not a planet), then it is true that X is not the case for Person B. What Adam believes is accepted as true and what Betty believes is accepted as true. For those who hold to the Coherence Theory, it is irrelevant that the claims are objectively logically contradictory. If you hold to this theory, then you simply ignore any objectivity and let everyone have their personal beliefs be true to them.
(2) The second underlying belief is in the area of Ethics and is known as Moral Relativism. “The term ‘moral relativism’ is understood in a variety of ways. Most often it is associated with an empirical thesis that there are deep and widespread moral disagreements and that … the truth or justification of moral judgments is not absolute, but relative to some group of persons. Sometimes ‘moral relativism’ is connected with a normative position about how we ought to think about or act towards those with whom we morally disagree, most commonly that we should tolerate them.” (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-relativism/)
In layman’s terms, Moral Relativism (hereinafter MR) is the position that there are no right or wrong moral conclusions or positions = all morality is subjective. There are only different answers and beliefs. No one is right and no one is wrong. We just differ.
PC assumes this underlying position in the area of Ethics and takes this one step further. Ssince there is no objective moral right and wrong, we logically should not judge another person because what they hold morally is different than what we hold.
PC assumes the underlying position in the area of Logic that since there is no objective logical right and wrong, we should not judge another person because what they hold logically is different than what we hold.
As stated above PC holds and promotes the surface position that there are no appropriate moral distinctions (one is morally right and another is morally wrong) between races, genders, sexual preferences, or ages, and lifestyle choices.
They do this within a society where there are many people who hold that there are appropriate moral distinctions (one is morally right and another is morally wrong) between races, genders, sexual preferences, or ages, and lifestyle choices. These are non-PC people.
Therefore PC people want to have non-PC people believe and act the same way as PC people. Indeed, many PC people are completely open to requiring non-PC people by enacted laws and to take classes to get them to change and become PC people. PC people, in my personal experience, quite often assume an intellectually and morally superior mindset…even to the point of being quite judgmental of non-PC people.
I have personally known many, many conservative, even hyper-conservative people who were both religious and non-religious who were very narrow-minded and judgmental. Working in the higher education field, I have personally known many, many liberal, progressive people who were both spiritual and non-spiritual who were very narrow minded and judgmental.
The difference is that the first group acknowledges their narrow-mindedness and oft-times judgmental attitude, while the second group refuses to see that they are equally narrow minded and judgmental. Both sides suffer from the affliction known as Limited Range of Notion. The condition defined: an intellectual inability to think outside of one’s own position or worldview. The cause of the condition: it results from surrounding yourself with people who are likeminded and excluding those who are not likeminded as well as their ideas. The symptoms of the condition are: 1) believing that you are right and those who disagree with you are wrong, 2) believing and acting like you are smarter or more enlightened than those who take other positions 3) taking a superior position over those who take other positions and look down upon them, even making fun of and berating them both privately and publically. The cure to the condition is: 1) separate people from their positions. All people, no matter what they believe, are worthy of respect and we should treat them that way, 2) recognize that you are not omniscient (knows everything) and therefore capable of intellectual error, 3) recognize that what you believe at the moment is a result of whom you have listened to and learned from, 4) recognize that what others believe is a result of whom they have listened to and learned from, and 5) be open to having your views critically examined and possibly shown to be deficient and/or just plain wrong.
for information on using Jim as Speaker at your upcoming conference or meeting, go to www.jimshaul.com