(27-06-2011 12:01 AM)unsorted Wrote: ...there are many goals (which would be the value propositions you're talking about, correct?).
That's true, though only in a manner of speaking. What we value is what we will aim for, and in this sense a value declaration is like a goal declaration.
The following egregiously anti-feminist example will serve to illustrate the need to clearly identify 'value propositions' in such debates. Here is the case made by Islamic apologists for polygamy, by the late Ahmed Deedat here
and by the ersatz Deedat of the day, Zakir Naik here
rehashing the argument even more crudely.
By their sleight of tongue, this is how they would like the audience to view their argument:
(Sex ratios in nature are skewed towards females and that leaves 'surplus women' in a society.) ---> (Polygamy is the solution to ensure that everyone is legitimately partnered.)
These evangelists want to present the argument this way, stating a fact proposition in the beginning to create the appearance that their stance is wholly factually grounded.
Actually there is an implicit, unstated 'value proposition' (an 'ought' claim, italicized below) in their arguments which they pretend isn't there. Their argument really is:
(Sex ratios in nature are skewed towards females and that leaves 'surplus women' in a society.) + (Women are best off when united in wedlock with a man.
) --->(Polygamy is the solution to ensure that everyone is legitimately partnered.)
While disagreeing with these arguments, what we must really call them out on is their value proposition and disagree with that by presenting our own value proposition "Women are best off when free to adopt a relationship status of their choosing.
" The fact proposition which the apologist insist their conclusion is based, is a fact proposition that is probably true and one that we agree with. The real trouble is with their value propositions. And that is one of the real problems with Sam Harris' seeming suggestion that all moral debates can reduced to fact propositions alone.
(27-06-2011 12:01 AM)unsorted Wrote: 1. not being discriminated against in the workplace
2. having safe and easy access to birth control and abortion
3. equal education
4. equal pay
5. better childcare support for parents
6. not being marginalised in the media (e.g. Bechdel Test)
7. dismantling patriarchy
8. ending rape and promoting enthusiastic and effective consent
9. ending street harassment
10. ending victim-blaming
I have numbered your list above for convenience. The list of goals, it seems, can broadly be classified into categories which may demand very different kinds of arguments:
Demands for equal opportunity
: The items in the above list clearly and obviously belonging to this category are (1),(3),(4) and (6). Equal opportunity also includes equal access to redressal and thus item (10) also belongs here.
To make case for equal opportunity demands, we can draw on studies that point to no significant differences in the abilities of men and women in a given task (These would be fact propositions). Or we can go one further to suggest (in say, arguments for more women in the military) that despite seeming problems of 'fit', better representation of women will have a payoff in terms of other things we value
, besides performance alone (These would be value propositions).
Demands for legitimate exceptions
: The items in the above list that fit this category are (2), (5), (7) and (8). Fact propositions supporting such arguments are obvious facts from the biology of our species, like, say, maternity being more demanding and strenuous than paternity. Value propositions for such arguments are a society's conception of what a woman must be (eg. a 'commodity' in some tribalistic setups, a 'companion' in a perpetual support roles in liberal orthodox setup, an 'autonomous being' who need not be 'man-like' to be independent.)
(27-06-2011 12:01 AM)unsorted Wrote: Just read this this morning, made me want to scream: Indore doctors turn scores of baby girls into boys. It's the same "binary gender fallacy" that Alice Dreger spoke about
Exercises at conceptual clarity like the one we have just begun seem are long overdue but seem pedantic in the face of outrages of the sort you report here.