Well, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that intelligence is nothing but genetic for all practical purposes. And we have a society that rewards it with the sky. But someone who takes pride in their race, which is qualitatively just the same, is shamed and labelled racist. Like you routinely get commentators saying that the uneducated dumb ones voted for this or that candidate. However race is off bounds in such conversations.

closed as off-topic by Joseph Weissman Nov 12 '16 at 12:29

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  • Other than as biological taxonomy noting humanity as a subspecie to ape, "race" is a misnomer for "tribe" – Mr. Kennedy Nov 12 '16 at 12:30
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    Because one is considered responsible for developing one's intellect, but can do nothing about one's race. The "overwhelming scientific evidence that intelligence is nothing but genetic" does not exist, but evidence to the contrary does en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_IQ And even inborn intellectual aptitudes, which are quite vague, have to be developed to manifest. – Conifold Nov 12 '16 at 23:13
  • The intellect is encouraged up to a point; in Abdus Salams (physicist) biography, he said, that one of the point of the Cambridge examination is to humble the intelligence - I think it was Hoyle that told him that. – Mozibur Ullah Nov 13 '16 at 11:14
  • @Joseph Weissman What do you mean off topic? What context should I add? – user2277550 Nov 13 '16 at 11:53
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    How is this a problem in your study of philosophy? Asking for opinions on a series of unspecific and vague considerations on "race" and society is not really engaging constructively in Q&A. What is the specific issue you are encountering in your reading? What exactly is it that you would like someone here to explain to you, and how is that question related to the study of philosophy? You need to narrow this down and provide context in the sense of some grounding in terms of the study of philosophy for this to be on-topic for this site – Joseph Weissman Nov 13 '16 at 16:03

Because your intelligence is yours, and yours only, but your "race" is a common feature of millions of people. Because you can actually do something with your intelligence, while your "race" is useless. So, no, intelligence and "race" are not "qualitatively the same".

And there is no overwhelming evidence that intelligence is "nothing but genetics". While there may be some - not "overwhelming" - evidence that there are genetic factors for intelligence, this trait is quite obviously related to environmental factors. Feral children never really develop their intelligence, nevermind how favoured by genetics they can be.

"Education" and intelligence are also two different things. While it is difficult to get very educated without being at least somewhat intelligent, many people are intelligent and uneducated, and a few are relatively educated without being really bright. Pundits who take "uneducated voters" as a synonym for "dumb voters" are talking bullshit.

Education is a variable that can be measured in electoral polls. So the pollster can publish a result such as "non-college voters prefer the Republican candidate by 58%-42%". Intelligence is a variable that cannot be measured by electoral pollsters, so they do not publish anything like "voters with IQ under 90 prefer the Republican candidate". It is not their fault that pundits may distort one thing into the other.

And you are evidently wrong to say that "race is off bounds in such conversations". You will hear that "Blacks and Latinos voted for Clinton" as much, if not more, than "the uneducated dumb ones voted for this or that candidate". The only difference is that most people do not conclude that Blacks and Latinos are dumb, while the misconception that people without college are unintelligent is common (and, frankly, tells more about the intelligence, or lack thereof, of the person making the comment than anyone else's).

Related to that, "race" is thought of as a motivation for political behaviour - and, unfortunately, this line of thinking is not without reason. Few Jews will have supported the Nazi party in Germany. That's because, oh, the Nazi party overtly proposed policies that were noxious to Jewish people. (If the Republican party wonders why it doesn't get more votes from Blacks or Latinos, perhaps it should start thinking why its policies are unnatractive for Blacks or Latinos, instead of complaining that Blacks or Latinos vote along racial lines.)

But everybody knows that lack of intelligence is not a motivation for political behaviour. The unintelligent do not vote as a block, based on their political interests as unintelligent people. The implication is that they vote against their real interests, because they cannot do the reasoning that leads from their interests to their vote. This is also evidently false. Uneducated people vote differently, because they do have different political interests. They may vote against their real interests, but not because they are "dumb" - as educated people also often vote against their real interests - its because the way they construct their interests may be flawed, and because they may be deluded about how the policies their chosen candidates will act upon such interests.

(And if the Democratic party wonders why it doesn't get more votes from non-college voters, then they should start thinking why their policies are unnatractive for non-college voters, instead of blaming them for voting for the opposition...)

  • "Because your intelligence is yours, and yours only, but your "race" is a common feature of millions of people.", Well, that's an evasive answer. – user2277550 Nov 12 '16 at 19:58

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