Can racism be justified rationally?

Let’s talk a bit about racism. Today almost everyone can agree that it is not a good thing. But could we explain why?

In this post we are going to present what racism is and see if it can be justified in a rational manner.

Let’s start by defining what racism is. We can find a multitude of definitions on the internet, except most of them don’t appear to be completely clear.

The first thing that one can say concerning racism is that it’s a form of discrimination.

What is discrimination?

The etymology of discrimination comes from the Latin “discriminatio,” meaning “separation.” Discriminating is the act of establishing a differentiation between objects and individuals. The term “discrimination” has progressively acquired a negative connotation.

Today, “discrimination” designates the action by which we consider inferior or even non-existent the rights, the liberties, the possibilities and the personal interests accorded to one or multiple individuals based on one or more criterion. To this effect, a discrimination engenders a differential treatment and suffering for the individuals discriminated against.

Furthermore, for there to be discrimination, it is necessary to have discriminating individuals and individuals discriminated against. Also, an act of discrimination inescapably implies suffering endured on the side of the individuals discriminated against.

What is the habitual racism definition?

The root of the word racism being “race”, we can think that racism, applied to human beings, possesses a link with the notion of human race and can be defined as being a discrimination acted on the criteria of the race.

This definition is completely incorrect. In effect, there exists no race within the species Homo Sapiens.

 

Who designates the term “race”?

To respond to this question it is necessary to be interested in the notion of species.

The species is a theoretical notion and a vague concept of which there are a multitude of definitions in scientific literature. The definition most commonly used today is the “biological concept of species” as enounced by Ernst Mayr:

Species are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups (Mayr, 1999).

As such, the species is the largest unity of population in which a genetic flux is possible.

In the classification of living beings, species is the last subdivision unanimously submitted. Under that, we use the terms “sub-species” or “population” for the wild animal species and “race” for domestic animal species.

For this reason, the only animal races that exist are subject to animal exploitation by the human species necessarily implying a total control of the genome of individuals constituting the race.

Thus, there exist the races of canine, porcine, bovine, feline, equine, goats, chickens, bees etc.

On the other hand, we can talk about the “sub-species” of bears, of lizards, of sharks etc., but never the “race” of bears, lizards, sharks etc.

Photo of a member of the canine species of the poodle race

To return to the definition of the term race:

A race is a subdivision of an animal species domesticated by the human species designating an ensemble of individuals having the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics common distinguishing them from other individuals of the species.

The inter-racial mixing is fertile, while the inter-species mixing is most often sterile (Aquaportail, 2009).

The human species, or more scientifically the species Homo Sapiens, has developed the means of transport to all corners of the earth permitting a permanent genetic intermingling of our species thus preventing the apparition of a human sub-species. Also, the human species not currently being controlled by any species (human or otherwise), there exists no such thing as a human race.

To recap, “to discriminate” designates the action by which we consider inferior or non-existent the rights, liberties, the possibilites or the interests given to one or multiple individuals based on one or more criterion. To this effect, discrimination engenders a differential treatment and suffering on behalf of the discriminated individuals.

To return to the definition of racism, from my point of view, a rational definition would be:

Racism is a form of discrimination based on the criterion of the colour of skin, of culture, of names and surnames, of origins, of nationality and of religious orientation.

This list is not exhaustive but should cover one great majority of the causes of racism.


Now that we have seen what racism is, it appears capital to me to see if it can be justified in a rational manner.

An other way to pose the question would be:

Can the rights, the liberties, the possibilities or the interests accorded to an individuals be considered inferior or superior based on the sole criterion of the colour of the skin, on the culture, the names and surnames, the origins, the nationality or the religious orientation from a rational point of view?

And well, the response is no.

It is impossible to rationally demonstrate that these criterion could justify any form of discrimination. Racism is an ideology irrational carried by irrational conditioning originating generally of our education or of generalisation of our personal experiences.

For example: people of black skin colour should not have the right to public spaces. This proposition doesn’t rely on any logic, any scientific study and cannot justify itself in a rational manner.

Racism being an irrational discrimination, a more complete definition would be:

Racism is an arbitrary discrimination based on the criterion of the colour of the skin, of the culture, of the names and surnames, the origins, of the nationality and religious orientation.

The term “arbitrary” qualifying that which is left to the sole will, to the free choice of an individual who does not rely on reason.

Example: an arbitrary choice.

To continue, racism is an arbitrary discrimination based on unfounded irrational beliefs. Still, we can ask ourselves how that is a problem?

As we have seen in the post/video presenting the concept of logism, all the beings being of the capacity of have the experience of well-being search it in a natural fashion as an ultimate objective. Human beings have the capacity of have the experience of happiness and search it consciously or unconsciously in a permanent fashion.

And racism, by the discrimination that is represents, will directly go against the well-being and the fundamental needs of the individuals that are victims, necessarily provoking suffering.

It is there the true problem of racism. This ideology, irrational and unfounded, and the behaviours that accompany it strongly harm the well-being of the individuals searching to experience it.

In sum, if we consider the well being of all individuals capable of experiencing it important, it is completely irrational to entertain any form of racism.

To return to the notion of race in the human species – even if there existed races or sub-species in our species, implying major differences between these different populations such that the physical force or even the intelligence, these differences, well existing, wouldn’t be able to rationally justify any discrimination. In effect, certain populations would be able to globally be stronger or even more intelligent than others. And so?

The only rational interpretation that one could make our of this situation would be that there exist these differences between these populations but that it is not in any way a question to start discriminating based on these criterions. Typically, it is not at all rational to act considering inferior the rights , liberties or the proper interests of children who are not gifted as compared to gifted children.

In the course of history, racism has taken forms:

We have seen slavery in the 19th century, followed by apartheid, people responding to the sole criteria of black skin colour with a restriction of fundamental needs such as access to food, to healthcare, and liberty.

In the 20th century we saw the holocaust, having consisted of an extermination of a million individuals based on the sole criterion of being of Jewish background.

Still today in the 21st century hundreds of millions of people are victims of racism simply because of irrational beliefs held by our societies.

In effect, the only common point with all these forms of discrimination is the irrational conditioning and discriminating individuals. These discriminations and all the suffering that they engender would not have any place without irrational beliefs.

Yet again, I repeat, it is completely irrational to discriminate based on arbitrary criterion such as:

  • Black colour of skin
  • Judaic religious backgrounds
  • African cultural roots
  • And even the first name of a person is Chang, David or Mohammad

Racism not existing but through our conditioning and causing a very large quantity of suffering, why not take conscience of our conditioning linked to racism, put them to question and simply make them dissapear?

Colour of skin, culture, name, origines, nationality, religious orientation… the sole criteria that is important would not be the the ability to experience well-being?

Martin Luther King photo

To finish, I invite you to imagine one of the more beautiful speeches by Martin Luther King, profound defender of human rights. To me it’s a historically determining moment in the evolution of the ensemble of beliefs of our species.

 

 

 

Liberate yourself of your conditioning and change the world.

References :

Mayr E. (1999), Systematics and the origin of species, from the viewpoint of a zoologist. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press. p. xxi

Aquaportail (2009, 11 of April update the 2015, 16 of December), race. In aquaportail. Retrieved from https://www.aquaportail.com/definition-4640-race.html

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