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Political correctness describes the avoidance of various forms of expressions that may cause offense on socially marginalized groups in the community. Despite the good intentions, the aspect has adverse consequences that curtail fundamental freedoms such as the liberty of expression. Russell states that ‘we must first free our minds from the prejudices of what is called ‘practical’ men.’ The conservation of social principles such as ethics is essential as it helps to preserve a sane community governed by laws and principles.
However, there is a conflict of interest between free thinking and aspects regarded as right or appropriate by society.
Political correctness seems to support only one line of thought and tends to incline on narrow-mindedness. As defined by Russell, “the absence of free-thinking is harmful as it binds the ability to reason and express oneself freely”. The notion of practical men describes the focus on materialism or shallow thinking at the expense of logic or the food for the mind.
Social rules are often confining and limit the ability to think and apply reason. People must free themselves of such conventions to promote open-mindedness and the application of reason. Philosophy places emphasis on the autonomy of the mind.
As opposed to following existing rules and the limitation of forms of expression “the value of philosophy is… to be sought largely in its uncertainty”. People should think with an intention to discover new knowledge contrary to following existing conventions that affect the ability to freely apply to reason. In essence, political correctness claims to support impartiality but ends up putting people in confinements.
Philosophically, the concept of “correct” does not apply as the line of thought is simplistic and divides the need to treat people morally or ethically in a right or wrong application. Impartiality should entail philosophic contemplation that focuses on the perception of the issue as a whole. In this regard, political correctness causes another thing in the sense that it creates specific rules or conventions that are not applicable or generalizable to the whole.
A free mind is not limited by narrow-mindedness or the discussion of what is correct or not. Political correctness is against the concept of philosophic contemplation. A mind that employs the strategy of thinking will “view its purpose and desires as part of the whole”. In essence, people who think holistically are not likely to draw offense from statements regarded as politically incorrect. The emphasis on inclusion and the respect of every person’s liberties is not viable in a philosophical perception. The point of view that entities exist separately leads to conflicts and disagreements between different groups. A contemplative and holistic approach to thinking is inclusive in itself and accommodates dynamism by appreciating differences as opposed to labeling them as politically incorrect.
The emphasis should be on facts as opposed to conventions that limit the capacity to think. The delineation of appropriate and inappropriate language is not applicable in a philosophical sense since there is no absolute truth but rather the suitability of facts as applied in a particular context. Therefore, political correctness is hypocritical, biased, and narrow-minded. The concept of political appropriateness conflicts with the aspect of freedom of speech. Subsequently, the aspect refers to “identifications imposed upon people,” indicating individuals who apply the ideas do not do so at their free will but due to coercion. There are no definite answers to the issue of the need to treat people correctly or avoid offense.
Such conventions are dogmatic and inflexible and compromise the ability of thinkers and the society to address the questions comprehensively and find better solutions. Essentially, political correctness regulates social issues such as racism and discrimination as opposed to solving them. The challenges do not cease to exist but are rather suppressed by the need to follow rules and confining principles. As a result, the norms make the society a worse place and also infringe on the rights of others who want to freely express themselves. The argument is that political correctness, while attempting to address the need of people perceived as marginalized, results in impartiality by affecting the rights of others, hence a more complicated situation.
Political correctness is necessary as a form of regulation to protect the rights of other individuals and promote equality. Reasoning demands “us to expect from any cause the same events, which we have observed to result from similar causes” (Hume 165). The theorist uses a scientific or evidence-based method to thinking and the application of logic. The correctness of an action depends on past experiences and findings which are consistent on various or separate attempts. People should reason that what has worked before will work if applied in the same settings or context. The argument is that regardless of the consequences, if an action results in the desired outcomes, it is viable and appropriate. Thinking is a pragmatic process that is confined by facts as opposed to a discovery or fact-finding mission.
Consequently, political correctness is important as long as the method will lead to the anticipated effect as proven in the past. The intention is to pursue the outcomes that may include the regulation of behaviors that may infringe on the social liberties of the marginalized to support impartiality. Reasoning alone is not sufficient to determine the suitability of political correctness. The consequences associated with particular actions should be given priority as opposed to the “the uncertain process of reasoning and argumentation”. The application of logic entails the use of what actually works. As opposed to the often cyclic and non-consequential process of thinking, rationality entails a result-oriented approach that although confined or dictated by particular conventions, leads to solutions that benefit the society or interested parties.
Hume places emphasis on the results and a proven track record that leads to working suggestions that solve the challenge or a part of it. In this regard, the appropriateness of political correctness should be according to its practicality. The concept of a free mind is plausible but remains theoretical in the sense that it does not lead to solutions that will alleviate the existing issues such as racism and discrimination. The emphasis is on the results or the proven capacity of the idea to alleviate or improve the identified challenge. Evidence should take priority in the application of rational decisions.
The existence of proof is sufficient to “silence the most arrogant bigotry and superstition, and free us from their impertinent solicitations”. Prejudice and misconceptions are present when people attempt to apply free thinking without using facts or existing evidence. Hume perceives the use of an autonomous process of thinking as delusionary and unpredictable. The society cannot presume the use of political correctness will make the community worse or lead to ill fate if there is no concise evidence suggesting so. As emphasized, the suitability of an action depends on its ability to solve the identified challenge in the best way possible. Society can only address its issues using the most appropriate or available evidence as opposed to a redundant and often cyclic process of thinking that does not result in any solutions.
Therefore, political correctness is appropriate and does not affect the society in an adverse way as long as it leads to the anticipated or desired outcomes.The concept of justice should benefit all the parties. The Humean philosophy on impartiality accentuates “mutual gain over a nonagreement baseline”. There is an emphasis on a consequentialist approach to issues of morality and decision-making. The significance of a choice should aim at the benefit accrued by the people involved as opposed to a thinking process that is unending and that does not result in desirable solutions. According to Hume, a philosophical approach leads to a nonagreement baseline due to the existence of divergent views on a particular topic such as political correctness.
A thinking approach is not rational in the sense that it leads to more disagreements as opposed to solutions. On the contrary, the application of evidence-based methods is result-oriented and relies on what actually works. As a result, the intention is not to create a debate on the suitability of political correctness but rather on the use of the concept to suggest working solutions that will help to address the existing issues albeit in a small or incomprehensive way. Political correctness has not doomed our society. Although it is essential to assess the issue holistically by applying free-thinking, the focus on the issues that affect the society is more important. Challenges such as discrimination and racism continue to persist in our society and require working solutions that will address the problem sufficiently.
The focus on philosophy and uncertainty as proposed by Russell is not entirely appropriate due to the lack of tangible solutions that will solve the existing issues. Creating a thinking debate about the applicability of political correctness in the society is a diversion that does not alleviate the issue. Nonetheless, there is a need to avoid the application of conventions that limit our thinking. As suggested by Russell, finding a working solution in the present moment should not imply the end of the thinking process. A two-pronged approach that incorporates the existing facts, as well as the need to continue thinking and discovering, is essential. The philosophical process should not end at the theory part alone but should pursue practical applications that will continue to alleviate the existing challenges.
Therefore, a focus on open-mindedness is important as a way of improving the suggested solutions to tackle the existing problems in a better way. In regards to the argument forwarded by Hume, a practical approach towards the application of political correctness is important. However, a pragmatic method is not always viable in situations that require comprehensive strategies to problem-solving. Evidence-based methods are not possible without the application of thinking. People have to reason in a free-thinking process to come up with the theories that a pragmatic and scientific method that emphasizes results should prove to create the evidence. Practicality cannot work without free thinking that is not bound by existing conventions.
Political correctness should depend on evidence that is derived from free-thinking methods to ensure the best application of proof. However, evidence plays an essential role in addressing social issues. Despite the need to incorporate free-thinking, political correctness can lead to the infringement of the rights of other people such as those violated by the inability to freely express themselves. Justice and impartiality dictate the satisfaction of both parties in the best way possible. The application of evidence alone cannot guarantee such an outcome since the process requires the use of rationality to weigh which solutions will result in the best outcome for the affected people.
In this regard, political correctness does not doom society but it can lead to impartiality. Political correctness describes the avoidance of terms or expressions that may offend certain groups of marginalized individuals. From a philosophical point of view as argued by Bertrand, a free-thinking approach towards social issues is important to not only address the existing challenges but to find comprehensive solutions to the problems. Political correctness limits our ability to think and express ourselves freely due to the limitations put by the line of thought.
Employing the arguments advanced by Hume, rationality entails an evidence-based process that relies on proven and working solutions in similar contexts. If a proven method such as political correctness can result in the desired outcome, initiating a philosophical approach is inconsequential. A pragmatic and result-oriented method should be applied to address the existing challenge. Both arguments are important but seem incomplete. A rational process that emphasizes the use of political correctness in a practical and yet impartial or progressive way enabled by free-thinking is, therefore, essential.
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