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Author Topic: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?  (Read 17394 times)

Deontologist

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #160 on: August 09, 2006, 03:33:51 PM »
Earlier in this thread I addressed some of the issues that people claim adversely affect the qualifications of URMs in the undergraduate and graduate admissions process, namely stereotype threat and socio-economic status. I still have yet to receive a response that addresses the misrepresentation of stereotype threat as the reason URMs tend to underperfrom on standardized tests. I also cited the statistic that black students from families that earn $100,000 or more earn lower SAT scores than white students from families who earn $10, 0000 or less. Again, why on earth should we assume that a middle or upper middle class black kid overcame more obstacles than a poor white or Asian kid? There is also some statistical evidence that suggests Asian students are held to a higher standard for admission than white students; that, in effect, if a white and Asian student are equally qualified, the preference is given to the white candidate. Is this fair? Or, do you think there should be one standard for all applicants?

This is a question of fairness. People keep asking, “Why do you care if some kid gets admitted with a lower LSAT score.” I ask, “Why would anyone care that one group is given preferential treatment over another group on the basis of race?” The answer to that question seems obvious to me.

None of what you're arguing matters.  Even if what you are saying is true (and I claim no proficiency in the matter and am not seeking to argue about it one way or another), all your argument proves is that one theoretical justification for AA is torpedoed.  In its place, you provide theoretical reasoning for why AA is not justified, which is just as easily combated.  Pursuing such a course to attempt to justify or unhinge AA results in inane debates about largely incorrect and irrelevant abstractions for implementing a concrete policy.  My point in starting this thread is that debating such justifications is a waste of time.  We should look at what AA professes to do, see whether we like what it professes to do, and whether it actually does what it professes to do, not why it is theoretically necessary.

If you're so worried about fairness, worry about large-scale racial stratification (and fairness is not the only reason to worry about it, in fact, i don't care why you worry about the empirical fact of racial stratification, there are lots of good reasons to do so, and fairness may or may not be one of them).  For whatever reason, in our society, citizens of certain races are disproportionately represented in (and have a harder time of joining) the middle and upper-middle classes, and, perhaps more crucially, almost all areas of leadership, whether government, media, business, law, medicine, academia, etc.  If you think that such stratification is undesirable, than any policies that help alleviate it are desirable.  To my mind, AA in law schools, particularly elite law schools, increases the number of students from under-represented races likely to achieve prominent positions in society.  You can argue that it does not succeed in this mission, or argue that it does so at too high a price, but questions about stereotype threat and theoretical qualms about "fairness" are irrelevant.

You may want to review your own thread. I offered rebuttal evidence to the notion of stereotype threat and SES playing operative roles in the achievement gap between whites and Asians versus URMs in response to the numerous posts that cited these phenomena as justifications for lowering admissions standards for certain underrepresented groups.

However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.







Deontologist

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #161 on: August 09, 2006, 03:41:44 PM »
I'm not going to rehash this.

Read this thread.  If you still don't find a "challenge" to your post, then please post again. 

I did read red’s argument in full, and I also consulted the primary sources and discovered the work of Steele and Aronson has been mischaracterized repeatedly (which they also acknowledge), including on red’s well-meaning thread.

I wrote:

"What I am arguing is that we need to examine realistically why the gap in performance on standardized tests exists and figure out ways to eliminate it, rather than ignore or try to justify it. Unfortunately, the Steele and Aronson piece has been widely misinterpreted. What the study demonstrated is that the presence of stereotype threat exacerbated the performance gap between the black and white test takers. In the absence of the stereotype threat, the gap in performance still persisted. Please review the January 2004 issue of American Psychologist (which is the publication of the American Psychology Association) for a more in-depth analysis of the Steele and Aronson study.

The article is entitled “On Interpreting Stereotype Threat as Accounting for African American–White Differences on Cognitive Tests.”  In it, the authors explain that “scores were statistically adjusted for differences in students' prior SAT performance, and thus, Steele and Aronson's findings actually showed that absent stereotype threat, the two groups differ to the degree that would be expected based on differences in prior SAT scores” and “caution against interpreting the Steele and Aronson experiment as evidence that stereotype threat is the primary cause of African American–White differences in test performance.”

Frankly, it is strange that people would uncritically accept a theory that, in effect, says blacks as a group collapse under mental pressure. Is this a realistic assessment of how proponents of AA actually view black Americans?"

Infinity

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #162 on: August 09, 2006, 05:45:43 PM »
However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.

2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?

Lerting

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #163 on: August 09, 2006, 06:49:41 PM »
However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.

2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater and the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?


yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

Infinity

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #164 on: August 09, 2006, 08:57:24 PM »
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

Deontologist

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #165 on: August 09, 2006, 10:53:28 PM »

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.


I am sorry, but I think you gravely misunderstand the purposes of AA as an instrument of public policy. The US government instituted AA in the wake of the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, respectively. The goal of AA as initially proposed by JFK, and enacted under LBJ, was to provide equality of opportunity (not outcome) for black Americans, and then later for all historically disadvantaged segments of the American citizenry, including Hispanics and women. Its goal is to remedy the insidious effects of past discrimination and racism by requiring institutions to implement measures that ensure blacks and other disadvantaged groups are treated fairly. How did LBJ and other policy makers measure the effects of discrimination? They examined the economic and social condition of blacks, for instance, relative to that of whites. Thus, AA was in large measure targeted at ameliorating the economic condition of black Americans. Hence, its raison d’etre is to uplift those who are underprivileged. Again, don’t think of it like some abstruse philosophical and legal concept. Consider it in the manner that political pragmatists like LBJ and Nixon did. AA was intended to have certain concrete effects, chief among them the economic uplift of a socially and economically downtrodden group. But AA has done all that it can at this point. Was AA necessary in 1965 as a remedy to the fact that in LBJ’s words, black Americans had been “hobbled” by the burdens of pervasive and overt racism and discrimination? Absolutely. It is necessary today a generation later when it is clear that the vestiges of public and private discrimination, particularly in higher education, are nearly non-existent. I say no. Do proponents of AA really think the nation’s colleges and universities, especially the elite institutions, are still bastions of white racism determined to keep out blacks and other URMs?


2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

I think one figure reported by Thomas Sowell clearly demonstrates the great cost AA inflicts on many URMs at elite institutions. Sowell says that the average black student admitted to MIT is in the top 10% of students in mathematics in the nation. However, they represent the bottom 10% at an institution like MIT, where you literally have a plethora of Nobel-caliber minds. Twenty-five percent of these gifted and talented black students fail to graduate from MIT. How many of these students who manage to slog through or who drop out could have been stars at Boston College or Boston University or any number of well respected but somewhat less selective colleges and universities? Consider how they feel confronting this failure and consider how desperately we need blacks represented in science and mathematics disciplines, and then try to make the same argument that “a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.”

Here is some additional food for thought. At UC Berkeley, between 1987 and 1990, only 58% of the African-American students entering as freshman successfully completed their degree within six years. For Hispanics, the completion rate was 67%. The white and Asian six-year graduation rates were 83% and 89% respectively.

Again, we are not talking about a few blacks or Hispanics here and there underperforming; we are looking at a systemic problem of widespread underperformance and failure by thousands of minority students who could have succeeded at colleges better matched to their abilities and academic preparation. A continuing record of underachievement and failure will only work to limit the ability of URMs to fully participate in our society.

Many privileged liberal white students adopt the myopic view that the Ivy League is the only route to success and distinction. As Abigail Thernstrom quipped, it’s not a matter of either “Yale or jail.” There is a wide breadth of opportunity in between.


1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.


I have seen no evidence that indicates a preponderance of black “leaders” come from elite schools. Again, even for white males, the evidence is that those who have reached the pinnacle of their respective professions (especially in business) come from a wide range of schools—public and private. Condi Rice attended the University of Denver. Claude Steele, of stereotype threat fame, went to Hiram College. So on and so forth. Also, if blacks tend to underperform at more selective schools and receive below median grades, it is unlikely they will be competitive for the most prestigious posts (clerkships, big law, fellowships etc.) after graduation. Again, our goal should be to encourage as many URMs as possible to give themselves an opportunity to perform well and graduate. This is the best way to increase the numbers of URMs in the professions.

Finally, I think you underestimate the invidious effect the stigma of underachievement or lack of ability has on URMs and the majority culture. We do not want to engender in a generation of young Americans that idea that URMs are less able. Ideas have power and weight. If not, the civil rights revolution could not have succeeded.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?

So, yes. All in all, I believe the considerable costs associated with AA outweigh its meager benefits.


Lerting

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #166 on: August 10, 2006, 01:15:32 AM »
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

affirmative action does not ensure equal opportunities. it ensures equal outcome which is a very different ballgame. yes, my moral lines are inflexible. there is no circumstance in which imprisoning an innocent man is morally justifiable. flexible morals are amoral.

Lerting

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #167 on: August 10, 2006, 10:44:59 AM »
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

Infinity

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #168 on: August 10, 2006, 05:02:06 PM »
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.

Lerting

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #169 on: August 10, 2006, 05:07:31 PM »
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.

it does. you're arguing that even if aa discriminates its okay because the ends justify the means. you could make a similar argument for detaining all blacks.