Re: Offending People's Minds
Sat, 24 Aug 96 15:53:00 GMT

David Musick:
I have always liked the uncompromisingly objective way of
thinking and speaking: the more counterintuitive and
repugnant a formulation, the more it appeals to me given
that it is logically correct. Take for example the following

Blacks are more stupid than whites.

I like that sentence and think it is true. But recently I
have begun to believe that I won't have much success with
most people if I speak like that. They would think that I
were a "racist": that I _disliked_ black people and thought
that it is fair if blacks are treated badly. I don't. It's
just that based on what I have read, I think it is probable
that black people have a lower average IQ than mankind in
general, and I think that IQ is highly correlated with what
we normally mean by "smart" and stupid". I may be wrong
about the facts, but that is what the sentence means for me.
For most people, however, the sentence seems to be
synonymous with:

I hate those bloody niggers!!!!

My point is that while speaking with the provocativness of
unabashed objectivity would be appreciated by me and many
other persons on this list, it may be a less effective
strategy in communicating with some of the people "out
there". I think it is laudable if you accustom people to the
offensiveness of truth, but be prepared that you may suffer
some personal damage.

Niklas Bostrom