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Why is it okay to discriminate on the basis of intelligence?

Apparently, discrimination on the basis of physical features like skin colour, height and attractiveness is frowned upon but it is okay to discriminate on the basis of intelligence. Why is that, given that physical features and intelligence are both genetically predetermined?

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Is this a serious question?

Okay, example: If a university hires a black professor or a white professor, all other things being equal, what practical difference does it make to anybody? Pretty much none at all. If a university hires a stupid professor instead of an intelligent professor, all other things being equal, what difference does it make? The teaching quality and research quality of that department is probably going to plummet.
On the other hand, if I work at a restaurant, and I tell a group of people "Sorry, you can't eat here, you're all too stupid", then that would be frowned upon, because whether they're stupid or not doesn't make any difference to anyone. They're there to eat, which doesn't require much intelligence.

Similarly, if I tell a group of black people "sorry, you can't eat at this restaurant because you're black", it would be frowned upon for the same reason.
On the other hand, if I'm hiring actors for a film, and I tell someone "sorry, you can't play the character of Harry Potter, you're black", that would be seen as perfectly acceptable.

i.e. it is okay to discriminate on certain traits which are actually relevant or make a materal difference in the context in question. Whereas discrimination on traits purely based on prejudice is frowned upon.
I certainly wouldn't want someone chosen on the basis that 'their race needs to be represented'.
It's context based. If you're a director and your doing a movie in Uganda, then it's okay to discriminate based on skin color. Same with if you're doing a movie on dwarfs, discriminate based on height.

Also, the claim that intelligence is all genetic based is a big claim that you can't provide evidence for. The reasonable answer is part genetic, part social factors.
Reply 4
Superiority complex basically, to feel that you are above/better than them... Atleast for the vast majority who do it.

EDIT:
Thumbing down? Sorry but this is what everyone is like, they want to feel superior and this is one aspect of discrimiation that fulfills that human need in the 21st century.
(edited 11 years ago)
Reply 5
I don't think it is ok to discriminate against people based on intelligence, except of course when it comes to aptitude. Intelligence is of course determined by an interplay between nature and nurture, and as such is not the result of free decision by the individual. Some people get angry at people for being stupid, or even actively dislike them, when of course who would want to be stupid? Only a stupid person, after all, would not see the value of intelligence.

Not all discrimination is harmful discrimation though - it's perfectly acceptable to discriminate against black people when casting for a white person's role for a historical TV production. In the same way it is fine to discriminate against a non-intelligent person for a job role which requires a certain level of intelligence. Intelligence affects candidacy, and so therefore is appropriate to be considered as a criterion to base a judgement of selection.
Reply 6
Because otherwise we'd live in a completely unproductive and ambitionless society.
Reply 7
Original post by tazarooni89
Okay, example: If a university hires a black professor or a white professor, all other things being equal, what practical difference does it make to anybody? Pretty much none at all. If a university hires a stupid professor instead of an intelligent professor, all other things being equal, what difference does it make? The teaching quality and research quality of that department is probably going to plummet.


Everything else being equal, why shouldn't a university choose a good-looking professor over an ugly one? It could make some difference in the quality of teaching.
Original post by thomaskurian89
Everything else being equal, why shouldn't a university choose a good-looking professor over an ugly one? It could make some difference in the quality of teaching.


This kind of thing already happens in society, where for example, two equally good musicians might want a record deal, but the record company will give it to the one who is better looking because they expect more people to want to buy that singer's albums - and that's their main goal at the end of the day, to sell as many albums as possible.

(Although I'm not aware of any proven positive link between the appearance of a teacher and the quality of the students' learning,) if it was fairly clear that a good-looking professor would achieve better teaching results than the ugly one, then they should hire the good looking one. I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with that. The point is, they're not using appearance as a hiring criteria in and of itself. As we'd expect, their main goal is to ensure their students are taught as well as possible - and ultimately they're just hiring the one who they think will satisfy this better, based on whichever traits will affect this.
(edited 11 years ago)
You have no choice if youre black or white, you can work to be successful academically.
Reply 10
Original post by thomaskurian89
Apparently, discrimination on the basis of physical features like skin colour, height and attractiveness is frowned upon but it is okay to discriminate on the basis of intelligence. Why is that, given that physical features and intelligence are both genetically predetermined?


Intelligence is not genetically pre-determined.
Original post by Spaz Man
Because otherwise we'd live in a completely unproductive and ambitionless society.

Oh wait...
Original post by thomaskurian89
Apparently, discrimination on the basis of physical features like skin colour, height and attractiveness is frowned upon but it is okay to discriminate on the basis of intelligence. Why is that, given that physical features and intelligence are both genetically predetermined?


People discriminate based on attractiveness all the time.
Reply 13
How is it fair that the slow coach doesn't win gold at the Olympics?

Because some things are pre-determined and some aren't.

Oh and life isn't fair.
Reply 14
Original post by Kibalchich
Intelligence is not genetically pre-determined.


It pretty much is...
Reply 15
Black is not better than white and white is not better than black, but it is better to be intelligent than to not be intelligent when hiring professors.
Original post by thomaskurian89
Apparently, discrimination on the basis of physical features like skin colour, height and attractiveness is frowned upon but it is okay to discriminate on the basis of intelligence. Why is that, given that physical features and intelligence are both genetically predetermined?


Morally, no. But as a practical measure, yes.

And employers can discriminate on the basis of sex or age in certain circumstances, such as casting for roles in plays or dances. It's called a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). It's never legal to exclude applicants on racial grounds, though there is a loophole - directors may select on the basis of more or less suitable appearance. So a white man who nevertheless had distinctly negroid features and could have been convincingly made up to play Othello could sue and win, but one without such characteristics could not. Quite a grey area, and I've veered off-topic slightly, but I figured I'd illustrate the point.
Reply 17
No one can really define what intelligence means, for a start. There is now lots of evidence that emotions and intelligence are linked, for example, and it is pretty well established that the way we manage our emotions is a product of upbringing and attachment. There are many studies showing that the ability to manage emotions and to think are linked and also linked to social factors.
The difference between intelligence and other traits like gender or race is that the former affects one's performance while the latter don't. If you were talking about jobs, having a white man or an Indian woman be an accountant makes no difference as they both theoretically have the same ability to do the job. On the other hand, a clever person will be a better accountant than a stupid person because they will require less training, waste less time asking questions etc. (therefore they will be a cheaper employee). If you're not talking about jobs, then I can't imagine a situation where the discrimination you describe takes place.


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discriminate is okay when it comes to intelligence.Only its not called discrimination its called wanting the brighter person.as long as your not horrible/mean about it then its fine.

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