Why is "diversity" such a great or necessary thing?

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    caviats: I am not saying people shouldn't be allowed to practice their own beliefs and have their own individual identifies (social or biological) - don't interpret me as saying this.
    and I know this is quite a long post but I've tried to get right down to the bare bones without any unnecessary rambling

    I have been reading a bit about the BBC's "diversity" policy. and it's really made me think: why is diversity even a good thing at all? I've been reading this in terms of race, religion, sexuality, etc; having more gay students, having more muslim employees, having more black people in lucrative fields, etc. but why push for this? is it "diversity" or is it merely tokenism and social window dressing? is it for a good cause that can be logically justified, or is it literally just our authorities wanting to take all these kinds of different people and push them together to say "ahhh, there: that's what I want society to look like" as if society is a toy town to be socially arranged at one's pleasure - isn't that kind of social engineering, or playing god in some sense? if there are people that don't do as well as others (or don't want to) in certain fields, then what good will this do? also, if we're all equal by virtue of our shared humanity, why even care about identity? didn't MLK say "don't judge people by their skin colour but by their characters"? well if you need to look at society with racial (or similar) goggles, surely you are acting upon the belief that races are different to other races? isn't that divisive at its core regardless of your rosey intentions? why teach us that we're different like this? diversity merely seems like a cultural cosmetic treatment - it makes no difference other than the smug satisfaction of the 'engineers' who care about appearances and illusions of total equality (or "equality among difference" - whatever it's meant to be) - it's treating people as if they're nothing but accessories as well -as if all they are is a skin colour or a religion and merely one more ticked box on a quota list - and I would hate to be placed in a box like this if I were a member of a certain minority/ethic identity like these elites do. it's so degrading, surely?

    also: let me get on to the factor of religions. religions today are already, clearly, obsolete, but religions specifically make people do and think some very immoral things outside of the general social stability of "don't be a dick". so why is religious diversity good when it's diversity of immoralities? saying diversity is good in a context of islam is like saying "diversity is good" in the context of including racists in a social group for the sake of their "differences", because the vast majority of muslims (in the west or otherwise) hold strictly homophobic beliefs (there was a poll that showed that a majority of muslims even think gays should be put in prison) and hold sentiments against the liberty of speech against the prophet (i.e. advocacy of government censorship or punishments for people defaming muhammad). with the former part of this paragraph in mind, why is diversity and inclusion good when you're including necessarily (in the majority of cases) bad people? surely that makes diversity something that worsens something, not help it, in this sense, when we're talking about a truly "progressive" (I really hate using that word) society of morality and democratic values?

    it's easy to say "diversity is good because unity is boring" but in a western context, unity is surely better than diversity in the broadest of senses when we are all united by liberal values, whereas in diversity we are split off from each other and some people will have illiberal or intolerant values in the case of religion? surely if western culture is good, then why is non-diversity bad in the west? and if race doesn't matter anymore, then why is racial diversity so necessary in itself? it all just seems like a dreadful social experiment - it's 2016 where racism or homophobia don't exist predominantly and people are generally very civil and accepting - why push for this when it is just going to give the impression that people in society are racist if you *need* racial quotas, or it's going to seem like society is misogynistic if you *need* gender quotas - these things are just pure paternalism - it makes these identities look incapable compared to everybody else - so it's surely the worst thing you can do?
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    My old school did something like this: putting pictures of kids from minorities on their website to look more 'ethnically diverse' even though it was a predominantly white school.
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    It's good because it's a step in the right direction towards a unified human race.
    It's bad because morons think everything should be diversified (even fictional media), even when there's no real need to do it.
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    (Original post by Nirvana1989-1994)
    My old school did something like this: putting pictures of kids from minorities on their website to look more 'ethnically diverse' even though it was a predominantly white school.
    yes so that's exactly what I'm saying - they're treating these people as if they're nothing but social window dressing and not individuals with their own personalities aside from whatever cultural values they may happen to generally hold - they're treating these people like props, ornaments and accessories to some kind of racialist (or similar) agenda...it's like trying to create a garden, but society isn't a garden - and society isn't something that you should garden like that, seeing as we're human beings who have our own wills and desires that are separate from wanting to fall in line with some project of community cohesion to make the local MP promote their party's "efforts"
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    (Original post by Luneth)
    It's good because it's a step in the right direction towards a unified human race.
    It's bad because morons think everything should be diversified (even fictional media), even when there's no real need to do it.
    yeah, but it's akin to shoving two socially distinct people together and saying "be together of you're racist" - there's surely more to it than this - commanding that every majority social group includes, arbitrarily, specifically, a minority group within some kind of action, is only going to make them resent that commanded obligation, right? I mean, why would they be told to do something like this if it wasn't already a good idea anyway? it just makes you think "this might *not* be" if you have to force people into it. we as a human race (at least in the west) are already unified - telling us that we're all so different yet equal and lovely is just patronising because it's socially arbitrary - we don't need to be told that we're equal because we *know* we're equal - we're not guilty of being different to each other too - and being a white person isn't bad or undesirable either (as the BBC diversity project is mostly about *not* hiring whites but rather everybody else specifically instead in a discriminatory way) so this makes me feel personally that "diversity" is just another word for "non-white pride"
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    I think you're getting confused between two different ideas. Supporting the basic idea of a multicultural and diverse society is one thing but this isn't what corporate policies like that of the BBC is trying to do. Given a multicultural and diverse society and recognising that everybody is born equal, if there's an imbalance in terms of representation in different career areas, that probably reflects some kind of inequality or discrimination. That is what these policies are trying to do - stopping discrimination rather than 'encouraging' diversity.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    it's akin to shoving two socially distinct people together and saying "be together of you're racist" - there's surely more to it than this
    That's exactly what it is. They give an ultimatum to make you feel like **** if you think any other way but how they want you to. Individuality is hard to market to so they push the negatives that were never a problem before.
    "if you don't have a phone, how will you contact the police or an ambulance quickly in an emergency?"
    "if you don't have a self-driving car, you'll just be a danger to yourself and everyone else"
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    Bottom line- it's not. It's nothing more than a leftists wet dream although they paradoxically segregate different cultures more through this "cultural appropriation" trend.

    But really, you can appreciate aspects of different cultures, but the incessant need to be seen as "ethnically diverse" on television or in the media is rather ridiculous.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I think you're getting confused between two different ideas. Supporting the basic idea of a multicultural and diverse society is one thing but this isn't what corporate policies like that of the BBC is trying to do. Given a multicultural and diverse society and recognising that everybody is born equal, if there's an imbalance in terms of representation in different career areas, that probably reflects some kind of inequality or discrimination. That is what these policies are trying to do - stopping discrimination rather than 'encouraging' diversity.
    what is the substantive difference between policies that "stop discrimination" and policies that "encourage diversity"? this is the thing - there really isn't one - and it's no good to assume that these bodies are taking a liberal-multiculturalist view, as opposed to a pluralist-multiculturalist one like this one
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    what is the substantive difference between policies that "stop discrimination" and policies that "encourage diversity"? this is the thing - there really isn't one - and it's no good to assume that these bodies are taking a liberal-multiculturalist view, as opposed to a pluralist-multiculturalist one like this one
    There is a difference. What you've got a problem with is the encouragement of multiculturalism and diversity in the first place and whilst I'd disagree with you there, this has little to do with diversity quotas. Diversity quotas are there because diversity exists and actual roles do not reflect said diversity, hence these quotas (or measures or whatever) are put in place to rectify the biases/discrimination that has caused that. These quotas are not there to influence societal demographics.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    I think you're getting confused between two different ideas. Supporting the basic idea of a multicultural and diverse society is one thing but this isn't what corporate policies like that of the BBC is trying to do. Given a multicultural and diverse society and recognising that everybody is born equal, if there's an imbalance in terms of representation in different career areas, that probably reflects some kind of inequality or discrimination. That is what these policies are trying to do - stopping discrimination rather than 'encouraging' diversity.
    I'm not sure an imbalance in different career areas reflects discrimination? Men are more likely to like physics and engineering so more men will do them as career choices.Just like women are more likely to like working with children so are more likely to work in childcare than men.Men and women are not equal.They are different but should be treated equally.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    There is a difference. What you've got a problem with is the encouragement of multiculturalism and diversity in the first place and whilst I'd disagree with you there, this has little to do with diversity quotas. Diversity quotas are there because diversity exists and actual roles do not reflect said diversity, hence these quotas (or measures or whatever) are put in place to rectify the biases/discrimination that has caused that. These quotas are not there to influence societal demographics.
    so you're saying that the state (or whatever institution) should, instead of allowing everybody to compete meritocratically, should elevate certain individuals with more rights than others? how is that fair? also, there are so many identities that aren't and probably will never be protected: what about ugliness? or shortness? or skinniness? are we just to suppose that the government will eventually put in an infinite amount of protective laws for these classes of people? where does it even end? why these arbitrary boundaries?

    also, what about the freedom of contract? what about the right to discriminate in the first place? diversity is about accepting that we're all different, right? well what if I want certain characteristics and not others? we all want different things, right? if that's bad, then you might say "well we're all equal, not different - don't divide people" - which one is it then? equality or difference? if you're saying that some people should be outside of that competition you are promoting a society that treats some people differently to others on totally unjust bases - surely that's even worse than the bare discrimination that ever even existed in the first place (in theory, as it's practically impossible to literally prove)? and why would you discriminate against an intelligent black person if they're to be hired for their being intelligent to make money for a company? how does that make sense? why would skin colour be an economic factor?
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    (Original post by Robby2312)
    I'm not sure an imbalance in different career areas reflects discrimination? Men are more likely to like physics and engineering so more men will do them as career choices.Just like women are more likely to like working with children so are more likely to work in childcare than men.Men and women are not equal.They are different but should be treated equally.
    Except those are some highly questionable assumptions because there are a lot of social pressures for men to go into typically "masculine" careers and for women to go into typically "feminine" careers.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Except those are some highly questionable assumptions because there are a lot of social pressures for men to go into typically "masculine" careers and for women to go into typically "feminine" careers.
    you say that as if culture forces us to do things we don't want to do - that's wrong though, right? we all deviate from cultural customs in our lives - it's not something that is like the law and prevents us from having liberty - culture is nothing but an expectation - you don't have to do what you're expected of though - in that sense it is not like the law at all
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    so you're saying that the state (or whatever institution) should, instead of allowing everybody to compete, should elevate certain individuals with more rights than others? how is that fair? also, there are so many identities that aren't and probably will never be protected: what about ugliness? or shortness? or skinniness? are we just to suppose that the government will eventually put in an infinite amount of protective laws for these classes of people? where does it even end? why these arbitrary boundaries?

    also, what about the freedom of contract? what about the right to discriminate in the first place? diversity is about accepting that we're all different, right? well what if I want certain characteristics and not others? if that's bad, then you might say "well we're all equal, not different - don't divide people" - which one is it then? equality or difference? if you're saying that some people should be outside of that competition you are promoting a society that treats some people differently to others on totally unjust bases - surely that's even worse than the bare discrimination that ever even existed in the first place (in theory, as it's practically impossible to literally prove)? and why would you discriminate against an intelligent black person if they're to be hired for their intelligent to make money for a company? how does that make sense? why would skin colour be an economic factor?
    This isn't about "elevating" people above anyone else. It is about recognising that institutional prejudices exist and that these prejudices will continue to be perpetuated without some kind of external intervention. There is absolutely nothing unfair about taking action to correct inequality in society - the only people who would be upset by that is people who have an interest in that inequality being maintained.

    Of course people are not all equal which is why there are plenty of types of discrimination that are acceptable. Universities discriminate on the basis of intelligence and model casting agencies discriminate on the basis of appearance, because these are qualities that are necessary to perform these jobs properly. The problem is when people are discriminated against because of traits that have absolutely no bearing on how effectively they can perform their jobs.

    Your problem is that you seem to be in denial that institutional prejudices exist. You seem to believe that human society is made up of completely rational actors who behave in a completely reasonable manner, and this simply isn't the case. It's a simple fact of psychology that people are more likely to accept others who they share characteristics with into their groups - what this means is that institutional inequality is self-perpetuating. Male-dominated careers will continue to be male-dominated (and female-dominated careers will continue to be female-dominated) and the same goes for other characteristics such as skin colour. Why would you discriminate against an intelligent person just because they're black? Because humans are not rational computers and have unconscious biases - this even extends to people who wouldn't consciously consider them to be racist or sexist. You can deny this as much as you want but irrational prejudices exist in society and these prejudices will remain unless positive action is taken against them. As a result, somebody interested in meritocracy like yourself should strongly support these measures.
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    Most people are biased in one way or another, probably everyone is. So in a country that is already diverse, I guess that it's seen as important that everyone is represented. When a certain groups receives little to no representation, that could be a factor for other groups holding a negative bias towards them, as other groups may see them as less human or being of less value. People who say that they don't see race/religion/sexuality/gender and so forth are either lying or are very naive, naive enough to believe themselves to be telling the truth.
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Except those are some highly questionable assumptions because there are a lot of social pressures for men to go into typically "masculine" careers and for women to go into typically "feminine" careers.
    I dont think that they are questionable assumptions.From an evolutionary perspective it would make a lot more sense for women to be more interested in childcare and stuff like that.In the same way men are much more likely to be interested in physical things or things that test their strength.Of course there are exceptions but in general the rule holds pretty well.You hardly ever see women builders and thats because most women are simply not interested in doing such work.The different choices made by men and women aren't due to society,they are due to inbuilt genetic differences.
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    I thought they were a great dance group.
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    (Original post by Robby2312)
    I dont think that they are questionable assumptions.From an evolutionary perspective it would make a lot more sense for women to be more interested in childcare and stuff like that.In the same way men are much more likely to be interested in physical things or things that test their strength.Of course there are exceptions but in general the rule holds pretty well.You hardly ever see women builders and thats because most women are simply not interested in doing such work.The different choices made by men and women aren't due to society,they are due to inbuilt genetic differences.
    You are completely misrepresenting the theory of evolution through natural selection, there is absolutely no evidence that women are genetically hardwired to be less able at STEM careers than men. It's an argument that isn't supported by evidence. Saying something "sounds like it would make a lot more sense" isn't a substitute for evidence and when the evidence isn't there, that suggests that it actually doesn't make a lot of sense. The evidence strongly suggests that these pressures are societal rather than evolutionary, as is demonstrated by the fact that women perform "typically male" jobs just as well as men, that initiatives to encourage women into these careers are working, that girls are much more likely to choose "typically male" subjects when they are in single-sex schools, etc.
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    A lot of people here seem to be jumping the gun and confusing correlation with causation. Just because one group is underrepresented in an industry, it doesn't mean they are actively discriminated against. Certain groups may just gravitate towards certain jobs. Take the example discussed above, about men typically going into more science-based roles than women. Does that mean that women are disadvantaged? No. Does it suggest that men tend to prefer those types of roles to other jobs, such as child care? It seems likely. And this isn't about 'gender roles', I think any sane person can see men tend to prefer maths/science to women; they just do. Look at any further maths class, it will be mostly composed of boys. It's the same at degree level, and hence the same in the workplace. Funnily enough, I don't see any campaigns to get more men into childcare. It's funny how 'diversity' tends only to apply to women or non-whites. I oppose such diversity programmes as they are the opposite of what a meritocratic society should be. Things like race, religion etc shouldn't even be something that you have to put down on the job application. You should be judged only on your qualifications and interview performance, any irrelevent information needs not be discussed. And laws are in place to ensure that discrimination does not occur due to other factors. From a social perspective, if anything a more cohesive society is far easier to govern and less likely to have disruptive cultural clashes.
 
 
 
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