Comment author: DavidMoss  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 06:58:09PM 0 points [-]

Yes, and I pointed out twice that your repetition of this distinction is just missing the point, so I don't know why you think that repeating it for a third time without addressing my counterargument is going to do you any good. And, for the third fucking time, these evaluations carry no normative relevance for the consequentialist, so to bring them up here is pointless.

The claim I make quite clearly (based on this distinction) is that even if intent is not relevant, for the consequentialist, as to the _rightness _of the act, it may still relevant, for the consequentialist, to other questions like what kind of act an act is (e.g. a murder, a rape)

You then keep reiterating that it is not normatively relevant, which actually is ignoring my contention, given that I am saying that even if x is not normatively relevant to the consequentialist, it may still be relevant to questions like whether something is a rape.

I don't know what counter-argument you think I've missed, but you need to establish that whether something is part of the consequentialist's criterion of rightness is relevant here, rather than simply whether something is relevant to whether an act counts as a rape.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 08:41:14PM *  -1 points [-]

You then keep reiterating that it is not normatively relevant, which actually is ignoring my contention, given that I am saying that even if x is not normatively relevant to the consequentialist, it may still be relevant to questions like whether something is a rape.

No I'm not, first of all because I have already pointed out that it is entirely false that whether something is rape has to do with intent. Secondly, I'm not "ignoring" your claim, I'm denying that it carries any weight, since my point was that the definition question of whether something is rape doesn't factor into the consequentialist's normative considerations.

If you repeat the same thing three times, and each time I tell you "that's irrelevant, because you're totally missing the point of what I said," then in one sense sure I'm ignoring you, in the same sense that I ignore anyone who makes irrelevant points. Just because I haven't directly told you that the claim is wrong doesn't mean that your position hasn't been addressed. Sometimes people just say things that miss the point of the conversation, and this week it's you.

I don't know what counter-argument you think I've missed, but you need to establish that whether something is part of the consequentialist's criterion of rightness is relevant here,

Why? It's pretty obvious that what is normatively relevant is, quite simply, relevant. I don't have to explain why having a reason to do something is relevant in any broader sense. It's trivially true that normativity encompasses all of our reasons for doing things, and we can't appeal to anything more basic and foundational than reasons, so whatever grander sense of relevancy you have in mind is nonsensical.

rather than simply whether something is relevant to whether an act counts as a rape.

No, I think the burden of argument is on you to tell us why a dispute over definitions, which you've already essentially admitted is normatively irrelevant, should concern us.

Comment author: Marcus_N 21 November 2017 03:39:14AM *  -1 points [-]

Nearly everyone studying sexual assault in academia, regardless of their purported field, are feminists, are heavily influenced by feminist ideas, or are heavily citing researchers who are feminists or influenced by feminist ideas. Specifically, a focus on "gender-based violence" or "violence against women" is nearly always associated with acceptance of feminist ideology about a high rate of female victimization and male perpetration, and beliefs about "patriarchy" and male dominance or control.

The notion that Mary Koss and Catharine MacKinnon's positions are nothing to do with feminism is untenable. MacKinnon is considered to be one of the most famous and influential feminists of all time, for creating sexual harassment law and driving anti-porn ordinances.

As for Koss, I've found a history of her ideas and work.

BEFORE 1985, when Koss published the initial findings from her survey, there was a general consensus among scholars that the best way to measure rape was to ask about it directly, like any other illegal act: Have you ever been raped? But outside the ivory tower, feminists had begun to argue that rape was not analogous to a crime like, say, robbery; it was a crime of power, used by men to keep women in a state of fear. In her 1975 book, Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, the journalist Susan Brownmiller argued that women tended to blame themselves for instigating rape—and as a result, they often did not conceptualize what had happened to them as a crime...

Koss had read Brownmiller's book, and as she was constructing the survey, she realized that women might be reluctant to label their unwanted sexual experiences as rape. So instead of straightforward questions about whether women had been raped, Koss developed a series of behavioral queries about specific acts, such as: "Have you been forced to have sex without saying yes?"

So, Koss reads Brownmiller's Against Our Will (a one-sided portrayal of female victimization), which leads her to believe that there is a hidden epidemic of rape. Then she comes up with a new methodology—different from the accepted methodology of her field at the time—and "discovers" a much higher rate of rate. She then works with Gloria Steinem (another of the most famous feminist activists of all time) who helps her seek funding. Koss is a feminist through and through, and her ideas about rape came from feminism (via Brownmiller) prior to her doing research.

Next, Koss' research greatly influences other fields, and is heavily cited. Her methodology comes to look like normal social science, because typical social science is so heavy on badly designed self-report studies. Then they fuel badly-design public policy and laws which are applied top-down.

As for top-down application, you can look at university sexual assault policy and kangaroo courts, and sexual assault policies in the workplace. These are all top-down and involve ridiculous overbroad definitions and miscarriages of justice. For an excellent example, look at the Orwellian persecution of Laura Kipnis where she was accused of sexual harassment for criticizing college harassment policy.

People in the professions or academia are subject to an intellectual monoculture about rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault—at least for what can be expressed in public. I believe that this leads to a false consensus emerging, where people are biased towards feminist views of those subjects, and any other views are persecuted, leading to the perception that any other views cannot be valid and must be held by horrible people.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 07:13:31AM *  2 points [-]

Nearly everyone studying sexual assault in academia, regardless of their purported field, are feminists, are heavily influenced by feminist ideas, or are heavily citing researchers who are feminists or influenced by feminist ideas.

Specifically, a focus on "gender-based violence" or "violence against women" is nearly always associated with acceptance of feminist ideology about a high rate of female victimization and male perpetration,

But that doesn't say anything about their research methodology. That just says they are pro-feminist. I thought you were here to say that the methodology itself was problematic, right? Or is it true that you just object to the mere fact that the research doesn't come to the conclusions that you want it to?

and beliefs about "patriarchy" and male dominance or control.

Could you point out where in Lisak and Miller's study they do this? I must have missed that part.

The notion that Mary Koss and Catharine MacKinnon's positions are nothing to do with feminism is untenable. MacKinnon is considered to be one of the most famous and influential feminists of all time, for creating sexual harassment law and driving anti-porn ordinances.

So, Koss reads Brownmiller's Against Our Will (a one-sided portrayal of female victimization), which leads her to believe that there is a hidden epidemic of rape. Then she comes up with a new methodology—different from the accepted methodology of her field at the time—and "discovers" a much higher rate of rate.

Seems pretty straightforward to me. The reason this stuff is widely accepted in academia is that it's obvious in retrospect. Victims are reluctant to label their own experiences as rape. Since being forced to have sex without saying yes is rape, and response rates differ, it is empirically proven.

People in the professions or academia are subject to an intellectual monoculture about rape, sexual harassment, and sexual assault—at least for what can be expressed in public

It's true that hardly anyone in the relevant areas of academia believe in right wing counternarratives about sexual violence, but it's false that there is a monoculture - there is plenty of variation among different approaches to gender studies and deep disagreement among different feminist theories.

I believe that this leads to a false consensus emerging, where people are biased towards feminist views of those subjects, and any other views are persecuted, leading to the perception that any other views cannot be valid and must be held by horrible people.

Oh no! What could give them the impression that other views are held by horrible people? Is it the fact that they engage in rape apologia and weasel their way around having to admit that forcibly penetrating someone who doesn't want to have sex is in fact rape? No, surely it can't be that.

Comment author: DavidMoss  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 06:37:19AM -1 points [-]

If you mean it is normatively relevant to consequentialists what type of act an act is or what kind of actor is doing it, you are incorrect.

I not only explicitly distinguished between criteria for rightness (normative) and other evaluations in the first sentence of first my reply, but I pointed out that I had drawn and repeated that explicit distinction in the first two sentences of my second reply. Consequentialists obviously analyse acts (e.g. whether they are rape / murder / making a bank withdrawal) in terms other than whether whether they are utility maximising and they can and do engage in other (moral and non-moral) evaluations (e.g. character evaluations, like that a person is dishonest or viscious or badly motivated).

Seriously, the fact that you can look at someone saying "consequentialists should care less about these rapes because the criminals didn't intend to break the law" and not laugh them out of the room for the abject idiocy of the claim they made is worrisome to say the least.

His claim above, that I'm addressing, is about the definition of rape (a question which is totally orthogonal to the normative theory of consequentialists/Kantians), not whether consequentialists should "care less [or more]" depending on intent. I don't have any particular views on the differing definitions of rape, but the claim that intent matters for whether an act is accidentally killing (by giving you a peanut) or murder (by giving you a peanut) or whether or not you are a consequentialist is uncontroversial.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 06:50:42AM *  -1 points [-]

I not only explicitly distinguished between criteria for rightness (normative) and other evaluations in the first sentence of first my reply

You did not do so clearly, since not all moral theories see normativity as purely a matter of evaluating the rightness of actions.

I pointed out that I had drawn and repeated that explicit distinction in the first two sentences of my second reply.

Yes, and I pointed out twice that your repetition of this distinction is just missing the point, so I don't know why you think that repeating it for a third time without addressing my counterargument is going to do you any good. You also seem to have overlooked the fact that I was talking about consequentialism the moral theory, not the practices of consequentialists, which is what you are talking about.

Consequentialists obviously analyse acts (e.g. whether they are rape / murder / making a bank withdrawal) in terms other than whether whether they are utility maximising and they can and do engage in other (moral and non-moral) evaluations (e.g. character evaluations, like that a person is dishonest or viscious or badly motivated).

And, for the third fucking time, these evaluations carry no normative relevance for the consequentialist, so to bring them up here is pointless. If this basic point still eludes your grasp, sorry but I just don't know what to tell you.

Comment author: DavidMoss  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 01:30:27AM *  1 point [-]

Consequentialism doesn't care about "what type of act an act is" because it views the rightness of acts purely in terms of their consequences

This is definitely false, because consequentialists can and do analyse and evaluate acts in terms other than their rightness. I made this clear in my first sentence, whereas in your reply you are sliding from "consequentialism doesn't care..." to consequentialism "views the rightness of acts."

The claim MarcusN is making above is about what does and what does not count as rape. Consequentialists can say anything they like about their criterion for the _rightness of acts and it does not tell us anything about what type of act an act is. Put simply: irrespective of whether intent is relevant to the rightness of an act, consequentialists (the same as anyone) can still say that intent is relevant to whether an act is rape, just as they can say that consent is irrelevant to the rightness of an act, but relevant to whether it counts as rape.

Edit: For example, whether someone is intentionally killed may be irrelevant (to the consequentialist) to whether the act is wrong, but it's not irrelevant to whether it counts as murder.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 21 November 2017 06:06:06AM *  0 points [-]

This is definitely false, because consequentialists can and do analyse and evaluate acts in terms other than their rightness. I made this clear in my first sentence

If you mean it is normatively relevant to consequentialists what type of act an act is or what kind of actor is doing it, you are incorrect. Consequentialists are only normatively concerned with consequences, hence the name.

The claim MarcusN is making above is about what does and what does not count as rape. Consequentialists can say anything they like about their criterion for the _rightness of acts and it does not tell us anything about what type of act an act is. Put simply: irrespective of whether intent is relevant to the rightness of an act, consequentialists (the same as anyone) can still say that intent is relevant to whether an act is rape

But whether an act is rape or not is irrelevant to the consequentialist, because the consequentialist cares about the consequences of an act, not whether or not it counts as rape. I literally just addressed this in my prior comment and you are repeating yourself. Imagine if you said, "Utility is irrelevant for Kantian ethics", and then I said "no, it is relevant, because even though Kantians don't make decisions on the basis of utility, the amount of utility caused by a decision affects the Kantian's belief about whether actions are utility-maximizing or not." Yes, in a basic and trivial sense the Kantian's beliefs depend on the question, but in a normative sense it's totally irrelevant and a silly thing to bring up.

Never mind the fact that it is blatantly false that the definition of rape involves intent; Marcus gave no definition or support for this claim, even though I gave a substantive source to the contrary.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 November 2017 08:00:13AM 1 point [-]

Sure, I'm willing to help.

Comment author: DavidMoss  (EA Profile) 17 November 2017 05:29:47PM 2 points [-]

Actually, in consequentialism intent is irrelevant.

It might be relevant to the evaluation of the rightness of acts (in a certain sense), but it's not irrelevant (for consequentialists) to what type of act an act is or the evaluation of the actor. (We have other moral concepts aside from the rightness of acts) Consequentialists don't claim that open heart surgery is a murderous stabbing if it happens to be unsuccessful.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 November 2017 06:58:46AM *  0 points [-]

Consequentialism doesn't care about "what type of act an act is" because it views the rightness of acts purely in terms of their consequences, not in terms of what type of act an act is, or what kind of actor an actor is. Imagine if you said, "Utility is irrelevant for Kantian ethics", and then I said "no, it is relevant, because even though Kantians don't make decisions on the basis of utility, the amount of utility caused by a decision affects the Kantian's belief about the amount of utility caused by an action." So what? It's still irrelevant.

Comment author: Denkenberger 17 November 2017 06:04:59PM 4 points [-]

This shows that psychology professors in the US are ~10:1 liberal to conservative, almost as extreme as EA. So I think there are data to show that there is little ideological diversity in academia, especially the humanities, social sciences, and arts.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 November 2017 06:55:56AM *  1 point [-]

There's a lot more to diversity than the liberal/conservative ratio. I could come up with any partisan divide to argue anything I want, e.g. economics academia has very little diversity because the ratio of communists to capitalists is 1:100, or philosophy academia has a lot of diversity because the ratio of liberal feminists to radical feminists is 1:1, or something like that.

Comment author: Marcus_N 18 November 2017 03:57:39AM *  0 points [-]

I think the crux of our disagreement is that you are far more trusting of large institutions and social scientists than I am. I don't think I can convince you of my position in a comment box, I have given a couple case studies in support of it:

I brought up Koss and MacKinnon to show that feminist ideology is highly influential on the current party line about sexual violence in polite society, the workplace, and academia, and that it is not from a neutral source, or from the social consensus of the population. You can argue that this feminist influence is good, that feminists are correct about sexual violence, and that it's wonderful that they found a methodology to prove it. But it's undeniable that these ideas came from feminism and were imposed top-down via institutions, not by social consensus of the larger population.

I brought up Lisak's shadiness to suggest that the sexual assault field is full of perverse incentives, not "world-class" neutral research. Lisak cannot answer basic questions about his methodology. Also, he cut-and-pasted together decades old interviews to create the perfect rapist predator, played by an actor on a video that he shows to big institutions. This is the behavior of an activist, not a researcher. But his work is behind the policies of tons of public and private bureaucracies.

Jonathan Haidt's work is a good place to start for academic and media political bias.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 20 November 2017 06:54:43AM *  2 points [-]

I think the crux of our disagreement is that you are far more trusting of large institutions and social scientists than I am

No, the crux of our disagreement is that you are sufficiently unfamiliar with the academic world that you see it purely through the narrow prism of your favorite political topic and therefore lump everyone whose positions you disagree with as part of a vague faction of "feminist ideology".

I brought up Koss and MacKinnon to show that feminist ideology is highly influential on the current party line about sexual violence in polite society, the workplace, and academia, and that it is not from a neutral source,

But you haven't done anything to show that their positions have anything to do with "feminist ideology" (whatever that is) nor that it is non-neutral. Of course it's true that their positions aren't, say, right-wing, but I don't see how the mere fact that they don't agree with right-wing cultural views implies that they should be distrusted. You can't say "these people have views which indicate that feminists are right about something, therefore they're biased!" That's obviously a terrible argument, it's circular.

or from the social consensus of the population

I don't see why the "social consensus of the population" should be trusted to answer questions of sociology and criminology.

But it's undeniable that these ideas came from feminism

Sure I deny it. I don't see how a survey of college students "comes from feminism", it seems to come straight out of ordinary sociological methodology to me. I didn't perceive that the paper in question made any methodological commitments which tied it to feminism. As far as I can tell, the only thing that makes it "feminist" is that the survey total came out to be 6%. If the authors had used the exact same approach and come up with a figure of 0.5%, you wouldn't perceive anything "feminist" about it, and would probably be parading it around as an example of heterodox research that needs to be broadcasted.

and were imposed top-down via institutions

I deny that too. You haven't given any evidence of that. You pointed out that lots of important institutions have endorsed the research(ers) in question. That is evidence that the research(ers) is high quality, but it's not evidence that it was "imposed".

I brought up Lisak's shadiness to suggest that the sexual assault field is full of perverse incentives

First, there's no such thing as a "sexual assault field". Lisak is a psychiatrist, as I pointed out.

Second, it's easy enough to find singular examples of research problems in any field, so your claim is totally spurious (see for comparison the people who bloviate about the Sokal Hoax while ignoring similar hoaxes perpetuated in hard science journals, for instance).

Lisak cannot answer basic questions about his methodology

He gave some answers, just not in response to a partisan blog post. You can find them elsewhere (Google it).

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 17 November 2017 06:36:28AM *  2 points [-]

Sorry but talking about getting revenge on mosquitoes sounds ridiculous.

Tbh I don't think I've talked about being in EA in person but if I did I would just say that it's the right thing to do, because some things are more important than personal interests.

Comment author: Marcus_N 15 November 2017 07:50:40AM *  0 points [-]

Academia and the media do have a high level of ideological conformity, and I am not the first person to make this kind of criticism.

Feminism has greatly influenced the present-day understanding of sexual assault and sexual harassment. In fact, both of these terms come from feminist legal activism. The word "sexual assault" was popularized in 1971.

If you look at the careers of central feminist legal scholars and researchers, like Catharine MacKinnon and Mary Koss, you will find that they have been incredibly influential. Here is an excerpt from one of the many awards that Koss has received:

In her work on gender-based violence, Koss served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Violence Against Women. She has twice testified before the US Senate and participated in congressional briefings. She sits on the Coordinating Committee of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, funded by the Global Forum and the Ford Foundation based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has consulted with the World Bank, United Nations, World Health Organization, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Departments of Education and Justice. Her current work involves advising the Gallup Organization on their survey of sexual assault prevalence in the US Air Force and advising Social Science International in their work with implementation and evaluation of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force. She recently served as Rapporteur on gender-based violence at the 4th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention in Geneva.

While EAs are working hard to save lives and struggling for mainstream acceptance, Mary Koss is hanging out at the WHO and the DOJ and collecting awards. How come? What has Koss accomplished? Something much more valuable than saving lives (in the current political climate). Koss designed the study that found that 1 in 5 women are supposedly raped, the statistic that launched a thousand rape seminars.

The work of Koss, MacKinnon, and all the other feminist figures, influences policy from the university, to the workplace, to high schools, to global bodies like the UN and the Hague. This feminist framework has became the bedrock of respectable middle-class sexual ethics, which is mandatory due to policies of the workplace and university that are necessary due to state coercion via EEOC sexual harassment law and Title IX. This framework was not adopted due to its accuracy or fruitfulness, it was adopted for political reasons. When put into practice, it creates alienation between men and women, and gross violations of civil liberties.

Everything you think you know about sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual harassment actually comes from the tireless influence of feminist legal activism that has been operating for decades. Regardless of whether you think this perspective is correct or not, it's important to understand the history of where your foundational moral concepts come from so that they can be examined.

Comment author: kbog  (EA Profile) 17 November 2017 04:27:35AM *  1 point [-]

Academia and the media do have a high level of ideological conformity

As far as I can tell this is pretty much false. I've seen lots of ideological diversity in both. Do you have any evidence for your position?

I am not the first person to make this kind of criticism

No, but among people who are actually informed and make this criticism, they don't blindly wave it as a bludgeon against the mass of evidence which doesn't suit their opinions.

Feminism has greatly influenced the present-day understanding of sexual assault and sexual harassment

That would make sense, since feminists are people whose job it is to understand these sorts of things.

If you look at the careers of central feminist legal scholars and researchers, like Catharine MacKinnon and Mary Koss, you will find that they have been incredibly influential

Yes, it seems like they are regarded as experts by large, competent, nonpartisan institutions.

While EAs are working hard to save lives and struggling for mainstream acceptance

EA has very good mainstream acceptance given how new it is.

How come? What has Koss accomplished?

She has done research and advocacy which was regarded as excellent by large, competent organizations.

The work of Koss, MacKinnon, and all the other feminist figures, influences policy from the university, to the workplace, to high schools, to global bodies like the UN and the Hague.

Yes. That's because they thought it was very good. I'm still not sure what your argument is.

Everything you think you know about sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual harassment actually comes from the tireless influence of feminist legal activism

What? Where did that come from? Mary Koss is an academic psychiatrist. Do you not know the difference between psychiatric research and legal activism?

Regardless of whether you think this perspective is correct or not, it's important to understand the history of where your foundational moral concepts come from

"Our knowledge of gender violence come from a world-renowned psychiatrist." I'm kind of sad that this is the best argument you can give.

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