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How is diversity a strength?

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posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:18 AM
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It has become axiomatic that "there's strength in diversity."

Biologically, this is true, as variation within a species is more likely to give rise to a trait which is adaptive in the face of competition, i.e. resistance to disease, or fighting over food.

But people are social as well as physical beings. Different-ness socially is a cause of strife, and adds to social ills.

Examples.

Someone dials 9-1-1 (USA) for emergency response, but doesn't have a language in common with the responder, and cannot describe the nature of the emergency.

The current constitutional crisis with the Iraqi provisional government: The Kurds and Shiites are ready to pass a constitution, but the Sunnis in the south don't want it, and don't want to do business with the Shiites.

The disintigration of Yugoslavia. Like Iraq, it was held together only by the bloodthirstiness of one man. The different subcultures are at each other's throats the minute the oppressor is gone.



The syndrome I'm aiming at is immigrants who refuse to acculturate. I'm not thinking of assimilation, where the individual is no longer disguishable from the mainstream; I'm talking about acculturation, where the newcomer refuses the norms and standards of the host culture:

-East African immigrants practicing female "circumcision" a mutilation of the infat girl's clitoris. If an American citizen did this, they would be charged with child abuse.

-Caribbean immigrants practicing animal sacrifice, that would otherwise be considered animal cruelty, if practiced by an anglo.

-Muslims keeping multiple wives, which is "overlooked" by the authorities, whereas dissident Mormons are persecuted mercilessly for the same practice.

-Refusing to use profiling against potential terrorists, when all but one of the major terrorist acts committed against the US were committed by a very tiny subgroup of one set of immigrants. It's O.K. to profile native-born males who might "go postal" in their high schools, but not immigrants who form criminal organizations to do the same thing.

Look, I'm not saying that foreigners are bad or evil. What I am saying is that previous generations were expected to acculturate (AND assimilate, for that matter). Suddenly though, we have groups of people coming to the west who are hoping for the end of our civilization, and are pretty open to it.

Meanwhile, anyone who questions the wisdom of all this is branded a bigot or worse.

So how is diversity a strength?




posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:27 AM
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Well, it's as simple as this:

There are some people out there who just won't be happy with what they've got; and that is a diverse nation, with many different types of people. There will always be instigators, hateful spewers of tired old rhetoric, racists, terrorists, and just plain people who are not satisfied with anything unless it's EXACTLY how they want it.

Let's face it, we've got a diverse world. And despite who we pray to, or what color our skin is, we're ALL human beings. Nobody can deny that. So let's make the most of what we've got. It really sucks that some people have to destroy others simply because they are different. America is as guilty of this as any other country, and there are few/none who can take the moral high road on this one. We all need to come to grips with it, and start making an attempt at getting along. Honestly.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Loki
. . . Let's face it, we've got a diverse world. And despite who we pray to, or what color our skin is, we're ALL human beings. . . . So let's make the most of what we've got.


You never answered my question:

How is diversity a strength?

You told me we "must" accept diversity. But you didn't explain how it is a social good. Or why we ought to endorse it, instead of trying to reduce its influence.




posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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"A House divided against itself cannot stand."


And we are all human beings.

Working together, being cooperative is much stronger than infighting between one another, I'm sure you'd agree with that. I thought it was pretty easy to see. Sorry for not being more clear.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by Loki
"A House divided against itself cannot stand."

And we are all human beings.


Is diversity, division? Or is it permutations of a theme (humanity)? A single concrete and steel pillar may fail where a hundred wooden sticks may succeed (though it can work the other way too). Diversity is one thing, polarized beliefs that lead to strife are quite another...

Kant Monkeys, not just for "why can't we all just get along" anymore...



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by Loki

Working together, being cooperative is much stronger than infighting between one another, I'm sure you'd agree with that.



Oh, I do, believe me. But "Diversity" isn't about getting along; the idea that there's strength in diversity implies that people being different from each other is automatically a strong or good or noble thing.

We are supposed to laud diversity as being somehow more wholesome than sameness, but no one can explain why.



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 05:12 PM
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diversity adds new perspective to the human machine. and I don't necesarilly mean a new individuals view. it's almost like getting in Mom's kitchen cabinet and mixing up all the neat things therein. you never know. if we only mixed the bleach with bleach we would only end up with bleach. same goes for the dishwashing liquid and the pinesol. but get to mixing, we could create a bomb or create a cure for cancer.

iand t depends whether your idea of good is strength or freedom. if everyone was the same life would be quite boring. we would kinda be like ants. but even ants are diverse with soldiers, workers, breeders and the like. if God wanted everything to be the same, God would have made everything the same. if we are supposed to work toward sameness(word?) we all would become one big grey sludge.


and maybe the trying to get along thing makes us closer to the Great. animals like things like themselves. we are supposed to be greater than animals. maybe God was trying to accomplish something by spreading us throughout the earth and confounding our tounges. maybe God thought that, though we may be pretty smart when everything/everybody is like us, let's see how things go when we throw in a dynamic like race, language, religion.

[edit on 24-8-2005 by passengername]



posted on Aug, 24 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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I can understand the argument that differentness is more fun. I like both hummus AND enchiladas. But I wouldn't want either one every day for the rest of my life!

No. my question is, in what way does diversity make us stronger? How does it help us to have a lot of different people with their own, divergent visions of the future?

I would argue that what has made America great was lassez faire free enterprise coupled with advantageous patent laws. Both of which we are losing, and neither of which particularly requires diversity.

How many languages does the State of California print election ballots in? Something like 40? Is that strength?

I see it being an expensive bureaucratic nightmare, not a source of a nation's greatness.

Just looking for some philosophical reasons why we should be at such pains to create diverse work and collegiate environments, especially if/when it comes at the cost of competitiveness.



posted on Aug, 25 2005 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
I can understand the argument that differentness is more fun. I like both hummus AND enchiladas. But I wouldn't want either one every day for the rest of my life!


EXACTLY! mix it up. I know that having everyone speak the same language and look the same may be easier but you need new stimuli to have new experiences. new experiences create new thoughts. new thoughts create!

and eating hummus everyday would probably give you scurvy or some other nutrient difficientcy!


[edit on 25-8-2005 by passengername]



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