Why People Believe in the Theory of Racial Sameness

People on either side of the “races: are they essentially the same or essentially different” dispute waste a whole of lot of mental energy engaging in bang-your-head-on-the-wall fact-mongering arguments.

The ‘fact’ of the matter is that, when you inform the discussion with the fruits of the philosophy of science, there is no hard-and-fast rule for deciding on which theory to accept as the best approximation of ‘objective truth’. There’s Popper’s criterion of falsifiability, Ockham’s razor–et cetera. You come, like I, to accept that theories have no absolute existence – they are mere instruments. Some of these instruments are more parsimonious, and some are more useful. Usually, the more parsimonious they are, the more useful they are.

Lay people, however, tend to be satisfied by cherry-picking little angles of inquiry by which to seek confirmation, cropping from view the countless vistas from which disconfirmation might be seen. This is especially true when we are psychosocially invested in upholding our dearly-held core beliefs.

After all, a central, foundational drive of human cognition is towards the maintenance of a coherent narrative, reducing the world down to as few basic ‘rules of thumb’ as possible. The mind does this, moreover, along the path of least resistance. To undergo a revolution of the mind – a paradigm revolution – is a little bit like a self-righting ship doing a 360-degree turn on its axis–it requires an intense storm.

Of course, from a narrow, limited perspective, it certainly does look like the theory that people of all races are the same, interchangeable blank slates. From this perspective, by only seeking to find confirming evidence and forgoing all efforts to find disconfirming evidence, the logic of antiracism is all internally consistent. From this frame of reference, the theory of racial sameness has just as strong a claim to truth as does its antithesis (which we race-realists subscribe to). They say that racial disparities are caused by stubborn racial biases lurking in the hearts of whites; we say that stubborn racial biases in the hearts of whites are caused by innate, biologically-hardwired (by evolution) differences.

Think of objective reality – such as this question of the essential sameness or differentness of races – as some boundlessly intricate abstract sculpture. If you look at it from a certain angle, it looks like the racial sameness is true.

However, it is my contention that this is a VERY narrow, unforgiving angle from which to behold the ‘sculpture’. Think of the sculpture as so poly-dimensionally, unfathomably intricate that it wobbles erratically on its mount. The amount of energy it takes to unite everybody in seeing the sculpture from this narrow angle is staggering. To uphold this fixed illusion is patently unsustainable.

Not to mention, to uphold the illusion requires the intense persecution of those who are squeezed out from the privileged vantage required to view this angle. If you can insulate yourself from coarse reality due to your wealth or due getting your whole livelihood from maintaining the illusion – such as being up on the ivory tower – then it is certainly possible. But for the rest of us who’ve gotta step away from the illusion periodically in order to survive – or we at least don’t benefit from the illusion – then we see through the veil of illusion.

Here is a great (and motivational!) video showing perspective illusions:

This is why I obsess over over formulating universalist moral arguments for why it’s in the interest of the greater good to dump the hegemonic theory of racial sameness. I rely on this, and my own (sincere) virtue signaling to a far greater extent than I do on arguing that the theory that humans are all the same, interchangeable blank slates is pseudoscientific.

(Though, I should be blunt: the racial sameness is pseudoscientific according to most demarcations of good science from pseudoscience.)

This is another, underappreciated video of mine where I talk about why people are so readily led astray from reality:


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