Thursday, October 06, 2005

IQ stands for Income Quotient: Duty or Meddling?

In response to "Randy" who did not leave an email link (text of his comment below):

Belle,

Re; "...then don't we have a duty... to implement programs that give everyone the opportunity to wake up to his/her intelligence potential regardless of his/her social/economic background?"

I just saw the movie Serenity. I was impressed and delighted to see a movie with such a strong libertarian theme. To paraphrase my favorite scene...

Question; "Why would they [referring to the rebels in the outlying worlds] resist us when all we wanted to do was to make them happy?"

River; "Because we meddled. People don't like it when you meddle."

So to answer your question - no, we have no such duty - nor the right to meddle.

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I cannot speak to how programs to aid the educationally disadvantaged are implemented. And though I stand by my earlier statement, I don't think you and I necessarily disagree. I think the error is in your assumption that I would force these programs onto people who do not have an interest in participating in them. I see it all the time in New York: homeless people begging for change on the streets when there are programs available to help them re-enter the workforce, get medication (if necessary) and find a permanent home. Most of them are wacky enough in the heads to not WANT to avail themselves (and therein lies a whole other discussion that I will not get into here). But just because they do not avail themselves of public assistance, that does not remove any duty to provide it. And remember the part of my quote that you left out? "just as human beings, not neocons or liberals or any of those other false, manmade labels" I am making a spiritual argument, not political, scientific, or even religious.

My argument with most of the commentators over at Jane Galt's was not whether education, IQ, genetics, nurturance or earning capacity had any cause and effect on each other, but that they were all assuming that a poor child's ability to earn a high income as an adult was evidence that educational programs had been successful. They ask, "Is it IQ or education that allows a person to be successful?" without ever questioning whether high income is the correct measure of success. No, I'm not a communist. I don't have a problem with people making money. I do have a problem with how American culture diefies the dollar and, as a result, frames all arguments to limit solutions.

I do believe that, as humanists, we have a duty to level the playing field. I also believe that we cannot force people to change if they don't want to. Therefore, I believe that educational programs for the underprivileged are necessary but may also be implemented in ways that do not "meddle." BUT, until America starts taking responsibility for its poor choices and stops feeding the addiction of consumerism, we will not see clearly enough to figure out how to implement what I suggest.

I'll end by quoting another popular movie: "If you build it, they will come."

1 comment:

Belle Ambrose said...

Hey Belle,

I'd respond to you with comments on blogger but much like MySpace, it's a Nazi site where you must have membership "paperz, paperz pleez!" to walk around and post comments. I belong to enough stuff already, so I'm writing here.

Bless you for your defense of proactive acts of human compassion. I saw "Serenity." I thought it was ignorant drivel and justifies nothing. "Don't meddle?" Oh, yeah, that's clear as mud. Let's base our entire domestic policy on that. I can't see any potential pitfalls there at all. That original article is such B.S., those Republicans love finding a million different ways to disguise their hate and self-absorption. Glad to have you as a sister-in-arms.

Loved the Marla Hooch poem! (Speaking of self-absorption, my favorite sequence is, "This one's for Collin. You're lucky to have one. :) )

Sorry the extended nature of your midterms is such a drag. Hope they're over soon and your load is lightened.

Peace out.

~Collin