Diversity of Thought Under Attack By the Cancel Culture, Warns Ethics Sage
Respecting Others' Viewpoints Essential to a Civilized Society
29 Jul, 2020, 16:58 ET
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., July 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The cancel culture is redefining how people act towards each other. In the cancel culture, those offended by the comments of another party become denounced online by those who object to the behavior. It's a form of social and cultural boycott driven by "groupthink" meaning the intolerance of others with a point of view that diverges from group norms. Taken to an extreme, it's like excommunicating someone from the community.
The cancel culture exists because of a decline in civility in society. Gone are the days where people learned how to deal with each other amicably when they have different points of view. To reverse course in society, we need to learn how to disagree with each other without being disagreeable.
Diversity of thought promotes equality and freedom of speech yet not everyone believes it is a valuable cultural variable and seek to cancel it out. Why might it be a good practice?
- Expressing oneself by taking others to task is part of the democratic process and free speech.
- Canceling others is a manifestation of holding others accountable for their behaviors.
- Calling-out is one way to challenge provocateurs, who deliberately hurt others, or powerful people beyond our reach.
But the cancel culture may be harmful to others and their reputations. Those who argue against it make the following points.
- Canceling someone is an attempt to stifle their free speech rights.
- Tweeting about others in anger begets more anger and can lead to more serious practices such as bullying.
- Canceling is an ethical slippery slope; should we cancel everyone with whom we disagree? Where should the line be drawn or is it even possible to do so?
Steven Mintz, aka the Ethics Sage, is an award-winning blogger who attacks matters of concern to a civilized society. After a 40-year career as a college professor, most recently at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Dr. Mintz retired and received an Accounting Exemplar Award. His textbook, Ethical Obligations and Decision Making in Accounting, is used by about 40 colleges and universities. Following his retirement, Dr. Mintz wrote a book about personal development—Beyond Happiness and Meaning: Transforming Your Life Through Ethical Behavior. He contends that by acting civilly we can learn to be better people and enhance our well-being. Writing about the book, Mary Gentile, the originator of the Giving Voice to Values business education model, says: "His discussions offer useful lenses for thinking through [questions of right and wrong], not from a position of preaching, but rather – refreshingly – by linking these choices to our universal quest for happiness and purpose in our lives."
To learn more about Dr. Mintz, visit his website at: https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/.
SOURCE Ethics Sage LLC
Share this article