I think where previous generations more often had the problem of instantly judging and stereotyping things; society today more often has the opposite problem and assumes that someone is "stereotyping" if they bring up what they believe to be a relevant factor. just because something (such as attraction) is not a hard science does not mean that there aren't relevant factors that you can objectively measure and say "this is true more of the time and contributes to what someone is attracted to" I think society is going through a major redefining period right now and people are confused about a lot of things, and this is a probably a good thing, but it also leads to a sort of belief that truth is relative and completely subjective and that anyone who attempts to
- clearly define something
- propose any kind of correlation/factor
- claim they understand something and that it is scientifically verifiable and not a philosophical subject
is "stereotyping" or "doesn't know what they're talking about"
for example, I recently had a debate with a friend on socialism the other day and I said "socialism is wrong because of XYZ" and he said "that's YOUR definition, not mine", so I pulled up the actual Merriam Webster definition of socialism and it matched mine yet he still claimed that it was MY definition vs HIS. and i was like "what the hell, it's in the freakin dictionary that definition is correct. why can't we just agree on what the definition is so that we can get to the actual issues and discuss the validity of those?" and he was like "yes, but it can be interpreted in many different ways". now, this is true, but only to an extent, you cannot for instance "interpret" an apple to be an orange and it is automatically so. the dictionary operates to facilitate the Law of Identity. A = A, so now that we know that and we have an agreed upon definition of A
my major points here are.
- knowledge is knowable and definable (if you don't assume this, you have no way of making a decision and any study you do is completely useless)
- the dictionary exists so that people can agree on definitions and get to the actual conceptual or adminstrative discussion as opposed to sitting there trying to define things for hours
- people often use this "well that's YOUR definition" as an excuse not to listen to you.
overall I think people use this as an excuse to
- not have to think or change their minds
- not listen to you, while simultaneously labeling you as the ignorant one and making themselves appear more intelligent and open minded to others (I find this tendency extremely hypocritical)
- intellectually pontificate as opposed to actually answering the question. for instance, a common example of this is "why are people so selfish?" we are selfish because we have a higher rate of survival and reproductive success if we are, so we are designed to feel good when we get our own needs met as a reward system to motivate us to do so. every successful vertebrate species has this trait. this can be empirically proven by evolutionary biology. BOOM question answered (that wasn't difficult was it?). intellectualizing and philosophy are well and good in the proper context, but a context in which an objective, readily apparent and downright obvious scientific explanation is definitely not the proper context.