Author Topic: Protect your tribe?  (Read 568 times)

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Offline Desert Fox

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Protect your tribe?
« on: December 16, 2018, 09:15:26 AM »
This might be able to fit in religion / philosophy as well but though I would post it in general.

I will be honest in that I don't want Neil DeGrasse Tyson to be guilty of inappropriate sexual activities or even race. I am still a bit defensive when it comes to Richard Dawkins as well. As such, I am not innocent of this either. 

We all know about the Catholic sexual abuse scandals unless you have been under a rock and recently there has been the same issue with the baptists.  Heard issues with Mormons and Jehovah Witness. In just about every case though there is an attempt to hide what is going on. I think in large part not trying to protect the individuals but to protect the organization or "tribe."

It lead me down a completely different alley though. One of my interests is wrongful conviction. There are a number of cases of wrongful conviction that are just so clear that a blind person should be able to tell. The Norfolk Four, the West Memphis Three, Angelika Graswald, and a few others. In each case neither the police or prosecution is willing to back down. I think it is largely protecting their "tribe" as well.

It might even be something that is virtually hard wired into humans. Is there any better way to deal with this? 
"Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge."
— Robert G. Ingersoll

Online Harry Black

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 02:58:03 PM »
I'm sure there is an aspect of tribalism but imo this has become the easy explanation to every disagreement of the past few years and I dont think its very helpful other than maybe trying to get people to check their bias.
In many cases , I dont think its so much about a tribe as it is a value or a goal that people may value against accountability in some cases or just protection of their own power.
The catholic church is a very powerful political organisation, those in a position to investigate or cover up misconduct have a strong incentive to cover up because a decline of the churches power is a decline of their own.

Catholics in a position of having to push for accountability must decide if they think that is worth alienation from deeply ingrained cultural and family ties and traditions and in some regions the political protection and unity they perceive the church to bring.

Likewise with NDT and RD, people who value science communication as the route to social salvation and the last hope against global warming may balk at the idea of having to take some of their historically most powerful pieces off the board and strategizing a new approach or finding new cross culture messengers.

In the case of the police, I think its similar to the church, more about preserving power than protecting a tribe.
But recruiting people with certain intellectual leanings and creating a culture of tribalism would certainly seem a good way for them to get grass root support from their base to do so.
So the dilemma is two fold - Do I sacrifice our group identity to do the right thing?
And
What replaces our group and its vital functions if I do so?
Fear of the latter can make the calculations of the former very favourable toward the status quo.

Online daniel1948

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 03:47:06 PM »
A church is a money-making corporation hiding behind “charitable” and “non-profit” legal categories. Churches cover up sex scandals out of fear of losing money.

Police are a different kind of institution. Cops and prosecutors get points for getting convictions, so they are highly motivated to press charges even when they know the defendant is innocent. Not all of them, but enough to spoil the barrel because they rely on each other for their safety so they are strongly inhibited from calling out the rotten ones.

Thus police do protect their tribe, but churches are just calculating the best way to keep their customers and maintain their profits. (A church’s customers are its members. The church sells them the promise of eternal life in return for money “donations.” It’s a pretty good scam if you can run it.)
Daniel
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Online Harry Black

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 04:09:20 PM »
I dont think the police thing is as tribal as you are making out above a ground level.
Look at the UK where cops are certainly held more accountable than in the US due to less powerful unions and a different relationship to elected officials and prosecutors (who are elected officials in the US).

There is still institutional dishonesty though and defensiveness around institutional behaviours. I posit that this is more due to preservation of power since police elsewhere are far less...weird...than US police, where 'cop' forms part of an identity in a very creepy and militarized way.

So if the behaviour remains somewhat constant across different systems, I think theres a good chance that factors other than tribalism are at play and theres no reason to think the US police are immune to those factors.

Online Ah.hell

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2018, 10:09:20 AM »
This happens in large school districts too, olympic committees, university sports programs, occasionally entire universities. 

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-l.a.-school-abuse-settlements-20160516-snap-story.html
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/oregon/articles/2018-05-11/report-portland-schools-disregarded-sexual-misconduct


I tend to agree with Harry*, its something slightly different that tribalism unless you use a very broad definition of tribal.  There seems to be a strong human tendency to protect the institution we are a part of.  Schools, churches, bureaucracies of all sorts seem prone to this.

Daniel's bias against religion is getting the best of him I think.  This happens across a spectrum of organizations, there's no reason to think the cause is special in the case of churches. 

Offline superdave

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2018, 10:49:58 AM »
related:  humans also love to think their tribe is the underdog.

I remember when I first started hearing about the war on Christmas my mind immediately thought of the thousands of times in my life I've seen holiday decorations in which an entire storefront is decked out in tinsel and trees only to have a small menorah somewhere off in a corner. 
I disavow anyone in the movement involved in any illegal,unethical, sexist, or racist behavior. However, I don't have the energy or time to investigate each person and case, and a lack of individual disavowals for each incident should not be construed as condoning such behavior.

Online 2397

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Re: Protect your tribe?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 06:58:08 PM »
It lead me down a completely different alley though. One of my interests is wrongful conviction. There are a number of cases of wrongful conviction that are just so clear that a blind person should be able to tell. The Norfolk Four, the West Memphis Three, Angelika Graswald, and a few others. In each case neither the police or prosecution is willing to back down. I think it is largely protecting their "tribe" as well.

It might even be something that is virtually hard wired into humans. Is there any better way to deal with this? 

It's why we need to have independent, neutral entities in all layers and configurations. It's why we have courts in the first place. You want justice for an offense committed against you, but you're not objective and it's not your place to pass the sentence. Nor your friends' or family members'.

A judge shouldn't care who or how many people they sentence, only that they do their job. They shouldn't be elected, they're either qualified or not.

Prosecutors shouldn't have to play nice with police for them to play nice back. If the police have to be investigated, it should be done by someone who will not be affected by the outcome either way. And police shouldn't have quotas or any other structural motivations for spending more resources on easy targets and picking and choosing evidence to include. They should have zero access to or profit from anything they seize. Etc.

Organizations like the Catholic Church can't be allowed to be the ones who decide whether to investigate themselves. If a church fails to report abuse cases or to welcome independent investigations, that has to have consequences, including ultimately shutting them down. A rotten church should be disbanded much the same as a rotten police department.

 

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