Saturday, 21 November 2015

Virtue Signalling

We all know that “prejudice” means “making sweeping assertions without supplying evidence”. People on benefits are all scroungers, immigrants are all fit young men in search of the good life, women aren’t funny - these are clearly prejudiced views. But, mysteriously, "champagne socialists expressing concern about global tragedies are just virtue signallers who fail to live up to their ideals" doesn't count as prejudice.

How can you prove that all those expressing concern for victims of a global tragedy on social media are merely "virtue signalling" and "failing to live up to their ideals"?

You’d need to convince the court that expressing concern is useless, and that there is such a thing as "virtue signalling".

Assuming that there is, who are these people? What did they say? What are their ideals? What would “living up to them” consist of? We would need to agree on a standard of “living up to ideals”, and have their actions judged by a neutral observer.

OK, so this isn't a court of law. But are you saying that in real life it’s OK to make assertions, allegations and accusations without evidence? Of course, you’re free to present no evidence. And I’m free to disbelieve you. Or you could name and shame some “virtue signallers”, and they can sue you, and then we WILL be in a court of law.

But how are you going to convince anybody without evidence? What made you think it was possible? And why would you base your opinions on no evidence?

Even if they are just “virtue signalling”, and not helping, does it help to carp about the way others respond to a tragedy?

I put it to you that you are merely repeating an accusation you have heard or read - on social media, and using a tragedy to put others in the wrong.

And finally, do rightwingers accuse lefties of “virtue signalling” because they suspect that their own mean-minded views don’t show them in a terribly good light?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent analysis of the latest 'political correctness' whining.