When we generalize whole group negatively, somebody raises his voice and say “not all”. That means not all are same, or you should not generalize the whole group.
It is as if we should generalize only if all will be same or similar, which is never going to happen in any time and place. All in any group couldn’t be same or similar. So, it is just like saying you must never say anything negative about the whole group.
This type of restrictions about generalizing a group always seems to lead to undesirable outcome, because people generalize only when most, though not all, in the group are same or similar. So, when people generalize they means “most but not all”. But many people perceive it as if everyone in the group are said to be same.
How it lead to undesirable outcome?
Suppose 80% people in the group are same in some negative quality, but 20% are opposite of them and have positive quality. So because of this 20% people having positive quality, we are supposed to not generalize on the basis of 80% people having negative quality. So 20% earn the respect for remaining 80% even when the latter is not respectable. We are expected to respect everyone in the group just for the sake of 20% respectable people, but cannot disrespect everyone in the group on the basis of 80% disrespectable people. So even when 80% people in a group are not worthy to be respected, they get respect because of 20% people, and this save 80% from disrespect and thus keep them as they are. This makes them careless about improving their attitude and behavior. This makes them do undesirable things or keep undesirable attitude without getting effected even though speech.
If we would be allowed to generalize negatively then 80% maybe forced to make improvements in their behavior. But this doesn’t seem to happen because we are expected to respect everyone just because of 20% good people. If we could generalize negatively on the basis of 80% then they may try to make improvements in their behavior. Also, 20% good people in the group would be forced to bring about changes in remaining 80% as they are being disrespected because of this 80%. And in this way world could be a better place. But unfortunately we are not allowed to generalize a group negatively.
So what do you think about generalizing whole group in such situations?
Such generalisations are called bigotry or racism.
Oxford dictionary definition:
obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.
“the difficulties of combating prejudice and bigotry”
Same thing when ascribing specific attributes to a race:
prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.
“a programme to combat racism”
the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.
No different than “say it is a Christians group,
and generalization is about their outlook towards non-Christians.”
Yes, but if we generalize group positively on the basis of just few good people in group, then why not we generalize group negatively on the basis of people who are in very large number?
When we call everyone in a group as good people because it hurts sentiments of few good people, larger portion of bad people in a group care less about their attitude and do not improve their attitude as they are already getting respected on the basis of few good people. I hope you are getting what I am saying.
Isn’t it a undesirable outcome for giving respect or speak in favourable ways?
Maybe I am not expressing my thoughts clearly, but try to understand it.
Well, here’s your first assumption. Not all of us generalize.
Of course, not all of us generalize, but I think most people generalize, so I think I can say “we generalize” on the basis of “most of us”. So suppose if my generalizing have a good effect on society, that everyone in society got to improve their behavior. Then how generalizing is wrong?
So specifically- not generally, what bugs you about Muslims?
I have nothing personal about specifically Muslims. I mentioned “Muslims” just as example because you asked me to be specific. I am talking about each and every group you can think about, even atheists. Suppose atheist say that “theists are stupids”, then why it’s wrong if most theists are stupids, and only a small minority is quite intelligent.
There isn’t anything dubious about using statistical data from a population, to make statistical deductions about that population.
Unfortunately, humans habitually fuck that up and try to use statistical data from a population, to make deductions about an element of the population. We can’t seem to help ourselves. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, hopefully we’ll live long enough to do it many more times. Not surprisingly this is known as the population fallacy. The common wisdom against generalizing is essentially a warning to avoid this alluring but dubious notion.
Because an entire ethnic or social group can be categorized into one neat package. Read up on how slavery was justified or Hitler’s rationale for killing millions. I will not publish the pictures (for obvious reasons), but just Google “anti jew nazi propaganda” and examine the images.