Issues With Rigorous Consideration of Modern Forms of Exploitation
Noticing the nebulous language in my initial argument for naturalized socioeconomics concerning modern forms of slavery, I decided to work on a more rigorous survey. This has presented many issues concerning nomenclature, definitions, measurements and the meaningfulness of axioms. With the nomenclature, it’s sometimes debatable if the name is acceptably descriptive. Concerning definitions, it’s difficult at times to categorize specific conditions as they fall into gray areas or are suited to multiple definitions. Measurement however, is even more of an issue as scientific descriptions have to be rigorously supported with scientific evidence. This becomes a sizable issue when there is little to no evidence supporting a founding concept. The axioms themselves are unscientific in so many ways that science often lacks the tools to address them. This in many cases, leaves the ball in the hands of philosophical disciplines such as Ethics.
When trying to do the math concerning the prevalence of slavery in modern times, there were issues with nomenclature like human trafficking; and issues with definitions concerning extreme financial coercion. There are obvious gray areas concerning choice and the lack there of; however this isn’t really an issue as all forms of exploitation are ethically unacceptable. The obvious rout to solution is to address the whole of exploitation. This however has it’s difficulties as well. In order to rigorously describe and argue against exploitation, one must first demonstrate it in a scientific manner. For the purpose of scientific study, “I know it when I see it” just isn’t good enough.
The difficulties begin with clearly defining what exploitation is. Using terms and theory from Behavioral Science isn’t as helpful as one might think. For instance, defining exploitation as manipulation requires a scientific description of manipulation. This runs into issues with theory as there is no theoretical principle to manipulation. The problem is with the description of manipulation itself. It essentially requires that a person have a certain level of sentient autonomy. Where as this is the perception of most humans there is little to no evidence for it. This is a problem because perceptions are not good enough for scientific description. This is fertile soil for the Observer Effect and the like. That being said, this isn’t just a scientific issue; it’s an epistemological issue as well.
An additional issue in scientifically arguing against exploitation is rigorously arguing against exploitation as an axiom. This requires demonstrating that it is generally unfavorable. Again “I know that it is” just isn’t good enough to call science. This presents a problem concerning natural distributions of leadership qualities. Most people aren’t inclined toward leadership or have the “will” to make the big decisions. Though there is a large difference between investing in the strengths of others and a tiny minority exploiting the vast majority, the axiom itself is somewhat unscientific. This is because the condition could and probably should itself be considered natural regardless of whether or not it’s accepted by society. This of course is tempered by systems theoretical axioms as social acceptance is a part of the equation; however the level of social acceptance has not been static concerning it.
Even with ethical consideration of social exploitation, there arises an issue with where to draw the hard lines. What is or is not socially acceptable at any given time is merely generalized and not rigorously defined. There is some undeniable subjectivity to the prospect.
Maybe we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the fine, discrete details if it hinders our forward progress toward a general higher standard of living. If there are some minor details that we are incapable of ironing out, why “pet the sweaty stuff”? Because it will matter greatly to that tiny minority that we allow to fall through the cracks.