4/7 Ponder This

How accurate are our judgements and what do they say about who we are?

For a long time I lived in a world where liberals were right and conservatives hated everyone other than themselves. To some extent, I still live in this world. But I also know that things –– especially people –– are never that simple.

And the bottom line is we all judge people who we think are ideologically different from us.

The reason prejudice persists is because we justify these judgements: I believe domestic abuse is wrong so I hold prejudice toward domestic abusers. Totally justified.

But what if I said: I believe liberals want to take away my rights so I hold prejudice toward liberals.

And it’s like…

I mean… 

I guess.

So you can see how upholding our beliefs and values can quickly lead to denouncing anyone who doesn’t share our perspectives. And different perspectives of the same situation can lead to dramatically different judgements (there are two sides of every coin after all). 

This isn’t to say that every judgement is prejudice. But think about some of those unfounded generalizations you make –– some of my favorites include “men are trash,” “women can do anything,” and “conservative people never received a proper education” –– and find out whether or not they’re based in fact. 

(And, guess what, even if they are you should probably cut that shit out. People are a lot more similar than different and [as long as hate / racism / sexism / homophobia / etc. isn’t involved] it’s probably not that serious.)

So all of this is basically me just telling you to lighten the fuck up sometimes and give people the benefit of the doubt every so often.

NYTimes Quiz

Psych analysis on prejudice

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