Faith Explorers Recent Topics

30 November 2015 TED Talk ‘Can Prejudice ever be a good thing?’ presented by Paul Boom led by Cristina

Prejudice and Bias: Us vs Them

  • natural among humans: People are swayed by feelings toward their own ethnic group

Holocaust – was this the result of a tragic flaw on Germans? Exaggeration of what is normal in all of us


Stereotypes- not arbitrary

– based on experiences in our world that lead to generalisations

– for the most part, we are good at this

– 3 basic assumptions: age, sex, race (We are influenced by factors we are not even aware of)

Old Testament: Love thy neighbours  New Testament: Love thy enemies  What motivates us?

In making judgments,  be motivated by REASON, PRINCIPLE, and CONSCIENCE

We are but one of the multitude in no respect better than any other in it.

REASON – can cause us to override out passions, to extend out empathy

-can motivate us to create customs & laws that will constrain us from acting upon an impulse

PRINCIPLE – of impartiality – found in all of world’s religions (golden rule), philosophies

– judge morality from an impartial point of view


Prejudice and Bias illustrate a fundamental duality of human nature:

– Feelings, instinct and emotions affect our judgments and actions

– We are also capable of rational deliberation and intelligent planning

We can use these to accelerate and nourish our emotions and in some cases, staunch them.

It is in this way that reason can help us create a better world.