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.