Which prejudices do I consider “acceptable?” Racism, for example, is not acceptable to me, yet preference for my own child over another is.
Many of my understandings of what “should and shouldn’t” be are imagined as benefit or threat to my life. These understandings differ wildly between cultures, races, social orders, and individuals – yet I want to believe I’m right in my understandings without exerting the least amount of energy to actually study other people. I’d rather let my subconscious prejudices do the work for me.
As long as I’m willing to live unconsciously – “doing my own thing” regardless of the well-being of others – I’ll continue to live under prejudicial societal agreements that restrict individual behaviors for nonsensical reasons. Acceptable prejudice.
The Role of Cause and Effect
My thought process behind all behavior is, “If I do this, then that will happen.” My behaviors speak volumes about my “if-then” relationships. My attitudes derived from my conflictual “if-then” relationships tend to set me up for conflict with others – especially when their cultural agreements differ from mine. We have conflicting acceptable prejudices.
As we discussed earlier, nature is simply “that which is” – the nature of things as they are. Natural Law describes how that which is, is. I tend to see “the nature of things as they are” according to my tainted view – through my prejudices. Which makes me wonder…
Is it even possible for me to witness the true nature of things? Do I witness my prejudices in the guise of Natural Law as I expect it? Is that an acceptable prejudice?
Is Fear an acceptable prejudice?
Prejudice has been around since life perceived a reason to fear. At an instinctual level, the sensation of fear is a result of considering something a threat to continuation of life. I tend to fear that which threatens the continuation of my need to be right. Fear is a source of conflict, instigating a tug-of-war between imagination and reality. Without fear, conflict and a drive for power would cease
Prejudice is a sort of thinking shortcut in which I accept one perceptual “reality” as the reality and taint all subsequent perceptions in that direction without question. I don’t need reasons or even justifications for prejudice – it’s just what IS (to me). By extension, I come to believe that everyone else should share my view. To the degree I NEED others to agree with me, or feel afraid that my position may be incorrect, the more likely it is I’ll support it with violence. What I would call “acceptable prejudice” becomes “acceptable aggression.”
Prejudice comes in two flavors:
- Those I’m aware of. These include such things as racial, cultural, and familial (my child is better than yours) prejudices, and some stereotypes. I often work on these types of prejudices because they seem to respond to conscious awareness. Beneath them reside deeper hidden prejudices…
- Those I’m not aware of. These kinds of prejudices are instinctual and include blind spots and stereotyping.
How has prejudicial thinking become confused with logical thinking, putting real threats in the back seat of the fantasy train? How has this strategy given me the illusion of safety through rightness, turning love and acceptance into defense of that rightness?
Could defense of rightness, then, become the ultimate acceptable prejudice?