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discrimination

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discrimination

Postby IceBlock » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:17 am

What are your thoughts on discrimination? Your "feelings" toward people of different races, religions, sexual orientations? Does it bother you when someone is discriminated?

For me the idea of racism was so absurd that for 14 years of my life I was sure that it didn't exist anymore. That it was a "dark age" thing, a long, long time ago. It was quite a shock for me when I met an antisemite for the first time and I realised the truth.
I can't understand homophobes either. The idea of caring about who is your neighbour sleeping with is even more absurd to me. You'd think that people should be happy if someone is in love, since it considered to be the best/most valuable emotion.

I just can't think of any reason for such a pure hatred. Do you think some people need to feel (feel?) superior to others? Or is it just like this:

I don't understand -> I fear -> I hate -> I destroy
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Re: discrimination

Postby Noelle_Winters » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:31 am

I can genuinely say I just can't understand discrimination. It makes no logical sense to me.

I think that was a big part of why I didn't get along with my father when I was younger. I mean, he already had the whole "stop showing emotions" parenting thing going on, but he was also very conservative, which in turn tread into different discriminations. I remember having many many debates with him on the topic of homosexuality, and they always ended the same: "If you cannot reason to why homosexuality is wrong than your brain is not mature enough to comprehend it."


Strange, I'm an adult now and I still can't comprehend it.

As far as I'm concerned, there is only ever one reason to "hate" another person, and that is when they are harming another needlessly, because it is just antithetical to our existence. (And of course it's not nice, but things like "nice" don't fit in the realm of logical debate.)


It's hard for me to fathom any reason why one would want to be discriminatory. At the risk of sounding narcissistic (and I'm not...though I suppose a narcissist would say that anyway...not that I care if anyone thinks I'm a narcissist /end random tangent.) the only thing I can point to is flawed, illogical, emotional thinking. Someone did something to upset my emotions, therefor they are bad. Others have ingrained into my brain they are bad, and so I emotionally think they are.


On another forum, I actually had a debate with someone who was so in touch with their emotions they literally could not see logically. He had himself completely convinced that it was ok to kill someone just to satisfy his revenge. (It was a hypothetical situation, luckily...though I think I shall hope to never meet this person in person.)

That's when I just throw my hands up and say "well, if you're going to ascribe to circular reasoning then there is nothing I can say in the world to convince you, if you wish to make life miserable for others, then by all means. I'm sure you will find someday you have achieved nothing but making yourself miserable."
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Re: discrimination

Postby Black Widow » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:04 am

IceBlock wrote:I don't understand -> I fear -> I hate -> I destroy


Like that. But discrimination takes many forms and morphs faster than people realize. The discrimination that was 40 years ago is not the same as the one today.
If anything, it is stronger now than it was in the past. At the moment, it is about pretty much anything, and it is a lot more vicious than it used to be.
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Re: discrimination

Postby alexander » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:17 am

Discrimination normally has a direct correlation with ignorance in my opinion. Although I do feel as if some discrimination is brought about by hurt. Personally my father is a homosexual and since I've never had much taste for him, I sometimes find myself disliking other homosexuals. Other then that I have no discrimination's that come to mind.
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Re: discrimination

Postby EtherealStarlight » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:20 am

i don't understand discrimination or hatred either... i guess maybe people just learn it when they're young and then it just sticks with them. O.o

if i were to see someone being discriminated against, it would probably upset me. i might ask the perpetrator not to do that/say those kind of things, but i probably wouldn't be aggressive about it (not one of those punch-you-in-the-face-for-being-racist people XD ). if no one is being discriminated against, but there's a person saying a bunch of racist or homophobic things, i usually find it kind of amusing and wonder what got them thinking that way.
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Re: discrimination

Postby maggiemstie » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:36 am

I've never understood racism or homophobia either. My parents hold some of these attitudes, and tried to teach them to me. However, it never made any sense to me, so I logically rejected them. Perhaps that is why everyone so far in this thread doesn't agree with racism; because it isn't logical. It seems to be an emotionally based opinion, perhaps caused by a lack of understanding or fear of anyone "different" than that person. I really don't know.
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Re: discrimination

Postby anrothar » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:42 am

What are you defining as discrimination? People can't help their personalities any more than they can help their skin color. We all discriminate on the basis of personality. Most of us discriminate on the basis of looks as well.

I can respect a persons right to dislike something or be disgusted by it. I could understand a company owner who was disgusted by tall people, homosexuals, or people who liked cats intentionally not hiring those people. It's their company, they should be able to hire whoever they think will make the company successful. That's discrimination, but I think that's an ok form of discrimination. I know that's not pc or socially acceptable, but it's my logic.

As far as social discrimination, I discriminate against almost everyone. There are very few people in this world that I enjoy spending a little bit of time with. The rest are, in my eyes, not worth my time, which by definition means I find them inferior, which by definition means I am prejudiced against them.

If you are reducing discrimination to only being against people the government has deemed protected from discrimination(races, religions, sexual orientations), that seems like kind of a cop out. I don't seem to follow a pattern of singling out specific races or sexual orientations in my likes and dislikes, but I definitely look down upon the vast majority of people who follow fanatical/fundamentalist/orthodox religions.
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Re: discrimination

Postby IceBlock » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:14 pm

anrothar wrote:What are you defining as discrimination? People can't help their personalities any more than they can help their skin color. We all discriminate on the basis of personality. Most of us discriminate on the basis of looks as well.

"Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category."

For me the most important aspects are :
- law - I don't understand why people are against homosexual marriages
- hatred - I don't understand how can anyone hate someone just because they are Jewish/Muslim/etc
- superiority - I don't understand why people feel superior to others just because they are of different race/nationality

Personality is a different thing - you have to actually know a person to dislike them for their personality, so prejudice is not valid here.
Discrimination begins when you actually don't bother to get to know them, because you assume you know better.

And looks - we all know that beautiful people play life on easy mode ;) But that's physical attraction and beauty is very relative.
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Re: discrimination

Postby Chan » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:58 pm

IceBlock wrote:What are your thoughts on discrimination? Your "feelings" toward people of different races, religions, sexual orientations? Does it bother you when someone is discriminated?
Why do I have to "feel" anything toward them?

For me the idea of racism was so absurd that for 14 years of my life I was sure that it didn't exist anymore. That it was a "dark age" thing, a long, long time ago. It was quite a shock for me when I met an antisemite for the first time and I realised the truth.
Are semites (which, by the way, includes Jews and Arabs) a race (or are they an ethnicity)? In the early days of anthropology, science came up with three "races": caucasoid (whites and, interestingly, people from the Indian subcontinent), mongoloid (Asians and Native Americans) and negroid (blacks) based on certain physiological features (not just skin color). There was a time when people used "race" the way we use "nationality" today (e.g. the French race). I'm of the opinion that there's only one "race," the human race.

I can't understand homophobes either.
I think the term "homophobe" is inappropriate. Its etymology suggests fear (the "phobes" part of the word, from phobia) of either things that are the same (the meaning of the Greek word homo) or of humankind (based on the use of homo in scientific terms like homo sapien). The people who are described by this inappropriate term don't (except maybe in very rare cases) have a phobia of homosexuals. They might genuinely believe that homosexual attraction is not normative for the human species or that it is not "normal" or that it is "unnatural" (meaning what is not normative for the species, not meaning that it doesn't occur in nature; some people wrongly use "natural" to simply mean that something exists or occurs in nature), but that doesn't mean they have a phobia of homosexuals. Some people have a visceral biological reaction to homosexuality because their minds and bodies tell them that something just isn't right about two males attempting to mate with each other or two females attempting to mate with each other (but the reaction tends to be more of a male thing). There are others who, based on their religion's teachings, believe that homosexual attraction is contrary to God's created design for male and female and that to act on one's homosexual attraction is sin. But none of this in any way whatsoever is indicative of people having a phobia of homosexuals.

The idea of caring about who is your neighbour sleeping with is even more absurd to me. You'd think that people should be happy if someone is in love, since it considered to be the best/most valuable emotion.
How far are you willing to go with that argument? Siblings? Other incestuous relationships? Adults and teens? I think a lot of it comes down to people's concepts of morality. At the very least, I'd say that it's none of the government's business what relationships consenting adults enter into and that the government has no business giving sanction to certain relationships by giving benefits, privileges, recognitions, etc.

I just can't think of any reason for such a pure hatred.
Why do you automatically assume that it's hatred?

Do you think some people need to feel (feel?) superior to others?
Why do you assume there's a feeling of superiority? Racism includes within it a preference for one's own race and need not include a negative reaction toward other races.

Or is it just like this:

I don't understand -> I fear -> I hate -> I destroy
Humans have a very long history of negatively reacting to people who are different, who are seen as "other." The bear clan wars with the eagle clan even though both clans are of the same tribe. The Donnachie clan wars with the Campbell clan even though they're both Scots. People of lighter skin look down on people with darker skin, even though they're just shades of the same color (this is something I saw particularly in Asia). On and on it has gone for millennia. It's almost instinctive.
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Re: discrimination

Postby Chan » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:18 pm

IceBlock wrote:
anrothar wrote:What are you defining as discrimination? People can't help their personalities any more than they can help their skin color. We all discriminate on the basis of personality. Most of us discriminate on the basis of looks as well.

"Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category."
I think it's even more basic than that. "Discrimination" also means the act of distinguishing between one thing and another. And that's really what it comes down to: seeing someone as something "other," something different.

For me the most important aspects are :
- law - I don't understand why people are against homosexual marriages
Because they believe that marriage is exclusively between male and female. I don't understand why it's any of the government's business what relationships consenting adults enter into. I don't understand why people so stupidly think they need some government to validate their relationships (not that I get the whole relationship thing, but that's just part of my SPD).

- hatred - I don't understand how can anyone hate someone just because they are Jewish/Muslim/etc.
Is it necessarily hatred? Could it not be simply dislike? Could it not even just be a strong preference for one's own kind?

- superiority - I don't understand why people feel superior to others just because they are of different race/nationality
Pride may be part of it. Part of it may be left over from the days when having a preference for one's own tribe or clan was necessary for the survival of that tribe or clan as it battled other tribes or clans for food and other resources.

Personality is a different thing - you have to actually know a person to dislike them for their personality, so prejudice is not valid here.
I disagree. I don't have to personally know perky, bubbly airheads to dislike them. I don't have to know Joel Osteen to find his big grin and the sound of his voice slimy and disgusting.
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