Scrupuli

blunt essays with sharp points

Is it OK to discriminate against obese people?

by Scrvpvlvs
Apr 10, 2012 6:48 AM–CBS MoneyWatch commentary by Suzanne Lucas

Discrimination is a hard nut to crack. It is the result of two natural, healthy thinking processes.

Prejudgment is a natural, healthy human trait: “The human mind must think with the aid of categories … Once formed, categories are the basis for normal prejudgment. We cannot possibly avoid this process.” (Allport) And that's the first part of discrimination: prejudgment of an individual based on a category.

Partiality to our own family is also a natural, healthy human trait. It is built in to us to consider members of “our” tribe to be most deserving. And that's the second part of discrimination: once we identify a person as a member of a different tribe (whether by blood, or religion, or any physical characteristic), they automatically become less deserving than “our” people.

I don't attach shame to either of these thinking processes. They are part of what it means to be human. There is no shame in being human.

It's when we continue to discriminate, even though we know better, that it becomes shameful. Once we use our capacity for reason, and discover that our intuition is wrong (people outside our family are really not any less deserving than “our” people), then we ought to stop acting on our faulty intuition and start acting as if everyone and everything deserves our love.

This to me is the truth that bears up the worldwide religious teaching of universal love:

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3 Comments:

by Blogger wild man
June 04, 2012 11:48 PM–Particularly with obesity, I find myself walking the line between pity and judgment all the time.  

by Blogger wild man
June 04, 2012 11:50 PM–Particularly with obesity and other seemingly "self-inflicted" body issues...I find myself walking the line between judgment and pity all the time. Usually I find that there's always more to the story than just "you made yourself that way." And since I've been there myself, I usually give people the benefit of the doubt.  

by Blogger Carlo_R.
September 26, 2012 3:36 PMThis comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

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