Natural Discrimination

The big problem with discrimination is that it is the natural way of things. It is a hardwired instinct in all of us. There were times in our history when individuals and groups who were not ruthless in discriminating would not have survived anywhere near as long as the individuals and groups which were. This means that society’s efforts to rid itself of unjust discrimination does not involve changing the opinion of its members (a relatively simple goal) but the changing of the nature of its members (a very hard goal to achieve that is probably impossible in the short term because its success depends on the evolutionary process). However, all is not lost as we have the ability to reason and, although it is hellishly difficult, we are able as individuals to act against our natural inclinations. Therefore any successful attempt to stop discrimination against groups of people must involve logic-based persuasion and also an acceptance that people are not being deliberately evil when they discriminate against those who they perceive as different but that they are, in fact, being true to their natural selves which, in certain situations would serve them well in respect to avoiding danger and, in such cases, would be regarded as a good thing. We must accept, for example, that a person whose flesh creeps when they are confronted with the idea of same-sex attraction but who does not discriminate against gay people is a good person, not a social deviant who needs to be reprogrammed until he or she truly believes that gay sex is a wonderful thing. In fact, such a person may well have far greater moral fortitude than someone who has never had a problem with people of the same gender getting it off together.


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