Posted: Apr 24, 2016 4:21 pm
by crank
igorfrankensteen wrote:The more that I have pondered and directly observed anti-WHATEVER prejudices, the more I have been frustrated by the very nature of them.

The main concern that I find, is that prejudiced people tend to be what I refer to as "Anti's."

"Anti's" are people who don't reason from concern---> opposition, they instead reason either that

* if someone is a member of group XXXXX, then they are "bad," by my definition of the "group XXXXX" designation. They are inherently guilty of whatever crimes and personal defects that I have assigned to all members of that group.

* if someone does something which I don't like, this proves that they are members of "group XXXXX," and this explains why they offended me.

In short, they have arranged the circuitry of their mind, such that EVERY fact, no matter what the fact is, proves that the person they are "anti" about, is what they thought they were. The common follow on, is that any "correct" acts the members of group XXXXX commit, isn't proof that they aren't that bad, it is proof that they are sneaky and duplicitous.

When seeking explanations of why they think that way, since they BEGIN from an assumption of guilt, their explanations will all be designed to prove they are right, rather than being the result of genuine investigation.

In this case, prejudice against Jews is explained by the "fact" that Jews are difficult to get along with. Or that the reason why lots of Christians don't trust Jews who convert, is that Christians don't trust Jews who convert. Perhaps because Jews can't be trusted, because they are so "Jewy."

The Exceptionalism in the thread title is linked to one of my own guesses as to why so many Christians in particular don't trust Jews. I have heard and read that Jews themselves believe that what makes someone a Jew or not, isn't their knowledge and fealty to their mutual Faith, it is the fact that their mom was Jewish. Add in the notion of the "chosen people," and I can easily imagine a Middle-School-style "clique" resentment situation, where non-Jews hate the Jews, because the Jews declare that "We are all members of a club which is naturally superior to all non-members, and you can't join, because your mom wasn't already a member."

But I have seen in other aspects of human life, that the phenomenon of holding that some group is exceptional, and simultaneously praising those who work to join it while at the same time distrusting and even despising them for doing so, is repeated in secular areas as well.

Historical precedents include the relatively modern idea of an Upper Class status. Even in the United States, where individual effort is supposedly praised and recognized, people who "make it big" are often still shunned by the upper classes they have managed to become members of, on the grounds that they are "new money," and therefore don't know what it actually takes to be Aristocrats. Many Upper Classes have much more respect for INHERITED wealth, than for EARNED wealth.

This suggests that the reason for actively creating prejudice-based conflicting groups has nothing to do with religion at all, per se, and instead is somehow inherent to being human.

The religious iterations of prejudice are merely one of the more common cover stories for the act of segregating and despising exercises which all humans are prone to, and is a favored cover story because religion is such a powerful subject area for humans to deal with.

Perhaps humans want to think of themselves as magically and inherently superior to other humans (out of laziness, or the desire to be classed as superior without having to work at it all the time?) , and since religious belief ALREADY has powerful magic associated with it, AND has the great advantage of allowing us to shift blame for our decision to hate our fellow beings irrationally to either an imaginary all powerful being, or to nature itself (inheritance), it is an ideal cover story.

This may be why, when any given group of XXXXX's go though a long period of general comfort, they are often seen to subdivide themselves into the "true believers" and the "wannabe's" .

I think a lot of what you are describing is a conservative mind, this isn't the same as the political conservative. They are manichean, viewing everything in black or white, god or bad, ambiguity makes them very uncomfortable. They tend to having strong senses of some things being sacred, they're not open to new experiences, and are quite authoritarian. This will give you people that will naturally think if you're not like us, then there is something wrong with you, you are probably evil.

There are many variations on this, you should search out Jonathon Haidt, he has done some interesting work, though I don't like a lot of his conclusions, and Chris Mooney with his The Republican Brain and other books/work, shows how some of these theories seem to be at work in political conservatives. There is another way to look at it that goes by the label 'systems justification'. The whole area is fascinating, I've just mentioned a few issues that popped into my head, anyone interested should head to the google. To me, the implications of this type of thinking is far more useful than focusing on religion, which is a byproduct of a mind wired to think conservatively.