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Open Forum Debate: Prejudice

BangBang-Coconut
Posts: 265
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4/22/2011 9:12:11 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Okay, let me explain, I'm writing a paper on this and I just wanted to get a little feedback, some opinions; I wanted to be able to bounce my ideas off the minds of some people who would actually take this thought seriously and test the metal of my opinion. However I neither have the time to do enough individual debate at the moment to actually warrant posting this as a debate, and I also don't think it would matter as I'm almost certain that much of the debate would come down to formalities and definitions.
So instead, I decided to post this here in the forums where not only would I not have to worry about the debate just becoming something that an opponent would just mindlessly try to win, and never actually debate. But I would have the advantage of being able to debate this with several different opponents at the same time.

Now before argumentation begins, let me point out that the style of this paper is not empirical in nature; but more so an analytical critique of society, and societal norms. Thus while evidence can be used to support an argument, I'm looking more so for some personal analysis and the thoughts I'm providing below.
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Again the topic is: Prejudice.

When we think of prejudice, we usually jump to extremes and assume rasicism, or sexism; very little do we want to think of ourselves as prejudiced, or even that we've ever had a prejudiced opinion. However, my stance is basically that Prejudice is not universally bad, but simply a part of our society that has been utterly demonized.
To understand this, we simply need to pick apart the word: "Pre-Judice" . Prejudice is simply making a decision about something before knowing very much about it. This is something we all do, whether it's assuming the tall guy at work is good at basketball; Or that kid who doesn't ever say anything is smart because she's wearing glasses; or that a certain brand of soda tastes good because the commercial has a dancing panda.

Prejudice is inevitable; and it is by simply blaming a faulty opinion on prejudice that we can never solve an issue.

Example: there are two men waiting in line at a convient store, a white man and a black man. When the white man get up the the counter, the clerk chats happily with him as she checks him out. However when the black man gets up to the counter, she quickly scans his items without saying a word.

What a racist she is! How dare she be so kind and chatty with the white man, but no say one word to the black man!

Unless of course, the white man happened to be her husband; and other than people she knew, she was deathly shy.

Another Example: Two kids are in class, on is the class's valevictorian and the other is just barely passing the class. When the teacher is grading papers, there are two papers with-out a name; one has a grade of 100 and the other a grade of 76, neither of these two students have a grade for this project, Where you the teacher in this situation, would you even bother asking the students whoms paper was whom's
If we're honest here, I honestly wouldn't even think to ask; I would simply mark their names on the papers and put them in the gradebook. But for all I know, the boy just barely struggling to get through the class worked extremely hard, and made a 100; whereas the valevictorian just had a bad day and turned in a paper that was sub-par.

Ultimately the point I'm wanting to get across for now, is that prejudice is something that exists in ways that are not always negative, or of malicious intent. Prejudice is something that we have in our society that we needlessly demonize, when we should just take it for what it is so we can truly get to the root of a problem.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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4/22/2011 10:05:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'd also expond upon that Prejudice (making decisions before all info is gathered) is naturally wired into our brains. We are designed to take a little info and extrat as much out of it as possible, and some of that is bound to be faulty.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
CiRrK
Posts: 670
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4/22/2011 11:47:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Some people have argued that prejudice is an evolutionary trait to narrow down mate selection to: 1) breed within ones own race and 2) maintain a population by promoting patriarchal systems. But obviously these r controversial claims.
BangBang-Coconut
Posts: 265
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4/22/2011 5:06:39 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/22/2011 10:05:29 AM, OreEle wrote:
I'd also expond upon that Prejudice (making decisions before all info is gathered) is naturally wired into our brains. We are designed to take a little info and extrat as much out of it as possible, and some of that is bound to be faulty.

Good point, I should put that in there :D!
BangBang-Coconut
Posts: 265
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4/22/2011 5:08:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/22/2011 11:47:36 AM, CiRrK wrote:
Some people have argued that prejudice is an evolutionary trait to narrow down mate selection to: 1) breed within ones own race and 2) maintain a population by promoting patriarchal systems. But obviously these r controversial claims.

Maybe just a little? 0-0.
hmm, but that is interesting; I don't think I'll use that in my paper, but I will make a note of it.

Can you give me a link? I'd like to read a little more about those theories.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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4/22/2011 5:27:45 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Can't help noticing that while you seem to be arguing that prejudice can sometimes be beneficial and positive, the two examples you give still show negative effects of prejudice. In one case prejudice causes someone to be perceived as racist, in the other a student is awarded the wrong mark.
BangBang-Coconut
Posts: 265
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4/22/2011 6:16:15 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 4/22/2011 5:27:45 PM, feverish wrote:
Can't help noticing that while you seem to be arguing that prejudice can sometimes be beneficial and positive, the two examples you give still show negative effects of prejudice. In one case prejudice causes someone to be perceived as racist, in the other a student is awarded the wrong mark.

Maybe, But I'm not necessarily trying to say prejudice can be good, so much so as I am trying to point that Prejudice isn't always with malicious intent. I'm juts trying to stress that Prejudice is natural, and that by trying to make it seem as though only hateful bigots practice Prejudice, we fail to correct the problem.

I guess I should have either elaborated on that a bit more, or have used more dynamically alternative scenarios.
All the same thanks for pointing that out for me!
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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4/25/2011 11:30:19 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Your argument is essentially a sweeping generalization of everyone in the world; that we all are prejudiced -- in some way, egocentric, ethnocentric, or otherwise narrow-minded.

I find the context in which you placed your examples misleading and manipulative; for example, drawing distinctions between the two men by only their "race," then suggesting that a cashier treated them differently will automatically make anyone believe that it had something to do with racism.

Not everyone is prejudiced; there are people that are honest enough with themselves to admit their fears and come to terms with the things they don't know.

But, that's just my opinion.

- Ren