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We Must Feel Before We Can Understand

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3/2/2017 10:33:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In early childhood, while the child's environment is little understood, he is sensitive to emotionally charged content. In other words, the emotional tone his parents give a phenomenon is more significant than the phenomenon, itself. The child learns to feel things before he understands them.

As the child develops and becomes cognizant of the objectivity of things, emotional tonality having been established colors his perception of things. That is to say, the child is partial before he can possibly be impartial. It is the child's bias which directs his steps.

As the child grows and becomes independent, he seeks out like-minded individuals; as collectivization was unintentional in childhood, it becomes a matter of intention as the child matures. Subconscious content is integrated into consciousness and its emotional tonalities are reinforced by the like-minded prejudices of the group.

For an individual to question his beliefs, new emotions must become associated with the previously subconscious content. This is not an easy task. For the emotional tone was set even before the individual was cognizant of the object, and its tonality is reinforced through confirmation bias. The significance of inherited bias is it is not seen as bias because it is unintentional. That is to say, the individual was not conscious of its onset.

Later in life, the individual, by disagreeing with others, is made aware of the bias; but, he still fails to see it as anything other than an inherited trait. Just as the color of his eyes is unintentional and, therefore, a product of nature, the individual sees his bias as God-given and therefore objective. Being his bias is impartial, partiality is on the part of the one with whom he disagrees. This is the reason arguments are ineffective.

For the individual to change his perception of something, his feelings for the phenomenon must change. To argue over his rationale for believing something is like arguing over the color of his eyes. Therefore, the individual takes another's disagreement personally. Not only is the other wrong, he is offensive. For instance, as a child, my parents taught me interracial marriages were a sin. The negativity they used to describe the impact interracial marriages had on society colored the way I perceived them. Once, while playing in the backyard with neighbors, they told me and my siblings they saw nothing wrong with interracial marriages. Of course, we disagreed; but, our disagreement was not based on logic but the way in which we felt. I was offended by their brash comments. Not until later in life, having known very kind black people, did my perception of interracial marriages change. My rationale was impenetrable until my feelings for black people changed. Telling a racist racism is wrong or even arguing, with flawless logic, is like arguing with a man who thinks he is a poached egg; not until his feelings for the despised race change can one even hope to change his opinion of them.

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