The Logic of Acceptance

Katherine Phelps

Any time someone makes a blanket judgement about people who have been grouped together in some way, they are departing from logic. Humans are complex beings, capable of independent decision making on a wide range of matters. As such anything we can say about one person will not automatically be true of another, much less every single person in a large group.

Whenever one person judges another for being a part of:

  • a nationaility, ethnicity, or race
  • a particular gender or gender orientation
  • a religion, a particular religion, or lack of religion
  • an age group: young, old, or middle age
  • a class: upper, lower, or middle
  • etc
Then they are assuming they know something about that person because of their affiliation and are jumping to conclusions. Some of these groupings are outside of a person's control. Others, people are born into and may or may not have a strong attachment to that grouping.

We know so little about one another. Making simplistic snap judgements pushes us apart and generates further ignorance and prejudice. When someone is unwilling to make any concession to individuality, they are dehumanising people, they may be asserting a desire to dominate, and/or expressing illogical fears and hatreds.

We have seven billion people on this planet and rising. We are facing serious issues to do with our environment and ability to sustain ourselves. We need to learn how to allow for an ambiguous world, where people aren't seen in the binary as wholly good or wholly bad. We can certainly address harmful thinking, speaking, and actions, but only when we are willing to see and respect the humanity of each individual.

2013 July 29

Holding 4th

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