Big, scratched, lopsided, tiny, symmetrical. We all had to make a bias given the information provided by the peppers. We were told to “choose the best”, but what does that mean? For me, I focused on the aesthetics aspects that the peppers may have had that evoked a sense of that pepper being superior. My winner was pepper #4. Choice and discrimination are the means for people to see the options given, come to a conclusion by some sort of individual ranking system, and then act upon it. But do we need to go through this process?
There is a basic need to identify just as we need to label and compartmentalize, referring back to the previous post about categorizing people. We all need to see some degree of difference, but the variance of that said difference relies on the extent and the method to the madness. I believe that there is an occasional need to discriminate among things and people. The reason being, when the subject involves humans, there is stigma and our moral conscience comes into play. Racism is negatively looked upon as an act of separation, deeming your own race is superior. There shouldn’t be a need to discriminate because even the concept of race is subjective and cannot truly be defined by provided definitions that vary across the entire world. In other cases, however, such as choosing a better source of energy, is a necessary and positive decision-making skill. Understanding the benefits of healthy, organic foods will aid in having a long life and thus ranking it as a better option over others is a must. This leads me to my next point.
Must we judge then? I do not believe that we should judge people and act upon it under any circumstance. The pure decision to act on something is entirely personal, whether good or bad. Thus, if we learn to not take any action then we can learn to not physically judge. Is it possible to not judge at all? I don’t think so. I learned through experience that the second-hand thoughts and judgments of a person or decision usually matters more. We are guided and led to think in a certain responsive way and most times it’s faster than our reaction times and we cannot help this. Our environment and nurturing have shaped us early on before we even had a chance to be self-aware of ourselves. The whole point of judgment is to have a sense of and find another understanding to make sense of the world and life. We aren’t given much to process it with so we create these intangible methods that are very unique to peoples and populations.
I believe that since there are no universal and consistent heavenly bodies of law that should govern our choice of whether we want to make a decision or not, we should not have to surely choose all the time or vice versa. There can be a healthy balance of both.
Upon watching “On the Art of Choosing” presented by Sheena Iyenger, it’s clear to me that, like almost anything philosophical, there are more things that stay in a gray area rather than decisively being purely good or bad. The role of choices in society, as indicated by the video, represents the common mind of the people. Iyenger states, “In America, the primary locus of choice is the individual”, which strongly defines the self of one by their decisions rather than the actual product, brand, or thing they may have chosen. The importance lays in the act. I saw a video on the social media platform, Instagram, the other day that was similar to the experiments Iyenger executed. In this video, a color-blind young man was asked by his mother to sort out different shades of green M&Ms she gave to him. What force compelled him to do? Was his performance based on the pressure his mother may have had on him? When this young man took his specialized glasses to see the colors again, he was devastated upon learning that he was off by a few. What does this mean?
It is important to note in other nations, other societies, there is a fundamental difference in which the locus of choice lies in the sense of community. This warrants everyone with this mindset to focus less on themselves and to take in the account the outcome on others, ultimately “amplifying one another’s success” because it was a collective act. With such varying approaches to decision-making, a society will come together to create a common ground within a common environment. Is it essential to society function then? Yes and no. It certainly helps run the current societies presented in our world. However, I believe in the off-chance that it doesn’t need to exist in another alternate world.
There are two vital, yet subtly difference definitions of discrimination as provided by the online Oxford Dictionary. One is the “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another”, essentially a "discrimination between right and wrong”. I would say that people do need this in the world. We have developed our brains to include the idea of a moral compass that is entirely unique to everyone but can be shaped and evolve, which thereby governs our actions. The other being “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex”, which would mean there are "victims of racial discrimination". I do believe there is a world out there in which we do not need this sort of bias. However, in this world, it begs the question not only to us Facing students but to everyone - what good does it do to have such bigotry?
In response to “DuckBoots”, I fully agree with their statement that “what we can change is how we act on these judgments”. In the situation presented with peppers, we have no control over the supply/amount/quality of those peppers. They were there for us to examine and look at, all that was given. A changing factor is within us, humans. We have the ability to change our decisions, to reevaluate our choices, and finally, see what the answer is to us. Many classmates made an argument saying they did not want to pick, as we could all sense where the discussion was heading. However, as some say, the words of the teacher are absolute within their classroom and so, they chose; Some decided certain peppers for pity points, others because they already had one in mind, but it was the act of having to state their choice.
“Ghostchicago” also presents an interesting point that I made in my own response. Along with the notion that we have our own powers to decide, we are also influenced by culture or community, which is very diverse and specific to peoples. I also had found the topic discussion to be a fascinating one. When faced with outward forces relying on one to make a decision, subjects produced different responses. Asian Americans, in the experiment, had done better with the reinforcement that their mothers were compelling them to. With the exact opposite results, Americans did better knowing they could take the initiative not being imposed on. It correlates with the core values that certain cultures or religions may hold, which is remarkable and makes a lot of sense.