posts 31 - 40 of 40
Wyverary
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Originally posted by Hector_Zeroni on November 12, 2020 00:45

I believe that it is human nature to judge and discriminate against others. From the days of being hunter-gatherers to modern day society, we’ve judged others, often based on the little information we do have, in order to decide who someone is as a person. Under certain circumstances, such as trying to figure out who is someone you can trust, it is okay to judge someone as long as it is based on one’s personality. Much of history showcases us discriminating or judging someone. Back then, however, we had a greater tendency to discriminate against one’s appearance. We also discriminated against groups of people we knew nothing about. For example, the Ancient Greeks were the first to describe people as Barbarians. At the time, it was used to describe anyone who was not Greek, and the Romans eventually used the word Barbarian as a means to describe “uncivilized” people. I find it interesting when Alicia Garza says, “the whole campaign that this president advanced was very much centered around protecting white power, defending white identity, and also creating villains out of those who would say that, white identity politics aren't the only identity politics that deserve attention.” The quote resonated with me because it is interesting to think that despite all the advancements that we’ve made as a society, discrimination is still around and still has its primitive origins. As long as we allow fear to control us, and as long as humans remain imperfect, I don’t believe that we will ever live in a world without discrimination and judgement. Fear serves as the primary reason for why we discriminate and judge others.


Answering @coral27’s question, I believe that US politics have always been about this whole “us vs them” mentality and it is not unique to today’s political landscape. If you look back when America first formed, it was the American colonies vs the British Empire, and any British Loyalist was seen as the enemy. Then it was the Federalists vs the Anti-Federalists. There was also Andrew Jackson and the formation of the Democratic Party when he painted the struggle as being the common man vs the establishment. Then there was the North vs the South in the 1800s. In the 20th century, it was originally about isolationism vs globalisation but then it was the capitalists vs the communists. I find it interesting how a lot of the “us vs them” mentality we see today echoes many of the arguments made back when the United States was formed. Today we argue about whether we should have a big government or small government, and this argument has been discussed pretty much since the beginning of US history with the American colonies vs the British or even the Federalists vs the Anti Federalists. We also see the rise of populism once again with people like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump gaining popularity. I don’t see this “us vs them” mentality going away any time soon with how embedded it has been in US politics for a long while.


The question I would like to ask my classmates is What do you think needs to be done to end the “us vs them” mentality we see in society today?


As I typed in my response, I believe that dismantling systems of oppression that disadvantage certain groups and benefit others can end much of the prevailing us vs them mentality. When people stop seeing others as "Others", and instead as peers who simply have differing identities, much of this harmful mindset will dissipate

sanandomun
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 3

A Scale of Necessity

I think that judgement, to an extent, is natural. In a way, it’s essential to survival: if an early human, for example, could not judge if something was safe to eat or not based on its appearance, they could die. If a person cannot judge what is dangerous and what isn’t, what is a good decision and what isn’t, it could cost them a lot. These kinds of judgements that we have to make are unavoidable, and to create a society without them would be pretty much impossible.


Still, I don’t think judgement or choice is always necessary, though. For example, I actually chose not to vote during our in-class pepper activity. You see, I don’t eat peppers often, let alone buy them, so how would I know what a good pepper looks like? Obviously there were physical differences between the peppers so I can’t say that they looked the same to me, but because I have such little experience with peppers I had no clue what made which pepper the “best” one. How was I supposed to choose? Why would I make a decision about peppers when I know nothing about them?


So I think judgement and choice exists on a wide scale of necessity. Some are made for survival, others are made for more trivial things like what clothes you’ll wear today, which picture you’ll use as your profile picture on social media, or which red pepper will taste the best.


At the same time, I think fighting against unreasonable judgements and discrimination is something that we should all be doing, and I don’t think a world without this kind of severe unfair discrimination is impossible. For example, racism. The idea that someone is inferior just because they are not white. Racism and race as a concept as we know of it today, at least in the West, did not really exist until the colonization of the Americas, when a social hierarchy based on race and skin color was created. Before, judgement between peoples was more so based on where someone was from; still a pretty unreasonable mindset, but my point is that today there are judgements that people make about others that are based on totally fake ideas, and these are judgements that we should work to abolish.


My lingering question is: what about the more “trivial” choices we make, like choosing which clothes to buy or which kind of phone to use. Can too many choices, even if they are over something that might be considered trivial in the grand scheme of things, still be a bad thing?


If only I had a dollar for every time I wrote the word "judgement" in this response...

finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 11

Judgement: Crucial vs. Catastrophic

In today’s society, judgement has become a second nature. You judge practically everything, from the mug you choose to pour your coffee into to the bag of chips you buy at the grocery store. In instances like these, judging is acceptable and even necessary. For example, you may judge the shirt you wanted to wear too dirty.

However, there is a line that tends to be crossed when it comes to discrimination. This line separates unintentional judgement from harmful judgement and when you begin to judge other people. No matter what aspect of them that you are picking apart, it yields the same result. As John A. Powell called it “Othering,” the sole purpose of this technique is to divide groups. I, myself, find being judged to be one of my biggest fears. I spend too much time troubling over what I’m going to wear for a Zoom class when even I know deep down that no one will care. Especially in the past few years it has become an everyday struggle while also growing to be more and more negative. With the increase in beauty standards and mountains of pressure, it really isn’t all that surprising.


Though it is true that there are many negative sides of judgement, it is still necessary in some areas of life. Without it, we would not be able to survive and we certainly wouldn’t be happy. Humans have been judging things for years, judging where to build a house, what crops to pick, etc. The harsher judgement has also been extremely prominent, for example, in choosing a spouse. However, I don’t believe that in earlier times there were this many negative sides to judgement.


Lingering Question: In her Ted Talk, Sheena Iyenger spoke about how the ability to choose is perceived differently around the world. Why may this be? What factors cause choice to be received well in America?

finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by sanandomun on November 12, 2020 01:01

My lingering question is: what about the more “trivial” choices we make, like choosing which clothes to buy or which kind of phone to use. Can too many choices, even if they are over something that might be considered trivial in the grand scheme of things, still be a bad thing?

I believe that judgement, in certain situations, is necessary, however, I do think that too many choices can result in being frustrated or upset with your decision. For example, like you said, choosing which phone to buy. So you head to the store and are greeted by the tens and tens of cellphones. You look around, ask the employees for their opinions, and scan the prices to choose which one you like best. You toil over this decision until finally picking the one you want, but with the risk of being let down. If you were to just have one choice for a phone, your decision would be infinitely easier. However, like Iyenger said in her Ted Talk, Americans enjoy having a choice (though a medical decision and buying a coffee table or choosing a soda are not nearly the same category).

HCK6614JD
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 6

Facing The Inevitable

Judgment is inevitable. We can try to escape from it but our minds will always come back to it. People can try to activate their conscious mind to not judge a person they meet at first glance, but they won’t be able to help their unconscious mind to form an opinion—an implicit bias—of the person in front of them. With that being said, judging isn’t a must but since we’re given so many choices today in today’s society, we have to judge the choices beforehand in order to make the better decision. If given the chance to choose, I don’t think anyone would skip out on the chance to do so even if either of what they’re choosing might not be ideal. Sheena Iyengar said in her TED talk that when parents are faced with the choice of letting their child survive just a few more days on life support or to pull the plug and not let them suffer any longer, they will still make the choice regardless of how much either choice will hurt.

Judging isn't necessarily a bad thing because it could be used to compare between the options given and people could mark off the options that aren’t so favorable for ones that are. There could be an argument for both, judgment could either be bad or good. It all depends on what the judgment is used for; if someone judges a person through their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and personality before befriending them, it would be bad because they already have a clear alignment towards the type of people they want to associate themselves with.

Choices can’t be avoided. They are there wherever you go. You’re home and you’re faced with the choice to either start homework or cook up something to fill up your empty stomach. You’ve just reached the legal age to vote and because of all the urging you face wherever you go to vote, you’re put under immense pressure to vote for one out of the two presidential candidates, whether good or bad, could affect the entirety of your future. So yes, choices are essential to making society function. Voting takes a huge role in how the future society will function and without it, we’d be living under a dictatorship being told every step we have to take. Without choice, everyone would essentially be living like robots. We all do the same thing, think with the same mindset, and act the same because there is simply no choice to differ from.

It’s hard to put a definite word on whether it would be possible for 7.8 billion people to come together as one and set aside our differences and see past any sort of discrimination but there’s an effort that could be taken towards that goal. Like Powell states in his article, we first have to recognize that we all are different in order to be able to celebrate those differences and let it bring us together “in a society where “we the people” includes all the people.”

To answer @sanandomun’s question, contrary to how having some choices is a good thing, too many choices in the grand scheme of things would just overwhelm a person and make it hard to choose which defeats the original purpose of choice—to make it easier for one to choose if the other options aren’t favorable. Even though it may be trivial, having too many choices may lead to the person having a problem with choosing anything at all and overthinking all their choices which would affect their life in the long run with every decision they make.

A question that I’d like to pose is that: given the opportunity and choice to end the causes of all choices in the world, would you do it? Would it be better for us to live in a world without choice?

._____________.
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 4

What makes something good or bad

I believe before even discussing discrimination, judgement and choice you have to assess whether these things are good or bas. “Discrimination-the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex” discrimination is geneally bad because of it’s inherant flaws especially in the word “unjust” making it judgement based on no actual evidence which can almost never be true. “Judgement-the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.” Judgment under this definition is completely fine I believe the word judgment has gotten a bad reputation because of its context on judging each other (which in my opinion is perfectly fine opinion you have the right to do it) but yeah especially in between two objects it’s perfectly acceptable. The idea of choice is also completely good. I don't feel as though I have to explain it though. Must we discriminate? That's a difficult question but I do think it’s no and I think the must is important. however a future with 0 discrimination can’t ever be viable because of things like physical and mental disabilities do get prejdicial treatment bacause tbh they can’t generally do as much as those without it. Must we judge/choose I think yes on both. Without them the world becomes a dystopia. Choice is vital to everything I think a big part of 1984 was the lack of choice there was and a lack of judgement leads to bad decisions in general which is just bad universally. I do believe there can be a world without judgement but I don’t believe it will be a very good one because it would lead to a lack of choices leaving everything with one option,and absolutely zero growth in anything. You would judge a phone to be better than another because of things like it being technologically superior to another if you were unable to judge it who would bother improving something?

dailychristmascountdown
Posts: 7

The Necessity of Judgment

A simple instance of judgment and advocating for a choice might be something as trivial as a toddler having a fit over being forced to eat a type of cereal he doesn’t like. In a commercial world, a lot of our ways of judging are probably based on what we have been told to enjoy. Pick the cereal box with the flashiest colors, the one whose advertisements have the loudest music! Society likes to say that youth are the most impressionable, but everyone at every age is impressionable. Politics nowadays is a source to learn how to judge. As John Powell explained in his article, Trump opened a door in politics to where explicitly labelling and judging groups of people is normal and eagerly listened to. The media builds up stereotypes and enforces what Powell calls “Othering.” Whether we want to or not, anyone who consumes any type of media forms implicit biases. We are oblivious to most of our instincts, from as trivial a thing as choosing which cereal to buy all the way to deciding not to sit next to someone of a certain race on the train. In this way, judgments fall all over a spectrum of good and bad. Some are harmless, such as choosing whichever pepper we liked best in class. But still, many judgments can be detrimental. As Powell described, in the 60s, the government shifted towards judging capital as more important than people. What the government prioritizes, people easily will follow, just as how Trump’s refusal to condemn the neo-Nazi white supremacists therefore encourages them. What I think is dangerous is that even if they have no discernible origin, humans still have the overwhelming urge to uphold their judgments.


Judgement is inevitable, and I think that judgment, most fundamentally, is just how our brain works to make shortcuts and get us to a decision faster. We cannot choose all the peppers, but only buy one, and in that sense judgment is necessary and society cannot function without it. Without judgment, everyone would be viewed the same despite our differences. And although we strive for equality, equality does not mean everyone is the same but that everyone is treated with equal fairness. We need to judge each other’s differences so that we can help those with harder circumstances. One quote from Alicia Garza’s podcast was “And so, if we were to say that all white people have power, and all people who are not white don't have power, that's not actually a nuanced analysis of how these systems work. And frankly, if we don't have that level of nuanced analysis, we don't have a shot at building the kinds of strategies that can dismantle theirs. And so, that's one thing. We're not all racing to be the most depressed. We're racing to make sure that nobody is without the things that they need.” What I took from this quote was that yes, we must judge, especially today, so that we can better understand the circumstances of each other and make sure that everybody gets what they need. It might be possible to live in a world without discrimination only if we use our power of judgment to recognize and learn from our differences and not antagonize them


I found most interesting from Sheena Iyengar’s TedTalk was the study of the French and American parents who had the agonizing choice of whether or not to take their baby off life support and, if so, when. The American parents who themselves chose when to do it ended up being more depressed than the French parents whose doctors chose for them. This made me think that maybe choice is not necessary all the time, but people should still have the opportunity to choose. What I mean by this is that if someone thinks that they will be happier with someone else making the decision for them, by all means that should be allowed, but I don’t think society would be content if they did not have the chance to make a choice themselves. For example, in a school that enforces uniforms, the students might be a little happier to not have to worry about what they wear every day, but I think the students in that school setting would benefit from having the choice to wear a uniform or not. Even if that opportunity of choice would add a little more stress to their day, this would teach them how to deal with their decisions.


The question HCK6614JD posed: “given the opportunity and choice to end the causes of all choices in the world, would you do it? Would it be better for us to live in a world without choice?” made me think a lot about myself and my own choices. In general, no, I would not end all opportunities of choice, just because we do not know what the alternative would be. Who would be making decisions for us? On a smaller scale, I think I would be happier with less choices in my life. I get very overwhelmed and anxious whenever I’m asked to choose something, but I know that if choice really was taken away, I would be longing for it.


My question is: with social media today, it is so easy to judge others and, in turn, be judged. In this somewhat rare situation, we have the choice to not be judged, that is, to not post anything about ourselves. How do you think this social media age has sharpened or dulled our judgements?








PineappleMan30
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 5

Political Choices and Who We Are as People

Originally posted by 239bid0073 on November 11, 2020 16:15

I never thought I would say this, but after listening to Sheena Lyengar’s TedTalk I don’t believe that having more options is necessarily better. And I think this could be a response to your question, razzledazzle. Today the beauty industry is worth almost 50 billion dollars in the United States. This means there are a lot of options to change, and enhance your appearance, and physical look. All of these options are contributing to the unrealistic beauty standards that suffocate people today. As Sheena explains it is up to us to find the differences in product and make the decision but the constant bombardment of advertisements from big companies always seems to sway our decisions. So in conclusion to my answer for your question, beauty standards are enforced by the amount of product there is, and the bombardment from top companies. I think that until we dismantle the beauty industry, and take some of that money away beauty standards are still going to crush people.

The simple answer is yes. Everything we do is a choice, and in order to come to a conclusive decision we have to discriminate, and judge every option. This means examining each option and its characteristics. Then based on this we judge. We judge which characteristics we like better and least and then we come to a conclusive decision. As Sheena Lyengar pointed out here in America, we make our decisions a lot harder. We think it is better to have many options, make choices ourselves, and make choices that only benefit ourselves. Studies from other countries may suggest that this is not always the best case.

In a study conducted in San Francisco that included Asian and Anglo American kids, they were asked to complete a coloring sheet that was either chosen by their mom, teacher, or themselves. The Asian American students completed the sheet best when they were told their mom picked it out for them. They did so because they felt that they were working for something greater than just themselves. In France, doctors make the decision of when and when not to take kids off life support. When doctors made the decision for parents in France they proved to have less stress a year later than did the parents who made the decision themselves here in the U.S.

While I believe that we have to make decisions easier and more simplistic here in America we have to recognize that they are always going to be a fundamental part of our society. After all our nation was built on the choice to lead itself, and the ideal of democracy is built on the choice of the people. Where this discrimination and judging stops though is where the rights of other’s begins. People everywhere have a right to live happily, safely, and peacefully. And once your judgement infringes on those rights, it has gone too far. It is in our blood to want to be the best, to want to survive, and do to great lengths to do so. But once a judgement or choice you have made comes too close to someone else, you know you have gone too far. Today we are living in an age where these boundaries don’t seem to exist. As Powell stated in Us vs. Them “ President Trump has opened a new space where people are emboldened to be explicit. We now have not only our nation’s leaders but many of our information networks amplifying these explicit calls to exclude and dehumanize”. Within the past four years it seems as if the boundaries that protected everyone’s rights have been broken down, and we are now living where people are being publicly discriminated against, and judged.

All in all, choice is neither a good or a bad thing because you have the power to control it. Choice comes from within. As Alicia Garza put it “ White Supremacy can be carried out by black people, it can be carried out by women”. We have choices to make, and most times they are influenced by our beliefs, experiences, and ideals. I think until we let go out of our personal ideals and make choices for the betterment of our people then we are going to live in a world of discrimination. The choices we make have to be uninfluenced and for a common goal.


Do you think your political choices ( meaning who and what you advocate for) reflect who you are as a person?

I agree with your point that more options doesn't mean it is better. Of course there's the factor of indecisiveness people deal with daily, and as you mentioned, there are certain options that will generally make you worse off, such as the standards of beauty in modern America. Beauty standards will crush people because everyone has this expectation that they have to look "pretty" yet that just isn't true.

We always have choices, yet I noticed (in part because I do it as well) that 1. so many people are indecisive in making decisions when it comes to having multiple options and 2. overthinking every possible option, stressing themselves out. I agree, examining and overthinking any option enables you to essentially judge, whether it's people or clothes or food, etc.

A privledge of being an American is that we get to have the freedom to make choices. I disagree with your opinion that it is simplistic in America, solely on the fact that as Americans. we always have more options, that people in other countries don't necessarily even get to make. Aside from that, I agree with the other statements you made. To your question, I believe that in modern times it definitely has come to be that way, that your political beliefs reflect who you are. In 2020 specifically, politics have come to include the virus, public health and systemic racism. The majority of people I've seen on social media believe that if you stand behind Trumps beliefs, you stand behind those things, which is implying that you are your political ideals.

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Is Discrimination Learned?

Thinking about judgement, discrimination, and choice making, there are a series of issues one must think about. When judging or choosing an option, candidate, or way to do things, one must think about whether this judgement or choice is based off of discrimination. As humans, it is not an innate feature built within us to discriminate amongst each other, so to say that one must discriminate against others goes against what we can clearly see which is that discrimination is not a readily avalible trait but, one that is learned.

Our judgement as humans is based on what we have learned to see as the best which means in the case of humans, those with identities that are not discriminated against can be seen as ‘better’ identities. So when making a judgment or choice among people which at times is necessary, one must unlearn the discrimination that they have been taught and make the best decision that they can with a key understanding of why they are choosing this particular person for the task, job, or whatever it may be. Without unlearning and acknowledging our biases our choices can be discriminatory which is bad, but human beings always have to make choices who to talk to, who to hire, keeping biases in mind while traveling through this life is always important. Judgement and choice aren’t inherently bad if one is aware of how learned discrimination is affecting those choices.

Society could function just fine without discrimination or judgement and perhaps soon in the future our society will be one without discrimination. After all children don't discriminate against each other until they learn to do so and we are growing as a society to teach our youth to not discriminate and uphold false standards. So one day we could live without discrimination and judgement within people. Hopefully someday soon.

My question is, what do you think would have to happen in order for us to live in a discriminatory free world?

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 9

Judgement on Social Media

Originally posted by dailychristmascountdown on November 12, 2020 03:20

A simple instance of judgment and advocating for a choice might be something as trivial as a toddler having a fit over being forced to eat a type of cereal he doesn’t like. In a commercial world, a lot of our ways of judging are probably based on what we have been told to enjoy. Pick the cereal box with the flashiest colors, the one whose advertisements have the loudest music! Society likes to say that youth are the most impressionable, but everyone at every age is impressionable. Politics nowadays is a source to learn how to judge. As John Powell explained in his article, Trump opened a door in politics to where explicitly labelling and judging groups of people is normal and eagerly listened to. The media builds up stereotypes and enforces what Powell calls “Othering.” Whether we want to or not, anyone who consumes any type of media forms implicit biases. We are oblivious to most of our instincts, from as trivial a thing as choosing which cereal to buy all the way to deciding not to sit next to someone of a certain race on the train. In this way, judgments fall all over a spectrum of good and bad. Some are harmless, such as choosing whichever pepper we liked best in class. But still, many judgments can be detrimental. As Powell described, in the 60s, the government shifted towards judging capital as more important than people. What the government prioritizes, people easily will follow, just as how Trump’s refusal to condemn the neo-Nazi white supremacists therefore encourages them. What I think is dangerous is that even if they have no discernible origin, humans still have the overwhelming urge to uphold their judgments.


Judgement is inevitable, and I think that judgment, most fundamentally, is just how our brain works to make shortcuts and get us to a decision faster. We cannot choose all the peppers, but only buy one, and in that sense judgment is necessary and society cannot function without it. Without judgment, everyone would be viewed the same despite our differences. And although we strive for equality, equality does not mean everyone is the same but that everyone is treated with equal fairness. We need to judge each other’s differences so that we can help those with harder circumstances. One quote from Alicia Garza’s podcast was “And so, if we were to say that all white people have power, and all people who are not white don't have power, that's not actually a nuanced analysis of how these systems work. And frankly, if we don't have that level of nuanced analysis, we don't have a shot at building the kinds of strategies that can dismantle theirs. And so, that's one thing. We're not all racing to be the most depressed. We're racing to make sure that nobody is without the things that they need.” What I took from this quote was that yes, we must judge, especially today, so that we can better understand the circumstances of each other and make sure that everybody gets what they need. It might be possible to live in a world without discrimination only if we use our power of judgment to recognize and learn from our differences and not antagonize them


I found most interesting from Sheena Iyengar’s TedTalk was the study of the French and American parents who had the agonizing choice of whether or not to take their baby off life support and, if so, when. The American parents who themselves chose when to do it ended up being more depressed than the French parents whose doctors chose for them. This made me think that maybe choice is not necessary all the time, but people should still have the opportunity to choose. What I mean by this is that if someone thinks that they will be happier with someone else making the decision for them, by all means that should be allowed, but I don’t think society would be content if they did not have the chance to make a choice themselves. For example, in a school that enforces uniforms, the students might be a little happier to not have to worry about what they wear every day, but I think the students in that school setting would benefit from having the choice to wear a uniform or not. Even if that opportunity of choice would add a little more stress to their day, this would teach them how to deal with their decisions.


The question HCK6614JD posed: “given the opportunity and choice to end the causes of all choices in the world, would you do it? Would it be better for us to live in a world without choice?” made me think a lot about myself and my own choices. In general, no, I would not end all opportunities of choice, just because we do not know what the alternative would be. Who would be making decisions for us? On a smaller scale, I think I would be happier with less choices in my life. I get very overwhelmed and anxious whenever I’m asked to choose something, but I know that if choice really was taken away, I would be longing for it.


My question is: with social media today, it is so easy to judge others and, in turn, be judged. In this somewhat rare situation, we have the choice to not be judged, that is, to not post anything about ourselves. How do you think this social media age has sharpened or dulled our judgements?








I think social media has definitely sharpened our judgements. Social media has basically become a platform for impossible standards. Though it isn't always the fault of the creator, certain apps like Instagram give way to certain unattainable standards whether it comes to your body or your face. Much of what is shown on social media is altered in one way or another. Whether its facetune or photoshop, a lot of what young people see isn't real. These unreal standards allow for a young audience to feel inferior and insecure. Insecurity leads to sharper judgment of one's self as well as others. I think that there is definitely a lot of positivity thru social media, but there is definitely a darker side that breeds insecurity and hate which in turn makes people more judgemental.

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