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Posted by JasonR86

Discrimination as defined by google.com:
"Unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice."
Prejudice as defined by google.com:
"Dislike, hostility, or unjust behavior formed on such a basis."
 
We all would like to think the US has grown as a society since the days before the civil rights movement of the 60s.  In a lot of ways we have.  Many of the older prejudices so common in that bygone era are now heavily ridiculed by society at large.  But, there are some prejudices that are still widely accepted and reinforced.  These are the prejudices commonly not thought of.  I don't mean to discuss the still prevalent prejudices involving race or sex, though such prejudices should not be ignored either.  Rather, the prejudices I want to discuss are the prejudices we accept.
 
Do you all remember this commercial?

Heard about Half Pint Brawlers?  It's a new Spike TV little person wrestling show (http://www.sescoops.com/wrestling-news/tna/details-on-bischoffs-new-midget-wrestling-reality-show/).
 
Little people are society's entertainment because they look different then the average person.  Besides Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, or Willow I can't you think of a time when little people were anything but comic relief in any form of media.  In my personal life, I have actually heard people say that they are scared of little people.  They are scared by people who don't look like them.  For example, apparently a McDonald's employee screamed and ran away from a little person when that person tried to order a meal (http://consumerist.com/2008/03/mcdonalds-worker-screams-and-runs-away-from-little-people-probably-shouldnt-be-assigned-to-register.html).  
 
How about the prejudice of overweight people?  I recently have started working on my knees through physical therapy.  One of the therapists' aides asked me what I was going to school for.  I told him that I'm in graduate school trying to become a psychologist.  He said that he couldn't do that job because he doesn't have sympathy for a lot of people.  He mentioned overweight people.  He said he can't stand hearing overweight people complain about things involving their weight as they are just lazy and don't try hard enough to lose their weight.  This isn't a belief kept to just this person.  In an article discussing overweight prejudices, one doctor was quoted as saying, "“If we’re worried about climate change, someone comes out with an article about how heavier people weigh more, so they require more fuel, and they blame the climate change crisis on fatter people. We have this strong belief system that it’s their fault, that it’s all about gluttony or lack of exercise.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/health/16essa.html).  It's not so much that an overweight person is unable to lose weight, it's the fact that it is somehow ok to blame an overweight person for their physical stature.
 
How about a prejudice toward Muslims in America?  Ever since 9/11 and it was found out that terrorists calling themselves Muslims were behind the attack, there has been a strong anti-Muslim sentiment in the US.  I know from personal experience that at one of my previous jobs a coworker of mine once told me that Americans shouldn't vote for Obama as he is a Muslim (back when that rumor was popular) and "that's who we are fighting".  He's not alone in his opinion.  A recent survey of 1,007 Americans showed that, "...thirty-nine percent of respondents to the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll said they felt at least some prejudice against Muslims. The same percentage favored requiring Muslims, including U.S. citizens, to carry a special ID "as a means of preventing terrorist attacks in the United States." About one-third said U.S. Muslims were sympathetic to al-Qaeda, and 22% said they wouldn't want Muslims as neighbors." (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-09-muslim-american-cover_x.htm).  
 
This entire post is designed as a way to show that prejudices don't just involve the popular ones we all know of.  The hope behind me making this post is that we can open up and become more aware of the prejudices that surround us all the time and work toward stopping them.  You don't have to join a protest or some group to do this.  Stand up to those who push those prejudices forward.  Call out those that make fun of little people, blame overweight people for one thing or another or call all Muslims terrorists.  Further, these examples are not all encompassing.  Prejudices are a part of society no matter the society discussed.  But that inevitability is not an excuse to throw one's arms up in discouragement.  Stand up to these prejudices and don't support those that continue to perpetuate that hate.
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I live in an area where, unfortunately, slander towards blacks, Muslims, and just about every possible creed or color other than white is commonplace. I've spoken my piece on ignorance and tolerance to these people, and been on the receiving end of light xenophobia of my own (I was accused as a child by the school's superintendant as being a "California street punk" after stopping a kid from beating up my brother in our new hometown, as well as a decade or so of spit and vitriol from all sorts of townies for being from their most hated state). It's shocking and saddening to know that people can be so blind as to hate entire demographics, but I think a large part of it is that some people want or need a bad guy in their life, no matter how stupid that notion may be, and Muslims and/or other races are convenient targets because they're visibly different. It's sick and twisted, but all we can do is continue to make our voices heard and try to stem the tide of ignorance.

Moderator
Posted by cnlmullen

Great / thoughtful blog post. It's not too often you see expressions of empathy on GiantBomb's forums :-P

Edited by believer258

Good post. 
 
Still, we're a little bit better off now than we were in the early 1900's, where anyone that wasn't white was prejudiced against in pretty much everything. 
 
A lot of this stems from complete ignorance of a topic. A cursory look into the Islamic religion reveals that it doesn't encourage killing people who don't follow their faith, or indeed killing people at all. About the same amount of research into obesity reveals that several causes are possible, from stress to health problems to even a lack of funds for decent food. Finally, I've personally met a "small person", a midget, and he was exactly the same as us except for his stature. I don't believe how anyone could consider them anything else, much less see how they could be afraid of them for their size.

Posted by Jimbo

Forming an opinion on somebody based on something they have control over is not the same as discriminating against somebody for something they don't.

If somebody chooses to follow a religion, and that religion is known to demand barbaric practices, then it isn't prejudicial for this choice to influence how you think of that person. If somebody is happy to go through their life being obese, then that says something about them too. Whether or not that 'something' ought to be considered important or not will depend largely on the culture you live in.

Posted by JasonR86
@Sparky_Buzzsaw
 
I'm sorry you've had to deal with hate like that.  You are right though, the best we can do is stand up to the prejudices and hope we can at least stem the tide of hate.
 
@cnlmullen
 
Thanks man.
 
@believer258
 
We are much better off then where we have been in the past in terms of prejudices and tolerance.  But with that progress comes beliefs that we have somehow moved beyond such beliefs.  I think it can be just as harmful to ignore prejudices and become complacent due to perceived societal growth.  Hopefully we can continue to make improvement as our society grows.
 
@Jimbo said:

Forming an opinion on somebody based on something they have control over is not the same as discriminating against somebody for something they don't.

If somebody chooses to follow a religion, and that religion is known to demand barbaric practices, then it isn't prejudicial for this choice to influence how you think of that person. If somebody is happy to go through their life being obese, then that says something about them too. Whether or not that 'something' ought to be considered important or not will depend largely on the culture you live in.


I do understand where you're coming from though I don't agree.  But regardless of how you or I feel about the groups I discussed in the OP, the part that I don't like is the belief that one can feel as if they are entitled the right to discriminate one, or all, of those groups and that much of society may even reinforce that notion.  Personal beliefs don't have to lead to outward actions.  I don't expect those with radical beliefs to change their opinions over night.  I don't even demand they change their opinions ever on anything.  BUT, I do demand tolerance. 
Posted by HandsomeDead

No, you're right; let's like everything and love everyone be because everyone is special and awesome and deserves to be loved.

Edited by nemt

Atheists, a plurality in America (a vast amount of Christians are crypto-atheists) are openly discriminated against every day.

Posted by billyhoush
@nemt said:

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions. 

You are complaining about discrimination while discriminating. I'm not religious but I'm mature enough to respect other people's choices and beliefs. Are you some sort of Atheist extremist? Because you sound no different from an ignorant religious fanatic.
Edited by BoG

I'm a Mormon, and people think it's pretty cool to hate on us. Doesn't bother me too much, but it happens fairly often.
Posted by Jimbo

@JasonR86 said:

@Jimbo said:

Forming an opinion on somebody based on something they have control over is not the same as discriminating against somebody for something they don't.

If somebody chooses to follow a religion, and that religion is known to demand barbaric practices, then it isn't prejudicial for this choice to influence how you think of that person. If somebody is happy to go through their life being obese, then that says something about them too. Whether or not that 'something' ought to be considered important or not will depend largely on the culture you live in.

I do understand where you're coming from though I don't agree. But regardless of how you or I feel about the groups I discussed in the OP, the part that I don't like is the belief that one can feel as if they are entitled the right to discriminate one, or all, of those groups and that much of society may even reinforce that notion. Personal beliefs don't have to lead to outward actions. I don't expect those with radical beliefs to change their opinions over night. I don't even demand they change their opinions ever on anything. BUT, I do demand tolerance.

Really, you demand tolerance? That's funny... but it's also exactly how it works. Tolerance only extends as far as the society of the day decides it does, and then we make laws to force everybody to behave accordingly. Of course, alot of things we consider to be fine today won't be in the future, and vice versa.

I suspect your tolerance extends to religions not because they are religions, but because the manner in which they are being practiced around you is acceptable to you. As soon as those religious practices come into conflict with the rights of some other group we deem to take precedence (race, sex, sexual orientation etc.), the tolerance for the religion goes out the window and they're (usually and rightly) forced to cut that shit out. In some cases it is simply impossible to be tolerant of everybody because their beliefs are incompatible. It's here where the whole 'be tolerant of everything!' philosophy falls to pieces.

Posted by nemt

@billyhoush said:

@nemt said:

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions.

You are complaining about discrimination while discriminating. I'm not religious but I'm mature enough to respect other people's choices and beliefs. Are you some sort of Atheist extremist? Because you sound no different from an ignorant religious fanatic.

Make no mistake: I openly discriminate against people who say/do/believe stupid things and I don't apologize for it. Discriminating against people for things out of their control is objectively wrong - but discriminating based on their actions? That's just common sense. The obsession in modern society with respect for idiocy is one of the main obstacles to social progress and a truly free society.

Posted by JasonR86
@HandsomeDead
 
I kind of figured that if you read this blog you would say something like that.
 
@nemt
 
I agree, Atheists are looked down upon in the US.  That doesn't mean it is ok to condemn and make fun of those who believe a religion like you did.  You, in a way, are proving why I named this blog 'socially accepted discrimination' because many people can have the opinion of religious people, like you do AND share it openly without fear of reprimand.  That is sad to me.
 
@BoG
 
I'm a Protestant Christian myself and understand the hate you've heard as a Mormon (though I think you may have gotten the shorter end of that stick).  It is sad you and I have learned to be accepting of this.
Posted by SeriouslyNow
@HandsomeDead
No, you're right; let's like everything and love everyone be because everyone is special and awesome and deserves to be loved.
Even shortsighted, unpleasant, selfish, small minded people like you who seem to hate everything deserve to treated with some measure of respect, I agree.
Posted by Aegon

I looked in an oxford dictionary and one definition for a Jew was someone who is cheap. How's that for fucking discrimination? 

Edited by nemt

@JasonR86

You're mistaken. It's not socially acceptable, at least in the US, to make comments about religious people the way I do. Religion in America is a sacred cow, casting any criticism or doubt on it is viewed as extremely disrespectful, regardless of the company present. While it's ok to mock religious fanatics, pointing out the equally stupid beliefs of "mainstream" people (who, incidentally, bow to imaginary beings and restrict their diets/dress/weekend schedules based on ancient superstition) is considered some incredible affront. That's the problem. Until more people grow the balls to challenge mainstream religion millions of people will continue feeling like they need to pretend to follow it and countless millions more will continue to have their lives negatively impacted, if not ruined, by it.

Posted by JasonR86
@Jimbo
 
I think you may be thinking of the word 'tolerate' differently then I do.  Here's one difinition of tolerance; " The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with."  I'm not saying people have to accept everything.  But, be willing to live with the differences we all have between one another.  You're right in saying that once human rights are impacted by the practices of a once tolerated belief then we should condemn such behavior.  I don't see how that rationale conflicts with tolerating, or living with, differences.  Yes, society impacts how far tolerance extends but society can change.  Throwing up one's arms due to discouragement is a sad end to the opportunity to lead to such change.@nemt said:

@billyhoush said:


Make no mistake: I openly discriminate against people who say/do/believe stupid things and I don't apologize for it. Discriminating against people for things out of their control is objectively wrong - but discriminating based on their actions? That's just common sense. The obsession in modern society with respect for idiocy is one of the main obstacles to social progress and a truly free society.

That response is just sad.  The whole thing.  There are those who say homosexuality is a choice rather then due to biology.  Is it ok for those people to discriminate against homosexuals because they believe those people chose to be homosexuals?  What about those who believe differently from you politically?  Is it ok to hate those people?  What in the world are you going to teach your children if or when you have children if you don't already?  My God dude. 
Posted by CL60

Red heads.

Posted by JasonR86
@nemt said:

@JasonR86

You're mistaken. It's not socially acceptable, at least in the US, to make comments about religious people the way I do. Religion in America is a sacred cow, casting any criticism or doubt on it is viewed as extremely disrespectful, regardless of the company present. While it's ok to mock religious fanatics, pointing out the equally stupid beliefs of "mainstream" people (who, incidentally, bow to imaginary beings and restrict their diets/dress/weekend schedules based on ancient superstition) is considered some incredible affront. That's the problem. Until more people grow the balls to challenge mainstream religion millions of people will continue feeling like they need to pretend to follow it and countless millions more will continue to have their lives negatively impacted, if not ruined, by it.

...you sound angry.
 
@H2Oyea said:
I looked in an oxford dictionary and one definition for a Jew was someone who is cheap. How's that for fucking discrimination? 

My God man.  That's disappointing.
Posted by clumsyninja1

The US will have bigotry as long as they live...plus the other races should be happy they had the civil rights movement, heck even woman are allowed to vote now. Otherwise watch Mad Men and see how society was back then. People will never stop complaining no matter what, get over it. If you don't like it move to another country or go back to yours.

Posted by JasonR86
@clumsyninja1 said:
The US will have bigotry as long as they live...plus the other races should be happy they had the civil rights movement, heck even woman are allowed to vote now. Otherwise watch Mad Men and see how society was back then. People will never stop complaining no matter what, get over it. If you don't like it move to another country or go back to yours.
Oh man, really?  'Other races' should be happy?  'Even women can vote'?  I smell a troll.
Posted by nemt

@JasonR86

there isn't anything inherent unintelligent or factually incorrect about sexual preferences or political affiliations (barring, of course, some bizarre fringe elements of each), so that comparison fails.

Take your strawman argument elsewhere, please.

Note: I had typed a longer reply, but lost it in a 500 error when I hit Reply.

Posted by billyhoush
@nemt said:

@billyhoush said:

@nemt said:

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions.

You are complaining about discrimination while discriminating. I'm not religious but I'm mature enough to respect other people's choices and beliefs. Are you some sort of Atheist extremist? Because you sound no different from an ignorant religious fanatic.

Make no mistake: I openly discriminate against people who say/do/believe stupid things and I don't apologize for it. Discriminating against people for things out of their control is objectively wrong - but discriminating based on their actions? That's just common sense. The obsession in modern society with respect for idiocy is one of the main obstacles to social progress and a truly free society.

Everything you are saying is subjective. In a truly free society you can believe in whatever you want as long as it doesn't interfere with other people. I'm not saying your American society is correct but you are being an extremest. You are no different than PETA and their views on meat eaters. You wont change or challenge the world with your negative tactics, you will just fuel the fire of the religious extremests as a counter balance.
 
I'm sorry if you grew up in a hick town, or some middle eastern guys knocked down your towers, or even if a pervy priest stuck his dinky up your bum but in the end they won by turning you into one of them. You just don't realize it.
Posted by JasonR86
@nemt said:

@JasonR86

there isn't anything inherent unintelligent or factually incorrect about sexual preferences or political affiliations (barring, of course, some bizarre fringe elements of each), so that comparison fails.

That's entirely a subjective view that many would disagree with you on.  You're just not willing to accept that you're views on things are not...for lack of a better word, 'gospel' that everyone believes to be factual.
 
@nemt said:

Take your strawman argument elsewhere, please.

Fuck you this is my thread.
 
@nemt said:

Note: I had typed a longer reply, but lost it in a 500 error when I hit Reply.

What a shame.
Posted by BoG
@nemt said:

@JasonR86

You're mistaken. It's not socially acceptable, at least in the US, to make comments about religious people the way I do. Religion in America is a sacred cow, casting any criticism or doubt on it is viewed as extremely disrespectful, regardless of the company present. While it's ok to mock religious fanatics, pointing out the equally stupid beliefs of "mainstream" people (who, incidentally, bow to imaginary beings and restrict their diets/dress/weekend schedules based on ancient superstition) is considered some incredible affront. That's the problem. Until more people grow the balls to challenge mainstream religion millions of people will continue feeling like they need to pretend to follow it and countless millions more will continue to have their lives negatively impacted, if not ruined, by it.


Wow. You, my friend, are radically close-minded. People challenge mainstream religion on a daily basis. you and I come from very different worlds. I don't know how you've seen people's lives ruined by religion, but I'm sorry for whatever it did to you. I've seen first-hand the powerful, positive change religion can cause in someone's life. To be honest, I can understand skepticism of God, but still hold that everyone needs some sort of religious or philosophical framework around which to base your life. I'm a Christian, but I find Taoism to be wonderfully enlightnening. I also feel it is right to respect people for how they choose to live and think, even if you disagree. I think it's silly that people enjoy doing dangerous things like ride motorcyclesand smoke cigarettes, but I won't condemn them for it. Bigotry aint cool.
Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG

Well its socially acceptable to be discriminate white people.  And to asian people to some extent.  Well no actually you can say that about any race. 

Edited by nemt

@BoG

You exhibit just the kind of eloquence and clarity I'd expect from someone who likes Hideo Kojima games.

Positive change based on delusion, superstition, lies and coercion isn't positive at all. It leads to complacency on an individual level and outright stagnation as a society. For example it's irrelevent if believing an almighty being judges and rewards/punishes everyone after death makes certain people feel great - they're objectively wrong in this belief and it hampers their ability to speak intelligently about justice in the real world.

Religion isn't something where the "well I feel this way but I respect everyone's right to disagree" viewpoint is valid, regardless of how many airheads hold it. Religious people, extremist or not, actively harm society as a whole - and have done so for centuries. it doesn't matter if a large number of people are tricked into feeling good by it - it's a dangerous, backwards fraud.

Also, close-minded isn't a word. You're thinking of closed minded, which I freely admit I am on the topic of religion. I entertain no possibility that the insane superstitions crafted by tall tale tellers in ancient times hold any weight or have any place (aside from historic value) in modern society.

Posted by BoG

@nemt
Hey, Snatcher was pretty coherent until the last chapter. 
I truly do find it funny, though, your statements that religious people all harm society. Granted, religion can be to blame for science advancing slowly. Look at Einstein. However, the only religious people who are a detriment to society are those as "closed-minded" as you are with regards to religion.

Edited by Panpipe

@JasonR86 said:

How about the prejudice of overweight people? I recently have started working on my knees through physical therapy. One of the therapists' aides asked me what I was going to school for. I told him that I'm in graduate school trying to become a psychologist. He said that he couldn't do that job because he doesn't have sympathy for a lot of people. He mentioned overweight people. He said he can't stand hearing overweight people complain about things involving their weight as they are just lazy and don't try hard enough to lose their weight. This isn't a belief kept to just this person. In an article discussing overweight prejudices, one doctor was quoted as saying, "“If we’re worried about climate change, someone comes out with an article about how heavier people weigh more, so they require more fuel, and they blame the climate change crisis on fatter people. We have this strong belief system that it’s their fault, that it’s all about gluttony or lack of exercise.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/health/16essa.html). It's not so much that an overweight person is unable to lose weight, it's the fact that it is somehow ok to blame an overweight person for their physical stature.

I have a lot of sympathy for overweight people. I understand that there are often deep-rooted psychological issues that lead to over-eating, and that people don't just get fat because they're lazy and greedy. Eating can also be a vicious cycle that's incredibly hard to break out of.

BUT, why is it not okay to blame an overweight person for their physical stature? Who else is to blame? Ultimately, is a person not in charge of their own body?

Personally I think a person should take responsibility for their own actions. No, we shouldn't point fingers at overweight people, however, they made the choice to eat beyond their requirements.

@BoG said:

I don't know how you've seen people's lives ruined by religion, but I'm sorry for whatever it did to you. I've seen first-hand the powerful, positive change religion can cause in someone's life. To be honest, I can understand skepticism of God, but still hold that everyone needs some sort of religious or philosophical framework around which to base your life. I'm a Christian, but I find Taoism to be wonderfully enlightnening. I also feel it is right to respect people for how they choose to live and think, even if you disagree. I think it's silly that people enjoy doing dangerous things like ride motorcyclesand smoke cigarettes, but I won't condemn them for it. Bigotry aint cool.

For the record, religion has been the justification for billions of deaths over the course of the past few centuries. I'm not saying that war wouldn't happen if religion didn't exist, but there's no doubt that it's lead to a ridiculous amount of death, destruction and suffering.

Yes, isn't it lovely that religion helps some people find happiness and keep some sort of weird grip on reality.

Posted by JasonR86
@Burglarize
 
It's not so much how a person becomes overweight that is the point, though that is still up in the air for many people at this point in our understanding of how people become very overweight.  BUT, it's the belief that many people feel entitled to blaming these people for their statures.  It's the idea that people feel it is within their rights to make fun of, judge, and condemn others for one reason or another and weight is one of the most widely accepted examples of this.  It is a disrespectful belief that is entirely wrong on many levels.
Posted by Rawrnosaurous

I deal with prejudice constantly and I personally find it sickening and can barely stand it. Some people are very forth coming with their racism and that I find to be more disturbing than people discriminating against dwarfs. Apparently if you get a couple of white people together the N word flies out of their mouths with reckless abandon. It's insane, hell I'm seriously shocked that Obama was elected president I thought for sure that the massive amount of racism that is kept hidden would come to burst. Hell, my entire extended family are just a massive bunch of racists my grandparents joked about driving to DC to kill Obama if he was elected.
 
Hell they stopped talking to me when they found out that I very rarely date white people, my uncle trained his giant doberman to attack only black people. Sometimes its hard to see if we as a culture really progressed past racism or if people just learn to keep it out of the public view. Racism as much as I wish this wasn't true will never really go away, and no matter how multicultural we try to present our nation as, it doesn't take much for us to put it back up. Hell, if people aren't being racist towards mexicans because they percieve them all to be illegals, criminals, or drug dealers then they are racist to muslim's because people from that religion and region did something bad. It's depressing and just when you think the world is at it's lowest point, fuckers rhyme Mozart with likes art.

Edited by Meowshi
@nemt said:

Atheists, a plurality in America (a vast amount of Christians are crypto-atheists) are openly discriminated against every day.

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions. It's ok to discriminate against people whose actions are stupid, dangerous or destructive - as it's entirely within their control to change. Choosing to act like an idiot should be met with negative results, not acceptance and understanding.

Don't all bigots have some justification for their discriminatory beliefs and behaviors?  I feel like we should be saying, "discrimination is wrong", rather than trying to argue over what is the right reason to treat other people like shit.  Your whole post can basically we reduced to, "discrimination is great!  We are just discriminating against the wrong people!"   
 
Discrimination is discrimination, regardless of the reasoning behind it.  You can't complain about discrimination in one sentence, and then criticize acceptance and understanding in the next.  It just makes no sense.  
Posted by Meowshi
@clumsyninja1 said:
The US will have bigotry as long as they live...plus the other races should be happy they had the civil rights movement, heck even woman are allowed to vote now. Otherwise watch Mad Men and see how society was back then. People will never stop complaining no matter what, get over it. If you don't like it move to another country or go back to yours.
What exactly is your problem with people trying to make things better?  The reason the civil rights movement happened is because people didn't just sit around, "stop complaining", and "get over it".   
 
Also, "if you don't like it move to another country" is the most unpatriotic thing I've ever heard.  If you aren't interested in seeing the country be the best it can be, then you are the one who is failing society.
Posted by TooWalrus

@nemt said:

Atheists, a plurality in America (a vast amount of Christians are crypto-atheists) are openly discriminated against every day.

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions. It's ok to discriminate against people whose actions are stupid, dangerous or destructive - as it's entirely within their control to change. Choosing to act like an idiot should be met with negative results, not acceptance and understanding.

Hey! That could very well be a real meteorite!

Posted by BraveToaster
@nemt said:

Atheists, a plurality in America (a vast amount of Christians are crypto-atheists) are openly discriminated against every day.

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions. It's ok to discriminate against people whose actions are stupid, dangerous or destructive - as it's entirely within their control to change. Choosing to act like an idiot should be met with negative results, not acceptance and understanding.

Irony!
Posted by actionTACO

"old" racism and discrimination didn't go anywhere, as evidenced by the continued discrimination minorities face in employment and in the justice system. people just learned to bury it under a thin layer of weasel words and dog-whistle terms. 
 
"niggers are lazy" will get you yelled at, but "people in the inner city and welfare queens are leaching off us productive folk" will probably get you approving nods.

Edited by pekoe212

I'm not surprised by the responses, but some of them made me a little sick to my stomach. It's obvious some of you have not been through very much in life. If you had, I think you would have far more compassion for other people. I've seen both sides and I know what heals and what wounds. Sneering at people and judging them is so much easier than actually paying some fucking attention to the world outside of your own fears and sense of powerlessness. It's a lot easier to destroy than to create.

Posted by buzz_killington

I'm really looking forward to "Life's Too Short", RIcky Gervais' new show about a showbiz 'little-person'.

Posted by lazyturtle
@BoG said:
 People challenge mainstream religion on a daily basis. you and I come from very different worlds. I don't know how you've seen people's lives ruined by religion, but I'm sorry for whatever it did to you. I've seen first-hand the powerful, positive change religion can cause in someone's life. To be honest, I can understand skepticism of God, but still hold that everyone needs some sort of religious or philosophical framework around which to base your life.   
 
I have to disagree with this part of your response. You can't really challenge mainstream religion without repercussions (unless you're a kid). Walk into a job interview and let it be known that you're an atheist and you'd be cut out of the running. Walk in an let it be known you are a fundamentalist Christian..no problem. Run for President as an atheist? Not possible. Senator? Not possible. Governor? Improbable (I think there might have been one or two open atheists). Congress, again extremely improbable (again, one or 2 over the years).  Being openly religious is acceptable, being openly atheist is a liability.  
Have you seen the response to the Freedom From Religion billboards? Compare that to the thousands of "Honk fer Jesus" billboards around the country. 
Even your response, you fundamentally believe that everyone needs some sort of religious or philosophical framework to base their lives. So what about people like me, who not only have no belief in god(s), but no overarching philosophy that they subscribe to? What could you possible think about people like me? That we're crazy? Misguided? Immoral? Destined for Hell?
Its hard to imagine how you could see someone like me in any other light.   

I'm all about live and let live. Keep your religion, belive in Santa or god or whatever...just don't make laws based on it, don't advertise it in public. Mind your own business on the issue and keep it to yourself. If the rest of us want to join Scientology or Mormonism or whatever...we'll call. 
Atheists are openly discriminated against without repercussion. We have no public champions, no organizations flush with billions of tax free dollars. We don't get special treatment by law either. 
Just as an example, if I were opposed to vaccinations (or any other medical treatment) because of my religion I can get an exemption. 
If I were opposed to vaccinations on the grounds that I believe that the likelihood of having the diseases are roughly equal to the incident of side effects from the vaccination process (or any other non-religious reasons)...TS.
Posted by StalkingTurnip
@nemt
Dude, You need to find an outlook for your rage. May I suggest the Gospel of Jesus Christ? But seriously you should take other people's beliefs into account and respect them because this builds credibilty so people actually listen. If you just rage at how stupid everyone is, everyone wll ignore you.
Posted by Clonedzero

well in defense of society, midgets ARE pretty funny.

Posted by Napalm

This thread makes me ashamed to be here.

Posted by cnlmullen

@nemt said:

Discriminating against people who choose openly choose to pray to an imaginary sky pal five times a day and gyrate around a fake meteorite (Muslims) is not comparable to people who ignore these and other idiotic superstitions. It's ok to discriminate against people whose actions are stupid, dangerous or destructive - as it's entirely within their control to change.

...

Positive change based on delusion, superstition, lies and coercion isn't positive at all. It leads to complacency on an individual level and outright stagnation as a society. For example it's irrelevent if believing an almighty being judges and rewards/punishes everyone after death makes certain people feel great

...

Religion isn't something where the "well I feel this way but I respect everyone's right to disagree" viewpoint is valid, regardless of how many airheads hold it. Religious people, extremist or not, actively harm society as a whole - and have done so for centuries. it doesn't matter if a large number of people are tricked into feeling good by it - it's a dangerous, backwards fraud.

I'm an atheist, and while it may be true that religion negatively influences behavior, that doesn't make it cool to actively discriminate against people of faith. We can't reasonably expect not to be discriminated against if we discriminate against others.

We may be right, but they have no way of knowing that. They are as convinced that they are right as we are. You need to take perspective into account.

Posted by Azteris

I don't see the problem with judging people for their actions. Most people who are overweight aren't overweight because of a thyroid issue or anything that's outside of their control. So I don't understand the need to make everyone feel sorry for people that largely do it to themselves.

Edited by cnlmullen

@Azteris said:

I don't see the problem with judging people for their actions. Most people who are overweight aren't overweight because of a thyroid issue or anything that's outside of their control. So I don't understand the need to make everyone feel sorry for people that largely do it to themselves.

Well, discrimination(e.g. I'm not hiring you) is generally considered a little more serious than judging (e.g. I don't approve of you).

But when you think about actions, and the role both environment and biology play in forming them, it becomes pretty much irrational to even judge anyone based on their behavior. It's unreasonable to expect anyone to be able to abstain from all judgement, but its worth considering that those feelings don't really have a basis in logic.

Edited by PrivateIronTFU

Let's just all agree to be nice and kind to one another. Except HandsomeDead. For obvious reasons. 
 
Edit: Also, nemt.

Posted by EuanDewar
@PrivateIronTFU
Let's just all agree to be nice and kind to one another. Except HandsomeDead. For obvious reasons. 
 
Edit: Also, nemt.
Be nasty to me, please.

I need this.
Posted by PrivateIronTFU
@EuanDewar said:
@PrivateIronTFU
Let's just all agree to be nice and kind to one another. Except HandsomeDead. For obvious reasons. 
 
Edit: Also, nemt.
Be nasty to me, please. I need this.
Well, if that's what you really want, then I'll oblige.
Posted by Dunchad

Some good responses in this thread. I agree with OP in the sense that there is no need to rub your disapproval of someone in their face.

I dislike a good majority of people, mostly because their beliefs/behaviour are illogical to me. But I don't tell them that - what would be the point? If someone is overweight, you can be sure that they know it already and probably feel shitty about it - there's nothing to be gained by pointing it out or worse, mocking them because of it.

Fanatics are the main issue in my opinion - not restricted to religion either. I think it's fine to discriminate fanatics, be it christians, muslims or bieberites because that way, we can hope that they'll eventually realize their mistakes. Though then again, adversity can sometimes make groups like that even more dedicated - so who knows how they should be handled.

Posted by Inkerman

Little people, sure, they get a lot of shit, but I think that's something that they'll have to deal with. I went to school with a guy who was both a dwarf and gay, no-one gave him any shit over it. Now fat people on the other hand, they have a choice in the matter, and I fully support things like them paying for two seats on aeroplanes if they weigh over X amount. 
 
On the wider issue of racism and stuff, I live in Australia, which is widely accepted as one of the most racist places in the world, but the key difference is is that racism isn't generally malicious. It generally doesn't appear in advertising or anything like that, nor are people excluded from anything because of their race, but it's something everyone grows up with here. And it's not just whites on everyone else. I have a friend who's Greek, she actually calls herself a wog, I have another who's Muslim, and I was talking to her about her fasting, and putting out how dumb it was she wasn't allowed to drink water during the day, considering her people come from the desert. It's just lower level stuff, but it's everywhere, and it's something you get used to (and in many cases embrace). In fact I think this prevalence of lower level racism is why Australia is one of the few places multiculturalism has been successful, because as soon as anyone gets uppity about their culture, they get knocked down a peg.

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