Can we change our biased views?

As I wrote recently, many of us are unconsciously prejudiced against some other types of people.We may be able to discover this by accident as when we  have never had a black doctor when we do see one we may catch ourselves wondering if they are any good.

It is painful to find these things out when  our self image is of a “good” person.I read it is not easy to change these prejudices.However by becoming aware of them we can stop ourselves acting on them using  our will power.I feel now that Confession in the church was misinterpreted.Just confessing sins  may not change much.It’s discovering our “sins” which is is hard.

Of course some of us may discover such things and not care especially if   our friends also have these habits.We may be fully conscious of this but  be unwilling to change.Or we wrongly believe that women or Jews or black people really are inferior to white men.Now many of us fear Muslims we are inclined to lump them all together and condemn them.Ironically I have been invited at Xmas by a Muslim and a Jew but not as yet by a Christian nor an atheist.

When we become aware of our mistaken subconscious harmful beliefs we have a chance of reining them in.If we can’t or won’t we may harm others seriously.As we look at history we can see this.At one time ,in the USA, it was legal to shoot  native  Red Indians [as we called them when I was little]

In other words it is easy for human beings to see a different ethnic group as sub-human.This is how the Nazis operated against the Jews in the 1930’s.Once that happens then you can easily kill them like you would a wild animal.. we had rat poison here last winter.We only had one!I’d prefer not to kill them but  they are bad for our health and can also    gnaw the plastic on electric wiring… we had that!!

2 thoughts on “Can we change our biased views?

  1. The real problems start when we generalise. Some immigrant doctors, for example, have poor command of English or speak in a heavily-accented way, which must surely raise doubts over their ability to understand a patient’s problem. But to go from there to assuming all immigrants are suspect is clearly false.

    We do, though, always have to learn to accept the unfamiliar. I think there are protective measures deep within us that make us cautious, so that we have to build up our confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,it is more complex than I wrote there in my post and I agree we must be made to be cautious as it prolongs life in many cases.But even very intelligent people generalise.A professor I knew in the 1970’s refused to let a black doctor into his house to see a sick child.
      And a Jewish colleague who was raised in South Africa after WW2 and in the apartheid era told me she vomited after sitting next to a black person aon a bus for the first time.. it’s not easy to alter built in perceptions.In her case when I knew her she was teaching lots of black students with no problem.
      I suppose I was trying to make one important point that being willing to know the worst about ourselves is not just a painful effort.It can lead us into being able to exert some control over our actions or speech even if we can’t immediately remove the belief from our minds.So to be conscious while it is painful is also good.The inbuilt caution remains static in animals but we can change it even if it’s only a little.No doubt this lady I mentioned felt initilly uncomfortable with black people but she overcame it by persistence.Actually we had a huge number of black students and Asian… from Brunei!My photograph is hanging on some walls over there.The Brunei students were very fond of me.

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