Tuesday, April 13, 2010

That Ugly Word, Discrimination!

Why do we discriminate? Because every decision we make is discriminatory. Each is simply a trade-off! Perhaps the more relevant question is where lies the “line of discrimination” whereby a choice becomes harmful?

Purchasing a red car versus a blue one seems pretty harmless unless we ascribe feelings to colors, right? But picking a job applicant only because one does not like people of a certain race or sex is obviously harmful, is it not?

What about picking between 2 candidates in which each appears equally competent though one is far prettier? Further assume the candidate's physical appearance will have a profoundly positive impact on potential customers. This choice will clearly necessitate discrimination, but is this the harmless or harmful type? Might one ask why this even matters since a decision must be made anyway?

If one thinks it to be the harmful type, he might be inclined to choose the less attractive candidate so as not to discriminate against those of more modest stock. But then he would be discriminating against pretty people!

Discrimination is unavoidable. It is what we might call a necessary evil. Be advised, much in life is akin to a zero sum game. As such somebody wins and somebody loses! The corollary to this is that we should probably just accept what is.

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