posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 03:37 PM
This is basically a philosophical discussion, so I figured it's best places here, if any mods disagree feel free to move it to a more appropriate
My basic premise for this thread is to get opinions on if people are responsible for the way they feel, their attractions, their dislikes, and their
thoughts. People often chastise and hate people simply for their feelings. Is this right? Can you really blame someone for the way they feel, or the
thoughts that pop into their head? Can you control such things? A few examples.
Racism is basically believing another race is inferior, sub-human, unworthy, etc. Someone is labeled a racist, bigot, or accused of being prejudiced,
all negative labels, often times simply for the way they feel. There are many reasons that people feel this way. They could have been raised in a way
where they were taught such things, they could have had life experiences with members of a certain race that led them to form opinions of a whole race
based on a few people. None of those things could have happened, and they simply observe other races and their view of them is influenced by that.
Regardless of why someone is the way they are, people will bash someone who thinks badly of another race. If you think black people overall are less
civilized of less intelligent, some people will hate you. But how can people judge you based on your feelings? Right or wrong, you cannot control how
you FEEL about something. You may educate yourself and realize that the differences in people is only skin deep, and that black people are no less
intelligent or civilized than Asians or whites. You may interact with black people in a very respectful manner, and try your best to rid yourself of
your feelings towards them, but you are forever biased against black people.
Do you believe this is wrong? Is a person somehow bad for having these feelings, even though they cannot control them? Or do you think they CAN
control them? If so, how? Obviously those that ACT on such thoughts, and attack other races verbally or physically, or spread hateful ideas are
different, but I'm talking specifically about someone who treats everyone with the greatest respect, but still just doesn't "like" another race
for whatever reason. Would you judge such a person? If so, what do you think gives you that right?
The social attitude in regards to homosexuals has come along way over the years, and society overall is fairly tolerant of them. But there are still
people out there that hate, and often times harm homosexuals. Obviously there are several reasons for this. Someone could have been raised with the
idea that being gay is wrong, or evil. Someone could be gay themselves, but refuses to admit it, and takes their frustration out on other gay people.
Just as in my previous paragraph, can you really judge someone for NOT liking gay people?
If someone treats homosexuals with respect, doesn't abuse them physically or emotionally, but still in their mind does not like homosexuals at all,
and feels they are living an evil life, can you judge this person? They cannot help their feelings, can they? For whatever reason, if someone views
homosexuals in a negative manner, but doesn't act on those thoughts, do you feel this person is any less of a "good" person simply because of how
they FEEL about homosexuals? I know many people hate those that are against gays, but aren't you being just as intolerant? A gay person is (usually,
in my opinion) gay because they can't help it. They FEEL attracted to their same sex, and they cannot help it. So isn't it hypocritical to view
people in a negative light simply because they are "against" gays? If someone in their heart just really doesn't like gay people, but still shows
them respect in person, would you have anything against them? If so, why? Do you feel they can somehow change their feelings? If so, why couldn't a
gay person change their feelings as well, and start being attracted to the opposite sex?
3. Pedophiles, and other people who have socially unacceptable sexual desires:
I separated this from the homophobia section because I know gay people don't like to be associated with pedophiles and other "sexual deviants" for
obvious reasons, because they don't feel their sexual orientation is wrong, or immoral. But the basic idea I'm trying to explore here is the
Of the groups mentioned in this thread, I'm sure this one will be the most emotion inspiring. Almost nothing gets people's blood boiling and amps up
their desire to engage in violence more than talk of pedophiles and those attracted to underage people. Again, I do not wish this to be a thread about
whether or not such things are "OK" but instead about how you can judge someone based on something they cannot change.
Do you personally feel a someone is evil, immoral, disgusting, dangerous, etc for being attracted to underage people? Just like previously, this is
not about those that act on their feelings. But instead about someone who simply FEELs a certain way, whos mind thinks things that they cannot
control, or (I'll ask again) can someone control what they think? Try not to think about a cheeseburger for the rest of your life. Can you do it? Are
we in control over our thoughts, and if not, how can we be blamed for them?
Just like a homosexual who is attracted to the same sex, without a choice in the matter, some people are attracted to children, without a choice in
the manner. If they NEVER act on such things, and do not ever get involved with any illegal aspects, and never hurt a child, would you hate such a
person? Just because they unwillingly FEEL a certain way, would you judge them? How? Why? Do you think they can control who or what they are attracted
to? If not, than isn't it wrong to judge someone for something they have no control over?
What about people who are attracted sexually to animals, but don't ever engage in beastiality? Or someone who is extremely attracted to dead bodies,
but never kills someone, or actually has sex with one? Would you judge such a person for simply possessing certain feelings? How? Why?
I apologize for the long thread, but I really am curious to get other people's opinions on this matter. Like many people here on ATS I wish to grow
as a person, and in my search for growth I have realized that judging people stands in the way of that. I, like the majority of people, find
pedophiles disgusting, and I start thinking about all the horrible things I would do to someone if I caught them hurting a child. But I feel the same
way about them, even if they DIDN'T hurt anyone. Just them feeling the way they do, even if they never act upon their thoughts for their entire life,
still angers me to no end.
But, it's kind of circular I guess, because if I FEEL so violent towards such people, but never act such things out, how can I be blamed for that
feeling? I don't know, I don't have any answers, just questions, and I really wanted to get other peoples ideas, and if you have related questions
you want to throw into the pot, feel free to do so.
Thanks for taking a look.