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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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One might also say that prejudice in the sense of prejudgments are psychologically impossible not to produce, and therefore it would be unreasonable to condemn someone for making them when they cannot do otherwise. That's just how we're wired, and it makes evolutionary sense.

Another issue is that if some forms of negative prejudice are unconscious, and this might include some types of racial bias, it would also be unreasonable to use this word for racial bigotry. You can't be unconsciously bigoted, but it might be possible to be unconsciously racially biased. Bigotry is always a conscious attitude.

There's another moral issue here too, I think. Prejudice against rattlesnakes in the form of avoidance actually shows respect for the rattlesnake. It's not condemning the rattlesnake for being what it cannot help but be but rather being aware that it is dangerous and probably doesn't want to encounter you any more than you want to encounter it - in fact, it wants you to be prejudiced against it! So failing to be prejudiced against rattlesnakes would actually be disrespectful to the animal, as well as stupid.

Relatedly, if we are prejudiced in favour of our friends even when they do something morally wrong in an instance where we would not show such understanding to a stranger, it may be that this reveals not a flaw in being prejudiced (though it might depending on what they had done) but that our prejudice should in fact extend further in a charitable attitude towards all.

Also, my dog is likewise averse to the smell of spirits! But then she also has a completely bewildering horror of trash bags.

My cats too.

I am happy we agree about prejudice and bigotry.

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