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On Being Versus Doing And Discrimination

Perhaps by this point in my life, I should be used to the idea that a good many people tend to have a very limited “depth of consideration” when looking at almost everything found in the World about them. This certainly seems to be quite true when considering the idea of discrimination.

One of the most amazing things to me, is that people fail to differentiate between what people and things are and what those same people and things do.

I should make it plain that I’m not talking about involuntary activities or motions here. A windmill spins when presented with wind, in the correct orientation, and “open.” A person breathes, their heart beats as more or less involuntary activities. That being said, those things that are involuntary bear consideration more similar to what the person or thing is than what they do or it does.

Since most things are not sentient, it can be argued that those not possessing that quality are pretty much consigned to being, with very little ability or “choice” to do.

When it comes to anything that makes conditional “decisions” though—that essentially displays sentience or something akin thereto—there are two things that tend to be fairly well defined. Those are, what they are and what they do.

Even for things that only exist—as opposed to doing things by intent—there are reasonable arguments for discrimination.

A hamburger or mushroom probably has no choice in whether or not it will become moldy or in some other wise, spoiled. Does this fact mean that you eat that hamburger or mushroom without any conditions on so doing? For your sake, I hope you distinguish or discriminate between that which is edible and that which is not. When hamburger grows mold, I sincerely hope you don’t eat it with no consideration of that fact.

Even so, you cannot blame or assume intent when a piece of food goes bad as a rule. This is also true with some things at appear to “make choices.” Computer algorithms, programs and applications seem, by way of example, to make choices. This does not mean you can or should, “blame” the software for such choices. Rather, the “author or authors” thereof are to blame if anything.

The ultimate point is though, that there are things that are sentient or have the appearance of something like sentience, for which is is possible to assign responsibility based on actions taken of one sort or another that are not “involuntary” in nature.

What makes this so important, is that there has been a tendency of late (possibly for far longer than I account it so), to associate the choices and actions of some with the state of being of others.

When a person’s family comes from Africa, that is a part of who they are, a thing they cannot change. Such a person can either not look like they are African by familial (blood based) affiliation or association. Further, the person in question may work to make him or her self not appear to be of that particular people group.

This can take a variety of forms. My wife has family that goes by names that don’t sound Hispanic, though their birth names (what’s on their birth certificate) may be Spanish based names.

Equally (inasmuch as you wish to call such things equal), people have dyed their skin, straightened their hair, stayed out of sunlight so their skin would look “light,” and other such things to keep from being considered a part of a particular group.

One could argue that such applies to people born biologically male or female, attempting to “transition to” the “opposite sex” as well. And that’s regardless whether that is accomplished via attempting to hide with clothing, makeup or other “non altering” means, or body modification through surgery or hormone replacement treatments or similar.

In fact, I’m quite sure you can find very many examples of people who are or were born a particular thing, but attempted to be viewed as another. It should be understood that, in doing this, the person or persons in question chose to take actions, and that those actions “transitioned them” from those who are, to those who do.

Here we begin to move from the idea of what people and things are to what they do. This is a very important distinction. As a Christian, it’s not about what I am, but what I do and believe. The same is true for folks of other “faiths”—like Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Shamanism, and so many more.

This is also the case for folks who choose to do things like, have “sexual relations” with folks of the same sex as themselves. And those who claim to have things like “marital relationships” with them.

This also applies to folks who choose to help or hurt others by their actions and perspectives in any way.

Where many times, it is entirely unreasonable to discriminate against others for what they are—even though at times it is totally reasonable to do so—discriminating on the basis of what people do is generally entirely appropriate.

Keep in mind as well, that the word “discrimination” has gained a “bad reputation” as a result of the fact that there are people out there who fail to understand it. One can discriminate for or against something or someone.

What you should realize though, is that when a person opts to act in particular ways, it is not at all unreasonable for others to choose to respond in ways that indicate their like or dislike for those actions.

Obviously, some responses are improper or even immoral or illegal (if not all of the above). Even so, discrimination and action on the basis of that discrimination is to be expected where people’s doing is concerned. Again, it’s not always unreasonable based on what somebody is, but it’s rarely unreasonable based on what they do unless it is improper, immoral, illegal or in some other wise wrong.

Further, when a person chooses to do things that are consider by others to be improper, immoral, illegal or wrong in some way, they should expect that their actions will attract negative discrimination.

As a caveat, what you are can act as a “built in excuse” for certain things you do. To begin with, that should be the exception not the rule. Additionally, if you do things that others find to be improper, immoral, illegal or in some other sense wrong, count on those people taking umbrage thereto.

Okay, there’s a lot more that can an probably should be said on this, but I’m “up against it.” As such I will wish you the customary good day and thank you—as usual—for reading.

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