Friday January 19, 2018
Let us resist urge to cast aside those who are different.
Humans navigate their lives by creating models of reality based upon answering three questions: what is, what matters and what now? The success of these models depends upon how well they correlate with reality. The most accurate models are the products of empirical knowledge and internally consistent reasoning. Unfortunately, most humans reject the latter approach, opting for the faster, easier and inaccurate instinctive model based on self-interest, judgmental emotions, and fear of "the other."
The fear of the other has fueled more hatred, cruelty, injustice and atrocities than any other ideology. People are feared because they are different from us. They are Muslims, Christians, Jews, nonwhites, whites, women, LGBT people, foreigners, immigrants, the poor, Republicans or Democrats, to name a few.
What is: These models of the other are false; justifications for racism, xenophobia, misogyny and virulent nationalism; an integral part of our political (Roy Moore), executive (president's comments on immigration) and legislative (gerrymandering) processes; and an existential threat to our society's stability and Constitution.
What matters: Justice, equity, compassion, truth and the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
What now: Reject the fear-mongering and challenge those who support it.
Ward G. Becker
Americans must reject fear-mongering tactics