Why do people fear others who are different?
I have noticed that, in general, people fear those who choose to live different lifestyles than themselves...be it the way they look, the way the speak, the way they carry themselves, the lifestyle choices the make. There is so much criticism of others in the world and not enough self reflection. In my opinion, the root cause is fear.
Because of the fear of the unfamiliar. We are conditioned to follow certain norms and anyone who radically deviates from these expectations is looked upon as a freak.
unico hijo...you raise a good point...about the norms that are set in society. Thank you for provoking my thinking even more!
Because of a lack of understanding. If you see someone with whom you share a variety of key traits (eduction level, income level, religion, ect.), you feel as if you have some understanding of what drives them as a person, and how they will act. When you see someone with whom you have almost nothing in common, you don't feel as though you can understand them on almost any level, and things that you cannot understand are feared.
Example: I'm an atheist. For a Christian who has grown up with the idea that the only stable moral code comes from God, I'm dangerous. Clearly, nothing constrains me from doing whatever I want anytime that I want to do it. The most extreme people really don't understand what stops me from going out and cheating, lying, scamming, sleeping around, and committing all forms of murder and mayhem because, according to them, I don't have a moral code to stop me. Or, if I do, it is a moral code of convenience.
The reality is quite different. In actuality, a majority of the moral code I operate under coincides with typical Judeo-Christain values. I'm not a hedonist, which is an apt description of the view that I gave in the previous paragraph. But because I am different, everything that I do is ascribed to shady morals or misconstrued, and they'll avoid me because I'm not trustworthy, which merely perpetuates the cycle.
(Editor's Note: I've met a great many Christians who don't react this way, and who couldn't care less about what I do or do not believe. The example that I've drawn is on the extreme end of how people have responded to me in the past.)
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