How do you feel about the stereotyping of beliefs?
For example whenever an atheist like me does something wrong it somehow manages to reflect on atheists as a whole, not just me as a person. Whenever a catholic does something wrong it's a similar event (like the priest scandals). Whenever it's a Muslim (do I need an example here?) same thing. I know I've been guilty of it to an extent with Catholics (though as an atheist their most annoying members actively clash with me whenever they get a chance) but do you feel like you do it too? And if so do you ever feel guilty for doing it?
Well, It is very surprising that those who know right way to live life eg enlighted can be wrong if they keep quiet or advice others.
It has very narrow line whether one should spread belief or not. But beliefs should be open for all so that those who are spiritual can benefit from that.
I fully agree that every religion, cult, or sect is guilty of stereotypng others who do not belong to their personal belief systems, as well as atheists who stereotype those who avidly believe in whatever it is they believe in.
It is an inherent trait in humans to judge others based on personal beliefs of any kind. Those of us who do not believe in the irrationality of organized religions are called evil and atheists, but neither of those names are true for those of us who believe in spirituality, love, and acceptance of others without reservations.
The spiritualists do not accept any dogma that is demeaning, teaches hatred for others, or practices ritualistic and repetitive actions or prayers in order to appease a god that demands such behaviors.
My greatest opponents are the die hard christians who think they are the only chosen people on this planet. They are the ones who judge others the most severely. When i write about the dangers of organized religions on society in general they take it as a personal affront instead of in the vein it is intended - to merely point out that theirs is certainly NOT the only path to Nirvana, but rather that path is for everyone with no exceptions. Those who feel they are the elite because of their religious affiliations are akin to the wealthy of this country who look down their noses at everyone who actually has to work for a living.
And NO, i never feel any guilt for deriding organized religions and speaking of the harm they do to people in general.
Like you, I have been active in conversations on religion. I have found the stereotypes to be extremely inaccurate. However, I have found there is a median "type" for each group.
First, Muslims: There are two general kinds.
1. Cautious at first with a non-Muslim, then: warm, considerate and giving. These are great people.
2. Believe Muslims are superior to all other peoples, and even break down Muslims according to nationality- with their own nation listed as #1 or #2. If jealousy hits them over someone else, they comfort themselves with statements like "Sure, she's beautiful and would probably never date me. But, she's not Muslim, so she's going to Hell." This group will cross you in a deal, deliver bad compensation, and even totally refuse to pay. They are serial liars. I am not exaggerating.
Catholics: You will find they actually know almost nothing about the Bible. Like Muslims, they have no idea what their religion really stands for, and refuse to take history as evidence for what it is.
Atheists: Fail to realize that the world elite view control of schools as paramount to control and stability (meaning the locals will not rebel and take what is their national inheritance back from foreign corporate powers). They call schools "socialization". Like catholics, most atheists have done very, very little research into what their platform actually is. They will almost never challenge what they believe (again, like the catholics).
A few years ago, I gave an atheist a link to images from the bottom of the Red Sea- chariot wheels and human bones. One chariot had wheels of silver and gold. He made a statement to me in a debate that "nothing in the Bible has ever been proven." Truth is, the Bible is THE most vetted document in world history.
The atheist looked at the images, refused to accept he might be incorrect, googled for contradictions and came back to me with the most popular counter argument on the web: "Those are captain's steering wheels from ferry boats."
Never mind they are completely different sizes, ferry boats never sailed on the Red Sea.
The second trait of atheists is that they are very arrogant. They love to claim that atheists are more intelligent. After years, I finally found the argument upon which this claim is made. A quick glance at the data reveals immediately how wrong it is. The other conclusions of the researcher: blacks are inferior to whites, and atheists have smaller penises than non atheists. I'm not joking.
way to stereotype atheists in a post about the problems with stereotyping. Maybe you haven't met the right atheists.
Christin, there IS a "median type", as I defined my summary of my personal experience. If anyone else cares to take a non-biased observer position, and share their observations- as I have- you are welcome.
Steel Engineer - in my own personal experience and research, there is no median type. What we see in people is a result of our interaction with them. And there is no way we can meet a statistically significant sample of populations in the 100-million
Lets be honest, the old saying " birds of a feather flock together" didn't stick for just any reason....
As Neil deGrasse Tyson said, "the moment someone attaches you to a philosophy, or a movement, they assign all the baggage that comes with it to you. Then, when you want to have a conversation, they will assert that they already know everything important about you because of that association."
As an evolutionary psychologist, I can add that humanity has evolved to take these shortcuts. It saves us the time and effort of getting to know people if we can predict what they will do and say. If we're right more than we're wrong, then we've increased our odds of interacting productively with others. Those of us who stereotyped had an advantage over those who didn't, and it became a part of our dispositional psychology.
there is more truth in your comments than most people would care to admit.
Fascinating, because the older I become, the more I tend to judge stereotypically. I just don't have the time to explore negations to an intuitive sense buildt upon years of observation. I know in 10 minutes whether I'll click with a person or not.
Exactly what I thought as I read the question. One other observation: Stereotypes tend to be based on the worst of a group and again there is a survival advantage in this.
It may be good practice to give some safe space for them to prove you wrong
Stereotyping is not a bad word. The act of doing it makes perfect sense. The danger comes in not thinking beyond the stereotype. Today we see so much PC speak that we have lost common sense. So nowadays people think stereotyping is bad and so they ignore it in their arsenal making sound judgments.
Gang members, two guys with white shirts no jacket and skinny dark ties, a fellow with a funny white collar, A cop with a gun and badge, a guy with a letterman's jacket on, someone that smells really bad, a lady in a sharp/severe business suit and high heels, a guy in all white with paint splatters all over. A person in fatigues. very young people, very old.
Ignoring that the above should be initially treated differently because we can stereotype them, is just foolish. Don't make threats in front of the cop, don't cuss in front of the priest. Do not fart next to the business lady. Don't make racial slurs in front of the gang member. Think twice about inviting the white shirt boys into your house. Do not say "bitches" in front of old people and don't act like you know more in front of kids.
Don't bring ham to a Jewish pot luck, and leave the liquor at home when visiting a Muslim. Do not say Amen and Hallelujah every sentence in a nightclub.
However treating everyone with respect is difficult. So we have to start with ourselves and the rest falls into place.
But this notion that stereotyping is bad is a new age public school sensitivity and self esteem experience gone hay wire. Do not bring dime store wine to every occasion. It will offend some groups. Understanding groups is our first step in understanding individuals. It is easier to begin with generics and whittle your way down to the individual than to start Tabula Rosa with everyone, that is just naive.
Many people view me a certain way for being a Christian because more Christians than not act a certain way, they automatically assume I am like all of them, when I am not. Stereotyping as a whole is a prime example of how fallen we, as a human race have become. We have let the division of us all come full circle. I am sure everyone knows the famous quote "Divide & concur"... Well its true. That is a huge reason why power gets placed in the wrong hands, the world as a whole is so corrupt and why a good portion of the world is poor. We are the only species that has a will to be different and be unlike anyone else. We brought this upon ourselves. We should be sticking together not drifting further and further apart. No matter color of skin, beliefs or values, we need to love each other and learn to do it right. The further we drift from our own, the greater the divide and the greater the divide, the more power can be held at our throats taking away our free speech, our money and all of our resources in general.
Personally, I never go out of my way to talk about religion, unless I am with people who know me very well. Don’t get me wrong, I have my opinions on all sides of the issues. I asked a question here only a couple of weeks ago, wondering how discussing/claiming a religion affects your hub traffic. I wasn’t looking for tips on gaining traffic or loss-prevention. What I wanted to know was, once you claim a religion or speak about any religion in particular, are you cast into a group? I like to read, comment and converse with all religions and all worldviews. I have noticed here on HubPages that people openly discuss Christianity with pride, Atheism with Pride and other religions. Now, if I am to read an article written by a self-proclaimed Atheist and give him/her a thumbs up and comment on how much I like the article or comment on Atheism as general, does that compromise how the other religions perceive me? Will I be cast aside as an Atheist? The same is to be said about the other side; if I comment on Christianity or a Hub that speaks about it, do I become cast aside by the Atheists? I don’t see why it should have to matter. Quite frankly, I find very much interesting said in all views, whether or not I agree with all aspects. The only reason why I fear becoming involved is because I don’t think that I should be labeled or defined by my beliefs. If people don’t push their beliefs on others and imply that there way is the right way or the only way and offend the other person then I don’t see what difference it makes. I don’t think all Atheists are bad and I don’t think all Christians are good. So what does someone like me do? Sit in a corner and rock back and forth “it’ll be okay”, “it’ll be okay”. :-)
I suppose the best way is to not care what others think of us. If we are comfortable with our own beliefs then those of others should be of little concern to us. Of course it is always hard to ignore when people judge us with negative vehemence
You are so right and I struggle with wanting acceptance. What is the famous saying "Don't judge a book by its cover"? I don't want anyone deciding who I am within the first 5 seconds of meeting me or because I "thumb up" a Christians or Atheist's hub
The area of Florida where i live is unique unto itself. When you first meet anyone here their first question to you is: "are you a Christian?''. Now tell me THAT is not bizarre. Questions like that do not deserve an answer.
Wow, nothing like cutting to the chase huh? I have converstaions with people all of the time and the topic of religion never comes up. Sure, maybe I "assume" they are one thing or another, but it seems almost unecessary unless the convo calls for it
There is some truth behind every stereotype - otherwise they would not exist. The important thing is remembering what the stereotype aspect is and what it originates from, and staying aware of this. They are usually some kind of exaggeration of the truth.
Some stereotypes are consciously created and perpetuated, while others are more subconscious. I believe it is the subconscious ones that are the most harmful, because they are often accepted as truth without even a thought about it.
Yes it's true that many people from all kinds of religions or belief systems do frequently attack others for not having the same beliefs. I have no use for that. I, by the way am Wiccan with a pantheistic streak.
I believe that Universal energy works within a system requiring that all energies and beliefs are checked by the balance of opposing beliefs. These people that openly mock other religions and belief systems are literally knocking down that which gives them strength. I believe that there would be no Catholics without Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Wiccans, Buddhists and so on.
Without the balance of opposing beliefs, any one organized system would become cumbersome, with too way much power. It wouldn't last for long. For this reason I absolutely do not understand why anyone knocks other belief systems.
There is only one 'religion' that I have ever felt a pull to stand against (in my mind, not actively), but I haven't. That is the one where people choose to worship dark energy, I suppose it's commonly referred to as Devil worship, but I'm not sure if that's what they call it when they are organized. But I know I can't hold anything against them, because without dark, there is no light. Light and dark give each other balance by contrast. I don't have to join them, celebrate them or condone what they do, I just need to accept that they are what they are, and as they are.
Furthermore, without ever being exposed to the dark, some may never crave the light.
I lived most of my life as an atheist. I now understand things as I choose to see them after having lived into the stretch of life beyond middle age. No matter what the name you apply to your higher being is, it is that to you, that is your truth. It is then the higher energy that you answer to. I may actually call my higher authority by a name at times, but to me, he or it is Universal energy and/or Universal higher power.
I wish everyone the opportunity to celebrate their beliefs as they see fit. I know that even though at times I may not enjoy opposing beliefs, they add balance to this Universe we live in.
I never stereotype anyone's beliefs. Every individual is different than the next.
Sooo if your walking alone and 4 black guys in bandannas, dark glasses and tats all over them come walking toward you,...........what then? Do you feel anything? if so why?..........because you just stereotyped them............
That is a different outlook than religion. One is material and one is a spiritual equation.
I believe that all stereotypes are out of touch with the reality of who we are. it is very sad, and often destructive.
Personally, I know great people - and also hurt, violent, destructive people - who are Christian, athiest, Jewish, agnostic, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, scientific, artistic and every other "ic" "ish" 'im" and "ian" that there is.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said it best: "The line between good and evil cuts straight through every human heart." He goes on to ask how many are willing to do heart surgery on themselves.
Let us stop stereotyping, as it is harmful. Let us even stop labelling. Instead, let us recognize each person as a human being. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says that he is shy because each person he meets is a whole new world.
There is wonder in that. Let us move beyond the fear that leads to stereotyping and see the wonder in the world and each person. Let us not be afraid to do surgery on our own hearts. And let us listen to others deeply (See my hub on 7 Habits, Habit 5 on that one.)
It all depends on who is doing the stereotyping and why. Like guns, it's not the stereotype (gun) that hurts (kills) people it is the people who use the stereotype (gun). Any group is called a group because of some or many similiarities which results in a stereotype of that group. The cowboy and Indian are American stereotypes.
But then there are false stereotypes projected upon groups by people with agendas to belittle, ridicule or denigrate people. This sort of stereotyping is not only hurtful, it is wrong. Even if the stereotype is correct in some cases, it forces one to ignore diversity and individualism that exists in every group.Stereotyping can lead to bullying form a young age. Jocks and Preps pick on the Nerds and the Geeks; Skaters pick on the Goths, so on and so forth. Stereotyping is encouraging bullying behavior that children carry into adulthood. Stereotyping can also lead people to live lives driven by hate, and can cause the victims of those stereotypes to be driven by fear. For example, many gays and lesbians are afraid to admit their sexuality in fear of being judged. It is a lose-lose situation, both for those who are doing the stereotype and those who are victims.
You changed the question answer to "false stereotypes". Psychologists often go over board and say "over" generalizations of people. There seems to be a need to denigrate the word meaning in order to address bigotry and prejudice. It is not.
I didn't change anything, just pointed out that stereotyping of beliefs is most often false stereotypes used to denigrate.Conservatives are stereotyped to be racists and homophobes, muslims stereotyped to be terrorists, atheists are anarchists etc.
I make an effort not to do it, and it does come to mind. I believe that the most attacked group at the moment are the Christians. It is considered just fine to attack them and to say that "all Christians" are like this or that when someone of that faith does something wrong. Stereotyping and lumping people into categories is what most people do without thought. Sometimes it is deliberate. I have a neighbor who is very liberal, and when ever she finds out that a Republican did something bad she comes to me and says, "see, this is what Republicans are all about." She is just looking for someone of my political party to do something wrong so that she can say that this wrong act is representative of everyone.
I am so sensitive about this issue because I personally see these categories being used and many unfair stereotypes being used that I always check and double check what I say and what I think.
I find myself to be open-minded especially about spirituality/religion because I've read so much on it...from taoism, catholicism, hell satanism which dispite the ignorance of people thinking that's devil worship, it's self worship, each road of spirituality has a statement or theme that someone can somehow identify with themselves.
Name me a Christian!! I am glade to be one.One represent all. How does one Atheist vary in opinion if they don't believe the same thing?
We each have a choice.God do not force anyone to serve nor believe in Him.
There is no doctrine that the whole world believe in. It will always be someone on the other side of your thinking and belief.
One should be like the other if you are all under one name and title.
I think you left too soon. The battle is yet to be won.
I've never met two identical Christians, and I've never met two identical atheists, either. As I see it, each person is a unique gift to the world.
Your words say a lot,seeing that 90%of the world that say they are Christians are not Christians. The first of the 7 seals is about the re-establishment of the Church. According to the new testament covenant.
And not symbols and rituals.
Stereotyping in it's most innocous sense in trying to use a piece of the puzzle to understand the puzzle. A piece is never good enough. Supposing that you have a core belief that humans are all capable of the same acts of virtue and vitriol then it is something that can benefit your understanding and not be that damaging.
We are all parts of steroetyped groups. We can benefit from that sterotype(blondes are more fun) or be hurt by it(atheist are just narcissitic). I am guilty of doing it with any person involved in evangelical religion. I stereotype them as being anti intellectual. The traditional evangelical protestant tradition has done a great deal to academically advance the study of Christianity even if I do not believe that the results have any significant theological impact on their teaching.
I personally steroetype atheist as more intellectually honest than most folk and find the fact that develop their own personal ethic just because they seeking to good people in the world very endearing. Most atheist have a heart for truth seeking and I love that.
Stereotyping is a form of distortion. It's tempting, because it (seemingly) makes things easier to understand; rather than looking at an individual who is complex and therefore unpredictable, we can deploy a simple set of rules about what to expect from a Catholic, an atheist, or a Muslim.
Of course, those rules are quite likely to lead us astray because they are not based in reality. Actually, they are no better than a cartoon!
But at least we can go wrong without working too hard to understand things...
It's simple: stereotyping is ignorant, arrogant, judgmental, presumptuous, prejudiced and frankly, morally unjust and intellectually lazy.
I agree, but doesn't this read like a stereotype of the person who stereotypes? It reminds me of Tom Lehrer's lyrics about prejudiced people, they hate other people and I hate people like that!
I get the irony, and your point, SidKemp. But the "don't lower yourself" admonishment always rang weak and inapt to me. Pushing back at a hater isn't wrong. I *cheer* for the guy who finally says "enough!" and gives the bully his medicine.
I admire your approach, Stan, though mine is different.
It is the same way I feel. Because I believe in God people categorize me with the Christians.. I am not a Christian and dislike being called one.
It kinds of annoys me. There are times when somebody finds out that I am a Christian he starts calling me a Bible Thumper. And I am not like that. I do use Bible verses in some of my hubs, but I use those to apply them to present day. But I guess we are going to face stereotypes in all walks of life. So I have to live with it
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