This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Prejudice and the Tao

I find Jaucort's explanation of prejudices to be rather accurate. In his writing he describes prejudice as being peoples clouded judgments and perceptions of the world around us to be tainted with preconceived notions and pious opinions. I agree with the idea that the author is trying to convey. However this statement and explanation of prejudice is nothing new, for it has existed in eastern philosophy for thousands of years. For example Taoism; Lao Tzu explains the way or the dao (Tao as we know it) in a similar fashion. For one to reach a pure state of mind we must eliminate all our biased opinions and misconceptions. For these ideas cloud our judgment, this is why meditation is still the most effective way to make a decision. In a true state of meditation one may empty their own mind and work on a blank sheet of paper so to speak. Making a decision without meditating on in is like trying to solve an equation on a clustered sheet of paper covered in random notes, this is simply not effective. This part of the basis of bushido or the way of the warrior. This does not pertain only to martial arts but to life in a holistic approach. A wise mane once said; "The usefulness of a cup is its emptiness.". This means if a mind is full to the brim with biased opinions then how may it be allowed to grow? It cannot. Another wise man named Jesus Christ once said "Have the mind of a child.". This can be interpreted many ways, but when an adult has a moral dilemma sometimes the easiest way to make an honest decision is to ask a child, for their judgment is not as clouded as ours and they do not often lie to themselves as we as adults do so frequently. Jaucort explains prejudice as an infectious disease which clouds the judgment. He then explains how it operates several ways my favorite is where he states; "A man sees a fact of nature, attributes it to a certain cause because he prefers to err rather than to doubt; in vain does experience the falsehood of his conjectures, the first opinion prevails.". I agree with the author in that the only way for true advancement is to tear down the walls of prejudices and view the world with an open mind, and to dispose of our egocentric views this is the dao, so to speak and our only true chance at truth.
Steven Robbins


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