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Does tragedy excuse bigotry?

If you've suffered a loss or harm at the hands of someone, does that justify hating everyone who has the same characteristic as the person responsible (ie, hating all Muslims because a Muslim killed your family member, or hating all black men because you were in a relationship with an abusive black man)?

Things like that can cause outrage, and that's understandable, but is it EXCUSABLE?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 2:30 PM on Jul. 29, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • No, it doesn't excuse hating a whole race of people because of the actions of one. That is so wrong. You can hate the person who did it, but not everyone who reminds you of that person.

    Answer by kmath at 2:35 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • I think in part it is instinctual. My uncle had a dog that was aggressive to all blacks due to abuse from her previous owner. When trust is broken and you are hurt, it is natural to try to protect yourself from that source again, even if who that encompasses is not rational.

    As humans, we are able to live beyond our instinctive nature. I don't find it excusable when it is illogical and potentially harmful to others, like teaching our children to live by these fears.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 2:40 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • No, it is not excusable. When someone does harm to you or somone you love, you blame the person not the person's religion or race, etc. And then you move forward and try to find people in that religion, etc who are good and caring, and then you begin to heal and realize that one individual does not make a religion or race, etc.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 2:48 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • No, it's not.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:51 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • Personal tragedy doesn't justify hatred, but it ignites hatred so deeply in people that sometimes they can't get past it. A dear friend of mine had a grandmother who lost one of her sons in a drunk driving accident, and the driver happened to be Mexican. She hated all Mexicans for her whole life because of it, and held onto her hatred as tightly as she might have held onto her son. Eventually she needed a blood transfusion, and she refused to take one because the doctors couldn't guarantee her that the donated blood going into her body han't come from a Mexican. She died because her hatred was stronger than her instinct to survive. It was very sad, but it showed just how far people will go when driven by anger and sorrow.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:12 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • no it's not excusable. it's also not excusable to not know the difference between Muslims and Al-Qaeda, Christians and WBC members, Germans and Hitler. educated people know the difference and know where to place the blame.

    Answer by tnm786 at 3:27 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • Of course not. What makes you ask?

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 4:02 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • Nope, and often such bigotry is part of the problem. It is a cycle of negativity that continues to spiral out of control on the back of such "justification"

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 4:03 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • Yes and no. It has happened, it will happen, it's happening now. If it directly involves others, no it's not excusable. If MY attitudes and beliefs are brainwashing my children into the same attitudes and beliefs, but they don't have the same experiences I have had, that is inexcusable.

    I am not fond of large black dogs. When I was about 10 I was stalked around a house by a dog all weekend. Finally, on the last day we were there, or close to it, that dog bit me on the hand as i was reaching for my dad. The friends we were staying with blamed me for making the dog bite me. They claimed the dog would NEVER do something like that without provocation.

    I have a small excuse for not liking black dogs. If I were to pass my distaste on to my kids, THAT is unacceptable. They have not been bitten by any dog. They have no grounds/basis for a dislike of black dogs.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 4:29 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

  • It's not excusable. But some people will use anything to spread hate.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 5:11 PM on Jul. 29, 2013

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