Discrimination occurs when one is treated in an unfavorable way because of his or her characteristic. Some of these characteristics include age, race, disability, or even political beliefs. This unfair treatment is usually due to prejudice against that person. Discrimination can happen in different ways. It can be either direct or indirect. Direct discrimination refers to a situation where people may make assumptions about what people with some characteristic are able or unable to do. Indirect discrimination on the other hand occurs when unreasonable requirements are placed to disadvantage a person or a group (Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission, 2012).
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In a social world, discrimination should not be tolerated. This stems from the universal principle that all human beings are equal. The religious viewpoint that God created man in his likeness emphasizes the fact that all people are the same. Any form of discrimination against another is, therefore, immoral and repugnant towards development of the human race. Most of religious teachings condemn discrimination and emphasize the idea that all men were created equal before God.
The world we live in is a social one in which human beings interact with each other thereby sharing their joy, aspirations, and pain (Jeffery and Spencer, 2013). Through these interactions, life becomes worthwhile and bearable. Discrimination and all its forms make this bit of life to be challenging. Discrimination is, therefore, wrong because every individual has a unique role and contributions in society.
To my mind, discrimination is also inappropriate because it breeds disunity and contempt. It cultivates a society lacking in cohesiveness and unity of purpose. People who are discriminated will seek to pay back what has been done to them if they would be given an opportunity. This breeds a vicious cycle of revenge and discrimination, which never ends. The peak of the slavery period in which blacks were mistreated and forced to work as slaves in the United States, for instance, only served to heighten the tensions between whites and blacks (Fanon, 2008).
Cialdini, R. B., & Trost, M. R. (1998). Social influence: Social norms, conformity, and compliance. In D. T. Gilbert & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (pp. 151-192). Boston: Mcgraw-Hill.
Fanon, F. (2008). Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Jeffery, S. N., & Spencer, A. R. (2013). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment & Growth. Chichester: Wiley & Sons.
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission: Discrimination. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/discrimination.