The Canadian philosopher Ztir, in his Wisdom’s Folly, discerningly classifies prejudice as a “disease of the mind,” and appends this further observation: “Prejudice is the life-blood, the spark, the very heart and core that keeps alive an inflammatory spirit and enriches a malignant intellectualism.” Any one who concerns himself with the true aspects and characteristics of prejudice must endorse this classic description. Prejudice may become so firmly rooted, so crystallized in the life as to ludicrously warp man’s mental concepts, thus rendering him incapable of harmoniously functioning in the community. An insular prejudice may produce a psychoneurotic individualism, and a general prejudice may produce an eccentric behavior pattern in society. A false ideal, an abstract idea, an oblique dogmatism may be the basis for individual or community prejudice.
Emotional And Irrational
Prejudice may develop along two major lines, emotional and irrational. The former frequently has its roots anchored and grounded in economic poverty and social injustices, while the latter is the result of deliberate and indiscriminate irrationalism. Many people are hedged about by some form of emotional or irrational prejudice, or both. In a sense, they cease to be individuals, and become but moving echoes and spectral reflections of surrounding circumstances or dominating powers.
God in his creative wisdom made man an ambivalent creature. That is, man is so constructed mentally as to be capable of both hatred and love. Every mortal is able to love. Every mortal is also able to hate. Aggressive prejudice eventually solidifies into morbid hate. The will, that majestic faculty governing man’s behavior, is the pivot upon which rotates the choice of prejudice ...1
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