The Just World Fallacy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9nYa7rQfpY
A. Questions this Video Raises:
- How much of what I have is really because of my own effort?
- Does power wield people?
- To what extent can the knowledge of biases such as the just world fallacy impact said fallacy’s psychological impact?
- How can you measure equality?
- How can one avoid being a vehicle for power?
- To what extent does the Just World Fallacy prevent positive change?
B. Implications of the Just World Fallacy:
- Income disparity (Occupy Movement) — http://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/08/gini-index.asp ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States
- Income disparity between the Sexes
- Rape Victims — This is discussed more in the articles below, but have you ever heard someone in relation to rape say that the victim was “asking for it” or heard a victim blame him/herself for the rape? The just world fallacy explains this, in part: people blame the victim because we have the psychological urge to convince ourselves that the world we live in is orderly and that we have the power to, by our actions, change the outcome of our lives. While this is partially true, it is only true to a certain degree and, like the fundamental attribution error, the just world fallacy skews my ability to properly judge the world around me. However, for the record, I have never heard of a rape or burglary and considered it in any way the victim’s fault. Yes, it is stupid to, say, walk alone in a dark ally at night in a mini skirt and stilettos, but that does not make rape any less the perpetrator’s doing.
- Karma — The Just World Fallacy actually fits in very well with the idea of karma- A summary of this theistic view of karma is expressed by the following: “God does not make one suffer for no reason nor does He make one happy for no reason. God is very fair and gives you exactly what you deserve.” Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. (Thank you, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma#Hinduism)
C. Connections to Literature:
- Book of Job—Job’s friends maintain that God is punishing Job for his sins, and that his misfortune was brought upon himself. In reality, this is not the case.
Book of Job, Chapter 22:Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Can a man be of benefit to God?
Can even a wise person benefit him?
3 What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?
What would he gain if your ways were blameless?
4 “Is it for your piety that he rebukes you
and brings charges against you?
5 Is not your wickedness great?
Are not your sins endless?
6 You demanded security from your relatives for no reason;
you stripped people of their clothing, leaving them naked.
7 You gave no water to the weary
and you withheld food from the hungry,
8 though you were a powerful man, owning land—
an honored man, living on it.
9 And you sent widows away empty-handed
and broke the strength of the fatherless.
10 That is why snares are all around you,
why sudden peril terrifies you,
11 why it is so dark you cannot see,
and why a flood of water covers you
Job didn’t do any of the stuff that Eliphaz the Temanite is talking about. In fact, he was a righteous man.
2. Animal Farm
I just finished reading Animal Farm, so of course this reminded me of the way that the pigs treated the other animals. The pigs thought that they deserved the place of honor–the food, the drink, the beds, the advantage that they got when in reality they did not do anything to earn the natural advantage that they had.
D. Some more information: