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  Prejudice (Latin, ‘prejudgement’), in terms of human thought, is a paradox. Holding a prejudice, for or against, is a willed act of mind—prejudices may be learned, but they are not instinctive—and the sum of our prejudices is a major part of our psychic identity. And yet prejudice is, precisely, the decision not to be open-minded, not to think. It involves value-judgements, and perhaps it is these which we prefer not to consider. Anti-Semitism is prejudice. But if I hate people who are anti-Semitic, is that an equal prejudice? And at what point does moral guilt enter the argument? Are anti-Semitic (or anti-anti-Semitic) thoughts morally neutral? Do they become morally loaded only when uttered, or only when they lead to action? Who decides what moral absolutes are, and how can we be sure that that decision itself is not a form of prejudice? KMcL  



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