Discrimination

1. an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.
2. treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.
3. the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colours with great discrimination.

Our society disapproves of acts of discrimination and has agreed to pass laws prohibiting some such behaviour, especially “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.”

There are forms of discrimination that are reasonable, even commendable and positive such as “the power of making fine distinctions; discriminating judgment: She chose the colours with great discrimination.” This form of discrimination is well regarded in our society; it is seen as part of artistic and design skills even though the distinctions or discriminating judgements might be regarded as subjective.  Another person is free to make different judgements; the difference of opinion might simply be a matter of taste, there being no objective means of discriminating.

It would become a negative, perhaps illegal form of discrimination if a difference of opinion on the merit of a creative work, a painting, a piece of music or architectural design led to ” treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.” In other words, a difference of opinion is acceptable but to act negatively towards the person holding a different opinion is not.

You may make a discriminating judgement on someone else’s views and you might disagree with them without discriminating against the person; in which case their claim they are being discriminated against is illogical. A refusal to agree with someone is not an act of discrimination.

There are situations in which discrimination is vital, where discrimination is “an act or instance of discriminating, or of making a distinction.” For example whenever a decision is made it is on the basis of discriminating in favour of one choice and against another. Decisions are hard to make when there is no clear way of discriminating between the options, or for people who find it difficult to be discriminating.

Some appalling examples of “racial and religious intolerance and discrimination” have occurred throughout history and such intolerance and discrimination have quite properly  been made illegal. There can be no logical or reasonable grounds for being intolerant or discriminating against someone on the basis of their race or religion.

Too often the negative aspects of discrimination arise out of intolerance and the difficulties would be overcome if tolerance were practiced on both sides.

Galatians 3:28 ESV 

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Acts 10:34 ESV 

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,

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