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Old 12-22-2010, 01:47 PM
 
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Default You Get What You Deserve

I was having a discussion on another forum about what's known as the Just-World fallacy. In case you don't know what it is, it's basically when people cling to the idea that the world is fair so that when something bad happens to someone, they can find a way to blame the victim for it.

If a guy cheats on his wife, someone might say "she probably didn't satisfy him so that's why he cheated." In other words, it's her fault. Or maybe you know someone who's terrific, but still single. And so you say "there must be something wrong with him or her, otherwise they wouldn't be single."

Psychologists say this is based on fear. People need to feel like the world is a fair place, that bad things only happen to bad people. It's also a way to feel like you're in control and that if something happens, it's only because you let it.

Do you think this sort of thing is common? Have you ever been guilty of it? I've never done it, but I have been on the receiving end once where someone was quick to blame me for something I'm pretty sure wasn't my fault. I'm a big believer in taking personal responsibility, but sometimes people take it too far and use it as an excuse to blame the victim.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
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I stopped believing the world was fair around the age of 12. I then proceeded to make it my life's work to disavow anyone and everyone of that belief.

My ex- was a great believer in the Just-World Theory. When she would complain that "Life isn't fair!", I'd reply "No one ever said it would be".
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
43,306 posts, read 51,805,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
I was having a discussion on another forum about what's known as the Just-World fallacy. In case you don't know what it is, it's basically when people cling to the idea that the world is fair so that when something bad happens to someone, they can find a way to blame the victim for it.

If a guy cheats on his wife, someone might say "she probably didn't satisfy him so that's why he cheated." In other words, it's her fault. Or maybe you know someone who's terrific, but still single. And so you say "there must be something wrong with him or her, otherwise they wouldn't be single."

Psychologists say this is based on fear. People need to feel like the world is a fair place, that bad things only happen to bad people. It's also a way to feel like you're in control and that if something happens, it's only because you let it.

Do you think this sort of thing is common? Have you ever been guilty of it? I've never done it, but I have been on the receiving end once where someone was quick to blame me for something I'm pretty sure wasn't my fault. I'm a big believer in taking personal responsibility, but sometimes people take it too far and use it as an excuse to blame the victim.

I think our DESIRE for the world to be a fair place never goes away.

As children we are taught to "play fair", so we assume the world to be a place where fairness is to be found.

Once we grow up and mature we understand that that's not the reality.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY in everything is my credo too, but we simply must remember that bad things DO happen to good people sometimes, and with no culpability on the victims part.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Well, life is not fair and people seem to not realize it or fight against the notion. For instance, some people are born rich, beautiful/handsome, privileged and live pretty much spectacular lives. Others are born poverty-ridden, unattractive and die of scurvy when they're 14 years old.

Human beings seem to think that "everything evens itself out." Another assertion is the oft-repeated, "what goes around, comes around." People want so desperately to believe this because they want bad deeds eventually punished. They want things to somehow turn out even. Actually, I've not seen this in my life. Instead I have seen bad people who cheat on their spouses succeed and be happy. I've also seen good, honest people end up lonely, dissatisfied and depressed.

Of course I would dearly love to see evil people punished and good, sweet people rewarded. But the concept seems a lot more random than we are led to believe. In a perfect world, the man who cheats on his loving wife will end up eventually getting cheated on. And the lonely but sweet single girl will find her Prince charming. Does this happen? Sure. Does it happen often? Sadly, no.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
I think our DESIRE for the world to be a fair place never goes away.

As children we are taught to "play fair", so we assume the world to be a place where fairness is to be found.

Once we grow up and mature we understand that that's not the reality.
Understanding and accepting it are two different things. I think, deep down, people know the world isn't fair. But they force themselves to believe it is because that's what they want to believe. Your best friend's wife cheated on him. Now you're worried that it could happen to you as well. So it's easy to comfort yourself by saying "he probably did something wrong, so I don't have to worry about the same thing happening to me."
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Tri-State Area
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Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
Human beings seem to think that "everything evens itself out." Another assertion is the oft-repeated, "what goes around, comes around." People want so desperately to believe this because they want bad deeds eventually punished. They want things to somehow turn out even. Actually, I've not seen this in my life. Instead I have seen bad people who cheat on their spouses succeed and be happy. I've also seen good, honest people end up lonely, dissatisfied and depressed. .

Of course I would dearly love to see evil people punished and good, sweet people rewarded. But the concept seems a lot more random than we are led to believe. In a perfect world, the man who cheats on his loving wife will end up eventually getting cheated on. And the lonely but sweet single girl will find her Prince charming. Does this happen? Sure. Does it happen often? Sadly, no.
You haven't lived long enough...i've seen it in 9 out of 10 times come back and bite the person right in the @ss. Karma does exist. The world does balance itself out....
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:28 PM
 
Location: tampa bay
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Anyone who has ever seen a St. Judes' Hospital tv ad must realize life is not fair!! The innocent suffer all the time in this world. While some do suffer for their transgresions in this lifetime most do not! We can only hope that everyone in the next life gets their "just" reward!
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:37 PM
 
Location: NYC
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People want to believe in a just world because it is soothing. It is much more comforting to think that a bad person will come to a bad end, than to face the fact he might live to a happy old ripe age.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OngletNYC View Post
People want to believe in a just world because it is soothing. It is much more comforting to think that a bad person will come to a bad end, than to face the fact he might live to a happy old ripe age.
Exactly, which is why you'll hear people call the unemployed lazy. If your coworker loses their job, you can tell yourself they were lazy and as long as you work hard, you won't lose your job too. It's also a kind of arrogance. You can tell yourself that you're better than them which is why it didn't happen to you.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:04 PM
 
Location: in my imagination
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Originally Posted by FrmlyBklyn View Post
You haven't lived long enough...i've seen it in 9 out of 10 times come back and bite the person right in the @ss. Karma does exist. The world does balance itself out....

I agree. Maybe not the way and time it was imagined it would, maybe you weren't around to see it happen but it does somehow some way.

Sickness and stuff like that, well that goes to a higher level of faith. But look at the universe and how things push and pull, look how something ends but something else begins, you are part of that even if you don't exactly know how or why.
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