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Discrimination is the treatment of similarly situated individuals differently, for either an arbitrary or non-arbitrary reason.
Many people believe discrimination is good, when done for relevant and non-arbitrary reasons. For example, employing someone with better hand-eye co-ordination to operate machinery or accepting more mathematically able students into maths based university courses. The mentality of "the best
man man or woman person thing self defining as a human sentient-being-of-any-and/or-every-persuasion for the job" is considered acceptable because the criteria for discrimination is relevant and justifiable.
However, discrimination has become a loaded term as its primary use is as a negative and generally refers to unjustified discrimination.
Race, gender, religious/philosophical views and sexual orientation are often discriminated against. People are often rejected from job placements or other perks due to what Sir Joseph Porter KCB would refer to as "an accident of birth". In the case of affirmative action or "positive discrimination", these traits are discriminated for in the hope of balancing out old, often ancient prejudices and previous discrimination.
- Legal employment discrimination
- Linguistic discrimination
- I'm not prejudiced, but...
- Look it up you uncultured philistines!