${fontLinkMarker}
[socialicon start]
${socialicon}
[socialicon end]
[logo start]
${logo 100x100 resizable}
[logo end]
[sitename start]
${sitename}
[sitename end] [caption start]
${caption}
[caption end]
[search start]
[searchform start] [searchform end]
[search end]

Is it fair? Try the substitution test

When cultivating a good life, having a degree of clarity about our own priorities, beliefs, goals and principles is absolutely essential for guiding our decisions and achieving a measure of inner-peace. 


But the world is a complicated place. Developing a balanced opinion on one subject is tricky enough, let alone trying to form an entire personal philosophy or world view that is fair and measured. When I am checking for hypocrisy, double-standards, injustice or unreasonable bias in my ideas, I find it helpful to use the substitution test. Inserting the name of another person, group or situation can quickly expose subconscious biases, and help to highlight the broader principles at stake. (Of course, this is also a very useful tool for highlighting other people's hypocrisy and double-standards, during discussions and debates.)


Here is an example: "Smokers should be denied health care treatment as they are knowingly engaging in risky behaviour". Hmm, OK. But how about "football players should be denied health care treatment as they are knowingly engaging in risky behaviour" or "children who fall off skateboards should be denied health care treatment as they are knowingly engaging in risky behaviour". The issue suddenly seems a bit murkier, doesn't it? 


This device has been used to brilliant effect at the blog Super Busy Dad. By taking advice and articles targeted at women, and simply substituting the word 'men', the blog highlights the absurd expectations and double-standards that continue to plague the move to gender equality. There is also a Twitter feed at Manwhohasitall. Ah, humour: such a great tool for social change!

[footer start] [footer end]