A belief in a just world… but is the world just?

I have not dropped off the face of the earth, like some of you may have been thinking. The new semester has been keeping me extremely busy, and I haven’t had time to do any writing that isn’t school related. Which brings me to this blog post, which is another recycled psychology assignment. The prompt is as follows:

When we feel threatened, we sometimes resort to the defensive attribution of belief in a just world. 

In your opinion, do you believe that this defensive attribution may be applied to the tragic loss of thousands of lives on September 11, 2001? Be sure to carefully explain why or why not.

In your opinion, do you believe that this defensive attribution may  be applied to the tragic loss at the recent tragic event in Tucson, Arizona involving Gabrielle Giffords? Again, be sure to carefully explain why or why not.

Do you believe that this affect people’s anxiety about future terrorist or random attacks and the probability that they might themselves be harmed?  Be sure to carefully explain why or why not.

**NOTE:  Remember to be respectful in all discussions!!  This is an opportunity to respectfully discuss issues and learn from those that we may disagree with…not attack people!  We’re all critical thinkers in this class!! 🙂

I’ve often shared my opinions on these things, but here is my response.

We use defense attributions to avoid feeling vulnerable. A belief in a just world is a specific defense attribution where people assume that bad thing happen to bad people and that good things happen to good people.

I don’t believe that this defense attribution may be applied to the September 11 terrorist attacks. This is my opinion, of course, but I do have reasons for my beliefs. There were children aboard the flights that crashed into the World Trade Centers, as well as the flight that hit the Pentagon. The children were innocent, in my opinion. There were also hundred of first responders and firefighters killed and injured while trying to save others. I don’t think that they were bad people, if they passed away trying to rescue others.

In 20ll, several people were shot outside of a grocery store in Tucson. Gabrielle Giffords, a former Representative, survived the attempted assassination. I don’t believe that the “belief in a just world” attribution may be applied in this case, either. Under this belief, we would assume that people get what they deserve. Does anyone really deserve to be shot in the head, regardless of what kind of person they are? That’s a matter of opinion. Gabrielle Giffords proudly served her country and should not have been punished for her role, even if someone disagreed with her political standings. Just yesterday she made an appearance at the Democratic National Convention. She got on stage and led the Pledge, which is the second time she has done so since the attack.

I do believe that this affects people’s fear and anxiety of terrorists attacks. Everyone believes that it could never happen to them. People often do assume that good things happen to good people, and every one wants to say that they’re a wonderful person. No one thinks that it can happen to them, even though it’s a random chance every time. No one thinks that they will fall victim to a terrorist attack or to a mass shooting. I think that this attribution makes people calmer because they think that the bad things will happen to someone else, without realizing that danger strikes at random.

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5 thoughts on “A belief in a just world… but is the world just?

  1. Well stated! God is in control of ALL things. We handle events in our lives according to our relationship with Him! We are free to make our own choices. Our decisions determine whether we face diversity with a calm demeanor or whether we freak out. I realize this seems awfully simplistic, but it really is just that simple. 🙂

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