Initially I had planned to talk about the issue of bias in a different blog altogether. It seemed to me in the moment to be more of a philosophical aspect of relating to the world. Then I felt it had merit to discuss it in regards to the spiritual sense of Individuality. Our biases are often a product of someone else’s views, or some group-think. Since this blog is about Spiritual Liberation and Individuality, I wanted to throw a few ideas on bias here as well.
Before getting into types of bias, it’s important to note that we all have bias. This is about negating bias completely, but identifying our bias and determining if the reasons we believe in something are rooted in reason and logic, or in some program installed from someone else.
The following elements on bias were taken from Robert Greene’s work, “The Laws of Human Nature.”
It’s a very human emotion to want to be right. Perhaps it’s our upbringing with school, but for whatever reason humans want to be right. So much do we want to be right that we create our rightness when it doesn’t even exist.
Over the years I spotted myself having this issue. I was much worse when I was younger, but I’m still prone to the draw of confirmation bias.
Confirmation bias is when a person chooses data that defends their position, while excluding data that would negate their position.
Very similar to confirmation bias, conviction bias is when a person chooses to believe in something without any confirming data. This is common among people who belong to groups and suffer from indoctrination.
In this case an individual believes something to be true, even in the face of reason and logic. Often these ideas are deep rooted and hidden within our psyche. It may take a lot of meditation or self-analysis to uncover the reason we believe something to be true…. and we may discover it leads back to some sort of programming.
Based on appearances, we decide if something is true or not. The racist and bigot tends to lump into this category.
Robert Greene separates this out from the other forms of bias he identifies. It may cross over into Conviction bias, but I’ll keep it separate as well.
Group bias is what I talk about quite often in this blog…. it’s a topic the host of Black Flame Immersion raises often as well.
This is the view of a group, and the individual takes it on as their own view. Consider that every group has this problem. Religions, spiritual groups, political groups and social groups all fall prey to this.
If an Individual asserts itself as such, and the Individual view encroaches on the group belief, the group will enact mechanisms of control. The Individuals must believe like the group’s primary tenants. To do otherwise, is to leave the group mind, and by extension, the group itself.
Greene identifies this, but I’m not sure it’s a bias. This he describes as our choice to focus on the mistakes of others, rather than our own mistakes.
Very similar to the blame bias, this bias seeks to identify truth by one’s own status or beliefs. Those others who have beliefs that are different are identified as false… not on the lack of merit in the belief, but in belonging to a different side.
Republicans vs. Democrats are an example of this type of thinking.