The Case for Bias

Today I saw an article that was about teaching children how not to be biased.  Now, I will admit that I did not read the article; rather, the title simply got my attention because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about judgment and tolerance.  And after a good long think, I’ve decided that bias is good, and the notion of equality is hooey.

Bear with me a sec.

First, understand that I’m not talking about hating certain groups or making different rules for different people.  So please don’t think that I mean that kind of discrimination.  What I mean is that we should learn how to be more discriminating, how to analyze things thoughtfully and carefully and make a wise decision.  And then allow others to do the same, even if you don’t agree with it.

In other words, the Golden Rule is dumb, and it’s impossible for us all to be alike or for us all to want to be treated alike.  Because we are NOT alike, and that’s okay.

Think about it.  Take any topic in the world: coffee, television, religion, clothing, dinner, politics.  I bet if you asked ten different people their opinions on any of those, you would get a hundred shades of grey.  Maybe I love strong coffee with cream and sugar, but you think coffee tastes like dirt.  Maybe nine out of those ten people like coffee, but this one only drinks organic, fair trade coffee, while that one gets his morning cuppa joe at the gas station.  Maybe you have five cups of coffee by lunchtime, but I only have one per day.  See what I mean?  The number of variables and possibilities is too endless to ever think that we’ll all be the same and agree on every point.

It really bothers me when well-intentioned but oh-so-righteous people try to argue or even make others feel bad just for having a different opinion.  You eat meat?!?!  Murderer!  You don’t go to church?!?!  Heathen!  You voted for which party?!?!  A-hole!

What if instead of trying to eliminate our instincts to judge and define and categorize, we learned how to understand ourselves and others better, and then tried to figure out how to be our own successful individual within the group?

Lemme ‘splain using some astrological evidence.  Right now we’ve got Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn.  Long story short, that represents the breaking down of old structures that aren’t working anymore.  We can apply that to social, political, religious, or any kind of structure . . . . pretty much to anything that’s outdated and no longer serving us.  And with the Age of Aquarius (that has either already started or is rapidly approaching, depending on which astrologer you ask), we really need to figure out what “New Age” looks like.

In my opinion, political correctness and the idea of holding hands around the campfire singing Kumbaya has not been and is not working.  We have been trying to stuff everyone into the same mold with no success.  Maybe instead of trying to bring everyone down into the same common denominator, we should instead recognize that we each have a different path, we each have different strengths and weaknesses, and we each have a different life purpose.  And that’s cool.  We don’t need to feel threatened by someone who has different beliefs or traditions or habits.  We can learn about our differences, feel happy and secure in our own choices, and go about the daily practice of “live and let live.”

What do you think?

 

 

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4 responses

  1. I.D.I.C – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination.
    “If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.” – Gene Roddenberry

  2. How are you defining bias? It seems to be more than a personal preference. I always thought bias to be negatively associated with holding an opinion without critical thinking or analyzing.

    I get what you are saying overall and I agree. Just curious how it fits in with bias being a good thing.

    • Hey AA, thanks for writing! You are right that I should have chosen a better word. I was rushing to write the post and wasn’t clear. What I was trying to say is that I am not so down with the trend where “I tolerate you…. as long as you agree with me.” I think we need to remember that we are INDIVIDUALS within a group, and our differences are okay. So, yes, I meant a PERSONAL sense of bias or ability to form and hold an opinion.

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