The title of this may be a little harsh, but as I was working today, complaining about how sick I felt and the fact that my job does not offer paid sick days nor vacation… I found my mind immediately drifting to my own post just a few days ago concerning First-world problems vs. Real World Problems. I felt horrible, until I thought about my last two posts on Rape, and realized that with those, despite my personal effort to stay objective and philosophical in all things, the reality is I have biases.
In fact, we all do. We are subjective creatures, incapable of devoiding ourselves of our own biases. Despite the common perception on philosophy, the goal is not to be objective for this is not possible, the goal is to attempt to be open-minded while being explicit of one’s own subjective reality.
So, a confession is needed to be open with my biased nature, to show that despite my efforts, the self will always creep in:
- I’m a woman. 1/3 women have been raped, or molested. The later happened to me in my early teenage years, and many friends are victims of the former.
- I’m an Atheist and ex-Christian. I do not hate religion, but then again I do. Sometimes, my past as a fundie Christian leads me to sympathize, other times, my Atheism leads me to scoff at the attempts of religious people. It’s a reality, one I try to keep in check.
- I’m a vegetarian and animal rights sympathizer. Secretly, I find your meat eating disgusting. Secretly, I judge you for taking part and paying into the abomination that is factory produced meat products.
And in other words, I’m a hypocrite and possibly a horrible person. I remind myself that all that matters is the strive towards a better personal life and world, but how often do we do that and gossip behind backs, or silently judge? Surely we all do.
It can feel good to get the biases out, but it can also, as it does now, feel awfully icky. I tell most people I engage with to point out anything I say that is judgmental, harsh, or not logically consistent. I mean it, for I am a lover of wisdom.
What are your biases? Recognized, or not, there are there.
Can we learn to thrive with our biases? Did I over-judge myself? Can our biases be a good thing? Can we learn from them? Or am I entirely wrong, and true objectivity is possible?
What are your thoughts?