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Confirmation Bias And The Search For Truth

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.

Romeo

Why do folks shun thinkers and writers who are deemed not to be in line with one’s religion?

Yoda

Not because thinkers and writers are a bad influence, but because folks are afraid that what they may read will actually make sense to them. That would complicate life too much.

Dasein

Come on, Yoda. Don’t try to be so smart. Everyone knows that…

Zeitgeist

Come on, Dasein. Give Yoda a break.

Yoda

Yes, please, thanks. There is a thing called confirmation bias. We lean on sources that we know will confirm our views. It is natural, I suppose. Who wants not to be confirmed, be liked, be agreed with, be approved of most of the time.

Romeo

Thanks, Yoda. So, it is ok for me to read Schopenhauer?

Yoda

Yes. But you need to also know that reading new material, philosophical, psychological, or political, might cause an adjustment of loyalties in your life. So, discuss that with those partners who might be most affected by your attitudes. It can be hard to tolerate for them.

Romeo

What do you mean, I do not understand?

Yoda

Well, most folks live within bonded relationships, that is, they are married and perhaps have children and all. Loyalties are what underlie these bonds, including religious bonds. You must be loyal to the maintenance of your dependent’s well-being. If you cannot because of the adoption of a new, different outlook on life, it might be a problem.

Yoda

So, read whatever you are inclined to, but be prepared to not abandon your dependents.

Zeitgeist

Well said, Yoda.


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