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Bias By Affiliation (Also, Philosocom's Directory on Biases)

Updated: Sep 15

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To promote something, like an ideology or a principle, just because one is affiliated with it or with a sect/organization behind it, is something one can call "Bias by affiliation".

To be affiliated with something, you see, instead of choosing to look at things from an eagle's view, is something that could be difficult for one in the search for the truth, simply because this bias encourages you to convince yourself it is true, even if there is a certain flaw that makes it questionable. Due to this bias, some flaws may be overlooked, and thus, the content provider wouldn't be as reliable as they otherwise could've been.

Would you be willing to go against your own religion? Your family values? Your chosen political party? If you are not biased by your affiliation, then you would, if such a flaw is to come to your attention. If you automatically support someone or something because you are affiliated with it, then you would have a harder time criticizing them, and thus you would overlook the counter-points which are against them.

Here's an example I just found on one of my media feeds. A religious Jewish man claimed that thanks to the Talmud, a central Jewish text, people who do didn't study the core curriculum in regular education, have a higher chance to be accepted into high-tech jobs.

The man further talked about how the Talmud helps the young brain develop as a stimulating source of study. However, those who disagreed with him criticized him for not bringing up any data to support his argument. Unlike myself, who struggles to read long-winded things due to disability, I would assume that this certain person is not chronologically fatigued and can actually gather up research of his own.

If this religious man was not biased by his affiliation to Judaism, he would've tried to pay equal attention to the usefulness of core studies in non-Haredi education, AKA, the rest of the public education program, which includes English, Mathematics and more.

However, no such attention was dedicated to the effect of the rival education program. We can thus learn from him in his post, he was quite an unreliable source, due to his bias. Take note, that people who are as biased as he was, would probably agree with him as well, because it reinforces the narrative of their own bias.

These are one of the many examples I have encountered throughout my life on the bias of religion and bias in general when it comes to something someone supports. One time when I was a student, I was told by a classmate that there are people from other religions who convert to Judaism, and I indeed met one myself.

However, I made a counter-point, that there are also those who abandon this religion, or at least turn from religious or secular. Not having an ability to dispute my counter-point, the classmate was inclined to agree. Now, if I wouldn't come up with this argument, said classmate might've overlooked the fact that his religion is also abandoned by some, just as it is sought by converts.

In philosophy, being wrong is more important than one may think. It is even more important when one recognizes their fallacy. In society in general, it is a bigger thing to convert to another religion than it is to subscribe to a different philosophy or philosopher, because religion is usually more dominant in one's life than one's thoughts are.

If you live in a Christian nation, for example, and decide you turn Hindu, not all people are going to like it. You might be harassed, or even shunned if you live in a more traditional community, and the religions I mentioned are just examples; I wasn't referring to Christianity specifically as I didn't to Hinduism. It's just that if you decide one day to become nihilist after being existentialist, you will not be as bothered by other people as you would with adopting a new religion.

That is a problem that I specifically have with religion -- the fact that it isn't as open minded as philosophy; not as open minded to the point of finding out that some of its claims were false. This is why I have a problem with becoming a more religious person even though I don't know if divinity exists.

Religion is a very tribal thing, you see, not because it's primitive but because it is so embedded with identity, it is very tempting to become biased by your affiliation with it. If presented with something being declared as false but is actually a very important thing in your religion, then you, the religious member, will be inclined to find as many ways as possible to debunk it.

In a sense, unless open-minded to self-doubt, religion is like a fortress that tries to protect values and claims that there's a possibility that they are incorrect. It difficult therefore, to choose the religious path in life, if you seek clarity, which much of it is arguably given by doubting yourself and your ideals.

I suppose it is time that I tell you that I have nothing against religion per se. The attempt to criticize it does not mean I hate it or am against it. If I choose to be skeptical about something one holds dear, I have every right to do so, especially because there was no actual offense attempted to be given to anyone.

Scepticism is a tool in philosophy, as is any other work-related device. It is how I can reach new possible insights, concepts, and fallacies that might be true, whether partially or completely. Likewise, I'm ready to be disagreed with as well. That's how philosophizing works, after all.

One of my motives for partially isolating myself from this world was to try and be more neutral and less biased by external sources. It is done by observing things from afar and very rarely participating in them, whether these are politics or even a comment section about something intellectually based.

In a sense, I try to stay neutral about things, not only to keep an open mind, but also to, hopefully, be closer to the truth. I may lack the ability to research due to my conditions, but I at least have the skill of philosophizing through logical reasoning. Thus, I strive to avoid the bias of affiliation like the plague, because I know that, if I don't doubt enough, I might become delusional by thinking I'm correct when I am not.

For Hebrew speakers, here is the source for the anecdote I have mentioned (use automatic translation):

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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