Beliefs and Biases
Being a human being, we as another member of the fauna that walks this planet earth, have been endowed with the set of characteristics that separates us from the rest of the organisms. Resulting to make us the most superior among all the creatures. And one of the many qualities that separates us uniquely is our ability to hold Beliefs.
Exclusively to us, this feature has a lot to do whatever course, behavior, actions, opinions, and objectives we tend to acquire. As a progeny, who is nothing but a blank sheet of paper, we thus enter this diaspora called the world. And from that moment on, we keep journeying into this multi faceted Society becoming into who we are.
We en route, from early childhood and teenage to adulthood, keep gathering experiences. Experiences that vary in all sorts of aspects, from their very nature to their intensity, some crucial and while others inconsequential. And in the due process we knowingly or unknowingly get to make beliefs. Beliefs, thus following this ingenious course, as a result are well formed while some raw as well. Some healthy while others utterly disgusting. But nonetheless they make us who we are. And that is something that is essential to be understood. Who we are & Why we are the way we are.
There are numerous sources that lead us to making our minds about anything. Perhaps they are so vast and so tiny and so different and so many that they can’t ever be counted. However, taking an alternate route and zeroing on the major sources we can thin slice them. And mainly they include — Our Birth circumstances, our parents, our family, environment, our upbringing, the society we live in, the education we get, the things we indulge ourselves into, & the people we associate with to name a few.
Meandering, learning consciously & unconsciously, interacting, observing, emulating in this process. Our Beliefs gets shaped. Responsibly or irresponsibly. And Beliefs as it is clear as the day, are extremely pivotal to our very existential fashion.
But no matter how fine the process is, errors, deliberately or inadvertently are bound to crept. And the mechanism that sets up our belief system is no exception. This maddeningly intricate process fails in here to the inevitable. And the central point of the talk is this error itself. This error that besets what are called as “Biases”.
And biases are the culprits most of the times in what you see as wrong. The biases are at the very heart of the major problems and menaces afflicting our society right now. From the very minute of the ailments to the most plausible of threats, they make their presence felt. The roles that it plays have made our lives worse in several of ways. And the threat it poses is in no ways small that it could be ignored.
Biases that does the round in our daily lives include the Gender Bias, Religious biases, societal and many such more. Unarguably they have led from smallest to the biggest of plagues.
Taking “Gender Biases” at first. People suffering from this are habituated to think in a particular way. Advocating mostly that Women are merely the subordinates of men, inferior to them in this ultra patriarchal society. While this belief ( bias, in fact ) of theirs is a sheer non sense, But that doesn’t stop them from embracing, celebrating and propagating this ideology. In fact they pride themselves by making themselves feel superior over women. The saddest part of the story, however, lies in the fact that such people make up the majority. And this bias has perhaps caused women more harm than anything. Just imagine how would you expect this society to be women friendly, when the king to the subjects hold this belief that women are meant for men, and hardly have any existence of their own.
The next big problem in this new age is “Religious bias”. Nobody would cut through the fact that terrorism is one of the major problems faced by the world right now. Undoubtedly. But the next disturbing fact is its pseudo-affiliation to a particular group. But that doesn’t mean that everyone belonging to that community harbors the same idea. But every day we witness that community being criticized for their beliefs. And that’s when these faulty biases come into picture. Coloring a particular individual or the whole of the community for this problem, cannot be, in any way said judicial. Is it logical, or in anyway legitimate that if a cat swoops your milk, your start killing tigers because they are also a part of the cat family. Instead it is a severe loss of common sense and in fact disgustingly foolhardy. But that is what we are witnessing in this world now.
Such instances are limitless…the number of such wrong biases are infinite and its effects even beyond. Beyond infinite and beyond infinitesimal. Harming us all in its fool’s paradise.
So what is the way out. Is there even a way?
The answer is yes. It can be curbed. But the menace is serious, and so should be the solution. It is just a matter of time before you start challenging whatever you have been told. You start questioning whatever wrong you have been taught. By making ourselves liberal once again. By making deliberate, fair decisions instead of succumbing to these faulty biases. Sometimes getting to know their side of the story. By understanding that cliches exists mostly in our minds and have little or no presence into the real world. By welcoming others’ point of view. By agreeing to the very natural fact that others may be different, but not evil necessarily.
And perhaps fighting this natural instinct to give in for these wrong set of beliefs. And instead be better informed & not just going in for rotten ideas that people around are ever ready to force into our minds. The onus, thus, is on us to use our minds and our better judgement in deciding…this is the surest way to fight this viral fever ailing our society so far. To not get biased.
Last but not the least for us to remember is the fact that counter- bias is also a bias.
( The one who writes this is himself, in his way to learn how to trick these flawed biases , and hopefully he will come out as a better version…one that is more resilient to such wrong beliefs. Hopefully.)