EVERY ONE HAS A BIAS!
The New York Times is generally staffed by plagiarists and frauds!
The New York Police Department is full of Officers who sodomize presumed Perps!
The New York Prison system is full of Black rapists!
Jewish business people are unethical: Business is Business!
The Roman Catholic Clergy is predominantly pedophilic!
They are about the only ones who molest kids and they are the worst in the country.
The New York City Public School system is loaded with child abusers!
The Republican Party's Political initiative is to plan legislation to benefit the wealthy!
The Democratic Party stands for partial Birth abortion, same sex marriages and de-funding National Defense!
Moslems are basically committed to the overthrow of Judaeo-Christian way of life. This is the Real Jihad!
Gays do not believe in self control or inner chastity. They believe in promiscuity!
Sicilians are usually linked to the Mafia (?)
The Irish are an alcohol addicted people.
All American military torture and abuse prisoners.
COMMENT: One of the basic points in a course titled Introduction to Logic is that one cannot leap from the "particular" to the " general." Such a basic understanding would immediately signal to the reader that ALL the above statements are false Prima Facie! This means that each statement on its face value is incorrect. While each of them contains instances of the allegation, the dominance of the stated population is the exact opposite. When the then Police Officer, Justin Volpe, in a brutal and stupid moment sodomized a Black party goer, he was unanimously condemned by his colleagues, by his administration and fired from the Job! To argue from this disgusting "particular" to the superficial belief that " All cops are sadists and sodomizers" is puerile and absurd. Likewise, while, indeed there are prisoners in Rikers Island Prison who are rapists and black, to argue from that demographic fact to the facile conclusion that young, black males are generally sexual predators is insane.
Similar intellectual distortion, whether conscious or not, malice based or not, occurs too frequently. Perhaps, with anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Hispanic or African-American there are conscious motivations present. Some people DO have malicious intent. And perhaps there does exist " another side". But some issues do not have two sides. The Holocaust or Shoah in which millions of human beings were executed simply because of their ethnicity is intrinsically evil. It was specifically because people were Jewish that they were murdered. Sr. Benedicta of the Cross, (Edith Stein), a cloistered Camelite nun, was "terminated" because she was Jewish, not that she was a Catholic religious. The dragging-death of a black man behind a truck driven by two bigoted white men simply because of his skin color is intrinsically evil. There is no possible view other than that such savagery is evil in itself.
The murder of a gay man (even if sexually enticing his abductors) by low level bigots is evil in itself. There is no way such horror can be justified. The widespread historical usage of Jim Crowism and the mid-nineteenth century Know Nothing-ism
(or Anti-Catholicism) is a frightening reminder that there are always those who seek " the other side" when there is no other side.
Shared understanding about decency and morality allows civilized people to avoid anything which creates the horror, revulsion and anger that are associated with the above examples. However, in the open square of dialogue so theoretically worshipped in America, there are viewpoints which are legitimately antithetically opposed to each other. These differing views do not necessarily indicate ill will or desire to injure anyone.
Yet these differences are "there" and often heavily influenced by
one's own Background including family, education, religion and experience.
It is inevitable and obvious. To insist that one is completely objective, honest and fair, quite free of any bias, might well be naïve and fantasy. When I taught Graduate courses in Counseling with my psychiatrist colleague, Dr Arnie Zucker, I insisted early in every course that every budding psychotherapist be willing to explore his own personal biases. In effect, we taught there is no such being as a completely objective person. We all have biases!
To admit and know one's own biases is not a disaster. Self knowledge is essential if one is to control and contain one's bias tendencies. The real danger is the denial one might encounter in facing one's own tumultuous unconscious with the fears and angers and biases so relative therein.
I am struck by the almost palpable glee I sense in the near unending reporting of the heinous and evil behavior of 1.8% of all Catholic priests who have brutalized the young over the past 40 years! (Even the 4% of the past 50 years as is stated in the John Jay report of 2004). Is the fury merely and solely traceable to repulsive behavior of a comparatively few evil and dishonorable men? Or is there a more hidden, even unconscious, motivation?
Most of us ARE enraged and disgusted at such satanic behavior but see the evil for what it really is - - - ! We rightly demand correction AND justice. Yet, it is seen within the reality of human experience. How does one explain the cascading of vituperation heaped upon the Catholic church? Is there an agenda to discredit a Church that has been a strong force for good and morality? Is it possible that the fury against Catholicism is because this is the ONLY Church which persistently and clearly stands against abortion and the homosexual lifestyle? Is it meaningful that some of the loudest drumbeaters are Pro-Abortion and Pro- same sex marriage? Is it meaningful that ex-Catholics are in the forefront of the "Screamers"? How come advocates of the ordination of women suddenly are carrying the banners to discredit the Holy Father? How did we get from the 1.8% (or even 4%) of weak, pathological clerics to abortion and same sex marriage?
And to the ordination of women? Throw in the demand for lay votes on selection of Bishops and married clergy and we come up with the word: Agenda!
This is not merely anger at the perfidious priests. Perhaps, those unfaithful ones are merely the stepping stone for attacks long brewing in the psyches of furious people who have been angered and frustrated by stalwart positions of the Church. Are we seeing the implementation of a denied bias?
Truth is a difficult achievement but it is our ideal. There is nothing unusual or terrible about bias. It is the psychological masking and the alleged motivation which harm our lives. The first step is to admit what we propose here. Let us all admit that we are biased but let us likewise try to keep such negatives to a minimum. One of my favorite colleagues, Dr. Vincenzio C., used to remark that "Normal" means keeping one's abnormals to a minimum.
Keep our biases to a minimum. Let us not hurt others - - at least as little as is humanly possible. Let us pray for truth and goodness. Life is very short. Out of control bias makes for misery. Balance - - as difficult as it is - - -remains the way of Jesus and any spiritual leader. We must tell the truth—particularly to ourselves. We are inconsistent, weak and biased beings. And this is all right - - - as long as we are honest! May God strengthen us to live humbly with our biased humanity./