A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, truth, bias, and preconceptions

On all vital existential questions, human beings have biases more deepset than they can begin to comprehend. The task of philosophers is not to work up fanciful idealistic rhetoric designed to appeal to hypothetical disinterested-bourgeois bipeds, but to get to know what the actual or extant preconceptions and worldviews of human beings really are, and WHY they ultimately are such as they are. It may be interesting ad hominem how and why humans might happen to presume themselves to be impartial listeners. But the truly challenging question is Nietzsche's: just how the hell did such a species ever imagine that it might want to know what "the truth" is, in the first place? Why would we presume ourselves to be at all INTERESTED in "the truth"?

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Shrimati Indira Gandhi on action, bias, small, and steps

Have a bias toward action - let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.

Indira Gandhi (1917 - 1984)

Contributed by: Meenakshi

A Quote by Dean Radin on bias, rational man mistake, prejudice, rational, and evidence

            “… ‘You’re making the ‘rational man’ mistake.’  He meant that we usually assume that science is a rational process, but it’s not.  When we’re presented with evidence that counters our prior beliefs, instead of the new evidence swaying us toward a new or revised belief, it tends to reaffirm our prior beliefs.  Well, I thought, that’s completely ridiculous.  It’s got to be a mistake.  Unfortunately, after witnessing precisely these reactions to the data for twenty years, I have reluctantly concluded that the ‘rational man’ hypothesis is indeed false.

            The technical term for one form of this irrational phenomena is the ‘confirmation bias.’  This psychological quirk causes evidence supporting your beliefs to be perceived as plausible, and evidence challenging your beliefs to be perceived as implausible.  Studies in social psychology have repeatedly demonstrated that journal reviewers invariably judge articles being submitted got publication according to their prior beliefs.  Those who agree with a hypothesis tend to judge a paper reporting positive results as an excellent piece of work, and those who disagree judge the very same paper and a flawed failure.  The former referees recommend publication and the latter don’t.  The final decision to publish is left up to the editor, so if the editor doesn’t happen to agree with the paper’s hypothesis then there’s a good chance it won’t appear on the journal.  And then the evidence doesn’t exist as far as the rest of the scientific community is concerned.  In science, this tends to create a genteel ‘good old boys’ club of acceptable ideas, while unacceptable ideas are consigned to the biker’s bar lounge on the wrong side of the tracks.  Fortunately, most scientists also tend to have high curiosity, so the club’s rules can change with sufficient persistence (and after the retirement of some of the older good old boys).

Dean Radin

Source: Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality, Pages: 101..2

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Peter Singer on ethics, morals, moral judgement, bias, discust, culture, and religion

All the particular moral judgments we intuitively make are likely to derive from discarded religious systems, from warped views of sex and bodily functions, or from customs necessary for the survival of the group in social and economic circumstances that now lie in the distant past.

Peter Singer


Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Sir Francis Bacon on bias, thinking, and reasoning

It is the peculiar and perpetual error of the human understanding to be more moved and excited by affirmatives than by negatives

Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

Source: The Works of Francis Bacon, page 348

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by unknown on history, bias, revisionist, and objective

History is a selective interpretation of events intended to justify those currently in power. Memory is the same thing on an individual scale.


Source: Unknown

Contributed by: Ryan

A Quote by Henry Bessemer on bias, general belief, and fixed ideas

I had an immense advantage over many others dealing with the problem inasmuch as I had no fixed ideas derived from long-established practice to control and bias my mind, and did not suffer from the general belief that whatever is, is right.

Henry Bessemer


Contributed by: Anu

A Quote by Peter Singer on habits, vegan, animal rights, vegetarian, rationalization, ethics of eating, bias, and utilitarianism

As a matter of strict logic, perhaps, there is no contradiction in taking an interest in animals on both compassionate and gastronomic grounds. If a person is opposed to the infliction of suffering on animals, but not to the painless killing of animals, he could consistently eat animals that had lived free of all suffering and been instantly, painlessly slaughtered. Yet practically and psychologically it is impossible to be consistent in one's concern for nonhuman animals while continuing to dine on them. If we are prepared to take the life of another being merely in order to satisfy our taste for a particular type of food, then that being is no more than a means to our end. In time we will come to regard pigs, cattle, and chickens as things for us to use, no matter how strong our compassion may be; and when we find that to continue to obtain supplies of the bodies of these animals at a price we are able to pay it is necessary to change their living conditions a little, we will be unlikely to regard these changes too critically. The factory farm is nothing more than the application of technology to the idea that animals are means to our ends. Our eating habits are dear to us and not easily altered. We have a strong interest in convincing ourselves that our concern for other animals does not require us to stop eating them. No one in the habit of eating an animal can be completely without bias in judging whether the conditions in which that animal is reared caused suffering.

Peter Singer

Source: Animal Liberation

Contributed by: Ryan

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