By Cameron Gerst
Our age has long been hailed as one dedicated to the eradication of bias from almost every facet of society, from schools, to the public sphere, and the sciences, we have prided ourselves in the removal of subjectivity and the creation of, a so called, pure, objective, foundation.
However, I would like to challenge the status quo for a moment. You see bias is not something that we can remove ourselves from. Now, from a prejudice stand point, maybe. But from an internal, conception of reality stand point, no. Let me explain what I mean. On the one hand, we can take bias to mean, albeit a very rudimentary definition as I will attempt to explain, a prejudice, racism for example. The bias of favoring those of a Caucasian race over those of any other, is a prejudice, is immoral and is a hindrance to society and bias defined within such a context should be removed. Yet, when we take a deeper look at bias we are confronted with something more than a stigma granting facility; we are confronted with a lens. A lens through which we view our world, more concisely, our world view. By world view, I am referring to how each of us, make sense of the world that surrounds us. There must be some system through which we bring what we experience towards what we understand. Does this mean each world view is valid? Or if you like, each bias is right? Of course not, I only mean to say that each of us has a world view and each of us is constantly creating meaning out what we are faced with. Not one of us is exempt from this, not one of us can escape this. So if this where we are, what does that mean?
Let me be bold. We have long been asking the question, how do we get rid of this thorn in our flesh called bias? Called subjectivity? Called world view? Called us ultimately? But perhaps, just perhaps, we should be asking another question. My suggestion would be, how do we find the subjectivity with the least amount of holes instead of demonizing it in its entirety? How do we open discourse about true bias, about true world view and through such a process refine are lens until we reach the purest reflection? Blaming bias for our problems is like blaming your eyes because the sun is too bright. Maybe in the embracement of ‘us’ (bias) true solutions could actually be found to our many, god knows many, problems.