Caveats and Biases

I think I should explain myself here so I can link to the explanation later.

I believe in utterly honest conversation, admitting biases and mistakes. That’s one of my fundamental principles, and it’s why I’m making this post. And sometimes I violate it.

When I do something wrong, please call me out. (You can tell I’m sane and clear-headed when I’m saying self-obstructing things like this. I do not trust my future self.) I will surely draw out the process of very reluctantly examining myself in light of your accusation. This is both because of my pride and because I find introspection a very tricky process. I probably did do what you accused me of, but I must come to my own conclusion and not lazily rely on you to think for me.

I am stubborn, power-hungry, undisciplined, and self-righteous. Actually I’ll grab any excuse I can find to consider myself better than you, not just righteousness.

I was raised by two Christian, Republican, religious-right parents. For most of my life (or at least the part where I remember thinking about abstract concepts) I have been all three of those things. First I divorced myself from the Republican Party because I disagreed about economic issues. I proceeded to argue with myself about the social side of the platform and I now have unconventional (as in, neither left nor right nor middle) views on abortion and LGBT issues. Somewhere in there I decided religion and politics make a dangerous combination. As for the only remaining label, “Christian,” it’s complicated.

And yet I still think the way I was raised to. I still agree with my native culture on several issues. One of my lifelong quests is to chase my biases, to rehabilitate myself from insufficient examination of ideas. On the flip side, I sometimes appoint myself as an ambassador toward people from other cultures who don’t seem to understand how we think. I seek relationships where each member teaches of himself and is studied by the rest.

But why bother? That’s what I intend to cover in my next post.

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