Example Of Essay On The Nature Of Objectivity

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Human, Stereotypes, Bias, Racism, Discrimination, Imagination, Science, World

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/09/13

Some would suggest that it is impossible to have an objective view of anything. Everything human beings do colors their ability to see the world; there is a reason that a person who sees the world as a kind, happy place is often referred to as wearing “rose-colored” glasses. The way that human beings see the world is greatly influenced by the personal experiences that they have and the dreams that they hold dear. It is nearly impossible to find something that is untouched by the bias of human experience. Things that humanity may consider to be unbiased-- for example, science is often considered to be unbiased-- is often quite biased upon second glance. Scientists are human beings, and they are human beings that work within the confines of their personal ideas, goals, and experiences. Without these personal goals, ideas, and experiences, they would not be truly human; however, these experiences also color the science that these individuals perform on a daily basis.
When an individual performs a social experiment, he or she is bringing his or her personal experience into that experiment. For instance, in the past, when scientists went looking for “proof” that the different races were physiologically different from each other-- and that some of the races were, in fact, inferior to others-- they found all the proof they could possibly want for their hypotheses. However, the “proof” they found was colored heavily by their own bias and their own desire for a specific outcome to the experiment; this tarnished the experiment and ruined the results of the experiment.
This is not the only instance where social structures have affected the outcome of scientific experiments, nor is it the only instance in which science has been used as a weapon instead of a tool. Science itself is unbiased; the scientific process was designed to ensure that science is as unbiased as possible. However, when a human being enters into the equation, the issue becomes much more complicated. Indeed, look at the process of arguing: human beings argue all the time. There are cultural memes that exist that normalize the practice of arguing, especially between individuals in romantic or other intimate relationships. These memes seem to indicate that human beings like to argue, but in reality, there is something slightly deeper and more complex going on.
When human beings argue, they are often both convinced that they are correct-- how can two people be correct about the same topic? The issue often comes down to the issue of bias and personal perception. Cohen (2011) writes, “Now some researchers are suggesting that reason evolved for a completely different purpose: to win arguments. Rationality, by this yardstick (and irrationality too, but we’ll get to that) is nothing more or less than a servant of the hard-wired compulsion to triumph in the debating arena. According to this view, bias, lack of logic and other supposed flaws that pollute the stream of reason are instead social adaptations that enable one group to persuade (and defeat) another. Certitude works, however sharply it may depart from the truth” (Cohen, 2011). There are, Cohen (2011) seems to suggest, distinct differences between the truth and the reasonable argument.
What does this mean for the existence (or nonexistence) of bias? Individuals are biased on an integral, personal level that cannot be divorced from their personalities. People were, essentially, born to argue. Without the ability to argue and reason, people would be unable to cooperate; so much of cooperation is reliant on the individual ensuring that other people in a situation can see their point of view, and will come to agree with them based on the arguments that they made. This does not mean that the person who is best at reasoning is always the closest to the truth-- it merely means that the best arguer is often the person that is most capable of persuading others to take their side.
Indeed, the entire American legal system is, by and large, reliant on an individual lawyer’s ability to persuade a jury of 12 people of one side of an argument or another. A great lawyer may not present a case that is the closest to the true facts of the case-- or he or she may present a case where the facts are twisted-- but at the end of the trial, the lawyer that wins the trial will be the lawyer that encourages the largest number of individuals in the juror’s box to share their perception of reality.
Taylor (2002) suggests that “Imagination, however, is not just the recombination of stored experiences. Such recombination happens every night even in organisms blessed with much less cortex than human beings. What distinguishes us is our capacity for controlled and wakeful dreaming. This is a useful survival aid, helping us to solve problems, anticipate challenges and conceive alternatives. But we have turned imagination into much more – a good in itself. Like money, sex or drugs, we use it to satisfy our needs, flaunt our wealth and status, tighten our social bonds, or distract us from realities we would rather avoid” (Taylor, 2002). Because all human beings have an imagination to a certain extent, there is absolutely no way to ever determine whether an event that an individual is recounting is a true event, or whether it is an event that has been affected by an individual’s imagination.
There can be no such thing as a truly unbiased individual. Experiences color our lives too much to allow us to see situations completely objectively, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. We have developed a plethora of ways to minimize the impact of bias in certain areas of the world-- like science, for instance-- while using our bias for good in the creative world.
Imagination is a form of bias, but in and of itself it is not a bad thing. Imagination-- and even bias-- are unavoidable realities of the human condition, but they are also positive aspects of the human condition. Human beings would be unable to create art and other wonderful things without imagination, and imagination is just another side to the same coin of bias. Without bias, there would be no imagination; everyone experiences bias in their lives and in the way they see the world, and thus everyone also also experiences the wonders of imagination.

References

Cohen, P. (2011). Reason Seen More as Weapon Than Path to Truth. New York Times.
Taylor, K. (2002). Is imagination more important than knowledge?. Times Higher Education.
Williamson, T. (2010). Reclaiming the Imagination. New York Times.

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Example Of Essay On The Nature Of Objectivity. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-the-nature-of-objectivity/. Published Sep 13, 2020. Accessed September 24, 2020.
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