Confirmation Bias — The New Conspiracy Theory

Once upon a time the ugliness of truth was meant to be enough to scare thin-skinned people away from learning it. However, with time more and more people have become braver and braver and these people were not so easily deterred by simple ugliness. Therefore, the term “conspiracy theory” was created in order to hide uncomfortable facts from being exposed. In the post-war era it was enough to cry “conspiracy theory!” to make people reject the ugly truth. But, almost 60 years after that term was invented, so many “conspiracy theories” have been proven to be accurate and true that a new term was needed in order to discourage people from digging out the truth, i.e. the proofs of different conspiracies. Enter the term “confirmation bias”. Now, the ugly truth could again be dismissed, this time as a psychological tendency “we all are guilty of”. Now, even though you find positive proof of a conspiracy you are yourself encouraged to disregard this positive proof, because according to this new concept, once you hold a certain belief you subconsciously search for confirmation of that belief. And this, somehow magically, makes that positive proof invalid and can therefore be disregarded and dismissed.

So, for example, if I find a document detailing the agreement between two gangsters to rob a bank, that is reason to look for more proof of this suspected crime. According to this new concept of confirmation bias I’m now supposed to look for evidence that disproves my suspicion. If I don’t then I’m guilty of confirmation bias, and since that’s a psychological tendency — a flaw “we all are guilty of” — it’s dismissed as… a conspiracy theory.

So how is one expected to find evidence of something negative?

How to avoid being accused of and dismissed for “confirmation bias”:

  1. If you find out the truth don’t tell anyone
  2. Don’t look for proof of something you suspect to be true
  3. Don’t believe anyone but yourself, and ONLY what you can perceive with your own five senses
  4. Conceive of an idea so outlandish and crazy that you cannot find any “confirmation” for it

According to the concept of confirmation bias any notion, no matter how outlandish, is bound to have its adherents and believers and therefore if you look long enough and hard enough you will be able to find “confirmation” for practically any idea. So the only way to not be accused and dismissed for the “crime” of confirmation bias is to find an idea so outlandish that NOBODY thought of it before! That way, no matter how long and hard you look you will find no “confirmation” for your idea — because it’s so crazy that not even the most delusional “conspiracy theorist” could come up with it. The added bonus is that you will become the “confirmation” for others thinking the same crazy idea! “To boldly go where no idiot has gone before…”

What you are supposed to do when you think you’ve come across an ugly truth is to then research the opposite viewpoint of that “suspected” truth. And since according to the concept of “confirmation bias” you will find “confirmation” for ANY idea or notion, you will invariably find “confirmation” for that opposite viewpoint. This is, in fact, the very definition of “confirmation bias” but THIS time you are supposed to ACCEPT it, no matter how shaky the “confirmation” is. And since it’s impossible to find negative proof of anything, you are supposed to take at face value any assertion that proclaims such negative “proofs”. These negative “proofs” are in fact outright denials, ad hominems, ridicule and any assortment of logical fallacies that you are supposed to accept without question.

The result of giving in to the psychological manipulative concept of “confirmation bias” is doubt, passivity, hesitation/failure to act, indecisiveness etc., since any opinion you may have has an opposing opinion and you end up being allowed to choose neither with certainty.

The method then with which to be convincing when presenting an ugly truth is to first research the “negative proof” — THE OPPOSITE — of that truth. You gather as much “evidence” for that opposite viewpoint so that you eventually will be accused of “confirmation bias” regarding that opposite viewpoint. Then, in order to defend yourself from the accusation you start to actually research the opposite of the OPPOSITE, namely the ORIGINAL viewpoint that you wanted to present in the first place. And lo and behold, you find “confirmation” for it in the form of POSITIVE proof — the ORIGINAL viewpoint, namely the ugly truth. In this way you have reversed the entire process and avoided the “flaw we all are guilty of”, namely “confirmation bias”.

One probable unwanted outcome of this process is that there is a high risk of your audience simply accepting the first step, namely the research of the “negative proofs” — the opposite viewpoint — and never accusing you of “confirmation bias” at all. See, the only time you’re likely to be accused is if you actually present positive proof of a genuine, factual ugly truth. If you simply claim that there are no ugly truths at all and present “negative proofs” of this, then funnily enough, people don’t tend to accuse you of “confirmation bias”.

Admittedly, this whole two-stepped process of first researching the opposite of the ugly truth and then presenting the opposite of the opposite seems to be a very time-consuming process that is bound to suck all the energy out of you and may even end up taking many years of your life. Maybe it’s not worth it, in the long run, just to protect someone’s frail ego — or your own for that matter. After all, are you supposed to ignore an ugly truth so that people in your surroundings can feel the false safety of the beautiful lie?

You might be excused for thinking it’s probably best to just stick to what you believe is the truth and back it up with positive proof and let people accept or reject it as they please.
There will always be new tricks invented to silence and cover up the ugly truth.

After all, what is the difference between confirmation bias and simply confirmation?

, by Kartavirya This entry was posted in Metapolitics. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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