a : a thing that is indisputably the case
synonyms: reality, actuality, certainty
b : truth, verity, gospel
antonyms: lie, fiction
c : a piece of information used as evidence or as part of a report or news article.
synonyms: detail, piece of information, particular, item, specific, element, point, factor, feature, characteristic, ingredient, circumstance, aspect, facet; information
a : prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
synonyms:prejudice, partiality, partisanship, favoritism, unfairness, one-sidedness; bigotry, intolerance, discrimination, leaning, tendency, inclination, predilection, casteism
b : in some sports, such as lawn bowling, the irregular shape given to a ball.
be·lief /bəˈlēf/ noun
a : an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
b : something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction.
c : trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.
WHAT IS BIAS?
Bias stems from a limited slice of a whole picture. Bias comes from belief, which is not necessarily fact. When belief is not an actual fact, it comes from an imperfect, incomplete, or distorted picture of reality.
What if we were able to fill in, clarify, and complete the picture? Our bias would diminish, even approach zero. Would we want to take that step?
In this world of hyper-partisanship, fake news and families torn apart by voting decisions, everyone is claiming possession of the facts. How often have we heard the admonishment: "You need to do some research!"
Yet how much clarity can we achieve when we search for information to confirm our bias?
Do we really want the facts, as we claim to?
For every set of talking points, there is a complementary damning set on the other side. Some talking points, admittedly, are more accurate than others. But on a whole, we are awash in one-sided memes, apple-to-orange comparisons, straw-man distortions of the opposing side, generalizations and a very murky picture of reality. Context has ducked out the back door. Bias has crept in.
And then we end up in our echo chambers sharing slanted, incomplete information with each other.
THE WHOLE TRUTH
Each one of us comes to the point where we must ask ourselves the question: Do we really want the whole truth? Or do we just want to be right? Do we want to dig deeper, or do we just want to be outraged? Do we want to make the world a better place, or do we just want to stage an epic factual take-down of our brother-in-law, causing him to renounce his prior beliefs and agree with us?
If the answer is that we want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, what's the next step?
Awareness and inquiry. Being aware of our own bias, belief and point of view. Being curious to discover what part of reality does not conform to our belief. Being willing to acknowledge when there is not enough information to confirm our belief. And being willing to live with the uncertainty of an unproven belief. Or no belief.
By unwavering commitment to the truth, regardless of party or ideology, and by being beholden to no influence, we will work together on completing the picture.