The Myth of Eliminating Bias
Much of western philosophy is based on the intellectual philosopher with an objective point of view and an incisive intellect, which clears the cobwebs of the mind to present a pristine image of the truth. This is a myth of the self-opinionated, spread by the self-deluding for the benefit of the non-self-examining. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle regarding absolute determinations and the quirks of Quantum theory, which proves that reality is altered by the bias of the observer, extend not only to physics, but also to human assertions. This is not to give a second life to Penrose's theory of the mind, which is a bunkum proposition attempted by a bright mathematician, to extend his reach beyond his grasp.
It nevertheless confirms that all reality is skewed by the privileged bias of the observer. If one concedes that there is no objective analysis, because every analyst is colored by some not confessed color, then this assumption raises a question about the very nature of observation or truth. How does one stabilize one's life, while constrained to live on a terra non-firma, incessantly rocked by these seismic catastrophes.
At first glance it seems like an insoluble problem, and for many of us leads to the pragmatic solution of the survival of the fittest and the devil take the hindermost. This is why Darwin was the greatest threat to Victorian England and much of mankind. This is why the Scopes trial took place and Kansas and some other states of America carry on a crusade against evolution.
The point that they miss is that contrary to Achilles' preference for a short and glorious life, the bulk of all living creatures desire a life with limited stress. This is why unavoidable confrontations between
many animals stop beyond real bodily harm. Human beings with their highly evolved cortex seek a sense of fairness and justice not because of some inherent love of justice and fairness, but for the
non-altruistic reason, that but for the grace of God, there goes I. In fact the invention of God and
afterlife is merely the natural consequence of a selfish desire for justice by the downtrodden and a
foolish egotism not to accept mortality. It is often that fatal peek into the morbid mirror of mortality,
that shockingly sobers many of us from the exhilarating intoxication of life and even this happens to only a few of us. The rest of us by our own constraints of not utilizing our newly evolved cortex or the dominance of our more primitive brains, are destined to perish without any insight into the change of paradigms. I neither weep for, nor condemn them, for evolution has not yet resolved this dilemma, but regret that these Neanderthals stand in opposition to the spread of a peaceful co-existence for all of humanity.
My greatest worry is about the smart ones, who in the certitude of their unquestioned beliefs have come to the conclusion that they and they only have the answer to all questions and have discovered the ultimate truth, reality and morality and thus have the inalienable right to impose their point of view on others. There have always been such zealots in the history of humanity. The real tragedy is that for the first time in real history, such fanatics also have the power in the current administration of America. Unlike most doomsayers, I am not worried about humanity in general, because I know that this too shall pass. My worry is only short term for a few decades while these pilots at the helm of the ship of state of incomparably powerful America, wreak havoc on the world.
Finally, it reaffirms my belief about the selfishness of all human beings and the stupidity of most and
re-confirms my belief that democracy is the worst form of government, if the people are not enlightened and can be hijacked by special interests, if there is not a vigilant electorate, conniving media and a partial judiciary. This is not a tirade against democracy, which is the least bad form of government, but just a warning against how democracy can be vitiated by vested interests and a colluding press to serve the interests of a powerful minority, as has happened in America. My regret and sighs are for Madison, who knew that He was smart and chose a track for this country, which was not likely to be right in the long-term. He could be forgiven, if he did not know, but I am afraid that he knew and chose the path. He was however wise enough to accept a Bill of Rights. His error was consistent with the weakness of all humanity, so I do not indict him, but it makes me smile when the apologists make a great hullabaloo about the founding fathers, because Washington, Adams and Franklin were probably the really honorable men and even two of those august three, had feet of clay. Only Washington still stands as an American President with integrity and I humbly pay tribute to a great man and weep for the rest of American history with an exception for Lincoln, who was honest and humble, if not always morally correct!
The greatest irony is that a fanatically religious theocracy in Iran, where the supreme leader believes
that he is answerable to only God and another un-elected leader, who claims an equally divine inspiration from another God, while catering to Mammon, are both similarly unresponsive to the peoples of their countries and even the world! In contrast to Madison, the latter and his Republican Guards are trying to dismantle the Bill of Rights and undo the New Deal. Their guide and philosopher Grover Norquist is alleged to have stated, that he wants to shrink government so much, that it can be drowned in a bathtub! Amen.
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Gaurang Bhatt, MD
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