by Dr. Abdirasaq Hashi
I am not trying to shun opinions, but I am trying to reason why injecting biased analyses into the conversations on important issues can be unethical and latterly uncover our concealed motives. I would also like to point out how our own bias in deciding on what materials we read and what we do not can be seriously destructive. I tend not to pick a fight and target with my opinion on specific entities and individuals to restrain my own bias. I, too, have partial views on certain issues.
We are fortunate to have so many writers these days with so many different perspectives on so many important topics of the day. We are at liberty to read their diverse opinions and draw our own inferences to freely and willingly agree with their perceptions. We are also welcome to discount reading biased opinions to readily keep our minds away from receiving unnecessary distortions and imbalanced assessments on important issues. We are lucky to have this particular option so no one can ever drag us, without our consent, into toxic spheres that we would never appreciate.
However, we do not refrain from reading biased opinions, in part we are attracted by authors’ inviting display of the subject of our interest. Some authors are sharp to lure many of us into their orbits and artfully diffuse their biased analysis on issues into our minds. Other authors try to feed us the very materials our brains are excited to absorb albeit that information was not wisely and classily rationalized and may not necessarily be accurate.
Some of the readers could have different views on the subject before reading the materials, yet cannot resist the alluring treats from the biased authors, especially when the topic of discussion is appealing to the readers’ attention. These readers change their opinions not because the authors convinced them with reliable facts, but because of their failure to recognize which information is accurate and which is inaccurate. That is intelligence abuse to manipulate the readers’ point of view on certain issues including their political and social outlook.
Before changing our views, we need to compare and contrast what we already know about the subject we are about to read with what we are learning from the authors’ analysis. We need to explore the differences and similarities between our assessments on the issues and the authors’ opinions. We should not recklessly fall into the authors’ artifices designed to mislead the reader for personal gains.
Some of the readers are, by nature, passive readers who would never question the validity of the materials they read. Reading is more relevant to them than proving the validity of the materials they absorb. They might not be familiar with the writers and they might not even care about knowing them and the issue they are discussing. These readers are just regular guests who, at times, partially read the text to look into the authors’ intent just to get the basic information of the subject.
The problem with being a passive reader is that since almost every reading material is a learning experience, we are in danger to unnecessarily take in biased information that could challenge our intellect and could lead us to a wrong conclusion. Therefore, we need to be actively engaging in the reading materials to carefully examine the information that we are cleverly presented in order to challenge our perceptions on issues.
We should be meaningfully reading the materials because the authors’ purpose is, on one side, to influence the readers’ perception on the subject and, on the other, to challenge and neutralize the threats coming from the competing thoughts. Writers are mostly aware of the opposite arguments on the subject they are questioning. Accordingly, they try to persuade the readers to rely on their narrative. Therefore, careful reading is the best tool to practice to fact-check the opposing views before taking sides.
Some of the readers are also pulled into accepting partial views by their own prejudices in favor of persons and entities whom they perceive as the voice of reason among the community. They willingly agree with the subjective analyses of the authors because they simply know the authors, trust them or they may have connections with them. These readers are not necessarily passive readers, they just pretend that their favored authors are always right on issues when, in fact, they should know that no one is always right on every issue.
Other readers may not necessarily have prior information about the issue, may not be passive readers, and may not have links with the authors. Because they do not have prior information on the subject to compare with the new information they are getting, they can be easily convinced and fall into the authors’ planned trap. They cannot decide on the strength and the validity of the information they are receiving, therefore, they accept the authors’ description of the narrative. Rather than examining the information meaningfully, they reluctantly concede the essayists’ version.
Giving subjective analysis on vital issues can confuse readers and create misconceptions among the public. Unfair analysis can create doubts in people’s minds and can result in unintended consequences. In contrast, impartial analysis on important issues can help communities develop better relationships and advance their mutual respect, where they can form strong cohesion with the public at large.
When we deviously analyze a certain issue to content one group of people against another or to unfairly criticize one segment of the society in favor of another, we tend to create delusions and divisions among the public. We tend to upset one side agreeing with the other side. As a result, we become part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Subjective analysts may inject false interpretations on issues into the discussions to deliberately influence the outcome and unscrupulously manipulate readers’ opinions on issues. Because of this, they are not initiating the necessary healthy discourse through which communities would effectively engage one another to successfully overcome their own made divisions and errors.
Diffusing biased analysis into the conversation on important issues is wrong and can damage the integrity of the authors and their work. The biased writers may possibly think that many readers may not become aware of their biased analysis. Therefore, they might reason that it is acceptable to spread lies and propagate improper interpretations into the discussion. That may not be the case. The partial analysis can be easily detected by many readers, but fortunately these readers do not like to challenge the authors, so they let it go.
Biased writers may not always approve the negative impact of their imbalanced analysis. They casually support one favorite group against another group regardless of which group is right on the issue. They are unprincipled analysists who simply care about backing one side hoping to gain from this some type of benefits and credit. They may not intend to offend the other side but they don’t care about if it happens.
Writers can play an important role to improve the relationships between individuals, groups of people and the society at large. If the authors’ analysis on main issues was fair and just, it would encourage the public, and individuals, to have healthy debates to resolve their differences. Therefore, objective opinions are indispensable tools to build bridges between communities.
Because of favoritism and bias in our writings, people’s faith on each other can be significantly reduced. As a result of injecting partisan views into the conversations, biased writers can weaken the utmost needed social fabric, which is the bond that holds people together.
Subjective authors are, to some degree, aware of the negative impact of their misleading analysis on peaceful coexistence. However, rather than encouraging the peaceful living and the harmony among the communities for the deserving cause, they divide the people into subgroups to create unnecessary tension.
As a final point, the last thing I would do is to pick a fight with anyone, but I liked to point out that injecting partial analysis into the discussions on the important questions is immoral. It will eventually expose the real intentions of the biased authors. It also prompts unsafe discourses and eliminates the prospect of having peace and harmony within the public. In contrast, fair analysis on the issues is noble and can generate coherence and civic discourse. It can reinforce healthy discussions to support the social fabric of society.
Equally important is to highlight how partial reading is not beneficial either. Deciding on what materials we should or we should not read can be seriously negative. Readers need to be neutral and should not, on purpose, favor the work of particular writers.
Readers need to meaningfully absorb the materials as some authors can cleverly diffuse their biased opinions on the issues into the readers’ minds. Readers need to be careful in taking in the poisonous treats resting in the writers’ analysis on important issues.
Abdirasaq Hashi, PhD