Debate:CP vs. RW bias

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CP bias[edit]

Well, when CP is biased, it's biased hard. The Obama article is just a conspiracy theory compendium. However, it actually isn't always biased. See the Spore (a video game that openly acknowledges evolution) article.

RW bias[edit]

Hm. This site is usually pretty representing of both sides. But every article has a little bit of bias.

What do you think?[edit]

I like how Penn Jillette put it: "We're biased as all fuck, but we at least try to be honest." Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:26, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I think that we're are pretty upfront about our point of view here. A neutral POV isn't our objective - that's WP's job.--BobNot Jim 15:37, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we are pretty upfront about it, but a POV isn't necessarily a bias. Bias would involve ignoring evidence and concealing alternative opinions - we do show both, hence no bias per se, but we hold back no punches in saying which side we're pretty convinced is right based on the evidence presented. Scarlet A.pngpostate 15:54, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
This looks more like a debate than an essay. If I'd written an essay that short at school then I'd have had to spend an hour in the dark stationary cupboard with Mr Bagshott and his broom handle he keeps poking you with. CrundyTalk nerdy to me 15:58, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Of course, evidentialist creationists would suggest that we were ignoring all the Compelling Evidence for a Young Earth, hence were extremely biased. (I support moving to debate.) Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:59, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Possibly, unless the aim is to expand the above constructively, in which case it's hardly a debate. Anyway, I don't think we do ignore the Compelling Evidence for a Young Earth, in fact we go on about it at some length in places. Scarlet A.pngpostate 16:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I think the author of this debate is confusing "bias" with "representing reality". As stated, bias is the ignoring of facts or misrepresenting one side. You can have both sides represented, then say "this one's wrong" as long as you back up why it's wrong. Not every point of view is valid, after all. Z3rotalk 16:25, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

We're into definitions I suppose. But isn't saying "I only need to believe in something if there is evidence for it." a bias of some sort? I know that we don't ignore evidence, but aren't we sort of biased in favour of rational explanations? And isn't that, quite rightly, our objective.--BobNot Jim 16:27, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Bias gets tossed around as one of those words that is bad, and must be avoided at all costs. However, there is a difference between being "biased" by accepting what evidence gives you, and being "biased" by not telling people what the evidence is. Z3rotalk 16:41, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I agree. So let's be biased in favour of reality and be proud of it.--BobNot Jim 17:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

RW is biased and so is CP[edit]

Both are biased, that is NOT we criticize it! We criticize it for its anti-reality bias, we aren't perfect. But we try our best! Colbert|FanBritons are people too! 06:04, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

So it seems hypocritical of both sides to criticise each other for being biased? I know that RW is biased, but how much? How can one quantify bias? Is it the weight put on one idea versus the weight of others? If that is so, then science is "biased" against the flat earth idea. I think bias is shown by manipulating data and unfairly using it to support a position. In which case, I think quite a few articles have pushed a position without using pristine resources. But if one looks at Conservapedia... It's abundantly obvious how much manipulation has occurred to unfairly support the extremely conservative point of view. So really, both sites are biased, but Conservapedia is much, much worse.Several ingredients (talk) 07:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Everyone is biased, and asking whether people are biased is not a very interesting question. A much more interesting question is how are they biased? And can you describe those biases in an unbiased (or minimally biased) way? Consider BobM's comment above "So let's be biased in favour of reality and be proud of it." - I'm sure many CP sysops might agree with that statement, they'd just understand reality very differently, which is why it is not saying anything useful about bias. (((Zack Martin))) 10:50, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Except that those of us in the reality-based community have an independent method of validating reality - the scientific method; those in the faith-based community have a different yardstick.--BobSpring is sprung! 10:56, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Except that the scientific method can only answer scientific questions, not philosophical ones. (((Zack Martin))) 11:09, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Which is what we call an escape hatch. It's just saying "well MY ideas are IMMUNE to your methods, because... well, just BECAUSE!!". Which is bollocks. But that's not a bias, it's just a "I think this is horseshit for reasons x, y and z" - let's call it a "stance", rather than a bias, it's merely the opinion you approach things from. A bias is where you would blindly favour one solution over another and, consciously or otherwise, avoid questioning it or breaking it. This is different to the "stance" idea, because if you have stance on something but you approach it rationally, you will be free to change that stance. The bias is more inherent and something you would seek to overcome. The classic example would be political bias where anyone who is a member of Party X can do no wrong, whereas a member of Party Y can do no right (this is probably the main area where CP and RW have legitimate biases, because CP is obviously as neo-con as you can get while RW's political pundits are text-book liberals to the point of embarrassment - although mostly because they're attracted by the anti-CP stance) and the odd fallacies that come from such attitudes; most notably guilt by association and No True Scotsman. There's also a difference between bias and not not molly-coddling ideas out of a sense of false balance (see balance fallacy), which is what the BBC's independent science review suggested they were quite guilty of (e.g., climate change, MMR, etc.). ADK...I'll complement your crab cake! 11:31, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Science too is biased. One of my favourite Karl Popper stories is of him giving a lecture where he said - "We are now going to do some empirical science. Observe." After a while one of his students asked, "Please, sir, what should we observe?" And that was the point. Scientists try to remove bias but they choose where to look, what to measure, and how to measure it. Sure it has the minimum of bias but nothing is bias free. Jack Hughes (talk) 11:41, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Sure, but it tries not to be, it attempts to be self-correcting and over the long run it seems to be. So I'd say it's as good as you are going to get. But, yeah, nothing is perfect.--BobSpring is sprung! 11:44, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
@ADK - The scientific method is correct for answering scientific questions, but not for answering other types of questions. The scientific method is the appropriate method to use to answer the question "Is Einstein's theory of general relativity true?", but not the correct method to answer "Is Goldbach's conjecture true?" (or Fermat's Last Theorem, or whether P=NP or not). To answer those types of questions we have to use another, quite different, method, the mathematical method. These methods are quite different - the scientific method is based on induction, the mathematical method on deduction. And then, we are now considering the question of, how many distinct types of knowledge are there, each with their distinct appropriate method? Well, I've identified at least two, and there may be more. But, there is at least one more, since this question is not an appropriate question for either the scientific or mathematical method, it is actually a question for the philosophical method (which is really a sort of meta-method, only it can answer the question of how many methods there are, which putative methods are valid and which aren't). So, at least three distinct methods. And maybe there is also an ethical method, an aesthetic method, a theological method, etc. (whether any of these purported other methods are legitimate or not is a question for the philosophical method to answer.)
So, this isn't an escape hatch at all - it is simply a recognition that there is more to human thought than the sciences. I think a lot of RW's bias is shown in the fact that many of its users think complex philosophical issues like this have simple and obvious answers. They claim that their beliefs are rational because they are open to being shown wrong, but that is rather silly, since they have very little justification for their belief that they are right to begin with. Really, the question they should be asking, is how do they know they are right? (((Zack Martin))) 09:15, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Is bias a philosophical issue? I thought it was a psychological one... That people know they are right is usually because they are persuaded by evidence (scientific and reviewed evidence in RW's case). Conservapedia has "evidence" based from the bible, or other extreme conservative sites. As said before, we should be upfront as having a scientific or "reality" bias. Of course, as we are a wiki, we cannot perfectly adhere to science, and bias can seep in naturally from our user-base. Such as the vast majority of editors here having left-leaning political biases.Several ingredients (talk) 11:44, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Is bias in itself a philosophical issue? Maybe, maybe not. Can one have biases that are philosophical in nature? Most certainly. Such as, a bias based on unquestioning adherence to the view that all reality can be described by science, and an unwillingness to consider the proposition that their may be aspects of reality which science cannot describe. (As I've argued, at least mathematics and philosophy are aspects of reality beyond the proper power of science to describe.) (((Zack Martin))) 11:57, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
They claim that their beliefs are rational because they are open to being shown wrong, but that is rather silly, since they have very little justification for their belief that they are right to begin with. Really, the question they should be asking, is how do they know they are right? Well, there's this thing called 'science' which, as Bacon said, puts nature to the test. We don't know we're right - I'm pretty sure I'm not, in the same way that Newton was wrong - what we do know is that our beliefs are tested against evidence and will evolve on the basis of these tests. My core belief, my bias, if you will, is that empirical testing is a valid way of measuring reality. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:18, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
Except there are some beliefs that cannot be tested scientifically. Indeed, the belief that all beliefs can be tested scientifically is itself one of those beliefs that can't be tested scientifically, and hence the scientistic position is self-defeating. (((Zack Martin))) 12:24, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
What bit of My core belief, my bias, if you will, is that empirical testing is a valid way of measuring reality. did you not understand. But it's slightly more than a blind belief - the thing about science is that it works. I believe that it's a valid method of measuring reality in the same way that I believe that a hammer is a valid way of inserting nails. Jack Hughes (talk) 12:38, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
But is it the only way, or the best way? Or are there other, equally valid ways? Mathematics is a very different way of measuring reality from science (P=NP? is as much a part of reality as general relativity). Empirical testing is esentially useless to decide if P=NP or not (well, it might demonstrate the physical existence of an oracle which turns NP into P, but that is besides the point, since the P=NP question is posed in the absence of such oracles). (((Zack Martin))) 12:56, 3 August 2011 (UTC)