On being biased

When someone has an opinion that is different to ours, the natural inclination is to assume that there is something wrong with their view. We believe our opinion is the right one, and we look for all the arguments to support our position and refute theirs.

This however is not a truly unbiased assessment. A truly unbiased view must listen to the arguments on both sides before making a decision.

A number of non-fiction books are written this way. The author starts with a preconceived opinion on something and will have a cognitive bias toward finding information to support their view. Sometimes they will include counter arguments, but these are often with the follow up of refuting them with a predetermined refutation. In other words, they don't truly assess the evidence in an unbiased manner before reaching a conclusion.

Have you truly ever remained unbiased when assessing an argument?

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