Implicit Bias is the New Original Sin

 

Voltaire once said that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him. Fast forward to today, and the left has invented everything required for social control that used to be provided by religion, except a replacement for God. Their most recent innovation in this field is “implicit bias,” which acts as a stand-in for original sin.

Before we dive into the technical details, it’s worth taking a moment to review how America got here. The left in America for at least the past few generations has viewed the world with an implicit Marxian frame. That is, they view the world as consisting of groups of people who are oppressed, and other groups of people who do the oppressing. In the traditional Marxist (note the subtle difference here, between -ist and -ian) formulation, that would be the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, respectively. This was a psychologically useful delusion until the end of the Cold War decisively proved that communism is a complete failure whenever it is implemented. It’s pretty hard to convince people they should create a Worker’s Paradise in America when so many of the Worker’s Paradises look less like an actual paradise than the status quo. There’s only so many times you can say “well, nobody has really tried communism yet” before normal people smile, nod, and walk backwards toward the nearest exit.

Unfortunately, like most people with unpopular ideas, the left looked at all of this and said to itself “Well, our ideas are obviously correct in spite of all evidence to the contrary, so the problem must be that we cannot communicate such that American people can understand us.” So, this is where the new fad “intersectionality” comes in. Intersectionality is a theory that basically says that you can be oppressed in a multitude of ways depending on your identity, and because most approaches to dealing with oppression usually only address one of those ways in which you are being oppressed, the “structures of oppression” “intersect,” e.g., coordinate their activities accordingly such that the “cycle of oppression” is free to continue indefinitely.

What this means in practice is that all of the sinister -isms and phobias in society (according to Wikipedia page on intersectionality: “racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and belief-based bigotry”) are actually all the same thing and need to be fought all at once. Thus, they effectively form a concept of what not to do that can the place of “sin” (which I don’t think they actually have a single 1:1 conceptual mapping for). Everybody doing the fighting against all of that oppression needs to be in the same boat (e.g., the Democratic Party), so if you understand this and agree with it, you are “woke,” which is basically the new left-wing version of being “born again.”

Racism is an especially useful thing to employ as a sort of secular sin in America, because nearly everyone can agree that it has been a problem and in quite a few cases still is. But, in order for it to fulfill the same social control function as sin, it has to be something that everyone can experience. Thanks to US immigration policy and the forward progression of time, there are many people, white and otherwise, who now live in America and can legitimately claim that they had absolutely nothing to do with the injustices of slavery and Jim Crow, because they weren’t here while these things were going on and aren’t related to anyone who was. So, there needs to be a myth that proves that racism is just part of man’s fallen nature. The Old Testament has Eve eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge; Science™ has the Implicit Association Test.

There are actually multiple Implicit Association Tests (you can try them out here, if you like), but the first one is the “Race IAT”, which claims to show that Americans implicitly associate “European Americans” with “Good concepts” and “African Americans” with “Bad concepts.” These results are then claimed to be evidence for “implicit bias,” a form of racism that everybody has, whether they know it or not. “Everybody” even includes black people with respect to other black people, so that obviously means something is wrong with American society.

There are lots of caveats and problems with this research, like how these tests have very poor test-retest reliability, that there is no proven association between implicit bias and actual behavior of people in real life. Also, there isn’t actually a scientific consensus on whether implicit bias exists and whether the Implicit Association Test actually measures it. None of that matters to the left because implicit bias is Science™, and Science™ always agrees with previously-held left wing beliefs and is always Settled Science™. Not to be confused with science, which delivers answers to empirical questions (like, “are you a man or a woman?”) whether we like the answers or not. No, this is Science™, which shows everybody is a racist no matter how hard they try at not being one.

Racism is the new left-wing sin. Implicit bias is the new left-wing original sin. Now all that’s missing is absolution. Jesus forgives your sins, even though you don’t deserve it because of your fallen nature, as long as you believe in Him and ask for forgiveness from God through Him. Who or what will be the left-wing Jesus? I have no idea, but expect it to be invented soon. I’m thinking right around 2020.

There are 24 comments.

  1. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Yup, secularism is a belief system, and SJWs are the new priesthood.

    • #1
    • August 13, 2017, at 1:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Henry Castaigne Member

    We cannot escape our nature and religion is built into our nature.

    • #2
    • August 13, 2017, at 1:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I just went through most of one section of the test. I feel a bit nauseous. There’s something insidious about it–not just the test, but wondering how the data will be used. I especially liked the question, something like, “What gender were you born into?” and “What gender are you now?” I can’t think of anything else to say. I’m speechless.

    • #3
    • August 13, 2017, at 1:51 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. drlorentz Member

    The problem with the IAT is that is based on bad science. In this heavily cited paper from 2009, the authors do a re-analysis of previous work. They “…failed to find a robust relationship between IAT scores and discriminatory behavior” and conclude that “…no individual’s discriminatory behavior could be reliably predicted from his or her IAT score.” The paper is quite damning of previous analyses of the data. The impression I’ve gotten from hearing a talk by IAT researchers in 2006 is that they are suffering from strong confirmation bias: they know the result they want and they got it. The paper only confirms this impression.

    Strong Claims and Weak Evidence: Reassessing the Predictive Validity of the IAT

    • #4
    • August 13, 2017, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  5. Brian Watt Member

    Well, unconscious bias or implicit bias, identity politics, equity and diversity initiatives – all of which has seeped into human resource departments and the thinking of many C-level executives are constructs on NeoMarxist/Postmodernists (particularly by the French Marxist intellectuals like Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault and their ilk who were angry, resentful hardcore Marxists). They realized they needed to distance themselves from Marxism and cloak their Marxist ideology into Postmodernism and Deconstructionism because of the abject failure of both Soviet and Maoist communism and the success of West’s capitalist economies – and in particular when their atrocities were revealed by dissidents – in particular Solzhenitsyn. Mahzarin R. Banaji, one of the developers of the Implicit Bias test is a self-avowed and proud Marxist. Jordan Peterson and Stephen Hicks have documented all of this quite effectively in their lectures and speeches. Enjoy:

    • #5
    • August 13, 2017, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. Brian Watt Member

    I should add that prior to these ideological tools and initiatives being deployed in corporations, they were spread throughout the academy and festered there resulting in at least a generation or two of Social Justice Advocates who have now found their way to either corporate America or on governmental agencies and boards at the federal, state and local level where they can push these same initiatives or use them as a hammer to punish Christian bakers for example who refuse to bake wedding cakes for homosexuals.

    • #6
    • August 13, 2017, at 4:22 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. drlorentz Member

    Joe P: Who or what will be the left-wing Jesus?

    Elizabeth ‘Fauxcahontas’ Warren? Bernie ‘feel the Bern’ (eeewww) Sanders?

    • #7
    • August 13, 2017, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Matt Bartle Member

    There’s a bit of truth there – I mean, who’s perfectly objective about everything?

    But the beauty of “implicit bias,” for those pushing it, is that everyone (well, white people) are always guilty forever and can never defend themselves. Like “privilege” it’s a club they can use to beat the bad people (ie, people like me!).

    • #8
    • August 13, 2017, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Brian Watt Member

    Jordan Peterson on the Implicit Bias Test.

    • #9
    • August 13, 2017, at 6:39 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. James Gawron Thatcher

    Joe P: Racism is the new left-wing sin. Implicit bias is the new left-wing original sin. Now all that’s missing is absolution. Jesus forgives your sins, even though you don’t deserve it because of your fallen nature, as long as you believe in Him and ask for forgiveness from God through Him. Who or what will be the left-wing Jesus? I have no idea, but expect it to be invented soon. I’m thinking right around 2020.

    Joe,

    You have hit upon something here. If implicit bias is serving the function of original sin then what redeems us from this? Voting for a cheap Chicago cultural Marxist pol who has a permanent tan? Now that I think about it, you really have hit upon something.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #10
    • August 13, 2017, at 6:44 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Kevin Schulte Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I just went through most of one section of the test. I feel a bit nauseous. There’s something insidious about it–not just the test, but wondering how the data will be used. I especially liked the question, something like, “What gender were you born into?” and “What gender are you now?” I can’t think of anything else to say. I’m speechless.

    @susanquinn those things are designed to molest the mind. If I were you I would fill the sink up with Listerine and give your self a swirly making sure ears get submerged. Good luck. :)

    • #11
    • August 13, 2017, at 6:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Joseph Stanko Member

    Joe P: Voltaire once said that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.

    Thus proving Voltaire’s own implicit bias: why couldn’t we invent Her instead?

    • #12
    • August 13, 2017, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Joseph Stanko Member

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):
    There’s a bit of truth there – I mean, who’s perfectly objective about everything?

    I’d think it’s a basic part of human nature that we’re hardwired to trust people who look, talk, dress, and act like ourselves and our family members and to distrust people who do not. For thousands of years we lived in tribes and quickly identifying friend from foe when meeting a stranger was a key survival skill.

    It’s also still true today, in modern society, to a greater degree than many are willing to admit. If you’re walking down a street one night, and on one sidewalk there’s a little old lady, and on the other a young man with tattoos and sagging jeans that he has to hold up b/c he doesn’t wear a belt, which side of the street is safer to walk on? Sure, the young man could be the nicest fellow you’ll ever meet, and the little old lady might pull out a gun and rob you to finance her opioid addiction, but anyone who claims they are equally likely to be dangerous is a fool or a liar.

    • #13
    • August 13, 2017, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. drlorentz Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    I’d think it’s a basic part of human nature that we’re hardwired to trust people who look, talk, dress, and act like ourselves and our family members and to distrust people who do not. For thousands of years we lived in tribes and quickly identifying friend from foe when meeting a stranger was a key survival skill.

    True but it goes beyond this. Humans are experts in pattern recognition. One of the uses of this ability is to determine who is trustworthy and who might not be. Sometimes this is denigrated by calling it stereotyping. But it turns out that stereotyping is valid in the sense that stereotypes are often accurate. They’re not perfect but they are not totally wrong either. The IAT merely discovers the intuition developed by pattern recognition.

    • #14
    • August 13, 2017, at 11:55 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Zafar Member

    Everyone has biases, and awareness is curative. It doesn’t seem like an attack.

    Of course I took the Arab/Muslim IAT test. Unsurprisingly I was…

    • #15
    • August 14, 2017, at 4:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. Matt Bartle Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Jordan Peterson on the Implicit Bias Test.

    That was really good!

    • #16
    • August 14, 2017, at 6:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    Jordan Peterson on the Implicit Bias Test.

    Brian, I love this man! He reminds me of one of my major issues with people on the Left. The Left believes we have to change the way people think because how they think determines their behavior. Peterson is correct–that’s nonsense! How a person thinks (and half the time people probably don’t know how they think, consciously even), does NOT determine their actions! I love to give a simple example: you may say something that enrages me and I want to punch you in the face. That doesn’t mean that I WILL punch you in the face, because strangely enough, I have a choice about whether to do that or not. I am a human being and I can make those choices. This is a pet peeve of mine, because I go nuts when people say, “Well, he made me do it!” Really?! Okay, my rant is over.

    Edit. I changed my mind. It’s none of your business what I think. Take that!

    • #17
    • August 14, 2017, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. drlorentz Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Everyone has biases, and awareness is curative.

    The second clause is factually incorrect. See the paper cited above.

    Then again, facts are secondary to the feelz, amirite?

    Edit: Jordan Peterson, in the video linked above, claims that “awareness” in the form of re-education can have the opposite effect: the opposite of curative. Ain’t feelings grand, though?

    • #18
    • August 14, 2017, at 9:42 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Kent Lyon Inactive

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    Yup, secularism is a belief system, and SJWs are the new priesthood.

    Actually, the SJW’s are the new Grand Inquisitors.

    • #19
    • August 14, 2017, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Zafar Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Everyone has biases, and awareness is curative.

    The second clause is factually incorrect. See the paper cited above.

    Then again, facts are secondary to the feelz, amirite?

    Edit: Jordan Peterson, in the video linked above, claims that “awareness” in the form of re-education can have the opposite effect: the opposite of curative. Ain’t feelings grand, though?

    It doesn’t address either clause, just IAT.

    • #20
    • August 14, 2017, at 2:20 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. I Shot The Serif Member

    This reminds me of a post from half a year ago.

    • #21
    • August 14, 2017, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. drlorentz Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Everyone has biases, and awareness is curative.

    The second clause is factually incorrect. See the paper cited above.

    Then again, facts are secondary to the feelz, amirite?

    Edit: Jordan Peterson, in the video linked above, claims that “awareness” in the form of re-education can have the opposite effect: the opposite of curative. Ain’t feelings grand, though? [emphasis added]

    It doesn’t address either clause, just IAT.

    The topic of this thread is implicit bias and its measure, the IAT. The IAT is used to create awareness and to produce an alleged curative effect; Jordan Peterson claims there is evidence it may have the opposite effect. In any case, there is no evidence that there’s anything curative about awareness, whereas there seems to be evidence of the contrary.

    The only evidence cited by @zafar is, well, none. Unless you count feelings, that is.

    • #22
    • August 15, 2017, at 3:34 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. MJBubba Inactive

    Joe P., thanks for this post.

    • #23
    • August 15, 2017, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Joe P Member
    Joe P Post author

    I Shot The Serif (View Comment):
    This reminds me of a post from half a year ago.

    Oh wow, so it does. I didn’t see that at the time.

    I don’t know what practical advice to give you if you actually have to interact with the people who will hit you over the head with it. I am out of school and I work at a company where we don’t have crazy social justice discussions like this.

    Back before this implicit bias was a thing, I could sometimes play the “My Dad is fresh off the boat” card, coupled with “My ethnicity has only been considered ‘white’ after 1945” and that sometimes threw them off balance long enough to make another point to address whatever other argument was being made.

    • #24
    • August 16, 2017, at 8:38 AM PDT
    • 4 likes