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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Filter Escape

It is well-known that humans look through individual filters, worldviews, biases. Reality for each of us is different, unique. There are overarching tribal/group biases that have some common ground, but with variations. Right now, the biases/filters are extremely polarized. There is little sympathetic attempt to understand other ways to view things. 

Extreme attachment to any particular filter can be dangerous. Think of religious wars, killing one another in the name of "God." Riots are sharply different filters colliding. Behind violence is a clash of worldviews. Estranged families are acting out the collision of filters.

So, how do we escape this dilemma? Can it be escaped?

Empathy, compassion, kindness can be first steps to ratchet down the dangerous levels. As a child I often heard, "Try walking in another's shoes." We can ask ourselves how to peek into other filters to understand how others "see" any situation. We don't have to agree, but we can grow to understand.

We can actively do this. If you are politically very left-wing, listen with an open heart to conservatives. Switch to Fox News once in awhile, for example. If you are a born again, evangelical Christian, listen to some progressive Christians such as those using modern discoveries about history and archeology, such as John Dominic Crossen, Marcus Borg, or ex-Christians such as Bart Ehrman, or Jewish Biblical experts such as Amy Jill Levine. Enter other filters respectfully with the intention of understanding.

In most cases it is difficult to know who or which position is totally correct, if that's even possible to know. It is humbling to realize our worldview and therefore filter, only contain a tiny fraction of reality. It is strange to realize that we tend to create our own reality.

Let's create a more loving and kind reality.

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