Without going into the deep end of epistemological raising and psychological thresholds that bend our understanding toward certain subjects, for example, the difference of Augustine and Luther on sin, one believing that it is sexual and the other believing that it is pride. I wish to make this accessible to everyone, even those who are not scholars.
We all have bias but where does bias originate? Oh wait, that’s what I wanted to avoid. Let us just agree, we have bias or presuppositions afterlife takes its toll upon our hearts, minds, and bodies. I think I was supposed to say soul there, but I said to heart, maybe that is a bias.
Therefore, the question is how can I do scholarship level research and writing without the bias of simply trying to prove a point or prove my stance on certain scriptures, theology or philosophy. This is can be resolved, in part, by a very simple task that everyone can do from home.
When I was a 5 point Calvinist, I battled within myself, for ages, that I cannot hold to all 5 points because I don’t see them in Scripture. This was in my early twenties. I had just started to learn Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. I did something that was out of prayer and pure wisdom of the Lord, I wrote down in a notebook: “I believe in deterministic Calvinism, I believe that it is biblical, I believe that Calvin was correct. I believe in Reformed Theology as presented by Calvin.”
Then, I started my research journey to prove that point or to see if that point could stand the test of Historical Analysis and Original Language Exegesis. Fast forward nearly five years and I have become quite good at READING the original languages taught in Scripture as well as using tools to make sure I stay within the confines of linguistic law. I’ve also become proficient at researching topics, executing Historical analysis, reading large quantities of books both old and new, and completing a full research bout. I found that my research and conclusion contradicted my original intent and my original writing in the notebook of my belief system.
Therefore, I had to change my belief that was written down in ink years prior to something else because my research was showing me that I was wrong. I knew that I was wrong because of what I wrote down. I wrote down my bias, I wrote down for all to see, my bias. In this, I eventually deviated from what I was taught via Calvinistic Reformed Theologians, conducted my own research, landed on a theology that is traditional to the early church. I did this not with the hope of being unbias but still the hope of finding my initial bias to be correct.
The key is writing down, for you and for others to see what your bias is prior to researching. This will keep you in check, this will make it known that you are researching with a bias but intent to be unbias with the hope of being correct. The method I use is quite reasonable and maybe unorthodox for many but my full intent in any research project I conduct is to find the truth and be as articulate as possible when relaying terminology and conclusions.
Thus, if you wish to execute an unbias research project, I suggest that you search yourself for a bias, write it down and proceed.