Am I fair in my criticism?
During a discussion on Facebook with some of my friends about Egyptian politics, a discussion about whether one can be fair and objective while criticizing people and their political moves emerged. I thought the discussion is worth summarizing in a post here in my deserted blog since the ideas are relevant to anything not just politics and not just Egypt.
What is interesting is that everyone has his own thinking and his own measures about things. We also have a whole history of ideas that shape to a great extent how we make judgement on people and things. What you see accepted may not be accepted at all to me. Also, there is a hidden “interest” behind every criticism: I am criticizing this politician because he is an opponent to my favorite choice, or actually he is MY opponent. There is almost bias, either hidden, apparent, or both in our analysis and criticism.
As it may be impossible to have a complete and perfect independent criticism as well as a clear universal objectivity, here are some indicators that can tell whether one is fair or not.
- Consistency. You make the same judgement on different people if the context is the same. You basically apply the same rule.
- Non-selective memory You remember every thing not only what would support your bias
- Do not personalize that is to criticize actions rather than people.
- Do not lie. or alter events, actions, and words (which is the definition of lying)
- Generalization especially that which is done on purpose: you fairly criticize someone and then apply to a whole population. An example is to pick on a republican, make a strong point, and then boom all republicans are …..
I hope this can help me (and you) to be fair in our analysis, judgement, and criticism.