Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias
by Sannion

We’ve all encountered people in the community who get divination results or channeled oracles that perfectly line up with the views they regularly express; here are some possible explanations for why that might happen.

1) The closer we get to a divinity the more our values and choices come to reflect theirs, often on an unconscious level. Thus, without even necessarily thinking about it we may find ourselves parroting our Gods and Spirits.

2) Like calls to like. Thus devotees are naturally drawn to divinities who possess similar character traits and values as their own.

3) The divinity may be communicating with their devotee outside divinatory or oracular channels and so the person already knows what the divinity wants before the question is formally posed.

4) Divinities may communicate different things to different devotees, either because their agendas are large and complicated enough to encompass both positions, because they have specific tasks for each party, because they feel that devotee A is not emotionally capable of handling what is communicated to devotee B, because the divinity is playing both sides against each other, and so forth.

5) People see only what they want to. Meaning, that message may be there but is just an isolated scene in a larger tapestry and they’re not able or willing to take in the whole or they may extrapolate beyond what was said. For instance a divinity might advise one simply to “care for the suffering” which is then interpreted as promoting a specific political ideology or movement.

6) Either the devotee is willfully twisting the message to suit their ideology and agenda or else the fault lies with the oracle or diviner, who may be confused, biased or deceitful. Not all who present themselves as mouthpieces of the Gods are as competent or ethical as they should be.

7) Sort of an extension of the above, but the person may be in contact with something that isn’t what it’s presenting itself as – either a mental sock puppet, or a deceitful and possibly malign Spirit or God that’s masquerading as someone else. Spiritual discernment is decidedly rare in our communities.

8) People lie. To themselves and to others. It happens all the time, and religious communities are certainly not immune to this, especially not those on the pagan/polytheist spectrum.

9) Mental illness is also prevalent in our communities. While madness has many blessings it can also make “reality” a little fuzzy.