This is one of those mistranslations, misquotes, extra biblical cultural things that drive me crazy. It’s a bit like, “cleanliness is next to Godliness.” Perhaps so, but it’s still NOT in the Bible.
They sound so mundane, these kind of sweet ideas for clean living. And perhaps they are, the problem being when we don’t read the Bible for ourselves or better yet, let the Author and finisher of your faith read it too you, we really miss out.
So Proverbs 11:27 actually says in the KJV, “He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. “ Or in the ESV, “Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.”
Ironically this is a passage that gives us a peek into the nature of confirmation bias. It basically says, you are going to find what you looking for. Atheists often bring up the issue of “confirmation bias” as if to say, “you just see the goodness of God because you want to.” To which I can only respond, “Yes! Yes, indeed! “
If I had confirmation bias of another sort, I’d be forever seeking the negative, the alleged evidence needed to justify and validate one’s….atheism. Just saying.
I am not sure how or why “confirmation bias” became a “bad thing,” but when it was first observed, it wasn’t intended as a commentary on truth versus fiction, nor a negative, nor evidence of a psychological affliction. “Confirmation bias” is simply an observable fact, people do tend to find what they seek.
In fact the Bible says that very thing, and Jesus Himself said it too. Matthew 7:7 tells us, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
I think it was Henry Ford who coined the phrase, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
I live in the realm of confirmation bias quite a bit and I’m not the least bit ashamed of that. I only regret not having gotten there sooner. God lives in our confirmation biases. Another way of saying that would be He lives in our faith. As it says in the Bible in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
We’re all human beings, we all have pretty much the same brain quirks. It is not possible to be a thinking creature with no biases waiting to be confirmed. We are made in the image of our Creator, therefore we are little creators ourselves. So the concept of attempting to rid yourself of all confirmation bias is downright silly. It is far more important to make sure we are investing our biases in Someone good, and to go forth and attempt to confirm, justify, validate, the goodness of God.
I have been that sad sack, that Eeyore, that nihilist, that disciple of Murphey’s Laws, and I can testify to the fact that you do tend to get exactly what you are looking for. If you’re looking for the dross in the gold, you’ll find it. But if you’re looking for the pearls in the cesspool, you’ll soon begin to notice how many pearls there really are.
Also sadly, pearls don’t float. You have to dive for them. You have to reach, you have to stretch. They sure aren’t what’s floating at the top of the cesspool.