Confirmation Bias (Illustrated)

Four rabbis had a series of theological arguments, and three were always in accord against the fourth. One day, the odd rabbi out, after the usual 3 to 1, majority rules statement that signified that he had lost again, decided to appeal to a higher authority. “Oh, G-d!” he cried. “I know in my heart that I am right and they are wrong! Please give me a sign to prove it to them!”

It was a beautiful, sunny day. As soon as the rabbi finished his prayer, a storm cloud moved across the sky above the four. It rumbled once and dissolved. “A sign from G-d! See, I’m right, I knew it!” But the other three disagreed, pointing out that storm clouds form on hot days.

So the rabbi prayed again: “Oh, G-d, I need a bigger sign to show that I am right and they are wrong. So please, G-d, a bigger sign!” This time four storm clouds appeared, rushed toward each other to form one big cloud, and a bolt of lightning slammed into a tree on a nearby hill.”I told you I was right!” cried the rabbi, but his friends insisted that nothing had happened that could not be explained by natural causes.

The rabbi is getting ready to ask for a very big sign, but just as he says “Oh G-d…” the sky turns pitch black, the earth shakes, and a deep, booming voice intones, “HEEEEEEEE’S RIIIIIIIGHT!”

The rabbi puts his hands on his hips, turns to the other three, and says, “Well?”

“So,” shrugged one of the other rabbis, “now it’s 3 to 2!”

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