I am in a long-running email battle with a Christian who is trying to argue that reality is subjective. No matter how hard I try I can't get this guy to see the hipocracy and intellectual ineptness of such a statement. Anyone have a sentence that may get through to him?

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I haven't read much philosophy (yet), but my take on it is that it's the starting point for describing reality. I include religion in the category of philosophy, except that religious proclamations are accepted as universally "true" in nature without question, for longer (if not eternal) periods of time.

In that sense, philosophy (and some fiction) are like pre-science. It gives us ideas about how to test and then accurately describe reality. Reproducibility of tests/experiments and measurement of accurately predictable results is what separates subjectivity from objectivity. When results are accurately predictable, then and only then can it be considered scientifically useful knowledge. We can use the word "prove" in most of those cases, but even "proof" is subject to described conditions, e.g. Newtonian physics work until velocity approaches the speed of light. Still, Newtonian phyisics is useful and provable in 99.9999% of our daily experience on earth.

Ironically, I tend to agree with Tiffany.

The physical world is objective.

Almost all of the time, though, what we talk about as being "reality" is actually our description of the physical world.  We give a description, and then we say "That's reality!".

The description, however, is really subjective.  It's our theory or interpretation or observation of a phenomenon turned into words, or mathematics, or a model of some sort.  All of those are subjective. 

CA, the posters here are overlooking something: reality for xians depends on which brand of xianity they accept. Your email-pal has the reality he was taught. It is subjective.

Within any brand of xianity there are more subjectivities. For instance, during my two years in a Jesuit-taught high school (ninth and tenth grades), one teacher described his obligation to obey by saying if his order's leader tells him black is white, then for him black is white.

Was he exaggerating to make his point more clear? Or do Jesuits not see reality as scientifically-inclined people see it?

"Do not trust yourself" was another lesson taught in the Catholic schools I went to.

Instead of trying to change his mind, find out what it contains.

Then go on about your business. Or, like a "feelthy capitalist", use his mind's contents to your advantage.

Anything subjective isn't real, it's a judgment or attitude. So, is God real or subjective? It would seem to me that to a Christian God would be the epitome of reality, but if he's just subjective, woe to the religion.

"a Christian God would be the epitome of reality"?  By what standard is any god a reality by any measure?  A god does not fall into the measure of sight, sound, touch, taste or smell.  There is nothing about a god that can be measured by any means known to man.  Belief does not qualify as a measure of what is real and therefore does not qualify as being a part of reality.

You left out the "to" before "a Christian God would be the epitome or reality" which changes the sense entirely. I suppose a comma after "Christian" would have made the sense a tad clearer, too.

It's just that to a Christian God is the basis and measure and source of all reality, and so must be real himself.

I stand corrected.  I had actually read it a couple times and wasn't entirely sure where you were going with it.  I think it was the implication that there IS a christian god that threw me.

"I stand corrected" There is something you will never hear someone quoting the bible say.

Weeeeeelll... maybe when he's caught misquoting it.

Reality is subjective to a degree.  My reality is that it's 85 degrees outside and 75 degrees inside and I AM FREEZING cold, my hands feel like ice.  That is my reality.

Someone just took LSD and the walls are starting to melt and the plants are talking to him, that's his reality.

Someone else has a loved one in the hospital and they are praying for them and they are getting better and they believe it is because of the prayers and that's their reality.

For all we KNOW, we all live in the Matrix...  Some things are provable reality and some things are subjective reality.

The only REAL reality is that which is true for everyone regardless of what they believe.  Evolution is real regardless of if you believe it or not.  Gravity is real.  The sun is hot and space is cold.  But god, that is subjective, everyone, and I do mean everyone, has a different concept of what god is and therefore god is not reality but is subjective.

Try that one out on them.

Depends on how you look at it ;-)

I think there may be a miscommunication... Have you asked what they really mean by subjective? They could mean that reality is subjective to God, which would be the same as being objective to us anyway.

Anyway, this is an interesting question. How would we expect an objective reality to behave? How would we expect a subjective reality to behave? Which one describes our reality better?

Easy

An objective reality is saying when the temperature is in the range of 85 to 100 degrees it is hot so when it is 92 degrees you can objectively say your hot.

Subjective is being able to say your hot no matter what the temperature.  When it is 75 degrees in the house in winter my wife is too cold and when it is 75 degrees in the house in summer she is too hot.  So to me, it is not surprising that she also believes in god - She is not objective and does not base her beliefs in reality because she experiences the world subjectively.

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Posted by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp on July 28, 2014 at 10:27pm 4 Comments

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