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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This is a spot on point.  I was just going to say, if I were a polar bear in the arctic then 15 below zero would not be cold, but since I am a human, that's pretty damn cold! Objective reality doesn't care what you think of it, because it just is.

Another analogy is one I often use around friends when discussing one arm pressing a 24kg kettlebell: The iron doesn't care what you think of it, 24kg is 24kg.  If you it is heavy, then the iron has mastered you, but if it is light then you have mastered the iron.

"Reality is here, it's knocking on the door. Hell, no... it's beating the damn door down." ...

-ministry 12" single "all day long"

When my daughter was about 8 she got on this kick where she wondered if she was the only person in the world and if everything was in her mind. This is basically a subjectivity conundrum.. 

She was cursed with having a philosopher as a father, so I said "If everything is a projection of your mind, how do you explain the unpleasant or hurtful things that happen to you?" 

She didn't have an answer for that. Problem solved.

To say that reality is subjective is essentially to say that there really is no external world (world outside the mind). It's also to assert that whatever we perceive as real is just a product of mind. Why then does our mind make loved ones die or give us terrible diseases or make us age? 

The fact that things happen to us beyond our control means there is an objective reality that our subjectivity simply has to deal with.

Reality is 15 billion years old, and middle-aged. Subjective reality is only as old as its beholder.

Can't help but try to improve on (or emphasize?) this.

Subjective Reality lives, varies, and dies with each Beholder.

Objective Reality exists, irrespective of any Beholders.

Reality has a persistence and insistence and otherness that subjectivity does not. 

And when we've defined reality, we have to decide:

1) Is reality an absolute, and therefore independent of any observer, or

2) Damn! There has to be an observer? Then reality is what an observer, each observer, says it is, and subjective.

But I, having absolute power, will decide whether reality is objective or subjective. Others will obey!

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Posted by Quincy Maxwell on July 20, 2014 at 9:37pm 17 Comments

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