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  1. #1
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    Default Personal values are intellectually superior to a false sense of objectivity

    It seems some thinkers have the opinion that having a strong system of subjective values and beliefs is a sign of weakness. I think this is because these people attempt to approach life itself with the same objecitivy they find so effective in argumentation and research. This is impossible because true objectivity would require an infinite number of viewpoints and we only have one and our interpretation of others'. Yet, despite the unattainability of truly objective thought our desire for it remains.

    "I think, therefore I am". The truth about yourself is the only thing you can know to exist with relative objectivity, yet it is the first thing discarded by some who seek objective thought. The ironic result is that the person is thinking even less intelligently because they have thrown out their only solvable variable in the grand equation: themselves.

    The assumption that one is thinking objectively is itself a belief, and possibly the only one that we can know to be false.

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    Everyone needs to make judgments and come to conclusions in order to exert real control in one's life, and that also applies to society as a whole. Order is created by defining one's reality, and personal values are a means. Basing your personal values on objective perceptions and conclusions is not out of the realm of possibility, though in the end the values you choose will still be largely subjective by the nature of values and morals. It seems like I've talked about this stuff a thousand times already. So bored...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Basing your personal values on objective perceptions and conclusions is not out of the realm of possibility.
    My argument is that it is.

    Let's say I make a photocopy of one side of a block of wood, would you be able to replicate the entire block from just that photocopy? No, because it only shows a single dimension of something that has 3. Our viewpoint is only a single "dimension" of absolute truth, even if every person on the planet had a viewpoint that agreed it wouldn't prove something is absolutely true. Truly objective thinking would require an infinite amount of "viewpoints", although we would define that as omniscience.

    I can't even suggest that this argument is necessarily true, only that I believe it is a good explanation and therefore worth taking into account.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    A strong system of subjective values and beliefs can lead to conflict with people who have a strong system of other subjective values and beliefs.

    Striving for objectivity is better in that it seeks to create a reality that people live with because it's true, not because we want to live with it.

    On the other hand, I don't believe anything (or at least most things) have a definitive answer, therefore, I opt for a third option. Being an observer (nihilism). Don't accept anything as truth, objectively or subjectively. Believe nothing, judge nothing, Things just 'are'. In this option none of the options (objectivity, subjectivity and nihilism) is the right one.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circle View Post
    Let's say I make a photocopy of one side of a block of wood, would you be able to replicate the entire block from just that photocopy? No, because it only shows a single dimension of something that has 3. Our viewpoint is only a single "dimension" of absolute truth, even if every person on the planet had a viewpoint that agreed it wouldn't prove something is absolutely true. Truly objective thinking would require an infinite amount of "viewpoints", although we would define that as omniscience.
    I've made that basic argument elsewhere, almost literally.

    We are limited in our perceptions, we can only see things through our own set of filters; and to be truly objective, we would have to see everything through all possible sets of filters. (Hence, we would have to be omniscient... something usually ascribed to a "God" construct.)

    Basing your personal values on objective perceptions and conclusions is not out of the realm of possibility, though in the end the values you choose will still be largely subjective by the nature of values and morals.
    I agree with that in the way i think you meant it... trying to acquire the most "objective" evidence possible.

    Despite Circle's assertion that no view can be truly objective, it's pretty clear (for example within the realm of scientific inquiry) that we can create pretty specific and fine-tuned effects based on our technically "subjective" perceptions, so for all practical purpose at least, we are being as "objective" as possible. Data is data is data.

    I think the subjectivity factor increments significantly as soon as we veer away from describing raw data and mathematical processes, though, and into trying to explain what the data means (which gets us more into soft science like psychology, applied philosophy, history, literature, religion, etc.)

    So how does this carry through during, let's say, religious conversations? Is there an objective viewpoint or is it really just the bumping of subjective views?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    A strong system of subjective values and beliefs can lead to conflict with people who have a strong system of other subjective values and beliefs.

    Striving for objectivity is better in that it seeks to create a reality that people live with because it's true, not because we want to live with it.

    On the other hand, I don't believe anything (or at least most things) have a definitive answer, therefore, I opt for a third option. Being an observer (nihilism). Don't accept anything as truth, objectively or subjectively. Believe nothing, judge nothing, Things just 'are'. In this option none of the options (objectivity, subjectivity and nihilism) is the right one.
    With that attitude you achieve very little. Value judgments must be made when there is a need. Judgments are always made at the exclusion of certain desires and possibilities, but also can be made based upon varying amounts of supporting knowledge (hopefully gathered objectively). Judgments are largely subjective functions that can either be in accordance with a broader reality/world view or independent of it. You can say judge nothing, but all you are doing is forestalling making choices, which is fool hearty. The best way is to use whatever information you have to form a conclusion/judgment, but leave that judgment open to change pending more information that supports or knocks down the judgment (as determined by the orientation you chose that forms the judgment) .

    For instance, I can say that manmade global warming is not happening, and have a host of supporting information and arguments for such a judgment. You may say that it is real, and also have a host of supporting info. Only one reality exists, so either one of us is right, or neither of us is right (a possible different picture that avoid the dichotomous argument). We can throw the supporting info we have for our judgments back and forth, attempting to usurp eachother's supporting facts. However, we would likely disagree on the existence of the most basic supporting facts. Thus, it becomes a situation where our judgments are formed upon completely different worldviews that are irreconcilable. We would have two very different views of reality.

    So, you see the problems that come with "objective truth" and making judgments. "Objective truths" aren't always the same, mostly because of differences in perception. However, choices need to be made based upon whatever information we have, be it true to reality or not. I, personally, would say that action should NOT be taken for global warming because clearly there is not enough supporting info to make anything more than an infatile judgment that comes from a place of absolute ignorance of what the real nature of the thing we are judging is. However, as the real world would have it, our own interactions have pushed us to the point of having to make decisions about the issue prematurely, on both sides of the argument.

    In essence, it is ideal to reserve judgment until the last possible moments when as much info as possible is gathered, but in the real world, you seldom get that luxury. You'd have to admit that just in your own personal life as we make judgments everyday based upon limited info. That is simply what life demands of us.

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    When humans strive towards objectivity, we have reality as the final arbitrar. Whereas with personal, cultural, and religious values, there is no falsifiability. It just "is".

    You should have used a different phrase than "intellectually superior" in your title. Because the creation of personal values is an indelibly human trait that has no doubt aided us in evolution. But the intellectual realm deals with reality and calls on us to attempt objectivity, however imperfect our attempts are.

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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    When it comes to objectivity VS subjectivity my quarrel lies with the means we have to communicate even. We use the same words, but do we perceive the same concepts in the quite same manner?

    In matters of "reality" I always look at the example of schizophrenia as a means to temper things. Is a schizophrenic disconnected from reality? If so, why? Because no one shares his perception? Then I think of sensory perception. Try explaining color to someone who was born blind. Try imagining the world as perceived by a snake with their heat-sensors. Is the concept of color real to a chronically blind man? Because the majority of people perceive it and he does not?

    And what to say about the barrier between sensory perception and fundamental religious belief (visions and such)?



    intellect - the faculty of reasoning and understanding objectively, esp. with regard to abstract or academic matters


    I think " a false sense of objectivity" is in itself a personal value so I don't agree with the topic's title.

    I think both personal values and objectivity are better served by exploring the most number of possibilities and keeping an open mind and seeing the patterns. Personal value dictates the goal with which we want to perceive the world ("do unto others as you would have them do unto you" as a means to promote [self-]security) and objectivity can help with the rest.That's why some "evil" people can be really objective and some "good" people really subjective.

    I prefer being as good AND objective as humanly possible since they are the concepts that better serve me in the context of a life in a planet where I'm definitely not alone.

    An evil guy with a colored perception of reality (think schizophrenia again) that painted all kinds of positive sensations for him, while stranded in a desert island, would be definitely better served than if he was a very good person and very objective. Objectivity and subjectivity can simply be tools to reach a certain goal (self-preservation). That's why optimism can be so refreshing when surrounded by ugly truths, and why skepticism can be so vital when oppressed by ugly lies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I think " a false sense of objectivity" is in itself a personal value so I don't agree with the topic's title.
    Thank you. There are many on this forum and outside of it who cling to a very intellectually dishonest sense of objectivity, when for the most part their view of objective is nothing more than an arbitrary/false justification for what they believe. "I'm being objective, therefore I'm right." I already described some of the problems with "objectivity = truth" in my above post.

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    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Solipsism is an ultimately futile viewpoint, and rejecting objectivity leads to this end.

    While there is no objective "truth", per se, there is a set of trends we can empirically observe in the universe - this is the basis of quantum theory. Since all that we do and all that we are in the material realm consists of these trends, to say that we cannot make predictive observations in relation to these trends is simply close-minded. This is a fundamentally different way of looking at things than humans are inclined toward, since we simply need to make subjective judgments in order to further our survival and reproduction. Given that starting from a priori determinations generally is sufficient for the latter, this way of looking at things survives to this day.

    The scientific method is different, because it fundamentally rejects a priori determinations. Rather than start from first principles and work toward those examples (induction), it starts from examples and works toward a generalized trend (deduction). This is much more accurate than the former, since nothing determined conflicts with observed reality. Not only that, but this reality is essentially the same toward all observers. This doesn't make empirical reality more "true" or "superior" to subjective reality, but it does give it a quality of trending toward a common view of the universe. Simply put, this is much, much more useful than subjective theories and a priori assertions.

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