Friday, August 17, 2012

Living Subjectively in an Objective World

It's fascinating to me that some who believe that scientific truth is the only truth, deny that our perceptions of reality are ultimately subjective, and yet while doing so, pick which arguments to agree with, which ones to disagree with, not noticing that the very fact of disagreement proves that we live in our own little subjective worlds.

Why is education valued?  Because we see the value of each individual and their potential to contribute their subjective talents to the pooled talents of humanity.   We want each to be "productive citizens", who are independent and make their own choices.   We want them to "do something with their lives".

We all have our own subjective needs,  wants, preferences, talents and were all raised with different subjective experiences, differences in parenting, birth order, differing parental skills and conditions, different inbred talents, different ethnicities, economic conditions and cultures and other differences too numerous to even conceive.

What is important to us is different and not objectively definable, we just know what works for us when we see it or feel it.   Some shop at Walmart, others wouldn't think of it.   Some are vegans, others carnivores.  We are young, old, disabled, enabled, in great shape or sickly.  We are fat, thin, wear blue jeans or would not be caught in them.  We have messy houses or are neatniks.  We have different sexual preferences and are male or female.   We are liberal or conservative.

Yet with all these differences, there is something common to all of us.  We all live in an objective world which we share and which gives us choices.

The subjective self is what makes choices, defines our preferences, agrees and disagrees, decides to do it now or do it later, and what picks what is important to us, and decides if we will be scientists or artists, police officers or judges.  It decides whom to marry, where to go for a honeymoon, what church - or no church- is right for us.   It decides if we are atheists or believers, poets or policemen.

But you cannot say that that subjective self is a figment or our imagination.  That is truly "where" each of us lives and spends our lives.

Yet we all also have a world we all share.  We all need to pick up eggs milk and bread at the corner store, or go to the big box store a little farther away and hope to save some money. 

But absolutely without question it will be up to our subjective selves to decide if it is worth the drive.

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