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Thinking Critically About the "Subjective"/"Objective" Distinction

The words "subjective" and "objective" cause lots of confusion. In a way, their misuse is responsible for the confusion about subjectivism in ethics (the view that moral judgements are nothing but statements or expressions of personal opinion or feeling and thus that moral judgements cannot be supported or refuted by reason).

The ordinary non-philosophical (i.e., oversimplified) view is that the word "subjective" is the complete opposite of the word "objective." If something is subjective, it's not objective; if something is objective, it's not subjective. "Subjective" is supposed to mean "from someone’s point of view." "Objective" means "not just from someone’s point of view." An objective matter is one that everyone (who is sane, rational, and appropriately informed) will agree about. "Subjectivity" connotes lack of objectivity. Ethical "subjectivism" is the view that since we can’t be "objective" about morality, morality must be purely "subjective."

Furthermore, on the ordinary non-philosophical view, "subjective" goes with words like "belief" or "opinion." The idea is that subjective matters are not certain. "Objective," on the other hand, means "certain" or "factual." "Objective" matters are those that can be measured or quantified. For example, the answers to questions such as "How many desks are in this room?" and "What is the current temperature in this room?" would be objective. Note that these questions have precise mathematical answers, and anyone with access to the appropriate properly-working measuring devices would agree what those answers are.

To summarize, on the ordinary (oversimplified) view:

"Subjective" = private stuff: beliefs, feelings, emotions, opinions, etc.

"Objective" = public stuff: publicly-observable events, knowledge, facts

This way of making the distinction leads to philosophical trouble.

Consider your experience of a headache versus your experience of the Eiffel Tower. Naturally, you have your own personal private "subjective" experience of the headache, and nobody else can have your headache for you. So each person's headache is subjective. Now of course you could apply this very same reasoning to your experience of the Eiffel Tower. There you are in Paris, looking at the Eiffel Tower, and you think, "Gee, no one else is having this precise experience of the Eiffel Tower, so this experience of mine is just as subjective as my headache!" And that wouldn't be wrong, of course, in a way; it's true that no one else has your precise experience of the Eiffel Tower either.

The really fun philosophical problems begin when people use the ordinary subjective-objective distinction in combination with another presupposition: that everything has to be EITHER subjective OR objective. For example, suppose you have a headache. You feel it, and nobody else does, so it’s subjective. But look what other notions go with "subjective": if it’s subjective, it’s just your opinion! (Some people even say that because the headache does not exist as a physical object, like the Eiffel Tower, it doesn’t exist at all! It’s really all in your mind. This is the philosophy behind Christian Science.) But this seems wrong. Your pain is indubitably real and perfectly objective for you, in the sense that it's not just your opinion. Note your pain seems also to be objective for your doctor, e.g., when she says "You’ll feel a little discomfort" or "I’ll give you some Demerol for that pain." Your doctor does not ignore or belittle your pain (I hope!).

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A Practical Application :

In my Law studies I ran across a bit of useful info. “An Affidavit executed as to belief is not prima facie”. A further study of the word showed “belief” is subjective and therefore not liable to change in the face of new information or evidence.

This led me to “understanding” as the objective opposite or balance to “subjective” belief.

So who cares? Anyone attempting to use Affidavits should.

Every example or State directed Jurat I've seen uses “belief”. So, most of you Freemen and Sovereigns using various Affidavits of Status are pursuing an exercise in futility. As well as anyone else, and your “evidence” is usually moot in court.

I changed my jurat wording to “understanding” and since have always had my “Affidavit of ( Myself ). Plain Statement of Facts” accepted into evidence. Much to the consternation of opposing Council, apparently expecting a simple Rules of Evidence objection to keep it out.

Lots of fun.

The Constitution is a Trust : http://www.The-Legacy.Info

Its all in the words

and words have meaning...


For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

Accurate perception

I don't know why the concept of accurate perception is discredited, but I can guess.

If something can be demonstrated as being an accurate perception, then accurate perception can be communicated by one person to other people.

I think that people who depend upon falsehood as their chosen means of survival, preying on the people they target, stand to gain much, from their targets, if their targets are less able to communicate accurate perceptions.

Hey, look, that person is currently perpetrating fraud upon you.


Look, right there, that person, his name is Ben Bernanke, and he is currently perpetrating a very serious fraud upon you.


There, right there, that person, and those people in that group, they are perpetrating a very serious, very costly, fraud upon all those people right there, and this is demonstrably factual.


It isn't tough, really, it is easy to see, as being demonstrably factual, there are those guys, Ben Bernanke, Barry Soetoro, etc., and they claim that they are loaning all these people money, when in fact they are borrowing that money, so how can that continue, how can such a blatant case of fraud perpetuate?

Conspiracy Theorist!


No, it is factual, demonstrable, easy to understand, so easy to understand a child can understand how fraud works, in fact.



And right to the point

If this post

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.

Thought this might apply

To many things here.

For Freedom!
The World is my country, all mankind is my brethren, to do good is my religion.