Rubbish. The article makes a critical mistake. Furthermore, I am not even preaching metaphysical idealism, because that too makes unprovable assumptions. Metaphysical idealism assumes that there is no objective reality. What I am saying is fundamentally different, because I say we have no way of knowing, EITHER WAY, whether or not there is an objective reality.texo said:The "problems" which you seem to have with subjectivity are due to the fact that your definitions of subjectivity and objectivity are over-simplified and incorrect.
"Subjective" and "objective" are not logical opposites... as explained far more eloquently in this article than I ever could.
Article said:Metaphysical idealism is the view that there is no reality independently of people's minds — in other words, according to metaphysical idealism, so-called "physical" things don't really exist at all. Nothing exists independently of our experiences, and since our experiences are private, they count as "mental" and thus "in our minds", so nothing exists independently of our minds. (I say "our" minds, but of course, a real idealist would object to this locution, since one consequence of metaphysical idealism is the possibility that other people may exist only in my mind; i.e., there may be no other minds except mine.)
Metaphysical idealism was popular in philosophy in the early 1800's, and re-emerged in the late 20th century as deconstruction or post-modernism. Once you understand how most people oversimplify the terms "subjective" and "objective", it's not hard to understand why good-hearted people get snookered by metaphysical idealism. Here's a typical argument.
(Premise 1) All my experiences are metaphysically subjective (i.e., no one else has my unique experiences; all my experiences are from my unique point of view).
(Premise 2) "Subjective" is the opposite of "objective". If X is subjective, it can't be objective, and vice-versa.
(Premise 3) If my experiences are metaphysically subjective, then by Premise 2, any statements I make about my experiences must be epistemologically subjective — they are "merely" my beliefs, or my opinions. By Premise 2, nothing metaphysically subjective can suddenly acquire the prestige of "objectivity". For any X, if X is subjective, X stays subjective.
(Conclusion) But — hang on to your seats, now, this is the big "insight" — Premises 1 and 3 are true of everyone!
Although the PAIN of the headache is entirely subjective, it does not mean that the cause is subjective too.But people tend to say furthermore that "subjective" and "objective" are logical opposites in the strongest sense: they are negations or contradictories of each other. This means that if X is subjective, it can't be objective, and if X is objective it can't be subjective. In other words, people mistakenly think everything has to be EITHER subjective OR objective. This leads to startling consequences. You have a headache. You feel it, and nobody else does, so you say it's "subjective" (private). But look at the other notions that go with "subjective": if it’s subjective, it’s just your opinion. But opinions have no standing — so why should the doctor believe you when you say you have a headache? The doctor doesn't feel your headache; it's just your opinion — and you might find yourself agreeing that you can't be "objective" about your headache. And since your headache isn't objective, it isn't really REAL at all! The headache is "really" just in your mind. (This is the philosophy behind Christian Science.)
I exist in something. But beyond my own thoughts I cannot know for sure what that something is. So maybe it's encased in a brain, but then again maybe my mind is nothing but something akin to pure energy. You understand the concept of a soul, surely?Gunny said:So we exsist in nothing and minds consist of nothing ? Your argument breaks down right there.
Indeed. I have never doubted the possibility of an objective reality existing. Infact I personally believe that it IS the case. I also believe that I really am sitting at a computer typing this out, and that somewhere you really do exist as another thinking being.Your view must at least admit the possibility of an objective reality. Things may not be as they seem, but surely they may also be?
It still doesn't put science and religion on the same footing in the proof stakes.Indeed. I have never doubted the possibility of an objective reality existing. Infact I personally believe that it IS the case. I also believe that I really am sitting at a computer typing this out, and that somewhere you really do exist as another thinking being.
However, I also know that at no point can I ever prove this belief.
Just like once you've made all the neccessary assumptions about God you can prove the divinity of Christ.It still doesn't put science and religion on the same footing in the proof stakes.
Once we have all made the necessary assumptions about reality we can then objectively consider the apparent evidence.
I assume Bertrand Russel is Frenchman... do a little survey on the french social life... The French killed the Hugenotes and for that sin well...Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious,
fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and
therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand
in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius.
I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold
misery to the human race.
B is not reality. There is also no evidence for a spirit living inside you. That feeling inside of you called "I" is your spark of consciousness; the real miracle of life.Can I say something?
A) Science like you said deals with reality...
So your mind is involved...
B) Religion however deals with the supernatural... higher intelligence...
So your spirit is involved...
and the supernatural as the bible says... will be called idiotic... by reality.
You're being very solipsistic.I exist in something. But beyond my own thoughts I cannot know for sure what that something is. So maybe it's encased in a brain, but then again maybe my mind is nothing but something akin to pure energy. You understand the concept of a soul, surely?
Your assumption is wrong. Russell was British. The rest of your paragraph can be most simply described as gobbledygook (with no relevance to the quote at all as far as I can see? ).I assume Bertrand Russel is Frenchman... do a little survey on the french social life... The French killed the Hugenotes and for that sin well...
You're free to think that what you observe is reality, infact I do the same. However, you and I both know you can't prove it - and that's all I really set out to explain.You're being very solipsistic.
Some (many?) philosophers would agree that you can't prove that your perceptions are reliable. Trying to prove it invokes the logical fallacy of begging the question. eg,
1. You cannot prove that your perception is reliable using your senses; and
2. You cannot use your senses without knowing your perception is reliable.
So you end up arguing in circles.
Philosophers have field days arguing this (See Hume, Descartes, Russell and Moore).
Personally, I prefer to think that what I observe is reality.
Better yet, drop a heavy weight on your foot and then contemplate the nature of reality.Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no realization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."
Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.
"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"
Samuel Johnson did something similar:Better yet, drop a heavy weight on your foot and then contemplate the nature of reality.
Refutation of Bishop Berkeley:
After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley's ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it -- "I refute it thus."