Subjectivity

I have faith that there is no such thing as objective reality. I think the only reality that exists is the one constructed inside our own heads. The reality I construct is the one I understand and the one that provides the basis for my own bias.

            People seem to feel that mankind has a pretty good idea of how the world works, and that it will work the same when seen from different perspectives. This is a natural conclusion to draw, because human beings view reality in very similar ways. There is a general consensus that the sky is blue, for example. There is a consensus on what defines the color blue. The problem with the “fact” of a blue sky is that color is a concept we invented and blue is an arbitrary measurement of color.

            But surely with all the technology and knowledge of the natural world, one would think we would have found some objective truths.  The problem there is that any technology that exists to measure the world is created and calibrated by us. Scientific measurement can record change, but not the full nature of what is changing.  Take a spectrometer for example, a simple machine that measures color; it can tell when something is blue only because we told it beforehand what blue looks like.

A common part of a definition of faith is the belief in something that can not be proved.  Most people would say they trust their senses because they believe that what is sensed can be proved. I do not believe that sense can be proven to be a reflection of reality.  To prove that, we would have to know exactly how the brain processes the impulses it receives.

The subjective nature of sensory perception is a metaphor for how we think about the world. What is good, bad, true or untrue is really a matter of our own faith in ourselves and a construct of our own individual minds. I believe that everyone views, interprets, and represents reality in a unique way, and presenting a truly objective point of view is impossible. We are also biased and under the influence of an infinite number of impulses. Trying to understand one’s own bias can be helpful is presenting a comprehensive, if not objective, world view.

This idea of a questionable reality seems most evident in memory; we have a strong ability to recall things but also a strong disconnect between the conscious and unconscious.  Without evidence, it is often difficult to distinguish between the memory of a vivid dream and the memory of something that actually happened. The answer to “if a tree falls and no one hears, does it make a sound?” is, not only is there no sound, but if no one remembers it, it doesn’t exist.  This means that the truth we present to others is really something we have created but it is also the only truth there is.

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