3 oct. 2011

Bad Arguments--I Know It To Be So

Arguments for religion, or any particular religious belief, based on deep inner conviction cannot convince any other person who holds other beliefs with equal fervency. Subjective feelings are just that, subjective.

3 comentarios:

Joseph Hutchison dijo...

There may be less to the distinction between "subjective" and "objective" than you think. Can anything we perceive be objective? Our perceptual tools and limited and flawed—so I wonder: what can we truly call "objective"?

But maybe I'm just misreading. You seem to suggest, with the phrase "subjective feelings," that there are "objective feelings." Or maybe there's a confusion between "beliefs" and "feelings."

Anyway, if there are no "objective feelings," then there can be no such thing as "I know it to be so," whether one if a religious nut or a scientist. (I say this a week after the speed of light constant has been called into question experimentally.) My sense of things is that everything is in flux, including the subject/object distinction.

Jonathan dijo...

Don't go postmodern on me, Joseph.

However you draw that distinction between objective and subjective knowledge does not affect my point, does it? In other words, a subjective conviction felt in one's heart is subjective no matter what, even if there is no true objectivity to be had for other questions. I am referring in this post to traditions, such as the one I was raised in, that called for you to pray and receive an answer, a kind of burning in your breast, that told you it (the religion itself) was true.

That is different from how we determine evidence for a lot of other things, like the location of Australia, for example. You would give a different answer to the "how do you know" question for that. How do I "know" that Nevada is to the West of Utah and not to the East? I could be mistaken, sure, but then I would have ways of checking. In some sense I am not allowed to think Utah borders California and have my beliefs counted as valid by anyone else. I couldn't appeal to subjectivity, even, in my argument, or complain, "you aren't respecting my opinion." Or "Hey, for me, personally, Utah is on the Pacific coast and Colorado on the Atlantic. Don't argue with my opinion." We've all had students who think things are arguable when they simple aren't. That might be a good pragmatic definition of objective fact.

The speed of light issue is not even relevant to subjectivity / objectivity. In a later post I might explain why.

Clarissa dijo...

The very fact of wanting to convince anybody is proof that one doesn't really believe.