Relative Importance of Subjectivity and Objectivity:

Posted by Magellanic Cloud on August 30, 2006

Importance of Subjectivity:

We base most of our decisions on subjective information and comparatively we base very few of our decisions on objective information. This shows the importance of subjectivity in our daily practical life and this also shows the importance of the accuracy of our subjective information. Practically we can improve the accuracy level of our subjective feelings and conclusions but practically we cannot convert each of our subjective feelings/ conclusions into objective facts even if it is possible to do so.

How to decide if there is difference in two subjective opinions?

Difference in two subjective opinions does not necessarily mean that the matter is not decidable. We can decide in favor of the opinion having more strong supporting reason.

Truth of subjective opinion:

Following two points should be considered while deciding about the truth value of any subjective opinion:

i. It is to the point &;
ii. It is supported by valid and strong reasons.

‘Conclusive Evidence’ in Subjective Issues:

As a result of thorough analysis of a subjective issue, when all the outstanding questions have been satisfactorily answered, the final position, which still stands and now there has left no outstanding question; that final thing is the conclusive position. And the fact that now there has left no outstanding question regarding that issue is the ‘conclusive evidence’.

Importance of Objectivity:

Objectivity is important because it is required to make other people convinced. So in this sphere of activity i.e. to convince other people, objectivity has to be preferred over subjectivity.

Subjectivity is more important in that it is the property of only human mind i.e. computer can be considered to be ‘objective thinker’ but cannot be considered to be a ‘subjective thinker’. Subjective thinking is the property of only human mind.

But to make other people convinced, always would require objectivity in whatever form. The form of objectivity may be a scientific truth or it may be such a thing which is ‘considered to be true’ by the person to whom we want to convince. The thing which is ‘considered to be true’ by the other person is objective for us for our particular purpose of making that person convinced.

A thing which is just ‘considered to be true’ by that person, would be treated to be a subjective belief of that person for all other purposes. Such a subjective belief may or may not be actually true. We cannot decide about its truth-value unless it is known to be in conformity with the reality.

We can communicate our subjective ideas without involving any objective element, to other people but such a communication would not be considered to be argumentation. As a result of such non-argumentative communication, the other person shall not be convinced about it except for two cases:

i. The person was already ‘convinced’ about that idea.
ii. Person had a raw mind about the issue and this subjective information has become the very first meaningful information of its particular type and nature.

‘Objective’ standards can also be used to regulate certain practices i.e. management standards, accounting standards, rules of certain sports etc. Similarly ‘objective definitions’ are used in these ‘objective standards’. Certain concepts are referred to by only using these objective definitions.

Need of Objectivity:

The need of objectivity arises only in group life. The main usage of objectivity is to regulate and harmonize the group life. People settle their disputes while the criteria for decisions are objective. Here objectivity has no direct concern with the reality or truth. Decisions based on objective facts may be misleading. For example if a judge personally knows that the accused is murderer but he has no objective evidence, the judge has to release that person. Here the decision is not based on real situation. Objectivity, for the most part makes our group life more convenient. Just for the sake of this ‘convenience’, the society can prefer objectivity to reality. To base our decisions in a society on reality, which is not supported by objectivity, creates various types of social problems. To worship idles is objective kind of duty for the Hindu society but it may not be the real duty for them. If a Hindu denies performing this objective duty and insist on real (which is subjective) duty, that Hindu person shall create various types of social problems for himself.

The other purpose of objectivity is to make other people convinced. People are convinced only of such statements/ facts, which are derived from those already known facts which are also objective for them.

A fact, which is not objective for me (i.e. I do not consider it to be true or it is not verifiable) if results in another fact which is derived from the original fact – this new fact cannot convince me. But if the original fact was considered to be true by me then I also shall consider the derived fact also to be true.


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