Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Objectivism Refuted

That the senses give us an accurate perception of reality can only be confirmed by belief in a reality we cannot perceive with the senses. As one must know what reality is independently of himself in order to measure his perception by it and establish the idea that what he perceives is, in fact, reality. Ergo, faith in a metaphysic is a necessity in the evaluation of any claim that concerns a knowledge of reality. Hence, objectivism is false, as it is not the senses that give a knowledge of reality, since they must be measured by an a priori knowledge of reality, but the metaphysic by which knowledge is gained by faith.


  1. Hello B.C.,

    I don't know if you'll post my comment, but given the subject of your current blog entry, I thought you may be interested in this:

    On the Validity of the Senses
    by Dawson Bethrick
    April 03, 2013

    Dawson Bethrick has many other blog entries (going on 9 years worth now, actually) which deal with the claim you make and the various hidden premises contained within it.

    Here are links to his home page and to archived material, in case your interested in further reading:



  2. Hello again, B.C.,

    Dawson Bethrick has now posted a few comments on his blog that deal directly with what you've written above. If interested, you can find them here:

    Thanks again.


  3. Thanks Ydemoc,

    In essence, he misconstrues both what I am arguing and to what extent I am arguing for. His rebuttal consists of a tu quoque fallacy. I am not attempting to answer the objection here. I am only stating the objection, which he has not sufficiently answered. Merely arguing that the sense are reliable because we use them automatically is merely descriptive. It says nothing as to whether we are sensing all of reality. In fact, much of my argument above is pointing out that we have no way of knowing whether we are sensing reality by our senses because we have no one else, in an atheist system, to verify that for us. All we can do is experience the physical, but this too cannot tell us whether we are experiencing the physical en toto or merely in part.
    So there is no sufficient argument that addresses this in his answer. Beware of sophistry that doesn't hit the main objection head on.

    Second to this, the argument that I am implying that there are "no means" to access an accurate view of reality is bogus. I can understand a historical event via faith in the report. Likewise, I can understand all things through a metaphysical view of the universe that is given via report. I am not in the position to judge empirically whether my belief has given me an accurate view of reality, but that is my very point. So I am arguing for a species of subjectivism, one based upon faith. And that is where everyone must begin.

    Hence, my ultimate argument would be that, as a Christian, I believe that man is completely reliant upon God to know the essential nature of the universe and thereby access reality. If He chooses to leave one in his deceptions or be led into others, there is no way for a man's belief to be correctly placed. If He chooses to lead one out of such a mess via His leading him to the right report and faith therein, then a man can have access to an accurate, analogically based, view of reality.

    So my point is basically that objectivism is self refuting and cannot be revived by merely assuming that the senses are valid because they don't need to be validated; and they somehow don't need to be validated because they are already in use. That is like saying that a dog need not validate whether he judges a rose to be black and white, since he automatically does not see in color already. Such is the stuff of nonsense. We know, having higher senses than the dog, that the true color of the rose is not black or white, but red. Its senses are not meant for it to have full access to reality. They are only meant to help it function in what it needs to do in its world.

    Hence, I am not arguing that no reality can be known through the senses, but that only partial reality can be known. That's why his division of my argument as confusing two realities doesn't understand what I'm saying. These are not two realities, but one reality that can only be accessed fully via faith and reason together. One must have faith in a metaphysic in order to attempt to describe the whole of reality. One does not need a metaphysic in order to attempt to describe the part of reality one can access via the senses.

    Hence, the problem surfaces when one attempts to use the reality that he can only access through the senses as all-encompassing. It is at that point, the point when one attempts to say something more about reality than the senses allow, that faith in a metaphysic comes to light.

  4. B.C.:

    One must have faith in a metaphysic in order to attempt to describe the whole of reality.

    How has this faith in a metaphysic helped you describe the motion of the Solar System?

  5. It allows me to know that the universe and its characteristics are not illusions. It helps with a number of a priori beliefs needed to establish that my assessment of it reality is to some degree accurate.

    However, the question confuses categories of inquiry. Metaphysics discusses the essential nature of the universe, not merely its physical characteristics. Hence, questions concerning the physical nature of an object of study is what I use empirical observation and experiential reason to study. Questions that have to do with the essential nature of an object of study, e.g., whether it is purely a physical object or phenomenon, or whether there is a spiritual element to it, cannot be answered by empiricism and experiential reasoning. Hence, I either must believe a report that claims to be from One who transcendent and knows the essential nature of the object, or I must guess and believe, via pure speculation, that such is the essential nature of the studied object. Neither the object, nor my method for studying its physical nature, can tell me whether I have landed on the right metaphysical belief.

    Yet, the belief itself is necessary in concluding any view of reality that attempts to include its essential nature (which are all views of reality). Hence, one must assume a metaphysic in order to conclude a metaphysic. The data in between says nothing about it.

    So if I was a philosophic naturalist, I have to limit reality what I, and the assumed other minds around me that are in the same boat as mine, can personally perceive. But whether I have landed on a true view of the essential nature of reality cannot be perceived. I am merely guessing that it is so, and that guess is in the realm of belief, not experience. My experience is then interpreted in light of that belief to conclude other things about reality. But the belief comes first, and it is subjective. Hence, objectivism is false.

  6. B.C.:

    Hence, I either must believe a report that claims to be from One who transcendent and knows the essential nature of the object, or I must guess and believe, via pure speculation, that such is the essential nature of the studied object.

    I'm not seeing a whole lot of difference between the two. Your belief regarding the truth of the claims of the One is based on pure speculation. What can tell you if you've landed on the right metaphysical belief?

  7. Hi again, B.C.,

    I don't know if NAL mentioned it, but Dawson Bethrick has responded to the reply that you addressed to me. Here is the link for both his entry and the comments that follow:

    Hodge's Hedgings
    Saturday, August 24, 2013