This quite literally began with a Google search.
As in I thought Subjective Rationality was a cool term I came up with all by myself, would make a cool name for a blog and I wanted to make sure no one else in the world had thought of putting those two words together.
Hindsight really is 20/20.
Anyways my search led me to an article and just reading the abstract alone gave me so much to chew on…and now I find myself wondering if it’s just me or this is something other people might consider.
Consider a group of friends in a carpool on the way to the movies. The driver arrives at a T-junction. Both roads lead to the theater but there’s no consensus among the passengers so the driver makes the call. His/her decision exists in two dimensions (nothing as exciting as an actual multiverse, sorry to disappoint).
In the first dimension, the driver is rational in the sense that the passengers can be convinced that he/she made the right choice to get them to the theater as safely and as quickly as possible. This is referred to as objective rationality. In the second dimension, the driver is rational in the sense that he/she cannot be convinced that he/she is wrong in choosing a particular road over another. This is referred to as subjective rationality.
Objective rationality is easy enough. It means that if I make a statement like “I like Batman v Superman.” and your initial reaction is “You’re an idiot!”, through cogent and reasoned arguments, I can convince you to move to an “Okay, I see your point.” view. I haven’t changed your mind about the quality of the movie but you see and understand why I like it.
Subjective rationality is where things get murky. Here, if I say “Beyoncé is overrated!” and you show me all her albums, singles and how they were chart toppers and critically acclaimed, my response will always and constantly be “You’re wrong. She sucks.” And nothing you say or do will change my mind because I’m convinced absolutely that I’m right. And a deep and bitter enmity just begun.
(Side note: To any members of the Beyhive reading this, I think Beyoncé is awesome, I’m just creating a hypothetical situation to illustrate my point.)
Subjective rationality is inherently flawed as human beings are very imperfect beings. Using our personal opinions, assumptions, beliefs and interpretations to make decisions is bound to create more than a few uncomfortable moments. Facts cannot be ignored just because they don’t make sense or provide information contrary to our opinions.
However, subjective rationality is not to be disregarded totally. Critical thought arises from the ability to examine and analyze facts and form opinions and judgements based on those facts. A single train of thought does not foster creativity and improvement. That just causes stagnation.
As I start out on this new path as a blogger, I will strive in all things to be as objective as possible…but I must admit that my opinions and viewpoints shaped by my life are precious to me. So I might end up being subjective about as many times as I’m objective.
And that is not a bad thing. If we all thought and made decisions like each other, the world would be a less interesting place. We need to agree to disagree.
So…welcome to my grand experiment in objective and subjective rationality. I invite you to my meandering thought process on life as we know it.
I might inspire you.
I might anger you.
But, in all things, I assure everything I will post from this moment henceforth will be something I will always stand behind firmly.
This is Zuviel, and the fun is just beginning.