I’m doing a class this year called Biblical Worldview and Apologetics. I figured I can post the essays I’ll have to write, since they’re good enough material. They’re not much, but they’re something. Enjoy!
This one was the first paper. I had to follow a root-and-fruit progression, and I chose the phrase, “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” as the idea. I believe I got an A- on this paper. Only reason I got the minus was because I didn’t double space it. Heh. Oh well. 😉
A phrase in pop culture says, “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” In passing, this saying can seem funny and lighthearted. However, if it were to be used seriously in real life—as it sometimes is—then the consequences can be quite dangerous. Underlying this statement is the idea that reality is subjective, and in turn truth, experience, facts, scientific laws, and even existence itself are all tossed aside into the realm of the objective.
In the idea that I can reject your reality and replace it with my own, the foundational belief is that reality is subjective, and determined by each individual’s unique experience. To them, the universe is constantly changing and, as there is no higher purpose in life, there are no objective moral grounds to live by. Proponents assert the idea that the only absolute is that there are no absolutes and that the only objective is that reality is subjective. However, this ideology is flawed in many different ways. Ignoring the basic physical and psychological laws that are true and applicable to all people, and instead focusing on the social flaws of such a worldview, it does not take long to see that major societal problems arise from it. If we all experience reality differently, how do we know that we are actually doing anyone wrong? Peter Berger said in 1966 that, “He who has the bigger stick has the better chance of imposing his definitions of reality.” Naturally the question then becomes, why not? If there is no absolute reality that we all take part in, and thus no objective standard of behavior for all humans to behave respectfully of one another—making my own happiness the point—then why can I not behave according to my own wishes at any given time? This becomes chaotic, impractical, and cannot lead to the preservation of any enduring social order; there can be no order with seven billion different realities.
We see evidence of the negative influence this ideology throughout the world. For example, many nations across the world are falling apart into chaos, war, and sectional strife. Nations are not just at war within themselves, but several are engaging in war with other nations at the same time! Urban crime is escalating. This is found not only in America, but many other nations as well. However, small towns are also susceptible, not just the big cities. In any city, at any place, and at any time, the chances of a riot or other major disruption are increasing. Also, most crime is no longer limited to minor crime such as property damage. Violent crime is rising worldwide, in every nation. As well, counselors and therapists are becoming higher in demand as people attempt to resolve problems in their personal lives. The cause of these symptoms is due to the rampant immorality and selfishness that dominate people’s lives today. In our own little worlds, where we come first above all things, there is no thought of others or how our actions may affect them. It may be easily argued that many people no longer consider how their actions will affect themselves in the long run. This ideology has led to pain, disorder, and strife. The consequences that these destructive thoughts create can not be endured for long. If left unchecked, these issues we currently face will only grow much larger, more pressing, and uncontrollable.
A life without objectives or absolutes for one person alone quickly becomes messy, erratic, and unsustainable. Among an entire nation, the idea quickly leads to either self-destruction or a necessitated and intentional shift away from such destructive policies. There rises a need for some kind of objective or absolute to be enforced as civic law. However, if there is no supernatural creator and mankind is the center of all things, then there logically cannot be an actual objective by which all actions can be judged. In this case, one must be created. It has historically seemed to be best to the authorities creating the objective that the greatest of any objectives is the good of society, paired with the state as the ultimate absolute. After all, society and the state will continue to exist and last far beyond any mere individual. Thus, the will of the individual becomes subject to the greater good: society and the advancement of the state. Yet, how is the good of society determined, and by whom? The state of course, influenced by the ever-changing whims of society! Thus individualism and ingenuity, which may be dangerous to the preservation and furtherance of the ultimate good, and those who deviate or refuse to participate in the common goal, must be eliminated. The betterment of the community trumps any ill that betakes the individual. The state can use this justification for any evil it does, and logically! So this thought process ultimately leads to tyranny and great evil; a status worse than before.
So in this whole progression we have seen how a seemingly harmless statement, when taken seriously, can create terrible effects. Self-centeredness creates chaos, chaos leads to tyranny, tyranny leads to a worse state than before, and society is worse off in the end! The last state—with a tyrannical government justifying all actions because the ends-justify the means—is far worse off than the chaos of anarchy. People cannot behave as they please, regardless of the consequences. However, neither can governments on behalf of society. “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” is an impractical, unrealistic, and unsustainable declaration.