Why Objectivity Matters to a Heretic Like Me

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“It’s just what I believe.”

I used to hide behind that phrase, and other people hid behind it too. When I disengaged from church life and practiced my own brand of moderate Christianity, I needed that phrase to keep my faith going. At the time, I believed that people could see different things and experience truth differently. My mistake was that I confused this with objective facts. So, it let me construct my own special lie. Anyone who tried to ask me to come out was being an ass.

Facts exist regardless of whether I like them or not.
During that time in my life, I believed this too – but I never paid real attention to it. Rather than consider their implications on my thinking, I simply pounded away at them like they were square pegs and my mind was a round hole. Eventually the corners would fall off through brute force. The end product was something I was quite proud of, and I didn’t see the broken pieces piling up.

What I didn’t understand was that perception created the inconsistencies. Somehow I knew that facts existed outside my perception; a tree can fall in the woods regardless of whether I saw it happen or not. My perception demanded that I ignore them, despite all of them piling up around me. As we learn more about the world around us, nature becomes more consistent. Only through subjective thinking could I justify hiding from those facts.

Objectivity – and the consistency it provides – is something I rely upon.
All of the things I learned from religion growing up groomed me to despise my own understanding. It’s pretty convenient, considering that it inherently means I have to ignore confirming information. Conformity to the narrative I’d been taught was crucial. Everything else needed to be ignored.

Except for me, it grew to be unhealthy. Taking a person’s word for all sorts of things had led me down a path of self-destruction. Maybe I learned too well and believed too much. Regardless, that kind of thinking is terribly subjective, and I have to live with it every day. Making sure that I’m not falling into old habits is critical. Otherwise, I run a very real risk of believing that I’m a worthless individual who can’t amount to anything ever.

Objective applications and treatments just happen to be anathema to religious teachings.
Some people might (and probably have, if I’m honest) argue that this makes me unfairly biased towards religion. I’m not giving it a fair chance. My pride is in the way of my salvation. Who am I to question an omnipotent being?

What these positions fail to grasp is that any conflict is incidental to faith. After acknowledging my doubts, I didn’t set out to specifically destroy my faith. Rather, I found that my old views were incredibly cavalier with truth. To continue on would have been to hide that I found mistakes in what I’d been told. In other words, I’d have to proverbially bury one more ideological corpse in the backyard.

The conflict between subjective ideas and objective facts weighs heavily on me.
Maybe the thought’s similar to why I think faith is a lie. Regardless, people sometimes demand that I pull the same wool over my eyes. They don’t get that I’ve been there, done that, and gotten the t-shirt. They don’t realize that I’ve got scars on my flesh that testify to my willingness to be subjective. I’ve physically bled for my beliefs.

I mention this to say that I understand why some people need that subjectivity to keep their world intact. Losing mine wasn’t a pleasant process, although it was a necessary one. But I cannot ignore when people try to passively foist their subjective views on me. People are allowed to do what they will to themselves, but they cannot inflict that misery on others without their consent.