Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts - December 17

Recently, I read a piece on a ‘big’ issue, which was arguing against another opinion. The author of the piece claims to be a Christian who values life in all circumstances. Then there was a comment critique that went something like: it ‘doesn’t matter’ what this person (writer) values; all that’s really important is ‘what’s valuable in itself.’ This comment is a typical criticism of what is perceived as a subjective view, which supposedly makes ‘value’ person (in this case writer) relative. I accept the critique with a couple of caveats. I would wager there is also a problem with the comment since the commenter is apparently arguing for or claiming access to an entirely objective view of value. But, it seems to me, there is no ‘solely’ objective view available. If that’s the case, it means that what has value for the writer of the piece should be considered as important; it does matter, but it cannot stand alone. If value is simply value ‘for me’ then all values are equal and this would create problems. Value ‘in itself’ however, still has to be determined by exploring and then dialoging with other options, though the only way I know of to accomplish this is through oneself. Thus, when it comes to value and much else, there are two problems (subjectivity – value only ‘for me’ / objectivity – value only ‘in itself’), not just one. To counter these and guard against the tendency to polarize, I’d suggest a “subjective objectivity” where both have a role to play in discerning what is valuable.