In my posts regarding the Bible, some readers have sent me messages stating that my statements are subjective–very suubjective in fact–while the person’s own biblical views are objective. Such commentators are assuming that their own views simply reflect what is in the text, and that the Bible is objective fact. I want to suggest that we tend to enable the cloak of religion to essentially excuse such presumption and utter rudeness–what is in actuality passive aggression. On the street, were another person to say, “your view is subjective, while mine and that of my favorite book are objective,” one would quite understandably feel insulted and wonder how such presumption could have gone unchecked (presumably the other person is an adult physiologically). In actuality, it is quite childish behavior. Even if the person believes his or her favorite religious text to be objective, and therefore superior to any mere opinion, the objectivity is not something that can be proved, for it is itself a matter of opinion.
For example, when I suggest that the biblical writers or the people written about in the Bible (assuming historical personage here) might have been influenced at times by their vested personal interest in writing or saying something religious (rather than it coming from God), I find it a sort of brain-sickness (to use a Nietzschean term) to suggest that I’m just being subjective and so my view should be dismissed while the person disagreeing with me is representing objectivity. The sickness is in the extent of the presumption and passive aggression, as well as in the person’s blind-spot concerning it. The corrective feedback loop is inoperative. It is perhaps physiological/neurological in origin. It is a bit like the street person who claims to be Julius Ceasar. The guy has no clue, and yet presumes to be above everyone else.
I assume that every human being is subjective, so even if one views his or her favorite book as objective, that claim cannot go beyond that person’s subjectivity. In other words, we can’t possibly be objective about objective truth (which is not to say that it does not exist). I also take it as palpably insulting to tell someone that they are subjective while the person himself claims to have an objective source. As I mention above, it is really a case of passive aggression. Why there is so much of it in religion, I don’t know. However, I suspect that the phenomenon of religion has a vulnerablity to it, and may even facilitate that sort of brain sickness–under the rubric of superiority, of course. Confronting such a sickness with itself assumes a strength that does not exist in such fecklessness. In my subjective opinion, the only reaction I can recommend is to treat it as an attack and walk away (i.e., state your decision not to continue, based on the insult–calling it what it is). Trying to get the other person to confront their sickness is like trying to get an active alcoholic to confront his or her disease. Both, I submit, are mind diseases. Both defend themselves by the presumption that they can’t be wrong about themselves and others. In dealing with such illnesses, dialogue is impossible. Typically anyway, the person presuming to be objective will view the notification of the insult as the insult and will find it convenient to walk away rather than to confront the possibility of what may lie within himself.